for Al Filreis
Holding the small same mirror tilted to
My hurried face
I glance in reflection
Past an unnoticed shoulder and spy
Perched calmly on that bare, smooth branch
Beyond a dust-tinted window
Staring . . .
2016 Chuck Kellum
In my confession – Lies –
after Emily Dickinson
In my confession - Lies -
The Route of common sin
White knuckles repentant
Bare as baptised skin –
The Spire spins – elation –
Within it – the doleful Bell
Observe a stalagmite to heaven
Obverse – a stalactite to Hell
We soldier on an order – given –
I question Etiquette - if
it feels a shame to be alive*
Why slow march towards sunset?
*opening line of poem 444
Ring Around the Rosie
Digging in the sofa
to buy a quarter pound of baloney,
a loaf of vitamin fortified white bread,
and if lucky, a can of soup
to feed your five kids
that sit around the only heat in a dark house-
your magic chef bought on installment.
And your dead phone
doesn't even give you a tone.
Lawrence R. Tirino
Our Family Dinner
Twisting arms in front of my face
Flying plates with smells tempting all
Sweet pungent tomato, garlic
drifts from levitating saucers
Bread passes along end to end
high above the noise and clatter
suspended by a chain of hands,
a bucket brigade sharing its
steaming floating piles of pasta.
Raised voices laughing shouting with
mouths full of food chewing, drinking,
smiling enjoying spending time
together sharing life’s stories.
I scan across moving faces
along the table up and down,
enjoying the chaos that stops.
now quiet, as all start to eat
a warmth begins to grow inside.
All together I watch glowing
sitting at the head of this noise
warm with love, enjoying the time
of our special family dinner.
SONG OF THE DOWNTOWN AURAS
Most cannot see the brightness
breaking through skin for they’re too far-
sighted to take-in the glow from dermal
stained-glass — everyday window-
shoppers encased in phosphorescence.
Benched, a nursing mother bares
an incandescence that outshines neon.
Pedestrians blaze by like a runway
of archangels, a legion baptized in paint-
box halloes but denied the radiance
of their very own violets. Palettes of blues
outline dozens & flickering greens
offer personal pastures for cityfied veins.
Dearest yellow butter-cups the enlightened.
Some emit perpetual rose. One urgently
billows apricot embers. Hundreds
strobe invisible lightshows,
oblivious of the truth they ignite
or the mysteries they unknowingly illumine.
postcard poem #10/subway poem #7
There are no spirits lurking in the aisles
and corners. Just cartons of documents,
details of lives. Whether well-lived or ill,
these papers tell the story – marriage, birth,
land acquired, taxes. Death. It’s all there.
No need for the rattling sound of zombies –
ghosts of events yet to come – in graveyards.
Might this be the judgement we fear? The words
and deeds, archived records we leave behind
won’t deliver souls to any heaven –
or hell. It’s just a mirage, this image
of hereafter we’ve been trained to accept
as truth, the certain object of our faith:
dried, folded, faded, in a dusty box.
copyright 2017, Raymond Maxwell