When the Clouds Let Go of Something Else

Thunder arrived without lightning
and when lightning flashed seconds later,
there was no thunder, only great bellows of cloud
climbing into one another,
their great jaws blackish and full of saliva.
Yet the rain did not come, but the storm did not pass
and we listened to the language of stormy wind,
a language we did not understand,
and heard the sky sigh in want of a return to its color.
Sunlight did not cross beyond the darkening breach,
rainbows did not litter the air,
and still the storm did not storm, rain did not rain.
Day after day we waited. Day after day
we went about our work and played, napped,
shook off our energy and learned to sigh with the sky.
We waited patiently as the clouds devoured each other
growing bigger and bigger, darker and darker,
each day another muscle, another mountain’s growth
and we wondered when we would be able again
to venture with our friends to harvest the stars.

After Hours

After the long day of sweat

we go home,
get a good grasp of water,

And then
head out
to the carnival of souls.

To the left, mystique and lipstick;,
on the right, blank spaces and eye liner;

in the center, nothing as it seems.

The Carnival of Rats

—1347, the year the Bubonic plague reached Europe

When the ghost ships eased into in Sicily,
the sailors dead, the wind easy,
and rats rushed from the heavy ships
down planks, grabbed a grasp of land.
They smelled the smells of clean food,
heard the sounds of melody and delight,
and saw before them a grand carnival:
Those that fell into the water swam well.
A water park with enough to excite them more.
None of them died but they owned death.

They jumped and dived, somersaulted,
rode the manes of horses and carriage,
leaped through errors in housing, tunneled
into piles of grain, fruit, fresh vegetables,
Italy a roller-coaster full of too many attractions,
mountain and valley, town and plain,underground
water rides, places to leap and places to run–
new adventure and new escapade, thrills and danger..

Rats! Everywhere rats! Rooftops of rats, roadways
of rats, ponds full of rats, muddy rats, hungry rats,
rats in hiding and rats in plain sight! They brought plague
into Europe, allowed it to rush downstream, climb
mountains and stormed castles,The rats had found home
and they were bowled over with excitement.