Excerpt_poem_Saturday Martini_chamrickwriter_randomstoryteller_with images of roses at Gibbs Gardens

Saturday Martini: To My Best Friend (somewhere in Pueblo, Colorado)

Japanese Gardens_Gibbs Gardens_Ball Ground GA_chamrickwriter_randomstoryteller

Late October light slants, stingy at 6 p.m.

I will fall back in early November

For an extra hour of shadow time,

Of cool sleep, a false gain against the loss

Of afternoon gold and blinks into azure bliss

Where contrails etch high-flown ice-crystal beauty.

You showed me fragments, quickening a wakefulness

Within my darkened room—a pull on the blinds,

And a rainbow shot through an antique prism,

And I yearned for the tiny magnificence

Of southern autumn flecking your eyes,

The perfect iris ambiguity

Of green-into-gold-into-bronze-into-rainy-gray.

Oh, these are the days of wine-soaked glory—

When fall flames the Japanese maples

Leaving in chlorophyll-starved splendor

And sets crimson fire to full-sun burning bushes;

Scraggles of yearend roses scrape skyward

Or ground-sink in tattered bouquets.

Near death is full, palpitating—

Drunk on this bittersweet October afternoon,

A bee bumbles and greedily clutches

A fistful of honey-yellow stamens

Rippling my late-summer Iowa memory

Of wheat dipping, bowing, rolling west;

I craved the pull of that wind-mellowed phrase,

But F-sharp minor cross-wired my brain violet;

My hands are witless things, deaf to sounding color,

Yet you heard, somehow heard, rhythms halting,

And grace notes chirping, and my wistful banging

At a far-flung purplish fantaisie;

Your right hand took the middle voice; your left, the bass,

Tempering my two-hand flails at trills and dots,

And I down-stepped a semitone to F sharp;

Our four-hand blue noted harmonic shifts and modulated—

A carefulness, like precision-measured gin

From a sapphire bottle, kissed with vermouth

And two drops of orange bitters—I paused

For the long-distance click of frosted glasses

And mourned the phrase I would never grasp:

Six minutes of perfect F-sharp minor.

And so, we play on, October moistening our lips,

Faithful in our fashion to burnished friendship,

Like copper-edged magnolia leaves gleaming hazel

While roses bleed the ground before butchering frost.

Nature has a way of turning parlor tricks:

The heart line forks in the palm of my right hand,

Oh, mon semblable, oh, mon frère.



  1. Leila Lou Baldwin

    Oh the wistfulness of the passing seasons….and life. You captured it so beautifully my friend..looking forward to the book of poetry!

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