Cruising Past St. Peter

she never ran for the bus
she occupied the high-back-air-powered-throne
master of the door-control-handle
queen of the farebox
guru of the brake and gas pedals
her enlightened third eye a brilliant yellow
shining forever between the red and green
after forty years of bus driving
she could catch butterflies in the crack of her bondoon
the backstreets blushed at her bravado
the thoroughfares split
before her thick skin broke a sweat
so what if her gut could be mistaken for a beer keg
her language was bluer than Davy Jones’ locker room
she rode several hundred horses through enough snow
to humble a generation of sled dogs
she absorbed more offenses than a blocking dummy
you didn’t have to sell her on the notion of overpopulation
she pulled to the curb and picked up more characters
than Shakespeare Dickens and Rabelais conjured
so her brothers and sisters
still bouncing around in the driver’s seat
smile at the thought of her
cruising past St. Peter

A Nest of Whiskers

out of whatever he can find
between the curbstones
this old bird
builds a nest of whiskers

                                            a little place
                                            to rest his head
                                            when it gets too heavy
                                            to carry

                                                                                        insulated with sunlight
                                                                                        it warms his face
                                                                                        allowing every wrinkle
                                                                                        to open wide
                                                                                        like a great tributary of being

migratory by nature
this old bird
walks forever
following whatever street
beckons his buoyant shoes

                                            his nest of whiskers
                                            never farther
                                            than his chin

                                                                                        where the wind
                                                                                        weaves loose hairs
                                                                                        like a loom
                                                                                        and the moon
                                                                                        makes a feather
                                                                                        of every wish

Two Old Guys in Wheelchairs

they’re not
going anywhere
                                           those two
old guys                                                     in wheelchairs
                                           sitting in
                   the nursing home lobby
                               hour after hour after hour
every morning                                                      one’s got
                                           one leg
                               the other one’s got
two             legs     that’s             three               legs
                               between them
                                                                   and four wheels
                   what
                               more   do they
                                                       need               to
circumnavigate     the globe
                               crisscross
                   the sky                        dive    the                   ocean’s
depth        


Mickey “The Flying Busman” Mahan, after 30 years behind the wheel of a transit bus, has hung up his uniform and embraced his VOCATION PARADIGM SHIFT. No longer a negotiator of “time-points” he’s playing endlessly in his home studio (with his little dog), writing, making art and playing music. More: Instagram @theflyingbusman