I’m like a cat looking backwardOver my shoulder at yesterday.
I see things best by movement,
Infinite shadings mixed of gray;
Black and white dichotomies
Escape the shutter of my eye.
Without the shift of real people,
Vacillations of petty purposes,
Individual meanings become lost
Among a phalanx of demands.
Sometimes in looking backwardsI can see shifting shades and shadows,
Emerald green on the edges of sadness.
I wonder why I paid so much extra as my
Color console still presents the news in
Tones of white and black and blue and red.
At least when the olden ships of state were
Granted Marque, they ran up the Jolly Roger,
You knew clearly which side they sailed for
Instead of them just pussyfooting around.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California, with his wife of thirty-six years (poor soul, her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and eleven cats. Yes, eleven! He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.