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Five poems by Terry M Gresham article



A Turnip

I tested time crawling–long before I walked.
I spoke gibberish long time before talk.
I met time with made-of-magic only things
–that’s all I could do.

Once upon a time, I spayed out a bite of turnip
–fresh pulled, Oklahoma, from hand tilled soil.
Life’s harvest now:  its grandpa’s fault I’m sometimes
wearing overalls.

Long since grandpas were for planting of tubers,
the sky’s been for youngsters and spit-up turnips.
All else–moon, sun, and stars–was fashioned from these

‘Cause don’t it seem the congealed stuff of stars was made
from food plucked from the earth then spat into space?
Food and I do go back a long way–where would
I be without food?

Confession:  I also huffed the air here
at an early age– now I can’t stop breathing.
Since then my breath has breathed turnips
in the universe.


Too Much Imagination

Last night, these hands were cities lined with streets
with towering finger mansions.

My right hand was my metropolis.
The left:  it was more like just a hand.

But last night these hands were cities.
I guess one hand should have been a park bench

‘Cause (and I should have known better) it really hurt
when I tried walking from one hand to the other.

When Cassandra came home and opened the door
I was stepping on both of my hands.

She exclaimed, “Tonight, Dear, my hands are lobsters.
I’ll be in the other room digging for crabs, clams, and mussels.”


Country Road

We tested the luxury of loving
Our lives like prairie frogs

That sometimes sat in gravel
Roads waiting, just waiting, only waiting.

She asked, “What the hell  (swerve)
Are these frogs waiting for, Christ!

Headlights? Wheels? Chrome and steel?
A manufactured reason to hop?”

I said, and I shouldn’t have, “Most all
life is waiting in one shape or another

Like a clarinet that never gets played
Anymore.  It just sits on the shelf.”

And she said, “Shut up!  You’re an evil man.”
And as she drove not one frog was hit.



I am at the intersection where
someone tied what once was

a balloon to a chain
-linked fence that divides

north bound from south bound
traffic. I am paused

for a red light– waiting for a green.
The actual balloon has long since gone

but it’s blue string, still tied,
still waves in an Oklahoma wind.

And my hands are on the wheel–
and I am here longing to untie that string
to take it as far as the edge of this town.

But that red light won’t last forever.
There are cars ahead and cars behind

and I am not getting out for any damn balloon string.
Still, it makes me feel something in motion

and I really don’t know just where.

Walk Like the Sun

There are 1, 2, 3, 4
columns in this lobby
holding up what looks
to be the ceiling.
I am glad to not be one of them.

I count 6 fine chairs here, as well.
The chairs are holding up
what looks like human
rear ends.
I am glad I am not one of them.

I see 6 potted plants.
Some one has been taking good care
of them. Still,
I sure do not want to be one of them.

There is a neon light fixture overhead.
I would say
it is about 12 feet long.
You know,
until today I have never thought much about
being a neon light.
I do not think I would want to be one.

This carpet, looks like, has not been walked
on much.  It is gray but not as gray as
the Oklahoma sky– specifically that
horizon place yonder where the sun goes down.
Some folks say it’s that color
because of dust shaken from stars.
If the truth be told, I would like to believe them.

And even though this carpet is not the horizon,
I’m sure it has dust from some place or another
somewhere on it.
I will walk on this carpet as if I were a sun.

Look at me. I am walking
around the earth like the sun.


Terry M Gresham is the author of two books of poetry: Under a Toenail Moonand Dark Sandwiches. Terry  contributes and edits for Okie Progressive and Free Lawton Open Mic blog and holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Science.


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