The Sense Of Urgency
During last week’s first cool snap,
standing barefoot in evening’s cold bent grass,
my feet tingled from heels to toes,
my mind taken back to the old school-yard field
where our last shoeless touch football games were played
in the gaps between autumns and winters.
We always knew somehow without saying
when the end of fall was upon us,
and that all further frays remaining
would require more adequate cover,
so we made sure to endure well after dark,
our dinners growing cold on their tables,
until our feet became thoroughly numb
and we were no longer able to see.
This week marks the last span of warmth,
spurring a final flurry of floral activity.
The elderberry musters one lone cluster of micro-blossoms,
the fig sports a flagging patch of new leaves,
the grass stands tall in defiance of the mower,
and the despised and dreaded kudzu boasts
a promenade of tiny purple trumpets.
I take in the whole yard, and ponder
how is it that they knew without senses
it was time for one more flourish.
Perhaps we share a common thread,
neither silk nor fine sinew,
a part of Heaven’s disposition
not tied to any nervous system,
that signals without code
and urges us to urgency,
a last-chance opportunity
to frolic, dance, and grow.
The Louisiana Sand Man
For decades, you could see him
as he toiled within reach
on Santa Rosa Island or a Pensacola beach,
but only for the short stretch
of a single summer’s week.
He seemed very ordinary, of average size;
he always wore T-shirts
to hide his spare tire,
but only his arms tanned,
while his legs remained white.
None but his quaint little Asian wife
knew exactly what he really looked like;
a billed cap he wore, pulled way down low,
with gray hair sticking out far below,
dark sunglasses in a clip-on mode,
a sandy mustache and a white goatee
concealed his true identity.
What set him apart
from the other beach geeks
was the castles he’d craft
with a unique technique
that he called drizzle castles,
with tall towers and spires,
made for Lilliputians
to live their small lives.
He formed them by hand,
without bucket or shovel
or other beach implements used by man,
and he used as his medium
sea water and sand.
Positioning was everything;
too close to the waves
made constructions often give way,
and too far away left a project too dry,
without a steady water supply;
so, after examining closely the beach,
he’d plop himself down on a spot in the sand
where the wavelets would just reach his feet.
His arms became steam shovels dug into sand
to find the sea water below,
his hands scooped up building blocks
to make foundations,
his fingers would form molds
for bricks with no mortar,
and from one single digit above,
he would drizzle sand droplets
into steeples and coves.
All his castles were different,
made sans plans, based on whimsy,
but all had great towers and courtyards and chimneys,
with walls that stood high and provided division,
spires that rose up in various sections,
and a front moat that faced toward the ocean.
Some were large, some were smaller,
but to build each, he’d wallow
in a green pond until he had done just enough;
and then he wold brush off all of the mush
from his sand-crusted legs and his slow-wrinkled feet,
and he’d go for a swim in the Gulf tres tout suite.
He accepted the vicissitudes of time and tide,
and sang he the song about castles of sand,
but he would bristle to anger
if his work was defaced by a boy or a man;
yet, when toddler Tiffany took a short tower
for a good outdoor place to make pee,
he chuckled at first, and then laughed out loud
as the rest of his family all cackled with glee.
Many folks would walk by to gaze at and admire
complex courtyards, walls, towers, and spires,
and his castles would often in others inspire
small efforts to create the same;
and he would give lessons to those who would listen,
but none of them would ever take,
as it takes so much more than a chorus of Awesomes
for a single creation to make.
© John Lambremont, Sr.
John Lambremont, Sr. is a poet from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he lives with his wife and their little dog. John holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and a J.D. from Louisiana State University. He is the former editor of Big River Poetry Review, and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. John’s poems have been published internationally in many reviews and anthologies, including Pacific Review, Clarion, The Minetta Review, Words & Images, and The Louisiana Review. John’s full-length poetry collections include Dispelling The Indigo Dream (Local Gems Poetry Press 2013), The Moment Of Capture (Lit Fest Press 2017), Old Blues, New Blues (Pski’s Porch Publishing 2018), and The Book Of Acrostics (Truth Serum Press 2018). His chapbook is What It Means To Be A Man (And Other Poems Of Life And Death), published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. John enjoys music, playing the guitar, fishing, and old movies. He has battled pancreatic cancer since 2018.