Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Little Girl and the Tortoise

There was an old tortoise named John
maybe 100
maybe more
maybe less
It's hard to say

John was much travelled
maybe Saipan
maybe the furthest side of the world
maybe not
It's hard to say

For all of his travelling
John wasn't a mover
he mostly just sat
that's why he was lonesome plus
His home was a closet

John wasn't aggressive
he didn't like to fight
he was good-natured, polite:
he couldn't run away, that's why
His hard shell

John wasn't good looking, not handsome:
skin dark wrinkly,
stubby tail, nostrils like eggs,
slippery tongue (for examining things)
Thin not very long

John didn't eat all that much:
he liked squash,
both summer and winter,
roses too, but his favorite was
Aleo vero, succulent and sweet

John's story seems sad
just growing older and older
as others passed on
all except for
Sarah who visited one day

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Childhood songs

Childhood songs

I came into the world
  before there were words
  before there were shoelaces
  before dry ice

Childhood sang songs
  reciting, memorizing, gaining mastery
  kittens, toy boats, chicka-dee-dee calls 
  don't touch dry ice

Songs I once knew, I would hear them again
  arithmetic was easy
  I think further now
  but forget

What once seemed simple
  the difference between plus and minus:
  really doesn't matter
  getting dressed was good exercise for later

School had disadvantages
  one can learn something for life anyplace
  streams become rivers that run to the sea
  mermaids riding dolphins sing under the stars

Grains of sand in the hour glass
  accumulate below what once formed above
  time is a lesson:
  missed, premature, correct
My father said don't touch dry ice

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A likeness

His great pleasure was a broom,
batting it
he stood on kitten-sturdy-stubby hind legs

He was Dickon after
the familiar who fired Mother Rigby's pipe:
("Dickon...a coal for my pipe!")
his orange coat the impetus.

He came into this world
a playful soul  
fifteen years ago
April last

He came into this world
a random soul
his mother half-feral, a tortoiseshell stray

He came into this world
to sleep in baskets (clothes),
to loll in the sun:
one time he caught a bat

It's fall now,
will Dickon another April have

Once we were of like age
now he's more,

Each morning he's
like all elderly and frail
who wake to the dawn

For Dickon
morning's brightening's
an eclipse:
Dickon who used to
find wonderful fun in all things