Sparrows perch on a narrow ledge
Half hidden in the eaves
Of my awning and from the window
I can watch them mating
A hop and a flutter of wings
Another hop and more flutter
And in the smallness of their love
They resemble shot glasses
Stacked two high
One within another

The sparrows have built three nests
Half hidden in shadows of my awning
Each one a weave of honey blonde grass
Into a unkempt mass
That is oddly symmetrical
Like the disheveled hair of three girls
Sitting side-by-side on a bench by the lake
Each one tangled and mussed
In the very same direction
On an afternoon in March

[b]Pink Font[/b]

And I tell her
Write to me in feminine fonts
That flower and bloom and
Twist in flowing script
And curve in colored pale pastels
That calls to mind
A fullness of Lips and the hint of hues
That form crescents of flushness
Around her cheeks

And I tell her
Talk to me only with a tint of pink words
Whispered on the ether of each exhale
And floating weightless
On the warm vapor of each breath
For I am helpless and entranced
Possessed and driven by each letter
And word and phrase and line

And I tell her
Take these hands and move them
To capture each word that falls
From her mouth and is
The slow ripened fruit
Of many idle hours
And graces my writing table
In lushness like a still life
With peaches and oranges


She looks at me and says that I am the ghost of my father
Sitting on her sofa or sleeping on her love seat
And I agree an tell her that his death is simply a ruse
To avoid work and shirk obligations
I believe he still lives
Hiding in fugitive fashion
Like some old Nazi who escaped justice
Somewhere in South America

At the dinner table she calls me by his name
The incarnation of his waywardness
Whenever displeasure is expressed or faults counted
Whenever work goes undone and money is squandered
When promises are broken and bills unpaid
My father lives again

It is all his fault his spirit his failures his disappoints
That haunts this home and those who dwell here
For he has died and left the TV on
Some annoying remnant of him
As if the aftershock of his life here remains
And it is only the words repeated three times as you spin
Around and round
Fast and faster with arms extended

That can exorcise this house
And cleanse it of all his vices
The smell of cigarettes mixed with the muskiness
Of yesterdays clothes and somehow
Silence the sound of his snores
As he naps in the sunlight on summer afternoons
In childish invocation you must say as you twirl
With centrifugal speed in the center of the living room
And repeat after me the tragic incantation
That will force out his ghost

I love your snores
I love your farts
I love your gone

[b]Passion Poem[/b]

Something in me died today
Ever so quietly it passed
It had lingered sickly
For quite some time you know
So while it was not totally unexpected
Its passing is still a shock
I for one am glad the suffering is over

And here in this season
Of death and rebirth the symbolism
With irony so cutting
It hurts so deeply to understand
I shall mourn and grieve
In solitude and feel at oddly
Silent moments the loss

Dark is the tomb and
Bright is the light of our rebirth
To new life and the discovery of
Liberation in casting off the shrouds
And winding sheets that bind us
With our old form and cloak
The newness of our beginnings

[b]Poem For My Father[/b]

My father was the simple man,
Who wanted things to fit his plan.
Not highly lettered this I know,
He never wrote a word although
He held strong views on many things
That dealt with cabbages and kings.

You see, my father felt that all good verse
In rhyme and meter was immersed,
That poems be written and constructed
With long tradition unobstructed,
And built with blocks called foot or feet
With meter pounding out its beat.

And so he wanted poems to rhyme
With meter locked in perfect time,
And all my verse not to his taste
Was ridiculed right to my face,
And they were set aside unread
Like much between us left unsaid.

And so this poem so long in making
With all the rules it is now breaking,
The lines have taken years to craft,
A life long journey toward final draft,
And all the words now come so free
And sing in tethered melody.

So Father here’s a poem you’d read,
One penned by your poetic seed.
It winks, it giggles and it grins.
It two steps, tangos and it spins,
And as every word now tows the meter,
I hope rhyme wiggles past St. Peter.

by Doug Tanoury (c)2001
([email]dtanoury1 [at] home [dot] com[/email])

[b]Author’s note:[/b]
Doug Tanoury is exclusively a poet of the internet with the vast majority of his work being published online and never leaving electronic form. His verse can be read at electronic magazines and journals across the world.

Doug sites his 7th grade poetry anthology used in Sister Debra’s English class as exerting the greatest influence on his work. He still keeps a copy of Reflections On A Gift Of Watermelon Pickle And Other Modern Verse (Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith, (c)1966 by Scott Foresman & Company) at his writing desk.

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