Well rattle my bones and shiver my spine,
‘tis Halloween and the witches are flyin’.
They cackle and hasten to mount their brooms,
ride high over rooftops and leaning old tombs.
Ghosts haunt at night and jack o’lanterns wink,
bats fly by radar, watchful owls never blink.
Werewolves and mummies and even giraffes
trick-or-treat on doorsteps; costumed kids have laughs.
But who’s to say, when the full moon beams bright,
that vampires don’t search for a neck to bite.
So please listen up if you hear a wolf howl,
it could be Count Dracula out on the prowl.
If I’ve scared you, I’m sorry, but it’s All Hallow’s Eve,
when souls rise from graves to tug at your sleeve.
For when I was young, my basket filled with treats,
goblins clamored to grab me for a dance on their street.
Honeyed rays slice drifting clouds.
Mirrored cranes lift praise.
Humane crows in our lovely Lincoln Park
Two crows mourn on a wire;
they caw from their perch in the sky.
They emit shrill cries —
wings beat rancor, grief
at the sight of the fallen third,
road kill left behind by squealing tires.
One wing of the dead crow points to the lost freedom of the sky.
In death, does the crow’s wing beckon its clan to remember their connection?
Logic diminishes my whimsy as cars speed by and further crush the bird.
The two mourners fly and flap from one wire to another.
Drivers, oblivious of the crow funeral, move headlong to their lives
as I, too, enter my vehicle on the way to an appointment.
The crow screams are lost, muffled as news blares from the radio:
Mass shooting At A Texas Walmart —
and I ponder humanity’s numbness towards death.
In the garden, a chickadee pecks at you,
kisses the ground nourished by your ashes.
paws, emerald eyes —
now burned to a chickadee prize.
The tangerine poppies have turned blood orange;
like lit Oriental lanterns
as we look for you
in nature’s patterns.
Is the bird’s song sharper from feeding on you?
Have you fertilized flowers to a deeper hue?
Cattails rise like questions in the morning dew.
Like a velveteen hand smoothing fronds with April tears.
Like paint splatters on canvas dripping summer suns, autumn rusts, winter oxblood, spring pinks.
Like the blade of an ice skate slashing its veins in winter wind.
Like the lead weight of a mirror reflecting physical beauty which ends.
Like the sparkle of crystals from an overturned sugar bowl.
The rain chuckles and asks: “Did Leif Erickson turn over a new leaf?”
Then the rain goes psycho, pals with the wind and blows leaves hither and non.
Leaves twist and turn in the rain, shout to each other: “Is this the winter of our discontent?”
Leaves cling fierce but lose family members.
Do leaves mourn?
I hear leaves waltz with the rain at night, patter a child to sleep,
fragrance dreams with velveteen prayer.
Like a gentle hand April rains return to soothe.
Felt inspired to make a collage. I call this Venetian Fairy Tale. Hand-painted paper background.
The trip to Venice still lingers in memory. Luckily, we were not flooded. La Serenissima floods 1/3 of the year. It is a regular practice for them to set up ramps and you are advised to bring tall boots.
Here’s one of my unearthed poems:
Venezia leans and lists,
an ornamented, lacey, Byzantine eccentric
caught in the lagoons.
She is a jilted bride –
Miss Havisham in a yellowed wedding dress,
her Adriatic stanchions
as rats nibble at the cake.
But Venezia refuses to stop the clock.
Her Bell Tower rings – cracked but hopeful.
In a café, the Italian slurps his zuppe di cozze,
downs another grappa,
sets fire to his brain as a musical strain
echoes from canals,
the boats of gondoliers.
I imagine the fire of his dream:
Venetian maids of yore
lie supine on the shore,
tresses fanning out in hues of gold, orange, blue.
Their siren songs set him aflame.
Until he returns to the 21st century,
spots a woman flocked by pigeons
at St. Mark’s Square.
And here’s YT, being flocked:
An exuberant zucchini pushed through the soil.
I did not toil.
A bird, you see, dropped a wayward seed
between the peonies.
Cumulus clouds drifting dusty seedheads –
as if a yearning ancestor carried them from skeletal beginnings,
they dance on the wind
germinating and growing and weaving chains of childhood memories.
Up close to my nose, the butter-mustard tang of the dandy
reminiscent of crazy salads prepared by Italian aunts,
lion’s greens dressed and tossed at picnics, splashed and anointed with chianti,
spilling from bowls on the oilcloth beneath a summer sky.
Knowing no bias for neighborhoods, they poke from city sidewalks,
from the cracks of suburban cul-de-sacs.
There is something uncommonly common
about the dandelion.