Monday, April 28, 2014

Honda 250

Raggedy little motorcycle
black and pitted chrome
bits of dirt and oil

tattered seat and
cables dangling just short
of catastrophe

good enough to putter
across Venice Boulevard
and over the canals

sorry enough to droop
it's headlight in disgrace
at the sight of the big BMW

parked proudly on the grass
in front of your apartment
one warm Saturday afternoon

foolish enough to dump me
spinning on the tarmac
to the laughter of all the girls

just good enough to be
enshrined in our mythology
the golden coach

that carried us together
at the start of our
love story

© Frank Kearns 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Road Work

This morning my office van-pool slowed
and as we passed an impressive large hole,
three men leaned on their shovels
and contemplated the beauty of their work.

Hail to you, road workers,
gathered in the morning mist,
hard hats, jeans and scarred leather boots,
hoodie jackets and florescent vests

circled behind orange cones,
insulated coffee mugs in hand,
oblivious to the passing glances
of young women in BMWs.

Stuff, what wonderful stuff you have,
dump trucks full of asphalt and sand,
shovels and jackhammers, picks and bars
metal to be hoisted and swung all day.

Oh you, the prince of the backhoe,
your levers control the mighty arm
with the scoop that lays bare
layers of tortured rock and macadam,

And hail to you, king of the ponderous roller
regal barge moving massive and slow,
giant cylinders steaming over still soft road,
and you sitting motionless high in the seat.

© Frank Kearns 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jawbone Siphon Song


Jawbone Siphon Song                 

                                         “There it is. Take it.” William Mulholland

Bart drove Sarah up Three Ninety Five
then North away from the two lane blacktop
on the unmarked graded road

to where steel pipe as wide as an automobile
bends up eight hundred fifty feet
a giant “V” carved on canyon walls

They stood on the warm steel in the sun
and felt the heat work into their shoes
felt the vibrations under their feet

and heard the Jawbone Canyon Siphon’s
hum         almost inaudible above
the desert sounds and silences.

Bart talked cubic feet per second
incompressible fluid and the pressure
of a column of water towering high

and Sarah listened        but listened too
to the song from inside the arched metal tube
as the water raced passed hoop joints and rivets

echoes of flowers in Onion Valley
and trickles from glaciers nestled in
the granite slopes of the Palisades

she heard the scratchy resonance
of dried out fields      sold-out farms
and the whisper of men at the spillway gates

and a mantra of names
Eaton Mulholland Lippincott
Otis San Fernando Los Angeles

a chant repeated by the wind
as it picked up the salt and sand
from the dry brown bed of Owens lake

to twirl across the empty flats
and sift through the shells of windows and doors
in the broken-down sheds of Olancha

Copyright © Frank Kearns 2014