Midwest Storm Cellar Sequence

1. Revisionist Ministry of the Martians

Seared almost scorched, rolling potato eyes and broccoli heads now dead,
this medicated dedicated bougie meditator’s Sternoed
noodle soul casserole shimmies down a dwarf shrub, boards a St. Louis
steamboat to nowhere where a full-dress galaxy of pale Navy pills
descends to the john with bulging sachels. Abruptly a morphed squadron
of busty ginghamed butterscotch curled floozies’ pink and leather comes out
to conquer civilians. Difficult dangerous dirty work, I drag
myself into their lab where sallow uniforms lay stacked on porcelain
tornados of aluminum foil headgear labeled, Not Kansas.
Alternating abdominal crunches with Cap’n Crunch cereal,
I put mine on, look for the Lord in the parking lot, plead, Give a call!
before the squall after which we return to our home on Lake Michigan.





2. Paw Paw Lake

i. Chrysalis

After a Michigan day intertube blackberrying and panning
for ore; conniptions past lupine scat, elk bones, bobcats, and a rattler;
on the twilight flight back to our yurt; my grandson balks, “Coach, does that hurt?”
Rust-winged tarantula wasps dragged a mostly paralyzed namesake home,
kept the spider’s organs ticking so larvae could feast on her fuselage.

ii. Cacophony

Hovering just above the shyest topsy-turvy cottontail hutch,
a monarch’s tawny-orange buttery wings signal to her retinue,
He’s the one. Epic pillow fights under fig trees, blushing lady bugs
undress the box turtle to castanets clicks back atcha from wasp nests.
Union with tulips, hive-minded queen bee buzzes are paid in pollen.

Hummingbirds drumroll a bold chorus, “ Let’s eavesdrop as blue-tailed skinks moult!”




Lake Superior Summer Sepia Seepage

A snapshot taped to the bathroom mirror:
Mac and my corduroy jacket

with that built-in belt unbuckled in front.
Kept there in case I forgot,

near Alexandra Lee picking us up
in her rugged nursery school van.

When their names vanish like yesterday,
I pay a visit to the john.

Mom demented, Daddio and the others gone
before Internet,

once memories leak no trace, all evidence
is wiped off this earth’s face

except for those frayed photos.
Mac’s short hair and baseball cap stand behind

helping me aim their rifle
while her partner, Lill, smiles approvingly.

Pops asked, Since Mac ‘n Lill can’t have kids,
could they share us for the summer?

Lill taught me to fish for perch
in the boathouse, how to row the dinghy

how to navigate her motor boat toward
small islands where we’d eat

pastry pasties full of goodies
for lunch or perhaps late afternoon snacks.

Miss Lee (who wanted to be called Alex)
didn’t have children — I think.

Maybe the upbringing we soon
rebelled from wasn’t exactly straight?


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