Gordon’s Opening

Palettes of color,
Palettes of spices,
About Gordon’s work,
I think it suffices

To say it’s delicious
For mouth and for eyes,
Whether served on a plate
Or drawing the skies.

He’s been cooking with art
For a very long time
And from sauces to spray paint
His work’s always the kind

That pleases the palate
In so many ways,
It’s to our advantage
Whenever he plays.

©2016 Annette Meserve

The Crowd

 

With the great BOOM! of the cannon,
The race is begun
And the front runners
Appear around the bend

Their steps springy
With the energy of cool morning
And excitement
For the novelty of a first visit
For a return to a familiar fantasy,
For whatever the day will hold.

A little uncertain
Of the course
On this first lap
Yet gamely hiking
Up the hill
Heads swiveling as they come
Taking in the sights along the way

At the hill’s crest,
They stop a moment
Consulting the crinkly paper in their hands,
Looking around,
Pointing,
Orienting,
Continuing down the other side
Talking and laughing with each other.

The next lap is more purposeful,
Errands to run
Shows to see,
Schedules to observe,
No two courses the same
As the day’s race is run,
A crazy dash from morning to night
A competition with the clock
To see and experience
As much as possible
In the limited time of a single day
In a land as ephemeral
As Brigadoon.

By the heat of afternoon,
The steps have slowed,
And drag a little,
The laps and the magic
Wearing a bit,
Wives snip at husbands,
Children get cranky,
Eyes glaze over
And yet they continue,
Sandals,
And sneakers,
And high-heeled pirate boots
Scuffing along
Raising clouds of dust
That add to the weariness,
To the sense of endurance
Required to stay in the race

But then the thunderstorms come
Scattering the crowd
Sending them scurrying
For cover under the overhangs of buildings
While fat droplets dampen down the dust
Cool the air
And refresh the racers
For the final go ‘round.

As the golden rays
Reach under the heavy clouds
Making the dripping branches
Glitter like gemstones
The people set off once again
In search of that one last purchase,
Of the final show,
Of the seminal experience
That will crown their day

And with the great BOOM! of the cannon,
The race is over,
Weary legs make their way to the front gate
To the finish line,
To their cars,
To the lines of congested traffic,
To the highways,
And to their beds,
Where knights and jesters,
Kings and beggars and faeries
Will visit them in their dreams.
©2016 Annette Meserve

Of Trucks and Roads and Disturbing Things

There are belly-dumps
In my world today

Actually,
They’ve been a reality
For a while now
What with the county’s
Quixotic attempts
To make dirt roads
So they don’t get muddy
When it rains.

But today,
They’re not just passing by
On their way
To the rutted places
Further up.

Today they’re milling about
Just outside my window
With their clouds of dust
And diesel smoke
And huge, mounded up,
Road-base furrows.

They are out there dropping
And grading,
And packing,
With nothing but the best intentions,
Believing they are improving my life
And the lives of everyone else
Who lives in this valley.

I know they mean well
And I think its peculiar
That I find it so disturbing.

I always do.
Rarely am I happy
To see the road crews in our midst.

Oh, there’s the odd day
When there’s three feet of snow
That I’m grateful for the grader
To make an easier path to feed horses,

But even then,
I’m also happy if they don’t come
If they let us be isolated from the world
For just a little while
Until it melts on its own.

I don’t know why
I react to big yellow machinery
In this ungrateful way,
Why I can’t appreciate their efforts
As they’re intended.

But I’d be happier
If they would stay away
Most of the time
And maybe just smooth things out
Once a year or so.

If they’d leave me
In my ruts.

©2016 Annette Meserve

visit my website: www.annettemeserve.com

Dark Matter

We are surrounded by beauty
Every day,
Air in our lungs,
Sun on our faces,
Birds in the trees.

We are surrounded by horror
Every day,
Diseases on the move,
Forests destroyed,
People waging war.

But we are mostly
Surrounded by nothingness
Every day,
A nothingness
That takes up the fullness of space,
A nothingness responsible
For the majority of happenings
In our world and beyond.

It is a nothingness
That we are unable to perceive
For now at least,
With any of our senses,
Unable to understand
With any of our great intellect,

Each one of us
Only able to absorb
A tiny fraction
Of what is going on around us

And you
Perceiving a different tiny fraction
Than me.

Fingering

Fingers on keyboards
Typing away,
Fingers to lips,
Nothing to say.

Fingers on skin
Rubbing the hurt,
Fingers on fabric
Smoothing the skirt.

Fingers on spoon handle,
Stirring the food,
Fingers go wander
Isn’t it rude?

To have fingers in pots
That are not their own
Stirring and stirring
Down to the bone?

Fingers to point
And fingers to shake,
Fingers to mend
And fingers to make,

Fingers to tap out
A small lively tune,
Fingers to wave
A greeting so soon.

©2016 Annette Meserve

visit my website at annettemeserve.com

Storytelling

It’s in our blood, it’s in our bones.  Storytelling is how we raise our children and how we relate to each other.  As soon as we learn the language, we repeat the stories we’ve been told and then make up our own.  Since the beginning of time, cultural identity has been kept by stories around the cooking fires and in history books and, make no mistake, we are just as addicted to stories now, as we have ever been.

We avidly watch our favorite television shows and movies.  Even sporting events are made into stories.  We watch raptly as our team makes an agonized drive down the field, the suspenseful build-up to a touchdown, moving the plotline along to the climactic (or sometimes weak) game’s end.  Meanwhile, smaller story arcs contribute to the richness of the tale; the background stats, the injuries suffered, the contract disputes, the athletes’ childhood struggles, the memories of great players past.

We look for meaning in our newscasts, in our songs, and even in billboards read along the roadside.  There is one I saw a while ago, an eight foot close up of a steaming wok with vibrantly fresh vegetables flipping up one side and into the air, the caption: ‘Don’t try this at home.’

It wasn’t one story, but the beginning of many, a prompting imaginations of bored commuters.
“Why not try that at home?  I cook all the time, flip my vegetables, my eggs, my quesadillas whenever I want. Just last night, I got air with my burger and a little flame on the side…”
Or,
“Wow!  That’s great!  Just like when we went to the Japanese restaurant and the guy with the knives and flat grill…”
Or,
“Yeah, ‘don’t try this at home,’ sure.  I remember when Joe saw a car commercial and decided to try THAT at home!  He still hasn’t gotten the Charger’s axle fixed…”

We’re so keen on stories that we’ll make them up with the least provocation, our brains chewing over the details, inner eyes watching as fictional landscapes take shape.

There’s no limit to our hunger for a good story and, whether we look to the newspaper, to the television, or to a book for our story jones, it’s the writers’ job to intrigue us, to entrance us, to invite us into their heads and show us something wonderful.

It is a trust given to writers, to not only tell a story, but that it will be a good story, one that can entertain us even when we’re away from the screen or the printed page; maybe while we’re driving to work, at least when there aren’t any billboards.