In Praise of the Water Cooler

How am i different
From the water cooler?

i exist to refresh and replenish;
In the end, i am emptied.

Even at night, the doors locked,
The hallways frosted with the
Comforting and impersonal,
Of the overhead fluorescents,

The cooler is ready, vigilant,
Frosted with the perspiration
Of constant effort.

(The workday is no different
From the quietest night --
Existence and service
Know their own rhythms,
To which we are blind.)

Perhaps i am more like
The cup that nourishes me,
But the pattern is the same:


i go on in an infinity
Of droplets
that refresh, replenish
And rise again.

--Mr. Gobley


The Fallen Nest

My steps were directed to it.
There were two baby birds
And a fallen nest on the ground
Beyond the parking lot.

The flies were already making fast work
Of the nestlings.
And as for the mother --
Already moved on, i suppose,

To thoughts of more eggs,
Another nest.
There is grief but no lapse,
A pause, but no waiting.

It is best not to dwell on
The precarious.
Better to do, and make,
And make do.

By Monday, the nestlings will be gone.
i will, i hope and pray,
Be reading
And breathing
And being,
And ceasing to be.

--Mr. Gobley


In praise of rain on my office window

The highway whispers,
The trees bow.

The world is in every drop;
Every drop is in the world.

The sky throws liquid confetti down
Behind the pictures of my family.

Green and gray are the only colors;
Water and earth are the only elements.

For a moment -- this brief moment --
Sustenance is the order of the universe,

And fear is soothed
By the unguent of plenty.

--Mr. Gobley