Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hole Poem

20 hours after waking,
I finally carve
a hole out of my
wall-to-wall life
to write a poem,

and as I dig into
my back pocket
where I keep
my glib and facile
poetic ideas,

I reach in
only to find
a hole.

[Posted for #OpenLinkNight at - stop on by and have a cry! Or a laugh!]

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Devil Sleeps Soundly

The Devil sleeps soundly
on a bed of
our apathy and indifference
to the neglected,
our hubris and selfishness
fueling sweet dreams.

The Devil sleeps soundly
on the pretense that
we don’t see
the dirty, needy hands
outstretched for bread,
and he renews himself
when we deny helping
with dismissive cynicism.

The Devil sleeps soundly
when we attribute
the evils of the world to him,
ignoring our implicit culpability
and it gladdens his heart
when we ignore
our higher inclinations
and take the lower path.

The Devil sleeps soundly
but he’s rested too long,
and it’s time to awaken him,
(ourselves as well),
with the admonition
that we’ll no longer be a party
to his death and destruction.

We’re tired of doing your dirty work.
“Wake up and get out.”

[Written for #OpenLinkNight at - come along and read some fine poetry.]

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Welcome Speech

Just sit there.
you’re new here, so listen up.

I don’t awaken easily
and I hate staying awake.

If you must ask questions
make sure they’re well thought out.

Don’t waste my time
and keep your hands off my stuff.

there’s just two of us in this cell

and the guards
are down the hall and sometimes deaf.

Don’t ask why I’m here
and I won’t ask why you’re here,

and when I get up
I get to use the toilet first.

I’ve been here
longer than you’ve been alive

so don’t think
you’re the boss in here.

Out there
you might’ve been some badass

but in my world
you’re just a new fish.

I’m holding back
more hate than you’ll ever feel,

so don’t get in my way
and I’ll treat you more fair than most,

and if you’re smart
you won't let me see you cry.

I really hate
people who can still cry.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Without Abandon or Fear

Keep searching.

In every day
God has hidden
a gift,
and the trick is
to live fully,
without abandon
or fear,
turning over
every little thing,
especially those
that appear

Don’t ignore anything,
the cold and cruddy
in your pathway,
because under
one of them
may be the
hitherto unknown key
that unlocks
the next wonderful era
of your life.

Keep looking ahead,
like the curiosity
of a child’s incessant

Pirouette to the edge
of the cliff
and if you’re not too busy
living and being alive
listen to your heart beating,
your pulse pounding
‘yes, you are alive.”

There is no reason,
no meaning
to this life

until you break through
scale the wall,
and decide
that your life
has value
and dignity

and some days
just remembering that
is the gift.

[Written for #OpenLinkNight at - love those poets there!]

Monday, October 14, 2013

The March of Death

The march of death
plods ahead,
indifferent and dispassionate.

It will see
all our dreams
and wistful hopes for tomorrow
like baby squirrels
in the path of a Humvee
and run them over.

The march of death
is always operating
in the background
never needing a break.

We all know its there
and most refuse to see it
afraid to give it proper credit.

The march of death is there
at the graduation,
in the wedding party,
during the back-arching orgasm.

"Carpe diem"
"live for today"
"tomorrow is promised to no one."

It's easy to repeat such homilies
but unless you can
enjoy the budding rose
or the breeze that bends the palm
or savor the warm quiet explosion
of that first bite of red curried Thai chicken
with your eyes directly fixed on
the march of death,
then you haven't met the challenge
you've chickened out again.

Be consumed
by the defiant dance of life
and if you are seen as
wild-eyed and spastic,
then so be it.

This is your day
use it up now.

Somewhere on this planet
someone's last moment
just happened,

the march of death
never takes a day off,

so neither will I.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

My Catalogue of Mistakes

She rifles through
my catalogue of mistakes
looking for something new,
looking for new ways
to prick herself.

I tell her
"look at my new writing.
It's so much better."

She does,
but it's just not
as compelling a read
as the catalogue.

Everyone has their inventory
of drunken reverie,
bad carnal decisions,
wasted tears and hours,
complete with photographs
of the most compromising positions
in glorious color
each one perfectly suitable
for framing.

The wise person knows
to avoid scratching
that unreachable itch
which would dig a hole
deep into his soul.

I learned long ago
to keep my curiosity
about such ticklish things
on a short leash
because letting it run free
would only enslave me.

For I have been
a jealous monster
at times
and I hated it,

so I tried to leave it behind
by avoiding rear view mirrors
or unlocked journals
or photo albums from your past
where I've not been invited.

Everyone has a past
with luggage stamped

and everyone has
their catalogue.

If someone
shares theirs with you
don't study it,
don't memorize it,
don't judge its contents

just accept it and move on,

lest you be added
to its pages.

[Posted for #OpenLinkNight at - come on over and have a drink of words.]

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Spin That Wheel of Fortune (For Sarah)

Spin that
wheel of fortune,
listen to its clatter,
dance to its tune.

There is more
that you don’t know
than you do.

If you’re dropped
onto the stage
in the middle of an opera
and you don’t know the part,
sing anyways!

The surface of the placid
autumn lake
rarely stays smooth,
and neither should
your brain.

What we want is always
on a collision course with
what we need,

take the stray fibers
of your memories
and weave wisdom
and understanding.

[Posted for my daughter, who is doing a writing challenge with me, also for #OpenLinkNight at, where poets and poetry finally get a little respect!]