2 Poems

After Seeing the Art Film “SLAM”


Last night I saw SLAM a film about words

words that inspired magnetized riveted

transformed an unlikely and unlikable bunch

with backgrounds inconceivable

Some words were foul the scenery too

but folks were delighting in those words

thoughts celebrating ideas themes

Strings of syllables flowed like lava

covering all who came in contact

Joy sorrow gut-emptying

Gotta get those words out before they fester

Hate must exit might as well send it away

with words


I’ve been thinking of myself as a poet

At what point did I become one?

I belong to two poetry groups

many gifted and accomplished

We’re all white we think dream write

acquire learn accept are accepted

So alike


But…backgrounds so different.

Who else among us

survived an overturned buggy

after the horse was spooked

Picked flowers in a neighbor’s ravine

and brought fistfuls to the May altar

where Mary was waiting

Taught in a one-room school

in fifteen-minute segments

Plumbing out yonder…


So…am I a Poet?

Ideas form then jostle

jolt to find a way out

Words leap in line

looking for a procession

to form a coherent chain.





Her broken relish dish is still on the counter.

It has been there almost four months.

oval porcelain with hand-painted roses

and cutout spaces for handles.

The narrow gold band around the rim has faded.

Somehow I can’t part with the pieces.


My mother and I were never close.

She seemed content in her rambling house

on that fertile land while my dreams soared.

She died before we could become friends

and now this precious link is shattered.


I never put it into the dishwasher, used it just

for guests and always set it right back

in the china cabinet except for that one

time. Maybe I could find another

in an antique shop, but she had my name

on this one, taped to the bottom

to make sure I got it.


Stop by a week from now, a month,

six months, it may still be there.