Coalition of cheetahs, clutch of chickens, colony of bats, caravan of camels, cast of crabs, crash of rhinos, congregation of alligators . . . and what might be the best appellation applied to a gathering of poets? Convocation? Cluster? Chattering? Collection? Clutter? No, no, perhaps cacophony would be the most apt descriptor. Anyway, Michael Estabrook is one of the cacophony, his latest collection of poems being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2016).
At the club pool
squeezing the last rays of sunshine
out of the last days of summer
but I’m not anxious
about the coming fall
because I’m not returning to school
not going back to work
seeing as I’m retired, relaxed watching
as the woman in the orange bikini
surveys her domain
and the wasp
beneath my chair
continues building her nest
of dried grass.
When I was younger
I’d walk the train tracks beyond
where we lived pondering
the direction of my life
where have I been?
where am I going?
what am I doing or not doing?
what could I be doing better?
Even though I’m older now
and still have no answers
to these my life’s questions
I no longer tread the tracks
to ponder them
because those big trains appear silently
from around the bend awfully fast.
Wish I could strip the life off this life, see what lies
beneath. This “reality” can’t be all there is – trees,
houses, roads, pillows, sparrows, spare ribs,
bikes, balloons, bananas and board games.
Isn’t that what religion and mythology,
physics and cosmology, even astrology are all about?
Yes, but I’ve looked in those places
and haven’t found any answers.
There’s something else, there must be something more
I’m certain of it, but what?
and where to look?