Cirino and Costley

Everything Is Bare

Everything is bare: the pantry, the cupboards,

the freezer, the fridge. No papers in the desk,

only a family Bible. Where have they gone?

Even the cat’s bed is empty, and the dog’s pad.

The closet stores winter woolens, summer blouses

and spring dresses. But no man’s coat or sweater.

A dark lamp and silent TV. The table is bare—

no drinks or plates. The dishes washed and stacked.

No car in the driveway, garage door locked.

Screen latched, windows down and shades drawn.

Trash is out, newspaper gone, dust settled.

What has happened? What is going to happen?

Song of Songs

Older women still want soft tongues

across the stretch of imagination

with lip to lap resuscitation.

Oh labia my love, of star and moon,

limb and stone, my wish for rising hips.


Breath, unfold your mist

across my mouth, the autumn come,

soil wet with mothers’ gloom:

beasts and humans curved

and formed with earth’s unknowns.

Leonard J. Cirino (1943) is the author of twenty chapbooks and sixteen full-length collections of poetry since 1987 from numerous small presses.  He lives in Springfield, Oregon, where he is retired, does home care for his 97-year-old-mother, and works full-time as a poet.  His 100-page collection, Omphalos: Poems 2007, was published in spring, 2010 from Pygmy Forest Press.  A 64-page selection, Tenebrion: Poems 2008, is from Cedar Hill Publications, in 2010.  His 60-page collection, Triple Header is due from Cervena Barva Press, E. Somerville, MA, next year.  He has two other full-length collections that have been accepted that will be  available in 2011 or 2012. His full-length collection, Chinese Masters, is from March Street Press,  2009.  He can be reached at cirino7715@comcast.net.


Not enough of the People

were paid to infiltrate the People,

so the People got out of hand.


Not enough of the People

were working full-time

to be fully-occupied.


Enough of the People

were working to take a day off.


Enough of the People showed up

to make their point: The People

will make their presence felt

whether they’re wanted or not.


The People will always show up.

(02 NOV 11, 5pm, Santa Clara CA while listening to KPFA 94.1 FM)

Bill Costley lives in Santa Clara, Ca.  He can be reached at www.costleybill7.blogspot.com.  

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