Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekly Worded

The Year in Preview

Next year will be different:
suicide bombers will be kinder,
senseless shooters more considerate,
the banks less greedy.

Congress will get to work
legislating America’s confidence
and hangovers from drunken holidays
will be covered by Medicare.

European debt will melt like polar ice
and dead movie stars will come back to life.
It will be a landmark year for self delusion.
Earthquakes, tornadoes, and oil spills

will manifest themselves
for study instead of destruction. 
The homeless will begin to relish
the freedom of not owning a home.

Wildlife will adapt to the virtues
of domesticity, nuclear power plants
will generate the scent of fresh snow,
and a forest of electronic books

will be harvested by hackers,
to be left on the virtual doorsteps
of overcrowded online schools. 
An abducted child will be found

alive -- the police apprehending
a network of journalists who suggested
things would not turn out
as well as they did.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekly Worded


    “That patch is your iPad?”
    “Yeah, I got it for Christmas.”
    “What happened?”
    “I impaled myself with a blunt pair of scissors.”
    “That hadda hurt.”
    “Not so much, since the swelling’s gone down.”
    “No, I mean confusing a pad for your eye with an iPad.”
    “Say again?”
    “Your parents got you an eye patch, not an iPad.”
    “You’re just mad ‘cause you didn’t get one.”
    “I want a tablet, not a pirate accessory.”
    “What’s the difference?”   
    “You think like a toddler.”
    “I’m almost three, same as you.”
    “Didn’t you see the commercial?”
    “They must have put me down for a nap.”
    “Well, an iPad watches movies, listens to music, contacts friends, and reads books.”
    “What’s reads books?”
    “I’m not sure, but the commercial said iPad will teach us.”
    “Then I still want one.”
    “So do I.”
    “What if we start crying?”
    “They’ll just change our butt pads.”

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekly Worded

My Neighbor Sleeps

And by degrees his cows
bellow to the bovine moon

until frost braids a muzzle
out of their breath.

They own no shelter
except themselves,

a blanket of hide,
a belly stoked on hay.

Beside the valley of morning
a record cold temperature lowing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekly Worded

“Down, Down -- .”

The chainsaw snarled, rattled in the air,
making confetti of the willow tree,
severing limb after limb, leaving
a trunk thick as a torso quivering
beside the fence.  From where I’d climbed, revving
the engine, I could see five of my
neighbor’s cows watching me from a distance. 
And the chainsaw snarled and rattled,
snarled and rattled, dropping limbs into
the mud where the cows often wallow. 
Such a sweet smell of engine oil filled
the air, yet nothing changed.  Call it a day --
not a chance, not until I’d lopped the top
by sections and tossed each chunk back into
my own yard without flattening the fence
that guarded his cattle.  But the ladder,
as if to prove its inferiority
to solid footholds, began to sway when
the chainsaw pinched between a sagging branch. 
Then I knew, since I was old enough to know,
to get the hell off that ladder even if
it meant leaving the chainsaw hanging in
mid-air, which I did, descending three rungs
at a time.  Nothing to cut with now. 
And the cows, since they needed no chainsaws,
turned to ruminate on their own affairs.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekly Worded

Explaining the Constellations

Where gophers surface
to survey the vacant field,
pockets of loose dirt blossom
like a chain of brown flowers.

The sun, too, is on its way to ground,
a pale pink light illuminating
the underbellies of clouds.
As darkness backfills the sky,
the persistent stars poke through.