Three Poems by Dan Linehan


flying at 34,000 feet, patchy white clouds
float above the ground but below me

the clouds are flat on the bottom
but look like balls of cotton on top

I can see their shadows drift over patches
of forest and jungle, but mostly over land
that has been cleared

between the shadows and the clouds,
thirteen trails of smoke rise—more—
but I stopped counting

so much open space between each pillar
The wind slants them all

the smoke reaches up to mix with the clouds
and the fire reaches up, joining tree to thin soil



Sandra told me about her silver ring.
Her mother had said
       silver has healing powers.
I showed her my silver earring.
I feel like a pirate now.
She has a telescope back in Chile.
This is her last cruise.
She knows magic tricks.
We watched the comet,
       sharing a pair of binoculars.



Rosa died.
She died today.
I lost myself.
I lost my way.

Riding with strangers
on the bus.
Won't let me know
what's the rush.

All four corners
nice and round.
All this talking
with no sound.

In each of us
there is this wheel.
It spins around
until we heal.

The driver preaches.
He's got words to say.
I don't agree.
He makes me stay.

The stops keep gliding
by and by.
I know not where.
I know not why.

Connections come.
Connections go.
Back and forth
against the flow.

Are we riding
killing time?
Or in search
for some thin dime?

I watch the water
turn to rust.
It grinds us all
into dust.

From the handrails
we can hang.
Engines moan.
Tailpipes bang.

But in my heart,
I still have lust.
Just can't find
a route to trust.

The trip is long,
been on my feet.
Just wish I could
find a seat.

Dan Linehan