Bob’s Adverb

Who named the adverb bastard child?
Is this because it fails to stand alone,
leans always on another
for meaning
so much like us
at our worst (and best)
we shun them?

In the time when fans spoke quietly
before the days of scream and riot,
we stood with Dylan after a concert
behind the Mosque in Newark.
We talked, shared wine, laughter.
He and Suze invited us to party in the city.
We declined, I had a curfew.

The next year in that same spot,
a mob ran past us. A fan returned
hand in air, shouting “I’ve got his hair!”
So ended gentleness. It’s clear why
Dylan sometimes plays –
his back to the audience.

Adverbs in my mind describe how
translucent Dylan’s skin
bright Suze’s smile
tiny their Volkswagen
high that fan held her cruel hand.

Chores

When the Winken Blinken days were gone,
defiance became my middle name.
Dad and I met only over floor tile and paint –
chores well done.

We’d visit the lumber yard, select
pine to fashion Adirondack chairs
to grace the deck, unaffected
by wind and rain.

Rising early, the bay quiet, we’d share coffee
from a pot that sat – stacked silver orbs –
on the counter – and discuss our day’s
plans, make notes.

I’m an ecstatic sander – a lover of latex.
All my life – one gallon at a time
I paint my way back
to my father’s heart.

WHAT CATS KNOW

The neighbor’s Siamese
all smoke, beige fur, padded feet
appears in the abandoned yard
next door to torment my puppy.
She cleans herself and watches.
How does she know not to wander
into the busy street out front
or Interstate behind
to be flattened by van or semi?

What makes her sit instead
and groom, blue-eyed Charybdis,
amid weed-shrouded lilacs
while vehicles vahroom past and
exhaust wafts through the air
stained with scent of fries and
big Macs from across town?

Dogs know none of this.

CROWS


Black forms
fly north-by-northeast
over the transparent moon.
First one, a few
then a broken ribbon
crosses the sky
as the crows fly home
to roost.
 
Audubon does not say
nor maps reveal
which nook hides
so many Corvids.
They sway and weave  
heading coastward
over lagoons and draw bridges
rivers and roads.
 
I’ve wanted to befriend
a crow for years
although I know
taming wild things
is not an act of grace.
But the presence of wildness
is soul mending
irreplaceable.