Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

3 Poems by Ronald Moran

The Rubber Room

In the hard rubber room of limitations,
I felt my world of poetry spinning out
of orbit, like an errant satellite, burning
to ashes when it entered the atmosphere
of new cultures in our diverse paradigm––
teaching me that one must anticipate
rules will change in how poets ascend
to elite status, their names like the music
of spheres; that is, if one hopes to enter
that circle of poets whose presence rings
clear beyond subject, texture, or thought:
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight.

Late Spring

I am trying to figure out why I am committed
                           to
this flood zone in back where nothing gives
                            up its
iron-like grip on our lack of immunity from
                            the death

of small birds, carriers of the West Nile virus,
                            or from
the season’s growing impatience, like heavy
                            rains
while the nervous cars in my neighborhood
                            run

every stop sign; and a half dozen houses up
                           my street,
a boy of four plays at the end of his driveway,
                            darting
across the street to capture an errant ball.
                            I pray

he will live long enough to know his folly,
                            since, well,
his parents appear not to; and yesterday
                            when
I drove into my neighborhood, I saw a car
                            eager

to ignore a stop sign, its driver bent over her
                            cell phone,
the car obeying her orders; when she saw
                            me,
she slammed on the brakes, her Chevy’s rear
                            raising

like the head of a cobra, and I starting thinking
                            of all
the pythons in the Everglades, having already
                            eliminated
the population of squirrels, rabbits, and small
                            deer.

And, hey, with the globe warming, when will
                            they discover
South Carolina, will I live that long, and if I do,
                            will I step
out into the near dark, hearing nothing there
                            and be taken?

Birthday Poem

When I die I am not coming back as anyone else,
                            or as an animal
even a predatory one, like a sleek jaguar or panther,
                            with little
to fear, or for that matter to love, or particularly,
                            as a tree,
to be precise, a Bradford Pear, with its one rush
                            of beauty,

and eleven months of gawky, angled limbs tossed
                            by irrelevant winds
and even rejected by a slick magazine because
                            of its fragility,
after being the darling of the horticultural gang,
                            the in-tree,
like a foo-foo girl to the media crowd on both coasts
                            and Miami,

so when mine died I cut it down and planted
                            Bermuda grass
after grinding the stump and removing the mulch,
                            a sad looking
lump in the middle of a lawn whose grass nearly died
                            from envy
of the precious tree. The new Bermuda looks like
                            the fresh grave of a child;

and I’m thinking what’s really wrong with me,
                            now that
I no longer believe Death is the mother of beauty
                            but it’s a knockout
of a metaphor that fooled me almost all my life,
                            the cradling
of our triad and the father of my deception:
                            RIP.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
RONALD MORAN lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He was educated at Colby College and Louisiana State University. His poems have been published in Commonweal, Connecticut Poetry Review, Emrys Journal, Louisiana Review, North American Review, Northwest Review, The Orange Room Review, South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, and in eleven books/chapbooks of poetry. His poetry has received a number of awards and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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