September Poem 30: Ghazal In the Southern Summer Sun

Memories of earlier days running through the grass watching the hoppers flee

Your trundling steps. When did they all go missing in the southern summer sun?


The ants working hidden in the fields, the tall grass as their hunting

Grounds. Biting, stinging, and killing in the southern summer sun.


Their hills of red clay stand out against the browning green of the grass warning

Like a stop sign the dangers out hiding in the southern summer sun.


Their smell slightly spicy as they make their way up your shoe and into

Your socks. As you were caught unsuspecting in the southern summer sun.


The prick around your ankle could have been a burr. But another up your leg and

Then the burning and itching. Again, you are running in the southern summer sun.

July Poem 23: The Chugging Machine

Were lit, it would curl out in a ripping

Unevenly achieved moksha forth from.

And even broadly the universe would

As the dog that stands in a hill of ants.

Sparks, smoke, scraggly brush. The chugging machine.

Jokes at work without getting fired for

Black and red ripped ends. Smoke it as if it

Were angry fire that ants unblinkingly

Allow. Homemade sausage native of weeds

Punctuated by work as numb plants that

Swarm up my leg stinging me around pine,

Oak, and sweetgum giving way to red fields.

But when sparks and ash spewed thump-thump-thump from,

Brahman was the sound sparks and ash don’t say.


Rusty Mississippi

Rusting hulks of vehicles

Line the highways leading to

Derelict downtowns.

Fields of green vines

Overtaking the first rank of

Trees in the stand that protect

The fields from the grasping kudzu.

Pine, oak, and sweetgum

Give way to fields of weeds

Punctuated by clay hills

The color of the fire ants within.

Southern hospitality may

Just be a myth. But the people

Still gather at the Wal-Mart,

And our hillbillies

Still have all their teeth.