The Busy Machines That Click and Hum

February 20, 2013



Marilyn's Reflection | Photo by Douglas Imbrogno for

Marilyn’s Reflection | Photo by Douglas Imbrogno for

The Busy Machines That Click and Hum

It is hazardous to write poetry
when you are
lonely, in need of
a lover’s ministrations
or even just a session of

kisses. Disgusted, too,
with yourself, the world,
your lot at the moment in
that world. The look

of things out your back window
on a day when the sky will be the color
and heft of five-year-old Styrofoam,
bobbing in a junk-clumped breaker
of branches in a swollen stream.

This may be, of course, the only
time, even the best, to write poetry. Not that
this is much of a poem. But you do
what you need to do. And I have
set a new daily minimum of 15 minutes
to get back into shape. Lifting words
like weights, up from the waist to
eye level.

I arise very early, hours before dawn, when
about the only thing to do is light an ivory candle
in front of the green porcelain Buddha, wrap a
re-purposed Indonesian sarong about you and
sit for an hour, to contemplate the endless cypher
of your contemplation. To see if you can live
without this need of kisses and ratiocination.
One of the cats, the little black one, sits on the
sarong’s edges awhile, but when I open my eyes

in time with the chiming of the family’s 106-year-old
clock that marks the hour, she is gone. I fold the
sarong into a neat bundle, put it where it goes.
Stretch a bit to keep this more than half-century old
body still limber and arise. The room smells like vanilla
from an hours-worth of candle. I poof. Out goes
the flame. It is still dark outside, though the first

penumbra of pre-dawn purple paints the crack between
the window’s curtains. I have a little more room now
with which to work, though kisses would still be nice.
Yet it is goodbye to their distraction I came to say. So, I make
a cappuccino, the cat returns and I sit to see what might
be said in 15 minutes before the work-day world demands I
give it something to feed the running of the busy machines
that click and hum.

+ + +

~ by douglas imbrogno | feb. 20, 2013




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~ Last Man in the Woods
~ Insomnia Album: Pictures for the Pre-Wee Hours
~ Poems Without a Book
~ Six Variations on a Curve in the Road
~ Some Days, Nothing Will Do
~ Still Life with Lines, Leaf and Water
~ Excruciating Pain Report
~ I Got Nuts, Beef, Candy
~ Blue Rooms

Creative Commons License photos by douglas imbrogno
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


7 Responses to “The Busy Machines That Click and Hum”

  1. Karan I. Says:

    Your 15 minutes is paying off for me, the reader.

  2. Gary Reynolds Says:

    Lovely, my friend.

  3. Julie Says:


  4. Kelli Says:

    Inspiring, and tender. Hunting for my sarong.

  5. admin Says:

    I will lend you mine, Kelli. I have two.

  6. admin Says:

    Thanks for setting me on the 15-minute tried and true, Ms. Agogo. And i appreciate your eyeballs very much, Gary and Julie!