Right Hand Pointing

 

STAFF
Dale Wisely
Laura M. Kaminski

F. John Sharp

José Angel Araguz
F. J. Bergmann


about the editors

 

 

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

 

this is a

right hand pointing

digital chapbook

 

copyright 2017 by Tony Press
 

cover image & icon by Dale Wisely

Acknowledgments

reckoning (34th Parallel)

Day Laborer at Midnight (The Lake)

On the Late Bus (Right Hand Pointing)

Right Hand Pointing
 

Equinox and Solstice

Past

 

waking up once more

the painful task of dropping

yesterday’s myth

 

 

Present

 

it is how you are looking

that determines what you see

pay attention

 

 

Future

                                                  

look not for the time         

it is only imagined

be the moment

 

 

Solstice

 

this is where we are

the middle between extremes

arise and embrace

  

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

The old ways

 

When I was a kid my father 
would take me to town with him 
when he had any business to do.
Tractor parts, pharmacy, bank, any of ‘em, 
and the first thing they’d do, they’d close the door. 

Close it tight, 
and in the bottom drawer of the desk was a bottle of whiskey.
They’d pull it out and both have a drink.

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

Icarus in October

 

My mother

who did not sew,

sewed me into Peter Pan,

everything except the shadow.

And I soared on paternal shoulders

gathering apples and chocolates and taffy.

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

as quick as that

 

P.E. classes

lasted forty minutes

and once,

a kid named Richard

hit four grounders to me.

I threw him out each time.

Four times as quick as that.

 

That was my shortstop year.

He became a doctor

and died way too soon.

 

My leather glove, ancient and hardened,

lives on my bookcase

a softball inside it.

I can see the first bounce.

 

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Summer of Shadows

 

you can’t train for this

the fear that begins at dawn

when you wake alone

 

they say dawn is good

a sign of hope after the dark

give me back the night

 

it could raise the dead

this fear that chills the morning

delivers the pain

 

beginning again

another dreary attempt

suit shoes briefcase wait

 

alarm running down

my train leaves in ten minutes

for no good reason

 

only last August

house-training pups and children

I knew so little

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

El Nogalito

 

dogs run free in this town

as children did before

we all stop at the river

 

three paths climb the canyon

each finds the waterfall

dogs run free in this town

 

morning sun calls the time

days blend like chocolate

we all stop at the river

 

roosters strut and holler

fruit vendors do the same

dogs run free in this town

 

soft sand beach forgotten

not a place for locals

we all stop at the river

 

there’s nowhere else to go

and nothing left to do

dogs run free in this town

we all stop at the river

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

reckoning

 

rattlesnakes live here

it is something we forget

like the dry cleaning

or the name of that movie

or that we will die

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Vista

 

If you could see anything, anything at all, through this window,

if there weren’t just that brick wall outside,

what would you want it to be?

 

The Bridge of Sighs, she said,

on the Grand Canal.

They say if you stand on that bridge

and kiss, you will be together forever.

 

Look, I said, there it is. Let’s go.

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

Oaxaca, 2008

 

dulce recuerdo

alumnas caminando

dos de la mano

 

sweet memory

schoolgirls walking

hand in hand

 

**

toque de queda

la noche está cerrado

estrellas sollazan

 

curfew Oaxaca

the night is closed

stars sob

 

**

puedo recordar

la brisa antes

su ultima salida

 

I can remember

the breeze before

your final departure

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

Day Laborer at Midnight

 

Six months become six years.

I only wanted things a little better.

 

My precious baby is seven. Impossible.

How do you kiss un foto de una chica.

     A chica I don’t even know.

     She’s in Sonsonate. I am here.

 

And my wife. I guess she’s still my wife.

     But there’s Aracely now, here

     Here in Oakland with me. What do I call her?

 

Worse, mi hijo, Santiago.

He waited for me, then he followed my path.

    Or tried to, but they found his body in Mexico.

    Never even made it El Norte.

 

This can’t be the American Dream.

   What is that word por una pesadilla?

   Nightmare.  Eso es. Nightmare.

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

on the corner

 

sombra brillante

el perro esqueleto

la ultima vez

 

brilliant shadow

skeleton dog

the last time

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Star of Leo

 

I walked that night,

nothing else to do,

along the Gila River

 

The first stars appeared

and I found a new one.

Brilliant and beautiful and bold.

 

Today, that sweet child

in his tiny open casket.

Who builds such things?

 

Leo, his name was, would have been.

Was.

 

A new lion among the heavens,

smiling down. A bit of comfort.

 

Time passed, as it does.

I later returned to the path,

on a blue-sky sunny day. No stars.

 

Someone once told me:

“Don’t worry, the stars are always there.”

She is gone, too.

Sweet and bitter, bitter and sweet.

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

Barrio la Mezquita, Córdoba, Spain

 

Each step north

is both from and toward.

 

I stroll past the grand cathedral,

this site, depending upon the century,

holy for Moslems, sacred for Catholics, back and forth,

before I ascend to the Cordoba Station.

 

This November night I will discard my sandals.

Tomorrow is Madrid, next week London.

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Right Hand Pointing

On the Late Bus

 

ahead of me

on the late bus to Bristol

the woman leaned her head

upon the rain-smeared window

and surrendered herself to sleep

 

I was reading,

no, fighting through

a novel an ex had given me

when grace feathered my hands

 

wisps of a ponytail,

the ends of ten golden inches,

kissed my book-cradling fingers

 

I held pose

as if meditating

 

until her awakening

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Above Loch Voil

 

on a day like today

perfect blues, greens, yellows

the poet died

 

life is change, but

death endures

endures

 

affection remains

as does gratitude

but the poet is still dead

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

the return

 

twelve narrow flights to your unlatched door

rainfall drifting from Hampstead Heath

crosstown traffic from Kings Cross

Glasgow Queen Street express

your postcard in hand

you forgive me

come back

now

 

Right Hand Pointing

Tony Press

 

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Tony Press tries to pay attention and sometimes he does. He enjoys reading and writing, whether poetry or fiction, and has had both published in many fine places. He’d be thrilled if you purchased his 2016 story collection, Crossing the Lines (Big Table). It’s available via independent bookstores, directly from him, or even from that Amazon place. He lives near the San Francisco Bay and has two Pushcart nominations, yet not one website.

 

 

 
Right Hand Pointing