Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poems for Derek Michael July 9, 1997-

Batteries Not Included

Christmas is such a joke every year: approaching middle-age you'd think that I would read the text of the package before purchasing something and include the correct size batteries for each present. At day break, I rush to get dressed, brush my teeth, put on a baseball cap to hide my bed-hair, hop in my pickup and rush to the local WaWa with a list of all the battery sizes that I need, before our child's face grows long with disappointment.

dim light ...
in her night-stand drawer
a cold vibrator

Dinosaur and Dragon Bones

This weekend is going to be different; my four year old will head the expedition in a quest for dinosaur and dragon bones. Our bellies are full; we're well clothed so we won't be hunting butterflies and birds. We empty the backpack full of cap guns and water pistols, and replace them with small picks, trowel, sifter, basting brush and any useful kitchen utensil we can find.

Just as we break camp, I spot a scarlet tanager and Derek said it was a parrot. We continue down the path until we reach the verge overlooking a deep pit. As we follow the grade adjusting to the terrain, rocks start to slide, unearthing a flat piece of yellow quartz, triangle shaped, with one side notched inward-out, like a canine. Derek convinced me it belongs to a T. rex. The sun is high; sweat stunk-down the hair covering our napes and sideburns, collecting in the blue and white bandannas tied loosely around our necks.

On the way to the ancient forest, we found pitch pine and sassafras saplings. Dug them up. Replanting them, well spaced—for proper growth.

*bedtime story
the child never
stops talking


the gleam
in a child's eyes—
starlings shift direction

first light
I pretend to shave
my son’s lathered face

morning dew
I trace my son's


home from work
he asks me: did you
have a drink today?
two arms tighten
around my waist

Contemporary haibun On-line vol.1:3 December 2005, Lynx vol. 23:2 June 2008,
Hermitage 1:1, 2004, The Heron's Nest vol. 5:5 2003, The Heron's Nest vol. 7:1 2005
Hermitage 3, 2006

Note: *the haiku was originally published as:

bedtime story
the child never
stops stalking

Which was a typo on my part within the submission.


Alan Summers said...

Hello Gene,

Good to see your work back on blogger!

Enjoyed your haiku on Heron's Nest too.

all my best,

p.s. Hope to be in New York and Washington next February. ;-)

Gene Murtha said...

that's pretty cool Alan, NYC shouldn't be a problem, but I have never visited Washington, so who knows? I may just bite the bullit and come to the UK this spring.

The address is the same, I changed the name from Inklings to Miller's Pond, and the site was only down for a day or so, or aleast that is all it should have been.

Alan Summers said...

Sounds like we are going to meet up somehow somesoon, either U.S. or U.K.! ;-)

Once I'm firmed up with dates and stuff, and vice versa, we can do jaw, and do some open mic or a neat little chill'd event. Or just chill. ;-)


Gene Murtha said...

it's all good Alan

Bill said...

These are very fine, Gene.

Gene Murtha said...

thank you for stopping by Bill,
what a very nice Birthday present!
Yeah, the 19th, 53.