I am a scuba diving, distance running, retired park ranger grandfather living in South Carolina. My work has appeared in a number of publications including: Guernica, Raleigh Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Vinyl Poetry, The Adroit Journal, and The Monarch Review. I've been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and three-times for the Pushcart Prize. http://kevinheatonpoetry.webstarts.com/
He Was Always There
When I was three and couldn't see,
he put me on his shoulders. Fell
in the Colorado, his strong arms
Fishing knots and baseball gloves,
a bicycle, 'The Cattle Call.' Even
when I hurt him, his broken heart
At college; all alone in tears.
A phone call, he came running.
Stranded, car broke down again,
a ride was on its way.
Songs went wrong. A faded love.
Few then stood beside me. When
all fair-weather friends were gone,
he stood proud and true.
Through years of plenty, famine too,
peaks and darkest valleys. A fortress
strong; a friend so true. Daddy,
he was there.
Royalty Of The Garden
Azaleas trail in Tyler, thinking of home
bush. Copper blushes hem the habits of red-
orange astrinium, and lacebugs stipple
the shapely hips of wakening leaves.
Southern charms weep after rain, christening
my palms with vintage cheerwine. Double-
blossomed coral bells dote upon my nearsight.
Bridesmaids flank bronze beauties clasped
in choker strands of lavender elegans,
and pink pearl. Sherwood reds flame passions
mid-season: bold, and virile in early light.
Indica birth in terrible twos, then wilt to rest
from posing. The terminal pride of Mobile
lingers, fragrance gilds her suffering.
Nature's lute fruit:
'Ode to Joy.'
Requiem for rebirth.
Uncaged, sublime elegance.
Pastoral meditation borne
skyward on the graceful,
limpid wings of unthreatened
Honeysuckle scented summer
Elusive tree frog serenade;
sonnet of grateful praise.
Oaths & Psalms
Summer, early solstice—the greater
of two lights reflects on adding dayspin
to the sun; still ruminant and in the dark
about the weather. A single Texas
rosebush dotes upon her yellow ribbons,
and that first dance beside a sipping
stream. I am not a warrior poet—
musicians are passive men—byline
silhouettes with twenty-dollar bills
and slices of frozen pizza. I will not
offer you vinegar on a sponge at the
point of a spear, or track your rem sleep
from sleuth shadows. There are trimmed
candles in my pocket. I plant tulip bulbs
in snowmelt. Oaths are like psalms. Flesh
is never weak that wets a finger in the wind
to divine a way to share another’s burden--
death can only break the vows we pledge
to let it part.
©2015 Kevin Heaton