Category: Poetry

New Year’s Day

 

 

January 1 is always the same

A bacchanal of sound and fury

Signifying something ineffable

Precisely timed though

Imprecisely valued

 

We pause to notice the flow

Of time’s endless river

Hoping to gain some measure

Of how far we’ve sailed

Or at least gratitude

 

To be journeying for

One new day

One new month

One new year

One last chance

 

 

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver

 

© Gayle Force Press 2015

 

 

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American Mythology (#1)

 

 

The history lessons I received in school

Have very little connection to the stories

My grandfather waited until I was 25

To begin sharing with me

 

School sounded a lot like the TV shows

Ads and movies that were produced

As Saturday morning serials in his day

And kiddie cartoons in mine

 

This should have made me nervous as a kid

Since FDR and MLK, the Cold War and Vietnam,

Sputnik and Neil Armstrong, crack and AIDS,

Computers and nukes, Coltrane and the Greatest

 

All changed history between my generation and his

But since there were bright colors and waving flags

I tried hard to believe the myths I was taught

After all, what else could possibly be true  

 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2015

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver

 

 

 

 

Summer Days (#4)- Early Solstice

 

 

The sun bears down today

Not cruelly but firm

Insistent

Patient

Winning our grudging recognition

Acceptance of its force

 

 

Car windows go up

Air conditioners on

Jackets come off

Buttons undone

Joggers walk

Runners jog

Walkers smile in their malls

 

 

Children play and play

Barely noticing the sting

Of the sweat

They wipe from their eyes

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2008 

 A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

 

Race Day

 

 

Camper cities

Traffic for miles

Checkered flags wave

In all directions

Coolers full of Bud

Dirt cheap sunglasses

Tank tops

Jake the snake

Around Brother Henry’s neck

Grilled brats and burgers

“Show us your tits!”

Naps on the infield

Day long engine drone

A rainbow of cotton candy

Tires over the fence

Some foreign guy wins

May is beautiful

 

 

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2004

 

 

 

Our Chalice

 

God is in the wax and smoke

The lingering scent of a fire

Now extinguished

Still burning

Brighter than ever

 

 

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

© Gayle Force Press 2013

 

 

 

 

 

Nectar

 

 

Remember the time

I pretended

 

I was a bee

That stung you

 

Hard

With my butt

 

Then I pretended

To die

 

In love

As a sacrifice

 

 

Brandy Rodgers and Franklin Oliver

 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2014

 

 

 

Oldest Sibling

 

 

My sisters don’t look like me

They are sharper

With brighter, yellowed skin

Both look strong and solidly

Inside their bodies

With large brown eyes

Serving to illuminate their clear

Beautiful faces

 

I run together

Dark skin

Nothing hidden

With densely thick hair

Nearly black eyes bridging

The narrow gap in it

And my face scarcely shines

As my brooding manifests itself

In the weary sag of eyes,

Face, back, hips and knees

Atlas’ burden pressing upon me

 

My sisters love joy

They relish and seek it out

Once sought, it loves to be found

For me it’s too much to ask

Which is fine

Because joy doesn’t fit on my face

 

 

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2003

 

 

Curious Appetites

 

 

Alice’s knowledge

Surpasses her understanding

But matches her experience

 

Crazy though it seems

When cards and cats and queens

Comprise your waking nightmares

 

Blaming the food makes sense

 

 

 

A poem by Franklin Oliver 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2015

 

 

At This Bench

 

 

There’s a bench where I sometimes sit

Maybe on the pretense of resting

But usually just because

Water flows and falls and founts nearby

Going up in a rush

Very close to tiny rugged falls

 

 

At this bench are also paths

One back to the world

Of cars and shoes

The others go into the woods

Or so I guess

Because at each path’s start

Is a bridge

Of timeless origin

And uncertain strength

 

 

I can only tell that these paths

Continue onward briefly

Then quickly dissolve into imagination

 

 

I’ve promised myself to let go

And begin the journey

Discovering what each path holds

But I’m never quite prepared

To meet I don’t know what

So I’ll sit on the bench

And hope the paths are cleared

Until I decide I’m okay

With getting lost

 

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2017

 

 

From Morning to Night

 

From morning to night

My odometer reads 112 miles more

Revealing the evidence of small town living

With a need for big city paychecks

 

 

Returning to it,

the quiet cozy apartment

Seems like home

A still new pleasant discovery

Filled with all the books and plants

and gadgets we love

And seeds being sown

For the life we plan to live

 

 

From morning to night

A certain light has dimmed

And the belly I kissed

Before it began to retch and round

Is flat and empty again

 

 

© Gayle Force Press 2004