A few poems


On the Ligher Side


old ladies


for the boy

to come

pump their gas





Kafka's Klip & Kurl


The comb nearly falls 


her obsidian hair


each tooth


the clipped terminus 



into the nothingness 

which surrounds everything 


which is not her thick




finely cut

obsidian hair.





In Line at Shoney's


At the restaurant 

there is a family of five 

standing short to tall like nesting dolls.


Unlike dolls they all look mean.


The father looks mean, his son looks mean,

his two daughters looks mean,

and his wife looks mean.


Mean and hungry.





Beneath the Campanile


She walks by the pond, 

Following the path 

Past children feeding ducks,

And other strollers 

Enjoying the sun, like herself. 


The campanile casts a long shadow 

Across the quad. It is early May,

And early in the day—the colors

Are of spring. She envies no one

In particular, and everyone in general.





A New England Autumn


From a hospital bed 

he recounts: 

A gang of youths 


surround and savage him 

with fists 

and pieces of steel 


robbing him, leaving him

a pulpy mess 

tasting cement laced


with a soupçon of young wine 

drawn from the fallen

fermenting, claret leaves of maple.







The waitress looks 

at me—

Dewars on the rocks.


The others order wine

or margaritas.

Scotch is a drink with bite—


smokey woods, burning leaves. Fire.

In a club of people

half my age


I am the wise and whiskied Solomon.





The Lonesome Cowboy—1972


Listening to KJBY

one oh one point six on your radio dial

Because that is all there is


In the truck, alone

Driving country roads


Here comes that Ricky Nelson song 

For the hundredth time

Something about a garden party 

He attended with regret




I am, without a doubt

The loneliest goddamn cowboy 

In the state of Colorado







is the aromatic Salvia


     the high desert bloom

     the scent of inland Oregon

     the one I would retrieve, could I


are the hills 


     are the exposed ribbons 

     of hard rock that remain after

     the soft scree has flowed to the ocean


is the scent 


     I choose to associate with you

     and the night we spent under the stars 

     the red rocks behind us, the river running near.







Bottle these essences 

label them

Joanie, Deana, Lisa, Paula


advertise them as

Humor, Wit, Sunshine, Grace







There you stand


on the icy beach


waves crashing all around


and your eyes sparkle with joy.


You love to tease and mock 

make me squirm

goad me into your world.


Laugh or cry—

it's all the same to you.

You take everything that life has to offer


and say—

Please, sir, I want some more!





Never Had Nothing


He sold the place 

near the old home place 

he bought after moving 

back from California 

went out there with 

nothing but two dollars 

and moved to town 

he missed his cows 

his daughter lived 

too far away his son 

drank himself to death 

just drank himself to death 

his wife has the cancer 

and he apologized for crying.





A Stolid Man Enduring Drought



Seemingly compelled by an external force, or perhaps by desperate need 

Clambering up granite steps, leaving the prairie behind, entering the church 

Reluctantly taking off his hat and coat, feeling naked, now humble, now angry 

Pushing ahead stoically to seek solace and comfort as advertised, a chance to Petition someone larger, to assuage fears that have accumulated while sitting

On the tractor, row upon row, not only fear but the simple anxiety which comes When the rain does not, the heart beats wildly upon awakening, dire thoughts Cycle endlessly, unable to touch the wife for fear of losing control for those brief, Ecstatic moments, beginning the day stiff and exhausted, the flowered and Carpeted the church casts a false light, the men jolly and loud, the women cluck In possessive cheerfulness, sitting beside others, which is unnatural, something Not done for months on end, too warm, too close, standing when the others Stand, singing the Psalm hoarsely and tentatively while the others sing with their Public voices, waiting for a healing word or passage, sitting through the sermon Which is distant, the announcements, which are mundane, lastly, when hope is Waning, heads bowed in final prayer, fear begins to form into something Tangible, a ball in his gut, yet, a light descends offers itself, settles on his Shoulders, a mantle of comprehension, an answer, just within reach when the Congregation stirs itself, shakes its torpor, empties itself into the blue, shakes Hands with the Pastor, drains away, leaving only the road home, and the fear Roars back with a sickening vengeance, while ahead looms an empty 

Prospect of searing days, and nights wrapped in twisted sheets cold with sweat 

As the church recedes in the mirror, and the prairie stretches on, flat and hot.







Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 405 times
Written on 2019-05-03 at 14:14

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
There's some fine work here, Jim.