JOURNEY COMPANIONS: THE FRIEND SONNETS PART II
JOURNEY COMPANIONS: THE FRIEND SONNETS PART II
Near somber guards, units of children heap
dead leaves, naive to any else fallen.
Friend, you chuckle, but your posture speaks
of duty on this day of contradictions.
Firefighters bow heads in silent paean,
while polished trucks stand at attention.
Families have again answered the call
to attend this festival, so uncommon.
Here, laughter rings around the memorial
for exuberance must never be doused,
Gloriously wrought, a sculpture of angels
commiserates with each mourning house.
You say, I see valor in lives that inspire.
I see heroes and their lines of fire.
Surreal, the way a contortionist knots
himself as the escape artist breaks free.
Uptown, buskers beckon with what-naughts,
drawing thousands. Candyland, sighs New-Dali
at its epicenter, his true element,
and he takes it in: the sword swallower,
blindfolds, jugglers, clowns miming laments,
fire-fed gals, stilted-men and tots taller
on shoulders. This carnival can endear,
turn heads, but only one with a seer-heart
studies the music box dancer, then swears
that she spins perfect webs with street-smarts.
Mirroring that swivel, awed by his entourage,
He becomes centrum to his own collage.
*For Chan, fully alive in Heaven.
Your brows are up. The Princess Cinema
is not your choice. C'mon, I don't fit here,
you snort. You, with all your charisma
and kindness, stand in a short line, fearing
boredom or worse ... pretense. Promise me,
that we aren't about to wallow through
subtitles, you sigh. Give me clarity,
a story, something that I can relate to.
But the charm catches you by surprise,
a star-struck atmosphere, the seats are new
and the popcorn is still warm. Friendly eyes
laugh, then amusement streams from you
for these Global TV spots simply delight
like each snippet that you joyfully write.
There be Scots as farrrrrr as the eye can see.
Brawn calves and bright kilts delight lasses
while pipers swagger out of the pub, tipsy.
Your smile broadens as a caber is tossed
end over end. Then, across the glen, highland
dancers in ghillies beckon with hearty flings.
Auch, it’s hot yet heather dare no’ wilt. Clans
gather, roguishly rib each other, as wool spins
in wheels. Aye, the romance can fair overwhelm
e’en the sensible. Worse for we, the fanciful.
Come, here’s the tea tent. Let soft fiddles calm
as we nibble oatcakes. Tartans and tunes pull
heartstrings. We sit raptly, lost in Brigadoon,
put pen to napkin to let wee thistles bloom.
* For Francine
Rustling maples break vows of silence,
naturally. As pleased, spears of hyacinth
worship breezes with such soft reverence
that we give pause in this living labyrinth.
Nothing here is still; wood thrush reverb
good news and cicadas buzz testimonials.
Nearby, a creek mumbles, Word-Word
while squirrels glorify their bounty. All
is abuzz with joy, save for the shade
under a weathered cross; it’s emptiness
resurrects veneration. A butterfly wades
the sudden hush, lands on your hand, nests.
My friend, you lift it to wood, sympathizing
on bent knee, speechlessly evangelizing.
ON THE FRINGE
Your eyes drink the hues of the Shisha Lounge:
art on walls, art brewing over charcoal.
This coffee ceremony is on the fringe,
far from the pallid and staid. I’ve marveled
at these dear blends, how culture can transcend
barriers and ignorance. We order too much.
Tibsy, zignie, timtimo.. injera bends
to each spiced delicacy as our plates touch.
Gone is this haven where pleasure was shared.
Still, I’ll bring you there. Scribe, man of integrity,
sit with me. Exhale poetry. Imbibe tribal air.
Mine, this moment and mine, this memory
but that mystifying brew, that receptive floor,
the smoke refined by deep respect… each are yours.
*For my cuz, Scribe
A warbling vireo hops from oak to elm.
Your gaze wanders, too. This amphitheater
hosts the lyrical, almost overwhelms,
for beyond the mill ruins, the Grand River
is deep in thought, reflecting. It’s as though myth
lives; Summerland has come to the hillside
where weathered fieldstones beguile the impish
to dance. They do or else tin flutes will chide.
Though cozy the spot, the world's at our feet.
Tanned toes can not help but tap. Strong is the lure
of pipes and those songs that dulcimers keep.
When night softly falls, one group brings rapture.
They sing until stars tire and all are hoarse
like poets rousing words to supplicate verse.
WORD ON THE STREET, 2009
Pure pageantry, how publishers' banners
wave over tents. Flocks of readers graze
on glossy trades, leaflets, hardcovers,
chapbooks. My friend, a true gent, stays
his ground. Maybe, it is the press of page;
Its forthright weave petitions for slants,
favors unique fonts, yet gilds no edge,
sees no need for illustration, just verdant
language. I did not intend to read
over his shoulder. He grins good-naturedly,
tweed makes an allowance. Each line, poetry,
he praises and I still my chatter. We feed
on gems, unrushed, but their brilliance spurs
a verbose woman and a man of his word.