Two Poems • James G. Piatt


Past midnight in a shadowy bar, in a
gritty city called Nowhere; a young man
in torn levis and a 24-hour beard is
playing a sorrowful song on a rusted
harmonica while a old man with a past
in a black fedora is singing a 60’s folk
song with a whiskey painted voice.

Something inside the soul of the lonely
man sitting at the bar stirs. The feeling
goes deeper than the poignant jazz
music playing harmoniously in the
darkness… beyond the whispering
clarinet, and swaying silhouettes sitting
at oaken tables hanging onto a last
chance. It is something larger than
magic, more obscure:

The feeling causes memories to echo
with the rhythmic beat of the saxophone
now playing in the corner of the tavern,
the low heartbreaking voice of the thin
chanteuse in the mini black dress
swaying next to the microphone, and the
gravel voice of the man lost in his past
playing the electric guitar in a rusty G
major, to the rear.

Feelings flood into the man’s mind like
ocean waves bursting onto jagged
rocks, tears tumble down his cheeks as
visions of the past curve around his
being leaving a nostalgic feeling in his
bones that he cannot deny.

He looks down the bar and sees her…
long red hair a beautiful poignant face
reflecting lost dreams. Her welcoming
glance and coy smile paints crimson
feelings into his body, He starts to
move, but something inside stops him
as he remembers another time, another
place, another beautiful woman…
a long, long time ago.


The Living Room

It is called the living room I believe it is used for guests, those
rare times when guests visit: It holds various sizes and shapes of
chairs, too many chairs…a collection from those who have passed on.
Most of the time, it is just an obscure room we pass through traveling
from the kitchen to the library, or from the library to the upstairs
bedrooms. At Christmas time, however, it is dressed up in scarlet,
green, blue and yellow ribbons, and a peculiar slanted fir tree with
gaudy ornaments and lights: Colorful packages laced with gold ribbons
sit proudly in a vague manner under the sweet smelling tree, odd
wrapped packages of unknown contents lie conspicuously about the room.
It also contains, at Christmas time, new nostalgic memories in the
making, a cacophony of voices bounding off the walls, aromas of
turkey, sugared yams, and pumpkin pie, and the laughter of family and
those rare guests. It is funny how a room can change its character and
barren minutes can morph into fertile hours, simply by placing people
and things into it, like colored packages, aromas, love, and laughter.