The forklift driver grabs his steaming lunch, into the thermos,hot soup on a cold day,

trudges out the door, the half-block to the bus stop, graffiti-smeared and stickered,

and stands, dragon-breath glowing dirty orange in the light of the rising sun,

staring down to and past that busier street, looking for what may come or not.

The bus grumbles, squeals and pishes to a stop and he alights, head down.

A mother knows the schedule, knows the man’s shape, sees him ascend the kneeling 

stairs and knows they are running late–she, still in slippers and house-coat,

scarf and hat against the waking cold as she drags bundled child down steps

and they walk, a different half block to a different bus stop--an empty corner--

and stand, bodies cut in half by light, by the now-white sun peaking over roof-tops

as the yellow bus hits the manhole cover, rattling windows in the coffee shop.


The first-pot maker drips his streaming hunch into the terminus, not new, in an old way

fudges on the floor, half-stare and half-not, empty-city-bleared and crackered,

and lands, fairly death, growing qwerty-strange in the blight of despising fun,

glaring frown through the past that his ears meet, looking for what may come or not.

His rust trundles, squeaks the dishes, stew-a-pot and he delights, dead-crowned.

His mother knew his schedule, knows a man’s shape, saw him transcend the keening

stares and knows his un-stunning spate–she still, in the earth.  A mouse-goat

scoffed and spat aghast, and waking, old as she, dragged sundered wild brown pipes

and they talk, a different life-stock to a stiff, errant fuss-fop–an empty crooner

and band.  Noddies come in half the night, buy the now, write-son speaking oven goof-ups

and a mellow fuss splits the man.  Hole-lover, prattling, winnows in the coffee shop.

18 thoughts on “(w)here(‘s)now

    • Thanks Alice.
      Funny that. This was in response to a prompt/poetry exercise but I was the one doing the prompting. I didn’t follow the rules…
      It was supposed to be an action and an object in each line, two poems (check and check). One poem was to have each action happen at the same time but in different places (um, sort of got that) and the second poem was to have each action happen in the same place at different times (oops). The first was going to be how I pictured my neighborhood “waking up” sort of…and well the second was kind of how my mind wakes up as I open the coffee shop.
      Didn’t really follow the rules, but…it went where it needed to I guess…


  1. “and well the second was kind of how my mind wakes up as I open the coffee shop. LOL
    I can relate. The “now” actually reminds me of east London cockney speak. Going down to the frog and toad for a pig’s ear.


  2. This is marvelous, man.

    The first stanza is filled with such reality -the details all seem very right to me so that “I was there” watching up close the events you were describing.

    And then the second stanza takes us to an entirely different place because your diction! I am not sure which sentence I like most, but I will vote for this one:

    “His rust trundles, squeaks the dishes, stew-a-pot and he delights, dead-crowned.”

    This is tactile in sound -which is something I try and achieve when I write. Wow. Well done!


  3. Hi Johnny, you have given us an excellent poem indeed, so much so that SoundEagle was discussing your poem with Mr Jeremy Nathan Marks on his blog as follows:

    SoundEagle especially likes the hyphenated, composite words.

    Let’s hope that this poem has not been so devastatingly good as to be able to imply that our poems are ridiculously bad in comparison!

    Cheers! May you have a lovely weekend, perhaps spending it on conceiving the next brilliant piece of work . . . .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.