Sally Cook

My List


Sometimes there are occasions when I muse

On that strange state in which we co-exist

Called life. It’s then an urge I can’t refuse

Comes over me, to write a little list.


The first few pages make a panoply

Of things and people I detest, and when

I find there’s room, I write down things I see

That turn me off -- some places I have been;


Tattoos and makeup, and outrageous liars

Who make you think they’re something they are not.

My neighbor’s swimming pool, and his camp fires;

The noise and smoke that swamp me when it’s hot.


Those bores that leave me out of sorts, or tired.

All lumpy baked goods that are over-sweet,

Some teachers who should probably be fired

Leave little room for gristle on the meat.


A gang of politicians fills my book,

Especially those who have their own agendas,

Cash first, they say, and then you’ll have a look

At Heaven. Strippers shaking their pudendas


Like sausages and veal put on display.

TV with its perversions, histrionics,

And all the incorrect things we can’t say.

Rock music, commentators, electronics.


I could go on forever, but I know

That making such a list leaves me relieved

For just a while, but long enough. I’ll go,

Once other fools line up to be deceived.


Dr. Williams – An Indictment


Hung on a sky of cackling birds,

Gagging on waves of limpid words

And jagged phrases from a mind

That touts the rot, the empty rind --


Was it the doctor -- was it he

Who brought us mirthless comedy?

If only we could put on trial

This Mengele of form and style

Who bred out vigor, better choices,

Who silenced all the sweeter voices,

Removed himself from poesy,

Drowned others in a formless sea.



Meeting Him

There are so many reasons to forget –
A calyx dish of greenish hue she chose,
To suit that broken porch where they once met.
Queen Anne’s Lace that invaded garden rows
To show insouciant abandon there,
And other things he favored with his glance –
A shelf with trinkets, the small Hitchcock chair
Where she perched writing, and admired his stance.
She stuck those grapes he gave her in the ground
And never really thought they’d grow, but now
Soft, round green leaves and rubber stems abound,
A miracle of life. She did allow
Their meeting was a comet gone astray,
But would not forfeit one short, magic day


My Cat


It’s known a cat will smile at certain things,

Yet never cries. There is a mystery

Within the secret, rumbling song he sings

That’s open to interpretation. He

Cares little for cheap catnip toys with wings,

Prefers to stay within his own feng shui.

Those crumbs that he arranges round his dish

Spell something out in code. Eventually

He’ll place them in a bottle with a wish,

While he, marooned, stares at an endless sea;

Robed in an elegance of fur, sees fish

That are more free. He cannot speak to me.


A Friend


And now I think of you, my dearest friend,

Who, broken on a wheel of enmity

Has finally surrendered in the end,

Bent beneath weights that drag you heavily.


A friend I was not privileged to see

Closely. In actuality, your word

On paper, and too, electronically,

Spoke clearly of just who you are. I heard


Your essence call to me whenever air

Filled with your soaring thought and succinct word

And though I often felt your presence there,

Winging so far above me, my thoughts stirred

And I knew you were gone. In a dull sky,

Not knowing where to look, still, I knew why.



Remembering When


Remember how nightingales sang in the past

When poets aspired to perfection’s delight?

Now we’re in the future, a brave world at last,

Where formlessness roams an illiterate night.


Cemented in paradigms awfully correct,

All beauty’s rejected, the past’s for the birds;

The boundaries of form receive little respect,

Or syntax or rhyme, or three syllable words.


Darkness pursues us. We cancel our sagas

To keep from resembling sonorous bores;

Move to the sticks and raise large rutabagas.

Avoid this new world where we’re bored to our cores;

Pompous perversity takes all the prizes;

And poets are cut down to uniform sizes.


Copyright  © 2013 Sally Cook