CHAP

~A Thought That Made Me Chuckle at 4 AM This Morning~

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm a small piece 

of shattered asteroid

in orbit around reality. 

 

***************

 

~And So the Flies~

 

Flies buzz kelp tossed aground

as brown eels monkey pool to pool

beneath the foam where broken creatures

churn and grind into mundane sand.

 

The cafe's dated tablecloth,

checkered white and blue,

is soiled from years of deep-fried fare,

sand from the shells you took

to your dryland guy

with his basket of loot, sunny car,

and common sense.

 

I size-up the prevalent wind,

and from where I'm seated, your glass,

my glass, the spent bottle

and sourdough crumbs, still

as life becomes without you

suggest it's time to go.

 

The waitress brings the check. I pay,

deal out the tip,

as the surf below grumbles

and thunder-gray gulls

lift away like smoke.

 

*****************************

 

~ Unhandyman ~

 

The weather man

says the clouds are broken.

 

I sit outside beneath them,

and try to figure out

how they might be fixed, but,

because I have no knowledge

or experience in cloud repair,

I cannot recognize the flaws,

or determine what tools will be required

for the mend, and the only ladder I have

is buried beneath junk in the garage,

and is probably way too short,

and therefore,

useless.

 

*************

 

~Early Riser~

 

The sun rose, 

and the dawn birds sounded their best, then,

and until you opened your eyes and smiled

the day kept its offerings secret

like an unbroken fortune cookie

full of diamond words

and ancient wisdom

left near the edge

of a Chinese restaurant table

with a two-dollar tip on it.

 

*******************

 

~A Glaring Presence~

 

The moon got huge

and erased all the stars
so you decided
we should leave the pool, 
go indoors,
and make love in the dark. 

 

And as we did,
light and water
played together

like children

in our little back yard.

 

***************

 

~High Desert~

 

Bones,

cleansed white by wind and sun
lie scattered about

and look as though

the hot-headed desert 

got a few of its teeth 

knocked out.


************


~ A Paul Bunyon Dream~

 

You had your back against a tree

as I approached you just to

say hello, at first,

but as it turned out,

I continued to walk until

close enough to touch

your lovely, dark, hair and

look into your lovely, dark, eyes

and then we kissed

for a while, and although the tree

no longer mattered,

it didn't seem right

to ax it from the dream.

 

*******************

 

~Joe's Bad Day~

 

The botched execution
troubled Joe as he drove home. He knew

his error caused the condemned to

catch fire and bleed from every pore

as he twitched and died

in the electric chair. Reporters,


and other witnesses,

saw the whole thing.

It wasn't pretty.

 

Joe told himself
he would do a better job
next time, then,

as he pulled up to his house, 

he cussed, remembering

he was supposed to stop

for milk and bread.

 

**************

 

~Life Within the Breakwall~

 

The breakwalled harbor  

holds sea-locked lives

as docklines stretch, then sag,

stretch, then sag

on the moon-sucked surge.

 

Mary tends a seaside bar, mends wounds,

dodges brawls.  She escorts

the drowned and found to their graves.

The drowned and lost

langour in her dreams.

 

Fuel-dock Harry

rolls out hose, tops-off tanks,

ices the holds. Corporate pockets

take the cash. Harry

shut it down one day

with a two-barrel blast in his shack.

 

Harbor master Jim, widowed

now, patrols the dusk-dim

moorings  abob in his wake

as complaints of gulls

land on cormorants black as dread.

They dive, beak death

to minnows and silver needlefish.  

Bouy bells clong and clang

socked in a shawl of fog.

 

A raft of kelp, with its crew of flies,

shades a shale-toothed reef

as I watch phosphorescent swells

pilfer the helpless shore,

and this humbles me at times,

as I walk the beach,

feel the sand,  

the mountain it had been

being pulled from around my feet

to lie forever beyond the light.  

 

**********************

 

~Monuments~

 

The vintage overpass collapsed
onto the graveyard and smashed
the tombstones.

 

The dead beneath them
weren't bothered.

 

The living above them
were crushed.

 

************

 

~Sisters~


Two clouds,

who are sisters,

drift over a nation.


One cloud is happy,

and drops tears of joy,

while the other cloud is sad,

and drops tears of sorrow.


When the tears

fall upon the soil of the nation

they give birth to flowers,

and some are perfectly blue.


D. B. Tompsett


*******************


~Brothers~

 

Clouds,

who are brothers,

drift over a city.

 

Some of the clouds are funny,

and spill jokes,

while other clouds are poetic,

and rain poems.

 

When the jokes and poems

reach the people of the city,

some run indoors

to get away,

while others stay outside

to enjoy them. 


The clouds,

who are brothers,

nudge each other and laugh,

as happy drifters will.


*********

~Moving Day~

 

blue through the window
blue through the window
morning sun hardwood floor
so cold
so cold
there you go
to the shell-white door
the shell-white door
you turn the knob
the room is bare
nothing to throw
in your path but
nothing to throw
in your path
but the towel you
the towel you
dried off with
after your bath
the bathtub & I
empty
white

cold and

dirty.

 

*********

 

~Oh, My Love~

 

Oh, My Love,

the butterfly

is a bug

prettier

than you. 

 

**********

 

~Only You~

 

I pick a dog hair from the razor clam soup she prepared
as she asks:

 

"Have you ever called anyone else "sweetheart"?"

 

"No." I tell her.

 

She lowers her nose closer to her bowl of soup
and I get a good look at the top of her head.

I imagine the brain in there resembles
red, blue, and green Tinker-Toy sticks
and wheels wrapped in a pink ribbon.

 

Her dog walks in to check out the scent
of the razor clam soup. She sits next to my chair,
and I notice a fly orbit her snout.
The dog keeps her eyes fixed on mine 
and pays no attention to the fly. 
She's  focused on the prospect of a hand-down.

 

The fly breaks orbit to navigate the galaxy
of the kitchen table, then touches down on the rim 
of the young lady's bowl.

 

"Oh! Swoosh away, you dirty thing!" She whines.

 

Her hands flick back and forth rapidly over the bowl
as the fly soars towards the ceiling's yellow-white star.

 

I put a piece of clam meat on a saucer and place it
on the floor for the dog, and whisper:

 

"Here ya go, sweetheart."

 

***********

 

~Poem For the First Mother~

 

So the apples fell,

and Adam bruised easily

as the first Autumn cracked.

 

Eve assumed the off-shoots would grumble

as the damn kids heaved stones

towards the river, the birds, each other,

and she knew
there'd be days like this:

 

"Well, at least there's seasons!"

Eve wailed, hands on hips,

 

while the sated

snake of a paradise gone

slithered westward between her feet
and left the gate wide open.

 

*********************

 

~Poem Jar~

 

I want to put your beauty

in the poem jar
on my desk,

and  use the poem's title
as a lid to keep it

in there,

 

but if I put holes
in the lid
so your beauty
can breathe,

the title might

look like this: oPoeomoJoaoro

 

****************

 

~River~

 

Fish are the eyes of the river.

Rocks, its vocal chords.

 

The river is deaf

and happy.

 

****************

 

~Sheila, the Lone, High Desert Outhouse~

 

She stood alone amongst the humble sagebrush

and ancient lava flows of the high, western, desert.

 

An occasional antelope or jackrabbit might come along

and give her the eye now and then, or perhaps 

a rattlesnake would leave the minimal shade

of low plantlife and stop briefly near her,

but, other than those brief encounters,

along with the wind, the sky and its holdings,

she knew nothing but utter solitude,

until, one day, off in the distance,

a man on horseback appeared.

 

As he rode closer, Sheila, the lone, high desert outhouse,

could see the rider sat tall in his saddle,

and when he dismounted his horse in front of her

she approved of his clean, white, cowboy hat

and the snug-fitting jeans secured at his waist

with a dark, leather belt, complete

with ornate, silver buckle.

 

And oh, how her heart flipped and flapped,

and her crescent-moon eye widened

as the handsome stranger slowly

pulled her door open,

ducked his head,

and went in.

 

********

 

~Sleep Will Not Work~

 

When you must

hitchhike at night 

sleep will not work.

 

The stuff

at your feet

will not be valuable. 

It is junk. Garbage. Gravel &

broken glass. Do not

be fooled by its sparkle.

 

Stand straight. Do not

sit. 

 

Do not look away

as the headlights 

come upon you, but

look down,

just a little.

 

When a car pulls over

toss away the cigarette at your side,

tactfully. Keep

 

your hands

out

of

your

pockets.

 

Smile

at the driver

as you open

the door & say

"Hi. Thanks

for stopping."

 

Stay awake. Sleep

will not work.

 

And, as the car

takes off down the road,

do not look back. There will

be nothing to see but junk,

garbage,

gravel &

broken glass.  Nothing

back there will have

any value.

 

*********

 

~Social Security~

 

We are all armed, now.

Everyone sixteen years and older

totes a gun.

 

The boy holsters are blue.

 

The girl holsters are pink.

 

Dad's holsters have the ace of spades or

bowling balls on them.

 

Mom's have flowers.

 

The flames

of freedom

burn in the

crematoriums

and upon the mourner's candles,

twenty-four/

seven.

 

*****************

 

~Sound~

 

Ah, yes, the moon, for now. Stuck
up there not far from its mother. Deaf,
dumb and blind, occasionally bright
and always right about the tide. Oh,
about the tide: "Wooosh" is in.
"Sheee" is out. Ebb is nothing.

 

*********************

 

~ Fall~

Leaves get old,
then fall. And no matter how hard
they try to be attractive,
the trees
don't want them,
anymore.

***********************

~The Power of Suggestion~

 

Charley was burned alive in a cage

in the center of town because he believed 

in the wrong God.

 

When the correct God

got a whiff of Charley cooking,

the aroma made Him hungry,

so He ate a big, fat, opera singer

and a whale.  

 

*******************

 

~Treehouse~

 

If you were a tree
I would want to be the ramshackle shelter
held in your arms, and,

when lovers who climbed you
sat in me,

they'd hear the birds
sing in your hair,

and kiss
as their legs dangle
from my scrap-wood mouth.

 

********************

 

~When Potential Employers Come to Look~

 

When potential employers come to look
they will see this poem and perhaps
think to themselves:

 

"This guy is a smart-ass.
A trouble-maker.
A clown."

 

They will not recognize
the genius
they could have hired.

 

**********************

 

~You &  Me, in a Downtown Weekly~

 

you drive
i will do the job
we will keep it
small-time
better chance
to get away

when we return to our room
we will count the take on the bed

i got all the cash
from the drawer
scooped the quarters
took the large bills
from under the tray;
one hundred and
one fifty

the total will keep us
in the room
for another week
and booze and smokes and
food

we'll screw and drink away the
fear
and if we get caught
i wonder if they'll cuff me
right away or
pull me
out of you
first.

 

******************

 

~Marriage~

 

I

wrote a poem today.

It didn't

turn out

like I

wanted

it

to. 

 

************


 

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