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Selected Poems from the Writings of David L. Nelson

All Works Copyright David L. Nelson 2006 Focus Fine Arts ® & Ironworks Publishing

Charlotte Russe

Near the edge of Green Frog Marsh, where wild rushes do grow
Lives a thick spray of blue iris, where in March there is snow.

Off in the distance, well across the great pond
I could just make out a figure, through thin reeds and broad fronds.

All about his business and busy was he
Too busy to be bothered by attending to me.

As it happened that Spring day I just happened by
To find young Master Hopkins slicing what looked like a pie.

"Dear boy," I did sing. "What have you there?"
"Is it a meringue, a fruit tart, perhaps an eclair?"

He did not at all answer, while humming a soft happy tune,
Then continued the labor of lifting his bright silver spoon.

Well silence be silenced! I certainly shall not be distanced this way.
I shall find my way right round the pond... then what will he say.

I too hunger, but slightly, for some sweet truffle or jam;
Let the old men with whiskers eat their sausage and ham.
"Young man, young man, do you still not hear?
I am practically pouring my words in your ear!"

Still no response and happy as ever
His mouth but a vacuum, his arm but a lever.

His cheeks puffed with pastry and bursting with jelly
He mumbled some crumbs, then wiped his hands on his belly.

"Young man!" I declared. "Look at your shirt!
You're all covered with puddings and sweet luscious dessert."

"Please, come join me," said he with a saccharine laugh.
"I'll give you the pleasure of cutting Charlotte Russe in half."

I gazed at the perfect pastry aglow on its plate
Without even trying... it was much more lovely than any I've ate.

At first I refused, then at last, refused to refrain;
With a hesitant hand I did cut dear Charlotte in twain.

He looked East to West, and I North to South
Then we each put sweet Charlotte inside of our mouths.

A pudding indeed! A pudding divine, a pudding unquestionably delectably supreme!
A sweet bread and fruit pudding filled with luscious whipped cream.

Charlotte, oh Charlotte, you are heaven unto heaven's bright eye.
You are the Grand Queen of all ambrosial cakes, custards, and pies.

© David L. Nelson 2006 FFA® & Ironworks Publishing

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Le Banquet Exceptionale

Yes, Yes, Yes, Of course...we have a reservation
Someone on your staff has ignored a cancellation
Seat us by the window we like to watch the waves
Dear, look at that young waiter he's wanting for a shave
Oh Miss! could you move this plant it obscures my husband’s view
The last time that we ate here the prawns were tough to chew
I like a piping hot meal served upon an icy plate
The entrée should be early though I prefer my salad late!
I shall have my oysters raw though steamed they are divine
On second thought sauté them wait! Boil them in wine
I often spend the evening dining with J. D. Rockefeller
He always lets me choose among the bottles in his cellar
A Rothschilde 1812
I last plucked from his many shelves
But tonight I'm with my honey
We will try the MD 20/20

And waiter more potatoes, more potatoes if you please
I'll have them presto presto
but not so fast
to cause the stirring of a breeze

For dessert, I should like
Hmmmmmmm... AAAHHHHH
The "Pastry De Lorraine"
They serve it chilled in France
But it's better warmed in Spain!
We will have it in a custard cup....
Wait! Wait! Serve it on a platter
It's best served in a Petri dish
I prefer the former to the latter
And a lâtté and a demi tass
But in your biggest cup
We won't need a doggie bag
we've brought our little pup
But if you could bring a child's seat
he can join us at the table
he likes his napkin fluffed
No hurry... as soon as you are able

We will pay with Master Card
or should I use the Visa?
I've been patient... but it's hard
They seldom serve to please us
I know it may seem rash
But I've decided not to tip
The waitress seemed a little brash
and my plate contained a chip.

© David L. Nelson 2006 FFA® & Ironworks Publishing

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Critic Stew As Critics Do

While the Thrush,
Meadow Lark,
and bold Crow
have all squared gravity
and tested the buoyancy
of naked space...

To fall from the summit
of any branch... but! to rise again,
not by chance of grace
but by swift wing
and swifter intent.

The Eagle... even takes fool’s luxury
from its plummeting plumes, while dating...
to casually fall through the ether,
during the course of its mating.

All Penguins!!
All Penguins!!
Meet within the mushy muddle!
And gather together
to splash the proud puddle...

To stomp a wide river
of packed puddles dry,
in hope of soaking
a few passing eyes.

Upright ‘tis true
and mobile, yes,
each one on parade
each in particular
meticulous dress...

Hither ‘n’ yon,
to ‘n’ fro...
here they come
‘n’ there they go...

Near as I recall standing here dry,
it's never... I've seen their fastidious flock
in the realm of the sky.

Now to water born, they slide and scoot,
like the swift killer Kite,
however, on land they seemingly lack
adequate lift-off for flight.

Now to fly under water is most excellent sport,
with such liquid grace as they waddle ‘n’ snort...

To slide across ice flows on belly or back,
one must leave the nest to nurture the knack...

Though the risk involved may prove less extreme
than parachuting a plane in the safety of dreams.

Leave the exploration of heaven
to the loftier creatures,
who by nature’s intent
reflect helium's features.

For a bird is a bird...
is it not so?
Some fly through the air!
Some flop through the snow

‘Tis true though!
Their little suits
are well tailored...
fractionally fitted,
frosty ‘n’ nice,
needs keeps them warm
their chill vocal winds...
their vast verbiage of ice!

Yes! Yes!
They are hearty...
in the cool polar weather,
but they cry icicle tears
at the sweet swift sight
of a loftier feather.

© David L. Nelson 2006 FFA® & Ironworks Publishing

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Til You Arrive

Awaiting your arrival, I pass the time by night and day in usual methods, familiar to me.

Counting the number of grains of salt in a barrel, and then recounting once again, subtracting what I may have spilled through the cracks in the floor or used for each day’s meal.

Picking up leaves in autumn and sorting each by color and or size, then I take care to place them in metal boxes I have fashioned from old tin containers; each one is labeled and set on a particular wooden shelf in order of annual collection.

Sometimes, I head down to the beach and write significant mathematical equations in the sand at the water’s edge and watch them disappear into the frothy waves. Perhaps they will appear on the other side of the ocean on a crowded beach where they will be cataloged and used for the decoration of scholastic wallpaper.

If the day is heavy with clouds and the sky is dark and foreboding, I skip or prance in spite of the leaden sky, until I reach a suitable destination where I spend hour upon hour writing glad tidings in bright yellow chalk on the walkways that are traveled by the sullen crowds returning home from their day of labor. I watch as people begin to laugh or smile at the quizzical, whimsical phrases.

I rise early and dress as if I were a business man with lots of important decisions to make, then I board the train, briefcase and an old newspaper in hand, and do my best to appear engrossed in the stock market pages, or frown and look puzzled as I scratch notes to myself on bits of wrinkled brown paper bags. I then place the jottings in an envelope and smile as I paste a stamp in its corner. When the train stops in a town I like, I make my way to the post office and mail the envelope to myself. This way, I am guaranteed correspondence of some interest in the following days. Before returning home on another train, I put on the costume of a chef, complete with a thin mustache, and speak faux French in courteous tones, and hand out salty crackers and bubble gum to the hungry passengers. I think it cheers them up a little.

I ride my rickety old red rusty blue bicycle backwards, perched high upon the handlebars, as I sing the melody of one song to the lyrics of another, both of which I make up as I wear my peddles quite out.

If the wind is quite strong enough on any given day, I sort through my collection of hand picked dandelion seeds and bring several giant sacks out of doors and toss them into the arms of the brisk breeze and watch as they are deftly planted at some great distance and well beyond the scope of my vision. I consider this a decorative gift to my fellow man.

If some things are pink, I paint them green. If some things are green, I paint them pink. I am always wanting to be fair.

I walk about town and tie bright yellow cardboard tags to fences, trees, poles, and benches, and price them for sale based on their estimated height, weight, and color. In this manner I raise enough money to purchase popcorn clouds come summer and give them as gifts to those less fortunate than I.

Mostly though, I imagine I am with you.

© David L. Nelson 2006 Focus Fine Arts ®

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