Spoken plainly, all of us get born, then we go away. What shall we do in the meantime, huh?
Byrd’s poems are always talking to somebody. The living and the dead. Like the legendary Japanese poet Basho or his neighbors down the street. His dead brother. A beautiful tattooed woman waiting in line for coffee. His wife goes off to church and he talks to her. And he's okay with his negotiations with living and dying. Why not?
Growing up in Memphis , #3
In 1952 Dewey Phillips invented Elvis.
It happened on the radio.
Rock n' Roll saved my life.
In 1960 the bad guys sold Elvis into slavery.
Don't let anybody tell you different.
This Morning I Made Love with the Lettuce Picker
Every year the lettuce picker plants her seeds in October.
Lettuce loves this time of the year in the Chihuahua Desert.
October passes and November comes.
The lettuce grows leafy and happy.
The lettuce picker slips out to the garden in the morning.
I will not tell you how old I am.
I will not tell you how old she is.
But her legs are white, her rear end
is clad in purple pajamas
and is raised like a flag planted
in the dirt
for the preservation of love.
Today is Sunday, the day of Sabbath.
A day to remember ourselves.
A day to worship all that is holy.
This is what we do when we make love.
Poet, essayist, publisher and ordained Zen priest Bobby Byrd
, with his wife Lee, received the Lannan Fellowship for Cultural Freedom in 2006. He has published numerous books of poetry, including the Southwest Book Award winner White Panties, Dead Friends & Other Bits & Pieces of Love
(2006). With his son John Byrd, he is co-editor of Puro Border: Dispatches, Graffiti and Snapshots from the U.S./Mexico Border
and the crime fiction anthology Lone Star Noir
Check out Bobby's blog here