Chariots

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Metallic steeds
forged in yesteryear factories
cooled only by the sweat of laborers like Frank
whose denim work shirt pocket
bulges with cellophane wrapped Pall Malls
as he lines up to pound, fire, cut metal
into reliable chariots that carry
laborers and families

from here to there

While his wife Ethel
wraps her peroxided hair in a faded kerchief
before she pries open a can of Johnson Liquid Wax
to put the shine in her floors
and the hand-me down mahogany table
before Pops comes home from the factory
and asks the room

What’s for dinner

As Frank Junior scrubs bicycle grease
off his hands with Bon Ami powder
in the pistachio green porcelain kitchen sink
before their dinner of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti O’s
and Valley of Ho Ho Ho Green Giant beans
a flute of rosé wine for Mom
can of Hamm’s for Pops

Plus milk for Junior

Afterwards Mother sparkles the dishes with Joy
and Junior wipes and stacks white melamine plates
while Pops exhales another drag from his cig
as he announces the down payment he just made
on a brand spanking new Chevy station wagon
because Mother deserves to drive something nicer
than their beat up clunker that’s

Older than Junior

So Mother delightfully claps and Junior hoots
then she asks about the color of the new car
and Pops says sky blue like her eyes of course
and Junior asks how much horsepower
and Frank brags nearly two hundred like their old Wagoneer
that they don’t make ‘um like they used to anymore
but will be a great trade for

Their new car.

Photo of an abandoned car junk yard next to Parker Jordan Centennial Park in Englewood, Colorado, February 2015

A Friend Across the Way

??????????????????????I hunker down every night
A cocoon intent on permanent solitude
to never fly again
to forget the sweet nectar of marigolds and spring birth

The last time I fluttered in hope of emergence
winter touched my fragility midair
and my wings shred
amid winds of betrayal and turmoil ricocheted

But then I heard her song
crooning over snow and frozen stream
wafting vague scents
of warm butternut squash soup and cinnamon yeast

So one morning I and Titus my black lab friend
set out on our last winter expedition
over a lone bridge
to a civilized pattern of houses and streets

And there she was walking towards me
hands in pockets and a smile wide as the new moon
on a black starry night
Hello, she said, you must be my neighbor

Photo taken at Parker Jordan Centennial Park in Englewood, Colorado, February 2015

Horizon

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The mathematician surmises the curve
separating sky and sea
and he declares

The earth is round

The islander witnesses the rendezvous
joining a weary sun and the Pacific
and she declares

This spectacle is divine

The mariner scans the skyline
demarcating water and the heavens
and he hopes

Our land is approaching

I behold your newborn eyes
adapting from a fluid world to lands yet unseen
and I testify

Life begins anew

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For Rocco Bonifacio Senelly, born on February 17, 2015.  Welcome to Gaia, dear grandson.

To discern our fears

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To discern our fears

Or be afraid to face fear

Which path enlightens?

My son Marco and I were discussing fear.  While I felt that fear is not necessarily a good thing, Marco pointed out that fear is necessary for survival and decision making.  He then asserted that fear is very different from being afraid.  I’ve come to believe that he is correct.

Winter, This I Know

???????????????????????????????Winter, though I cringe as you cackle
when you squeeze arboreal arteries
till branches shudder and break

Though I surmise your sinister sneer
when you dupe laurel grasses
that theirs is the color of Sahara sands

And I dread your droll delight
when you convince forest blossoms
that their time on earth had ended

This I know

You are a mere pawn in the dichotomy
of ice and fire, death and breath
verdant and desert, thunder and silence

Ecclesiastes, yin and yang
All balance and everything
beautiful in its own time

And though you will soon be a memory
your will again be summoned to dance
in the circle of death and resurrection

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Photos were taken in February 2015 at the Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space, Englewood, Colorado