Urban Jungle: Poem 18


Artwork-by-Kevin-Peterson-9

 
Urban jungle, yes literally, not metaphorically,
 
though maybe more like a ghetto forest.
 
Leading the determined coalition, is one sleek fox,
 
low lying, white tipped tail, like a log on legs.
 
Following fellow fox is great black bear, also
 
in forceful forward motion, head level, purpose
 
in his gait and onward gaze, alongside the girl.
 
She, decked in tartan plaid skirt, red cap
 
and sweater, strides along friend bear
 
among the graffiti’d concrete landscape
 
peppered with spare thin trees, once patterned
 
for park pleasure seekers and outdoor fun.
 
In ruins now, no one in the neighborhood
 
respects the land, so the conservationists
 
have taken up extreme measures for the cause:
 
the children and the animals, who will inherit
 
the earth when the mature of the human species
 
go extinct, march forth to the city council meeting
 
to state their peace: “Who will speak for the trees
 
and the bees before they’re completely gone?”

Moody Tree: Poem 12


Your name means mountain ebony,
a certain Bauhinia,
common to coastal California,
but I call you moody.
You own my front yard,
dominate passages and pathways,
burgeoning weight of verdure or
leafy reaches for spider’s webby catch to
neighboring anchors–rose bush branch or
car parked side mirrors.
How you please my wispy-boned mother braked still,
the dog leashed to the wheel chair,
under a relenting shade,
cooling an afternoon zephyr.
In spring or autumn, sometimes winter too,
you boom-blossom burbling orchids,
delicate pink and purple hazy bells
that sometimes ring in summer too.
That’s when your leaves burst butterfly hearts
of hunter green fringed in lemon-lime edges, a
hovering, healthy, verdant vibrancy.
But on any given week without reason,
your leaves brown at the edges,
then all the way through,
baring skeletal bramble
like bones of the cancerous,
exposed,
radiated,
burnt
for the winter–or summer complaint,
marring the yard, baring the hidden wreckage behind you.
That’s when the pods hang dry in rusts and reds, seeds
to bake or burst, sturdy uterine drip packets,
like dry, pea pod icicle tears crying,
yet unyielding to the grip.
And the next week,
they’re gone,
replaced by the brilliant buds as
poking penile plants peek through tightly tubed petals,
orchid splendor,
the softer side on a misty Monday.
Until Tuesday.
When the mood strikes.
Which outfit to wear for today?

Bauhinia

  

Bauhinia, 

the delicate pink orchids 

that blossom each spring 

cheer the grog of the morning 

march to distances 

far and few 

from your branches. 

The blistering sun’s alchemy 

or the blustery grey

 of the day–alters. 

Drifting and burgeoning, 

transforming and contrasting 

as my moods, 

sometimes filled, lagrimal

of rusted red seed pod, 

feet and fingers of them 

like stultified streams 

of leaking fear frozen 

brown and red in mid drip. 

It’s then that your leaves wither 

at the edges, 

blackened and burned. 

The weather turned for the worse, 

your leaves round hearts 

of butterfly green, 

full and wide bloom. 

But when the winter wears away, 

your flowering bauhinian 

bells and stamen 

reach for my notice 

as I breeze past 

to travels once again 

drawing me from you.

Speaking for the Bees

  


“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” 
― Dr. SeussThe Lorax


Workhorses of a seething-bustling, 
strange, 
misunderstood 
and alien world that we barely see
its glory and gore
acidic stew of swallow
and cilia claws 
burrowed below
but for the infrequent frightful protrusion,
intrusion,
extrusion, 
threatening a sting, 
a bite 
or a siphon
sipping the living juices of us,
savagery in the encounter.
 
And yet they sustain those who would crush them,
self-defense or not, 
fill the undergirding of our world with germinating life, 
exchange and commerce in wildflowers of the fields, 
manicured gardens of urban rooftops 
and edges of the sand dunes. 
They nourish us with sweet meats 
of the trees 
and gifts of the earth’s panoply of gallant beauties
pageantry of roses, peonies and daffodils,
and green godly goodness of cabbage cool,
beans of the vine
and broccoli floret 
walnuts
almonds
Brazils
the browns of nutty seas.


You, pinpoint friend, swap the day away, 
flitting from one sweet hollow to the next 
wearing, 
ingesting, 
carrying 
and dusting yourself with your wares, 
plying your trade 
and all we breathe better for it
and eat 
and expire
respire by your daily toil, 
though your armies are micro
populated,
though thinning, 
smallest of the small, 
and most benign. 
Some will warn
look away
not to watch,
not to near 
or interfere
or swat 
our swelling flesh worse for the encounter.


Carpenters of the Carribbean, 
homed amid the yuccas 
and woods 
while others gnaw at our backyard decks right here. 
Crow swims in sunflowers and black-eyed Susans, 
carpeting himself the golden sun, 
while sumptuous sand specialists 
hang in the hills of North Carolina 
or the Eastern Shore dunes, 
skimming the edges for life. 
Affable-bliss, 
drunkard, 
drinks from his nose of a tongue, 
buzzing about the Badlands, 
sucking up sweets from the wells of bells, 
trumpet trollops of honey delight, 
a piña colada of rum and pineapple pollen bits.  
But big old bombus and Metallica and modest-us, 
modest in size, 
half a rice grain wide, 
who carries her goods inside, 
a vomitous gift 
her babies survive
or they die
too sick
sparse
poisoned
murdered
by un-notice
unseen
unheard
unfelt
turnaway.


Health of heart, 
health of earth, 
home to hordes
4000 kinds strong
all native North American
only 40 left home
to honeycomb here
home to homo-cides
ignorants
polluters
stung-greedy
core-less
suicides
who
deny
if they are we are.