Free verse poems


On clear Kansas nights,
we drove out of town
to drink up on the prairie.
It was an unobstructed sky,
the light pollution of a city
100 miles east. We laughed
and sometimes talked about poetry.
I don’t remember seeing
a single moon.


Clyde Tombaugh lived
188 miles west and slightly south.
The skies must have been
even darker there.
I wonder if he ever looked up
through his homemade scope
on a late fall night
while the sound of dry corn husks
scratched at his ear.


I moved east.
Tombaugh moved west.
We each began to see things.
Tombaugh moved on to bigger
and better telescopes.
I looked through my first.
Slowly, a planet came into view
for both of us.
And somewhere in Kansas,
a wheat field was dancing with us.


the cat is scratching at the door,
another paper is getting graded,
a kettle is complaining,
the buzzer for the laundry goes,
the TV program shifts to a commercial,
sodium lights glow in every room.

the inside world forgets me,
and I forget the inside world.
A cat looks out,
vaguely wondering where I am.
All I remember is stars.