Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Signals, pt.1


They are

just as real

as those signs

in the air

telling traffic

what to do.

Be aware

watch for them

after all

you know

it’s true.

Everything Thrown Out in the Rain

Piled to the rafters of the sky

dressers and cabinets and

a mattress stacked and leaned

on boxes with broken seams

undone by morning rain

it looks like someone let

their house go out the door.

Then I slow my bicycle

even coast off the road

onto the crackling gravel

when I see the globe.

How could they throw out

the world?

I ride up to it

to give it a look.

Australia with a bruise

an orange ring

around the equator

it wasn’t cared for well

but do they own it still?

Anyway, do I have room

to carry the planet

while I pedal to work?

The Barking Little Streetlight

There is nothing

you can hold onto

past this life

the only treasure

that matters

grows inside

your heart

A Page

Sometimes a poem

stands alone

on a page

even a prayer

is only

paper thin

Sunday Morning Movie

The Maltese Falcon upon a telephone wire

the blue sky around it and morning sun

making its black feathers shine.

Meanwhile down below

Bogart and Peter Lorre

scuffle on the sidewalk

fumbling with a ladder.

Basho, the Japanese Poet

He became a clerk

at the waterworks

counting waves

keeping track

in a ledger

not difficult

but his mind

began to wander

and soon after

his body followed

The Shepherd from Iran

He was going to watch our dog for us

but there is too much going on in his life.

He doesn’t know where he’s going

or if he should be here at all.

He doesn’t know what it is,

right now he’s going through a hard time.

These days he goes for long walks

with his setar or a staff in his hand,

or he just sits in his house alone.

He wonders if maybe it has

something to do with his childhood

when his country was at war.

He could sit on the rooftop and

watch the airplanes bombing.

The people would be told to hide

underground. Instead, there was

an uncle who took care of them,

he would lead the children from town

playing his guitar and singing

as they followed in a dusty line

away from the rockets and explosions

into the hills where the citrus trees

were spun with silkworm tapestries

and nobody out there knew

who you were.

The Pterodactyl

The nervousness about this journey

has taken on its own physical form,

a strange and intricate contraption

hung overhead, constructed from

sharp hinged scrap metal and wire

and trembling like an insect,

kept aloft by more thoughts

and worries. I guess leaving

on a long trip away isn’t as easy

as I imagined. Anyway,

in one week we’ll be in Ohio,

the fearful contraption will be

shrunk to the size of a buzzard

and by the time we get back

and everything’s all right,

it will be small enough

to be bound in a little plastic ball

sold in the dome of some 10 cent

candy machine.

14 Species of Woodpecker

I don’t get to my friend’s house often enough

but whenever I do, I have to pass through

the garden full of vaudeville plants and

genuine bric-a-brac lining the path

before I’m at the door. I stand there

and I can’t help but laugh because

I know him and I have to think of

something to say after I knock

and he opens the door.

Last time I was there,

he kept me standing outside

for a while. It was lightly raining.

Finally, after I’d been through

14 species of woodpecker,

he seemed to hear me and

opened the door just a crack

to observe the gray light of day,

the rain and the person on his doorstep.

“You been out there long?” he asked.

“Only since last night,” I replied.

The Swallowtail

It’s easy to imagine

that’s a little person

with black and yellow

wings attached and a

lifelong love of flowers

Wildlife Report

3 deer

1 bald eagle

3 ladybugs

1 swallowtail butterfly

1 spider in the bathroom

Looking Forward

Looking forward to

morning walks

going to Lake Erie

feet in the sand

then to that beach

the Atlantic pours


The Blue Spoon

I saw it in a dream

on the rim of a well

made of porcelain

writing and drawings

signals photo:

allen frost

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Signals, part 1

SIGNALS: Allen Frost

Everything Thrown Out in the Rain
The Barking Little Streetlight
A Page
Sunday Morning Movie
Basho, the Japanese Poet
The Shepherd from Iran
The Pterodactyl
14 Species of Woodpecker
The Swallowtail
Wildlife Report
Looking Forward
The Blue Spoon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

summer work

Just returned from summer journey
to Ohio and Maine. Filled this notebook
with 70 new poems and stories.
Hope to publish it soon. Any takers?
Also, beginning work on 2 new projects
on Kenneth Patchen and d.a. levy.
Hope all is well in your world.