3 poems by Mike Jurkovic/ Color Code/ Eastern Painted/ (h)ours

Color Code (tanka)

I’ve outsourced my brain
to square colored paper  Blue
tomorrows  Pink for
m’lady  Lilac missions
hold fast to the fridge


Eastern Painted

The poet’s turtle, an Eastern Painted, 
paddles like prose. The bard tidies his bonsai, 
pulls a thread from a blue cable knit 
and leans in. Sometimes it’s more than a floater 
he whittles as Slowboy, 
(as awash in fish flakes as the poet in wine)
withdraws his head and considers that he
and the guy biding time via pen
both bear the grimace of studied intent.

She packs umbrellas in her shoes when she flies 
he scribes. But it’s tentative, not the place
to hang his hat, set down his wine.

This one’s a slog thinks Slowboy  
through a rabble of bubbles.
Snapping at a passing meal 
like the guy in the sweater 
bites on verbs. The poet doodles.
His double paddles northward
to see the sky through unkept glass. 
In a bit of a brood, the poet too,
drawn to the same wild wonder.



My basement is my Waterloo, my Rubicon,
my Matterhorn. The shore upon which 
I’ll sort my bins and boxes. Bundles and baskets. 
Scatter and rant.

Mom’s stuff, Dad’s stuff. Hearsay. (h)ours. 
The everyday hum of meter and sump.

By the furnace a forest of oddities: first drafts 
and false noses. 

All debris accounted for. My last Shangri-La.


Mike Jurkovic is a frequent contributor to Lightwood with his poems and music reviews. He is a prolific poet and in the president of Calling All Poets, a reading series and small press. HIs new book is “mooncussers”, published by Luchador Press. Take a look at his work here on Lightwood by clinking on our Search Button.

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