Florida Poetry


Golf course in the Amerikan Tropics
late slow slope of shadowed sun
my parents’ backyard
guarded garden
saved for the gentry
—gentrified, magnified, manicured, curing me —
giraffe trees nodding off in the wet heat of July
Inside the gentle ficus
epiphytes sway, strangler figs entwine
biology unfolds, spins webs of worlds within
enmeshed endless relations
virtuosity of the trees
who flirt with me back
across the tight green lawns of velvet
they are one being — together they
squat launch construct edifices
escape this temporary, silly fate
being fairway to strangers

Stand in the center of a pulsing frame
banyon opens, walking slowly away
Many trees from one
laced together in a circle
simply banded by desire
Each tugging upon that center
enlarging space
Sunlight noticing.

Let the blue wind yellow my mind
drop down
drop down
like Her roots flow down, only down
touch the earth, then
Rocket Up and stand —
whole trees will follow.
And so, she travels
trailing her emerald cape
a pace like glaciers forming
crescendo of wave cresting
in some cosmic low gear
lane changing languorous
You walk so slowly, cousin
weaving and braiding
elemental ropes
dropping hope lines
that end in hurricanes
but never really ending.

Trees fringe the green
throw out armfulls of oxygen
l’chiam to Life
Growing fast enuf to overtake idling stinky busses
faster than the golfers’ game
you multiply gifting
visions of reaching giraffes
trumpets of elephants
many Africa animals converge
here in my head
under the round hat of thick leaves
Boughs bow and rise up
wreathed in moss
messing with all sense of north
ten thousand unseen relatives
sleeping inside.

I’m going a little crazy.
I talk to myself out loud
a little more each day
soon it may be problematic
& maybe time to get a cell phone
for preemptive prop purposes

Bold roots braid on the way down
wind visible in their spin
drizzling towards sandy ground
tendrils in the breeze-sun-shade-starlight
planets passing, sky roots lean in
sinking towards zero gravity
in the fields of this mind
invisible, impossible

I reel in my flirtation
inhale and move on
into the blue train whistle
into the ancient distance
imaging elephant legs and trunks
getting shouted off by golfing patriarchs
lazy motherfuckers— get a real sport.
They wish they could hit me with their little white balls
I wish the great trees would swallow them up
And the day

White washed condos squat the perimeter, windows facing the beautiful view.
Harry! There’s a person walking out there. Yeah, no, not a golfer. A worker? White. Yeah. Writing things down! A spy?  Hairy legs under ragged cutoffs, I can’t tell the sex or the age, small though. Straw hat with —Jesus, is that a peace sign?  Looks like a bum. Definitely not golfing.

I stop to study the bark of this great, reaching banyon, roots dangling in the wind. Puny golf cart jammed with 3 guys roars up.  NYC snow birds.
Hey! Whaddaya takin’ a survey?
Yes. I’m counting the well being of the trees.

Woody but supple enough to wave in the winds, these dangling roots are amazing. The guys get in their silly cart and zoom off.  I sit. No one in my family would ever sit down, in cut offs, under a tree, or even walk in sandals exposing flesh to the tropical grasses. ‘Cos there are bugs. Dirt. Who knows what —I do it for all of them. My other family spin slow roots that land and lean in growing more rigid. Their children will blow briefly in future winds. I will never stop feeling this.
I’m looking for the perfect gumbo limbo — tree like a womin’s body. These big red-wattled ducked are called Muscovy. I looked them up last night. Their canal wake makes kaleidoscopic ripples in shade. Some duck discipline going on in that family — an adult squawking jumping on and dunking the baby. I practice it’s none of my business mantra.

Hello, Security? There’s a person, some bum out there, writing things down, sitting on the golf course. Who sits on a golf course?
What do you want us to do lady?
They got a pen! Who uses a pen?

Perfect pieces of island landscape, reflection tossed and torn, reuniting behind the iridescent tail feathers. Velvet wind moves the fringes of my faded Guatemalan shorts.

Harry! Remember that old lady in the next building who was killed and robbed?

The long necked snake bird hunts submerged in the lagoon, just the supple snake gliding. There are hot purple and pink bougainvillea, wheel-sized hibiscus, nodding palms, I’m stalking a huge iguana, slow, slow — it sees me and rushes, faster than I thought it could move, to dive, heroic as Tarzan into the canal with a great splash and I’m startled by an unseen pelican just above me flapping uproarious overhead to dive after the lizard. Three buzzards the size of eagles swoop and land and swoop, tying the sky in black feathers.

Harry! I called Security already and now I’m gonna call the police.
Oh, take a Zanax and come watch Oprah.

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