Children of Aleppo, Children of Flint

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Children of Aleppo
bulls eye on a target
schools, playgrounds, homes
cold weather, no food
flying barrel bombs
evacuation
cluster bombs
lucky ones stand
on top of rubble
the unlucky …… well
politicians shake their heads
it’s complicated
negotiators stall
no simple solutions
mass homicide is mundane.

Children of Flint
waifs playing in potholed streets
fresh water from taps a memory
bathing can be corrosive
drive by shootings
burnt out homes
murders everywhere
every day
politicians shake their heads
it’s complicated
investigators report
no simple solutions
poisoning a prosaic possibility.

These are plain facts.
What more is there to say?
Children of Aleppo
Children of Flint.

 

©photo and poem by caf

Crossing the Street

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 At 89 she still wears high heels
with skinny straps and rhinestones,
she clicks right along in them
while holding onto my arm for balance.

I’m gonna wear high heels and big earrings
until I die, she declares.

Noticing the oncoming traffic she asks
if I’ll help her write her obituary.
I know she sees her future and it hurts me,
but I agree, knowing that even when
the final road is crossed
things will not be finished between us,
for love doesn’t understand
red lights, stop signs, or death.

©photo and poem by carole fults

Sign of Hope

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The Sign

a star appeared.
glowing evidence of love
brilliant radiance
from eons ago,
though nothing indicated
I was worthy.

a hope appeared.
dazzlement of mercy
gleaming possibility
dispelling the dark night sky
though nothing indicated
I deserved such generosity.

I spoke my dreams
hoping you would hear
and when you did
my hope became faith

©poem and photo by carole fults

Honeysuckle in the Evening

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Honeysuckle in the Evening

The sweet scent of
wild honeysuckle
and a gaggle of newborn geese
plodding back to their home in the pond.

Deep throated croaks.
My relations,
some flying,
others singing in my ears,
some blessing my nose
with sweet smells,
or tormenting my skin,
a dense thicket of mosquitoes.

A barking goose,
a carpet of red pine needles.
Forget me nots
not seen,
still there,
things pulled too soon
or not soon enough.
I ask what makes the oak leaves red in the fall?

I see you standing on a hill
waving, smiling,
I call to you, “Put out the lights so I can see the stars”.

The sun out shown a little star until the clouds
eclipsed the sun,
and when the earth eclipsed the moon, the sun again
ascended until new moon darkness
when the little star again shown brightly.

I felt the sun stroking the earth
as he set behind the mountains
and the moon rose over the trees,
her touch the cooler and softer.

lover of day (sun)
mistress of night (moon)
exploring (finding) you on the hill.

© Poem and photo by caf

The Pumpkins

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The Great Pumpkins

I think of you now
the farmer and the gardener
working in a field
heavily laden with bright orange melons,
loading them on wagons one by one
backs bending
many hands
careful not to break the stems.

I heard the gardener say to no one in particular
Peter, Peter Pumpkin eater
had a wife and couldn’t keep her

She cleaned off a small pumpkin and continued
put her in a pumpkin shell
and there he kept her very well

Hundreds of people came to see
what you had grown
arranged small, medium, large
the farmer stood among the magical gourds
chatting and smiling
while the gardener helped children pick just the right one,
I watched – so proud to be there –
knowing everything in the world was good.

© photo and poem by caf

The Visit

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                              The Visit

I imagine you to have perfect vision
that sees dirt in the grout,
on the floor,
cobwebs in corners,
spider web in the lampshade,
dust balls under sofas,
the disorderly garage,
cluttered studio.

I clean all day
yet intractable unacceptability
bends to no cleanser
no duster
no mop.

Finally I stop and sit
looking at my home.

I see no matter what I’ve cleaned, polished,
dusted or waxed
I’m here in the midst
of still more flaws,
my eyes eager to see you
voice ready to greet you
heart anxious to love you
arms impatient to hug you.

When you arrive in your road grimed car
I see lunch on your shirt,
nubby sweater,
lipstick smeared,
smiles stretched large around aging teeth,
saggy arms spread wide as you can get them,
and we laugh and say
how happy we are to be together

and how perfect it all is.

© photo and poem by caf

Swallowtails in Autumn

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In Autumn

She builds her cocoon
from internal secretions,
winds herself tightly
within sustaining swaddling,
confined to the interior,
sheltered from curious surveillance
for a season,
there to dream her future,
await the freedom of wings
and the warming of the world.

© photo and poem by caf