September 26, 2008

"Ibises" by Geoffrey Philp


Slowing to a halt under the withered
arms of a poinciana that shaded

my windows against summer's glare,
I am greeted by a swarm of police cars

among the yellowing notes of foreclosure
on my neighbor's lawn, the red and blue

lights almost blind me to the lifting
wings of ibises digging for rumor

and insects in the wet grass blackened
by the grunts of SUVs lumbering

towards chaos and traffic
flowing under a sickle moon

that binds this earth with one promise
as she catches the tails of overhead

cargo planes--the raw music of the city
clinging to my shirt, as I drag my shadow

up the driveway, open the door to the usual
quarrel about mortgages and money

that silts my eyes with soot, my tongue
with grime, and bows the head of rain

lilies, their pursed lips barely whispering,
"Let there be peace in this house."

Geoffrey Philp is the author of Benjamin, my son, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien, numerous poetry collections, and a children's book, Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories. Geoffrey teaches English at Miami Dade College where he is the chairperson of the College Prep. Department at the North Campus. His next collection of short stories, Who's Your Daddy? and Other Stories will be published by Peepal Tree Press in March 2009.


Anonymous said...

GREAT poem and inspiring.

YOU are a great force, it seems.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Cero, give thanks! Have a great weekend.


Crafty Green Poet said...

this is a wonderful poem, you evoke the atmosphere perfectly.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Thanks, Crafty. So many abandoned homes in the neighborhood and even more with For Sale signs: Bank Owned.


FSJL said...

That's control and power. Nice and effective.

J.M said...

The linebreaks evoked a sense of dijointedness. Lovely. The poem, not the effect of losing a home.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Jacqueline, that was the intention on the third draft when i began to see the poem as a whole.