Friday, June 19, 2015


iced tea, mint, sugar
calhoun county’s best manners –
little extra sugar

gadsden barbeque –
no matter how hard times are,
y’all’re welcome for th’fourth


in mobile, th’junction –
heavy rain’s cancelled th’fireworks,
‘n’ her plans are in th’air

she’s back ‘n fairhope f’r th’fourth
a town that’s absorbed ‘n itself,
kind of refreshing

lazy fairhope morns –
th’old mansion has issues, hers,
th’cool mint tea ‘n th’study

fishing th'tombigbee, 
his sultry prison 'f a town's
million miles away


back home from th’army –
wants t’work f’r th’birmingham police
‘n’ crank th’air con at home

kudzu chokes back road,

ominous warning posted -
go back to mobile 

clanton tourists' tale -

came hundreds 'f miles in this heat 
to pay our respects

picnic near clanton
their honor, their lives, bound
t’ th’confederacy 

clanton picnic tale –
he knows th’confed’rate gen’rals,
names his sons after’m

second-guessing lee –
clanton picnic folks insist
stonewall would have won

grew all th’mint herself –
vegetables all got withered
in th’hot ‘bama sun

shocked t’see th’yankee hat
on th’red clay bama backroads –
little out of place

windows closed ‘gainst th’heat
active shooter ‘t th’arsenal,
but th’word seems t’get ‘round

midnight trucker’s voice,
they’re burning tires up ahead –
then, th’crickets ‘f fort payne

good manners steeping, 
iced tea, mint, lemon, sugar -
sweet heart of dixie 

nice fiddle ya got

come up blount mount'n, he says - got 
folks play all summer 

muscle shoals fiddler –
used t’ th’summers ‘n’ th’culture of th’place,
loves those dixie songs

trowbridge egg n' olive -
iced tea to cool the tongue, from 
florence gossip's sting

fairhope maiden's wish -

her own front porch, summer read,
someone to talk to

fairhope, she says, town
where folks notice ev’rything,
‘n’ summer still drags on

excited ‘bout th’tide,
eager t’take that hopped up truck
‘n’ parade th’red colors


old yankee hat on 
rider, old 'bama clay in 
truck, fall sky outside

her wood’s cut and stacked,
guy ‘n th’old truck, ‘bama clay,
drops off th’venison

ven’son ‘n’ collard greens –
not happy ‘bout th’auburn game,
‘n’ scroungin’ for dessert

'bama fans trashing 
auburn streets - college prank, 'cept
they aren't in college

don’t care f’r th’college kids –
he’s fixin’ t’do some damage
when th’tide beats auburn

twenty near ranburne
rolling hills, autumn fog, dusk,
th’u.f.o. was real

hauling through ranburne,
th’changing leaves through th’fog, then, th’lights
from another world

confederate flag,
united we stand sticker- 
'bama football day


red ‘bama jerseys
for each number, a player,
gods of th’pantheon

ranburne trucker’s tale –
th’saucer landed ‘n th’autumn fog,
right along twenty

behold, the first frost,
th’hanging bottles, th’morning sun –
two-lane t’montgom’ry 

black friday ‘n gadsden
mall owner tries to explain
why they kicked him out

pedophile ‘n th’senate
election season, ‘n’ asks ‘bout
bus’ness as usual

bottles hang from th’trees –
first frost, two-lane t’montgom’ry,
walk past th’eerie light

dothan laundromat -

young boy, inconsolable
saw santa drinking

road forks in mobile -

cut north to face family,
or winter on gulf

coden temple gift,

from shrimper's wife to buddha - 
new year's storm hits gulf

coden shrimper’s boat –
hull ‘n’ ornament, all they found,
after th’new year’s storm


eastbound at grand bay,  
epiph'ny wind - unprepared,
for dawn's light'n her eyes

space heater, packed church - 

sand mountain snakes stay in box,
amens all around

b’lieve god speaks through th’snakes,
but th’sand mountain church burned down –
left th’space heater on


fam’ly’s kicked around
bama – now he stays warm ‘n’ works
making odysseys

snakes of sand mountain
spits on th’frozen ground, says she’s
punished f’r ev’ry thought

tales ‘f old ‘bombingham’ –
rubs hands t’keep warm, ‘n’ tells how you’d
stay out of th’churches

plain old city bus, 
a mid-winter way to work - 
selma's reflection

selma bus ‘n winter,
take it just for th’experience –
often late, she says

standing by th’trash can,
burning th’news t’keep warm, telling
why ‘t’s called ‘bombingham’

oh so ord’nary –
selma bus, winter morning,
driver keeps ‘s eyes down

trash can fire, share th’heat
th’black folks ‘n th’city can tell you
th’hist’ry ‘f “bombingham

blount mountain music –
so good, he says, ya tend t’forget
y’ain’t worked all winter


ain't been this cold in 
gadsden, she says, since th'war of
northern aggression


not much to see here,
grim march rain's soaking florence,
blues in muscle shoals

dothan court, spring day,
she mutters about justice -
her son’s still locked up

gadsden magnolia,
flowers, strong ‘n’ fragrant – behind th’bush,
they’ve thrown some beer cans

‘nother round ‘f spring winds –
trailer home ‘n tuscaloosa
not th’best idea

inside th’van, th’guitar –
no money, th’grim ‘bama spring,
‘n’ now, ‘t’s raining again

rain, mobile exits,
on t’ward th’new orleans blood bank –
somewhere, it’s easter

from montgom'ry west,
spring dawn wakens th'countryside, 

ir'n rails sing f'r freedom 

th’local lass jumps th’train –
west from montgomery, th’flow’rs,
th’valleys call to her

th’trees’re blooming ‘n dothan
outside th’courthouse, th’mother yells,
no justice f’r th’poor folks!

westbound, seminole,
green-eyed lass, bouquet ‘f flowers
he’s stopped in his tracks


lives on th’styx, th'flowers 
are all over th’place – he tries
t’imagine stopping

scent ‘f honeysuckle
all up th’river styx she feels
so overpowered

it’s honeysuckle

she says – he admits he’s not
from alabama

flowers on th’river styx
surprised you’d notice, what with
all th’honeysuckle

rains pound birmingham, 
bright unmatched sock - another
laundromat easter 

proud ‘f his ten c’mmandments –
gadsden gard’ner’s tales ‘f how th’guy
don’t mind th'coveting

train t’montgomery,
th’brakes screech – wisteria in th’fields,
th’morning dew shines ‘n th’sun

dothan magnolia
th’place itself holds onto her,
‘n’ ‘t’s just now getting hot


june rains ‘n muscle shoals
th’river rises, th’hiker waits,
somewhere, there’s music

e pluribus haiku


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