6

Just Desserts

We could visit Paris, walk in the rain without an umbrella
and sit on the steps of Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont
when the clock strikes twelve and we are back in that club
rubbing shoulders with Hemmingway; shots of wisdom
swirling in cocktail glasses with cherries, olives
or whatever you fancy; culture parading its diversity
in paintings by Picasso that make you take a second look
and wonder where a mind could go to find such muse,
blue and clearer than sea water, these syllables
that taunt you in your sleep, weigh on you in vibrant colors
of indigo, azure; scents of lavender filling pretty stationary
tempting you to write, scratching you from the inside,
these words dying to escape from pink painted lips
that only want to feel that last goodnight kiss.

~

6

No Room for April Flowers

You left in Spring,
my favorite season
when love
and everything with petals,
bloom.

You said you would be here
on birdsong mornings
for coffee
and conversations I could only have
with you.

I couldn’t listen to Elvis
because every strum stroked that place
where pain meets pulse and promises
of porch swings on Sundays

took a back seat to fate.

I feel you in the wind and see
all these fluttering things
you appear to me in;
all with wings,

and I know why.

I left part of my soul in those forget-me-nots
that I can never get back;
syllables resting, floating in rivers
of too many words left unsaid.

Thank you for Autumn’s crunch
and the tickle of snowflakes,
(rare for a Texas Christmas eve),

but, March will never rain the same
without your hands
holding my white roses.

They tore out the bush you planted

and left me
with this hole in my heart.

~

(for Eloy…I miss you)

2

Chromatic Chords From a Beat Up Fender

I turned the corner
to see where that sun beam
was shining;
guitar case lying open
passers’ by pitched quarters
while I stood, star struck
by this voice,
this voice
that seemed to fall from the heavens
like some lost star, reunited;

this unshaven smiling vision
of what the world has come to.

He sang about peace
as his guitar cried
over what his eyes had seen.

Someone handed him a drink
and asked about the medals
that adorned his faded denim jacket.
He said: “I fought for my country
and lived to tell it.”

Every line in his face
retold that story;
his mind
tuning out insufferable sounds

with chromatic chords
to soothe a haunted soul.

~

3

Honeysuckle Summers

I can’t find the weeping willow
that I use to write to from Grandma’s porch.
The porch is gone now and the red bricks
are painted a dreary off – white.

I’ll bet the homeless man selling potholders
doesn’t come to that street any more

since I left.
I remember the neighbors peeking
from their drapes when he stood there
waiting for me to bring out the usual
sandwich and a coke

I must have bought fourteen
of those darn potholders.

I don’t drive down west 7th street any more.

I can’t find the weeping willow
or the red brick house with green trim and big porch I sat on
with a ledge perfect for writing poetry
and a honeysuckle bush
I plucked inspiration from
in many summers.

I guess that is why memories are always sweeter
in your mind.

~

1

Out of the Ashes

She has sunshine in her eyes
like dreamers, after an eclipse,
and he,

he is that sun

warming, clarifying gray
creating laughter
from anything that ails her.

Moon lovers stare
into the same stars
night after night
and form new syllables
every time.

Crop dust those flashbacks
and plow them up
until only ashes remain.
Blow them away like farewell kisses
until your hands are clean.

Turn, turn, turn
those wheels in f o r w a r d motion
uphill, downtrodden river soaked dreams

because a fall is just a momentary impasse
and usually, the best chapter in the book.

~

4

Ticking

The clock is always ticking,
ticking somewhere
and I keep running
on someone else’s watch.

That telephone,just sitting there;
the elephant in the room
toying with my emotions

and the ticking never stops

I can see them; hear them in my sleep
like chapters, forming;

the single mother, waitressing
while latch key kids grow up too fast
on frozen dinners
and one sided conversations
with animated companions

as the guy holding a cardboard sign
in the corner of Eastchase and Interstate 30
swallows his pride
while people avoid making eye contact
with their worst fears exemplified.

There is a young executive
climbing the corporate ladder
long nights, lonely weekends
at the keyboard;
her biological clock ticking-
visions swirling in her coffee cup

and the ticking never stops
as these syllables play in my dreams,
lining up in stanzas

just waiting to become a poem.

~

0

Cocktail Hour

Why do starless nights seem so heavy
dragging out every metaphor
kicking and screaming
before moonlight can take hold
and be the gravity
in a room of imbalance?

These curtains do nothing
to hold out the darkness

when past keeps peeking through
slipping in slurs
that no one wants to hear about.

If you are in love,
you’re not supposed to talk about it
or let lips bring comfort to a gray hour
when the six-o-clock news drowns dreams
turning soft clouds into torrents
that pound sense into anything forgiving.

One shot from the past makes ripples
in your toast to hope,
and faith falters and falls to the bottom
of your glass

bringing a worn out lament
to its final crescendo.

~