Topic: Poetry

As It Should 0

A budded rose stem
On thin branch in course sand
It shrinks under sun

A gingham maid pours water
Rushing down onto the crown

Glass beads dot petals
Dripping into the puddle
The green leaves shimmer

Morning sun climbs high
Drying the single red bud

The flower stem wilts
Petals droop down in distress
Nightfall sunsets relief

Gingham maid retrieves the pail
Spray dances around brown root

Desert sun turns hot
Too much for English flower
The thin stem turns orange

The gingham maid pours water
Much too late to save it

The desert returns to sand
As it should.


Marching Down Fifth Street 0

One hundred twelve in the bright florescent midnight shade
I bumble through a weary crowd marching down The Strip beside dancing neon, drunken girls, and gold firelight
Mojave desert heat blasts the granite marble hills towards God’s tower man-made
One hundred twelve in the bright florescent midnight shade
Dreams fleeting as fast silver coins tumble through the flashing casino parkade
The jingle-jangle rhythm strikes a mirthful heartbeat of disjointed amusement in the night
One hundred twelve in the bright florescent midnight shade
I bumble through a weary crowd marching down The Strip beside dancing neon, drunken girls, and gold firelight.


In the Mirage 0

In the mirage, ripples rise before my eyes

The standing noon sun heat dries

Beads of salt sweat on my forehead

Leaving me heatstroke weak as I tread

In the ravine, a winding snake path intensifies

Following a sand mouse lenghthwise

A rodent’s fate demise

I ponder the tan path to the tragic end

In the mirage.

A fan palm hides rock art mysteries

A spear thrown ripples past a prize

Landing short of red rock bloodshed

A hunter stands apart from his band; defiant brave friend

I sit alone too stoic on my perch of granite gneiss

In the mirage.


Arms Outstretched in the Dark 0

I stand in the darkness

Outstretched arms seeking a name

Of one person who served a cause

Proud in service.

Each believed in the mighty nation

Pressed into liberation of people oppressed

Under a threat of ominous winds along the Ho Chi Mihn.

A boy my son’s age; he knows a lot, so he thinks.

This truth learned before death;

Warriors serve their masters even when they change their minds.

I’m looking for a relevant pawn in an irrelevant war.


Sequoia Strawberries 0

Sequoia Strawberries in the flower bed mulch
Lined up like bare root roses
Patted safe in the warm soil
Watered and blessed; a hopeful refrain.

Spring lasts a few days before summer rays
Bear down on the garden beds
Warming the soil to dry dust
A delicate balance to keep them moist.

The morning frost reminds spring follows winter
Breezes blow as March enters like a lion
Or they sneak in like a lamb.
Either way, the garden struggles to bloom.

A small leaf springs up from the bare root tip
As the little roses establish themselves
Becoming accustomed to their new home.
The berries spread out to take space.

Small droplets in the morning light
On large leaves of green vermillion
Summer sun gobbles up the water
As ladybugs jump through the delicate flowers.





Wakan Tanka Waits For Me 0




Taking the mother road east
Seemed like a rewind trip
Into the dreams of west bound
Men and ladies who left Chi
Town for Santa Monica; they
Sought the sunny shore to rest.

Sunset at our back door down
Somewhere in Arizona
The passenger trains replaced
By cargo trailers never to stop
At wide clips of towns built only
For fuel or Indian trinkets.

In the distance a tee pee
Settled between branches of
Mesquite or salt cedar brush;
Train cars rushed by to show
A cluster of modern tents
Circled to prevent attack.

“Sleep in a Wigwam” the sign
Urged motorists to stop
Away from the freeway noise
Tucked next to the train whose
Resonant horn warned hostiles
To leave the sleepers alone.

The white dashes coming far
Faster than the midnight
Static of dull hypnotic
Beats pounding a rusty hole
Deep in the driver’s brain
Making kitsch palatable.

We stopped to stay in a
Stucco cone banging our heads
On the slopping walls to peer
Into fun-house mirrors near
Blankets with Wakan Tanka;
Red and black on double beds.

Staring at the tapered top
Of the ceiling seeing stars
Aerial above the black desert night
Musing about ghostly riders
Traveling the mother road
We dream in deep sleep slumber.


Holbrook Wigwam Motel

Michael S. Sommermeyer