Potent comfort steams off thick blue bowls of
Seems that which is mulled, mused
Holds solace flavored seasoning
Like poems that sit overnight on laptops
Into profound silence of approaching chill
Edging mostly eastward
Swarms of Canadian and Snow Geese
Gyre as one
Undoubtedly distinct voices
Now that hushed Lawn mowers and leaf blowers
Are a muted majority
Reserved for emerging spring.
Hands cupped around the blends of Second Day Chili
We eschew cable tv
We devour nostalgia from
Name that Tune
Boggle, WordTwist, CatchPhrase
Cackling brashly over the shadows
as our old brains try to connect
Nuggets of timeworn Golden Oldies.
But mostly it about us.
Finding ties in times of disparate reasoning
Fueled by spices
Of second Day Chili
It finally warmed up enough after last night’s wild blizzard to walk a little bit. I noticed a young man walking near the church. He was wearing loose, baggy pants that were dragging on the ground and wet up to his knees. I shook my head, “kids these days..” that style of clothing irritates me.
He stopped us by asking if there was a priest he could talk to at the church. As we searched, he told us his story.
He was driving to Arizona when the blizzard hit suddenly on the interstate. The temperature dropped 40 degrees in an hour and his car died. He spent the night in the car with his two dogs. The temps dropped to 10 degrees.
This morning he walked about 6 miles in the snow with only a parka, no gloves or hat. He had left the dogs in the car in search of some kind of help. He was broke and near tears.
He was so grateful for a couple bowls of soup I had in the crockpot and a sandwich. We helped him get a hotel, get his dogs, gave him some canned goods.
Was I apprehensive talking to someone I didn’t know? Yes.
Was I nervous with someone in my house that I did not know? Yes.
Was I intimidated by his age, manner of dress. Yes.
Was I altruistic? No.
I saw desperation in his eyes.
Desperation is a dangerous, dangerous predator.
On a 10 degree winter night, I am more afraid of a desperate man than one with a roof over his head and a stomach full of soup and tortillas.
This was Hurricane Sandy for my little town. And I thought of all the risks those people took.
And I was a little less afraid to take a little gabmble on a single soul.
We booked him in a little old hotel appropriately named,
The Sands Inn.
I want a
Think I had marked cards last time.
Wish I wouldn’t have
to play a new game.
Didn’t like the old game.
he spends his days in a continual yearning.
having memorized my lackadaisical schedule,
he sits in the backyard, pretending to doze in the sun
but he listens.
to every indoor sound.
water running, microwaves whirring,
cabinet doors slamming. TV blaring.
car keys rattling.
he stares in expectation at the room window
where he estimates he might catch a glimpse of me
through the glass.
he differentiates between running shoes and house shoes
traipsing across the floor.
the former resulting in frenzy at the door.
he cries out loud, jealously, at the sound of my voice on the phone
talking to any other than him
he whimpers his pleas just under the threshold.
‘Just one more walk among the trees.
One more round of throw- the- ball
I ignore him mostly.
I dread the dust and wind.
I’d rather be on the computer,
Sending emails. Writing poetry.
Until the noon temperature rises to 40 degrees or so.
He hears me gather the trash for the bin.
Tramp down the stairs to start the laundry.
(he is wild about a game of hide and seek in the basement)
He has a relentless hope that I will soon emerge
in my two sets of pants, coats, hats, gloves
with his leash.
I don’t need it really.
he stares at me with his sad weepy eyes
whether he is chasing prairie dogs,
being petted by neighbors, walking
eating, drinking, performing his trick routines.
He waits nervously for our codes, shifting his paws.
A click. A whistle. A hand gesture.
Any mere sign that I approve.
He has a soft, nearly indistinguishable wheezy snuffle
When I massage along his soft vertebrae.
Sentiments and adoration one would hope for forever.
I loved One like this,
So long ago, the memory is dimming.
All I remember is that
the cruelest ruse
The most callous hoax of all is Hope.
The name so sweet
And a bit foreign
I couldn’t resist, though
I live in fear.
Of food, for it hides
Gluten, nuts, eggs, and milk.
I live in a land of rice cakes
Sunflower butter and
There it was
Then the surprising pain
In its heat.
I’m in over my honky head,
I Google Andouille and white pepper
On my Smartphone
For I hadn’t heard of either.
The list of ingredients fired through me.
Red pepper, black pepper, chicken
green pepper, chicken, chilies
White pepper. I got it.
Insidious, that paradox
I suffer a bit more
Clutching ice water.
Clutching watery eyes.
For that unseen, yet
Felt to the core.
Melt to the marrow.
Reminded me of his voice.
Through 35 years of haze and fog.
Trickling through the wires.
We are already deeply weary
when we start another
age old game of Hearts.
we don’t even have to be in a room with humans.
we can joust over the internet.
on a quiet New Year’s Eve
addictively, the Lone Hart and I,
groaning our losses on Instant Emissary,
play a hundred hands,
so computers chronicle for us.
recording pure waste of time.
hour on hour.
the colorful stoic cards
bring us passively into
where sleep will not find us
despite the promise of small white pills.
we spar with the Court.
we play against
Invincible. Invisible. Bedeviled forces of
mute patterns etched into circuit boards,
with the intent to confound.
She argues again over Instant chat.
‘Just one more time.
I know the scheme.’
I remind her, we can’t win at Hearts.
aspiring for 2 out of 3, or 4 of 5.
we cannot hold all.
I will skirmish no more
with the always
her voice crackles through the line,
‘I am drawn and quartered.’
my hands dissolve.
I can only hope
it is Dawn’s welcome light?
no, it is the low battery signal blinking
‘Are you sure you want to end this game?
Would you like to play again?’
I bow to the Court of the King.