Sunday, April 30, 2017

"The Beauty of Storms" and "Crows" - last two poems for National Poetry Month

Poem 29 April 29
The Beauty of Storms

Out here in the great plains,
heat driven thunderstorms
can blow up in minutes
when warm moist air cools.
From a distance, they mushroom
high into the sky,
benign and beautiful
and sometimes reflect the setting sun.
But up close
they can be angry monsters,
furious and vengeful.
Wind driven rain becomes drop-less sheets,
nearby lightning blasts leave
the smell of ozone in the
cold air, and crackling thunder
claps applaud the production.
Up close those thunder claps
are the barks of a dangerous beast,
but in the distance are just a gentle rumble
of a sleepy giant.

Poem #30 April 30
I see crows around the city every so often,
nibbling on road kill or
sitting atop posts of varying heights,
when I’m paying attention.
They roost in large numbers overnight,
but I’ve not seen that.
Crows, they say, can live 20 years or more.
And crows, they say, can recognize human faces,
and carry a grudge, targeting a past
wrongdoer for retribution.
They are omnivores, scavengers,
and will cannibalize their own.
Crows are symbolic, shamanic,
and persistently present.
Edgar Allan Poe’s raven was a literary cousin
to Ted Hughes’ crow, both mythologic nibblers
of life’s leftovers.
They are thought to be the smartest bird
which is not saying all that much
although they have been known to use
twigs to root out larval snacks form
otherwise inaccessible places.
To Ovid, a crow meant rain.
In Sweden, ravens are the ghosts
of murdered men.
Native American mythologies from the
Northwest see crows as creator gods
or as a trickster, like Loki.
We go to great lengths to ascribe meaning
to crows and ravens which likely says
more about us than about ravens or crows.

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Mr. Hutchins - The Milkman" and other poems. Week 4 of National Poetry Month

Poem #22 Mr. Hutchins - The Milkman

It must have been about 1955
in Newport, Washington.
I was five or six, and I had
a friend named Curtis.
His dad was a milkman,
a profession now extinct,
like tyrannosaurus rexes and pterodactyls.
His dad drove a milk truck around
the small town
and delivered glass bottles of milk
to his customers early in the still,
dark mornings.
He put those bottles inside small
insulated boxes on porches.
I think they were quart bottles.
Housewives, usually, sometimes husbands,
would step out to the porch in their bathrobes
and retrieve that milk
to pour on the morning cereal
at the family breakfast.

Poem #23 April 23, 2017

Experiments in Gravity and Other Activities

Growing up,
my brother Jerry and I
would often play together until one of us got hurt,
usually him since I was
a few years older.
We’d jump our bikes over small ramps
we had built out of scrap lumber we found
in trash cans in alleys
until one of us crashed. Usually him.
Or we’d pile tumbleweed into concrete
basement foundations
awaiting home construction
in our Sandy, Utah, neighborhood
and jump, thinking
the tumbleweed would cushion our fall.
We mostly just got all scratched up
on that one.
One time, in Wyoming, I jumped out of a tree
in our backyard thinking mother’s
umbrella would act like a parachute.
I didn’t get hurt, but that umbrella
peeled back aerodynamically
and didn’t break my
fall worth a lick.
These experiments in gravity
more often proved gravity than not.
Another time in a non-gravitational
activity, we unwound a golf ball’s
wrapped rubber core and found out
how many times you could
wrap that long rubber band
around our house on Coffeen Avenue.
I think it was four times.

Poem #24 Apirl 24

The Summer of Love

This summer is the fiftieth
anniversary of The Summer of Love for
Me and Jimi and Janis
at Monterey,
and Bobby McGee in Baton Rouge.
Janis from Texas.
Jimi the paratrooper from Seattle.
Me, the kid from Nebraska.
Freedom’s just another word
for nothing left to lose, we said.
Purple Haze you say.
Light my fire, they said.
Come on, baby, we said,
Let’s cruise the Haight.
I was there that summer of 1967.
I didn't get to Woodstock in '69, but
I was in the Haight that year. San Francisco.
Flower power, hippies, reefer, fog.
I was listening to the Doors, and Jimi, and Janis, and Eric.
I was sixteen and sitting in the back
of my family’s 1963 Rambler station wagon
listening to the Doors, and Jimi, and Janis
on my little transistor radio
as we drove those Haight and Ashbury streets.
Not in a Porsche or a Mercedez-Benz.
And no reefer.
But I was on fire, smoking purple haze,
feeling free on those warm San Francisco nights.
Better to be grateful than dead.

Poem 25 April 25


I’ve been reading about Stonehenge today.
You know that circular structure of big rocks
near Wiltshire, England, thought to have been
built four or five thousand years ago.
Much has been made
about how difficult it must have been to
move those rocks long distances.
But one theory is that
glaciers conveniently deposited many of those
stones of various compositions
right near there for the picking.
Perhaps a burial site originally,
it is now a venue for acoustic guitar music,
spiritual musings, juggling acts,
and other events.
Carhenge, near Alliance, Nebraska, USA,
was made in 1987 out of old cars and trucks
painted grey by the Jim Reinders family
in memory of Jim’s father, who had
an interest in Stonehenge, and placed
in a circle to mimic Stonehenge.
It is most unlikely that Carhenge will
still be there in four thousand years.
Carhenge is located on 10 acres of land
donated by the family to “The Friends of Carhenge,”
a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving
this large full-scale art installation.
In an astronomical event of
no particular significance on August 21, 2017,
Carhenge will be in the direct path
of the Total Solar Eclipse at 17:49 (UT) or 11:49 (MT).
There will be traffic.
I've been to Carhenge serveral times,
on hot, windy, summer days usually, and
have noted the whistling winds,
and dusty breezes swirling
around those cars, and enjoyed the
various other art installations.
I, and others, in a demonstration
of reducto ad adsurdum,
will be building miniature Carhenges
out of Hot Wheels spray-painted grey,
placed in kitty litter
in large cake pans this weekend at
Platte River State Park for a church
family-retreat activity.
I started a fund-raising effort
a few weeks ago to raise
$500,000,000 to build a life-sized
replica of the three major Giza pyramids
out of crushed automobiles at the
Carhenge site. I've raised $1.85 so far.

Poem 26 April 26, 2017

An Old Recipe

My mother used to make a hamburger,
rice, ketchup concoction I really liked.
Mixed together in the right proportions,
you had a pretty tasty and economical meal
for a family.
In later years, we would add green peppers,
either chopped and added to the mix,
or cut in half, cooked, the rice mixture
then spooned into the pepper halves.
I still make that for myself now and again.
I add chopped onions, maybe some
minced garlic, and parmesan cheese, too.
Mother used to add canned green beans or peas,
or later, frozen,
to the plate for that sense of dietary balance
before the bell peppers became the
vegetable of choice.

Poem 27 April 27

Garage #50

I like my garage although
I park my car outside in the parking lot.
I park my motorcycle in there to keep
it out of the weather.
My apartment manager
let me know yesterday that
workers would need access to my garage and
all the other garages in that line of 20 garages
built into that hillside next Monday, so the workers
can tighten bolts on some retainer plates on the
ends of rods drilled through the
walls of those garages and some unknown distance
into the hillside so they don't implode.
Mine is on the south end,
of that line of garages built into that hillside,
so there are two walls with those retaining plates,
two on the east side and four on the south side.
Getting access is not as easy as it sounds.
I’ve got stuff in that garage
that has to be moved from the south and east walls.
Layers of tools, painting equipment, other
miscellaneous collections of years of
home remodeling and
jack-of-all-trades, get-by-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth
(as though teeth have skin) work
for 15 years, all on a shelf system that has to be
unladed and moved to allow access to those
retainer rods. It’s something like an
archaeological dig site in North America
that I read about this morning
on a facebook post. A mastodon skeleton, or it
might have been a woolly mammoth,
was uncovered with some evidence
that a human species may have existed in
North America far, far earlier than previously thought:
rock chips, smashed bones, the slightest of clues.
As for me, I will carefully remove layers of evidence
of my own presence at this time and in this place.
I don’t really need those halogen portable lamps,
that 40 year old turntable, those half-dozen five gallon
plastic buckets filled with screwdrivers, and tiling tools,
hammers, that shop vac, or power washer,
paint brushes, and miscellaneous tools used for
many tasks, or those five paint trays,
or even that fake Christmas tree; but they
still have utility, even meaning, for me, and lord knows
if I discard any of it, I will need it the following week.
I’ve thought of selling some of the
stuff in a “garage” sale. And I still might.
I recently bought a small electrical generator
so I could power my compound miter saw
out there when I make stretcher frames.
But for now, I’ll move it all around,
rearrange it like I have my life as
needed when circumstances changed.
I’ll discard that extra double mattress and
box springs I have out there, too.
I’ll put that shelving system to the north wall
instead of the south wall so that next spring when
those workers have to tighten those bolts, it won’t be
such a large task.

Poem 28 Apr. 28


A cold front has bisected Nebraska
from the southernmost western corner
to the northeast Missouri River curve.
The weather radar image is blue on the north and west side
and green on the south and east,
and that temperature demarcation
makes all the difference.
Through the window of my apartment,
it's just all grey out there, but on the
radar image snow is blue and rain is green.
There is a counter-clockwise motion to this
weather system in the middle of the country.
And I can watch it on my laptop computer
in animation mode and see
the motion of the snow and the rain
as it all gradually swirls like a dancer’s skirt might
at a large-scale, slow motion, square dance
pirouette in a country barn out there
in the middle of Nebraska.

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Mrs. Martini's Pancakes" and other Poems for National Poetry Month Week 3

Poem 21, Friday April 21

Mrs. Martini’s Pancakes

It was probably in 1958 or 59
when Mrs. Martini babysat
the four of us kids in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Mom and Dad went somewhere for several days
and hired her to watch over us.
I was 8 or 9 and each sibling was about 18 months
younger in steps down to Susie, the youngest.
Don’t call her Susie now, by the way.
Brother David would not arrive for a few more years
yet in Friend, Nebraska.
Mrs. Martini was short and stout,
like that little tea pot in the song,
and a bit darker skinned like the
native Americans we used to see in town
once in a while.
She made pancakes for us one of those mornings.
They were different than mother’s.
They were somehow much darker, almost
black, and larger, and we all liked them – a lot.
Pancakes were never the same after that.
I tried some Walmart brand frozen pancakes
this morning I cooked in the toaster.
Not much taste to them, but they were nicely round.
I used to make squirrel, spider, and rabbit-shaped pancakes
for my son when he was young, and he always liked that.
It’s quite possible the memory of Mrs. Martini’s pancakes
is better than the pancakes themselves were,
but that’s probably true of a lot of things.

Poem 15 Saturday April 15

I opened the blinds of my
living room windows this morning
to see the day.
A thick, dark gray sky lay low west.
Sunshine spilled over my
apartment rooftop into the
empty blue swimming pool
filling it with promise of summer.
The chatternews spoke of the Koreas,
the mother of all bombs, a fire in
Las Vegas, a captured fugitive,
lost health insurance, drought, Russia,
China, a president on vacation
at his golf resort.
I ate a cinnamon-raisin bagel,
a slice of cheddar cheese,
and thought of the rest of the day.

Poem #16 Sunday April 16

Bad Metaphors

I like to write bad metaphors such as
metaphors are spice for word meat.
Or similes such as
she had eyes like big round hub caps from an old Buick.
Or her lips were like pieces of cow liver stacked one on the other.
There’s something about contorting language
into a semantic train wreck
for my amusement on a resurrected Sunday.
It’s a Coney Island of the mind,
on black petals, eating a peach, while a fly buzzed.
It’s a Howl on a path less taken,
riding a Zen motorcycle on the blue highways.
It’s like Huckleberry Finn in Paris
with Zelda drinking Amontillado.
Without you I am a dog barking in the back yard
of a Bleak House at the neighbor's cat
as I thought of lost loves.
It’s the dead guys on the crosses that bother me.
Someone wrote that eternity begins today.
Damn, I thought it began last year.
The sliver of the moon was like a sliver of a piece of moon shaped silver paper
pasted upon the sky if the sky were something you could
paste a moon shaped sliver of silver paper upon.
Images swirled in left side of my head in the same way that
water goes down a toilet when you flush it in the northern hemisphere -- clockwise.
I complained like Portnoy but the clockwork was orange
and Atlas shrugged on the western front.
Bad metaphors are the irritating screech
of chalk on a blackboard
and then you have to get the chalk dust off your fingers.
It’s like being Lolita from K-Pax on a Tuesday.

Poem #17 Monday April 17, 2017

The Day After Easter

Easter is not like something new;
there was one last year and the year before that.
And the year before that.
We Christians get dressed up each year,
on the first Sunday,
after the first full moon,
after the vernal equinox,
some in new clothes, some in old,
attend church services,
say the same words,
do the same actions,
and repeat the same rituals,
year after year,
decade after decade,
and pretend like it’s big news,
celebrating the impossible.
Still, it’s nice to get all
dressed up and have dinner
with family, and wonder.

Poem #18 Tuesday April 18


We are having some weather today, we say,
as though we don’t have some weather every day.
Hot, cold, rain, shine, it’s all weather, isn’t it?
In my closet, I have fifteen coats.
Some are leather, some cloth, some synthetic,
to accommodate that range of weather.
Some are better for the extreme cold,
others for just a bit on the chilly side.
Is it a cold rain? a warm rain?
A wet snow? A dry snow?
Is it above freezing? or below?
How long will I be outdoors?
Will I be moving or still?
All are important questions.
I have a light green rain parka somewhere
that folds up into
its own pouch to be worn upon a belt.
I like the efficient elegance of that.
For the others, I need that closet
by the front door.

Poem #19 Wednesday April 19

More Rain Fell Last Night

More rain fell last night
as I was sleeping.
In fact, a lot went on
As I was sleeping.
People went to work or came home after.
People died, babies were born,
Couples engaged in, well, coupling,
People enjoyed sunshine
In their worlds
As I was sleeping in mine.
Crimes were committed;
Criminals were apprehended.
Waves pounded on distant shores.
Rivers flowed; dust blew.
Trees swayed in the breeze.
Trumpets sounded.
Jets roared. Prisoners wept.
Children went hungry.
Children were fed.
Parents got them ready for school,
Or picked them up after.
People composed music, painted pictures,
Sculpted figures, wrote poems, danced in the moonlight.
They felt pain, love, sadness, loneliness, joy,
Prayed, and cursed.
Rejoiced and lamented.
A lot went on
As I was sleeping.

Poem #20 Thursday Apr. 20

Still Processing Good Friday

On Good Friday I stopped by the Burger King
on Dodge about 30th after a round of golf
at Shoreline golf course in
Carter Lake, Iowa, inside the
western edge of the oxbow lake
up by the airport,
and before the Seven Last Words
service at my church. I was to speak
about “Truly, I say to you, today you
shall be with me in paradise.” I had about
two hours in between and I was hungry.
It was too far to go back home
and then drive all the way back to church.
I ordered a Whopper, some fries,
and a vanilla shake. It cost $8.86.
That seemed pretty high to me,
for a Whopper, some fries,
and a vanilla shake,
but apparently that’s the going rate these days.
Compared to the price of paradise,
however, that’s nothing. That one guy
to whom Jesus said those words
had to die.
I had seen a small fish lying in the grass,
maybe six inches long, on fairway #2 -
I think it was a crappie - and wondered how it got there.
Dropped by a hawk perhaps?
But why hadn’t the hawk just landed
and then eaten its prey?
Why leave it there on the grass to die?
Seemed like a meaningless death to me.
There’s a mystery to things like that
even though it was just a fish.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Two Tickets to Paradise on Good Friday

Poem #14 April 14
Two Tickets to Paradise

Two tickets to Paradise
Jesus offered that fellow
on the cross on that day
we now call Good Friday.
"Truly, I say to you,
today you shall be with me
in Paradise."
Strange name for the day.
Some say it means “God Friday.”
Some say it means “Holy Friday,”
and some, “Pious Friday.”
It’s the day Jesus was crucified.
By the way, I read this morning that “up to 36”
ISIS fighters were killed by
the mother of all bombs, a 21 ton,
$20 million bomb, the MOAB,
aka, MFOAB.
The cost of death keeps going up.

Poem #8 April 8

Some Saturday mornings are like
a highway stretching out in front of you
mile after mile and you have no particular destination.

Today is one of those Saturdays for me.
I woke up earlier than I really wanted, but I made some coffee,
considered what to prepare for breakfast, and checked the news.

I need to write a poem today I remembered just before the above
six lines were written. I am enjoying these poem a day April poems,
and never know quite what they will be until they tell me.

I wrote a few sarcastic facebooks posts
about our president. I still can’t get myself to say his name.
I continue to hope he doesn’t get us all killed.

I might get my motorcycle out and go for a ride on that
highway I mentioned. I might work on a painting of favorite
books for an old friend of mine from grad school.

I did sit on my deck drinking a cup of coffee
enjoying the sounds of spring out there:
kids playing in the park, birds chirping,
motorcycles revving by on 84th street.

Now I’m watching the Masters golf tournament thinking
I could have been on the pro tour if only I had been
a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot better.

I may practice some of my tenor sax music and
transpose a few more parts from alto to tenor.
So far, I’ve scored Tequila, Wooly Bully, and Rebel Rouser.

Later, I’ll probably head to the grocery store and make
something nice for dinner, sip some bourbon afterwards,
and watch a favorite show on TV.

Poem #9 April 9

The Last Time I Shot Somebody

The last time I ever shot anybody
was many years ago in Friend, Ne.
It may have been the year President Kennedy
was assassinated, 1963. Or maybe it was in 1962.
We lived then on the southeast edge of town,
the town on one side and fields of milo and corn on the other.
We lived in the old Blanchard house so named
for its former residents, church members who were renting
the house as a temporary parsonage. There was an orchard
with a few apple and pear trees, a chicken coop with no chickens,
and an empty building where it was said
someone used to make cheese.
The two-story house stood large on that corner lot,
and we lived there while the congregation was building
a modern ranch style house closer to the town center and the church.
The Webbs lived on the lot north of the orchard
and there was a red barn and maybe ten Webb kids,
including Cathy, tawny-haired and freckled and about my age,
whom I loved for several weeks. They moved away though.
She never knew of this secret love,
but I watched her kill and pluck a
chicken for dinner one time and was smitten.
I chased one of their pigs with her one time
when it got out of its pen, a high-point of that summer.
It probably met a similar fate as the chicken
but I don’t remember that part.
One nice spring or summer day, I was hunting
birds and squirrels and rabbits
with my Daisy pump-action BB gun in the Webb’s yard
when Steve drove by on his bicycle.
Steve was, I think, ten or so at the time,
and I took aim from the cover of a tree,
took a shot, and got him right in the bum.
I had to apologize later after his dad, the Postmaster in town
told my dad, the Congregational minister, about that shot.
I think Steve and I were in Boy Scouts together.
I lost touch with Steve for many years but have since
made connection again on social media, where I apologized again,
and where he occasionally reminds me of that fateful day.
He served in the Navy for many years on a submarine
and now lives in Florida. We trade facebook postings these days,
and comment on the politics of the day.
As for Cathy, her family moved away,
and a few years later my family moved away,
leaving only the small-town memories.

Poem #10 April 10

A Crack in the Clouds

Moments ago, I stepped out my cubicle and
looked out the north-facing window-wall of
the Metro south campus where I work
and saw about thirty flowering fruit trees struck
by a beam of sunshine under a dull cloudy sky.
They shone for a few moments with a white burst of brilliance
against the still drab brown-green grass below them,
like a supernova from a distant star.
The long silver-painted outside wall of a nearby packing plant
reflected that same sunbeam back at me, too, like a mirror.
How lucky for me to be standing there when the sun
appeared through that crack in the clouds on an
otherwise average Monday.

Poem #11 April 11


I like Tuesdays right now.
I have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays,
so I can fill Tuesdays with what I want: today was
painting chickens wearing sunglasses in the morning
(in looking at 'painting chickens wearing sunglasses
in the morning', I think I need to clarify:
first -they are not live chickens wearing sunglasses in the morning, it's a painting;
second, the 'in the morning' part pertains to when
the painting happened not the wearing of the sunglasses;
third, I was not wearing the sunglasses.
It's a picture of chickens wearing sunglasses that I painted in the morning.
Uh oh, it's not that I simply painted the sunglasses in the morning.........
the relative pronoun 'that' applies to the entire noun phrase
not just the terminal noun of the phrase.....
oh crap,never mind, I'll add the picture below),
golf in the afternoon, and usually, band practice in the evening.
Hard to beat that with a stick.
Add that I golfed well, shot a 78 at Johnny Goodman
municipal golf course, named after Johnny
who won the 1933 US Open as an amateur,
and it’s an even better day.
Alas, though, no band tonight - one guitar player was busy.
Guess I’ll just have to sit here in my leather Barcalounger,
write this poem, tilt the chair back a bit,
watch some favorite shows on the tv,
and sip on some bourbon on the rocks.write this poem,
tilt the chair back a bit,
watch some favorite shows on the tv,
and sip on some bourbon on the rocks.

Poem #12 April 12

The Swiss Army Watch

I had a Swiss Army watch
several years ago.
Actually it was my son’s,
but he let me wear it.
And I think I still have it.
It needed a new battery,
so I headed to the nearby Super Target.
The young lady at the watch station
said they couldn’t replace the battery
unless I had purchased it there.
“Liability issues,” she said.
“Liability issues,” I thought
as I walked to the parking lot.
“It’s just a watch.”
The gal at Walmart said pretty much
the same thing only she mentioned
her boyfriend had a similar watch
and it was a very nice watch.
She referred me to Enrique’s Jeweler’s
in Ralston where I was able to get the
right battery installed. It wasn’t too much
later after that when the watch band broke.
I haven’t worn it since.

Poem #13 April 13

Living Life at the Speed of Time

I'm living life at the speed of time,
while listening to some old John Prine.
I'm painting a nice cool ocean breeze,
and doing just what I damn well please.
Music on the turntable turns;
the toast in the toaster burns.
But I’m living life at the speed of time,
while listening to some old John Prine.
Tides ebb and flow at the speed of time,
and make the grunion run.
My earth moves in a long curved line,
orbiting an average yellow star, the sun.
I'm sipping coffee, pondering the muse,
and doing what I damn well choose.
But I'm living life at the speed of time
while listening to some old John Prine.

Friday, April 07, 2017

National Poetry Month - A Poem a Day

I have been writing a poem a day for the National Poetry Month of April. So here are my efforts.

Poems of the Day

April 1 Write Like a Poet

If I could write like a poet, I would.
If I could sing like a diva, I would.
If I could fly like a bird, I would.
If birds could write like divas,
that would be weird.
If birds could fly like poets,
that would be nice.
If divas could swim like fish -
wait that didn't work.

April 2 - Worms

I step around worms on the sidewalk after a rain.
Let them enjoy themselves I think
like some god looking down,
avoiding stepping on me after a rain.
Oh no, sunshine.
Worms make their worm mad-dash back to the grass.
Some make it; others don't.
I, though, enjoy the moment.

April 3 - We Murder to Dissect

The poem ate its own tale in ouroboros fashion.
A poem can mean everything but itself.
Or it can mean nothing but itself.
Figure that out I thought as I gazed into my
reflected image in the bathroom mirror
deciding whether to shave the stubble on my cheeks
or just have some coffee and go
to work.

April 4 A Poem a Day

A poem a day is
like an apple a day
only it's not an apple.
It's a poem.
A pome a day is
like an apple a day,
or a pair of pomes,
only it's not a poem.
It's a pome.
Some say an apple day
keeps the doctor away.
Not sure what a poem a day
keeps away........ennui perhaps.
So on we go.
Chew on or eschew that
for a day--
if you so choose.

April 5 The Walk to the Post Office

I was getting ready to walk across
the street to mail a letter at the post office
the other day.
"I'd better take my wallet," I thought,
"in case I get hit by a car."
I really did think that.
It seems a strange
thing to think for a short walk
to the post office.
Somehow it was troubling
that no one would know who I was
injured or perhaps dead in the street
and the least I could do was
have my ID in my pocket.
It's not like I would blindly walk
without looking, letting random chance
determine my fate,
but it was comforting
that my wallet would reveal who I was.
A driver's license, pictures of my son
and other family,
a couple credit cards, and a few other things
I haven't cleared out yet
like receipts I saved
for no apparent reason
and a business card from someone
I don't remember.
I made it safely across the street,
returned home,
picked up where I left off,
a bit amused at my brush with death.

Poem #6 All in a Day
I took my mother to the outpatient clinic
today to get shot. Ha ha.
Not shot -- but a shot -- in her hip
to relieve the pain caused by 91
years of walking. And then she wanted to go
shopping for groceries.
We wandered the aisles
of the Hy-Vee on Center Street at about 52nd.
The aisles are a bit wider than the Baker's
where I usually shop, and the floors perhaps
a bit cleaner. And it's arranged differently.
Light bulbs were where breakfast cereal
usually is. The tomatoes were where I
usually find the ice cream, and they
didn't have broccoli salad
or pina colada strawberry yogurt like Baker's does.
I saw a friend from church there.
We had to make a separate trip to two drug stores
to find the iron supplement
my mother wants, and for these stops
she waited in the car.
When I took her home,
I helped her write an email
to a professor at the UNO Gerontology program
asking when their next senior poetry contest
would be. And then I came home to watch
the Masters' and take a nap,
and she got her hair done by a woman
who comes to the retirement apartments each week
to do the ladies' silver hair.

Poem #7 Shoreline Golf

I golfed today with my friend Jerry.
We've golfed together for 35 years now give or take.
He won $1.75 from me today.
Other days I win from him. Most times Bob
joins us, but not today.
We talked about our work.
We talked about fishing, and hawks, and found
a large feather on the first fairway.
Other days we've found leftover
bones from a hawk's meal, or perhaps an owl's,
seen coyotes and foxes.
One time I found a large carp carcass snatched
from Carter Lake on a fairway,
partly eaten and partly decomposed.
That must have been a tasty meal.
We noticed the eagle's nest on hole #9
has fallen into disrepair since its
last residents, three little white headed
eaglets we could see above the branched rim of
the aerie several years ago.
But they are long gone and may have started
their own aeries by now.
We talked about various great shots we had made
once upon a time hoping that we might recreate
some of those moments today.
We talked about our kids and his girlfriend's dog,
politics and religion, war and peace.
I made a long birdie putt on the first hole,
and went on to miss about a dozen really good putts
in the round.
Golf is like that sometimes. Well, more like most
of the time.
Contrails criss-crossed
overhead and they became long, narrow puffed clouds
joining the others
gradually moving across the sky,
carried on the wind high above.
It's nice walking out there on the green grass,
among the grey trees, under the blue
and white skies.