Thursday 5 February 2015

3 Poems by John Szabo

Particles of Me

Blake discovered the world in a grain of sand,
and I am now among those grains,
tossed from a blossoming, pale sweaty, soft palm
into the darkening surf;
my last wishes.

I am dissolved within
the seaweed and misty, salty air,
deep within a child’s sand castle
slowly eroded by the high tide;
particles of me mixed with coconut oil
rubbed into the brown skin of a Brazilian beauty,
more of me still at the bottom of a
black Labrador’s  joyous day of digging.

Particles of me
follow the rhythm of the tides,
taking me on a journey
into the deep green and blue ocean currents
leaving behind the beach of my youth;
hoisted high a top my father’s shoulders
before being catapulted into the oncoming waves,
time after time,
until my fear turns into giddy anticipation.

Monarchs of my Youth

She climbs effortlessly,
soaring against a stiff unpredictable wind,
her curved noble yellow beak
cutting through the dry, hot air,
higher and impossibly higher still.

Splayed against her back,
I dig my hands deep within her warmth;
soft feathers,  beating heart,
smooth, thin bones.

She carries me away
from all that is the
heaviness of life.

In her prime a messenger
for Apollo, Hermes, Mercury and Circe,
her green eyes of emerald scan below.

Where once there were hills of wild chaparral,
canyons of lavender,
golden poppies and milkweed,
beautiful stained-glass Monarchs of my summer youth,
mice, jackrabbits, coyotes and deer;
reduced to road kill,
endless suburbia;
a foreclosed wasteland.

I hope we not meet the same fate as Icarus,
but wings of wax these are not.
She rises  ever higher still against a warm updraft,
my head buried deep within a plumage of my childhood:
nautical theme wall paper,
Farrah Fawcett ,
plastic green army men ready for battle.

I could do worse than disappear
into the down feather pillow of my youth;
never to return.

Big Green Moon In North Laguna

Dodging shiny tank-sized SUV’s
and their texting, latte-sipping,
GPS-distracted, cell-phone chatting
high on prescription drug driving,
foie gras arterie clogged
utterly miserable, corporate
pencil pushes and peons,
of which I was once one,
I maneuver across a highway of road kill,
through wooden skeletons
of track housing,
under rusted, barbed wire
that once kept back the cattle,
but now just cut through my jeans.

I continue through cool chaparral
foggy ravines with cottontails
frozen like statues,
black stink bugs,
vines with dried hollow gourds;
once drinking cups for Indians,
the bones of whom lay far beneath
this Pelican Hill Golf Resort,
too green and manicured,
from which fertilizers seep down,
eroding sand cliffs,
poisoning the tide pools below.

I breathe in deeply;
earth peppermint coolness,
salty sea mist,
and dance along the cliff,
arms spread wide like a
yellow-beaked, red-clawed hawk,
over a narrow, rocky beach
vast darkness of ocean
and beyond that;
a big green Laguna moon,
I can almost touch.


John Szabo's poems have appeared in POETRY and other journals. Szabo resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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