Bob Carlson

Here’s two new ones:

For the Taking

We first met at the old country store, you behind the counter

making the National cash register sing, here from a college in the East, staying with your auntie

in the Hiawatha Valley for that summer so long ago.


Now I have come back here, the old store still standing, you remarried in New York,

never to return to farm fields

and wood smoke

and small towns fading away.


And yet the store remains open, like me a nostalgic relic

of romantic and simpler times, when all that we needed and all that we wanted was right in front of us,

bc  June 2016


Pacific Beaches

We walked hand in hand on the Oregon beach,

surf exhaling the ocean’s life, haystacks split midway

by layered mist,

and seagulls hunting in the waves.


We must have walked miles in silence, enchanted simply

by the endless roar and power and truth of the Pacific :

all life is but a chance- made, taken, or given-

only a chance.


We reached our tent in evening twilight and sat near the fire at sunset.

And the smoke rose gently up from our camp

and flowed to the horizon and the Orient –

to the millions waking, to lovers loving,

to couples walking

their own Pacific beaches,

with our revolutions and  wars of the heart finally long over.





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