Sunday, April 30, 2006

#7: April 30, 2006

A Curly Girl with bells on both her wrists
And silver socks enclosing both her feet
Went to No-Place (for such a place exists)
To ask the King what he liked best to eat.

The King of No-Place (children all should know)
Was wicked to his bones: his favorite feast
Was Curly Girl Fricassee a la Mode
(it's an acquired taste, to say the least).

So Curly Girl and King Nobody met,
And more than that I really cannot say.
The truth about who ate and who got et,
And what made Curly Girl go out that day

               In the first place, are just some of those things
Best saved for grownups, cannibals, and kings.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

#6: April 29, 2006

To Reverend Walker, heaven was a bank
where those in the best suits were the best served,
and the calculus of what a man deserved
contained a factor for his blood and rank.
Oh, one could store up jewels above, no doubt.
Soup lines were good for that; donations too.
But that was interest--compound blessings due
on grace the Lord already'd parceled out.
It was simple economics: who had the most,
deserved it. Who had least were therefore vile
and justly cursed by God. Why walk a mile
in torn-up shoes, when Heaven was so close?

The Reverend's congregation all averred,
and bought Hummers to spread the gospel word.

Friday, April 28, 2006

#5: April 28, 2006

I'd settled in at seven miles-per-hour
on the treadmill, doing pretty well,
thinking of antelopean grace and power,
Nigerian marathoners, and gazelles.

With lions nipping at my youthful heels,
frustrated cheetahs tumbling to a stop,
vital, I knew how the roadrunner feels,
Coyote sidestepped, honking as he drops.

The lights went out. The treadmill stopped like death.
My ankles sprung; my chest hit the controls.
Hobbled, bruised, knocked out of my breath
I felt embarassed and suddenly old.

You can't prepare for unexpected stops.
Behind, the smirking lions lick their chops.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

#4: April 27, 2006

Tyrannosaurus Rex stands with his jaws
wide open, dagger-lined. His fetid breath
paralyzes stegosaurus--and because
the spiny beast can't run, presages death.
With gnarled toes the Tyrant pins his prey
and to the heavens bellows forth his blast
of triumph. A hapless pterodactyl stray
falls from the sky, knocked senseless by the gas.
In fact, all round the slavering Lizard King
creatures are falling prone: a dragonfly,
bat-size, collapses; scavenger mammals spring
but ere they reach the carcass, cross their eyes.
A thing no paleontologist knows is
the pong of prehistoric halitosis.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

#3: April 26, 2006

The stranger let his roan mare find the way
until at last they stopped near Finder's Lake.
The wind through paper leaves hissed like a snake;
the sky was purple, and the lake was gray.

Pale clouds like lucent, tattered flags unfurled
to cover pinprick stars. Somewhere a loon
cried. The image of the wandering moon
rolled across the lake-top like a pearl.

And if he saw the ghost of Finder's girl
or knew her, murdered for her lover's sake
these thirty years, he never stopped to say.
Next morning there were footprints from the lake
(not such as from a creature of this world)
and hoofprints leading toward the breaking day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

#2: April 25, 2006

I woke today with stains on both my hands,
brownish red and splotched, but not like blood
--no murder in the dark, I guess that's good--
but where they came from I can't understand.

I'm known to eat messy--maybe then food?
The grease and oil of some unguent viand?
Not likely, unless mixed with dirt or sand,
and that'd wash off. I scrubbed hard as I could.

I like to know where my hands get their dirt,
keep track of where I've wallowed, what I stood
to let stain me. These spots itch like a brand--
remind me I can't know whom I have hurt.
They shame me like a silent reprimand
for crimes I don't remember, though I should.

Monday, April 24, 2006

#1: April 24, 2006

I think I used to do this all the time.
Poems, I mean; not very well, of course.
Clumsy iambs, toes caught on the rhyme,
And dactyls graceful as a three-legg'd horse.

Clumsy, but it didn't matter then.
No one cared much when the meter'd slip.
I was my only reader, so no sin
To sit, pull out a pen, and let 'er rip.

I miss that freedom now, that unconcern
So much like bravery. Ignorance in there too,
For youth lets us write things that we would burn
By armloads, were we older, if we knew.

Like this, for instance. Still, I'll let it stay.
I'll get the matches out another day.