by Pat Tompkins

Body in Motion

no race, no chore, only pleasure:
the flicker of spokes revolving
wheel power, rounding roaming rolling
feeling speed like wind on my skin

the flicker of spokes revolving
legs fueling pedals, pistons’ rhythm
speed feeling like wind on my skin
leaning into freedom, diving headfirst

legs fueling pedals, pistons in rhythm
leaving the pedestrian world, a kite
leaning into freedom, diving headfirst
cycloramas flash, familiar and fresh

leaving the pedestrian world, a kite
or hawk catching currents for joy
cycloramas pass familiar and fresh
the rush heading downhill, a sense of flight

a hawk catching currents for joy
the ticket without expiration
rushing, heading downhill, sensing flight
melding body in motion with machine

the ticket with no expiration
wheels power round, roaming rolling
melding body, emotion, and machine:
no race or chore, only pleasure


Attic Scene

Bleached bare by centuries of sun, wind, rain:
ruins crown a hill above the city.

These skeletal remains of a temple—
marble pillars porous as tibias

a splendid wreck, nearly impossible
to imagine it when new, brightly

painted, a gaudy sight, decoration
as story and method of reverence.

Later treasury, church, mosque, evolving
symbol of refinement, victim of war.

Some things age with more grace than others,
faded through history like an old scar.

Colors of memory: fugitive pigments.


The Proverbial Reboot

the early bird catches the parking spot . . . let bygones be
posted online . . . don’t let the cat out of the designer
purse . . . silence is extinct . . . blood is thicker than
fair-trade coffee . . . you can’t take it with you when
going through airport security . . . there is a time
and a place for every emoji . . . an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of Botox . . . the apple never falls far
from the trend . . . birds of a feather flock on shrinking
islands . . . nothing succeeds like pet videos . . . a nod is
as good as a wink to a corrupt government . . . actions
speak louder than apps . . . a rolling stone gathers no
likes . . . there’s more than one way to skin wild-harvested
salmon . . . children should be seen and not chauffeured . . .
the writing is on the white board . . . where there’s a will,
there’s a lawyer . . . life is just a bowl of remotes . . . the pen
is mightier than the tweet . . . nothing is certain but lies
and taxes . . . it’s all grist to the social media


Image: Markus Spiske on Unsplash