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Author Archives: Puff Of Smoke Poems

Bouquet of Keys

According to Wikipedia, “the pin tumbler lock is a lock mechanism that uses pins of varying lengths to prevent the lock from opening without the correct key.”

If there are pins that keep you locked
then I wish for you to find the right key.
For me, these poems
puppies
Christmas cards, with pictures of smiling babies
who look like their moms
holiday lights
candlelight
sunlight when you can find it
good music while you wash dishes
kittens
greenhouses full of lush leaves
thick novels because writers know sometimes we need a long story to come back to
dark chocolate
cappuccino
soft hand-knit scarves
happy work in the world–
Whatever keys will unlock your joy
picture me at your door
appropriately masked and distanced
holding a big bouquet of the keys you need
Picture me at your door
and I’ll picture you at mine.

twinkle

twinkle is the job
of holiday lights
glow and glisten,
sparkle and shine

Later, when the world
isn’t so dark,
I’m already planning
how we’ll remind each other
of what it was like, now.
How we’ll say, in sunlight
and sandals and summer health,
Remember when
dark was so deep
even the words for light
were sparks of solace?

Inflatable Santa is Down

the neighbor’s inflatable Santa
is facedown in new snow
with more falling fast
on his red and white backside
Oh, buddy, I think–
I know just how you feel

streetlight

Last night,
fog turned streetlight
to ribbons of gold
flecked with silver mist
shining so bright
on an ordinary Monday night
that it stopped me
in the middle of my quiet street
This quiet night
This quiet reminder to breathe
and to see

Opened To The Rain

Long ago
pride of a working farm
that old barn collapsed
folded in on itself
hay and horse stall
chicken musings
dung and rafters
opened to the rain
all the moments held
within the wooden walls
thoughts and breath of
cow and farm hand,
their worries and plans
and memories
released
to rise through the air

birds and the shadows of birds

hours and hours
since our votes were cast
Counting takes time.
Any preschooler or store clerk
could tell you that.

Counting
Not even counting but
Waiting
while someone else
Counts.

birds and the shadows of birds
is a line of a poem
which flew in my window
and nestled in my lap
while I was meditating

or if I wasn’t meditating
I was at least sitting still
in flickering sunlight birds and the shadows of birds
is a line of a poem I
may never finish
seven counted syllables
the middle of a haiku
while I sit and breathe
not looking, not listening to news

Blind To Beauty

Yesterday was eight years since I posted my first poem here. I’ve missed several of these anniversaries, blinded by hurry, distracted by life. This year I remembered. No great epiphany, no poem resonating inside me. But at least I noticed. At least I was awake enough to my life to notice. And that, always, is the whole point of these poems. To mark a moment, to notice the life I’m living. Even when that life feels like a long, noisy, gray subway ride instead of a walk through the glorious autumn hills.

leaf peak arrived and left
on cloudy days, with fog
and more rain. Red, gold,
green fell and withered
while we–
chipmunk, squirrel, human
Scurried and gathered
easily distracted
and blind to beauty

Landscape Fancywork

as leaf glitter falls away
dark green threads of pine trees
reveal how the mountains
are stitched to the earth

If Autumn Is A Writing Prompt

Yesterday’s walk through autumn hills–
One maple, any color, is pretty.
Spectacular is hill after rolling hill
red, yellow, orange sprinkled with forest firs
above a still bright green field.
Halfway up, one tree is
deep maroon, nearly purple

We could paint this view, one of us says
But our schedules don’t match
I could do it alone, one of us says
But I won’t

Here, friends, a gift–
this could become a poem about
being better together, whether friends or trees,
or it might become an ode to maroon or maples
a singularity
or a rift on leaves and calendar pages
both shaken free, drifting on a caught breeze
It could turn into a poem
about words and leaves changing,
turning themselves and turning how we see
You decide–and let it be beautiful

Breakfast Pears

breakfast–
pears from the tree in your new yard
ground-picked, ripened
under the feet of insects, your cat, and
whoever else wanders by
while you sleep in your new house.

Last night, I dreamed of a bear who,
happy to see me,
wanted to climb into my car
Maybe he too walked
through the grass selecting pears
close enough to perfect

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry