Posts Tagged ‘Not Sure What Kind’

Three Poems

Monday, January 28th, 2019

elk cloud




Small brown birds with gray chests and

yellow mohawks, birds I have yet to identify,

arrive in our garden every October and

stay for a week or so.


Poems come to me about as often as

the yellow mohawk birds come to our garden,

pecking at the soil, picking up seeds.





cloud family





As I take possession

of my ramshackle house,

the previous owner tells me,

“Your neighbors on the north side are Hungarians.

They fight all the time. You won’t like them.”


Four years go by.


I proclaim to my new bride,

“The neighbors on the north side are Hungarians.

Strange and unfriendly.”


A year goes by.


One day my wife says to me,

“Guess what? The Hungarians are not Hungarians.

I just had a long talk with the oldest daughter.

They are Portuguese.”


“From Hungary?”


“No. From the Azores. Portuguese islands in the middle

of the Atlantic.”


“The Hungarians?”


“No, dear. Our neighbors are not Hungarian.

They are Portuguese.”


What must I be to them?

When they speak of us do they say,

“The woman is friendly, but the man

is strange and aloof. He refuses to

believe we are not Hungarians.”





happy new year




I watch the man at his piano.

He looks nothing at all

like you.


Maybe it is the smoke,

the drifting smoke,

the sultry waitress, her

eyes full of angry promise,

this beer no longer cold.


Maybe it is the mood,

the undeniable sorrow of our time,

the slow downturn of his music,

a steady left toiling against

that sad but tender right;

bitter sweet blues on a

bitter sweet night.


Or maybe it is this earth

in relation to that star

you always wished upon,

the exact molecular

whatever this is,

precisely perfect

for thinking of you.


(audio version, piano and voice: