Buzzards in the sky
That circle round.
The field corn stretches on and on,
Like this two-lane highway, coming, going.
Or in these fields, between the long corn rows,
Except for those sharp eyes above.
I think they're hoping I'll run dry
Before I reach a place beyond.
I know they're watching way up high
For something down here, maybe me, to die.
Like me, I guess, they've learned they need not fear
The images that men create to make us all afraid.
It took me some long years to learn the same.
Of a sunny summer morning, I can see
Where I'm headed, though I'm going nowhere,
Knowing where I've been is so long gone,
And knowing that it doesn't reallly matter.
Life is just your fields of green and gold,
The birds below, the birds above, and this long road
That stretches on ahead of me,
That stretches on as far as eye can see,
That stretches on forever.
4. ALL SOULS CAFE by Thomas M. McDade
A tall man,
disciple-haired, bearded and thin
says the sign's last neon word
should rhyme with "waif"
since the accent acute got away.
Everyone here, a time or another
was a blues howling stray.
But never again in fluoresence dim
as alleys of sleep
where memories hang
like polyester blouses and shirts
made silky through miracles
of St. Vincent de Paul.
Hooks, clasps and buttons
and espresso is free.
Collars and cuffs are
the melodious lips
of crooners and horns.
Monograms are taboo
but pockets the needy
may calmly pick
Hopes run in pastels
take them folded or hung
but folks accept
even wrinkled ones.
Reflections are speckled
or ruffled to order.
Even the lint is stupendous!
The tall man says it's a trip,
it's a trip,
Take all your baggage aboard!
If you feel like a doze
the help fluffs the pillows,
pours decaf, sings lullabies
like a Mormon choir.
At the All Soul's Cafe,
it is safe,
you are safe.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Cafe Music by Paul Schoenfield
Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of--was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Downhill at dusk? I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle. I craved strong sweets, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung. Now no joy but lacks salt, That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove. When stiff and sore and scarred I take away my hand From leaning on it hard In grass and sand, The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor (Movement 3) by Sergei Prokofiev