National Poetry Month #22

Five Bars at the High Spot

It worked like this:
we clung to our telephones
searching for clearance.
I rang for you over the river.
All water goes slant
to the place you need
most: mouth, sea, tributary,
and then into books
we love.

So you answered. “Hello,
great signal, wild scenery.”
We craved the high spots
and now you’d said it
up on the ledge of perfection
phone activated, scene made.

National Poetry Month #21

At Oakhurst Sanitarium

                                    In memory of Helmi Juvonen

Little Helmi
Down in Elma
Little Helmi
Full of shame
Mighty Elma
Place of discord
Held the folks
We called insane

Little Helmi
Down in Elma
Little Helmi
Just the same
Made her puppets
Crafted dolly
With the black face
Little Helmi
What’s her name?

Little Helmi
Down in Elma
In your room
You made do
With your paint
And the move
Down to Elma
They took away
What belonged
To you

Little Helmi
Down in Elma
Everyone said
We missed you