Poetry by Janet Buck

Email: JBuck22874@aol.com

The Bomb Scare

Scurry was a foreign language
in moss-skinned hills
and pastures languishing
with cows that chewed
on dandelions as if they were
picked summer grapes.
School yards full
of bright petunias--
irises that went to church
at least on Sundays
in their hats.
A bomb scare seemed
to razor land--
flocks of sheep
that baa retort
to something sacred
being sheared.
I hoped it was just
crazy kids who wanted
Friday off from school--
to steep in sunlight
Winter had been
sleeping through.
But terror strikes
like slipping stocks--
inducing us to purchase more.
The franchise of naiveté:
born, retreats, goes to seed.
Urban dares not run the risk
of shooting up its heroin.

The Bag Lady

Layers of her evening shroud
in twilight holes where stars belonged.
A crossword puzzle of my flaws
splattered thick on sticky tar.
Helpless seemed like cotton candy
running pink without a fair.
Brown paper sacks rolled in crepes.
All she had for self-defense--
bayonets of rainbow glass.

Arms in sleeves--
tamale husks of hurried fear.
Bottles sold for blessings
of their emptiness.
I saw her hug a jug of wine
as if it were a fountain splayed
with arteries to earned release.
Dropped one nickel of a poem
in pounding puddles of her blood.
A Chaucer on her pilgrimage--
a pigeon lost among our noise.

When Closets Speak

When closets speak
(well, scream and shake)--
cleaning them’s a weak retort
to Montezuma’s great revenge
in caskets bearing you away.
Nina Ricci on your towels--
an imitation scent of Spring--
slaps long winters born to rule.
Plastic hangers held your clothes
like paper clips on pages torn.

You grab our hair with memories--
cotton candy consummation
plastered on a Ferris wheel.
Runways of your winding stairs
rescind in glee we cannot touch
without first brushing legends left.
Eclipse ahead of rising suns.
Vomit of smacked porcupines
that litter tar with passing gasps.
Escaping in a whiskey barrel,
we drop you in a cardboard box,
tape it shut with greedy need.
Noblesse Oblige regarding death
so much the same as wiping up
a pint of blood with nothing
but a paper towel.

City Shakes

Innocence in vice of war
handled traipsing parking lots
as china to be packed in foam.
People honked; no one talked.
Accompanied by city shakes
ruling like autistic moons.
A pigeon’s blood--red
Kool-Aid spilled on smoking tar.
Thirsty for the thrust of care,
a man approached me from the back.
Rattled dread--like birds on wires
that suffer from electric pulse.

The startle of his unplanned touch
against chrome bumpers of the night.
As if my wallet owned the dawn,
I guarded walls surrounding mine.
His happy hands like choir robes
with bibles stored among their folds--
begging to be put to use.
A stranger in a sea of reefs
who merely reached to tuck
in tags outside my shirt.
Twice my age and led around
by canes of yesterdays in tow.
Inhibition slow to thaw
like bricks of frozen orange juice.