Saturday, May 28, 2011

Helix #7

A steel teakettle
A pair of black-rimmed reading glasses
The willow’s black branches tracing daybreak

A mulberry cotton dress with gray print
A redwood marimba
A poem you wrote when you were someone else

A redwinged blackbird trilling in February gray
Tumbleweeds heaped against a barbed wire fence
A hickory bookcase

An Amtrak coach pulling out in a light mist
You are somewhere else making a wish
An oxidized penny a jukebox quarter a broken promise

You are laughing a fountain it’s inscrutable
Yellow marimba mallets in a clear glass vase
An abandoned stone house along the Oregon interstate

A diminished chord a wedding that’s rained out
Lemon moonlight absorbed by lace curtains
An osprey nest on a telephone pole

A relief globe a coffee cup filled with pens
An order of chicken pot pie in Lancaster, PA
A Virginia crepe myrtle & magnolia twilight

A Saturday daybreak you’ve had no sleep
Like everything else it’s a postcard of Multnomah Falls
Like everything else you are & you are

Multiplicity itself like everything it’s a laugh
Like everything it’s a mulberry cotton dress
Like everything it’s February rain thru black willow branches

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Helix #6

A pitcher of buttermilk
A banjo uke with birdseye maple neck
A pair of Converse high-tops

A field of disheveled cattails in February
A streak of henna & black eyeliner
A dry lake bed in the Owens Valley

A periwinkle blue double-wide trailer
A poplar leaf on a wet sidewalk
You are perennial

Yesterday’s evening star in the rose sky
A ticket stub a cup of black coffee
A calla lily in Golden Gate park

You have lived several lives & it’s come to this
A St Martin de Porres novena candle
A trucker’s cap a ponytail

A luna moth at a West Virginia truck stop
A black heifer running loose on the paved road
A green metal gate a metal silo

A bouquet of tigerlilies
A New Directions paperback poetry book
A singular moment

A shooting star on a yellow-gray summer evening
A smoke ring in a Pennsylvania restaurant
A John Deere tractor in an unkempt November pasture

A crepe myrtle in blossom
A red plush theater seat in the blue light
You are unstuck in space & time

A peacock on the lawn a brick walkway
A gray & smoky 6:00 a.m. the lace curtains drawn
You are one fallen star amongst every other

(with apologies to Kurt Vonnegut)

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Helix #5

A pink silk rose
A white & blue ceramic elephant teapot
A safety pin a brass thumbtack

An umber sofa you doze there at 2:00 p.m. 

A February lemon sun
An white enameled bowl brimming with rose hips

A 50s postcard shaped like California
A crescent moon tattoo
A Union Pacific train emerging from an Oregon tunnel

A glossolalia of dogwoods & laughter
A coonskin cap in a roadside tourist shop
A statue of Nuestra Señora a metal bed frame

A stile stepping into the dry September pasture
A great blue heron
A red tin roof brushed slick with hoarfrost

A train you are never there to meet it
A porch with wooden railing a green May twilight
A mockingbird in a tulip tree

A white cord hammock
You are laughing a fountain it’s incomprehensible
A black magic marker a wooden letter opener

A wooden spatula a red & white teapot
A plate of lemon pasta a pair of irrigation boots
A train you are never there to see it off

A flock of guinea hens cackling in the cottonwood
A C major seven a D minor seven transposed a major third
A divided highway at 3:00 a.m.

A silver flute a lime-green ukulele
An evening in a bookstore without any hope except hope
Where are you in your words

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Helix #4

A yellow N scale caboose
A sagebrush hunched frail against the gray snow
A roan horse steaming in a January field

Everything you see is talking back
A derelict crossing signal a vacant brick depot
A flicker perched in a silvery poplar

A movie theater the light gray & silver
A century rose encircling a dead cottonwood
A gray-blue bowl

A pussy willow in bloom in early March
A purple crocus a red crocus
A crumpled poem in a sport coat pocket

A white sun dress a navy pea coat
A streak of henna in February sunlight
A whelk a conch a sand dollar

You can’t take your own reflection
An N scale 19th century steam engine
A bolo tie a black sport coat the sleeves rolled up

A Joshua Tree in white blossom
An evening replete with silence & more silence
A pair of black-rimmed reading glasses

A screen door the screen torn in patches
A silver daytime moon beside a gray cloud
Your face intent & absorbed

A blue note that doesn’t resolve
A redwing blackbird’s urgent February trill
Your uneasy place in forever

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Helix #3

a straw cowboy hat
a cantaloupe sunrise a snow glazed ridgeline
a white-crowned sparrow in a willow

a narrow wallpapered hallway its doors all closed
a white wicker hamper
a diner glinting stainless under a palm tree

you are someone else you cannot be known
headlights on the dirt road at 5:00 a.m.
a raven hunched on a cedar fence post

a black madonna
a haystack draped with a silver tarp
a styrofoam coffee cup

what does memory show
a sheet of beeswax for candles
a waxing moon electrifying the snow

you are someone else you cannot be known
a green linen sport coat
a blue glass mixing bowl

a ticket stub you can’t recall the film
a line that divides & connects
frost constellated across this morning’s windshield

reflections in a resonator guitar
a stainless steel measuring cup a red plastic handle
a magnolia petal like a sob & another

the naked thorn trees the January garden
a ring-neck pheasant forages next to the tall hedge
a highway’s divided line

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Helix #2

a drab January goldfinch
a letter written on yellow legal paper October 1978
a white two-story house a red door

an Oregon butte flashing orange at sunrise
a tidal pool pulsing with sea urchins
you are far removed

a junco skittering across the porch
a willow bough frothy with wet snow
a quart of Ballantine ale

a white pick-up a ladder in the truck bed a
magpie scudding above the highway
winter’s horizons shimmering with ghosts

fog rolling blue & white from the ridge
you are sobbing & nothing adds up
a yellow January sunrise

a yellow August sunrise a screen window
a bald eagle perched atop a cottonwood
a dog-eared copy of Leaves of Grass

irrigation pipe on wheels sunk in the drifts
a brown fedora a black print skirt
a willow’s orange limbs in the snow in Lake Fork

you are somewhere in the fog beyond the fog
a summer morning’s sobbing birdcalls
a gray t-shirt a pair of stained Reeboks a television

wire-rimmed glasses red flannel pajamas
irrevocable distance between then & now
footprints in snow on the frozen lake

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Helix #1

an arthritic finger
a quonset hut hulking in January drizzle 

a teardrop tattoo

a chowder shack in Bodega Bay
a misty November afternoon spilling over with gulls 

a flagstone walkway

a cigarette butt in a puddle outside the hospital 

you are older
a coil of barbed wire breaks thru pasture snow

a dish of paella in Baltimore
it was January you should have been elsewhere 

a peony blooming next to concrete steps

a pair of chipped bifocals a pair of frayed black sandals 

a kestrel preening in the willow
a star tattoo a daytime moon

a purple cyclamen on a San Francisco patio 

a string quartet a picnic dinner on the lawn
an archtop guitar

a game of croquet a storm approaching from the south 

a Council, Idaho July 4th parade
a dogwood blooming like laughter

a cottonwood’s seedpods exploding amidst May’s bees 

a future loaded with blanks
where have you been all this time

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grace #2

A smoky gray evening fraught with long-billed curlews & a pergola awash in pink roses & a maroon Pontiac Bonneville marooned in Daly City all unstuck in time—a wall clock lemon yellow & cornflower blue & thistle pink its face scalloped & floral—a checkerboard linoleum floor in a theater lobby—a single instant that stands in for forever like a luna moth in a truck stop sodium lamp

A Pennsylvania interstate phosphorescent at 3:00 a.m. & strewn with cigarettes & impossible laughter & poetic voices & other suicidal gestures—a smoky gray evening fraught with a gray Dodge pick-up hauling a horse trailer down North Grays Creek Rd & the polyrhythms of hummingbird wings—& here comes another star & it’s just as you say the stars are shattered glass like a C major 7 chord that won’t stop ringing

A mild dissonance a cognitive dissonance a tiger lily a paperback copy of Alcools tipped over on a shelf a pack of Camel lights beside an Adirondack chair a Bloody Mary garnished with celery all unstuck in time—a willow tree fraught with sparrows & the limbs are guitar strings in smoky gray air you cannot touch—a statue of Nuestra Señora housed in a scrap metal shrine beside a pink rose—a single instant that stands in for forever

Jack Hayes
© 2010