Monday, October 22, 2007

Rooster Plates

© 2007 Photo by Sue Miller

Kind gesture of a neighbor--
never thought a man would do this.
His thoughtfulness, no matter
how small the favor.

He rang my doorbell--
a gift from his trip to Arkansas.
Four ceramic plates
smaller than my hands.

Each dish a different rooster
hand-painted in country
reds, browns, blues, yellows
black rims and solid bottoms
traditional American style--
something I might find
at a Cracker Barrel store.

I will buy four small hangers
display them on my kitchen wall
admire them while I eat,
singing in falsetto,
Cock-a-Doodle Doo.


© 2007 Photo, Sue Miller

a patient Labrador waits for his owner
in a classic red convertible
parked in front of a small white cafe
in quiet Hillsboro, New Mexico
smells of hamburgers drift in the air

the driver inside waits for his order
we can't see him, he talks to a waitress
asking directions to Las Cruces
so he can stay for a while
he wonders if James Dean ate here

a few clouds dot the sky
floating like flying saucers
the blue road curves into a one-point
perspective, leading to somewhere
perhaps to winding roads
of the Black Range mountains

the driver just drove through there
lonely, hungry, he needs gas for his car
all he has is the dog, and a suitcase
of clothes in the trunk
anxious, he hopes for renewed
caresses in the arms of an old girlfriend

Monday, October 8, 2007

March Storm

Thunder cracks the blackened sky,
dropping booms on this desert valley.
Sheets of pouring rain POUNDS
the one-peaked roof like a million
laser beams scarring thin tissue.
Run-off patters, dances off vents and gutters.

Wind howls through cracks and holes
like dragging buckets through a stormy sea.
Claps of thunder walk away momentous
blasts again southwesterly.
The tempest circles north, rides with devils
on grenades, rips through whirlwinds
and back out again, echoes through the Doña Anas.

(Note: Originally written in 2005. Revised in 2007.)

Under a Scope

A bird's eye view,
many islands surrounded
by red beans and mushrooms
in a soupy fuchsia sea.

Perhaps these islands
are tug boats hauling
red cargo. Maybe
they are millionaire's mansions
or cockroach cocoons
waiting to be hatched.
The artist says
they are ladybirds dispersing.

Squinting, I see
white blood cells
with red corpuscles
floating in blood
under a microscope.

I suppose this is more appealing
to a biologist.

(Note: This was an Ekphrastic writing exercise where postcards were passed around. I wrote about the image on the postcard handed to me. First, the image looked like a map, and then it looked like something under a microscope.)

Red Hand

The wind brought
a gift today.
Outside my door,
a small hand greeted me--
lying in the dirt
scribbled with red Crayola,
excess paper cut around every finger,
a happy high-fiver
waiting to be found--
I set it on my kitchen table,
wishing me a good day.

I remember drawing hands
in my youth, turning
them into turkeys or plants,
decorating them with glitter,
painting them in rainbow colors,
one for every mood.

I imagine the child
who created this.
Did the wind snatch it away from her?

I will display it for her
on my refrigerator.