Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ritual of the game

Rubbing Mud

Split finger fastball


leave the hand empty  
haunted by the ghost of the seam
conspiracy of finger tips to stitching

instantly evaporating  
bearing down a bore hole
shouldering aside snagging air  

taste of river mud
lingering sweet on the tongue
settling out, nuggets we hold dear in our fist. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Good Dog

What a good dog
what a very good dog
you are but I wonder
if you weren’t born
with the oily sheen
of original sin
on your lustrous coat
our thoughtless gift
your feckless friends
eternal damnation
nipping at our flanks
scent of salvation on the breeze
driving us mad
fangs bared
to feral packs of infidels
our legs churning
with dreams of supplication
your gritty tongue  
proclaiming the one true faith
a wag of amazing grace
that saved a wretch like me. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New publication

Hermes Poetry Journal (UK) publishes The Lightning Field and Clay, two poems by Dave Hardin.!page-5/cdjw 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Life cycle


Diabolical of them to graft
a wayward gene to the constellation
of my bicycle frame, a sleepy bit
of stowaway code, a smidge of excess
weight compounding countless uphill climbs
a drunken tar in the singing rigging
on downhill runs, chewing the scenery
biding time, laying up against the day
some unseen hand throws a distant switch
to slow the pedals down, rims spinning
at 33 ⅓, my collection
of 78’s rendered obsolete
as I tried to explain on Tuesday
afternoon midway up a murderous
hill that used to blow me kisses
and pat my bottom, but I don’t think you
heard me, racing past on your way to the top.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

playing the pockets


My hands grow tired waiting
while I decide which foot is best put forward
when my frantic tongue casts torn nets for schooling words
whereas the rest of me gamely listens
to glad-handing anglers with extravagant luck
who need to press their catch on me
down to the very last scale
sending my fingers finning
for the solitude of Walden Pond
blind with longing
for the lopsided grin of my pocket knife
curling to nap around
the soothing jangle of my keys.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keep off the grass

Lawn Care

Saturday nights the next door neighbor
would shed his skin and stand astride
the soft shoe rasp four corners will make
pulled in puckers at their straining gathers.

Rocked back on his heels in a wide open stance
bubbled in ease on a solitary
pinpoint of global coordinates
planet curving away on all sides
sipping vodka on the woozy stitching
of an off-speed pitch in the latter
innings of a lopsided late season game.

Garden hose and beaded tumbler in hand
Scott’s Weed and Feed in a Folgers can plunked
down on the dirty bandage of the driveway
you practiced primary lawn care under
a shingle with the simple oath to do no harm.

I still recite the words under my breath
house slippers a whisper on the driveway
tugging at the terry cloth collar
of my rinsed red bathrobe, legs white stalks
against the deep green of the front lawn.