Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Trouble With Tuesdays

The trouble with Tuesdays is that too often I don't have anything of substance to say. But since I enjoyed the many poems that were shared during April, here is one to start off May. Billy Collins wrote this about the author, Denver Butson, “Here is a poet who is wild, frenzied, and refreshingly mad. His imagination unlocks for us the cells of reason and sets us loose in a world of dizzying possibilities.” That was enough for me to take a look at some of his poetry! I love the evocative language in this one, and the interesting images that the well-chosen words call to mind, the ordinary situation of waiting for a bus made extraordinary by fire, drowning, freezing, and worse. It speaks to me of quiet desperation.

Tuesday 9:00 AM

A man standing at the bus stop
reading the newspaper is on fire
Flames are peeking out
from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to melt

The woman next to him 
wants to mention it to him
that he is burning
but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her eyes
A stream of water runs
steadily from her blouse

Another woman stands at the bus stop
freezing to death
She tries to stand near the man
who is on fire
to try to melt the icicles
that have formed on her eyelashes
and on her nostrils
to stop her teeth long enough
from chattering to say something
to the woman who is drowning
but the woman who is freezing to death
has trouble moving
with blocks of ice on her feet

It takes the three some time
to board the bus
what with the flames
and water and ice
But when they finally climb the stairs 
and take their seats
the driver doesn't even notice
that none of them has paid
because he is tortured
by visions and is wondering
if the man who got off at the last stop
was really being mauled to death
by wild dogs.
—Denver Butson
You can read an interview with Denver Butson here.


  1. This speaks volumes about the private things people struggle with and I think it's an excellent reminder for us to be compassionate.

  2. WOW! That is an amazing poem in so many ways Bonny! I have to agree with Billy Collins' assessment of Denver Butson. Wild! Frenzied! Refreshingly Mad!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. What a great poem. Thanks for the introduction to someone new to me.

    1. Thank you for reading! I also found it a pretty powerful poem.

  4. Wow! I love it! In our own little world...

    Thanks for sharing, Bonny!

  5. It breaks my heart to think of all the suffering souls who walk this world.

  6. It is very interesting to read the poems posted on blogs. Everyone likes something different and I've met some new poets. Thank you. I also have to smile at your columbine seedlings. I love columbine but they don't grow the best in our climate. I wonder if it is the hot summer winds that do them in. I have one sheltered spot that is shaded part of the day where they will grow. I cleaned our part of a perennial bed today. Hooray for spring.

  7. We really can't see the problems with others when we have problems of our own, I suppose.

  8. Oh.
    That's a good one.
    Brilliant, actually.

  9. oh my goodness - thank you for another wonderful introduction!


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