Bayou Diaries: A Confusion of Tulips

Leafless tulip trees blossom
discordantly in January as if
the skies suddenly decided
to roll backwards west to east
sowing confusion until
compasses tremble with uncertainty
& clocks run down the wall
looking for a calendar
a Gideon’s, some book of portent
or fortune, telling them
what strikes next & when
leaving us by degrees
to an uncertain dead reckoning

Bayou Diaries: An Explosion of Egrets

A beak-down flock of egrets
more dozens than I can count
before they explode in a whorl &
wheel about their startled huddle

as I pass at some distance
our courses roughly equidistant
from their interrupted feast.

The park is otherwise silent
muddy and puddled after the rain
not a squirrel’s worth of noise

& there’s no one else in sight
to frighten them
as I watch them navigating
their go around

with a warp and weft precision
known only to a startled
flock of birds.

Bayou Diaries: Half Moon Bridge

Cross the half moon bridge
disregard those with camera
agendas; it is only for standing
while contemplating swans

Consider bombing the bridal
photo pose your instructive
gift: life is surprise,
not a careful plan

Bound up the stairs
by twos, old man, astound
the solemn quinceañera
her squawking gaggle of tias

Only for lovers who feed
disregarded ducks
do you creep across
on moss-quiet feet

Poetry Is Not

Poetry is not
that monster
under your bed

forgotten algebraic
nightmare test of
unsolvable quadratics

Poetry wakes
into dream, naked
yet unafraid

in front of the class
ready to conjugate
the subconscious irregular.