I saw a reflection of a painting
of smiling faces
across a plastic desk display;
Each crack & line came shown,
each emotion came expressed.
And even in that brief one-off moment,
compared to vis-à-vis
with the ever-connected living,
they come across as less dead.
and I slip into the deluge of everyday life
to pull myself out where I so choose.
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.
To my astonishment
there was none—
people were content
with old formulas
and bad news.
The “best poet I know”
It was a real treat.
I can sleep a lot, a lot easier.
The sound of white fan blades, nimble cat’s feet,
and heavy outside traffic
woke with the beeping alarm.
Monday life was on its way,
just before breakfast, shower and shave.
Pieces of inspiration fell off in stretches
and movements onto the wooden floor.
As a backdoor opened to musty wet rugs
and well watered plants,
at a place where occupants had been days away.
Coming to again as rebirth:
a second, a minute, a day, a week, a moment chance;
where we’d thought we’d be now is the past.
We were housed by such movements
of certain contraptions, waking, stirring, just as—
sounds and actions unplanned,
came over and overlapped.
Abandoned train bridges make for the best retreats,
Under empty blue skies which remain always there.
Cotton wood branches waved leaves as a busy fleet,
Fading summer months made all those about aware.
Bridge, cut from sandstone
standing hard in the distance,
below thick electrical wires
& quick ascending planes,
where guts of our city’s downtown,
with its sharp-edged contrast
at one end, lie exposed,
under smoking black chimneys
four as die, & pink light skies
falling slowly to a cool dusk
in shadows of pillars, of rocks,
of trees, & of bridges north,
where people had ran, walked,
& captured photos, talking,
had so frequently happened.
The deep vein of a country
swept brown & debris below,
where near a dam you await.
Your heavy arch did not bend,
your dusty blocks did not crumble,
your purpose outlived its creator,
& still you met the citizens first,
on each side to let them pass.
Without question birds flew to you,
clouds dotted heavens & your flank,
& sounds bounced off of your make
from other ancient past-lives.
The Stone Arch stood fixed,
even in the pitchest darkness,
or when the layered homeless sat,
in faded orange lamplight glow,
or the late street walker came
on a hot summer evening drunk.
Up late to watch the metro night,
to make sure people made it back
over a fast Mississippi, so wide.
The only change they want
is the change they make,
even if it’s the same.