THE GLINTING RHYTHM
Admit it. Today could be the best moment
you’ve ever had in my concave city—
your downpours, evictions, evacuations,
broken heart and skid marks dissolve
on an afternoon where rust and orange mums
are placed beneath names of the dead.
Here, there are no mounds.
Everyone succumbs to mortar and alabaster.
You become unstuck, acquiescing
to a fluency that flows without language.
The paddle wheel turns percussive
measured as a haiku we push,
pedal beneath the bridge, metal touches metal
and moves brackish jade water
named for a zealot saint.
My red hat keeps slipping from my head.
You steer us back into sunlight
and we marvel at the sight and sound of steel
glinting a rhythm, a recurring dream,
where three ibises rise like hope from flotsam.
FROM A SHAKEN SKY
The Japanese Magnolia blossoms,
tonight, are the size of cupped hands,
deep enough to hold long vowels
and debris from a shaken sky.
Every blossom on the tree is open
as ears to whispers and family scandal.
My father left his family in unspoken scandal
during the spring when blossoms
would fall and windows were open
for shallow whispers and fluttering hands
that moved like finches in search of sky
and seeds. The doves called to us in vowels
we recognized, the haunting repetition of vowels,
the reason he left, the unspoken scandal,
We mimicked birds beneath a dimming sky.
Thin intrusions, the scent of blossoms,
whispers through a window, fretful hands
holding the shame though it was not open
or discussed.. It was spring. Windows open,
we heard the finches singing long and short vowels,
his decision to leave, out of our hands,
created an unspoken, family scandal
in the wake of pink blossoms
scattered as debris from a shaken sky.
A family scandal not to be bound by sky.
The newly nailed windows would remain unopened
sealing annuals, scents of magnolia blossoms
and silencing the doves and finches singing vowels.
Tired of being a father, he brought the scandal,
and never held finches in his hands.
Tonight, truth is cupped in my hands.
Reasons span the sky
while birds search for the scandal,
they fly from the windows open.
Branches shake the vowels
long and short of Japanese Magnolia blossoms.
Hands fly open.
a sky marked by vowels,
scandals fall with the ease of Japanese Magnolia blossoms.
fiction poetry "fact" photography