Poetic License – Albany

Poetic License – Albany

Eastern Painted

Tina Johnston - Eastern Painted
Tina Johnston - Eastern Painted

Eastern Painted

by Mike Jurkovic


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, 

(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.