Five-Line Poems #1

time grants the chance
for hard humiliations
to morph to soft humblings
loosening the heart
so the ego can rest

to a radio song
she holds her broom partner
moving swaying twirling
to the scene in the mirror
her mind dancing far away

a vivid remembering
of a thing told you
can polish up the thing told
making it as bright as truth
whether it was or not

death? is just another question -
answer down the road a piece
pain! is the right-now point -
emphatically squawking
like a bird perched in your head

when will your time here
be over and done and gone -
ten seconds days years from now -
let go wondering of the span
jump full into the interim

low-toned hums rush by
a pause to yell soft tough threats
dive hover dart chase
air battle 'tween hummingbirds
for glory and the sweet stuff

old man looking backward
to the calls of the field:
I used to could do
a pretty good cricket
when I had more teeth

the flipped nickel tumbles
flying the arc of gravity
then wobbles drunkenly
on the smooth even surface –
which, your truth or mine?

quicksand in a tin bucket
whirlpool in a mason jar
tornado in a cardboard box –
such chills, such dangers
linger when the book is closed

ahhs are harder to find
ohhs are scarcer still
no new twist, no new turn
my eyes glaze at the fireworks
wake me for the finale

a pledge backed by the heart
a vow drawn from the soul
cannot know tomorrow's shadows –
the strongest promise is but
an honest intention to try

stopping its hop on the green
the robin cocks its head
quickly pecks at the sound –
dangling the worm, it glances 'round
as if waiting for applause

on those sweetest of days
granddaddy worked the tracks
where wild asparagus sprang tall
where untamed strawberries grew ripe
to fill his lunch pail for home

who you are, inside out
a tan cardboard suitcase
time-worn, knock-frayed –
know the journey by the
labels stuck here and there

measuring board,
carnival '69:
you must be this
to get on the ride

haloed gray-ball moon,
glowing almost-yellow streetlight,
dew-sparkled spider web –
three points in a triangle
seen from just so

in your life's book
find a page marked for its
strong and singular moment –
go, but do not stick fast there,
for such requires the glue of madness

for those with imagination
the most difficult
thing to imagine
is not being able to
imagine at all

there's someone worse off than you
and someone worse off than her
and someone worse off than him –
in this finite queue
consider the last in line

my wider thoughts
feed the skinny line
between black that, white this
and the line grows beautifully fat –
a glorious menu of grays

Harry W. Yeatts Jr.