The woodpeckers here seem
quite content to beat their heads
against palm trees, which I am not
certain should qualify as trees,
not a ring to be seen if you cut
one down, but they tend to fall
before you get to that point.
The most common woodpecker
is the red bellied, which itself
is odd since his head is bright red
his belly with a pinkish tinge,
but that is so Florida I suppose
naming things for what you want
but not at all what they seem to be.
I could go on but the ibis are upset
that an armadillo is wander across
the yard interrupting their lunch.
Platform shoes, velour
Nehru jackets, what the hell
were we thinking, and pink
velour, seriously, for men.
At least it was Hendrix, Byrds,
and not Pat Boone and Andy
Williams, almost the death
of music as we know it.
Reefers were evil, told us so,
and when we figured out it was
pot, we begged to differ, frequently
between hits on the bong,
after all joints required a certain
amount of dexterity in the rolling
and tjat progressively slipped away
with the afternoon sun.
Now it’s chardonnay and pinot
and a good reposado or anejo,
or a blanco if company appears
and triple sec then, never Cointreau.
I remember the cherry trees
along the reflecting pool, though
except in April they mostly reflected
a partially clouded sky promising rain.
Their pinkness was a tone I have
searched for since, and came
closest in Tokyo, jealous of the emperor
and his gardens so carefully tended.
It is that time again, and this year
as in so many past, I will not see
my reflection in the city of my birth,
nor the pink rain that falls slowly
in April’s first strong breeze, I
will not scoop up a handful of pink
and cast it into the sky, only to fall
yet again, to the joy of a nearby child.
I will dream of Tokyo, of the two trees
In a corner of Senso-ji, alight in pink
under the always watchful eye
of Buddha and the smiling jizos.
the bell rings three times
outside the birds fall silent
all sitting zazen
clocks come to a stop
time no longer has meaning
apple blossoms fall
covering the ground in pink