Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Illustre (Monkshood)

The cowled blue flower
explains its nickname.
The single green stalk
announces the congregation
like a church bell
echoing through a valley.
But nothing explains
the poison that runs
through its various parts
stunning the unexpected,
causing the heart
to stutter and stop.
It has long been used
to dip arrow tips
and to decorate
European gardens.
Death in his brightest gown.
Beauty at her cruelest.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Illustré (Acrobat)

He sits  in a chair
balanced on a chair
upside down
on another chair
while spinning
two plates on sticks
held in each hand.
For added effect
he pretends
to lose his balance
every few seconds.
The audience gasps
in delight. While his wife,
the lion tamer's assistant
watches from behind the curtain
to all appearances, bored
with the entire proceedings.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Illustré (Battery)

I am not sure I want to know
what powers my car. What makes
that churning noise first thing
in the morning. I'd rather think
it is magic. Or 5,000 squirrels
running in place
for hours at a time.
(Scratch that. No squirrel torture.
Instead, think of asparagus
or some other vegetable
fermenting, building
enough energy to power
one third of the eastern seaboard...)
Least of all, do I want to see
the lead plates, acid, and consequent
corrosion required to force metal
and wire into action until
internal combustion kicks in
and technology just one notch
above steam locomotion
moves fast enough
for the banging and clattering
to sound like a hum or roar
I accept as appropriate
for the beast I claim
to have tamed and shall ride
through the streets
someone else built
for just this purpose.