Tulsa Skyline on an Evening in Late July

tulsa night

Skyscrapers glowing green and gold

against steel-blue banks of cloud,

the city rises from cracked asphalt streets,

shining like some starry urban Oz,

its resplendent oil-boom towers

still exciting heightened hopes

strings of streetlights drawing many eyes

towards its emerald heart.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

Pozzotti’s Panther*


The great cat’s humongous feet

support a massive chest, the creature’s

strength mainly in its legs and flanks,

the head relatively small, the balancing

tail cable-thin, the body marked

with molecular diagrams

of some primitive lifeforce,

mouth open and teeth bared,

but as if to scream instead of bite,

eyes pleading, not daring

or rather, daring a different response

to dangerous beauty.


*Panther by Rudy Pozzotti


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper


Pozzotti’s Fox*




stands lined out against a slender tree,

tail flagging high, nose lifted to test

the nighttime air, bright eyes opening

onto a dark, sad wisdom.


Stealth, cunning, death, and the Devil,

says the plaque beside the print,

but the fox has nothing to hide,

no fear of circumstances beyond the grave.


Its cleverness shows a cleaner cunning

than the conniving human kind,

and we, not she, must own

the deviltries of this world.


*Fox by Rudy Pozzotti


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

Another Aubade

When it’s 5 a.m. but you’re wide awake

on a summer day when there’s no need

for early rising, no hurry to get moving,

what can you do really but sit on the porch

in your underwear, drinking black coffee in the dark,

watching cats prowl the yards and mourning

the loss of stars as the sky begins to brighten

slightly and a gentle wind breaks the stillness,

stirring the uppermost branch of the hackberries,

ruffling the feathers of the early birds

anticipating the dawn in that long, lonely

moment just before it that brings to mind

departed lovers and forgotten dreams;

but the birds sing reassuringly

as the first light reveals the first blossoms

on a late-blooming crepe myrtle,

and the coffee is good and strong.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper



Lavender Soap

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico


The smell of lavender soap

rises to greet to morning air

as moppers splash suds

from hundreds of wash buckets

onto rollercoaster sidewalks

in front of as many shops,

some pausing a momentito

to let a pedestrian by

or returning a passing “Buenos,”

others too intent on their task

of scrubbing clean the already

clean stones worn smooth

by a century of footsteps

and scrubbing, wielding

their mops with reverence,

their work more ritual

than mere quotidian chore.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper