Long Beach , November
Winding sidewalks bordering pools, arched blue
bridges three in succession.
One by one, ducks wait to enter the fountain,
Hopping from the edge as a group of children
learning to swim.
Seagulls and airplanes, yachts and cranes.
Sculptures of aubergine and green, proud beacons
High rises, endless stretches of beach.
Morning joggers heaving in the salt air - a
Village of red and blue and green and yellow and
Their signs avowing delightful fare.
Patio umbrellas not yet unfurled.
An old woman in black spandex passes on a
A cat stands sentinel on the dock, so
comfortable, he does not acknowledge my passing.
Royal Flush, Dad’s Dream, Houligan, sway gently
against their bonds - waiting.
Rock lined harbor, wooden piers, gazebos,
Concrete benches squat art above the grass.
The sky is changing.
A duck calls his mate and she answers and waits.
The path beckons further, tempting the miles to
Vast open shore.
White foam meets the sand.
Palm trees and masts.
Masts obliterating the view,
Pendragon, Deer-Lu, Katrina, Partners in Time,
Lucy Bell –gently rocking and waiting.
A man empties his garbage, another unlocks a
gate, eager to
Steal a few moments away upon his boat.
Where is his companion?
Or does he enjoy his privilege alone?
He hides his secret smile and tests the teak
beneath his feet.
We acknowledge the peace of the morning with
The Queen Mary marks the harbor, still,
impressive guardian – she waits.
The sky is light now
The breeze is heavy.
A young woman rollerblades past, marking her
flight in fluid rhythm.
Mountains change from dusky purple to gray and
diamonds dance upon the water suspended in the
Lovers kiss against the rocks - they only know
for what they wait.
The lobby summons,
Promising hot coffee, elegant ambience, and a
tissue to wipe my breezy tears.
Marble steps flanked by grounds crews,
A final glimpse of the boats, the village, the
One last intake of sea air
Take a deep cleansing breath
And pretend you are home.
Ode to Red Plank; Chicago Museum of Modern
Propped against the wall.
Leaning Red Plank.
A laminate-covered board in polished
I do not understand
But emotion wells within me
Of your title.
Appalling Red Plank.
Yourself, you are modest.
I could construct you in less than a weekend
With a Snap! of my fingers
Routered smooth to an eight-foot length.
Why does this tomb of greatness grant space to
Humble Red Plank?
What is your substance?
You or Your words?
Confusing Red Plank.
Yet you shroud my understanding
Interrupt my morality
Annoying Red Plank.
Confront my ache
Challenge my ecstasy
Force me to scream hallelujahs for words
until my throat is scorched
Red and raw
Infuriating Red Plank.
Only semantics pause this journey.
Dare I take a step and
Walk the Plank?
Red lips, red blood, red eyes, Red Cross, Red
Sox, red flag, red apples, red pepper, red
carpet, red rubies
Recognition comes in red waves for this Red
Relief of Red words.
This Red Fantasy.
This Red Message
Walking, falling, tumbling,
Plank" by John McCracken)
Jennifer Jarrell-Mendez acquired a love of
visual and literary arts at an early age and was
encouraged to develop her own writing passion. A
collection of her poems was published in the
early 1980’s by The Chathamite. She has spent
the last seven years promoting fine artists and
painters while working as a manager of marketing
for a technical services company. She has
recently taken a hiatus from the agent realm to
devote time to her own writing projects.
Jennifer Jarrell-Mendez currently lives in Tampa
, Florida with her two children.