Japanese Springtime

For Mike Gorman and Kyoko Matsunaga


Beneath white blossoms,

a hatted woman with dog:

beauty in the park.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

Turner Park at Dusk

It’s cooler this evening, or not quite as hot,

and the park is quiet and pleasant.

A few children on the playground equipment,

one curious youngster investigated one

of the storm-felled trees; watchful parents

on benches beside the playground or under the shelters.

The lamps are lit, though it’s not quite dark.

There’s a friendly soccer match under way

on the adjacent pitch beside the high school,

but it must be getting hard for the players

to see each other and the ball and goals,

the yellow lights from the school parking lot

a little too distant, lending them little aid.

No on at all on the path this evening;

I can cycle around the loop without having

to dodge pedestrians two abreast or

the kids who ride in confused circles,

lost in their little worlds, heedless

of the motion of adults around them.

Odd there are no dogs and walkers–

Wait, here’s a black lab arriving, as I leave.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper



Starts with an O

The name was something related to “ocean,”

but the front man mumbled and I didn’t quite catch it,

a band of kids set up on a patch

of scruffy grass to administer a dose


of music at the farmers’ market—

two guitars, keyboard, drum kit.

Not bad at all, chill music for

a sultry evening in the park.


The singer’s hot, with perfect look

for summer gig: tie-dye tank,

orange cotton shorts, barefoot,

bright yellow band around his ankle


drawing attention to sun-tanned feet,

sexy when to a pedal lifted.

He says he’s sweating in the heat,

but he’s at ease as well as gifted.


Drummer’s cute too, with light-brown skin,

well-dressed dreads, a laidback mood;

a second-guitarist, long-haired, big-shoed,

and keyboard player, adding fills in.


They make a talented ensemble,

and though the crowd this evening’s small,

this gig is only a preamble;

with time they’ll be playing concert halls.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper






Shirtless runners, two of them,

both do-able, but one’s hotter, hands down:

platinum blond, I’d choose him.

Broad chest with just the right amount


of hair, tanned but not too dark,

well-done tattoo between shoulder blades.

He makes me glad I came to the park;

I know what to ask for if he wants to trade.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper