Shawn Aveningo is a globally published, award-winning poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes … especially red ones! (redshoepoet.com) She believes poetry, especially when read aloud, is the perfect literary art form for today’s fast-paced world due to its power to stir emotion in less than two minutes. Shawn’s poetry has appeared in over 70 literary journals & anthologies, and she has authored four solo collections. She’s given birth on two continents, and her three children make her an extremely proud “mama bear”. An original “show-me” girl from Missouri, she’s been fortunate to live in a myriad of locales during her 49 years on this blue ball. She now shares the creative life with her soul-mate in Portland, Oregon, where they have recently launched their publishing imprint under The Poetry Box®(thePoetryBox.com) and just released Keeping It Weird-Poems & Stories of Portland, Oregon. Their newest project is a global anthology about birds called Poeming Pigeons. (poemingpigeons.com)
Born Where Men Go To Die
The man in the orange jumpsuit
will die tonight. They will plunge
poison into his veins as the clock
strikes twelve on this moonless night.
I was born in Bonne Terre, once a small town
that lived up to its name – generations
of farmers toiling in rich soil, enough goodness
to share with all. But today, instead of leeks,
it reeks of death. 26 have died at the merciless hands
of uniformed men. His name will soon join Herbert,
Michael, Jeffrey and William in this year’s execution
ledger – the fifth in five months. And after
this man’s bones vanish into the good earth,
a mother robin will catch the early worm,
feed her quartet of hatchlings, until they carry
man’s sin on their wing up to the sky.
I hear the summer rain, its fury –
like castanets on a corrugated tin roof.
by Shawn Aveningo
How long, after I die,
will my bones slumber
upon a bed of loam,
seeping secret tales
of tricycle cartwheels,
a push down the stairway,
the pelvic augmentation
I wonder how long
until the dust of my bones
through a cyclone
Perhaps my particles
will hitch a ride
on their way
to a Day-Glo Disco
Those having not hooked up
with a partner,
simply travel back
to Mother Earth,
to start all over again,
trying this time
I like to stare
at the ceiling after
we make love. I like to
squint my eyes, find faces
in the uneven, textured plaster,
pretend they’re voyeurs, like
teenage boys peeking behind
velvet curtains at a peep show.
It reminds me of lying on the lawn
staring at clouds blowing across
a vast blue canvas, white puffs
shape-shifting into dragons
and bunny rabbits.
multiple times beneath our canopy
of caricatures. Afterward, I watch
mud-flap vixen check her lipstick
in her hand-held mirror, I watch
a witch stir a spell over her cauldron,
I see a mermaid converse with a goose
and I ponder if a pair of circular reliefs
more resemble tits poking through
a push-up bra or pupils dilated
with excitement on the face
of a bearded man with plump cheeks.
Perhaps tomorrow, more will come
to be seen.
Before the bustling day begins
her spirit scurries to San Simeon,
saunters in secret, mooring herself
to the morning mist.
She still tastes his salty kisses, feels
their fingers entwined, watches
the moon’s dance disappear their footsteps,
vanishing any visible proof
of their stolen moments by the sea.
She can hear no clattering keys
gone are the headlines
the affairs of yesterday’s world.
Every lover’s heart can hear it.
His voice trembling, searching
for her, calling for her,
whispering through the wind,
And The Question Is…
Watching Jeopardy! one night, I begin to wonder
who are these people with lightning-speed brainwaves,
able to decipher the scrambled-letter answer, so skilled
at deriving the correct obscure question, so quick
with their buzzer that they’ve won the jackpot
before I even begin to cogitate? And maybe
that’s my problem. I listen before I think;
I think before I speak. By the time I open my mouth
to join a conversation with something else beside
the polite knee-jerk response most expect,
they’ve already moved on to a new song, changing
the topic of conversation to something less controversial.
But I open my mouth anyway, too late, like a rude
interruption, and now everyone around me tilts
their head, rolls their eyes, and nonchalantly sidesteps
to the right while I slump down in my chardonnay
tucking my tail back into my pacifist paisley skirt. Next
Double Jeopardy category: Reaganomics & Star Wars.