February 24, 2019

Three Poems by Joseph Buehler: "Bikes", "Bees", and "Breakfast"

Joseph Buehler has published poetry in ArLiJo, Nine Mile Magazine, H.C.E. Review in Dublin, Ireland, Sentinel Literary Quarterly in London, U.K., Futures Trading, Green Hills Literary Lantern and other literary magazines. He was a finalist for the Adelaide Voices Literary Award in February 2018. He resides in Georgia with his wife Trish.

                               Photo by Irene Lasus from Pexels


I believe it was my Uncle Harvey, all those years ago, who first
put me on a bike. He probably ran alongside as I pedaled to make
sure I didn’t fall off.

Later on, on the farm, I would trudge up a steep hill by our farmhouse,
dragging along the bike I had then, nothing fancy about it, just a plain
boy’s bike, and then pedal downhill as fast as I could, the wind flying
in my face, bushes and trees zipping by. I repeated the ride over and
over again. When you’re a kid, you never think much about falling off.

The hill separated our farm from Bob’s. After Word War Two, Bob
brought home to Michigan a pretty Australian bride, and, one day, my
mother and I (I believe my step-father was out farming his field, maybe
plowing or something) were invited to watch the coronation of Elizabeth
ll on the wife’s black and white t.v.

We watched as the archbishop placed the heavy jeweled crown atop the
young queen’s head as she sat on her ornate throne in the glorious looking

The Australian war bride was, of course, a loyal subject of the queen so
this was a once in a lifetime ceremony for her (and all the world) to see and
not to be missed and, in her kindness, she had invited my mother and I to
attend the telecast.

So now, after all the intervening years, I still remember the steep hill, the
bike, Bob and his wife, my then young mother and the black and white
telecast of the queen’s coronation and the heavy looking crown and the
two scepters that the queen held, one in each hand, and, I suppose, there
must have been long shining key-less trumpets nearby blaring cacophonously.


Seven or eight
small yellow and black
honey bees flattened themselves (one
at a time over time) to burrow through
holes in our red colored
hummingbird feeder.

They were intoxicated by its
sweet seductive sugar water.

They gorged themselves full
and then struggled to escape,
but they could not squeeze back
through the feeder holes again
to freedom. So they slowly and
quietly suffocated to death.


I crack two pads of butter
into the small black skillet and
turn the burner up and begin
cutting in the left over half of a baked potato.

I add two eggs and start scrambling them with a
fork and add more butter, holding the skillet with a
frayed pot holder. Then I

remember the half onion in the bottom of the
fridge and cut small white wedges of it into the mix
with a serrated steak knife.

I keep stirring it with a fork, adding salt and pepper
until it’s finished. Then I turn the burner off and start
pushing it onto a plate, finally scraping off the burnt part
from the bottom of the skillet.

I put the skillet into the sink and fill it with cold water and
take the upside down plastic bottle of mostly used catsup and
spray it onto the hot scrambled mess and add a little more
salt and pepper.

I take the plate and my coffee cup into the silent living room and
put them on the tray on the ottoman, thinking about you at work and
sit back on the easy chair and say a brief prayer and turn on the t.v. and
slide my fork into the still hot food for the first bite.

Joseph Buehler

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