“The Goodbye Clown”

MVC-005SPhoto by Jacqueline Casey

“The Goodbye Clown”

It tolls; the old town clock is winding down.
It’s time to leave the party; say goodbye.
He’s played the fool and knows he’s but a clown
but fantasies go deep and so he sighs:

“Time’s granted me another twenty-four,”
to ghost who sits in silence at the bar.
“I’m granted power for a world in need.
So, what do you think people ache most for?”

“There’s power in some money, that’s for sure,”
(the barkeep gently nods at old tip jar).

“But dollar’s hapless in so short a space.
I’d rather give a power frees all doubt:
man shown the mystery of Universe
so, for a time, a God we humans be.”

“That’s well and good if there’s no memory,”
says barkeep, shining up another glass.

The old man stumbles; he prepares to go.
He thinks he’s Bogie, playing roles in life.
He’s lonely; haunts the bars for his Bacall.
She’s blonde and does not look like his ex-wife.

“Hey, better that you go before you fall!”

Our barkeep opens creaking door to vent

the scent of smoke and conversation stale.
A pale and misty rain the morning’s sent.
His client nods; a cabby’s promptly hailed.

In blazing light, he mumbles out the door.

He knows the party’s over half past four.

“April’s Tree”

“April’s Tree”

The tree outside my window flutters green.
She’s pregnant with Bach’s flute sonata soon.
Delighted with her lofty leaf,  she leans
as pigeon poets wrap within her, croon.

You’ve had the better hour of my bright morn
and still I pause to hear you play your part;
enticing birds_ those  jazz-men with a horn,
that play for you and I with all their heart.

Lush tree, framed in my window, I profess
we’re blessed to have you in our sunlit ground.
Our April captures joy with your success
I hear melodic beams of mellow sound.

Oh, solid tree, if God be anywhere,
he’s in your leafy poem that we share.

MVC-005SPhoto by J. Casey

“The Little Gray Bird”

The Little Gray BirdSmall Bird

Upon a dry and stony mountain lip
she builds her nest with misty, rocky view.
A wondrous song she sings: “tschrip, tschrip”
and then a hoarse “zru-zru-zru”!

Cinereous, he feeds on seeds of earth.
His mustache, painted yellow,  manly sighs.
She sits upon her triple eggs to birth
and with her partner’s heart, they lullaby.

But as the silver fox now takes her bill,
he flutters for a moment; his wings rent.
His struggle: fierce;  he wilts and will lay still.
“Tschrip, tschrip, zru”, thus she laments.

She looks to heaven; flutters her wings, too:
“Tschrip, tschrip, zru-zru-zru!”

“Why Are You So Silent, Jackleen?”

“Why Are You So Silent, Jackleen?”

So while she sleeps, she snuggles here with me.
I hold her tiny feet close to my breast.
No baby’s breath I sense as she so breathes.
No sound is heard. My rocker takes a rest.

Her fading flower forgives too-early bloom.
The petals close upon my rosy child.
We sway as she drifts close to home, too soon.
My rocking stops. I listen in a while.

And I, grandmother of some ancient curse;
I cannot hold her in my anguished arms.
I shudder; hand her to the waiting nurse.
My heart-child: we must keep her from all harm.

Nurse bundles her from sight as I must keen:
“Why…why do you so silent, sleep, Jackleen?”

(Day 29, April PAD, Writer’s Digest. Prompt: Write a Reality poem.)

“Settled In Alabama”

Ida James(Photo of my Grandmother, 1892-1979, by J. Casey)


“Settled In or Life in Alabama”

We plant ourselves on hard, red clay out back.
A dusty game of Jacks set our hearts free
but near mid-morning, we are hungry birds
and stand outside our granny’s country store.
We shuffle dirty, bare feet; outstretched hands:
Six little beggars wait at open door
We hanker for an Orange Crush, Moon Pie.

Her checkered oil cloth table later swells:
the smell of steaming, hand-tilled butter-beans.
Her cornfield lay in back near railroad track.
Fried chicken was a staple from her hens
who clucked and pecked, roamed ’bout without a pen.

I marvel how they must have fed us all.
So many children, grand, with mouths to feed.
No Social nor Security was known;
the option was to work or else you starved.

Late afternoon, we ran the mile of road
to meet the city bus brought Granddad home.
And we, his soldiers marching happily
we settled in behind him, homeward, free.







“On Ormond Beach”

On Ormond Beach

Upon this beach, the people saunter by.
Idyllic children play at water’s edge.
The warm wind blows its foam into my eyes.
My swimming fins sink quickly from this ledge.

And, lo! my body, buoyed by the salt
forgets. My mind has slipped the bony cage.
Free floating, spiny blob, I’m fish, default,
some centuries before from early age.

I’m orca, playing, as a human ought.
Suspended, I am Pisces lost to shore.
Steered by my fins, my eyes,  as rounded lens
spin forth; no more aerobic carnivore!

But suddenly old Triton blows his horn;
I’m banished back to shore where I am born.

Day 25 “The Last Straw”

“The Last Straw”

Last Straw
where dice are thrown;
where Humpty’s shadow ends.
The one that broke my camel’s heart:
final blow.

Day 25, April PAD, Writer’s Digest. Prompt: write about a ‘last straw’.  Form used: cinquain


“A Poem for Your Pocket”

“Tell it To My Heart”

Though Heaven acts as
anchor for my soul,
a lofty tether is
your earthly kiss.
Since Heaven’s orb shines
brightest in your eyes,
I’ll  choose that crown
of gold:  your blissful sigh.

                                                  The kiss no one wants                                                 to miss;  furtive, alarming                                                       as life rushes by...
Photo by Robert Doisneau

Day 24 April, 2014,  PAD Challenge, Writer’s Digest, Prompt: use “tell it to____”

“Growing Up in Southboro Park”

IMG_000344_edited-2(Photo: Michael Bartlett)

“Growing Up in Southboro Park”

A landmark in my mind, forever there;
Southboro Park: a place not far from school
forever pasted in my memory’s share.
I do recall that day I was a fool.

The end of summer and a picnic planned.
My dress; a strapless, Lerner’s, stretchy bust.
My mother warned against such fashion-grand
for adolescent boys are curious.

And so we played a reckless game of tag.
Careening forth, he clutched my frock. I frowned,
appalled as any queen but there’s no lag
in laughter as, thread-bare, I tumbled down.

Oh, vivid still; my rosy cheeks and tears
amid the jeering pleasure of my peers.



The Winter’s gone, blue-bonnets poke their beds
among a broken fence-line, near a sign.
Blue ground now hallowed, they will bloom, instead,
in wild confusion for those hearts who pine.

And, those who do not see the need for pause;
for those who do not heed the gift of life.
“Put pedal to the metal” seems a cause;
a saying they would live by as their right.

Below those bonnets sleep an innocent;
a wide-eyed angel on her way to school.
She had so brief a moment to confront
the jagged bumper of the speeding fool.

So, Spring is here; blue-bonnets shake their heads
at heaven’s haloed sky for one who’s dead.