Maxwell’s Poetry Corner

April 23rd, 2016  |  Published in April 2016  |  1 Comment

Three Steeples


Three steeples patina glimmering mossy green

after rain.  Green as copper does after salt

and pollutant-filled raindrops clobber for years,

after intermittent wind burns and sun bleaches

beat their surface like flint for fire;

the parts most exposed are most faded,

as with us humans.


Three steeples centered in the heathen city,

poking above sinking rooftops as witness

to the slum.  I’ve seen them in the moonlight,

stumbling along cracked sidewalks after bar.

They stand for hope, a weathered hope

beyond their aged green, an image

of morality to be mirrored.


Three steeples abandoned, with the faith

of the followers, except for the sparrow

who made nest through the slender window,

nestling between rafters and slate, safe

from predators as she rests upon her eggs.

As sun bounces from the copper green,

I spot her slipping through the narrow passage.



The Heathen City – Part 1


Playing little with the sauce these days

I’m sober in a sea of squiggling pink worms.

Sprinkled in a few brown ones

stand out like kings surveying dead

upon the battlefield.

I see one girl flittering her words

as if sprinting across a trampoline,

when was the last time she let a man in?

For the other doe it won’t be long.

A periodic breeze swaying Christmas lights

in the warm air asserts they’re not just for Winter,

that their light provides atmosphere

for the Heathen City.

Some young men have date-rape eyes-

others that of a beast or criminal,

all but one I spot in the corner.

His eyes locked with the daffodil he’ll marry,

their aching smile muscles burning soft gold

and they are taken.

They are the roof  over this circus,

shelter for all these neon clowns

ravaging in hormonal synchronicity,

They are ignored and invisible.

The chaos is a calming buzz

as their malleable woes reveal;

withering with rising cheek bones.

My pipe clinched tight between teeth

I look up to see no stars,

but they are there,

the kings of the battlefield

shining among the dead

invisible in the corner.



Burning Pops


In between the cracks

fluffs of grass reach

for breath.  Their common color

a mixture of primaries;

dead, each blade tans and crisps

dropping seeds for the next rain.


In between the minutes

molecular substances react

to their surroundings –

gorgeous symphony of chemistry

dancing like wildfire

fueled by auspicious winds.


In between the cracks

burning pops prove

we return to ash and dust.

Feed me to the Earth

gracious winds of chemistry

so with water I may grow.


  1. Jake L. says:

    May 23rd, 2016at 3:04 pm(#)

    Max! Loved ’em buddy, especially Burning Pops.
    So much context in so few lines. Beautiful.

    Keep them coming my man.