Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dia de los Muertos Literary Series: Three Poems by Richard Vargas

WHY I FEED THE BIRDS


once
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water everyday

she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character

he jumped into her hand
began to eat
she smiled

a woman holding
a small god


TO RICKY ON HIS TENTH BIRTHDAY FROM DAD

it was unlike any birthday
gift you ever gave me
"The Golden Press Illustrated
Gulliver's Travels"

the story of an odd man
destined to be the stranger
an observer always on
the outside looking in

it was as if you were
presenting me with a guide
as if you knew how my
life was going to turn out
twenty-three days later
you left for good trading me in
for one last sting of the needle
a sweet dream that never ends

now
every father's day i sit down
with the book on my lap
open it and hear your voice
rub my fingers lightly over
and over your inscription
like a blind man
wishing for more


WEDDING POEM (for lily and chris)

so this is what it's come down to
after the invites are mailed and
the colors are picked and the brides-
maids cringe at the dresses they
have to wear but with the understanding
the only one that counts is the bride
as she walks down the aisle classy
like a Princess Diana with just a touch
of sultry Marilyn Monroe

the groom basically shows up
in his rented tux and shiny black shoes
tries to stay loose and not keel
over which sometimes is the
most important job of the day
love is pledged and "I do" is said
then a kiss to seal the deal
to loud and approving applause

it's on to the reception as spoons
tap on glasses and the couple's
first dance ever as mr and mrs
the cake is cut and bets are made
will they be civil about it or shove it
down each other's throat
the bride shows some leg as
the garter is slid down her shapely
calf and the single men jostle for
position like basketball players
during an inbound pass
then the ladies take the floor
leaping into the air like NFL
receivers making an end zone catch
coming down with the bouquet
doing the "I'm next" victory dance
later the DJ plays "respect"
and "what I like about you"
as everyone on the dance floor
is laughing and sweating because
today is for being happy

being happy with the hope that
man and woman can still share
their dreams and stand together
against the odds while making it in
a world that gets crazier
every time we turn on the
evening news

so tonight when we lie down in
our beds the joy we witnessed today
will take root and tomorrow
blossom with the realization

that there is still enough love
to go around for the rest of us


Copyright Richard Vargas, 2010

Richard Vargas was born and raised in California. He graduated from Cal State Univ., Long Beach. He is the publisher of the "Tequila Review" (1978-80), and the author of "McLife" (Main Street Rag Press, 2005), and "American Jesus"(Tia Chucha Press,2007). He is editor/publisher of "The Mas Tequila Review", and will be receiving his MFA in December 2010 from the University of New Mexico. To contact the author, email to: picodegallo54@yahoo.com

3 comments:

Sharon Warner said...

Congratulations, Richard! Thanks for sharing these poems. I was particularly moved by "To Ricky,"

Best,
Sharon O. Warner

Jennifer said...

those pieces were most eloquent; speaking to the heart in just one breath. amazing!

Less is More said...

lovely ! very heartily wordings you used i wonder what if it translate in Spanish Mi Amore ! just checking some paginas amarillas site 's and i find them interested and full of learning information and no wonder that who made this is intelligent .