"What on earth are you writing about?"Abuelo Ignazio said.
"Everything. Politics, change, the way things could be."
"What for? For? Why write it down? Writing is essential.
Hmmph. You can't eat a poem."*
My response? Yes, you can!
You can eat it with your eyes and your mind and your heart!
(* Invisible Mountain, Carolina de Robertis, p. 231)
Men Are Allowed
Wrinkles distinguish them in age.
A female, fresh-cheeked, slim, coy: just what the old boy ordered. She ain’t allowed to wrinkle. It’d spoil her image.
How could she snare a man?
Neanderthal noggins Progress? Negligible.
Here and there the globe is gracious
There and here it’s niggardly.
Wrapped in its own shawl, Unaware of the damage it’s doing, More akin to sealed shut
The honey locked in the comb.
Candling the wax
The sweet potential Is freed
For the world to taste.
Rocking out on Rocks:
Valley of Fire
They say that yonder rock once flitted
Under a wide and glassy sea
One hundred grains between the toes
Thumped flat by a brontosaurus
Usurped when the comet crashed
Vacuuming every drop of water
From thin sands, pink layered with coral
Topped by carmine and vermillion
The unimaginable force of fire
Far beneath the surface
Slipped the rainbow slices sideways
Tilted them until
Their shoulders humped up and up
Now twisted, eroded they reign
Without endeavor, the great rocks in the desert
Stand and battle with the waves and wind for ever.
What is a Poem?
A poem is when you hear the heart beat of a tree
A poem is when your soul loosens up
A poem is yeast rising in baking bread
A poem is a stone that floats noiselessly
A poem is a song let out of the cage
A poem is the lungs of the world heaving a sigh
Have been swept under couches
Forgotten as dust.
It rains and rains
The drops cascade down my cheeks
It rains when death reigns.
Rivers are swollen
They swallow, digest and spit
Arrayed like a queen
powdered and prepped for the prom
Her heart is trembling.
My world collapsed
To a shard of poetry
An ink-blotted word.
Gloving up I trim trees
A stupid gesture
Nature will not pare down
At human whim
Instead abundant green flaunts
The carbon dioxide it has absorbed
Freeing sweet oxygen
Inhaled gratefully by us
The shorter lived organisms
Summer snow floats
Feathered parachutes spinning
From punk wood cottonwoods
I watch the inanimate
Animate in exuberant June
Half hidden under a hoodie, shoulders hunched, fists clenched, feet scrambling
Quiet menacing still:
The frost ghosts form fences
Around blanched wood lots and hedgerows
The mother rushes in to grab a plastic container of warm water
Splashes it on the rime of the car windows
Hurrying her children to school
Cut daggers across the glistening ice-crusted meadows
The sun shoots arrows of light through
A heartbeat and an eye blink away
Comfortable emptiness dissolves.
Inside my own skin cells vie for position.
The bubbles burst out as burps.
With such short legs my nose
Presses into the rough fuzz of coat backs
As I cross Fifth Avenue and Broadway.
I buy a Smart car
To drive on the Via Poli to see the Trevi Fountain
But no place to park in Rome, even crosswise.
Giant solid anthills
Cluster and teem with trapped homo sapiens.
Seven billion and one,
We are, each one,
Greedy for space.
Pregnant, the moonrise
Appears a bubble of light
Splitting the darkness
Riffles, ragged edges
The eye ceaselessly wanders
Trumped by emotion
So That I Might Become Spring
So here, late afternoon I sit
letting a distant train hhhhrrrrrrrr
blend in with a double cheep of a chickadee
small as a minute sitting on the peak of the roof
but sounding with the volume of a bird the size of a raven.
A row of irises freckle the green
mingling brights and pastels.
Water heavy with color,ferns spread above silver lamb's ear.
The garden glistens with spring
And I too glisten inside
with the feel of its musky yet delicate scents.
Yesterday's leaf thumbs on the trees are now floppy hands
weaving in the air that moves silently until it caresses them.
Responding, the leaves shiver against one another
and whisper the secrets of their power, the most prolific form of life on earth.
And here I sit.
wishing my skin permeable
So that the hues and sounds
Scents and tastes
That I might become
A Wilderness Canvas
Where minds can roam free
Unencumbered devoid of urban superfluous necessities. But sometimes inhabited in disgusting hordes of mosquitoes
Tiny black flies that bite with a vengeance all out of proportion To their inconsequential size.
Masses of tent caterpillars denuding trees
Mindlessly swarming up pants legs, into the hair.
Bloodsucking ticks attaching to your body
Making your blood boil, your teeth clench.
The clouds unclench losing a deluge
Followed by the radiance of renewal
Or better yet:
A silken lake reflects the fullest silhouettes
Of frothy greens ribboned with loon ripples
Sounds liquefy into soundless music
The canvas is painted only by the full breath of Imagination - J. Campbell, 2018
Memories and Dreams
The room crowds with memories and dreams
As the sun reaches through the curtains
A whisper of a curl
And the day shines under my eyelids.
A poem shoots out
It sprays visible breath onto an ivory page
Impatient to receive the hovering words
The unsaid etches on the ivory.
The poem gives lies teeth
And truth bites straight through
Severing the hate envy greed
Truth has its own venom
The day shines into my eyes
A curling whisper
As the honest sun reaches out
Crowding the room with memories and dreams.