April 27, 2017



They said he’d have a sign. A placard printed with his name in thick black letters. Ladislaw Polk. What they don’t tell Weston is what the bloody chap looks like. Without a hint of description, he could be any one of the arrivals. A spare figure of a fellow or beefy? Bearded or stubble-free?

He expects more from Scotland Yard, but this time he suspects some Metropolitan bloke spent overtime in the loo and missed the chief’s briefing on Polk. A field man, Weston is already out on the street; in fact, he is at the baggage station at Heathrow, waiting for the Yard to give him a bell, but no joy there. Not a peep from his mobile. He keeps it nestled in his side pocket. 

Why attempt a conspicuous move that might alert Polk? For all Police Constable Edward Weston knows, the killer could well be poking his hidden revolver at him, breaths away from squeezing the trigger.

This time in desperation Weston tries giving a bell to the Chief. No one answers.

Out from the crowd, gripping an overnight valise, a man walks smilingly toward him. Weston reads “Ladislaw Polk” on the white placard before Polk rests it against the revolving baggage carousel. He is tall, imperially slim, clean-shaven.
“Might you help me? It appears I am carrying too much baggage today.”


 “Polk, the best of them?”

The bobbies nod in unison like carnival clown dolls.

Chief Constable counters with quick shakes of his shiny head. Finally, he snaps the pencil he is twirling finger to finger and says, “Weston fooled us all. Took us for barmy fools. You know what ticks me more than most anything in this job.”

Again, the bobbing heads.

“A good man, years of service high on the honor pole, and one day he wakes up, sees there’s a world out there filled with euros for the taking-- millions of them! And he puts himself under the hot lights of his own self-grilling where each question “Why” grows easier to ask, “Why not?”

All heads turn to the telephone on the desk of the chief who, without speaking, holds it to his ear.

On the other end, Polk says, “It was a delightful trip.”

The chief is relieved.


“None,” says Polk. “I got lost in the crowd.”

April 26, 2017


Sirius Dog Star
terror of night skies
you bite a bone moon

Sirius Dog Star
chasing a comet’s tail
swift as cosmic dust

you bite a bone moon
but where in the heavens
can you bury it?


April 25, 2017

REFLECTIONS (based on the art of Andi Abdul Halil)

Sparrows bob their feathered heads in puddles
of April rain. Up and down they peck the waters,
their beaks jackhammering the stillness
into concentric circles that reflect
gray-brown passerine faces, a bird revue
of headshots before nature’s funhouse mirrors.

Sometimes I wish I could drink with them,
see how many faces I have worn,
how many shards of water glass reveal
my life’s masquerades, kneel before the puddle,
drink my fill beside that bobbing sparrow
until the rains end, the bird shakes dry its wings,
and the mirrors fade with the amen of my confessions.


April 24, 2017


They found him half-in half-out the wardrobe,
a last-ditch effort to lose himself in Narnia,
become one more character in a tall tale,
rid himself of the grip of liberosis,
banish the killing fears, the anxieties,
of life’s demands, for once dissolve an attitude
like marmalade from which too long
he could not lightly lift his feet.
In Narnia, he could spend the afternoon
waving at passersby from his stone house,
toss Narnian nougat sweets at petulant fauns.


April 21, 2017



The year Jolene hit the airwaves
Gene was living high on the hog of love,
laughing into his two palms,
convinced he was no fool, but a clever
thief who stole Fran away from her husband.

In their clandestine car rides,
they sang along with Dolly’s, “Jolene, Jolene,”
all the while singing in parody:
“Oh Gene, Oh Gene, I’m begging
of you please don’t take my Fran.
Don’t take her just because you can.”

Sometimes treasures are empty chests
and what appears a triumph in 1973
down-slides to defeat in '88.
Fran played the game again with someone else.


April 20, 2017



blind-sided by the chase,
you took bitter wormwood
on the tongue, swallowed down
bits of iron your lover
vowed he transformed into gold.

now when heart songs should burgeon
like fields of baby’s sweet breath,
no adagios lullaby you to sleep.

tinker man says he’ll mend it all.
an expert of spells,
he’ll nuzzle at your ear,
charm love back into
a ready epilogue.




Tonight, Saturn runs circles behind the moon. An occultation. That’s what astronomers call it: a planet, in this case, Saturn, hidden behind Earth’s Moon. Planetary fadeout. 
Markitt and I sit gazing from the top window of Boss Whalen’s ziggurat, smack dab in the center of Aldrich City. Being miners, we blink at dusk’s light. Without retino-plates, we’d hardly hold onto vision. We’d stare blind at the night sky. No surprise. We mine the golden quasitell stone on Mars, so many miles underground. Not a glimmer of light anywhere. When we ascend each night from the pits of our labor, we don the plates or burn out our eyes.

This night is special. The second time we’ve witnessed the ringed planet vanish to the dark side of Earth’s Moon. In February 2002, we were still children, long before we joined United Intergalactic Forces, U.I.F., we sat high at the summit of Crowback Hill, oohing and aahing like two lunatics on the loose.

“Ever miss home?” Markitt asks.

“Do quasitell stones come in a variety of colors?” I tell him. We laugh.

Without taking my eyes off the sky, I say how sometimes Earth seems to me a previous lifetime, years I vaguely remember living, how sometimes in dreams I can hear victims screaming, see them writhing in fire.

We got out just in time, Markitt and I, two country cousins, working our earthly bottoms off like moles in the deep dirt. Still, I can’t help but wonder how grand it would be to witness Earth again passing in the sky, doing the Saturn trick of hide-and-seek behind a hungry moon, then looking blue and green again like it did when we were young!

“Look!” says Markitt. “Saturn’s disappeared!” And I think to myself, I hope Mars hangs around for a long long time.

April 19, 2017

A MEMORY POEM on 04/19/2017


In youth, I said in my superiority,
“I have forgotten more than you will ever know.”
Pompously I stood so tall on the pedestal
of my own making, arrogant know-it-all
at the ready to make claims beyond the unseen
territory of my life. I stomped through the years,
teeth bared, fist clenched, convinced I would live forever,
the face reflected in the mirror set in stone.
I laughed when Papa said, “We’re machines. We break down.”

Now in my declining years, I beg apologies.
The sure step of younger days is gone. I stumble.
The pedestal was swept away in the torrents
of my life. The mirror is a friend of mine no more.
And the highlight of this old man’s confession?
I have forgotten more than you or I have known.


(C) 2017 by Salvatore Buttaci

A HAIKU for April 19, 2017

Lonely moon,
Is your reflection
On the lake enough?