Circling the Wagons

McGuffin’s got nothin’

but to propel

this darn

campfire yarn

done spun

from

a deserted 

ice cream party

at the Just A-OK Corral.

Thumb and finger

circling back around.

Your release

to the great halfpipe

in the sky

consequently coincides

with the remastered

Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

Games we used to

play

at being adults

someday, having to grow up

yet

let

it languish

for twenty-some 

odd years.

360°

circles back around.

Hanging back, you

duck out early

as was your habit.

No need to be the center of attention:

that was Bob’s job.

Puff, puff, pass.

It’ll circle back around.

Longing 

to pick it back up again

where we left off

nostalgia

welcoming

with open arms

carrying me

drunkenly

to sober up

in the pokey.

The missing windows

of last night’s 

bar fight,

whites 

in my beard

stragglers no more

reflected in 

the boarded up plate glass

you escaped from.

Rowdy crowd

circling around back.

Awake

and baked,

the hardpan

blazing already

at this time of day.

Feet of clay

I didn’t think

I’d have been caught

in this time-sink

drink tank

quicksand

of a calamity

I’d never prepared for,

dusting off these

trailing 

wailings

dry gulch parched

and perched

a vulture

waiting 

for my demise

circling back around.

Circling the Wagons first appeared in Daily Drunk Mag’s “Nostalgic AF: A Video Game Anthology”

edited by Nick Olson

You can read the rest of the poems here

Or you can support the poets by buying it here

Kindled

stacks of notebooks

like cordwood

fending

off the cold

paltry fire

barely big enough

to keep my fingers warm

so i can write

and count the pages

as they flutter

into the fire.

via negativa (for us)

The admin of the poetry newsletter

posts his name

and address

in the email signature

dry

droll

“Daring” 

Dave Bonta

Podunk, Penna.

An invitation

beating down his cabin door

but much gentler 

these poets

oh, they know it

they just don’t yet know 

how to learn 

at the foot

of this towering

mountain

hermit.

Pilgrimage

for his presence

and the wit

unsure

what to make of it.

the muse and I

the muse and I

are having yet another

state of the union

addressing

affairs of the heart.

she has spread out before me

love letters

my chest so full of pride

the intoxicating scents 

waft, slipped into

envelopes

moistened with her tongue.

no longer do we speak the same language

which threatens

an already uneasy alliance

backroom negotiations

the players

have changed

but this cold war

has never ended

temperature 

kept well below freezing

pen, hovering above the page.

STUNTED

Like the precursor

to a best-selling

teen dystopian novel series

with half-heartedly-made

cash cow movies,

the cherry tree in our front yard

has failed to blossom

for the first time

in twenty-six years.

We do not buy 

into symbolism,

yet trees being 

the lungs of the earth

those that still stand tall at the capitol

boughs branching out

embracing

amid further political unrest

pushing back

against barricades

for certain unalienable rights

each ones’ ideas 

of freedom

under banners

such are false flags

and comes at the cost

of choking on the pollen

that is tear gas

as flowers fall

gracefully

like defeat.

But home

is where the heart is 

    (no insurrection here

though unsure as to what this lack of affectation means)

while our love

written in lines of 

poetry, stories

carved into the skin

M.L.M.

    +

G.R.H.

like tattoos

bleeding that sap

sticky, sweet lifeblood

still pumping 

rings 

true

for you, our children

rings 

chronicling the years

the orbit around the sun

rings

around the rosie

ashes

take upon new meaning

as we hold onto life

neverending.

Another Chore

I found a teakettle

at the high water mark

after years

of riversong

movements

magic lamp

water djinn 

beaten up

broken in

boiling off

impurities

because all that mess

is still serviceable.

Three wishes

after dishes

because we still have cleaning up to do.

A Little Misunderstanding

I can’t remember

our last date

or much of the drive 

back from State College.

Also known as “Happy Valley”

onceuponatime 

waybackwhen 

longlongago,

times sure…were.

The house we passed on 26,

and every time 

from that day forth,

I notice the awning you pointed out

that reminds you

as it in turn reminds me

of the eucalyptus tree

and the lies that we once held:

koalas are not bears.

I also misunderstood

the visual acuity

and leaps in logic it would take

as I look past you.

Much like whatever we had,

you don’t elaborate

and it’s taken me this long

after this many drives

to realize

why it is 

you didn’t tell me

why it is

you may have thought 

I wasn’t important enough to understand.

I still don’t.

But that I understand.

Autumn’s Fall

feel

the thrum

of a ruffed grouse

mating call

as it 

beats

beneath my breastbone

asking after me.

ruffled my feathers, too.

***

pine boughs

like a lover’s caress

feather

down

my back.

spent, red

bed

of needles

whispering promises

of the green winter to come.

***

foliage 

fanning flames

burn orange, scarlet, yellow

screaming

peals of atomic thunder

lick

‘cross the ridge.

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”