Poems, part 2

Here are some more poems that were read at our recent poetry reading. Enjoy!

Sidewalk Impressionist
-From Fall 2016 Pasque Petals
by Brooklyn Gross

Kids stampede over my slender fingers,
But they don’t break my bones.
Bicyclists roll over my palms,
Their tires leaving no imprint on my skin.
My invisible hands lie on the sidewalk,
Enduring the summer’s scorching sun
And freezing under winter’s ice and snow.
The concrete disguises me.
Its dusty surface camouflages my fingerprints
Like a mask concealing a face.
Day after day, ten fingers stretch beside the road.
My handprints wave to the people traveling by.
They will always be etched in my sidewalk,
Acting as a reminder that making an impact
Is as simple as slapping two hands
Onto a slab of wet cement.

Proof of Life
-From Spring 2017 Pasque Petals
by Bruce Roseland

In the 70’s, local youths
climbed an iron rung ladder
up the cement-sided grain elevator
of my small upper mid-western town.
In the near shadowy darkness,
lit as much by stars and moon
as by the town’s illuminations,
they would reach a flat, guardrail-less roof top.
There they would sit back from the edge
and inhale locally procured weed in silence,
daring not to talk
since their voices would travel far
in the clear windless night air to a town
whose good citizens were in bed after the 10’o clock news.
The town’s cop would be keeping his usual lonesome watch
down by the gas station,
sitting in his car, engine off, windows
rolled down, police radio squawking.
From the elevator’s rooftop the view was magnificent;
above them all the Universe blazed mystical,
below the streetlight ran crisscross,
checker boarded to the very edge
of where town met farmland.
Further out on the blue-black horizon,
night sky met earth, broken only
by the isolated pin pricks of solitary farmyard lights.
Way further off, glows from towns miles and miles away,
where other souls,
other lives, Homo sapiens sapiens, had to be,
just had to be stirring, moving toward something greater.


Blood Graffiti
– From Spring 2017 Pasque Petals
by Jason Kurtz

When I see the rainbow paint of the city
tagged on rail cars and brick walls
dribbled down, fading, a confusion of color with rust —
I imagine the young artist simply thinking,
“I was here”

and it is reminiscent of farm graffiti–
arcs of black blood on whitewashed barn walls
a mesmerizing arcane symbology of bovine spray
from the spring clipping of horns,
and I recall the young farm hand thinking,
“I wish I was somewhere else.”

But maybe . . .
maybe they were thinking
the same

Featured image by Pam Broviak under the creative commons license on Flickr.

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