Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Poems by Bob Brill

Blame it on the Moon

At ninety-two
she no longer played tennis.
Dressed in party clothes
she raced her car
toward the rising full moon.

At the funeral
her life was displayed in photos.
An infant in her mama's arms.
An awkward girl of twelve, tall and skinny,
squinting in backyard sunlight.

High school tennis team,
second row, third from the left.
Poised on tiptoe,
ready to deliver a smashing serve
when she was a pro.

Bride and groom cutting the cake.
Posing with her kids holding tennis rackets.
In the last shot her grownup children,
their spouses and kids surround her,
she the only one not smiling.

Her daughter gave the eulogy.
Said her mother never failed
to admire the moon,
a true lunatic
who drove too fast.

Her grandson told his friend
she went and totaled
the Mercedes
that she promised
would one day be mine.

Could be the moon
drew her eyes from the road
as she floored the pedal.
Didn't turn where the road did,
slammed into a tree.

Or maybe she just had enough.
Dressed up to go out in style
and look once more at the moon.
If you can't get the ball over the net,
what's the use of playing?

Bird on a Bike

Every morning the old guy has coffee
and a walnut scone at the same sidewalk cafe,
sits in the same seat
at the same table
where he can watch the world go by
at the intersection of two busy streets.
It pleases him
to have a front row seat
at a spectacle he can observe
without participating.

Today he is annoyed to find
that someone else has taken possession
of his table, a couple who are laughing
and clinking their coffee cups,
wearing jog pants
with white stripes down the legs.

And what it worse
a new waiter takes his order.
Maurice never had to ask.
He just brought the cafe au lait and the scone.

A group of sparrows are pecking
at the crumbs around his customary table.
They always do, but seen now from a distance,
at a different angle, it's a different world.

Behind the couple two bicycles are parked,
leaning on their kickstands side by side.
A sparrow lands on one of the bicycle seats,
jauntily perched, looks around,
hops up to the handlebars,
pauses a moment, takes wing
and is gone.

The old guy smiles.
This is no caged bird constrained
to keep returning to the same perch.
This bird is an improviser,
free to park
on whatever perch is handy,
then off to the next adventure.

The old guy calls over the waiter.
Please put a shot of rum in my coffee.
A week later he's snorkeling
in the lagoon of Bora Bora.

No Words Suffice

Late last night I saw the full moon
spread a carpet of light up my driveway,
turning the garage door into a luminous voice
that whispered of the mystery
that peeps out
thru every crack in the universe.

Now that our celebrated astronauts
have impressed their footprints
in the lunar dust,
cracking jokes and
swinging their golf clubs,
some say the moon has been defiled.

But it will take more than that
to domesticate the moon.
Even the earth,
after centuries of insults
from the bustling human hordes,
still harbors undiscovered secrets.

Some of us humans
like to suspend our quest for riches
long enough to gaze
at the glowing goddess of the night
and glimpse the world
behind the world we know.

Words can describe anything
but fall short of being it.
No words suffice
to express the ineffable
as well as a garage door
swimming in shimmering moonlight.

Bob Brill is a retired computer programmer and digital artist.  He is now devoting his energies to writing fiction and poetry.  His novellas, short stories and more than 140 poems have appeared in over forty online magazines, print journals, and anthologies.

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