Poem for My Wife

What I Say to You After Work: for Naomi
  
  
It’s just a bad day, Darlin.
There have been others before this 
and we’re still here, still breathing, still 
waking up in the morning to do it all over again.
I know. I know it has to get better. It will. 
Let’s go for a walk 
and look at the maples in our neighborhood 
budding their fresh green leaves, 
shedding the whirlygigs 
with their veined helicopter wings.
Let’s feel the warming spring Kansas breeze 
on our faces, let it tousle our hair 
like a busy mother’s touch. 
Let’s leave the smart phones 
and music players at home. 
Let’s talk out the frustrations 
and the humiliations and the fuckups.
Let’s talk about planting flowers and tomatoes, 
playing guitars, grilling, inviting friends over, 
getting out of the house. Let’s stop at the corner
where the redbud ignites against the greening grass.
Let’s curse the dandelions but enjoy the yellow. 
Let’s give the bad day the attention it deserves, 
which, really, 
  
ain’t much. 

© 2019 by Shawn Pavey

			

Poem About Georgia O’Keeffe, the Desert, NYC, and the Moon

 
Ladder to the Moon
            for Georgia O’Keeffe
 
When it’s time, you’ll know.
You’ll see it hanging in front of you
as if it had always been there,
a hand-made wooden ladder
above night-blackened red desert hills,
its bottom rung too high to even jump for,
top rung reaching nothing
save the space between earth sand and moon soil.
 
And somewhere past this desert,
past every thing,
strains a music of cinder blocks,
choirs of cranes and car horns,
and towers in New York
reverberating a struggle
to reach only higher than they can.
 
If you can just see what is here,
then maybe a ladder will fall within your reach,
maybe it will carry you up
to touch and stand on a moon of your own,
to look down on towers of concrete, steel, and glass
 
that seem so small from there.
 
© Shawn Pavey, 2019

Cover of my new book

BIG NEWS! My “new and selected” works will be coming out sometime in May through Spartan Press and will be available online through Amazon and Barns & Noble. This is every poem I’ve written that I’m willing to let see the light of day, folks. It’s all in there.

Prepare for a barrage of shameless self promotion for the next month or so.

Photo by Jay Halsey, cover design by Jason Ryberg.

Book cover.jpg

From My Last Book

Lament in the Key of 4G

Out here in the Heartland, wind howls
hot across browning grass and concrete and cars.
We lose our voices; lose the sound of words
we use when shouting above the din of our lives.

Nothing provides comfort, so needed here –
this loud life.
                 So much to remember.
We carry expensive dig-
ital phones to track our appointments,
send our truncated messages in dig-
angelic text, take our calls, give us
direction so we are never lost wherever

we are and wherever we
go we never escape; noise follows footsteps and driving
and spending and
                 working and working and working.