Original Poetry / Poetry / Uncategorized

Bloom Creative Writing: Poetry by David Ruekberg


With this selection of five poems by David Ruekberg, we continue our new series of original fiction or poetry by writers who either published their first book at 40 or after, or who have yet to publish a book. Writers interested in submitting work should see our guidelines.

A Good Day

—started out like almost

every Monday, groggy

coffee egg whites toast




but at work the deadlines

had relaxed and I finally got

some work done



shared stories with people

I mostly pass in the hall

and when I got home



Leah had begun to clean

algae off the tool shed and

by the time the chicken



was out of the oven I had

knocked half the moss from

the roof mowed the lawn and



after dinner transplanted

kale mulched flower boxes

threw the carcass in the trash



—Still the sun wouldn’t go down

so I wrote this song

near dawn dreamed of marigolds




Put away the tools of winter now,

the wide scoops for lifting light


but deadly loads, the axes and picks

for breaking up those stubborn


and slick patches of cold

that threaten to break us. Turn


the ground. Bury what’s gone

crusty and let it sleep in darkness,


renewed by what life sifts

up from below, sun


warming its back. Cut back the old,

dead life, and nurse the new


with tender pats and moisture.

A little love every day.


No flood. No landslide.

Remember to rest, to wait.


The Rose of Sharon’s not dead,

nor the woody lavender. After


months of lifeless brown

you smell the trees exhale.


First the shy bud,

then the showy flower.


Soon the yard’s intoxicated

with viburnum spice, cheered


by the redbud’s magenta

that matches the garden shoes


you wear while you sweep

dead spruce needles,


mixing them into soil,

preparing the way.



Child with My Face










The bed is warm and dim,

a cotton cocoon, sleep

sloughs off like a surf

receding, but notice

the shoulders, hiked and solid

as if ready for a blow

from behind. It takes

a few breaths to bring them

to butter, for blood to flow

more freely.

Over coffee and toast we talk

but my mind wanders, already

revising yesterday’s list, trying

to pack two more things

into a day that can barely

breathe as it is. You stop

telling your story. My fear

invents your displeasure,

your anger, forms a skin,

a skein, readies defenses.

By evening, exhausted, the dross

of day’s failures deep enough

to drown me, I sit for a moment

and thoughts stop, or step aside.

In the eddy, I sense a child

with my name, with my face,

waiting patiently on the far side

of fear’s river that all day I’ve fought,

its push furious, forgetting if I let go

of the paddle, the plans, how easy

it is to breathe, to see the pebbles

beneath the frenzy, sky overhead,

this lost child, to see you.




Much Needed Rain

What is this? A sudden


late in the day

after a death

and weeks of no rain.



so much at once.

The sun

breaking through—


End of gloom, but

a bump in humidity,

a big one so early in June.

In the next room, Leah

chatting and laughing

with her brother’s sister

in Tulsa, pleasantries,

and then the real thing,

only one side of the talk

about her parents’

decline. Her mother’s

dementia. Or is it only

the usual depression?

Dad’s denial.

Trees outside our picture

window turn suddenly still,

young leaves cupped,

like hands,

palms up,

as if to say, “Thank you

for this blessing.

Could we ask for more?”

Then day’s light

fading, or rather,

the globe’s turning,

to say things plain.

Clouds thicken, lift.

Trick of light.

Dawn, seeming.



Pink Trumpets

Today the numbers were crunching me—

Computing achievement for kids at school

Cash in the accounts splashing around like

a kid in a tub making war on the floor

Actuarial tables taking their toll

while outside the living room window

bags of gold blazed yellow in the windowbox

and azaleas blared through pink trumpets

I’ve got pink trumpets!

I’ve got pink trumpets!

for all the gray neighborhood to see



David Ruekberg lives and writes near Rochester, New York. After retiring from teaching in 2019, he enjoys spending more time in nature and the kitchen, reading and writing, and fighting climate pollution. He holds an MFA from Warren Wilson and has enjoyed a residency at Jentel Arts. Poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Borderlands, Cimarron Review, DMQ, Mudfish, and elsewhere. His second collection of poetry, Hour of the Green Light (FutureCycle Press) was published in January, 2021. He is currently at work on a third collection about climate change and marriage. Read more at https://poetry.ruekberg.com.




One thought on “Bloom Creative Writing: Poetry by David Ruekberg

  1. Pingback: Five poems up on Bloom - David Ruekberg

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