Like a Grasshopper in a May Meadow

So much life,

   so much green,

      so much dew on my feet,

         so much eye-squinting sunshine

and hot wafty

   late morning melancholy

      that keeps me from sailing

         the effervescent puffs of white.

So much wanting
   to leap and never
        come down. So
             much lush. So much

thick. So much rain.
   So much not knowing
        how brief a spring can be
             and how little there is to be

gained by bouncing
   from here to there
        and, in no time at all,
             becoming a wingless,

dry, empty thing
   lifted by a mockery
        of wind and so much



by Danny Earl Simmons 



Ghazal: Brimstone


Sometimes I wonder if hell is less fire than brimstone.
Maybe it’s like taking your phone into the shower with you.

Her perfume is right where she left it, infused into her pillow
where it insists on bringing up old worn-out conversations.


Is there air enough in hell for the moaning of dirges
or is it more like staying up late for a little peace and quiet?

She was at the grocery store the other day picking out avocados.
I smile at the memory of guacamole and that she wasn’t really there.

I hope hell has horses for carrying lost souls through the thick black
to the pretty yellow bonfires and the warming of hands with old friends.

I wish she would have just slapped me hard and told me to go to hell.
Instead, all I have is this ugly red stain and the moldering of day after day.


by Danny Earl Simmons



Drama Queen

for Mat

One hand goes directly to his chest,
clutching. The other hand is outstretched,
beseeching something unknowable. He wobbles,
staggers backwards, collapses in a heap.

He listens for shouts of 9-1-1 and sirens,
hears none, begins to moan and pant.
He winces, glances sideways hoping
for a rescue and a little mouth-to-mouth.

Still alone, he struggles loudly to one knee
before allowing gravity to grab him
by the collar and introduce his face
to the cold reality of the hard gray ground.

The red of his life begins to pool,
rutilant beneath the ache in his head,
as a dizzy contentment warms
his drifting away into sleep.

He awakens gagging, squinting
against a blurry brightness, confused
by the high-pitched din of urgency
and his being unable to swallow,

then smiles around the hard plastic tube.


by Danny Earl Simmons


Danny Earl Simmons is an Oregonian and a proud graduate of Corvallis High School. He is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and an active member of Albany Civic Theater. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals such as Naugatuck River Review, Off the Coast, Shadow Road Quarterly, Grey Sparrow, and Verse Wisconsin.

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