Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 30 - It Was Raining Over Here


It Was Raining Over Here

I spent my early life, living in the backyard oaks
And among the brittle branches I would go
To perches in my quiet world, a rustling refuge for
A mind distracted by most everything below

From my aerie, I could see the sunlight
Pouring gold between the clouds that drift along.
But it was raining over here, the moisture making
The soft smells of April go heady, sharp and strong.

Over there the sun goes dropping down in sheets
Rolling cross the roads, the fields, the woods, the brook,
Nice to see when rain was pounding on my head
A spectacle from which a little hope I always took.

I can't climb trees these days and so I walk the roads
Among the trees, looking up to airy realms for consolation.
And I scout the flowers blooming on the berry vines below,
So when picking time arrives, I'll know the best locations.

Pragmatic I've become and old, but without the time I spent
High above the Earth when I was yet an undomesticated child
I'd have never found the stillness of the soul I needed
To pause and notice roadside berries, blooming free and wild.

© 2014 by Tom King

April 29 - The Pickle Conundrum

The Pickle Conundrum

Sweet relish and kosher dills
Sour pickles, sweet gherkins
Dill gherkins, bread and butters
Refrigerator pickles

Pickled peppers, pickled plums,
Pickled onions, green tomatoes
Tsukemonos and slippery Jacks
Pickled and Polish dills

German dills, half-sour pickles
Lime pickles and koolickles
Watermelon rind pickles, pickled beets
Pickled okra and asparagus

Garlic dills and spicy dills
Cabbage pickles, pickled carrots
Mango pickles, pickles deep fried
Sweet and dill pickle chips

A sandwich with pickles
Is a beautiful thing
But how do you choose
Which goes on the bread?

© 2014 by Tom King

Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28 - Mamas Mad at Me

Mamas Mad at Me

I ducked back in the house just now chastened.
Mama bird is feeding a nest of hungry kids
Hungry yellow mouths that pop wide open
Every time I bump the planter where the nest is hid.

She has the right I guess. It's hard enough
To feed four hungry mouths reaching, chirping
The kind of desperation to their calls that make
A mama bird feel guilty; like she's shirking.

I ducked back out of the house just now, further chastened.
Mama's doing her best to clean up the place behind me
The trails of dirt and crumbs and grease I leave behind
Everywhere I go like some aged child with ADD.

She has the right I guess. The house is hers
Ceded long ago to her skill at cleaning and hard working
But as sore bones and failing back slow Mama down,
She feels guilty too like Mama bird, as if she's shirking.

Poor mamas, I knew this day would come, as I got older,
That I would become this decaying crumbling antique
Making messes, shedding hair and worse all over.
Too brittle-boned; too tired to care to clean things till they squeak.

Someday soon, I know I'll be more trouble than I'm worth.
A creepy older guy that smells like liniment and cabbage leaf.
My sense of humor gone along with taste and style and left to be.
Put out to pasture by the kids to give their mom relief.

But I don't really mind. I'm resilient and easily amused. I take
Long walks that free my mind from all that angers or depresses
And the Mamas both on one thing fervently agree – That 
When I'm away from home, at least I can't cause guilt or further messes.

© 2014 by Tom King

April 27 - At the Exit Door

At the Exit Door

He told me, "At least he had an easy passing."
   Meaning it to comfort me, to pad my shock and grief
By suggesting that a speedy death is best;
   Quick, clean - life moving stealthily off planet like a thief.

I do not hold with that and when I go, I shall not slip away,
   I hope to live my life and leave a jagged hole behind
Where I am missing from the lives of those I love,
   An empty space; my absence something that they mind.

Tracy faced a world constricted much by circumstance,
   But from behind the walls her reach extended
To a wider world that knew her very well and loved her
   For her mind and for the soul whose run has not yet ended.

Micah lumbered through this life - a presence indomitable.
   An elvish soul striding the wide world in giant's shoes.
But kneeling down to touch a hundred tiny lives – responsible, self set aside
   The kind of life you live, not what you want but rather what you choose.

These are the kinds of missing souls for whom we grieve.
   Too little time among us, they left us wanting more.
It's good then that God has marked them in His books and that
   They left their muddy prints upon the mat, there at life's exit door.

© 2014 by Tom King

Sunday, April 27, 2014

April 26 - Skylights


Spattering against the night-darkened skylight
   The rain plays a tune, rising and falling
The woodwinds sing hushed among the firs
   The spoiled hound sprawled at my feet snores softly.

I don't know where all of this is going;
   The rattling keys trailing words from there beneath my fingers,
Staccato counterpoint to the raindrops, Daisy's breathing
   And the low rumble of the refrigerator making ice.

I used to think that anything this pleasant
   Must be a total waste of time and so, in a kind of spite
I may build a fire in a bit to make it nicer and to take away
   The chill that hangs upon the quiet house at 2 AM.

And tomorrow when the sun comes up and spills
   Across the floor, pouring through the skylights down in pools
That warm the carpet. I'll be walking barefoot on them,
   Commuting to the rolltop in the corner, my office by the bookcase.

There should be some reward for getting old; some compensation,
   And what better than skylights playing music in the night
And pouring puddles of light upon the floor each morning.
   A warm nap spot for the dog & place to warm the old man's feet.

© 2014 by Tom King