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by Steve Gaines

Ten years ago
walking down town
on a late fall morning
with a gentle ache beneath my left arm
coming and going
with the up and down
of the gentle slopes
and on my bike later that day
riding with the same curious pain
describing the relative effort of my
wondering casually what was going on

Continue reading → Unless

Diving off Light Poles

by Steve Gaines

lacking the cliffs of Acapulco
in the flatlands of Nebraska
we discovered the tops of light poles
in the summer of nineteen fifty-five
in the long story of teenagers coming of age
coming on to the approaches of manhood
climbing out on that limb unsuspecting

Continue reading → Diving off Light Poles

Lighthouse on the Prairie

by Steve Gaines

it was a time of longing for the past
or hoping for the future
it was a time caught at the stand still of a decade
the depression coming begrudgingly to an end
July boiling like a hot plate
days and nights of weather in the extreme
nineteen thirties afternoons
one hundred degree cauldrons
and people sleeping on the grass
sleeping on the roof on the fire escape
and somewhere in the blare of headlines
war sending up its warnings
off in the distant east in Europe
a far away unknown place, exploding!

Continue reading → Lighthouse on the Prairie

A Mirror View

by Steve Gaines

what have the oracles told me
how have the stars led me into the this cul de sac of an
once more caught up in the eddies of inspiration
up against the pitfalls of a practical life
without the incautious rationale of my old self
without things that make sense
the way they do when you can still do

Continue reading → A Mirror View

Linoma Beach, 1955

by Steve Gaines

He came up like a blue rag
from fifteen feet of cold water
like a diver in reverse
unaware of the faults in his form
draped in lake weeds
and no longer
among the living

Continue reading → Linoma Beach, 1955

Suspended in Concrete

by Steve Gaines

A new beginning to an old idea

what if I were gone for good
over that last far away hill into never never land
flown into the great bygone
into the that eternal world in the sky

what if I were dead?

Continue reading → Suspended in Concrete

Who Am I?

by Steve Gaines

I spend an hour every morning
working up a sweat on exercise machines
in a gym,
in a coronary care facility,
in a hospital,
in an age of heart
problems run amok,
in a brand new century,
in the very first year of the new millennium, in
my sixty-forth year.

Continue reading → Who Am I?