Home Poems

above all others upon a stream

There’s the pride
out front, even in name.
Omaha. Indian for, “above all others
upon a stream.”

Push past the mouth of the Platte
up the mighty Mo a few more miles
and there you have it,
a hilly splendor in four seasons.

Yet, for some a pushing off place we may always be.
No matter, ambition is well understood here.

Presidents and popstars,
Writers, saints, billionaires, and bums,
They’ve all got a home.

Now, Starbucks wants some.

Making Room

We keep tidy little closets
Tucked away in the recesses of our hearts
There we dump our sorrows like socks
And hang up our well-pressed hopes

Understand this is not a public venue
This is our secret hiding place
Where our pasts stare back at us
While our futures tread water

Until the Big Spring arrives
Gentle storms in tow
The shutters fly open
The drawers all dance

Something more powerful than we know
Takes a hold and will not cease its grip
Until all the outgrown outfits we harbor
Are freely given

We learn to let go
Of what no longer fits
We adopt new looks
Finding them perfectly tailored

Our new home has no closets
We keep it all out in the open
Nothing and nowhere to hide
The truth is all we wear

Soaring Notions

Planted
in the river valley
defined by high rising bluffs
a city has taken off to the west.
Buildings now step up the hilly inclines
beacons of civilization
visible to ships far out on the prairie.

At the brink
of new eras dawning
Omaha awakens to its core
river.
A new neighbor
bald eagle
introduced himself last week.
The pigeons took notice
and maybe a painter or two.

Urban renewal
a cause not new
has a pulse
in the city today.
Even in dark recesses of winter
we scheme
to add elements of awe.
We are, after all, proud hosts.

Up and over
stretched out
is a city like many others.
Not so downtown.
You could fly a kite in my apartment.
The bricks that encase me are not suspect to quake.
Echoes of conquests past
ring.

Cycles spin
and as the eagle returns
so does man
to soaring notions
of his own.

end of The East

at Council Bluffs
you’ve reached the end

a nation
out of trees

the Missouri River rambles
down from Dakota

and you know
to cross it is to go elsewhere

most drama seekers
find the stretch unbearable

but you need the poetry
of the Platte

like blood
in your veins

so you always pause to feed
with the South-bound cranes

©1999-2002 David Burn

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