Under the Fan Palm

       Richard George
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Under the Fan Palm
Under the Fan Palm


Copyright 2017 Richard W. George


A Chapter of Verse, poems
Ben Soul, a novel
Collected Poems, multiple verses
Five Stories, five short stories
Lines from a Gum Tree Grove, quatorzains about a marriage’s rise and fall
Remembering Barbi, verses in memory of the poet’s late sister
The Alphabestiary, twenty-six verses and pictures for an alphabet tied to animals
Winter Poems, verses from a long winter


Table of Contents
Index of First Lines
A Ballad for the Stars
A Storm Comes
Ancestors
Apocalypse
Beach Summer
Bring Me My Beer
Bugles
Ceramic Insects
Christmas Meditation
Clouds Ride the Wind
Conundrum
Coulter’s Daisies
Cypresses
Daffodils
Day Lilies
Desert Life
Earwigs
Emancipation
Eucalyptus
Evergreens
First Quatrain
Funeral Plans
Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire
Hurrah
I Hear Ladies Singing
Inspired by Horace
I Wonder
I Wrap Me in Clouds
Irises
January Day
Loss Song
Light Among the Gloom
Little Rose
Music Boxes
My Pets
My Quiet Time
Night Ends
Ode to Ganja
Old Age
One January Day
Oyster Girl
Pelargoniums
Pindaric Ode
Poets of Old
Quetzalcoatl
Rain Song
Red-Winged Blackbird
Rose-Red Skies
Ruminations
Shadorma
Spring Equinox
Spring Tanka
Sunset Sestina
Tell Me Tales
The Boy’s Sparrow
The Cold Villanelle
The Cuckoos
The Dying Katydid
The Heart Can Be Dark
The Dream
The Eastward Peaks
The Ladies Took Tea
The Lucky Boy
The Lusty Youth
The Meadowlark
The Oriole
The Robin
The Seasons Come ‘Round
The Seekers
The Small Rain
Thought
Uncompanioned
Unrhymed Quatorzain
Waiting for Night
Winter Night
Winter Solstice
Winter Wind

Ceramic Insects
Ceramic insects
Shelter under the fan palm
Waiting for rain to fall.
Overhead the clouds are full
And spill over on the ground.

She glazed and fired them
With exotic hues unknown
To the natural bugs
Biologists have labeled.
She treasured her artifacts.

I keep them under
The fan palm in my backyard.
I treasure them, too,
Because she made them. She died,
My kid sister whom I loved.

I go to watch them
And think of the happy times
We had together
Before she made the insects,
Before she left for Heaven.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

First Quatrain
My scribbled verses are written down with zest.
I offer them to all the world from west
To east in all their metric variety
And you may choose the one you like the best.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Ruminations
Some folk conclude
My attitude
Is rather skewed
Toward matters a prude
Would denounce as lewd.
Such judgments are crude
As I conclude,
With falsehood imbued.

I admit I’m flawed.
A loving God
Would spare the rod
And leave me awed
With his mercy. Sad
To say love may be dead
Or there’s no god
To forgive or judge.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Christmas Meditation
Light your lights and hang your baubles
And cook the goose or ham or turkey
According to your traditions my friends.
For me the holiday’s a time
To number my dead, and one by one
Remember each with fond regard.
Wrap gifts for under the yuletide tree.
Gather to sing glad carols of joy.
Be merry laugh and dance. I’ll weep
For those gone on before my time.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

A Ballad for the Stars
The weather gurus promise us
Grey skies and a threat of rain tonight.
We welcome the wet despite the cold
It brings, and the briefer time of light
We’ll have because the sun is hid
Behind the clouds spread out across
The welkin. Dark the day ahead,
The gurus say; the sun shall lose
The power to warm the earth and sea.
The moon as well will hide its face
Behind the clouds and dripping rain
Until dry weather resumes its place.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

A Storm Comes
Tonight is for the stars in heaven
To shine untarnished light,
Be silver stars the winds have driven
Across the dark skies of night.
The moon has masked its bone-white face
From the nighttime black and gloom.
It's the hour for stars to dance with grace
Across heaven's dark room.

The wheeling stars grow weary of dance.

The sun will come with day

The stars prepare for the sun's advance

And plot to run away.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire
Three dozen dead,
Too young to die.
A city mourns,
A nation grieves
To lose both them
Their talents, and their art.
Some painted, others
Made music sing.
Perhaps, unknown,
A poet died
With verses dancing
On the screen as smoke
Blocked the air
Of life from lungs
Too weak to breathe
The falling soot.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Light Among the Gloom
Despite the gloom that fills our souls
The sun has somehow made the day
Bright with a hope we’ll overcome
Defeat and loss. May sanity
Descend upon the crazy man
The people chose this time around.
May God, if there be one, keep safe
The world from doom and desolation.
We shall persevere I think
Lest our empire decline and fall
To scattered rubble in the dump
Of nations that arose and fell
From inward rot or outer war.
Shall we be Nineveh or Tyre?
Or will we rise, a Phoenix from the ash
Rejuvenated and winged again?
Stay tuned for further developments.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Emancipation
The ancient Greek and Roman poets told
The erotic misbehavior of their gods,
Describing them to be divinely schooled
In adultery and other romantic frauds.
We are, we hold, more pure by all the odds
Than the ancients were. We openly copulate
With whom we please, uncaring who applauds
Or damns our romances with shouted words of shame and hate.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Old Age
My face has wrinkles I’ve not had before.
My stomach’s fallen and my feet are unsure.
I walk with a cane lest otherwise I fall
Where I will not rise forevermore.

I wake with aches in joints I did not know
I had. I rise with creaking knees and go
To eat my toast and butter or eggs and ham.
Ought I prepare myself for Heaven now?

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Apocalypse
I have heard the trump of doom
Ringing in the western wind
Across the beach the shifting sand
Whispers of ceilings crumbling in rooms
The ancients built to house their dead.
Wild loons shall sing a harmony
To a god’s sad doomsday litany
Of prayers unheard and scriptures unread.
The funeral march sounds muted strings
In mournful key to mark the end
Of things. My purse has no coin to spend
On clipping time’s unflagging wings.
The stars shall reel around the moon,
The sun shall fall in fiery death.
The cities shall burn in the sun’s hot breath
And all of life shall then be gone.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Unrhymed Quatorzain
The sky is grey with smoke from fires
Some criminal has made with matches
Flung carelessly into the grasses
Brittle and brown from summer heat.
The conflagrations are great red smears
Across the roiling heavens. The stars
Are hid in black and grey behind
The smokes from burning trees. I cower
Inside lest my lungs labor too hard
And strain my wizened flesh beyond
Recovery. The swirling wind
Stirs the haze in eddied spills
Across the sun’s ash-smudged face
And brings day to the edge of night.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Thought
In the days of our lives
When we’re on the edge of night
Remember there will be
A brighter day tomorrow
As the world turns
For all my children,
Even the young and restless
Abed in general hospital.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Winter Solstice
The bees and dragonflies are sleeping.
The cold has driven them to shelter,
Their roles of hunter and prey are set
Aside until the sun shall drive away
The gray that cloaks the sky with darkness.
No insects move. The flies have frozen,
And the earwigs have left their icy bones
Under their stones of
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