The Change in my pocket

16 Jun

.”..if you do not know yourselves

then you are in poverty,

and you are the poverty.”

                                                                 logion 3, The Gospel of Thomas

Emptying pockets rattle and scatter coins on top of the dresser.

Facing me, an obtrusive, unwelcome ever-present mirror.    

But, I cannot look away, drawn, centered, within paint chipped borders.


The right side of the dresser is a stack of black-and-white family photos,  

 mixed in with a bunch of sticky colored Polaroid’s of a motorcycle weekend.

Penny arcades at Weirs Beach, and blurry ones of a start-up rock and roll band,

jammin’ at the Beanstalk variety store. It’s still at the junction of route 106 and Canterbury road.

I can hear the screeching tires on the curves of Gunstock, and the giggling lovemaking

in the pup tents between laps. The racers often change the lead

 before the lovers would press themselves arm and arm, back to the fence again.

I can see in their Polaroid eyes, no one really cared except to be there.

It was a black and white transition then.


On The left side, pushed up against the mirror, an old mason jar

 half-full with silver coins. Nickels, dimes, quarters,

and one unspent Kennedy half-dollar. A permanent resident,

since I found that light blue jar in a bottle dump I spotted,

 hitchhiking down a desolate country road;

with that half-dollar for luck,  and confidence to leave

where I had been staying without knowing where I was going.


On the floor beside the dresser, getting harder to push aside,

sits a fading bluish plastic water cooler  jug,

three-quarters full of pennies.


I begin to sort copper from silver and silver from copper. Jar vs. jug.

I smile at myself trying to find something that I may have forgotten in my pockets,

something, with at least one digit to fold. The mirror and I stare and listen

to each distinctive clink and thud, fade into its appropriate bowl.


Posted by on June 16, 2013 in Existential, Philosophy, poems, Poetry, prose, religion, thoughts, Zen


Tags: , ,

13 responses to “The Change in my pocket

  1. dsnake1

    June 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    man, you have a lot of money there. 🙂

    i loved the imagery in this excellent work. stark and hard, but gentle at the same time.


  2. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm



  3. Sam Edge, Writer

    June 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Great work on this ZQ!


  4. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    The honor has been mine. 🙂


  5. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Hmmm! I’ve read, and I have no idea where, that 1.99 & 10.99 etc. isn’t going away because of that 1 cent that forces the cash register to open and record the transaction vs mischievous un-recorded mis-handling. My understanding is that it saves retailers mucho denataz 🙂


  6. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Gosh! 🙂 Thank you.


  7. WabiSabi

    June 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I liked the juxtaposition of the philosophical and reluctant ‘looking in the mirror’ with the real and concrete need to sort through pennies and quarters! I plan to come back later to reread!My Head is Beating with Wishes


  8. Sherry Marr

    June 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I can see that dresser and water jug so clearly. Are you going to roll and count and hand in the pennies? They are being phased out up here, and now whenever a price is a few pennies short, they “round up” the number.


  9. pearl ketover prilik

    June 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    “Polaroid eyes” “black and white transition then” … excellent imagery and a wonderful poem … that begs to be re-read 🙂


  10. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you…yes, until it is all in one harmony:-)


  11. ZQ

    June 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Thank You Brian and you have a wonderful day 🙂


  12. Talon

    June 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Restoring order midst chaos…I loved this!


  13. brian miller

    June 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    smiles…there is something to sorting…i keep a bowl of things out of my pocket and often go back through them to remind myself of things along the way….nice trip through the memories…

    happy fathers day man…



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