He writes to me in curly cuespainting fractals on
pressed paper made of rice.
Shreds of simple stalks
bar the smoothness of his script.
We have not known each other long
but we have known each other
since man first made fire,
the poet and his muse.
His presentation fascinateswith swirls of cartridge ink
and broad strokes, deep and long,
with pressure most pleasant.
The content though highbrow smacks
of pent passions, watering pallets
and earthy scents.
The wanting is so sweetno reality could fill the expanse,
the oceans of prose, the mountains
which jut monstrous but daring
inviting the cleats of man,
to use pinion and hammer
upon the bounty of breast
the thigh of night
the whimper of dawn.
Poet preen for your museCaress the unsullied whiteness
in the hollow of my neck.
A Supreme Summer
a place of freedom where prying eyes could not
restrain the vibrancy.
Summer sunshine, crisp morning light,
cuts through the fog of parental restraint.
Blue jeans, tee shirts, Keds
and an orange and black striped bumble-bee bus
of prepubescent girls off for their first day
of summer work,
Bagged and boxed lunches held tight,
their hands taped white to shield them from
the sticky yellow sap, the itch,
a rash of budding beauty
among the burgeoning rows of new stalk green.
Tobacco as far as the eye can see rises on cane-like stalks.
The furrowed fields are uncovered now in the July sun.
Gaggles of girls in candy colors, sweet and sour girls,
tall and short girls,
rows of girls among the cane.
Poled lines spanned the rows above the rising canes.
Little twisters walked the gullies tying off each plant,
around the rising stem a hairy-brown twine was laced,
between the fan shaped leaves of dollar green.
Early summer passed, coloring cheeks pink,
and skin to golden brown.
The stalks rose like seeds from Jack.
By the first of August, they'd topped the girls
and the cheesecloth shades were rolled above.
Steamed in the August sun
the children were watered
and by State Law occasionally rested and retrieved
if the temp rose past
one-hundred and five below the nets.
Any bit of uncovered skin was burnt and tarred black daily
by then . . .
shooed into the darkened sheds
on the dirt floor
the stringers stood,
sewing machines with piles of slats beside them
one girl per machine
in they went between the belted teeth
and the needle lanced.
It also lanced tired fingers.
I can't remember the pay scale
but they called it piecework
and it was too. [a fine piece of work]
It took bits of you away every day.
But in the dark, high up in the rafters, the darkies
hung the bounty, handsome black Jamaican boys
crews of boys with lilting tongues
and they sang
and we sang
"Come see about me"
we worked, and we sang
It was a supreme summer.
On our own, a bloomin' summer
where all of life was ripe for the pickin'.
Deborah Guzzi was first published at the age of sixteen, she has continued writing for the past fifty years. She as been published in the literary journals of Western Connecticut University and self- published two illustrated volumes of poetry, The Healing Heart and Heaven and Hell In A Nutshell. At the present, she write articles for Massage and Aroma Therapy Magazines.