December 2013

New Eden

This time of day the birds
and road noise do battle.
Chimes join the soundtrack
and life takes on the likes

of an old DeMille epic
with a garden from central
casting: Garbo and Gable
stroll near the trees, stop

for a cigarette. Bogey flirts
with Bacall at the Hibiscus.
Earl Flynn beats the bad guys
with a cast of thousands.

Two hummingbirds shoot past
like bullets, one chasing the other.
Sugar water for all yet they take
turns, torment each other.

A Mockingbird competes
with quarrelsome sparrows
and the wounded sound
of doves floats against heaven.

My partner hammers near my nook
as if to design new sets,
and a small lizard stares at me
with its ancient, yellow eye.

—Shirley Rickett

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