Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekly Worded

Expecting Rain

By daybreak, I’d heard.
Was told. 
By lunch
clouds pillowed
against clouds
like petals on a gray rose.
I could smell 
the aroma of earth
melded to sky,
a vision of virga
floated past.
By six o’clock dust
kicked up in the road
by a stiff wind
moved across the field,
the horizon.
The air turned yellow
like smoke, igniting
such a glorious sunset 
I thought no rain
was worth it. 
By bedtime I’d taken my vows,
to believe in nothing
except disappointment
and all the beauty it can bring.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Worded

Saddle Math

One coyote,
a dozen howls.

One cowboy,
a thousand cows.

One moon,
a million stars.

One Ford,
a billion cars.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekly Worded

A Fraction of the Hole

The bar ditch runoff
from my neighbor’s field
collects in a low spot
at the end of my driveway.
The culvert can’t keep it clear,
so I have to accept the water as my puny pond,
my mosquito breeder,
my frog haven.
When it rains
the water rises,
when it’s dry
the water disappears.
For privacy I have cattails
cross-fenced with red willows.
The birds wouldn’t have it
any other way.
I’m of a mind to tell my neighbor
I want it dry
but I’m also of a predilection to say
what comes down the hill
is only passing through,
as it is with me,
as it is with you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekly Worded

Hotel Calypso

When room service arrives
I can’t believe how her tresses
cascade over her shoulders
or the Mediterranean blue of her eyes.

I hold the door wide as the sea itself
and she sets a silver tray
on the black marble coffee table.
I should ask, “How much do I owe you?”

but I’m afraid she’ll say
“Seven years” so I just nod and smile,
as if I don’t speak any language,
as if I’m afflicted by stupidity,

as if I am too old to care.
But I’m not illiterate.
I’ve plodded through what Odysseus suffered
at the hands of his nymph.

My bed last night radiated such softness
I ordered a pot of coffee
to stir my dreams like the surf
crashing below my balcony. 

On this island of Gozo
there’s a cave I want to visit tomorrow
which my tour book describes as
“just a narrow opening

at the top of a steep cliff”
and as she stoops to pour the coffee
I have a glimpse
of where all the trouble began.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekly Worded

Bacchus Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore

    The restaurant was empty.  The waitress showed me to a table near the window.  She seated me, then apologized for the frenzied pace of the evening, rushing off to the kitchen where she claimed something was on the cusp of burning.  I picked up the menu and glanced at the list of daily specials.  Returning, she looked disheveled, as if she’d just finished wrestling with the chef. 
    “Is everything okay back there in the kitchen?”
    “Oh, yes” she sighed, running one hand through her hair while the other smoothed a few wrinkles out of her skirt.
    “May I bring you something to drink?”
    “What do you recommend?”
    “Nectar of the gods.”
    I picked up the wine list, scanned it, but nothing going by that name was listed.
    “Is this nectar concoction a mixed drink?”
    “Oh no, it’s the actual thing.”
    I looked up at her, expecting a smile, a giggle, some acknowledgment of the incredulity of what she had just said, but her eyes drifted dreamily toward the ceiling.
    “So, what’s in this nectar drink?”
    “Gee, I’m not entirely sure, but I know Zeus orders it every time he’s here.”
    “Yeah, him and Cronus.  And the Vestal Virgins, when they’re out on the town, which isn’t that often I’m sorry to say.”
    I glanced around the restaurant once more, every table vacant, not a soul aside from the waitress and me. 
    “Are you trying to tell me the Greek gods eat here?”
    “Oh yeah, and the Roman gods too, but not on the same night.”
    I decided to probe a little deeper: “Has Thor been in?”
    She glanced around surreptitiously, then leaned close to my ear: “He ordered take-out once, but complained about the meatballs.”
    I didn’t know what else to say, my knowledge of mythology was hampered by a single poorly taught high school English course over forty years ago.
    “Do you serve ambrosia?”
    “That’s our speciality!” she announced, clapping her hands together like a water nymph that’s just had a shower.
    “Then I’ll have a mug of your nectar, a plate of ambrosia, and a side of french fries.”
    Mythological food is fine, if one has an appetite for it, but a little fat can get a person through the leaner times.