Advice to Ripen Her Words; Options; The Road (One Of Many Personal Freeways)

Advice to Ripen Her Words

Reading no absolutist treatise has convinced her.

Days of relative good occur: no carpenter ants
in the sill; no too soft fruit on grocery shelves;
no June losing streak to end the pennant hope;
no overt faults crumbling at continental edges.

Bad or relatively bad days do occur more often:
some obviously false demagogic claims; friends
hoist on their own petard; innocence, some lost;
tragedy for people mainly fine, but unimportant.

At stake every day, good or bad, is self-respect.

She chooses a past time, not too early but fruit
still fresh, vegetables still crisp, resolution still
vivid as tri-color film. She wants a platform
to see what intervenes between then until now:
hail to fruits, hail to veggies, hail to vivid film,
but also sufficiently in charge to change her aim.

Yes, do not forget so lightly. Set a new parameter:
to define your scope; to know at law that police
rarely re-investigate former histories for suspects;
that whatever your wounding, you will heal; that
to influence the young, do not flaunt your whimsies
they will not grasp; conquer dialects, ripen words,
proceed within dialectics; planting requires nurturing
of a new tree; dare envision a bigger cosmic bang;
remember that, by regulation, auto underwriters
must ignore traffic citations older than three years.

If by this advice you flourish, and you are likely to,
pursuing biographers will drink much deeper later.


Time, like a reservoir, can fill. In drought
we spot those tree stumps so easy to forget.

Passing, most of my pond of time emptied,
then lapsed perpetually. Events that seemed
important, maybe for intricacy, bold color,
coarse texture, scent evocative, volatile,
lingered in my nose, displaced by offal.

Even once important friends who pledged
to play the measure with me, to avail me
for distances before diverging, retreated
where I could never settle but they felt
compelled. How does one choice sticks?
How does the blue comber thrust? How
does pink granite rasp? How hear poetry
of the discharging ovum? As life abides,
more time freely abdicates, less freely
fits my barrel of rifle bore precision.

I must fix on one urge at a time, permit
pot shops at speculation: a tugboat bobs
up more than forward, its dance above
the bay’s ripple, its plod to inevitability,
oil spit in smoke, its yield to loosening
muster of rivets and welds wildly romantic.

Green, then golden wheat on the Palouse,
as light agitates above, energizing a hill
and field to shanghai every breeze, force
each to circle and flutter the flag leaves;
and there, the fetching female’s bird walk,
spin, exaggerating her sex for an old man.

This last is no option, merely an enticing
confection that bakers keep on baking up.

The Road (One of Many Personal Freeways)

A BMW races by my old man’s compact
4-cylinder, a young woman commanding
the road, the wind, her multi-hued scarf.

Apparently indifferent, affixing a stigma
to me and other defenseless drivers, she
enters her private freeway, private breeze
wafting her exciting personal hair; she
speaks privately into her personal phone.

My horsepower dwarfed, my ego tattered,
she vanishes among broken connections,
lost and found coincidences of travels.

Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. In August, 2017, Aldrich Press released Not on Any Map, a collection of earlier poems.