Old Dell’s Dandelion Wine
The neighbor lady came to Dell’s door
on summer’s hottest day.
Old Dell greeted her –
Come on inside and cool off.
He led her to the cellar
showed her the barrel of Dandelion Wine
gave her a glass.
It was the coldest, sweetest tasting thing
she’d ever had on her tongue
and as they sat in the parlor and talked –
Old Dell, his wife, and this neighbor lady –
that cold stuff in the cellar
kept calling them
to retrieve more tasty nectar
until, unable to stand without staggering,
the neighbor lady said she had to get home,
her husband would be expecting dinner.
Old Dell offered to drive her the half mile
but she declined
saying she needed the air.
Sixty years later
when she no longer requires Dandelion Wine
she recalls that far gone day
when, wobbling home across the across the pasture
and stopped to pick more Dandelions.
© poem and photo by caf
It’s still there –
your house in front of the field
by the barn.
Winds under my bed blow familiar voices
into my ears sometimes
waking me at midnight.
Saved letters hold your old school penmanship
ornate and beautiful.
But your hand is gone
and no longer writes
plants daffodils and poppies
or plays piano.
I was safe when I was with you
and, now, I have made you a home in my heart
where I will hold you forever.
©photo and poem by carole fults
Works of Clay
She bends the clay around emptiness
creating a vacancy for utility,
vesting it in vitality.
The coolness of moist mud
sticks to her hands as she coaxes shape
from a formless heap of thickened slip,
while the wheel turns the pot,
and heaven spins the earth
and morning and evening
caress the shape of a day.
©photo and poem by Carole Fults
It’s noon in Flint.
Somewhere within a black hole
known as a factory
choking workers listen for the shrill whistle
that releases them from the pit.
Someone wakes a sleeping worker
who lies drunk among pallets in the corner.
Someone else grabs a deck of cards
and heads for the lunchroom
where white bread, liverwurst and mayo sandwiches
are swallowed between puffs of cigarette smoke
and slurps of pop.
A few of the laborers go outside,crossing the crazed six lane highway
to douse themselves in lunch at the bar.
they go to Angelo’s Coney Island
where food is served in cardboard baskets
atop plastic plates.
Large jars of ketchup and mustard slide in their spillings
on dirty tables dressed with vinyl
and stains from coffee cups.
If you keep your eyes straight in the street
you won’t see the garbage wrapping itself around light poles
or clogging the drains in the gutters.
When it rains, the smoky dust turns to sludge
that sticks to your glasses, to your car, to your clothing,
slathering everything with a dull, sunless, stinky slate ash
that defies the most potent laundry soap,
that eventually smothers the trees, bushes
and your will to get up in the morning.
This town feels foul, like an unclean bathroom,
and sticky, like you’re trying to ice skate on flypaper.
But – if you go to Angelo’s and top your dog with enough chili and onions
you’ll maybe never notice the smelly afterbirth
of four wheeled motors
rolling off an assembly line.
poem © carole fults
To All Those Who Love Terror
Did you think we would give up because you were scary,
because you have guns, bombs and can kill us?
There is something worse than losing a life –
losing a soul to fear,
a heart to suspicion,
a love to dreams of revenge.
You will not massacre my peace.
You will not exterminate my hope.
You will not eradicate my joy.
I have this whole earth as my love,
my defense and my strength,
and you have only guns
while I have a pen and camera.
©photo and poem by carole fults
The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond
One day hiking we came to Wood Duck Pond
and there we saw an older gentleman
sitting in a chair
eating his lunch and watching
just looking ….. and looking
He might have been a Buddha
He sat so still
But there were no ducks
on the pond
or in the air or on the shore.
He was gazing at the stumps and logs
and surface scum
unbothered by mosquitoes
or deer flies
Froth on the water
reeds growing by the edges
stumps rotting in the lagoon
and not a duck to be seen….
Didn’t bother him.
I asked him why he sat there.
He said he watched for ducks
and whatever else might come by
maybe a heron, “it doesn’t matter”.
He just sat and watched, looking.
Not wanting to disturb him further
we whispered good wishes for his watching
and walked quietly onto the wood’s path
where we saw butterflies and snake skins –
but still no ducks –
although I found myself also watching.
Photo and poem © carole fults
A lake on a mountain
open to the sky
……… (the lake has given calmness to the crater)
receiving what comes
……… (it is deep enough to hold all)
A feather falls in front
of the full moon
……… (a gift from the crows who call between the peaks)
Still waters receive its touch
……… (a lover’s touch on quiet skin)
Clouds touch earth
as she lies next to the face of spirit.
……… (in the mist, the lover’s breath)
©photo and poem by caf