Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Colonel Applegate walks alone into the street of the night

looking like someone's uncle but he isn't and he wanders
in his baggy brown pants down empty gray streets
                                      of the city
and he stands thinking beneath a street light
                                                 each night
as he pensively holds a fresh rose
And Mr. Colonel Applegate has no hopes or dreams
but still he strides, journeyman of the city streets
in the morning
looking like someone's uncle and the children playing
                           look up from their skipropes and jacks
                           and marbles
as he stands there smiling, pensively holding a dewy rose
                            with a hand in his baggy brown pants
and the children are spellbound by his brown fantasy eyes
glimmering like warm diamonds just above
his somehow summer smile just below
his nose quietly savoring the fresh rose
                                           and then Dr. General Applegate
turns away
               walking down the morning streets getting warm,
looking like a king
               carried in by a wave from the sunrise
               and each day Captain Admiral Applegate
              will be a journeyman of the city streets
              with his smile below the rose beneath his diamond eyes
and curious, dull, fish-like eyes of lonely people
will turn his way with a hint of envy
but he will stride down the warm streets,
leaving footprints of liquid sun
as he turns words into butterflies
And someday you may hear the sound of him walking past your house
as Superintendent Applegate's baggy brown pants rustle
as they stride through the cool, blue morning air.

John A. Starnes Jr. 5-29-1970

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