Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary


August 23, 2011

Out On Fir Tree Point

For Mark Rothko

Bucket List

Bucket List

Clark rose from a dream to the sound of his wife’s voice.

“It’s time to get up Honey,

you don’t want to be late for the reunion.”

He sighed and rolled over in bed.

The reunion – that was the last thing he wanted to go to.

He had lost touch with the guys in The League,

retired years ago after Homeland Security

started taking care of business.

He hadn’t worn a cape in years

and scarcely fit into his tights.

The Daily Planet had folded

along with all the other print newspapers.

He and Lois had gotten married

and faded from the public eye,

quietly living the good life in the country.

It was driving him crazy.

What was he going to talk about

with the guys in The League anyway?

They all had their damned bucket lists.

Things like sky diving into Borneo without a parachute,

climbing K-2 without shoes,

sailing around the Horn on a sunfish,

going over Niagara Falls without a barrel,

wrestling a grizzly bear with hands tied behind your back.

There was a time

he could have done all of those things

in one day in his sleep,

but now they felt as out of reach

as winning the Iditarod

with a team of Cocker Spaniels.

He wondered if Wonder Woman

would be at the reunion.

Wonder Woman – Now THERE was something for a bucket list!

He wondered if she was still hot,

hopefully aging a little more gracefully.

He felt guilty for even thinking about her.

Hell, a man can keep his feelings to himself

and his stomach sucked in for only so many years.

He whistled a little tune as he looked in the closet for his cape

He didn’t want to be late.

Tomorrow in Tonga


I saw the illuminated numbers on the face of the clock

wink out and go dark at 5:43 in the morning.

I heard the buzz and the whir, the taut electrical hum

click off and go silent in the dim glow of the coming dawn.

I thought it might be nuclear war, a shift of the magnetic poles,

the end of the world, or a branch on a power line.

I put on a royal blue shirt, gray slacks and a red tie,

in front of the hallway mirror, and then I fed the cat.

I contemplated my pale reflection in the dark glass,

and wondered if the power was out all over the world.

Were there other men putting on red ties and feeding their cats,

thinking about the day that lay ahead, and running behind?

It is an hour earlier in Chicago, six hours later in Paris,

already tomorrow in Tonga, but still yesterday in Samoa.

If the end of the Mayan calendar is the end of time,

will my car payment still be due on the 8th of the month,

and will Orion and Cassiopeia still play ring around the rosy

with the moon, across the icy, black vacuum of heaven?

Rothko II

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