Hollyhocks blushing at the kiss of dragonflies,
Obsequious to vagrant breezes,
Dropping rolled blossoms like Chinese paper flowers
Cast into the garden pond,
Bursting forth into water petals afloat on a mirrored sea,
Orange, crème, yellow:
Iridescent flashes beneath diamond chips spewed by the fountain.
Clouds emerged in early hours like gray sarcophagi,
Each containing elements renewing the dormant body of the day;
Only missing the touch of Ra to awaken the morning, parting the fogs of night.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher living in Moreno Valley, California, with his wife of thirty-five years (poor soul, her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and ten cats! Yes, ten. He has previously been employed as an: apprentice carpenter; dairy ranch hand; plywood mill worker (twice); plastics manufacturing plant; newspaper delivery; armed security; facilities analyst; telecommunications analyst. supervisor (twice) and manager; business manager; US Army - infantryman, legal clerk (twice), legal clerk instructor, Warrant Officer and law office manager; and, high school teacher for the emotionally disturbed (twice).