Monday, September 24, 2007

Three poems by John A. Ward

by John A. Ward


I see them when I go walking on the track in the summer. The air is full of dragonflies then. The dragonflies eat the small flies and the flycatchers eat the dragonflies. Both can stop in midair. The dragonflies hover. The flycatchers pull up into a steep climb and their long twin-feathered tails, three times the length of their bodies, their delicate aerobatic tails, stand on sky, a ballerina on point. I stop just to watch and wonder what it must feel like, to command your balance like that, on a weightless perch of air, nothing to support you but momentum squeezed into a moment, a grand jeté and snap, a dragon in your beak. Then off to the treetop to sit on the topmost twig and wait, until another flutter of sun-silvered wings calls you to dinner.


Pie Without Cheese Is Like A Kiss Without A Squeeze

A girlfriend told me that. Since then, I've always eaten pie with cheese, preferably Cheddar. Swiss is a second choice. Not all cheeses work, nor do all pies. The bland bitterness of the cheese contrasts with the sharp sweetness of the pie. From that day, pie became a kiss to me. Some waitresses understand this. They are willing to risk the unfamiliar. Others wrinkle up their noses and write on their pads as if it were blasphemy, then go to the manager to ask if the kitchen will cater to this depravity. I have never had a cook refuse. Cooks have a sensual relationship with food. They understand the need to make it more than mere calories. There are other foods that are more than comestibles to me, but I won't get into that.


The Girl Who Would Turn Evil Men Into Chocolate

We want to take our entire defense budget and invest it in a wand to let her do her work. Divert all of our guns and butter to sweet statues of the villains who torment us with their stings. But what to do with evil women? Surely there are some. Will they rise to replace the tyranny of testosterone? Shall we make them into rosebushes? Then what of the chocolate men and rosebush women after we eliminate evil from the earth? What will become of our defenses? Will we go back to guns and butter again, cycle through good and evil, until all the world is chocolate and roses and the sun expands into a red giant engulfing our world and melting it into one big ball of confection, petals and perfume?

Author bio:

John A. Ward was born on Staten Island, attended Wagner College in the early 60's, sold his first poem to Leatherneck magazine for $10, and became a biomedical scientist. He is now in San Antonio running, writing and living with his dance partner. He has published in Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Toasted Cheese, Green Tricycle, Apollo’s Lyre, Alighted Ezine, Clockwise Cat, Cenotaph Pocket Edition, The San Antonio Express-News, Antithesis Common, Wild Child, Sentence, Sun Poetic Times, Byline, Quirk, ken*again, R-KV-R-Y, The Smoking Poet and Long Story Short. Links to his work can be found at

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