Sunday, April 5, 2020

View Back in


  1. A View Inside

    My cousin’s picture
    Hangs in the hallway.
    Eight feet tall
    Majestic in every sense.
    An old man sits in his living room
    Surrounded by twelve cats
    The thirteenth lies dead in the kitchen
    So my cousin explains.
    She worked at an asylum
    Painted eight scenes
    Each about a different patient.
    Then her world collapsed
    And she became the patient
    Gave away all of her paintings
    Except this one
    The one I saved.
    I wish it had been her I saved
    Keeping her in the light
    Letting her fingers brush canvas
    Heal through her art, her genius
    But she chose a darker path
    And all I have of her
    Is an old man with cats.

    Rick Stepp-Bolling

  2. My own place
    After the split
    and going through
    after sober living
    for several months
    Now, through the front door
    Bed and stove
    It is all mine
    25 dollar payments
    per month
    until it is all paid
    2000 dollars
    A bargain for living space
    A perfect place
    for me to live
    rebuilding my life

  3. “Crazy Things Happen Here”

    There must be a party of same-sized people who arrived wearing
    Sneakers and sandals and boots and more sneakers.
    Someone even brought their climbing shoes and
    Someone left their socks.
    The shoe party is split, some to the left and some to the right, leaving a trail to negotiate in search of the wearers.

    It is a party of two with space in their rooms, but
    No need to wear shoes in the house.

  4. inside out
    reflect the shadow
    of the mind

  5. From the street, the view in is through two windows blocked with cheap miniblinds. Bedroom community anonymity.
    But the crows know all that has gone before, and what is yet to come.

    By Steve Clark

    They knocked on my wooden shield
    And asked me to step out upon the porch.
    There were five of them spread apart
    Each one lighting my lawn by flaming torch.

    I did not know what to say, nor to do.
    Then more people came down the street,
    Marching in a parade this silent spring night.
    All I could hear was the tramping of their feet.

    To a halt they came in front of my house
    And turned all at once to face me, me all alone.
    Someone counted four and they began to sing
    A serenade to me, widower of an empty home.

    They sang a song of lifelong love taken.
    They sang of shattered hearts and sorrow.
    They sang of neighbors loving neighbors.
    And they sang of hope waiting for tomorrow.

    They finished and I somehow waved my thanks,
    Then turned to make my way back inside.
    What strange twist was this? It makes no sense.
    My love taken by the reason I now go to hide.

    I stopped in the doorway and wept for my wife,
    Afraid now of my refuge, my lonely prison cell.
    Looking down, I saw a bag of groceries there
    And on top, a simple note to me, “Stay well.”