Delicacies

Notebooksenb4.jpg
a lot of them
stacked in an open shelf
next to my desk

varietal chronicles
spiral-bound, stitched binding,
composition books,
cheap dollar store pocket,
leather-covered, gifted to me

verse, prose, musings
pontifications and declarations
the older ones
bottom-of-the stack
the better
brittle pages in varying
shades of sepia
all the edges

time has never deterred my
filling of pages
innately fueled desires to
create, release
rejuvenate and reflect

Covers
colorful and worn
marred shields for pages
within
reminding me of times
places, varied
people and moments
profoundly mundane

vintage wire-spirals
youthful anticipation, angst
inscribed
during cross-country
bus ridesenb3.jpg
pocket notebooks
reflecting the practicality of
a busier, adult life
need for compactable
remembrance, inspiration via
rear pocket
journaled testaments

These notebooks
smell of old cardboard, time
anticipation
in their paper mustiness
incense of creativity
raw and natural
frankincense of hope

most alive in
colorful composition books
taken on camping trips
filled while sitting alone
beside campfires
soaking up transcendental
ambiance

Seemingly benign
inanimate
notebooks absorbed all
words, my ideas and dreams
passions of thought in
vibrant ink, smoke

found only in the wildenb1.jpg
where trees
their essences as
fuel for fire
imagination
even the paper come
full circle at my hand

savored now,
here
in this place not of
the woods
but remembered as such

they are flavorful, these
notebooks
times of times long ago, now
sentient in their shelf
smorgasbord of
aromas

tasty enticement
smoldering
senses in concert my
favorite repast has
always been
deliciousness in word
finely aged
smoked notebook

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2020
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

#writersandwriting #oldnotebooks #thoughtsonpaper #poetry #campfires #thewoods

 

No French Cuffs

Plaid flannel shirts
of my Northwoods youth
smelled of
beer and pine cones
boat motor gasoline and
fresh caught sunfish
wood smoke
and filtered Winstons

when I was a kid the
intertwined, pungent
aromas of cervelat salami
plumbers’ grease, house paint
mingled freely, locked
in square-patterned fibers,
always-rolled-up sleeves

no amount of
Fels-Naptha soap
could smother those
godly auras

When I was a kid
plaid flannel shirts smelled
wonderfully worn by heroes –
old men with accents and dialects
eye-winks and odd habits
mentors who I know understood,
that I emulated
aspired to one day be like

Plaid flannel shirts
hang now in my closet;
freshly washed, hanging neatly –
as they never
would or could on the
hero-men I knew

My plaid flannel shirts
hang quietly, neatly,
sedately
rarely worn, quietly lived-in
yet they, too
smell of wood smoke
and pine trees
beer, salami, pine

wood box colby cheese and
chainsaw exhaust,
bait minnows and Old Spice
whenever I open
my closet

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

A poet does math

campfiresparks1I counted stars once
not for any practical reason
not for romance
they patiently waited for me
to finish, as if they cared

I was sitting by a campfire
spitting its cinders as
sputtering death throes
they fluttered skyward
before dissolving

I could not help but wonder
if that is how stars
came to be; not as burned out
remnants from elsewhere
in the far-flung galaxy

stars are campfire embers
that made their
great escape, thereby
rewarded with eternal life

I counted stars once

-Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

First dance

A ma-and-pa resort, small lake
north woods of Minnesota
seeburgsmall office behind
quaint bar, twelve small cabins
dozen aluminum rowboats to use;
minnows, worms, leeches for sale
amenities, ala Angler’s Edge

Joe & Gloria’s place

The bar a hangout for township locals
grandpa Ivar and I frequented the nicked,
cigarette-burn speckled
polished, yellow-varnished bar for a
North Star beer, ice cold Nesbitt’s Orange
I enjoyed from my end-of-bar spot

A summer semi-regular.

Perched atop two upside-down
wooden Coca-Cola crates
stacked together, laid across two
shiny red-vinyl top, chrome-rimmed
swivel-seat bar stools
bringing me to proper sitting.
sipping height

until the summer my height
matched my station withDino45
always jovial Joe, ever kindly
large-laughing Gloria

Joe would slip me dimes
to play his disc-bowling machine
feed his 45-laden Seeburg jukebox
always selections G5, G6
back-to-back Dean Martin starting
with the bass-thump of Houston…

My musical choices amused Joe

his dimes, gratis – except on Fridays
when I earned my keep
prepping Angler’s Edge worn,
maple dance floor
for the evening’s band
paid in advance, I would crank Dean;
Little Ole Wine Drinker Me
grab the yellow-and-black shaker can
liberally sprinkle the dance wax
the floor all mine as I shuffled
to Dino crooning

“…I’m prayin’ for rain, in Califorrrrrnia….”maple1b

spontaneously choreographing
my personal pre-teen two-step
grinding the wax in
elevating the floor to polka, waltz
schottische, western swing perfection
finishing as Dino was faded off
…little ole wine drinker, me…I say…
with a show-stopping slide
ending near the cramped bandstand

between wax-infused Levi knees
tongue-in-groove hardwood boards
meeting no resistance
the wax, the music, the memories
rich patina of my youth

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Winter solace

These north woods100_5066
are lovely, bright, and deep
glistening with snow
and promises to keep

Serenity resides
in the fresh wonder of
the new wintry familiarity,100_5072
renewal in fresh snowfall

I have not trod, of late,
these winter woods
two years have passed
since my last sojourn

my longest such time
away from this place,
its brisk tranquility

These north woods
are lovely, bright, and deep100_5081
glistening with memories
promises to keep

aroma of pine wafts
unseen smoke warms
someone’s home,
my very soul

walking down
this familiar road
I know where I
have been is not
where I am headed
though the route100_5071
remains the same

each tire track
fading onto the horizon
is a different thread,
unique memory,
both history and map

there is scant traffic,100_5065
little to break the stillness
save the occasional
remindful siren song;
trill of a blue jay,
staccato woodpecker,
synchronized squirrels
tap dancing on birch bark

there is comforting
warmth in this winter air
a soothing, balmy chill
in the soundtrack
of these woods

I walk on, serene

These north woods
are lovely, bright, and deep
glistening with snow
promises they and I must keep

Mark Lucker

Campfire poem # 54

The embers of the campfire glow, fade
with the vagaries of the waning lake breeze
brilliant orange, gray, orange, silver, orange

reminding me of 1969; flashing, broken neon
small, single level roadside motels
on old black-and-white signed U.S. highways

frequented by people like those in my parents
blue Plymouth Fury; mom and dad up front,
my grandfather and I in the cavernous back seat;
Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Colorado.

Roadside neon ‘VACANCY’ signs beckoned;
scratchy carpet, the aroma of Pine Sol, two beds –
on lucky nights, the amusement-park caliber
Magic Fingers variety – thrill ride for a dime

The embers are fading… lighter orange, silver,
gray. Bright orange, a last time. luminous silver,
gray to wispily smoldering black.

Sign fire flickers out; memories burn brightly

Campfire poem #49

A log of pine
a mug of coffee
and thou

Omar, I am
not.

 

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Campfire poem #71

Campfire smoke
makes a fine
aphrodisiac
but it
lulls
my wife
to sleep
making
embers an
ambiguous
metaphor