Poetry: Randy Parker

Man with pipe

Hold fire in your hand
Feel the hot smooth briar
And the tiny glow
Matchfire dancing from source
To bowl where agriculture
And commerce blend mellow
See the smoke ring stretching
To encircle everyone
Feel the heat of distant stars
And ardent humans being
Smell the blaze of Yule logs
The burning of London and Chicago
The unabashed smoldering of saints.

Fishes out of water

Astronauts launching,
to atmosphere,
out of an irrational
fear of dying,
fins erect
gills drying
scales weighing the light,
fisheye lenses
seining it all in—
the leviathan clouds
swimming thin sky above,
the hard reflective surface
of water below,
and in between . . . me
teetering in my boat.
They catch me with
a rod in my hand
and a hunger in my heart,
and some words that I set afloat
just in case I need something
to hold onto.

Permanence and Loss

For Mica

Slabs of granite, a hundred of them,
on edge like books
with poetry for names
Giallo Ornamental
New Venetian Gold
Uba Tuba
Superana Persa.
They sleep like rocks,
but pick one, and it will wake up
as your kitchen counter,
pristine, ancient, igneous,
the earth’s own birthstone
where your skillet burns are now,
where your knife cuts and
children’s scribbles are now.
Recent history obliterated
by a ton of timeless rock.
It’s all the rage, this ageless granite,
this polished gem, this
immoveable lid on the tomb
where your mismatched
Tupperware lies buried.