Tag Archives: poem

Black River Falls Calling

a homily come late in the season
to edify the wavering in Spirit
is needed in this backwater town
there is a dust that sticks to the skin
just from walking around in the sun
a relentless sun that refuses to winter
I have heard the bells call wayward souls to muster
but never seen a single sinner saved
baptism in the river denied due to
lack of rain
I walk around some and collect more dust
before finding a sermon written in spider web
under the eaves of the bicycle repair/gun shop
which I’m unable to read for lack of prayer.

guess who?

the door’s hinges
trumpet like a
sorry elephant
while I try to tiptoe
towards the bed
dimly aware how
late the hour is
and confusing
stealth for stumbling
over my excuse
into the doghouse


flirting with the idea of dishonoring one’s muse

a sure sign I’m no longer young will come
if when my muse should deign to give to me
a playful nudge in dawn’s small hours
I roll away from her in bed
instead of responding to her call
neglecting my duty of being always on the job
pulling a pillow up over my head
I’ll feign sleep and emit a snore but
“Sweet lady,” I will next implore of her
upon her vigorous shaking of my shoulder
“let me sleep, I have no love for poetry
at first light” and so callously I will oppose her
questioning the virtue of her early morning overture
an old man now, one infirm poetic foot
already planted in the grave.

the compromised nature of poetry as we know it

given a choice of personality graft
I might choose a more practical
nature than my own, one disposed
to working with natural woods along
with a modicum of financial nous
and first things first, I’d build both of us
a house, nothing vulgar, mind you
in the wilds, somewhere to
repair to and gather up our thoughts
while our nest egg grows and grows
owing to my “new improved” fiscal sense
or maybe I’d settle for becoming known
to all as a man who’s truly good, having chosen
a temperament of tolerance and endless
saint-like patience instead, but really the
possibilities are doing in my head so for now
you’re stuck with the poet I work at simply being.

what’s three percent between close family?


(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

it’s a scientific fact humans
make the best people even
for all their weaknesses and
failings, none better fit the bill
the school teachers teach us
but I wonder if such an idea
holds all that much water when
it’s also said that we inhabit
the best of all possible worlds
this in spite of pestilence and
famine, not to mention wars
and third-world exploitation
Confucius might express this
problem in a less confused way
thus: orangutans share 97% of
their DNA with humans but have
never forced another species
to the brink of extinction, ergo
this great ape makes a monkey
of us and our claim to being the best
of all possible people we can be.

clued-in to ancient rites of passage


(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

to be literally clueless is to be
bereft of a ball of thread
for it was with such an aid that
Theseus did slay the half-man
half-bull housed in the labyrinth
Ariadne it was that gave the
Athenian hero a clue of his own
to navigate the maze and kill
the monster that fed exclusively
on youth, hence why of the young
even in these days barren of myth
the old are so ready to despair, “O,
if they only had a clue!”

dream catcher in the wry

today I chased a
dream to ground
it was none too grand
a simple longing more
I should have known
the result would be
less than thrilling
the dream I caught
it turned to dust
on touch and so
it left me feeling
chronically aware
of the emptiness
within me and how
with a certain irony
I suffer this urge to go
hunt another vision.