Book Stack

Illustration of girl sitting on a large stack of books, and she's reading a book.

Sylvie’s parents said,
“You should make a list
of all the books you read this summer,
so when school starts,
you can see how many books you’ve read.”
Sylvie thought that was a nice idea,
but instead of writing a list of books
(which sounded boring to her),
she decided to stack the books she read.

While reading,
Sylvie had adventures in fantasy lands,
fought evil dragons,
helped good dragons,
soared in a hot air balloon to a tropical island,
solved the mystery of a missing key,
flew to a space station near Jupiter,
went up secret stairs to a laboratory.
She stacked book upon book upon book,
making a tower in her bedroom.
Books she had received as presents,
books bought at bookstores and yard sales.

She climbed the stack,
worried as it wobbled,
and sat at the top to read each new book.
She liked looking down
at her bed and toys and chest of drawers,
seeing them from a giant’s point of view.

At summer’s end,
she didn’t bother counting the books in the stack,
as she just liked looking at the tall tower
and remembering the many adventures.

The illustration is available on T-shirts and other products on my Redbubble store.
copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Veni, Vidi…

Photo of a valley with green covered hills and a stream flowing in the middle of the valley
by Tomoe Steineck/Unsplash

I came,
I saw,
I stopped.

I placed
my sword and shield
on the 
blades of grass
and I sat beside them.

You see,
the view
was magnificent.

I had packed
pencil and notepad
in my rucksack—
along with bandages 
and an orange.

I began sketching
the setting before me:

valley down
to a curving river,
then rising
to hills across the way
Castle on the hills.
the grass, shrubs, trees
were lush.

I knew my sketch
couldn’t match
the real thing.

But no matter.
My trying and enjoying
my previous plans.

And the orange
tasted sweetly delicious.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Highway Poem

Photo of a highway with trees on both sides of the road and the sun glowing between trees.
by Daniel Chen/Unsplash

As my wife drives,
I close my eyes 
and enjoy the
orange sunny glow 
behind my eyelids:
flashing off 
when tree tops
block the sun,
then flashing on
in the spaces
between trees.

It reminds of
2001: A Space Odyssey,
the psychedelic part
with colors stretching
toward us viewers.

we’re on the highway’s
long black ribbon
that could be
tied to a helium balloon
(I’ve never seen
that elusive balloon)
instead of the 
vastness of space.

What if,
after I open my eyes, 
we’re in
a parallel universe?
Would we know it?

Most things could be
the same as the 
previous universe—
until we discover 
small differences,
like some sheep
have blue wool,
and sweaters 
made of their wool
are highly valued 
for softness and coziness.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

A Risky Confession

Photo of many Hawaiian shirts hanging on a bar in a closet.
by elCarito/Unsplash

I have worn
Hawaiian shirts
for five days straight.

I’m not Hawaiian,
nor do I live
in Hawaii.

If you feel the need
to contact
the Fashion Police,
that’s your right.

if they show up
on my front step

(one officer plucking 
an errant thread
off her stylish uniform)

I will
go quietly.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Let’s Talk Shadows

Photo of my shadow on the ground of a parking lot

In the bright mornings,
we need to
stay strong
with the
fear of
our shadows,
since they
continue to 
follow us,
attached as
they are
to our feet,
those feet can
run as fast as they can,
but the shadows
will still be with us,
like projections
of our darkness
which doesn’t
leave either.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Respect of Honey

You say
bees spent much effort
to make this honey,
so we need to respect it:
bud growing
blossom’s joyful weeping
over the wonder
of being alive
bee’s delicate drinking
of the flower’s tears
while the bee humming-whispers,
“I’ll treat this with love,
my friend”
sharing nectar
with another bee
at the hive
placing it in the comb
and whipping their bee wings
to create a gentle whirlwind
that removes moisture
and thickens the nectar
into honey.
So we should
whisper “thanks”
to the bees
while drizzling
honey on toast
or whatever else
suits your fancy.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Roscoe and the Seagulls

The blur of fur
across the sand
rises the colony
into air’s safety

Golden retriever’s joyous bark
the angry cry of seagulls

Roscoe realizes the birds
won’t play,
so he surges off

The gulls fly to a safer part
of the beach
to continue their debate
over which novel about
seafaring is the best

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Is a Poem about Grains of Sand on a Beach too Pretentious?

I was wondering that question,
lying on a floral beach towel,
a speck in a crowd
of swimsuited people—
all of us lumps of cookie dough
glazed with sunscreen and coconut oil
baking in this oven.

I lift a handful of sand,
watch the grains
cascade in the spaces
between my fingers,
thinking there’s
got to be metaphors
for time, uniqueness, perseverance—
maybe insignificance
if you’re in that kind of mood.

But above the ocean,
a small plane flies before us,
towing a banner
advertising a restaurant’s
all-you-can-eat buffet,
and the sand falls from my hand,

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams