Come, consider the grasshoppers.

Descend into the old preacher’s basement,
Walk past the shelves of books and canned goods
To the window, and the window well:
The fire escape, become the death trap
              Of the grasshoppers.

                            See, another falls,
                            Joins the mass grave of his relatives.
                           This one’s lost half a leg. Watch him
                            Fight off the ants come for the rest,
                            Break free, begin the futile climb,
                                          Looking for grips in the metal wall.

                                                        His wings? Useless here.
                                                        He reaches, grabs, slides, repeats...
                                                        He reaches, grabs, slides—hits the ground—
                                                        Tries again, ignoring the
                                                        Omen of cousins’

                                          Bodies. Does he know? Is this courage?
                            Is this folly? How many can
                            You count? How many brothers, how
                            Many attempts, how many hours
                            Spent waiting to die? Outside the old
                            Preacher’s basement, see

              The sermon you didn’t
Want to hear. Meditate on hollow
Insect armor littering the ground,
See this field of battles lost to time...
Take the time. Do you see a warning here?

Come, consider the grasshoppers.

(Spring 2015)

Leonard Maltin's 2012 Movie Guide

(A Found Poem) 

Spectacularly stupid
Ripoff yawner talkfest,
An excuse to keep stuntmen
Gainfully employed,
Made its U.S. debut as an
In-flight movie.

Still another spy drama
Motorcycle melodrama
Martial arts mishmash.
Director ate watermelon, pickles, and
Ice cream, went to sleep, woke up, and
Made this fiasco.

Took four writers to concoct this
Clinker tale of serial murders near
Boston (filmed nowhere near Boston)
Liable to test the endurance of
Little children.
It’s pretty lame except

The alien beagle turns into
A big cockroach
(Product placement for
Dr. Pepper). Must have
Looked better on paper.
At least the frog masks are good.

(Spring 2015)

Early Risers

Suburbia is sublime at sunrise,
The air alive and aromatic and                                                      

The quiet uncontested; commuters
Delay their daily dest—Wait. What?

Hear the hectic hullabaloo: Wheels working
Parallel the rapid pat-pat, pat-pat Of puppy paws on pavement:

A tiny terror, territorial;
A chihuahua chases a startled cyclist.

A conundrum: Could the canine, combining with oncoming
Traffic, come to a tragic conclusion?

The pedaling person perspires, pondering
Notifying the neighbors: “Nora’s no more.”

Fortunately, his vehicle’s velocity
Fazes the furry fanatic’s ferocity.

The dog decides, dejectedly,
To turn toward tinier targets.

The boy on the bike —might I mention, me—
Released and relieved, continues on his course.

(Spring 2015)