Mike Foldes

Counting

Counting, counting, always counting.

12 steps down to the cool cellar

Almost without thinking, realizing

Only at the end ten, eleven, twelve.

How many steps from the kitchen sink

To the kitchen door, from the kitchen door

To the curb where the car sits parked,

Ready and waiting to go, go, go,

A tenth of a mile at a clip, mile

After mile, all 297,000, and then some.

A mathematical world populated

With geometric forms, odd shapes

As if generated at random, but

Logical as logical is said to be.

We moveable icons pass among

One another, relatively speaking

Without mishap; is it because

We are clusters of energy

Of alternate polarities designed

To steer clear of foreign objects?

Which is the true form, “forest

Or field”? To whom do we owe

This debt of gratitude, this

Formulation that carries us

From day to day, here to there,

Step by step, cautiously seeking

To discover what’s next, even

While it’s before our own eyes?
What fractal equation forces us together,

Woman and man, woman and woman,

Man and man? What fractal

Tears us apart, arm, leg, head,

In matters of war. And peace?

Does each generation ponder

On its pathway to the grave

Whether changing a zero to one

Or one to zero, two to three

Or ten to ten thousand, whether

The numbers add up to anything

More than an accumulation

Of laughter or sorrow? Do we

Manage our futures, or does

Despair manage us? What

Is the geometry of innocence?

How many or few the steps

We take to understanding?

The nebulous, the certain,

Cautious and caring, a triangle

Or parallelogram, particles

That exist, or only appear to exist

Because we cannot see or feel

Or detect them, but know their presence

By established theories of influence,

By shadows cast in moonlight

By the casual way we tie our shoes,

the way we count our blessings

cast our nets, spin our webs.


A piece of you

I want a piece of you.

Yes, I really do.

Just a small part,

A corner of your palette

Dust from the floor

Beneath the table

Where you polish

The incandescent metals

Of your ancient trade.

I want a piece of you

To hang on the wall,

Place on a glass shelf

In a curio cabinet

Where the curious

Will gather to look

And see what

We’ve been doing

All these years.

I want a piece of you

I can take to the bank,

That I can dive into

Like a frog into a murky pond,

That I can caress, kiss

And save as a token

Of our mutual respect,

Being that we came

Such a long way to get here

And the crossing

Was so quick.

Ask me for a poem, then,

In exchange for the look,

And a taste of magnesium

On steel on my tongue,

A flavor not unlike that

I imagine you have on yours

At the end of days.

Magically it will appear –

Calibrated lines

Rising and falling

On the skin of my back.



Mike Foldes is a sales engineer specializing in medical displays. A graduate of The Ohio State University in anthropology, he has edited and published magazines, poetry anthologies, chapbooks, alternate newspapers, technical publications, and was a newspaper editor and columnist. He is founder of the online magazine Ragazine.CC, author of Sleeping Dogs: A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping …” and Sandy: Chronicles of a Superstorm, a volume of poetry and images in collaboration with artist Christie Devereaux. His articles, editorials, poems and stories have appeared in translation into Romanian, Hungarian, French and Spanish. e-mail: editor@ragazine.cc.

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