Free Local Midwestern Poetry, By Terry Scott Niebeling
Once I thought I would try something new.
It garnered no notice and nothing happened.
I felt good because I was doing what I loved.
It didn’t matter about recognition in the end.
ideas in mouth,
just words and air
in the wind.
ideas in action
takes a mind
to start to begin.
ideas in groups
useless, sit and spin.
ideas in self:
stuck there within.
now if only action.
now if only action.
Ears of creation
Heard close on actions promised,
But what of the hands?
Wood laid in a pile,
brought down in the days before;
years of life soon ash.
At the enormous back windows of Hodson Hall, looking east towards Falcon Heights’ standing homes, over an expanse of grooved fields—carefully worked, a person can gleam breaking light caught on cement sidewalks, red bricked structures, and shined square glass low in the early day haze.
Outside seagulls float, calling, in caressing morning brilliance at you, asking “caw?”
What does that mean??? I wonder.
Their questions as ambivalent as a cloud’s shape and meaning to curious children…
I wondered, how did they get here, there is no sea in Minnesota (smh).
These worldly reflections begged, knocked, and retained sharp attention of waking eyes, pupils pulled tight at the warming occurrence, such nature for a sparking mind to ponder, as if synapse was crackling, as if creation was tore in two.
Supple ears held the bird’s sound in their netted web of up and down—their inquiry, as they danced, above, gliding, laughing high pitched at you.
Only to stand and watch, only inside what is inside.
The sun had begun its orbital voyage, those with white feathers and all life in tow, infinite unending, and all the connections of connections exposed.
It paint as an artist’s brush over lands, trees and grass, overhead, above polo shirts and homeless ragged men, showing.
Leaving for a moment its mark; then as fleeting as it appears it vanishes to dark.
The warmth was there to stay—so ephemeral, as a Mayfly’s life, in a moment’s hesitation lost; shadows draw long in the absence, as flowers quick bend their praise.
A day we have, then not.
It is here, then it is gone.
This colorful set constantly changing, to the chagrin of progress, to the luck of fickle nature, and to the impromptu dialogue of the local theatre company.
Another tomorrow awaits at the end of coming dusk, with quizzical seagulls, with fascist sunlight, with worldly reflections in tow, with fired synapse and buttoned polos and people begging for change, anything you could spare will do, until they take their bow.
And the light caught it all at the back of Hodson Hall.
a waxen yellow glow on the Nicollet Avenue scene below,
as above heavens danced and sparked white
as now onlookers stood and watched.
The hum of vehicular masses turned to a city of cratered paths,
while people were lit as props, good and evil,
coming and going about their static business.
This nature in society, framed, isolated—what we have;
metal grasps of synthetic hands
coming to and shaping us,
to make up our wake up, to shake up our trust.
Bleeding oil, exhausting fumes,
killing cows, and loud preaching fools;
we exist as a populous,
with meaningful purpose, and American sentimentalism.
Illuminated here by streetlamp’s waxen yellow glow, on Nicollet,
under heavens about to open wet,
mingling with ghosts of our yesterday,
with whole cultures of churches and states to thank.
To post artistic criticism today is
to paint graffiti
on a chameleon’s coarse back
and hope for intellectual longevity.
To go against the grain, razor,
a sacrifice must be made—those who disagree give up
and fall into the fold: forty a week,
snowflakes in the sun.
There will be flesh covered in blood.
With ease we quote Bukowski and Palahniuk;
though who are they to us,
us to them? Thoughts?
Good ideas without action.
Bad prose and poems at times come in good form,
and are closely read: this by example.
A dream is only a dream if you don’t realize it as a goal;
awoken to obsession, to stop at nothing,
or anything, depending.
though a true course,
though a chameleon’s coarse back.
How long they maintain.
Qadri said he is not the same person
he was 6 years ago,
6 months ago,
6 weeks ago,
6 days ago,
6 minutes ago,
6 seconds ago.
I am though
one closer to being perfect.
…I guess I’ve changed