MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh


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kids, kids, kids

my children love
they give
they forgive me
looking askance

they give
rolling their eyes
looking askance
smiling, laughing

rolling their eyes
they forgive me
smiling, laughing
my children love

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heron

greater or lesser determined
by whether the neck extends
or is carried in S curve
in flight, but this one
stands immobile
mimicking clouded sky in streaks
of gray and blue, dusky in shadow
on stalked yellow legs
bulgy eyes unblinking
he searches the mud and standing water
in which he waits for
darting fish, amphibians
intent on preying
he acknowledges not my
stopping to admire his slender,
near-emaciated build
but watches, still, ready, until
something at his feet triggers
the whip-like motion of snaky neck
he lifts his head with fish mouth
and squirming tail protesting
from either side of yellow
knife beak as head, neck and
upper body spasm
and exposed fish parts disappear
and snake-neck distorts in bulge
again, with spasm, the bulge lowers
eyes widen, in surprise? or satisfaction?


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sun drawing water

grandma told me
the slanted beams
were the sun
drawing water
diagonal shafts
of particle-laden light
filtered by clouds
partial bridges to the sky
and, for those carrying down
sleet, snow or rain
that were lost
before reaching earth
men have given names
virga
named, or unnamed
bright ramps between
heaven and earth
that lift upward
my eyes and my
thirsty soul


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shuffle

she watched her husband shuffle
from one farm chore to the next
with no sign of emotion
neither smile nor frown
neither snarl nor laughter
nor complaint
nothing
at the death of their daughter
he’d withered like autumn leaves
cut off from what
had sustained them
in the spring
he neither stirred
nor blossomed


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between summer and fall

mellowing, softening
its hard edges of
intense, direct sunlight
colors richer, warmer
even in the cooler air
no longer bleached out
but summer glare
seem glowing from within
rather than stabbing with
reflected brilliance
of an overwhelming sol
reds and oranges burnished
no long too-bright
yellows and whites
i can open my eyes
lower a protective hand
peer now, rather than squint
see, rather than
seek shade
autumn allows me
to stand, to bend, to move
about in my world
no longer needing
to hide in shadows
from a truth
i cannot face