Monday, May 29, 2006

Weather Balloon

The air was still and quiet,
but hung heavy, like
an over-filled water balloon
cocked in the arm
of a six year old general.
Humidity doesn’t care
if you’re a poet, jogger,
worm-grubbing-beast or gardener,
it has one shot everyday,
and today’s was
a shirt-soaking bulls eye!

Friday, May 26, 2006

No Dying On Thursdays!

You don’t die on Thursdays!
Didn’t you get the memo?
No dying on days of the week,
any other time is fine.
Work has to be stopped,
services arranged,
tears washed out of
shirts and blouses,
bungled up words
have to be stumbled over,
it’s just a mess,
can’t you see
it’s just a mess…
but you went and did it anyway.
I know all the other
Monday through Sunday passers
were glad to see you, but
they have eternity
we just have today.

(Dedicated to Terry, the best first cousin a younger cousin could have)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

No Freezer Burn Words

No, I don’t pull my words
from the freezer,
place them in the microwave to thaw.
I chase a rabbit
running across the lawn,
take one from behind
its frightened ear.
Another comes from
my Venetian blinds,
after I dust it off
it’s good to use.
A robin plays stork
and drops one on the stoop;
the neighbor’s keys
slip from her hand, and
two or three fall out
from a denim mini-skirt.
The hot coffee
I just spilled on my hand
provides the last to end this poem,

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Patrons Of My Art

Could I spend each day of my life
typing letters into words, line and verse?
Chronicling the Sun’s walk
from Charleston to Malibu, without,
stopping at a gas station for a map?
Reporting a chameleon’s ascent
of my backyard deck, clawing and jumping
to the faded red pinnacle of Barbeque Park?
Watching gold finches take off and land
from butterfly bush to seed terminals,
writing about their amazing careers
without a single flight delay?
Of course the answer is yes, but
Citicorp and Georgia Power
aren’t patrons of my art.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Send Out A Memo

There’s a word
I would love to see
obliterated from language,
some think
the world can’t turn without it.
Minutes would only be 60 seconds,
there wouldn't be a market
for rattletrap metaphors,
yellow note pads
could grow up to be trees,
and pompous asses
would have to join a theater group
to prance around on center stage.
Send out a memo,
we need to have a meeting to discuss this.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Goodbye Bailey

“Be there at 4 p.m.,
don’t be late,
Friday afternoons are busy”.
They would squeeze her in
between the poodle with bad teeth,
and the Rottweiler with bad manners.
I know she quit eating two days ago.
I know the fur on the back of her legs
can’t hold anymore blood from her bowels.
I know…
I know…
but I’m the one that threw the ball,
fed her scrapes of steak and bacon,
watched her eyes multiply 7 x 13.
Now I’m the one
that has to make sure,
she’s on time
for her last appointment.
I wish we could be late.

(for the best dog ever)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Meaningful Relationship

We threw words
like tossed shots
of bad vodka;
they didn’t need to mingle
with sensible tastes,
gullet and belly
were the places for fire.
Tomato juice and celery,
Worcestershire and salt,
weren't required mixers,
we supplied the blood.

Great Art Blog

Found this in my travels yesterday and fell in love with Joyce Ripley's art. Check it out:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Ringtone Is...

I want to live
on an old dirt road,
with a serpentine grass-spine
that chiropractors can’t fix, where
ringtones download from wind song,
and critters leave prints,
not carcasses.

I want the sun
to teach me how to wear a straw hat,
daylight and dusk
the only hands on my clock,
and shoe leather
that reports the weather
every time a stone’s kicked in the ruts.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I walk every morning
on pimple-granite asphalt
with surnames
Street, Court, and Trail;
past concrete drives
with rubber scars,
and three-wheel futures
laying on their sides.

Yard trees sway
like domestic zombies
with genetic memories
of forest galas, and
God walking in their shade
on split-hoof paths.

Bones and voices
scratch at the bottoms
of my high-tech treads,
waiting for the return
of light-step laughter, and
night to whisk it away.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Midnight Geometry Test

I can’t draw a straight line
with a ruler,
dead sober,
150 watts bursting glass seams,
on any given day,
if my life depended on it!
But, you want me to walk one,
pitch dark,
dead drunk,
headlights whizzing by.
Sir, would it be acceptable
if I crawled
from point A to B?

Friday, May 12, 2006


She dances with wheat,
the lips of sky;
a goddess with
dirt-rouge cheeks,
joining stares
with bark-skin eyes.

She dances…
I dance…
tree-warriors skip
like water-harp gods.

The sun is planted
in the soil of night,
watered with
the sweat-lust of Spring.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Medium Rare

Poets are perceptive
little boogers,
who the hell knows why?
Somedays it’s a gift,
other’s a curse.
We see the world spinning
on a high top tennis shoe,
laces untied and slouching,
hanging like bangs
in the face of a star, or
skewered on an axis,
slow roasting ‘round the sun.
You say that’s not reality,
there’s scientific evidence
to refute this fantastical claim,
but then,
you’re not a poet, so
I’ll take my clouds medium rare.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Pain hangs over
her eye lashes, like
fraying laundry
forgotten on
rust-skin poles.
I wonder
who’s rape-seed memories
she cradles
on sleepless nights?
What lullabies she sings?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Scratching My Beard

I think I offended you,
but never meant to.
My fingers punch keys
that aren’t always
connected to my brain.
I would cut the rascals
down to nubs, and
end their quick-click-vulgarity,
but then,
I wouldn’t have them
to scratch my beard,
and wonder
what it was I said.

Save The Potato Chips!

Have you ever considered
the plight of potato chips?
Me neither, but
think about the grinding and crushing
after each crunching bite.
A future of digestive pulp,
passing down the esophageal tunnel
(with no bright light, and
grandma to greet you),
an acid wash in stomach holding, then
a colon coaster ride.
They are sold for this end,
brightly packaged and advertised,
“you can’t eat just one”!
There should be a note
printed between cholesterol,
and saturated fat content,
“you’re actively committing genocide
on this community
of thinly sliced,
deep-fried, salted spuds”.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Swimming Lessons

Most pairs of eyes,
out of half as many heads,
only focus on the day to day.
Jobs and bills,
carpet stains,
a neighbor
tucked tightly in blue jeans,
are things
that can’t be ignored,
subsistence must be maintained.
But, since
you’re treading water,
why not
learn how to swim?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Walking The Dog

Walked outside,
birds chirped
pretty bird,
pretty bird…
dog sniffed
for the perfect
patch of grass.
my senses
with their fix
of black coffee,
reflected on
how many
gazillion days
dawn worked
without a day off.
Breathed in deep
morning air,
she found
what she was looking for.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Question Crumbs

I wonder if you’re sleeping
in a foreign dream
I know nothing about?
Is the air you’re breathing
paid for ‘til check out time?
Did you leave a wake-up call
for the sound of my voice?
Questions are all you left me,
so I’ll drop these,
like a fairy tale,
hoping you’ll
find your way home.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Leaves clamor,
like Sunday morning preachers
castigating sins
of a North
by too late wind.

A cold front settled
on addresses changed,

she left him...
he left her...
does it matter?

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Family Affair

I woke up at 2:00 a.m.
with The Graduate on T.V.,
I watched it for the umpteenth time.
Anne Bancroft stirred memories
of every young man’s dreams,
Benjamin rescued Katharine Ross
from a life of becoming her mother, and
Simon and Garfunkel blended
spices in a minor key.
Riding off on the back seat of a bus,
all smiles and laughing,
life was young,
and fresh,
and free,
but mom would always be the first.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Great Compromise

My cat sits on the table
beside me at night,
waiting for ice cream
she knows is on the way.
The older she gets
the earlier her vigil starts.
I prefer chocolate,
her favorite is vanilla,
we compromise, and
get chocolate,
she only licks
the bowl half clean.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)