Friday, February 12, 2010

Two Helix Poems

Helix #7

A steel teakettle
A pair of black-rimmed reading glasses
The willow’s black branches tracing daybreak

A mullberry cotton dress with gray print
A redwood marimba
A poem you wrote when you were someone else

A redwinged blackbird trilling in February gray
Tumbleweeds heaped against a barbed wire fence
A hickory bookcase

An Amtrak coach pulling out in a light mist
You are somewhere else making a wish
An oxidized penny a jukebox quarter a broken promise

You are laughing a fountain it’s inscrutable
Yellow marimba mallets in a clear glass vase
An abandoned stone house along the Oregon insterstate

A diminshed chord a wedding that’s rained out
Lemon moonlight absorbed by lace curtains
An osprey nest on a telephone pole

A relief globe a coffee cup filled with pens
An order of chicken pot pie in Lancaster, PA
A Virginia crepe myrtle & magonlia twilight

A Saturday daybreak you’ve had no sleep
Like everything else it’s a postcard of Multnomah Falls
Like everything else you are & you are

Multiplicity itself like everything it’s a laugh
Like everything it’s a mullberry cotton dress
Like everything it’s February rain thru black willow branches

Helix #8

A meadowlark in the bitterbrush
A glass of milk a green plastic cup
A bandsaw cutting curves in pine boards

A white trellis festooned with blush roses
A cigarette in a clear glass ashtray
A dish of alicha ater on Haight St & winter drizzle outside

A streak of henna & black eyeliner
Raindrops beading on cherry blossoms & plate glass
A blue denim jumper a white t-shirt

A china bust of the Madonna
A grapefruit sunrise against the high Oregon desert
You are simultaneity itself & exist there

You’re in the middle of nowhere
A bridge in the Japanese Gardens an infinitesimal mist
A rusted water tower aswarm with pigeons

A blue-wallpapered hospital waiting room
A train crossing sign half buried in a snowdrift
A red tour bus

You find yourself in the middle of forever
An order of French Toast in a Winnemucca diner
A half moon suspended above the beachgrass & iceplants

A wedding that’s rained out amidst magnolias
A rufous-sided towhee in the tall hedge
A mahogany mandocello a Washburn guitar

A voice a face a thin dime daytime moon
The Southern Pacific Coast Daylight rematerializing
Everything that might have been did happen

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. Thanks for the poetry, John. They do loop around in figure eights, interally and one around the other. At least that's what I felt when I read them out loud.

  2. John

    This is my first visit. I really enjoyed your poetry. I'll be back for more.

  3. Hi Reya & Martin

    Reya: Interesting--it's hard for me to say at this point what I'm after in terms of "motion," but I like that reading. Glad you're inspired to read them aloud!

    Martin: Hi--welcome to RFBanjo! I checked out Square Sunshine & will definitely look into it more.

  4. Hi John,

    These two feel particularly existential to me with lines like these:

    "A poem you wrote when you were someone else
    You are somewhere else making a wish

    Like everything else you are & you are

    Multiplicity itself like everything it’s a laugh"

    From Helix #8

    Everything that might have been did happen

    I really like your description of colours for sunrise and sunset, by the way. Grapefruit and lemon for example. Really unique and memorable.


  5. Hi Kat: Thanks! Sometimes I think I get a bit stuck on the citrus fruit as sun & moon stuff, but I kinda like it too. For what it's worth, Helix #8 sort of grew backwards from the line "Everything that might have been did happen."

    I got the books today!

  6. Oh wonderful, wonderful, John! I love 'em both!!

  7. Hi Ginger: So gratified that you like these. The new book is really coming together! Look for that one next year.


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.