I Keep A Different List

My neighbor counts his losses and his gains,
but I keep track of raindrops when it rains;
he makes note of coins and dollar bills
while I am watching ants upon their hills;
while he is in the office making money,
I go out among the bees to gather honey,
and when he comes home tired and goes online,
I am in the back yard drinking wine.
My wife and I sit in the gathering dark
and watch the lightning bugs and bright stars spark
until we disappear, are covered up with night,
while my neighbor plots his life by computer light.


The Loss of Innocence

Perhaps you’ve heard the wind come through the leaves
like a child’s fingers rustling paper, and
how just afterwards everything goes still
and even in the warmest air a subtle chill
moves momentarily across the land,
as if there were a loss, and something grieves

for what it once had and cannot retrieve.
There is an ancient memory in the land
which moves unseen through dust and dirt and stone
the way it does through blood and flesh and bone.
What has been lost we can barely understand:
we cast aside our love of Earth like scattered leaves.

The land itself is filled with deep remorse,
the way the heart is broken by divorce.


The Directions To the Lunatic Asylum Were Confusing

(James Tate)

Perhaps we made a wrong turn by the lake
and arrived at your family’s by mistake.
It could have been an orderly or doctor,
but I think  most likely it was your father
who cursed about the awful kitchen stink
and your mom poured the burnt soup down the sink.
Your brother threw his milk glass on the floor
and during prayers your aunt began to snore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really very pleased
to meet your family, but when your uncle sneezed
and wiped his nose upon the cloth napkin
I thought we’d wound up in the loony bin.

If I’m not clear, I beg you to forgive:
I can’t tell lunatic from relative.


Red Hawk is a school teacher in Monticello, Arkansas who has published numerous poetry and non-fiction books through Hohm Press.  


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5 Responses

  1. David Watt

    Striking poems, with a distinctive stamp. I am also looking forward to seeing more.

  2. David Hollywood

    Great observation and reality in all of these poems. Well done and thank you.

  3. J. Simon Harris

    Very nice work. I especially liked the second one, “The Loss of Innocence.” The personification of Earth is powerful, and the imagery is moving.


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