Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Worded

The Farmer’s Long Shadow

Fifty years ago the farmer
threw down his hat
and left it there,
that confounded combine
that won’t run a row
without another adjustment.
Its paint blistered
brown as the earth,
a cultivated look for so old a thing
retired in the same field
where it used to work.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekly Worded

The Imperfection of Art

In the foreground of this painting
called “My Window”
the trees appear very large
but through an opening
to the middle-ground
I can view the house my neighbors
are building, its skeleton of studs
like a grid-work imposed
over a background of pasture -- black cows
grazing against green grass --
a perfect country scene
except for a detail
revealing a cow
standing where the kitchen sink should be.
It must be an optical trick
that distance plays on the eye --
merging -- and for a moment I suspect
cows might be building the house.
If I intentionally cross my eyes
another cow becomes a farmer
mowing the yard.
Something must be wrong,
the trees are frantically waving.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Worded

Bus Stop

Seven o’clock.
Bus go
fifty feet or so.
Bus stop.
Dogs bark.
Bus go,
speed low.
Takes turn.
Bus stop.
Mom with tot.
Bus go.
Lights flash.
Try to pass.
Bus stop.
Children sit.
Bus go.
Traffic flow.
Bus stop.
Bus wait.
First grader late.
Bus go.
Mother waves.
Railroad tracks.
Bus stop.
Bus go.
Now I see
yellow sign:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekly Worded

Anatomy of a Pocket-Watch

The sweep is set in its own tiny circle
within a larger face.
Two regimented hands repeating their tour
above a golden nest of gears.
21 jewels, tiny rubies, diamonds, or sapphires
in a miniature bank vault
to be opened with great delicacy.
The main spring coiled and vibrating
transfers its energy like a pulse,
driving an assembly of relatives
that dance as the fiddler counts.
A stem crowns like a bud
ready for winding the spring
and if it’s remembered every day
by a hand reaching into the pocket
it stays taut, not tight.
Maybe a great-grandson will hold this
pocket-watch like a drop of time
from a crystal pool
and in his guts, as they say,
he’ll become part of the works.