Three New Poems, with Three Old Ones, Copyright Doug Stuber

Nude Joo

She moves sand,
paints the sides of wood
blocks to make fake libraries
to discover a
child’s inner

beliefs and
emotional score,
tuning their engines
via creative projects
that do not

even hint at
accurate measure
of what should be done to calm
these TV, PC
deluded

stars who now
have to struggle to
learn in a place that
demands only test scores and
eighteen-hour

study days.
They have a singular chance
to follow
their dreams, since no one
will employ them at

higher than
taxi driver. “Art on” young
heroes of this
high-stress culture. Help
her to feel better.

PCS

His love, to mountain
climb, mixes with a
fine sense of painting, knowledge
poetry
brings to his life. He

pulled out a
bag of “anti-salt:”
anti-soju, which I had
downed seven bottles and two
beers, believing the

cute red ovals to
be plum juice. As each
table went up to speak, I’d
rifle their
supply and down it

without a
ceremonial
pour. I barfed for a half hour
right next to the waiting bus,
thus delaying high

members of
the Southwest Development
Council, and
embarrassing my
brother-in-law for

the very
first time, two weeks into
stay. Thanks Park
for your art, moons and
mountains, curing salt.

BCS

Backgammon, a game
you got about one
thousand points ahead in, served
to pass stress
away, since McGeorge

and smoke house were not
always available at
Holderness School. The
Marblehead crowd had
their own sources of

entertainment, which
consisted of car
rides home and pussy-drenched
ladies in
waiting. For the rest

of us, sports, dreams, and
illusions of summer had
to do. So curfew
was broken with bridge
until Burke or Mark

the Narc broke
it up just for something to
do. Almost
forty years later
and the visits live

on, each of
us with one son to dote on,
scold, pray has
the type of life we
were afforded: great.

Hikaru

One cherry blossom detaches, falls, a single unit
allowing fruit its space, starting its new journey: island
to reflecting pond, orchard to cottage yard, daughter to
lover, enhanced by the wind, if even for only six seconds.
Transformed to long-boned genius, long-yearning adult,
considerate friend, purple-green plaid from soft pink,
tan suede boots from four-petalled bloom. Hikaru, as they
say in Japan, hits the town running, arms crossed, cradling
herself like the war-torn victims of Vietnam, but not
worn or torn, she flings enthusiastic youth toward
outstretched limbs. She captures her beginning and future
simultaneously, shedding one form, embracing another,
sweating humid Spring, still awkward in this skin.
Descending unannounced, she moves among mere mortals
Spreading joy, quietly demanding obedience, offering all
in exchange for all. Most cannot accept, choose an
easier, less complicated path, but those brave-strong
souls born from deep roots, blessed metamorphosed
beings who join Miss Cherry soon realize, if for one day,
week or lifetime, their lives will never be the same.

Canary Row Hoe Ho

There’s a hippy girl in my class who wears Mao’s cap, dates
a long-haired boy and wrote a kick-ass environmental piece.
You’d like to poke through every long-leafed elephant-ear on
campus, stroking nature, this beautiful sub-plot, with hoe, adze,
al or clipper: chopping down in order to raise back up, involved
with earth as is intended. Some say a new time has come, White
Buffalo and all. Consequences outnumber rewards at a twenty to
one clip, as Mongolians suffer from bad air and China’s expanding
desert, even though they’ve done their part to live in a preservationist
way. But global means brutal these days: global trade = wage slave,
global warming = no food, global war = death for the multitudes,
profit for the stinking rich few. Love abounds in campus towns,
while “repo-men” reap millions, and songbirds still find seeds around
as legs spread out the leaves. Our new man is African, and that’s
so fine with me, and babies laugh, and mothers smile, here in the
land of the free. So what that free means money, instead of love
and food. When no one has a dime to spare, friendship will lift
our mood. Or will there be the occasional hijacked truck or plane?
Who cares as long as we can load up the kids, drive south to live
in a genuine, warm, Steinbeck-decorated pipe that used to be a drain.

The Innocent #1

There, at the rock, the innocent stands waiting
for what she’s not sure, but she knows the
man she once dreamed of could not be out
fishing until two in the morning, nor could her
busy parents be lured away from the fields by
the promise of money, nor her dreams fulfilled
in the rice paddy, nor will some Batman, half
hero, half millionaire show up, nor will wearing
a yellow, pleated mini-skirt and pumps attract
the type of guy she wants to spend the rest of her
life with. She doesn’t see a salamander popping
its head up above a fallen leaf. She hears the owl
call his hunting call instead. Fog dampens night.
She can’t explain why she knows this is the place
she is meant to wait. She can’t relax or even sit
without the pain of growth spurts ruining her
yearning. No hikers present themselves, no slow
moving conversations, so she marches back down
to her lonely room, sits reading by a new lamp,
listens to her parents snoring, fully aware of time.

Copyright Doug Stuber

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