Socks and Stars
In two large jars
I once kept
my socks and stars
Late one night
the jar of stars
The jar broke
The stars escaped
and created starlight
I then wondered
what would happen
if the socks escaped
So no longer do
I keep my socks
in a large fragile jar
I now keep them safely
stored deep in the back
of a closed dark drawer
The Day We Saw JFK
aka Our Encinal School 8th Grade Field Trip from Coyote, California to see and
hear President Kennedy at the UC Berkeley Memorial Stadium on March 23, 1962
The morning air was crisp and clear and
invigorated with a golden fresh new kind
of infectious youthful optimism. The wide
open sky was a pure true crystal clear blue.
The date was March 23rd, 1962.
President Kennedy's confident words echoed and
resonated throughout that packed attentive stadium
with his strong charismatic New Englander accent.
His voice lifting us all in awe of his Presidential
presence before us just like last month's John Glenn
Atlas rocket Mercury Friendship 7 orbital lift-off.
The fragrant mustard grew taller
and thicker that spring between the
orchard trees that surrounded our school.
The Coyote Valley was brilliantly carpeted
with fragrant vibrant spring flowers. The fruit
trees were heavily covered with blossoms that
looked like white popcorn. The valley was abuzz
with worker bees buzzing in the blooms pollinating
a fresh new harvest.
My grades were not so good then but
Mr. Strayer said that I had "Potential!"
and with JFK's speech still reverberating in
my brain from that wondrous unforgettable day,
"The Future" started to feel like a solid gold
nugget in the palm of my tender timid hand.
Mystery To Me Still
An old splintered shipping crate
off the side of a forgotten street.
Must have fallen from a truck.
Split wide open,
I decide to stop
I take a peek.
Inside I see...
scattered piles of powdered tire tread rubber,
busted bundles of unmatched polyester socks,
torn garbage bags spilling black brake pad dust,
lug boxes full of barely used hotel bars of soap
and huge clumps and chunks of government trust.
Ah-ha, I think to myself.
I have always wondered
where this stuff has been disappearing.
I wonder how long this abandoned crate
has been laying out here like this?
I look around the immediate area.
I look for traces, tracks or any clue.
I scan down the dusty barren street
in both directions, again and again,
all the way to the distant hazy horizon.
No one else stops, like this is nothing new.
Where has this stuff
been going for all of my life?
Out to be spread across the vast desert?
Up to be dumped in a secret pit in the hills?
I cannot figure it out. No one seems to care.
It is a mystery to me still.
California Buckeye Dust Up At Ryder's Field
With all the country school picnic rules explained
ad nauseam about the rattlesnakes, the poison oak,
the creek, the ticks, the mosquitoes, on and on, our
only teacher Mrs. Derby and three hovering mothers
had totally overlooked and said absolutely nothing
about the noble indigenous California Buckeye tree.
Didn't have any rules for the "boys will be boys" boys
having a spontaneous flash Buckeye running skirmish... or
a romping, dodging and ducking dust up fueled with nature's
God given hanging hand ammo of the old Buckeye tree.
Not one mention... about NO throwin' them big hangin',
just beggin' to be pitched Buckeye seeds as fast as we could
yank 'em and hurl 'em at each other, one after another, hard
as we could with Daddy's applied lesson of Kentucky windage
and lead. It didn't matter... rival, buddy or brother you'd better
scatter. A good shot leaving that old hillbilly "I got you" Buckeye
tattoo of black and blue. The loser's score card to be tallied up
visibly during recess in a day or two with ample teasing and
heroic battle stories at our old one room Llagas School.
ÒLook at that bruise! Wow, I got you good, man!Ó
Photo Credit: National Park Service website.
For those unfamiliar with a Buckeye seed. Think of an apple crossed with a golf ball.
Throw 'em like a baseball... ouch! Them suckers hurt! Sorry Mrs. Derby, RIP.
© Edward Ferri, Jr.
Bio: Edward Ferri, Jr. grew up on a "non profit" farm in the rain shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains when "Bailing wire, gumption, and spit" were the "apps" of the day. He is a strong believer in the spirit of Boo Radley and he still savors lessons learned during the 'missing miles' lived on the roads of North America on a motorcycle. His motorcycle once broke down in Binghamton, NY. It took a week for repairs but 2 years to leave. He is a graduate of SJSU and one frigid night at the Big 8 Motel, El Reno, OK. He has been published in Lucidity, Muddy River Poetry Review, Eskimo Pie, Still Crazy, Agave, Hobo Camp Review, Main Street Rag and Constellations. He first realized the beauty of Denali in the rear view mirror of a gutted gutless Volvo 544. He was leaving to meet Carol and never returned. His first poetry book of "Poems Kindled In The Long Shadow Of A Lone Motorcycle" titled GLASSY AIR, which includes 74 color photos, is forthcoming early this summer published by BookLocker.com.