I am a former paratrooper, Gulf War veteran, and a Daily Press Poet Laureate. My first poetry collection, The Human Touch, focused on relationships that we form with family and communities while my second collection, Half a Man, focused on war. (Both are available at http://www.billglose.com/purchase.htm.) My upcoming third collection, Personal Geography (to be published January, 2016) is a mixture of both. More information at www.BillGlose.com.
Talking heads yammer about
another theft, another beating,
gray static monotone, ubiquitous.
And so I escape outside to green
and blue, but trailing me
like a child’s tethered balloon
is last tease of evening news—
Deadly Bird Strike!
There they are: blackbirds
in fitted business suits
forming picket lines on
telephone wires, miniature signs
tucked beneath wings to protest
how few humans still gawk
at graceful ways they soar
through sky, intricate
construction of nests, myriad
hues of plumage. Too busy
punching keypads, earbuds
drowning birdsong. Insolence
hugs us like brand-name jeans
as we update Twitter feeds.
Atop a mailbox, a fat crow
watches with flat, hateful eyes.
I’m doing my part, I yell.
Too little, too late. Rasping
a cough, he flaps away
to rejoin his murder
and plot their next move.
According to Doc Brown, we should already
be running errands in flying cars powered
by banana peels and aluminum cans.
Children should be circling town squares
on hoverboards and weather forecasts
should actually be getting things right.
Where is Robocop and Judge Dredd?
Why aren’t Bill and Ted’s Wyld Stallyns
dominating iTunes? Snake Plissken
should have escaped both New York
and LA by now. I’d expected
San Angeles to rise from rubble
of the great quake of 2010 while
Demolition Man’s cryogenic sleep
filled with dreams of what might come.
But everyone lies. A producer’s guarantee
means nothing until the returns are tallied.
This is the real world, Neo.
If prophecies came true, Armageddon
would already be here and Terminators
would be walking the Earth.
Things I Found on the Side of the Road
Loose change, mostly pennies. ID cards. CDs.
Flattened socks and weather-beaten shoes,
always singles, lonely for another foot.
Crushed beer cans and battered cell phones.
Wreckage from cars and trucks.
Broken glass. Silver strips of trim.
Black swaths of rubber, angry slashes
across white stripes ending at crumpled
guard rails or shattered signposts.
Roadside memorialsfar too many
crosses made from planks or twigs bound
with twine. Photos of lost boys and girls.
Scrap paper eulogies held down by rocks.
Graffiti sprayed on building walls.
Speed limit signs with bullet holes. Scent
of honeysuckle, mountain laurel, daffodil.
Petals from pear and cherry blossoms strewn
like confetti after a holiday parade. Pollen.
Pinecones. Dandelion fluff. And pressed into
sodden shoulders, my footprints, disappearing.
©2015 Bill Glose