Maxwell’s Poetry Corner

May 24th, 2016  |  Published in May 2016



We are all born caterpillars

fuzzy and crawling, amused

by the sky and her shape-shifters:

first a dragon, then an angel.


We flail our limbs testing

their stretch and retraction

grasping on to grass to see it bend

before resting in its vastness.


We grow longer with appetites

fiending like a wood chipper,

consuming anything thrown in-

this is how we learn.


We notice our bodies changing.

Other urges transforming purpose

like leaflets sprouting

from fuzzy plant stems.


We yearn comfort, wrapped up

warm in the arms of a lover-

sex is a real mirage.

We evolve our matured perception.


We realize the sky is our fate,

deciding with precise manufacturing

to be squiggling worms

or to manifest into butterflies.



Midwest Man


Oil seeps beneath my fingernails

is just the grease and dirt mixture

reappearing at work regardless

of scrubbings or pickings.


Wafting scents of nighttime flowers

is just the basement laundry

drying as soiled shorts and shirts

sauna; sweating away impurities.


Confederate flags on porches

is justification more tax money

should be spent on educating children,

but who will rip the gun from the hand

who’s finger spoons the trigger?


No doubt I’m a Midwest man

with sore hands, burning shoulders

and busted knees; with one wife,

one dog, one cat, one paycheck,

one body, one life, and many hopes.


At dusk, we share the same moon,

waning in her pink wisps.  The humid air

moistening our fingernails.  A gravid pause,

a deep breath,  an absolute mortality.




Winding the Clock


Muscles are mere accessories

if never practiced outside the gym.

A young stick-figured cellist plucking

notes will open the crusted pickle jar

before the pickle-fingered bodybuilder

who poses for shots on the bench-press

as oil seeps on down his skin.


Brains are mere muscles accessible

if practiced outside of comfort.

An old gear consistently oiled

ticks with certainty for time.

The digital clock clicks sparking

between uncertain wires –

shed us of need to wind.


–Maxwell Redder

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