Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Zinnia Buffet

The straight row of thumbelina zinnias
is zig-zaggy and not very thumbelina
unless thumbelina means tall and taller
and over there as high as the fence
it wouldn't make a cover shot for
The English Garden magazine

But two swallowtails
a monarch
and a bumblebee as big as a big man's thumb
are tasting one flower and then the next
a little zig-zagginess no impediment
to moving methodically through
what's on offer at the zinnia buffet

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The cat in the alley

It is my supposition
that the baleful staring
through the fence
and the volleys of
strangled barks
that cause the cat
in the alley to be so unmoved
that she rests her upper body
on a tuffit of creeping charlie
and grooms the immaculate
cream of her shoulder
work up a thirst
in the throat of the dog
and so I proffer
my half-full drinking
glass tipped at the
optimum angle for
the tongue sopping
method and say
Here, some nice cold
filtered water for the
Buddha man
and he drinks passionately
like a dog who has
done a dog's heavy work
and I smile down at him
drinking with passion
because he is mine
and I know the day
was won by the cat
and tomorrow will be hers

Friday, June 6, 2014

Four Deer at the Oakdale Trail

Four deer in the clearing
Papa, Mama, their son,
and a cousin who is living
with them while attending
community college
to get her certificate
in phlebotomy
She’s getting
her head together
after finally admitting
that her mother was right
when she said that
taking up with a married man
is just getting on the freeway
heading to Heartache, Minnesota,
population one billion and twelve
There absolutely is no truth
to the story going round
the meth
the sheriff
the rehab on the taxpayer’s dime

Yes, she looks a little rough
But that’s because she
spends all her free time
slapping herself into the middle
of next week every time
she thinks of all the dumb-ass
decisions she's made

Four deer in the clearing
Papa, Mama, their son,
and a cousin who wonders
if she should have waited
to give up Diet Pepsi
until things were more settled
in her life

Networking After the MHSCN Spring Conference

The dog would do this better.
He’d put his pricked ears back
In the no threat position
Lean against your hip
Shove his muzzle
Into your hand
And say to you
"This is called networking?
You want to network
With me, don't you?
Of course you do"

Saturday, May 24, 2014

If this were a sucide note

If this were a suicide note
Which it is not
The first paragraph would say
That it has been
Ten years fourteen days
Since I last said the words
I love you

The second paragraph would say
That it has been eleven years
Since I last said the words
I love you, too

The third paragraph would say
That one can go on living
Not saying these words
but it is a life lived
in a perpetual gray November
everything coated in ice
and all the trees blown down

My fourth paragraph would say
My dog is good with children
But shouldn’t go to a home
With cats

This is what this would say
If this were a suicide note
Which it is not

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

If you have lost the sun, it's at HealthPartners corporate offices in Bloomington, Minnesota

If you have lost the sun
it's at HealthPartners corporate offices
in Bloomington, Minnesota

If you don't believe me be in the car
tomorrow morning just as the night
has put its phone on do not disturb
and the day is drinking its first pot of tea
Darjeeling, of course

Look up just as you are rounding the soft curve
of 494 West into Bloomington
now it's natural when rounding a curve to the left
to look to the right
but don't look to the right
yes, there are fir trees to the right, and birch
and the possibility of deer
in some sort of gulch
but when you are looking for the sun
if you've seen one gulch
you've seen them all

If a plane the size of the universe
seems aimed for the landing spot
you didn't know was on the top of your car
you have reached the airport
where the terminals once named
for the best and brightest of Minnesota
are now renamed 1 and 2
You have gone too far

Go around and start over
what does gas mileage matter
when you have lost the sun


Look up just as you round the soft curve
of 494 West into Bloomington
and look to the left
you will see HealthPartners
corporate offices
off in the distance
the blue building
a solid wall of blaze gold
with jagged finger edges of fire

Sunday, March 9, 2014

But I Can Do This

Because I can
Because I can do this
I come to you on the couch
where you are stretched out
just so
in expectation that the sun
that fell upon you
like a butter yellow blanket
will come again today
and I place before
your nose a large biscuit
bulk bin code 87789
because the sun you are waiting for
isn't forecast again until Thursday
because I would summon that sun
for you if I could
but I can't
but I can do this