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Zen Curb Appeal
Anita S. Pulier


Three rangy city pigeons†
are bathing in murky water†
pooled at the curb
next to a man reclining†
on a discarded sofa.†

He has removed his shoes,
lined them up neatly†
on the cracked pavement,
reads a romance novel
with a worn ragged cover.

He is still and centered,†
as though lying
in a grassy field
by an idyllic lake.

The filthy puddle,†
the splashing birds,
the stinking summer garbage,
the blaring sirens
do not disturb him.

A lifelong expert on impermanence,
he knows that each of these intrusions
will disappear
well before†
the final embrace.

© by Anita S. Pulier.
Used with the authorís permission.

Anita S. Pulier is a retired attorney who, many years ago, traded legal writing for poetry. She and her husband, Myron, pursue a bi-coastal life between New York City and Los Angeles, where they are daily hikers in the NYC parks and the Santa Monica mountains. Anita has been very involved in the Southern California poetry community and, recently, even Myron (a retired psychiatrist) has taken up poetry! Anita’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals and her work is included in nine print anthologies. The author of multiple collections, her most recent is Paradise Reexamined. Learn more about Anita at





Post New Comment:
Linda Lee (Konichek):
Thanks, Anita, for this portrait that shows how much we all could have if we made use of the real moments in life. I, too, find this poem inspiring and love the dignity you give this man.
Posted 09/20/2011 01:40 PM
Glen Sorestad:
A lifelong expert on impermanence" -- yes, aptly, if unexpectedly phrased. Kudos. And the last line is a lovely touch.
Posted 09/20/2011 10:42 AM
yes, a new way of looking--always a good thing. thanks, Anita
Posted 09/20/2011 09:51 AM
anita....good stuff. too many poets/poems these days are happy stuff/fluff (i include myself). i love the "underbelly" of life, peeling back the veneer. you have done that, and your last line, though sad, is reality.
Posted 09/20/2011 08:32 AM
I was brought up to overlook 'bums' as kind of 'un-American,' but Anita gives me the time and space to appreciate this man with his lined-up shoes next to the murky water. I find the poem unexpectedly inspiring. Bravo!
Posted 09/20/2011 08:15 AM

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