Contents
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Jeff Spahr-Summers, US

 

 

 

Free Verse

 

alphabet

 

a to z
my tongue
spelling it out
dipping
deep for ink
or maybe
i'll write
your name
over and
over
a poem
until your well
runs dry

 

 

Pantoum Four

 

Anything goes
On the road of life
I suppose
Lord knows whatís best

On the road of life
Unless I stray too long
Lord knows whatís best
I choose to travel light

Unless I stray too long
Because I believe in love
I choose to travel light
You canít hurt me

Because I believe in love
I suppose
You canít hurt me
Anything goes

 

 

playing the bass ukulele

 

this morning while thinking
about rocks and flowers
buddhism and poetry and
yes you i am wearing it out
the bass ukulele i mean
this morning my mojo is
as hot as banjo barkers
not thinking about blisters
on my raw plucking fingers
half way across the planet
i am entranced i am dazzled
i give in to sweet abandon

 

 

From Table Mountain

(on a sunny day)

 

The world seems an endless array
Of silent shafts of light dismayed
And uncertain in their sense if direction.

But I am above this confusion now
And can spray the light wherever I may:

down on the old fort in Cape Town proper
or on the maze of spiked ships in Table Bay
(distant twinkles from the eastern ledge).
or from the northern edge to bright forests
leading into suburbs a vague as the vineyards,
even south where Devilís Peak become streaked
in shadows of stray sunlight from the Atlantic ,
and facing west the Twelve Apostles begin to glow
like towering citadels reflecting down on Camps Bay
my school near Strathmore Road and my house
where later I will be flayed by the light myself.

 

 

kissing the sun

 

all my life i have craved shelter of darkness searching for a soothing morsel of
comfort a soft flannel blanket of twinkling stars to hold close to my skin to cover
my face clutch to my heart drag around behind me like a hesitant child at every
turn wanting to lay myself down sleep among sweet wildflower meadows pretty
petals licking my lips tender kisses of scented satin raindrops and finally i know
to stretch my arms reach out to the tingle and sizzle of the gentle lips of the sun

 

 


Letter to the Ravenwood King

 

Sometimes when I drag out of bed,
Bracing myself for taxi cab tag
Lie urbanites do,
I can still hear the roaring flood
Of ripe Colorado Pine
Smearing sawdust in my ears,
Tearing lumber from the Rocky Mountain air.

And sometimes I despair
At the loss of my ticket to the mills,
The irresistible thickets of thrills
For a boy earnestly employed
In selecting
Only the finest bedding for our mares.

You must have known that my childish delight
Was feeling for the pulse of a rancherís life.

And now
Twenty years later,
My wife stirs next to me.
Outside, winter slurs
Purrs over the lake, blurring the shore,
And the streets of Chicago
Sprawl helter-skelter, determined
To pick the choicest of shelters.
Just like you did
When civilization came peddling next door.
You packed up your family, divided your ranch
And crawled north to Montana ,
Settling on reservation land.

I wanted to give you a hand
But Africa was just too far away.

And did you ever understand
My lust for the dazzling array
Of sights around the world,
Or my taste of dismay with words
And how they sound to my ears?

So now Iím bound for life...
Bound for years to write
caress
and recite my poems,
Like a lover might.

Can you hear the call?

To me itís deafening.
It echoes through the walls,
Threatening
constantly questioning
Shouting about the wooden chest
You made when I was five.

The one thatís alive
With the pictures I need
To remember my life.

 

 

Headphones

 

With the music on
All electric bass ní
Grunting guitars ní
Standup boogie ní
Heart thumping
Foot stomping funk
I want to play you
Sing all sexy sultry
Like Iím relatively
Certain you do

 

 

The Fog

 

The fog has cleared now.
Itís ambled off like a sleepy child
In search of a place to lie itís head.
And I see the trail stretched before me
As though in a dream, something forgotten,
Laid out like the yellow brick road.
And I know this is the way I must go.

 

 

oh! darling

 

make no mistake
i am here to sway you
i am persistent
best prepare yourself
for a long drawn out
impassioned siege

 

 

The Surprise

 

It could be;
anything,
a bug in the eye,
a pothole or
a speed bump,
a stop sign
upside down,
a period before.
it is realized
or an ant bite,
a mosquito,
one never knows
the perception of expectations.

It might be;
the woman
suddenly naked
in front of you,
black panties
on the floor
glib,
the sting of the zipper,
the whipped
cream pie all
over your face,
the dog
flatulent,

maybe
something
more subtle.

 

 

i want you (she's so heavy)

 

sugar sugar
give me some candy
candy

 

 

morning paper

 

perhaps today
were on the same page maybe
the same article maybe
the same picture or
two hanging in the air
every word
free as houdini come
read the headlines
forget the trivial trap
flapping in the breeze like
plastic wrap I see
grapenuts and blueberries
lemon rinds on the table
in the distance green
tea and honey it
makes me want to
pick up the telephone
good news
is hard to find

 

 

Mother Has a Dream

 

That Iíll return home unmistakably wiser
For the tests on the road Iíve taken,
That Iíll shake the dust from my shoes
And gladly hang them to rest nearby
Like a runner winded by the race.
She hopes that Iíll tell her Iíve learned
Lessons more important than hers,
That marriage has tamed me, and
Iíve the nerve to change my stubborn ways.

She has a dream...
Where Iím installed near at hand,
My family sprouting all around me
Like weeds shoving through the walk,
Eating apple pie and Chevrolets.
She see my wife sharing her coffee
A cup at a time each morning
As my son grows wild out back,
While I sit alone on the porch
Writing stories and happy poems
To quench my restless heart
And forget the trouble Iíve known.

 

 

golden slumbers

 

i reach into my magical bag
digging for white socks
to wear to bed you know
over my cold cold feet
i pull out
a sock with a grey toe
i reach in grab another
a sock with a gold toe
these socks are stubborn
i reach decisively for a third
a sock with a toe both
grey and gold
these socks are clever
this is when i admit
i think of you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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