National conference downtown allows brief time for exploring familiar noisy streets. Walking with a friend to art museum through civic park reveals underbelly of city. A few paces on hot concrete in summer sun induces sweat. Try not to notice drug deal under shade of fountain colonnade or homeless lounging against marbled wall near bronzed statue. Pigeons investigate remnants of fast food, old newspapers and cigarette butts. Step across colorful chalk-lettered sidewalk declaring “Black Lives Matter” while handful of protestors camp under tree. Police car cruises by, another has stopped a car of rowdy boys. Keep focused on destination while avoiding curbside drunks.  Hastily cross boulevard ahead of traffic bearing down. The beautiful main entrance of memories is under construction and visitors are directed past dirt piles to alley door. Once inside, relax in climate-controlled air and stroll past paintings and exhibits, admiring the polished side of human culture.

pillowed hotel room

sirens howl in the night

dazed lights of city


Linking with dVerse Poets where Bjorn hosts modified haibun Monday.

whitecaps on layered waves

Re-sting poolside, this filigree of laced memory
is a white albatross painted on far anchor; these
sailboat silhouettes woven into plusSHh beach towel
spread over warm concrete hold recurring dream of
air bubbles floating up, sun-dappled, to break surface.

Fading in silence, she calmly watches her lung-full of
oxygen de-liber-ately escape; falling through life’s briefly
inflated ring while the knotted rope unravels swiftly from its
bitt over slippery polished deck. Aware of drowning yet able
to finger-trace scrollwork on bow christened, “esperanza”.

What if everything really is a meaningless vanity?
white rails appear sturdy but it’s only recycled plastic fence of
culture’s kiddie pool your wet and shivering identity leans on?

Going down, sinking into refracted clouds; slip thru tatted
tangle of seaweed, past intertwined corpses of coral, to lay
quiet, prone on smooth stones (fearing rusty drain at bottom).
Watery depths cannot claim billow of main sail forever and a
gleaming gull wings star-board, past lifeguard’s empty chair.

My response to Claudia’s challenge at D’Verse Poets Pub to write “layered poem”…