Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Gary Lechliter’

144. Oz Revisited

(with apologies to L. Frank Baum)

Glinda delivers her third child,

and will not return to the stage,

now that exotic dancing no longer

pays, and horny men can see

her strip on the internet.

Munchkins, still the quaint

people, now have satellite TV,

beer and Monday Night Football.

Bored, they bounce in bed

and increase the population.

The Scarecrow finally came out,

and lives quietly with Roger

in Emerald City’s East Side,

where he’s loved by the locals

for giving so much poetry.

Across from the courthouse,

the statue of Toto, covered with

flying monkey shit, honors

the terrier who was mercifully

put down for complications.

The Tin Man smokes cigars

and tends bar at the Stars & Garter,

spouting homespun philosophy

to anyone who gives a damn.

And few do.

– Gary Lechliter

Gary Lechliter’s poetry has appeared in Atlanta Review, Chance of a Ghost: an Anthology of Contemporary Ghost Poems, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, New Mexico Poetry Review, Straylight, Tears in the Fence, and Wisconsin Review. He has a recent book, Foggy Bottoms: Poems about Myths and Legends, published by Coal City Press.

129. The Night We Heard the Whippoorwill

The night we heard the whippoorwill,

we sat on rocks in Constant Park,

our hair mussed from the wind.

The florets of love-lies bleeding

held red in spite of the darkness.

We watched Cassiopeia and Orion

slow-dance to moon music.

Blowing the sure laws of physics,

clouds rolled behind the moon.

You slugged me and spoke of horses,

horseflies, horse-sense, how they

converge in the plausible world.

Fireflies looped above the grass.

Fog ghosted through the trees.

The night we heard the whippoorwill

was not the last night of our lives.

That night came in winter,

when the nightjar’s song was silent,

and the dirge of dead oaks

drove us to the high loess

cliffs above the river.

 –Gary Lechliter

Gary Lechliter’s poetry has appeared in Atlanta Review, Chance of a Ghost: an Anthology ofContemporary Ghost Poems, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, New Mexico Poetry Review, Straylight, Tears in the Fence, and Wisconsin Review. He has a recent book, Foggy Bottoms: Poems about Myths and Legends, published by Coal City Press.

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