Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Helix Poems

Helix #4

A yellow N scale caboose
A sagebrush hunched frail against the gray snow
A roan horse steaming in a January field

Everything you see is talking back
A derelict crossing signal a vacant brick depot
A flicker perched in a silvery poplar

A movie theater the light gray & silver
A century rose encircling a dead cottonwood
A gray-blue bowl

A pussy willow in bloom in early March
A purple crocus a red crocus
A crumpled poem in a sport coat pocket

A white sun dress a navy pea coat
A streak of henna in February sunlight
A whelk a conch a sand dollar

You can’t take your own reflection
An N scale 19th century steam engine
A bolo tie a black sport coat the sleeves rolled up

A Joshua Tree in white blossom
An evening replete with silence & more silence
A pair of black-rimmed reading glasses

A screen door the screen torn in patches
A silver daytime moon beside a gray cloud
Your face intent & absorbed

A blue note that doesn’t resolve
A redwing blackbird’s urgent February trill
Your uneasy place in forever

Helix #5

A pink silk rose
A white & blue ceramic elephant teapot
A safety pin a brass thumbtack

An umber sofa you doze there at 2:00 p.m.
A February lemon sun
An white enamelled bowl brimming with rosehips

A 50s postcard shaped like California
A crescent moon tattoo
A Union Pacific train emerging from an Oregon tunnel

A glossolalia of dogwoods & laughter
A coonskin cap in a roadside tourist shop
A statue of Nuestra Señora a metal bed frame

A stile stepping into the dry September pasture
A great blue heron
A red tin roof brushed slick with hoarfrost

A train you are never there to meet it
A porch with wooden railing a green May twilight
A mockingbird in a tulip tree

A white cord hammock
You are laughing a fountain it’s incomprehnsible
A black magic marker a wooden letter opener

A wooden spatula a red & white teapot
A plate of lemon pasta a pair of irrigation boots
A train you are never there to see it off

A flock of guinea hens cackling in the cottonwood
A C major seven a D minor seven transposed a major third
A divided highway at 3:00 a.m.

A silver flute a lime-green ukulele
An evening in a bookstore without any hope except hope
Where are you in your words

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. Again, I love the everyday--kitchen utensils etc., against the natural world of birds and trees and flowers.

    The beginning of Helix #5 reminds of the song line, "A white sport coat and a pink carnation". Or is that the title?

    I like the line in Helix #4 about the crumpled poem (I've got a few of those. Had a bolo tie once too, in my CW phase).

    I have a lot of catching up to do here, so...moving on...


  2. Hi Kat: I think that was the song title, tho it may also have been the first line. So glad you're liking these!

  3. Brilliant. And better than that: lovely. I enjoyed the simplicity and the directness. The images were as clear-cut as the sentiments behind them.

  4. Hi Dave: Many thanks for those kind words, & so glad you liked these.

  5. Glorious word-pictures tumbling one on the other.

  6. Mmm, "Your uneasy place in forever."



    I adore your Helix poems.

  7. Hi Ginger: Thanks--so glad you like these poems!


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