Canada Goose I feed this goose that cannot fly but swims on the pond in the local park with her mallard pals. Will she be lonely when ice starts spreading across her home, a home for Khaki Campbells, too, plus catfish? I come every day to see if she’s still there. (Someday she won’t be.) Gaudy butterflies and dragonflies are absent. Too damn cold for them now in the park. The last day of the year. Our homes with holiday lights, though far from lonely, perch on a pale blue pebble, lonely, whirling, revolving day by day, zipping across cold vacuum. Home: A pond? A house? A world? I fly in time to the earliest living spark: a molecule which split in two. Over eons and eons, too slowly to fathom, across a lonely globe, a planetary park of beings appeared and perished. Day now draws its curtains as I fly back to the bird whose liquid home’s the only one she’s known, this home of muddy banks and algae, two islands of leafless trees. Jets fly trailing their contrails between the lonely cirrus clouds. Later today fireworks will thunder, spark the fire of spirits in the park downtown. I’ll hear the bombs from home as the birds will from their pond. Today’s a day the pond birds revel, too— as every day. Above the lonely sycamores, the goose will fly across this park, the cosmos, to her home among the moons, the lonely stars. In daydreams, we both fly.
Ice Cream Man There was a man who had no plan and didn’t know the route, who squandered all the season’s haul and ran off, destitute. His ice cream truck never made a buck from famished girls and boys who heard its chime, but had no dime for what every kid enjoys. A brand-new-comer for the summer, he cast a magic spell — a vanilla beam of dog-day gleam. On catching his mellow bell, the moms complained and hoped it rained but sadly it never did. That fabricated, sugar-baited goo could kill a kid! Yet every day, their tots would play around the ice cream truck. Each got to eat a freebee treat while moms all uttered, “Yuck.” Though they would shout, their kids flew out the door. They were ecstatic when hearing that bell and smelling the smell of fumes, so enigmatic. Before he told his boss he’d rolled through town to lose his yield, the man made tracks so the ruthless axe wouldn’t fall, and went afield. Now the grownups beam, but the kids all dream of ice cream. All they do is watch TV, have cookies with tea and night and day they’re blue. There was a man who had no plan and didn’t know the route, who squandered all the season’s haul and ran off, destitute. His ice cream truck never made a buck from gloomy girls and boys who, from time to time, still hear it chime like a far-off church bell’s noise.
Martin Elster, who never misses a beat, was for many years a percussionist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Martin’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies in the US and abroad. His honors include First Place in the Traditional Sonnet category of the 2022 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest, Rhymezone’s poetry contest (2016) co-winner, the Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition (2014) winner, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s poetry contest (2015) third place, four Pushcart nominations, and a Best of the Net nomination. A full-length collection, Celestial Euphony, was published by Plum White Press in 2019.