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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WEATHER CHANNEL DELUGE

“We’ve been through worse, I’m sure,” I said

remembering the days before computer models,

24 hours of coverage and thinking of how no one

would believe "the weather" having its own channel.

Twitter, Facebook, handheld baby computers, and

cell phones all keep us up to date, well informed.

All day we watched green, yellow, red splotches swirl

counterclockwise on a 52 inch screen and listened to

predictions more accurate than airport arrival times.


Years ago experts didn’t have to tell us what to buy.

We understood the dangers of a storm at the shore.

We knew what to do when the lights went out.

We’d light candles and sit listening to the downpours

knowing we’d be alright, it was just water and wind.

We’d hear the stories of past destructive hurricanes.

We’d head inland if we expected it to be real bad to

a friend’s house or to a cousin’s home in the country.

No mandatory evacuations- just plain common sense.


In the morning, like now, we’d get up to the sunshine,

mumble of prayer, comment about the cool breezes,

frown at kids wading in dirty water or the ones paddling

rowboats in the street without worrying about broken glass,

boards, power lines. It reminds me how my grandmother

always used to say,“ I bet old Frog Hollow is flooded”.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ODE TO HIGHWAY 13

“Sometimes they ask him what he’s thinking about when he’s driving”


I know we’re going the right way when

in the middle of the night we cross the lit up

bridge, it’s a miniature version of the one in

Boston, strange masts, cables in the center.

Johnny Janosik Furniture and The Monster Mile

tell me I’m on vacation and on the right road.


Pickup trucks loaded down with watermelons,

vegetable stands with tomatoes and peaches.

Brick churches from another century are planted

on the highway alongside rows of crepe myrtles.

There’s Machipongo Seafood, plenty of Wawas,

and Mason Dixon for cheap cigarettes and hams.


Farmers on tractors, a different kind of traffic jam.

Rundown school buses filled with migrant workers

ready to work in Eastern Shore tomato packing sheds.

We’ll smell the chickens of Perdue and Mountainaire.

I’ll accelerate past eighteen wheeled bird cages with

feathers flying, lots of clucking, it’ll be their last ride.


I’ll laugh at the Dreamland Mobile Home Park sign and

know that my sleeping family wouldn’t find the same

irony in the big billboard or its slogan, A Touch of Class.

Speed traps in towns with Native American names-

Accomack, Pocomoke, Nassawadox and in counties

with fancy English names- Kent, Sussex, and Worcester.


We’ll see High school car washes, plenty of yard sales,

and a church group selling “authentic Carolina BBQ”.

There’ll be at least one accident, asleep at the wheel?

We’ll see roadside shrines to whole families who died.

Signs for beaches we’ve never been to before make us

wonder why not go to Rehoboth, Dewey, or Ocean City?


We drive on to the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge,

looking for the blue signs with the white seagull logo.

Fleets of mini vans with luggage racks, bikes, fishing rods

slide south from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

The Jersey Shore is just a memory now, a pile of snapshots.

Been cheating on her for years and they’ll never go back.


Tourists trade places each Saturday on Highway 13 as they

head in two different directions with two different moods.

Perhaps I just drove by a guy from Pittsburgh and his family

that stayed in the very same house that I’ll stay in with mine.

I’ll use the same bathroom, lay my head on the same pillows,

take the same photo of the sun rising above dunes and waves.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS AMAZING PROJECT

Two of my poems, Big John's Pizza and Vee's Sub Shop are publised with many other fine poems in this book from Cave Moon Press. Proceeds from sales of the book benefit Feeding America and food banks throughout the United States. Follow the link to Amazon.com to purchase a great collection of poetry and help the hungry. https://www.createspace.com/3668679