Earth soon to harden inside winter,
starlight on blue snow. We stand

below a Powell’s Bookstore awning
knocking back the hot grease

of scotch whiskey as rain
lids all nests, sweeping blue brooms

across the city after a day
long friction of cold sandpaper winds.

Thinking ourselves strong poets pulling
stride beyond the red bricks of academia,

we find a traverse between light and depth,
reciting poems written out of new hardships,

freeing our reach from our suburban roots.
Heavy rain drums and hisses over sidewalk

and street as we pause to listen.
See the tall and thin sax player

below a jeweler’s awning
arch notes like spun orchids

gust-carried inside city canyons.
We toast the store clerks arranging

mannequins for morning display,
plastic hands gesturing towards the inbound.

Raised in Charleston, S.C., and Chicago, Charles Farrell-Thielmanhas worked as a social worker, truck driver, city bus driver, and bookstore clerk. Grandfather of 6, his work as Poet, Artiste and Secretary for an independent Bookstore’s company and collective continues, as does his 38-year commitment to GreenPeace. Video of Charles reading at Tsunami Books: