Sometimes Sadness

Join Me

other people have to find

disappointment:

the sentiment stayed at home

with me

right here in

the town

You can come in off the road,

The wind

is no matter for

The bitter voice

through the darkness.

"Join Me" in my collage poem book

“Join Me” in my collage poem book

Things Continue No Matter What

Everyday life is full of drama, I think, and we take it all for granted, maybe don’t even notice it, if we’re not in the starring role.

Intersection

Lined up by chance

commuting schedule

school drop-offs

going to the grocery cleaners library

all the cars waited

for the flagman

hopping from foot to foot in the frigid air

to pass them through

the work zone

Complications developed

when the commuter train blocked

the grade crossing

Every driver’s hand hovering

over the steering wheel

to press the horn

but not

because it’s no one’s fault

they all had to wait their turns

when a siren barely heard

over car radios

through closed windows

crying children

chattting carpoolers

then louder

Drivers’ eyes front

then to rear-view mirrors

The workmen moved away from the middle of the road.

Coming up ahead

a driver thinks

they all think

The vehicle approaches

An ambulance.

It moves quickly

efficiently

along the line

swings through the turn

the paramedics,

their faces

impassive, focused, calm,

in the front seat.

Gone just like that

the hospital is only two miles away

and they will be there

before the traffic clears

in the work zone.

A runner in a yellow shirt

darts through the line

the jackhammer starts up again

train gates lift

the cars start to move.

wise old headclay tile, 2012

wise old head
clay tile, 2012

Do You Really Know Your Friends?

This collage poem is on the first page of my collage book. It’s not the first one I did; you might remember I said I mailed that one off and didn’t keep an image. Anyway, doesn’t matter. Here’s another collage poem, that’s what I’m trying to say.

Aftereffect

well, it was like this

she wrote

with an effect of angry mockery,

beautiful qualities

turned into a cold timidity,

troubled with premonitions

I know her a little better than you do

Your sight blurred

You might take her for a friend,

faded from the weariness of too much dignity

halted by the angry voices of the crowd,

generous hopes vanished out of the confusion

If you don’t someone else will

"Aftereffect" on its page in my collage poem book.

“Aftereffect” on its page in my collage poem book.

When I First Got the Idea

Here’s the first collage poem I did. I don’t have an image for it, because I pasted it on to a mail art postcard and sent it out. I didn’t know I was going to like making this kind of poetry so much, so I didn’t bother documenting it. Anyway, here’s all there was to it – I had cut out pages and pages from a discarded library book, on the way to making a little book-box kind of thing with a scene in it – a kind of assemblage. I had the pile of superfluous pages in front of me and was idly pushing them around on the table, when the first sentence of the poem caught my eye. The rest just kind of fell into place – seemed natural to take other phrases and rearrange them into a new composition. Why, I don’t know, but it did.

I love the unexpectedness of the results when I make these poems.

Red Haze

Very well, fetch the pistols. I’m going

to coquette and domineer;

on Friday morning I’m going away

Perfectly happy

other pains and worries

removed somewhere beyond

emotion

Awry and Askew

 Here is a collage poem from not too long ago.

 

The Fortune Teller Limps Along

whenever I see these

crazy

omens and portents

I have every reason to think

Someone unknown

read your mind

right this time

learned all this

instantly

soundlessly

immediately

scornfully

"The Fortune Teller Limps Along" on its page in my collage poem book.

“The Fortune Teller Limps Along” on its page in my collage poem book.

Throwback to Winter

Spring comes in fits and starts, and though it seems late for sleet, we had some last night. Sitting in a comfortable chair next to the window, I could hear it gently striking the glass. I was glad to be inside and warm.

 

Ice pellets tapping

behind the blank dark window

but the lamp glows on

 

"Three Years Ago in January"collage

“Three Years Ago in January”
collage

Don’t Be In Such a Hurry

Seems to me that everything has to be considered from a number of viewpoints before a real assessment can be made, one that will stick. This thought occurred to me a few weeks ago as I looked around the neighborhood and thought about the surroundings – some people might see it as just another street with houses, like millions and millions of others. But there are a lot of layers of detail to look at and think about here if you take the time.

Uncategorized

What’s a pretty sight

what’s not

A wrecked car parked in front of your house

not your car, count your blessings

pity the neighbors

and hope it’s towed away soon

A plastic children’s play set

glimpsed through your neighbor’s leafless hedge

lawn chairs stowed inside

Birds flocking around your bird feeder

bird seed litter all over the ground

A cat with one eye

who chews up the newspapers

you leave on the floor

and tries to run out the garage door

every time you open it

A cat with two eyes

who just sits

and wouldn’t consider going outside

The compost pile

the garbage can

A plastic bag snagged on a tree branch

too high for you to reach

in your front yard by the driveway

Unraked leaves blowing all over

your back-to-nature back yard

Hawk eating a squirrel

slowly

on your picnic table

Chicken wire fence around the garden

What’s a pretty sight

What’s not

You need to

give more thought to it

than I think you are

"Big Orange Tree"Acrylics on masonite

“Big Orange Tree”
Acrylics on masonite

 

Don’t Tell the Neighbors

It is not so easy to maintain order in a disorderly world. It helps if you don’t worry too much about this fact, but everyone has standards to uphold, it seems. Only it takes a lot of work sometimes, and so a shortcut here and there (and here and there) is not such a bad thing, I think.

Rationalization

 

The cat claws at the sofa

even in the best homes –

That’s what the cat does

or so I tell myself.

But how can I explain

the ink stain on the chair?

Let’s just say

the cushion will have a family side

and a company side

from now on.

And what about the cracked tiles

in the bathroom floor?

Try this –

Bathmat to the rescue.

 

I hear that even in the best homes

life’s full of cover-ups.

So I’m confident it’s OK

that we are doing it here, too.

"I Couldn't Be Having More Fun"mail art postcard collage and acrylics on advertising card background 2012

“I Couldn’t Be Having More Fun”
mail art postcard
collage and acrylics on advertising card background
2012

Mail Art and Poetry

Here are a couple of mail art items I’ve sent out that include poetry. Since they are postcards, anyone can read what’s on them. I like the idea of my thoughts making their way across the countryside, actually taking a trip here in this world, one that can be traced. The poems are short, as befits a postcard – just a little snippet of thought is all that’s needed.

First, the poems:

1.

Exile

but
Then there was tomorrow
Homesickness whispering again and again

2.

Get With It

I understood that
Times have changed
when I heard it said
fortunetellers, they go to heaven
reward for
substantial popularity