Ten dollars and a direction

she relays to me

that I’m odd

(not that I haven’t heard that before)

and that I’ll always

be that way

(yah, I’ve heard that too)

 

and this is why

she likes that chapter:

some steamy romance

going nowhere

because it’s not yet written

or maybe

the plot

dried up

as with my tears

 

accusing fingers

holding your place

between

the part I played

and the mock-up

of a man riding in on a white stallion

saving you

from God knows what

 

open hand offering, reaching

out to you,

and to look upon

you, your favorite

of all the pretty-boy

poster smiles

long, stately mane

flowing in the breeze,

my wizardly ways

which have seen

the world

 

and the knowledge

that this too shall pass.

 

Art credit: Harrison Dale Conti, age 4
“The sun and Daddy at Gumpy and Nini’s”

Child’s Play

Child’s Play

 

from Metro

a Traveling Tales of Waybackwhen book

 

He was here before.

 

In another life

removed from the

hustle

and bustle of

making

ends, and beginnings

meet. Always

toeing the waterline

as it rises

    rises

rises.

 

Castles in the sand, king

surveys his land

as the fortifications

lay bare, wasted,

washed up child’s play

sowing his wild oats

and beans and barley grow

 

but nothing

in this barren marsh.

 


 

based upon the photo

Dreaming of Sanibel

© Bruce Wallace

 

 

memento mori

pacing ‘round the parking lot

still

with white snow

ball bearings

    making their move

tracks

bearing the weight

that which

they were never meant

 

my back against the building

mirrors yours

against the door

grimy with

schmutz, and dust

this window’s

reflection

into a bitter, torn up soul

 

a shell of its former self

superheroic fortress

solitude, alongside Superman

robots, yet you

are no longer the hero

and one I could never be

 

so again I walk away

deep in thought, hands

deep in pockets

fiddling as I get my bearings

a worrying

balancing act

one forever alone

 

the other

Two-Step

Two-Step

 

from Homelands

a Traveling Tales of Waybackwhen book

 

What a tangled, mangled

web they weave

dancing

with the dewdrops,

mirroring universes

reflected

in each others’ eyes.

 

Hung up on the harangue,

breath catching

the sticky

sweaty stench

suffocating

beneath the spinning

twirls and dips

however harmless and halting.

 

Music

strums the heartstrings

and it triggers

something else…

primal

that which

needs to feed

waiting patiently

black widow

wearing white

hourglass

is but a mask.

Autumn Retreat

Reds and oranges

joined the chorus

skish and crunch

listened to the leaves

beneath the feet

of those that

forge the forest floor.

 

Ogethan pondered on

his path marked out for him

map, yellowed

at the edges

like calendar pages

falling

as time went by

quicker

and quicker

with the dying light of day.

 

Sharpe, Garth Addison, Jones…

…Lynnae.

 

Cheery cherry

pit in his stomach, turned

grew dense

caught up in

lives of little sparrows

and breathed

chest,

too narrow

inhaled the crisp

cool air, breathed

out a sigh of relief

and his heart

fluttered

migrated farther

and farther

how much more the Lord cared for thee.

…of Happiness

The flock of fifteen

or so, blue birds, Jays

across the field

and that of my vision.

 

In twos and threes

and struggling singles

making their way

to winter over

James Brown road way.

Prayers for the Order to Our Houses

After the living room shake-up

the pleading fight

to watch

“just one more show.”

The brushing of the teeth

lasted less than I care for

gummies and two Batman phonics readers

the long I and U

sounding suspiciously

like a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

 

Say it with me now.

 

After the bedroom shake-up

the pleading fight

to read

“just one more story.”

The gnashing of the teeth

lasted longer than I care for.

 

After the noodle song

which was first composed

from the front seat

during the witching hour

(expertly timed to the latest breakdown)

a tune, incorporating

long vowels of its own,

yet never mentions noodles.

 

Say it with me now.
Nah, we’ll not go into that nonsense.

 

Then come the prayers,

say them with me now:

 

We pray for Harrison

We pray for Mommy

We pray for Daddy

And we pray for baby Ida Mae

 

We pray for all of Harrison’s friends

all of Mommy and Daddy’s friends

and all of Ida Mae’s friends

 

We pray for Grammy and Bop-Bob’s house

Poppy and Julie’s house

Gumpy and NiNi’s house

And we pray for our house at North Hall

 

Last comes the freestyles:

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for this day.

We especially pray for Mommy

for NiNi…

…and Gumpy.

Yes, Harrison, Gumpy, too.

…and the 3Ds

…and George

 

…and GiGi.

Endurance

My end
shall not be
determined
by their finish.
Photos or not
bodies thrown
prone
spread out before you now
all within an arm’s reach
length, step
gingerly
aside, footsie, footing
for the best purchase
until these rugged
places become plains.

It’s all fluff, nutter.
Bananas,
sandwiched in
aren’t ever
going to make this healthy
no matter how palatable
the lie you tell yourself.

Keeping the pace
of your own race
struck
down
again
and again
(and again?)
pavement
sending shocks
through the system
algorithmic
malfunction chip
pry it loose
as it gnaws at you

try your best but you don’t succeed

or

pull yourself up by your trail shoes

because it’s not
place, PR, age category
but about time,
the shining glory
of your participation trophy
isn’t coming from it.

How the Hummingbird Got Its Sound

The glassy red feeder is dry, but I fill it up
with my words, ink drying as quickly as liquid sugar
as it permeates upon this page, sticky,
with the sensation of saccharine and empty calories.

There is a corona about my hands as my characters waltz airlessly
through the story, their auras attaining a rose-colored hue
memories of you and I. Even bad times
shade every sentence.

Hummingbirds, zumming across the porch
to sample its sweetness, spanning
galaxies, singing space operas
with the force of their dancing wings.