Shirley Walker



Muse lines his hook solely with poetic bait
and cast them in my idle pond of attention.
As my focus bobs near the surface,
he tries to snag it with similes

like grunion runs in silk nylons.
He pitches nets to snare
my mind, tempts me with lures
of metaphor about his fishing holes

anchored in allegory. I will remain
uninspired; my depth flounders to elude
his traps of artistry, and nibbles
at imagery parched reefs.

He perches with anticipation
of a fisherman who harbors his craft,
yet empty will the creel remain. I will
not be his catch of the day.


...and now...

"and now, before we return to wednesday nite forum,
spreading poet-butter on toasted thoughts

here's a few words from naomi"

i'm up and coming to rose's café soon
i'll shake sage and cinnamon
on your breakfast spoon

squeeze scarlet lines to pink lemonade
spin a canvas candy curl
like a bead threaded braid

buttered imagery over easy. sautéed simile, well done.
slide down to the kitchen
sample my homespun

i'll fry bacon stanzas on poetry grills
pump luscious rhythm
from word-whiskey stills

stir blackberry meter in verse buttermilk
pour out full cups
of lyrical silk

come, feast at rose's café, i'll spread out this treat
pull at your mind
dip you deeper in sweet

poetry pie. yes, I...(umm, excuse me)

...come down, sample
rare talent unheard

if only i could
the words


the making of charlie's bed

I the bunk

cool liquids melt his worries,
same as red wax lips
on camels. like the sea
sponge, his thirst is
never sated.

his shot-glass is diluted
by blood, covered with prints
charlie no longer recalls.

a coaster cradles tonic
he believes will cure
the quilted fever he imagines
unfolds and covers him like
clean sheets and pillowcases.

II the queen

cool liquids rinse charlie's
stilled flesh free of
worries. free of
delusion. free
of blood.

earth will unfold
her blankets, cover him cool,
cradle his fever,

and return him to ashes
that will never thirst,
or ever need
clean sheets and pillowcases.

© by Shirley Walker