Sample Poems by William
My son plays air guitar.
strums silent echoes
of stereo sounds. Lays
down tempo and theme,
melody and beat,
You can see his songs,
blues notes scored
on blue skies.
Why should he fret?
of the mind with
composure, with abandon,
stretching invisible strings
measuring the heart's
His plucked imagination
Blue Lips, Blue Fingertips
One step. I leave the
and, pail in hand, begin my uphill climb
on a path, scuffed by thousands of
toward the rocky ridge top
to pick this season's blueberries.
I mind my footing so not to trip
roots and stones studding the trail.
Switch-backing up the mountainside,
I stop to marvel at the
of the lower slope forest: a giant boulder,
twice as high as I, festooned with
ferns, crowned by an oak
whose roots twine down dirt-caulked
cracks to tie the huge rock to the
At mid-mountain, where the woodland
stops, I pass through an evergreen forest,
of bristly firs and lacy hemlock.
Folks 'round here call this "Christmas tree land."
I tread a carpet of needles
navigate a rosebay rhododendron maze
of crooked branches and waxy leaves,
and arrive at
Glassy Falls Lookout.
This early in the morning, miles of
misty mountaintops stretch like
across the horizon of a cotton sea.
Here on the crest, scattered among
shrubs growing between
waist-high blueberry bushes grow.
I pluck berries from their stems, drop
one by one into the bucket. Plunk, plunk, plunk.
--muffled drumbeats on the pail's tin
Tiny, over-ripe globes crush when picked
and stain my fingertips blue, my lips too
when I lick
the pulp from my hand.
By mid-morning, I've filled my pail
to the brim. It's time to
through familiar territory, past spruce
and pines, red oak and sugar maple.
I walk downslope
to where I started,
swinging my bucket weighted with
a harvest of dark blue
Jumbo-Sized Deus Ex
Yea, elephant is firmament unto Himself.
Solar systems orbit and
around inside His mammoth belly
as He creates His thrice-ringed world.
Elephant strides in
His brand new world
two-tons tamping down, pacing to and fro,
yea, verily with the patience of Job,
until He sees that it is good.
From the field He smites the skies
and with tall mast cleaves the
hoists poles for His canopied temple
until He sees it is raised just so.
The creeping beasts
He brings forth
in pairs, and fanged animals from
plains and jungles, number by number,
them to be very good.
He has a host of buglers to summon
all the sons and daughters of the
and all of their sons and daughters
and their forebears and forefathers.
Then without cease
from His labors,
Elephant trumpets His command:
"O, let there be lights," and,
by Elephant, there
35th Birthday March
I was drafted, didn't volunteer,
I've served half my hitch
and counting cadence now comes easy.
Don't sing me no reenlistment
Marching down the avenue,
twice my age and I'll be through.
Drill sergeants train
their troops to
charge and retreat from reveille to taps,
while old vets fade away from forced
between bivouac and barracks.
My mind goes AWOL. Thirty-fucking-five years.
I have no
lyric battle cry.
My purple heart is scarred,
Pinned down too long by good conduct.
A three score and ten man,
The world's oldest private.
But listen up. This
Commands all generals to halt,
Then strut in step for
Marching down the avenue. Parading
to my music, my honorable
Barren Hill I
For months of Sundays after
we'd visit Granddad's grave
to pull up weeds and change
Though my grandparents slept
in separate beds and, at the end,
when something was
in separate rooms, their headstone
on Barren Hill was wide as
a headboard for a double
with whose side of the grave
clearly marked by both names,
(but only his dates).
death, and for all the years
of nights of the next generation to come,
something ate at Granny-
wondering when her own parenthesis
of dates would close and the uncrossed
aisle between twin beds
would be bridged
again, an asking if the dead wait for us
to catch up or catch on.
She lived with
my maiden aunt Elsa
who died twice before her mother.
after her first death, home from
Aunt Elsa said as we
watched the moon-landing,
"I've been out farther than that.
Way, way out. Her
Like lasers light-years beyond us,
flashed proudly in eye sockets.
She knew the answers,