Sonnet AR15

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

The sonnet’s recitation’s just begun
And forty rounds have flown; some friends are dead.
If hairs be wires— gunman fires still;
The students feel the first frisson of fright
As down the hall the bullets fly and kill–
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from
each victim reeks
And music hath a far more pleasing sound
Than gilded lead that smacks the flesh it seeks.
My mistress drowns in blood upon the ground.
And yet, by heaven,
mass shootings are rare;
To ban poor, blameless guns would not be fair.


Feathered Attrition

Five birds there were who rose as one
To catch the breeze that swept the street
A tomcat on the hunt for fun
Leaped, snapped, and landed on its feet

Four birds there were who wheeled and banked
And dove for shelter in a tree
Where stood a watchful hawk who thanked
For that he ate, the other three

Three birds the twilight quiet shattered
Squawking terror, anger, fear
Upon a windshield one bird spattered
Après truck, two reappear

Two birds with their hearts a-flutter
Flying high in dying light
A shot, a bark, a pan with butter
Someone’s dining well tonight

One bird, silent, watchful, wary
Crouches in an empty nest
Companions make the night less scary,
Cold and lonely…still, it’s very
Spacious here without the rest….

Hopping Sad

My sweet, expired kitty cat
Is haunting me. It’s either that
Or she bequeathed her favorite flea
To me in perpetuity.
She must have known I’d not be bored
So long as there’s a hopping horde
Of parasites to raise a toast
To me, their most congenial host.
Deploying seven cans of Raid
Brand fogger would, I thought, put paid
To all the open flea accounts,
But not so much. The interest mounts
As does their interest in my feet
And ankles. How does one defeat
An enemy whose tiny size
Means freckles make a fine disguise?
I glance and slap and gouge my shin;
Turns out it’s only melanin
In clumps upon my dermis, while
Behind my knee the vermin smile.
Listen: Can you hear the purr
Of my late cat? It’s thanks to her
Alone is what I’ll never be.
Excuse me, time to feed the flea.