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TJ Radcliffe Feb 9
I swear a good deal more when in the city
my wife observes as we two wend our way
along the street. The towers are kind of pretty:
walls of glass, yet blocking out the day
so down here on the sidewalk dreary shadows
are damp reminders of how far we've come
from towering trees, from open mossy meadows,
from ravens swishing by. Look, here's a slum
a block or two from banking towers and glamour.
I should not fault the place. Variety
is the spice, they say. But such a clamor
of humans challenged by sobriety!
Life here was once quite good to me, but now
I'm just a rustic, pining for his plow.
I live in a small rural community but was an urbanite for many years and recently was back in the city to see a (remarkable, wonderful) show, and my wife said within a few minutes of getting there, "You swear a lot more here." There's a reason for that. I'm at home in the trees. Among the towers, I can flourish, but it's a lot more effort.
T R Wingfield Dec 2016
I found a boardwalk in the woods
leading, seemingly, to nowhere,
In a timberland swamp I knew from younger days;
Decaying and rotten, likely long forgotten.
I wondered how long it had been there, abandoned to its fate:
being quietly mocked by the still standing timbers,
as yet spared the sawmills blade,
for its needless sacrifice, as its strength is weathered away; used but unrequited, wasted, faded and unmade.

I followed along its decrepit path
as far as I could make,
and laughed to myself and thought,
"Such is life's disarray."
William A Poppen Sep 2019
Few recall when the earth was scraped back
Over four score ago
To show the extensive gravel waiting to be abused

Horse pulled wagons consumed bites of earth,
One shovel-full at a time
To spit and ***** their contents
So no mud holes will grow  
Along trails black with mid-west loam

These roads carried us to and from places
To get what we did not need
For we knew how to be sustainable
Long before it became a popular movement
Long before progress discovered the quantity
Beneath the outer bones of the field across the road
A childhood memory
Neon Robinson Jun 2019
• This great division of space. •
And the untamed plants.

Geckos...
Pose as domestic pets -
slide along its faded railings.
Casing draughty walls,
tethered to rafters loose lashing;
hanging in jungle green.

I clean up the wild flowers
that float   in   the  a i r, without
explanation, without wrong measure.

Is as it comes -  
I am ashamed that this is all I want.

A testament to solitary hawks in the upper branches.
Flutter in memory carefree cardinals
in this leaf-strewn place,
Dragonflies form wing-prayers
We kneel and peel our shoes off,

drop our feet to sleeping grass
to be closer to the narrow splendor.

Peacocks honk rough phrases, asking anyone.
Commuting the tracks, between valley stream.

I linger limbo roads
On the jungly drive,
pass a farm that repeats
its exotic fruit tree, the elbows of orange blossoms
Guava groves, avocado arsenal,
saturated ocean views beyond pestyflower frills.

At the life proof gate. This world is untidy
with its muddy banks, with its eyes.
1000 flower bloom
Listening feral fowl, ungulate shake  

Retirees friendly fire,
Long forgotten barbwire crossing creeks
the mountain lost in a sea of green    
This land, like me, is free
To live a less domesticated dream
About my homestead in Hawaii. A cabin that falls somewhere between Lincoln log  / LEGO looking safari tent is the muse. As well as the surrounding areas.
Jake Dockter Feb 2019
Way out,
where there is nothing but walnut groves and train tracks,

the three of us found a place to cut loose
and be the punks we wanted to be.

Way out,
where we found a few patches of weeds, abandoned farm equipment, decayed foundations, a toppled barn, and a dry canal,

we brought  spray paint,
****** beer,
and threw rocks at the passing trains.
We built bonfires and howled and no one cared.

One day,
an old man
in a wrinkled hat  
pulled his truck in to the tall grass
and watched us.
We hid our cigarettes as if he cared.

I walked over
but before I could say hello or ask his name or give some poor excuse for our behavior,
he said,
“I was born here.”

Here?
Here, there was was nothing.
Old silos, maybe.
No houses.
No town.
No place to be born.
Just a place for kids like us to scrawl **** graffiti on pallets and rusted truck trailers, ditched and forgotten.

“Used to be a town,” he said.
“Your standing in the post office.”
At my feet the cement slab crumbled into the weeds.

It is here that I wish this poem was about a tender moment where an old man taught a young man about a hidden past.
Or that this poem reminded us about the secrets hidden all around us, if we just look.
It could be about a regained wonder for our elders or about memory or a certain flower that he pointed out which blooms in our ghost towns of nostalgia and how that flowers Latin name means something that becomes a grand metaphor for rebirth...

But it’s not and he drove off without another word.

We picked up our spray paint and threw beer bottles against the canal bank, shattering them in a place no one else would notice
except that old man,  
who would see my vulgarity
and poor attempt at artistic protest haphazardly sprayed
over the last place he can remember seeing his mother, by the backdoor,
that autumn evening he left and took that job in Sacramento.
Valerie Oct 2018
He ponders on how to make the decision
One to give him satisfaction and the other displeasure
His small hands cradle the calabash gently
Cautious of the fragility of its content
He's wondering how to explain his spoil
Excited beyond yet afraid within
Still wandering in the bushes treading lightly on dead leaves,
He hears the drums go off from the village square.
A thought jumps in, too tempting to ignore!
But he must reach his destination .
Forging ahead to gratification,
He's barely acknowledged and his secret unkown.
Walking through he's pushed aside and ignored!
He pays no mind, full of smiles.
If only they knew the content of the Calabash!!!

                                          Valerie Gbinije
Sometimes we underestimate people and their worth...
Merry Jul 2018
I take out a newspaper
And I read it on my porch
My porch consists of a deck chair and a paddock
My back to my slanting house

I read articles on the yellowing page
And I read about how the world
Has gone to the dogs
It seems that all hath lost their minds

In my solace, without companionship,
I wonder if I have lost my mind too
Its been so very long since I have had
To make tea for someone

I believe the last had been my brother
Now I am the youngest sole
Of brothers three
Here on my farm,
I am free

By they near
And they are dear
To me their baby brother
That’s why I keep them
Near and dear
To me

Old stories turned to dust and ash
Not even a legend, not even a myth
After all, dead men tell no tales
Especially not about Inglewood convicts
Especially not when you put poison numb
In their tea
If my Uncle won't tell me the story of the three brothers, I shall make my own
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