Not a Still Life

Nubby red raspberries and silk-skinned cherries tingle the tongue;

the golden apple’s emphatic roundness shapes the hand.

Flavors, colors, textures slice through

the daily oatmeal torpor

that pours,

temperate and formless, bland and beige,

as if from a big pot,

the exact same for all.

Stir in butter, sugar, wishes, prayers–it’s still oatmeal.

Dare to eat a peach:

Savor the shielding, yielding skin;

revel in the oozing juice, teeth sinking

into the velvety flesh.

Devour it all, down to the heart.

The heart’s a stone,

a tough, rough case

sheltering a treeful of fruit.

To get the fruit,

eat the peach.

Depart, Arrive — Stay

There’s jazz

and neighbors

and a green-ringed mermaid.

Nutmeg wafts

over billowing white.

I read past and future in the foam:

Whitecaps, snowdrifts.

Wall-size windows frame the present.

Desert trees waver against the morning sky,

Dogs stroll their humans past the

Moving sale on the sidewalk.

In dart young’uns with palmdroids and

out again with gigantesco double-shot mochatattias.

The fossils cleave to newsprint and Sunday leisure.

Yet the greybeard in the easy chair is e-booking

and the hipster at the corner table has Moleskine.

It’s strange but comfort that

like Grandmother’s quilt and Dad’s advice,

wherever you go, here it is.