Friday, April 12, 2013

My Poetry: From my Window at Work

From My Window at Work.  These poems were written a few years ago.  My window looked out upon Barbara Arons Pavilion, the county's psychiatric hospital.  There was also a court yard outside my window.


Birds are never oblivious to the world;
What with cats, and people and
So many scary things
They are always ready to fly.

I on the other hand
Am oblivious to many things
And at times, I wonder if
I’ll notice the big fly swatter above my head
Before it squishes me flat.

It seems today the dangers don’t lie
In some physical threat over your head;
But in a missed kind deed, a word unsaid;
Or a feeling choked deep inside
Which later may raise its ugly head.


Motorbike parked, leaning on its kick stand
Strands of grass hanging from its under carriage,
Blowing carelessly in the wind—
Reminders of past conquests and glories.

Motorbike mounted, engine ignited
Power under my legs to take me—
     To a mountain brook, where I can
     Put my feet in the water and
     Accept of the liquid’s refreshing
     Salve as it cleans
     The worries from my life.

That is where the motorbike could take me….

“Bench by a Tree”

Bench by a tree,
You don’t look very inviting,
With warn wood that looks to
Be splintering.  How could I
Trust you as a place for my body?
And you are not only splintered
But your surface seems hard.
True it is that you are shaded by
A tree—but still to me, you do not
Seem to be very comfortable.

But now I see someone else,
     Lying upon you—snoozing away,
     Using his back pack as a pillow.

I am jealous, longing
For a cool shady place to lie down,
And you are not available.

“Bird Chasing Bird”

Bird chasing bird,
Its wings fluttering breathlessly.
Squirrel chasing squirrel,
Squeaking as the scamper up a tree.

And as I watch these creatures
Through my window, I assume,
He is chasing her—but
Never quite able to catch up.

“Window Grill”

Window grill, shaped like a giant cattle brand--
Circle-cross, circle-cross, circle-cross--
Covering every window, protecting against man
Or woman entering, or leaving.

You’re no good; these people are putting you down,
They’re talking about you,
See the way she smile at that other person—
They’re laughing about you; they’re making fun…

Decorative in their own way, useful in another
The circles on the windows, with the cross inside,
Extending to the full size of the window,
Dividing the circle into four pie shaped triangles,
And leaving four moon shaped slivers of window outside the circle.

Why am I being treated this way?
Don’t these people realize who I am?
I have the key to their happiness.  I have the key!
Why don’t they just listen to me?  I am rich—
If only I could get to my money….

In their own way the window grills
Appear to be a band around the building,
Like a giant belt holding the walls up
And keeping us protected from those inside—
And those inside protected from themselves.

It is so hard to think—everything is so bad;
I feel heavy—I weigh a ton—
No, I weigh two tons—no three. 
My legs are heavy—they won’t move,
My head feels like a pumpkin,
A pumpkin on a stick, swaying in the wind.

But in their decorative nature they provide utility
Bars to keep those deemed mentally incompetent inside.
But unlike the bars of a jail--cold and imposing—
These bars protect a place of health,
    Inviting (in their way) others to
    Achieve mental wellness.

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