Peter Chapman Poetry

magic days

it was cold today,
not Jack London's trapper
dropping the last match cold

but cool
i varnished the boat
the sun varnished me
the gulls swooping like puppets
brought me happiness

i am alive
my mother is alive
my sister is alive

my brother, god love him, alive

summer is going,
everything worth knowing
is dropping leaves

i napped in my cozy berth
under the hatch, the sun
playing in the water on the hull

then went out refreshed
and got a coffee, and saw a man biking,
big mustache, knees out pumping
through the spidery trees

my grandfather biked that way once,
waving, weaving, stopping to chat,
but dad went south, said he was a widower
with no kids in the heat-whacked Gulf,
brittle as his convertible window

how i feared him and for what

we grow up and work out the fear
& go cool, the way he tugged the tie to his neck
and smiled, married for 30 years

warmth and the fading light
and the cold that's coming are hard to hold

the starfish my mother lifted from the cove,
the icy water she loved
dripping off as she put them on a rock to dry,
then looked up
and saw me smiling from the cottage deck

those same stars are beside me as i write,
the magic floating
to my life now, these days