Excerpt for Under the Fan Palm by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Under the Fan Palm

Published By Richard W. George at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Richard W. George

Also by Richard W. George published on Smashwords:

A Chapter of Verse, poems

Ben Soul, a novel

Collected Poems, multiple verses

Five Stories, five short stories

Lines from a Gum Tree Grove, quatorzains about a marriage’s rise and fall

Remembering Barbi, verses in memory of the poet’s late sister

The Alphabestiary, twenty-six verses and pictures for an alphabet tied to animals

Winter Poems, verses from a long winter

Table of Contents

Index of First Lines

A Ballad for the Stars

A Storm Comes



Beach Summer

Bring Me My Beer


Ceramic Insects

Christmas Meditation

Clouds Ride the Wind


Coulter’s Daisies



Day Lilies

Desert Life





First Quatrain

Funeral Plans

Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire


I Hear Ladies Singing

Inspired by Horace

I Wonder

I Wrap Me in Clouds


January Day

Loss Song

Light Among the Gloom

Little Rose

Music Boxes

My Pets

My Quiet Time

Night Ends

Ode to Ganja

Old Age

One January Day

Oyster Girl


Pindaric Ode

Poets of Old


Rain Song

Red-Winged Blackbird

Rose-Red Skies



Spring Equinox

Spring Tanka

Sunset Sestina

Tell Me Tales

The Boy’s Sparrow

The Cold Villanelle

The Cuckoos

The Dying Katydid

The Heart Can Be Dark

The Dream

The Eastward Peaks

The Ladies Took Tea

The Lucky Boy

The Lusty Youth

The Meadowlark

The Oriole

The Robin

The Seasons Come ‘Round

The Seekers

The Small Rain



Unrhymed Quatorzain

Waiting for Night

Winter Night

Winter Solstice

Winter Wind

Ceramic Insects

Ceramic insects

Shelter under the fan palm

Waiting for rain to fall.

Overhead the clouds are full

And spill over on the ground.

She glazed and fired them

With exotic hues unknown

To the natural bugs

Biologists have labeled.

She treasured her artifacts.

I keep them under

The fan palm in my backyard.

I treasure them, too,

Because she made them. She died,

My kid sister whom I loved.

I go to watch them

And think of the happy times

We had together

Before she made the insects,

Before she left for Heaven.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

First Quatrain

My scribbled verses are written down with zest.

I offer them to all the world from west

To east in all their metric variety

And you may choose the one you like the best.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines


Some folk conclude

My attitude

Is rather skewed

Toward matters a prude

Would denounce as lewd.

Such judgments are crude

As I conclude,

With falsehood imbued.

I admit I’m flawed.

A loving God

Would spare the rod

And leave me awed

With his mercy. Sad

To say love may be dead

Or there’s no god

To forgive or judge.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Christmas Meditation

Light your lights and hang your baubles

And cook the goose or ham or turkey

According to your traditions my friends.

For me the holiday’s a time

To number my dead, and one by one

Remember each with fond regard.

Wrap gifts for under the yuletide tree.

Gather to sing glad carols of joy.

Be merry laugh and dance. I’ll weep

For those gone on before my time.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

A Ballad for the Stars

The weather gurus promise us

Grey skies and a threat of rain tonight.

We welcome the wet despite the cold

It brings, and the briefer time of light

We’ll have because the sun is hid

Behind the clouds spread out across

The welkin. Dark the day ahead,

The gurus say; the sun shall lose

The power to warm the earth and sea.

The moon as well will hide its face

Behind the clouds and dripping rain

Until dry weather resumes its place.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

A Storm Comes

Tonight is for the stars in heaven

To shine untarnished light,

Be silver stars the winds have driven

Across the dark skies of night.

The moon has masked its bone-white face

From the nighttime black and gloom.

It's the hour for stars to dance with grace

Across heaven's dark room.

The wheeling stars grow weary of dance.<br>
The sun will come with day<br>
The stars prepare for the sun's advance<br>
And plot to run away.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire

Three dozen dead,

Too young to die.

A city mourns,

A nation grieves

To lose both them

Their talents, and their art.

Some painted, others

Made music sing.

Perhaps, unknown,

A poet died

With verses dancing

On the screen as smoke

Blocked the air

Of life from lungs

Too weak to breathe

The falling soot.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Light Among the Gloom

Despite the gloom that fills our souls

The sun has somehow made the day

Bright with a hope we’ll overcome

Defeat and loss. May sanity

Descend upon the crazy man

The people chose this time around.

May God, if there be one, keep safe

The world from doom and desolation.

We shall persevere I think

Lest our empire decline and fall

To scattered rubble in the dump

Of nations that arose and fell

From inward rot or outer war.

Shall we be Nineveh or Tyre?

Or will we rise, a Phoenix from the ash

Rejuvenated and winged again?

Stay tuned for further developments.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines


The ancient Greek and Roman poets told

The erotic misbehavior of their gods,

Describing them to be divinely schooled

In adultery and other romantic frauds.

We are, we hold, more pure by all the odds

Than the ancients were. We openly copulate

With whom we please, uncaring who applauds

Or damns our romances with shouted words of shame and hate.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Old Age

My face has wrinkles I’ve not had before.

My stomach’s fallen and my feet are unsure.

I walk with a cane lest otherwise I fall

Where I will not rise forevermore.

I wake with aches in joints I did not know

I had. I rise with creaking knees and go

To eat my toast and butter or eggs and ham.

Ought I prepare myself for Heaven now?

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines


I have heard the trump of doom

Ringing in the western wind

Across the beach the shifting sand

Whispers of ceilings crumbling in rooms

The ancients built to house their dead.

Wild loons shall sing a harmony

To a god’s sad doomsday litany

Of prayers unheard and scriptures unread.

The funeral march sounds muted strings

In mournful key to mark the end

Of things. My purse has no coin to spend

On clipping time’s unflagging wings.

The stars shall reel around the moon,

The sun shall fall in fiery death.

The cities shall burn in the sun’s hot breath

And all of life shall then be gone.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

Unrhymed Quatorzain

The sky is grey with smoke from fires

Some criminal has made with matches

Flung carelessly into the grasses

Brittle and brown from summer heat.

The conflagrations are great red smears

Across the roiling heavens. The stars

Are hid in black and grey behind

The smokes from burning trees. I cower

Inside lest my lungs labor too hard

And strain my wizened flesh beyond

Recovery. The swirling wind

Stirs the haze in eddied spills

Across the sun’s ash-smudged face

And brings day to the edge of night.

Table of Contents--Index of First Lines

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