E W Shaffer

Poetry & Prose

Wow I think again, bow wow holy cow, with enough dog power I’d be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I’d be able to stop speeding trains and catch soaring planes. I’d be able to fly high high high, higher than high. I’d be Superman.

— E W Shaffer, Dog Power in Brooms and Shovels, 2014
Copyright © Mike Shaffer, 2009


Through thin needles my eyes spy the sun white
that scatters into the gleaming globes below
warming their cream pie faces
and coming to rest on their fried egg edges
that after a day or so turn up ever so slightly
but just enough to catch the rain if it comes again.

The mushrooms glow yellow
in the blurred morning's blue
since the dryness has ebbed
and the dampness soaks through.

It's the beating rain though that washes at their blond hair,
pelts their pie-eyed smiles
and scrubs at their eggy edges.

Like fine confections with glistening fruit,
they are so much more attractive than the others,
hunched together a few yards away, drab and tan,
folded and wrinkled, clinging to the earth like wet wood.

But in a shadow land all their own,
it's the others thrusting their soft torsos out of the rocky dirt
and spreading their gentle contours into the grass showing
itheir pale pink flesh and even so,
only then to those who know

that they are the ones that are delightful and savory
and the beautiful prima donnas
are as poisonous as they come.

Seventy miles an hour in the slow lane,
I shoot down the interstate,
cars, even so, bullets at my left.

Yesterday lugging firewood,
tomorrow painting the new window frames,
notions of things to write dart in and out.

You would think my burned-out brain
would welcome bursts of imagination
but the ridges that remember them,
busy with other chores, are annoyed.

It's not my brain's fault when . . . .

BROOMS AND SHOVELS—Poems and Writings. Observations about the natural world, human nature and life.