Beached whales

Summer has arrived early
Its forging hammer slamming earthward
A furnace breath sears the living
Sucking the moisture from leaves
Everywhere the heat shimmers
Undulating ribbons of reflections
This parched ground is dormant
Its life tallow hardened
The grass has given up
Only some green tips show
The rest stunted straw men
The sun a white hot globe
It does not know mercy
Heating the barely breathable air
Living creatures suffer inhaling
Birds refuse to pierce the sky
The azure blue now a blistering lens
On the lake shore there are bodies
Beached and oiled human whales
They fry in the ultraviolet oven
Soaking up vitamin D morphing
Becoming desiccated melanoma vessels
Lobsters steaming in the lake water
Scorched blondes, tanned brunettes
Fat men and skinny pimpled teenage boys
No mercy, no mercy for any of them

©2011, Donald Harbour

Son I love you

LtJG, William C. Harbour, USN, 1943

My father never said he loved me,
Except on his death bed through cracked lips.
The stench of cancerous death rancor,
Hugging the memories and the tears.
He had a peculiar smell about him,
A mixture of cigarettes, whiskey, age,
Not unpleasant but uncomfortable.
There was a clamoring in his passing
Something unseen pulling at his body
Until there was nothing left but a shell.
When his failing lungs finally gave up life,
It was with a sigh escaping a gasping mouth.
Death is not pretty, it is a morphine stupor,
Life slipping, hastened by a drugged nightmare,
Dulled feeling, the inability to nod to reality.
The touch of where there once was pulse,
A simple choice of words, “Well, he’s gone!”
Still, after all these years the words echo,
Flailing in a darkened room of my mind,
Trying to find a finger hold, a grasp,
But they cannot for their utterance was,
Too late, too overshadowed by death.
That halting whisper, dulled by an antiseptic pallor,
“Son, I love you,” is there truth here…is there?
The question is a stone to carry, its weight burdens life.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour