Friday, January 16, 2015

Tim Laffey- Three Poems

The Congregation

Looking across the stubble fields
of winter out my kitchen window
yesterday, I watched
as a synod of some
two hundred rowdy crows flew in
and formed up out there,
in an odd assembly of
competing groups.
In this part of west central Illinois
these are substantial, big bodied birds,
with eighteen to twenty-four inch
wingspans adapted for the open rolling fields
linking patches of forested pasture.
In short flights
out and back,
trafficking between these
several rifted tribes which
stand separated
by slight distances,
select delegates convey their needs,
negotiating terms and loudly
squabbling over those
limited territories
immediately available for plunder.
And black! Each shone
black as an outcast impulse
veiled away from
                        judging eyes and cloaked
like burning shame.
But they assuredly
weren’t chastened or disgraced.
Proudly shouting their lusty sins,
preening, bragging, squawking, cawing,
politicking greedily in hot
until at last,
all fair apportions made,
and the dogma set,
the congregation rose, took wing as
one and flew away,
scattering in oriented flocks
to be about
the glossy mischief
                        of that day.

Easy Color

It’s evident our language
changes over time
and we change with it.

If I said to her, girl, you’re cuter than
a two-toned chevrolet with
mud flaps, she would not know
if that is a good thing or not,
now that all of our cars are trimmed
one solid color only and
all of our roads are paved a
concrete hard gray surface.

Too, we‘re no longer very nice
to one another, we lack
a simple politesse that did
prevail once. We assuredly would not
say ‘girl’ to her now,
rather cruder speech would issue,
lacking any tint of care or
kindness. So, yes,
more than just
our words have changed, and it
feels like we’ve lost
some simple easy color.

The Assessment

You’re a peach
she said. Yeah, I thought,
the pit part. 

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