Shades of the trees toward western skies rest a cool shadow
on a once brilliant face,
where the lacquer for paint
Smack of fuzzed tennis balls hurled in the wind,
zipping with bugs in
a St. Paul end-summer August warm.
Reflections and shadows hung on until it was time
to go back home—
just after supper and just before
candlelight vigils and auto headlamps scans rushed
into closed windows and about vacant streets.
the world come to close another day,
morning would be the same except reverse
on those tired night dweller’s eyes.
A can was crushed and we biked back
to SE through mosquitoes.
Atonement for guilt
simply of being;
humans the way we are,
the unjust that we do.
Fixing all past, present, and future
with institutions, and enigmas—
what is there for neutral
wrong or right?
Turning day to night as a light switch in a room
had shadows evaporating into themselves,
outlines seen were hot and sticky
for the summer humidity and sharp shine.
A black car sheen stood burning
in an open lot as a dead mouse
in grey fur swelled and swarmed with flies.
The sweet cloy of trash hit nostrils
like a left hook of some welterweight
sweating hard, pulling in the ring.
Plastic garbage bags expanded
in the sweltering heat of midday July
becoming tight as the skin of a drum.
Few cotton clouds cast no guard in
vast rich nitrogen blue skyscapes,
going on, what fast changed above.
Seems Sunday was properly labeled for
this weather; there was tan leather,
blue jeans, bright bandanas, and cold beer.
It was unlike any other beautiful day.
I sort of understand
The confederate flag supporters—
I don’t agree with them,
But idiots are idiots;
I root for a losing team as well.
The Minnesota Vikings are
Historically a losing team
That everyone loves,
Their organization represents
Our humble and beautiful state
In near billion dollar facilities
And tax incentives.
Now I wonder,
These two groups are similar,
The Southern States and the Vikings (The NFL Team),
In that they did/do not often win—or never did,
Use your imagination…
They are similar
Except for the fact that
the Vikings (seafarers) never kept slaves (presumably),
They just raped, plundered, and pillaged
Whole cultures and peoples (See: Ireland),
Taking power and rule,
By way of attacks.
I don’t think everyone knows this,
Or thinks about this
When they fly their purple and yellow flag,
Or when they don
Their cherished team’s memorabilia,
But we certainly care about things.
It’s always an interesting game of money and distraction,
And who can yell the loudest on what interests them the most.
Now, I don’t know who to root for anymore,
There isn’t really anything that doesn’t represent something else…
To everyone else.
And what about cotton, the cash crop of slavery?
You and I wear in on ourselves daily.
The symbol doesn’t need to be obnoxious,
Star-spangled, red, white, or even blue to be offensive.
There is hate in just about everything,
And love, if you look hard enough.
How interesting that fireworks now bring us together
when they represent devices that once tore us apart.
-Terry Scott Niebeling
here, 10pm, crowds on spread tarps and chairs,
thoughtfully placed earlier,
chatted along a spilt-over sidewalk path,
coming down to the Riverside fest grounds
with family and friends;
these goers were just stepping through, at a time.
taking air along the luminescence of the waters’ edge
waiting for fire, explosions, light and smoke,
waiting for a show of power
on the concussion boom’s holiday eve
of a hot summer day.
notice the faint ghost outline of the Cass st. bridge,
it went up tall toward the south on wet glow,
pale blue in orange light as navigational lights
sent from boats bounced to and fro below signaling.
where mayflies flew, stunk, buzzed;
their fate kept them at lamps
busy for their annual dance.
people in groups—no worse,
buttoned up, oohing and aaaahing,
taking such a spectacle.
for a time
the mass was all American,
for a time nothing else mattered.
viewing were homeless and rich
in the same theatre vantage;
spirits were aloft as this year’s sparkling
in gunpowder and smoke,
the thought that everything was all right,
illuminated on another shore—
in a time of celebration, in a nation
under a spangled flag.
Motion reflected between where you are and where you will be;
Void for a shadow where you were, ever lying in wait to reconvene.