A Poem by Al Simmons
It’s Tuesday, $5.50 day at the Downtown Alameda Cineplex,
But I’m not going. It’s too nice outside.
The family of crows nesting in the tall cypress tree
Towering over the west end of the garden,
Have grown large over the years, from the original couple
And their first hatchling to a current flock of seven
Blackbirds in a tree, never adding more than one per season
To their prospering clan, a noisy bunch. They all participate
Bringing up baby, who remarkably appears full grown
Before it can feed itself or fly. And, even after
Plays the child and begs all day for loose change from its elders.
They hunt spiders on the rooftops between the cracks
Between tar and tiles where the webs roam, and
Pick off ants in the trees. Not wormers like robins who work
And turn the soil for an immediate harvest, but more like
Scavengers who shop at the mall, two blocks south, and
Know a good deal when they see one, just like me.
There is a fresh breeze coming in off the bay.
Summer arrived yesterday, on Memorial Day, exactly as planned.
We are Almanac. The skies are clear
After a long month of gray, and the sparkling blue afternoon
Light makes the leaves dance on their edges, glitter
And shine welcome. The new neighbors next door
Dress like school kids carrying book backpacks
Wherever they go, do laundry every day and
Walk their cat on a leash. The kitchen faucet drips,
But I don’t care. The last one did, too.
Al Simmons was born in Chicago on December 21, 1948. He attended Northeastern Illinois University, in Chicago, and won two Illinois Arts Council Awards as editor of Stone Wind Magazine, Northeastern Illinois University Press. Poet-In-Residence, City of Chicago Council on Fine Arts, 1979-80. Founder of the Blue Store Readings, Home of the Spoken Word Movement, and creator of the Main Event, the World Heavyweight Poetry Championship Fights, and The World Poetry Association, (WPA). He was Commissioner of the WPA and the World Poetry Bout Association, (WPBA), Chicago, Taos, New Mexico, 1979 – 2002. Once quoted on the front page of the New York Times. He has two books, Care Free, poems, Smithereens Press, Bolinas, California, 1982, and King Blue, a memoir, Stone Wind Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1992. His work has appeared in The Chicago Reader, Strong Coffee, Exquisite Corpse, and most recently in Queen City Review, Blue Collar Review, WORK, Out of Our, Horus-Hi Road Glyphics, Green Panda Anthologies The Next, Forage, Your Impossible Voice, Echo Literary Review, Placeholder Magazine, Blue River Review, Ariel Chart, Peacock Review, Peacock Review Anthology, Vol. II., Star 82 Review, Disappointed Housewife, Alcyone, a Magazine of Speculative Fiction, Issues II & III, Writing Good Poetry Newsletter, Contribute to the Chaos, Art of the Spoken Word, and Soft Cartel. He lives in Alameda, California. Follow him at firstname.lastname@example.org.