Ever hopeful

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Black bird singing,

At the edge of the swamp,

At the edge of the city,

At the edge of the afternoon.

 

Puffing up his red shoulders,

singing indefatigably cheerful.

 

She will hear.

She will listen.

She will fly near.

 

Black bird singing

undeterred until the sun

sinks below the horizon,  followed

by the fingernail trimming of a moon.

The huntresses

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They seem a cut above ordinary women

with permanent half-smiles

a tad too much eye-liner

trying to make old eyes

seem dewy-eyed.

 

Listen closely and hear judgments

roll from their tongues

not based on any

higher law.

 

But what serves their purpose

that becomes moral

that is approved,

any other

is shunned.

Art by S.L. Listman

The water clock

 

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Dip a glass in a pond,

and peer through the foggy

semi-transparent water.

 

It is only an illusion.

The pond is face of a clock.

 

Silvery at sunrise,

Turquoise green at high noon.

Deeper blue with each hour.

 

Fading to a pearly shade

of bluish rose at sunset

Turning steely mauve,

and then tarnished silver

as the sun slips out of sight.

 

Ducks see the shades change

they turn arranging themselves

in one direction.

With the drumming of wings

they  take off, arising

from the dark pewter pond

announcing the day is done.

 

 

 

 

………

 

 

The night is too warm

 

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The night is too warm

The moon a pale vision.

We have gathered in the park,

each secluded as far possible

from the others.

 

Two teenage girls

peer into a tiny screen

faint notes and the flicker of lights

create the miniature image

of a favorite crush

 

One woman barely

beyond adolescence

follows a toddler in bright pink.

Lifting her above dangerous,

gnarled tree roots.

 

Another pair laughing

are flying on the swings.

Long since past grade school,

imagining their life

as it was then.

 

I walk around the path

circling but not lingering.

As lights dim, darkness grows,

I wish they would leave

but they all remain.

 

The night is too warm

Ode to intimidation

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He stands black eyes staring, from a dark face

Slender, elegant, one third my height,

one tenth my weight.

Yet he stands challenging me.

He knows whom he guards

 

The others are tucked in their feathery down,

sleeping safe on a soft, liquid bed.

He shuffles a step closer

No heads move, no eyes open,

He knows they trust him.

 

Cannot you see, my superiority I ask?

Humans made this pleasant lake

where you find refuge,

human tend the lush grassy lawn

where you take your meals.

 

But I  circle wide because I hear

Canadian geese can be very aggressive.