dirt on the welcome mat

Tag Archives: life

When shopping lists

for last-minute gifts

cover my calendar

in giant tinseled clots

and stuff my head with

wrapping paper wads,

 

I close my eyes

and let my sore feet

ramble slowly

down Bourbon Street

where the warm lights

burn  all year round

and lampposts like microphones

amplify the sounds

that pave the syncopated street

in the bright surprises of holiday.

 

By the bayou,

there’s no frenzied countdown to Christmas,

just a daily,

jazzy reminder

that you don’t want to miss this

crazy, colorful life.

 

 

 

 

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Trees and tries

Leave a pile of the leafy dead

When the season comes around.

Brown sounds reach,

Crinkling with each slinky stretch,

Then settle like dust

Beneath so many shoes.


Riding the highway rumble strip

Slowly to feel each rise and drop.

Both windows down,

Warm night air hugs the sound of

Tires straddling the black

Perforated edge of goodbyes,

Stop and go breeze whistles

Between each finger

That dares to test life

Away from the steering wheel.

Radio static turns thoughts

Into black and white confetti,

Into missing puzzle pieces

And the quiet notes of the

Chorus,

         Bridge,

                   Chorus.


We love
to be reminded
of the enemies we’ve killed
so walls are filled
with trophies
and crudely scratched out
signatures
that certify each victory,
we frame what we call art.

Fire,
mostly still confined,
is scented, colored,
and circled with glass,
mischievous children
and their parents
snuff out wicks with fingertips
or blow away numbered flames
on birthdays.

Dark
is where
we’re comfortable,
hunched over and grunting,
we make our way
each night
to the same hole
to neither see
nor think.


We are born polka-dots
Light pink spots for toes and cheeks.
Weeks of cribs and dangling shapes
Leave us spinning like pinwheels,
We feel breeze and bugs crawling,
Sunshine and hugs, and sprawling out,
We spread our colors around
Giggle sounds, as beach balls,
Tapped by older, happy hands, we float
Down to a perch among the shrubs,
Our shiny surface rubbed by flowers as we sit as garden globes
Until we grow continents and oceans
And are set in motion like the earth itself
In a room inside until our spinning charade
Squeezes and fades us into a single pushpin,
A marker on the map that used to be our sphere,
But plastic, seared and deflated,
We can resume our place.


We keep sliding on the soft underside

Of the bar of soap,

Hoping

No grimy fingers

Will press us 

Further in,

Already held by a sudsy glue,

We knew

We wanted clean hands,

But we’re not purified,

Just coated with white film,

Growing unnoticed beneath

A thick tombstone.


Lightning bugs

In Mason jars

And poster board

Butterfly collections,

Death so natural

And pleasing to the eye,

Life all at once

So free and trapped

And unable to fly.