Casino Hero

“Because,”
he said to me
in the doorway to the casino.
“In there,
I can lose myself
in the excitement and buzz and booze.
Sometimes, I need
that break, that recess,
that vacation, that shifted orientation.
And so,
I shall see you later.”
For just a moment,
his eyes tried to tell me more,
but he turned and went in.

Grandparents’ House

I’m in my grandparents’ house, but I’m not a kid — I’m the middle-aged adult I am now. Friends are with me, and I’m showing them around the house. The kitchen with lots of cabinets, the jutting-out peninsula of a dining room with windows on three sides, the two-story living room with fireplace. Tourists are lounging about the yard. Why? It’s a lovely house, but it’s not as if celebrities lived here. Graceland Mansion, it’s definitely not. Yet tourists open the door, and a group of them streams inside, gazing around and clicking photos with their phones. Baffled, I tell them to leave, tell them that this is a private house. Their stares at me seem confused, and the man in front holds up a piece of paper, and he waves it as he says, “But we already bought tickets.”

Circles Upon Circles

Photo of part of a water basin, with circular ripples in the water caused by raindrops.

Raindrops plip
on the circular basin
of water
(if there’s a fountain,
it’s not turned on).

Each drop
creates a
circular ripple,
and the
ripples
intersect:
constant 
small medium large
ripples
interlock
then vanish.

Like temporary voices
whispering secrets
of what the clouds
have seen.

We need to
listen closely,
or else
the whispers
will vanish
unheard.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Holding Up the Sky

Photo of several columns arranged in a square with no building above them. A wide stretch of overcast cloud is above them instead.

Blue skies 
are so light
they float
on their own.

Scattered clouds
move with
just enough speed,
they stay aloft.

Stretches of overcast,
however,
need support
to hold them up.

Otherwise,
they thump
to the ground,
smothering
trees and buildings
and everything else—
causing 
car accidents 
and
people to bring
groceries to the
wrong houses
and
people to hold
hands with someone
who is not
their loved one.


copyright © 2021 Dave Williams. Photo taken at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. These columns first supported the east portico of the National Capitol building, starting in 1828. They were replaced in 1958. The reason: “The dome of the Capitol, completed in 1864, appeared as if it was not adequately supported by the columns, because the iron dome that was ultimately built was significantly larger than the one that the designer had envisioned.” Quote is from — and more information can be found at — U.S. National Arboretum’s website.

Vain Stupid Omelet

Please do not
make fun of
the words
I used in Scrabble—
vain
stupid
omelet—
as they are better
than my usual
3-letter fare.
The next morning,
at the diner,
the omelet upon
my plate said,
“I’m the most ravishing
thing in here by far,
and I care not one fig
if I don’t know the
capital of California
or the sum of two plus two,
for I am about to die
a most beautiful death
upon this plate.”