Poems by Mike Pulley

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Looking Back From an Undisclosed Location

by Mike Pulley

From Canary Summer 2014

Mike lives near the boundary between the Seneca and Saluda watersheds in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Upstate South Carolina. He has observed nearly 30 species of birds living on or passing through his half-acre home-lot. In addition, there are occasional visits from groundhogs, chipmunks, rabbits, frogs, squirrels, and black snakes.

It was a worn-out empire,
Old in its slums, ruts, and infrastructure,
The collapse of bridges nearly a daily occurrence.
Most disturbing, the loss of songbirds and frogs,
A perdition that broke the spirit of the people
Surely as hordes eating the enemy’s young.
Starvation set in with the death of the bees.
Nightmare segments on the developing world
Something to avoid for sanity,
The lost species count, too, for that matter.

I left the flatulence and paranoia of the South
And hitched a ride West across an arid plain
To a place to be alone and in love
With my own indulgences,
A place to be a relaxing artist
And die like an animal abandoned on a tarmac
Of potholes. Some nights
I woke up late and peered out
My apartment window
To catch a pair of rabbits in frivolity,
In teasing movements associated with smiling dogs.

It was a time of new parables and alchemist formulas
Embedded in paperbacks sold in drugstore magazine racks,
The time when young, mannish women performed music
Of primitive elegance in the remaining venues.
The Devil was apparent
In the spiels of desperate car dealers.
They sold obsolete vehicles for tickets to Vegas
Where they gorged on the last female legs.
They were determined to die
Like shrink-wrap in landfills.
Ultimately, the guns got the best of them
And it was up to grievous angels to intercede
And speak the language of old washing machines,
Talk of water as pure as protected maidens in spring dresses.




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