Thursday, October 31, 2013

Listening to the city sounds on my porch at 3 AM

I step into the night.  The air is cold
And carries in its breeze an awful din.
I-65 is not too far from here,
A metal river of humanity
That runs and hums along an asphalt bed
And carries in itself a twilit host
Encased in glass, illumed in green.  And tires
Squeal, and engines drone, and horns honk.
Beneath it all, somewhere, a gunshot rings.

The silent moonlight pours into my yard;
It fell through space, cascaded through the void,
And traveled through illimitable night
To softly fall on every blade of grass
That casts its dimly-outlined wavering shadow
Onto the waiting earth so brown and soft.

Someone out there, no doubt, is giving birth;
Another breathes his last; his life pours out
Into the dust from which he came.  And I,
I sigh, and step inside, and go to bed.

Copyright by Ike Wassom 2009.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Christmas Card 1

The swirling sleet had frozen in my beard.
A distant memory was the living green
On this, the darkest night I've ever seen.
Through shutters streaming golden light I peered
To glimpse some human warmth.
                                                   "It's as you feared;
The stars are chips of ice lacking in love.
That's all you'll ever get from Up Above.
You've got no kin, no friends, no God,"
                                                             he leered.
That night did not end well for me, I'm afraid.
But God who gives us family and friends,
Although through weary winter nights I've strayed,
Will see that every trial at long last ends,
For on a winter night he came as a lowly child
That he and I - and you - might all be reconciled.

Copyright 2012 by Ike Wassom.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Sonnet for Jerry, a dog

His world is made of smells upon the wind,
A chained-in yard dug down to mud and stones,
The sound of heartbeats, sirens, squirrels, phones,
And human things he cannot comprehend.
Early on, he killed our cat, and grinned,
And sleeping, deep inside his chest, he groans.
He once was wild.  He still is, in his bones:
He knows of prey and pack, but not of friend.
     But though his air is lonely, grim and stark,
     He yips and skips and frolics, joyous when
     We call, and when we take him to the park,
     He's happier than I have ever been:
No sorrow for the savagery he's lost,
No doubts about domestication's cost.

Copyright 2013 by Ike Wassom.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sketch: Molly on the couch

My wife is on the couch, her eyes half-closed.
Her lips are pursed and taut; her head is resting
Upon her outstretched palm; her hair and fingers
Are intertwined; her lidded eyes are flitting
Around some tiny, distant point.
The afternoon has turned her eyes a golden,
Mysterious soft brown, with sunbeams pooling
Within her lap, 'till radiance seems to fill her;
The sun, the room and she are wholly still.
I can't imagine where her mind could be.

Copyright by Ike Wassom 2013.  All rights reserved.