ATTENTION IPAD USERS!
Apple doesn't like listing me as "Will Shakespeare (poetry blogger)"
to differentiate me from the other guy, although everybody else does.
They took my first book but now won't take new ones. (Go figure.)
Since Smashwords distributes my books to Apple anyway,
just go to my Smashwords author page and download EPUBs from there.
Smashwords provides samples of my books also.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Year New

Everything old is new again,
So say goodbye to Two-oh-Ten
And welcome in the spry young kid
Named Two-Eleven. All you did
This past year’s done; the future’s here
And, like some cosmic rocketeer,
It’s time for you to shoot the moon
And make this year your opportun-
Ity to shine. Your time is gold…
Invest it well. Take heart—be bold!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I on Lithium

I on lithium.
Lithium ions
S’posed to stabilize
All my problems.
Bottlers used to
Put it in 7-Up—
Hangovers won’t
Keep you from waking up!
Reservations
I got plenty;
Too much lithium
Cause too many
Side effects. They say
Lithium ions
Got more use in
Modern science.
Small ‘lectronics—
All powered withium—
Drive me nuts, so
I on lithium.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Casting Lots

A future seen by reading cards
Or disemboweled chickens
Is little more than fantasy for fools.
You needn’t know what’s coming up
As long as you make good decisions;
Choose your lot by choosing wisely now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fowl Stench

Our turkey started smoking while
He sizzled in the fryer;
His noxious odor proved our cooking
I.Q. should be higher.

Like some leftover dinosaur,
His fossilized remains
Prove only that he might have once
Roamed wild upon the plains.

Today his stench and blackened flesh
Remind us of this blessing:
That we aren’t bought by inept cooks
Whose skills are so depressing.

At least the stuffing turned out right;
The gravy mix did too.
I guess the turkey hot dogs
In the fridge will have to do.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Presence

Crushed by the burdens of everyday life,
The cynics among us will not believe
In a God above Who cares for us all.
They scoff as the rest of us gather ‘round
To remember the way He came—a gift—
And revealed Himself to a selfish world
Where caring souls are rare. They laugh at us;
They say we trust in unproven fables
And that we are weak-minded, hopeless fools…
But we are not the fools. The truth is this:
The shepherds came and saw the Christ child long
Before the Magi learned of Bethlehem;
The wisest among us always take too
Long to learn the way of things. That is why
They never awake to find the Presence
That makes each day feel like Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wrap Stars

They’re casually seated beside the front doors,
Just waiting for shoppers to finish their chores.
Kind smiles greet each person who pauses to ask,
“How much is a wrap job? I can’t do this task!”
“Mere pennies,” they answer. A quick deal is made
And wizards with wrapping skills proffer their aid.
The air fills with rattles and crinkles and snaps
From bright-colored papers—mere seconds elapse
As objects concealed within boxes and tubes
Are gift-wrapped and taped. These aren’t blundering boobs!
Observers are stunned watching fleet fingers fly,
Amazed at the art work their money can buy.
Like that, blurs of ribbon form dazzling bows
Atop flashy packages. Everyone glows!
The wrap stars acknowledge the warm accolades,
Demurely deflecting the well-deserved praise;
And as grateful shoppers recede from their sight,
They yell, “Merry Christmas. Drive safely tonight!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Secret Santa

Leaving gifts when no one sees him;
Who he is, he’ll never tell.
Why’s he hide? It’s too much work without
The elvish personnel.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All-a Wet-a

A round, to the tune of Frère Jacques.
When you’re bored silly and it’s cold outside.


All-a wet-a, All-a wet-a
Could be ice, could be ice
Kinda wish it melted, kinda wish it melted
Would be nice, would be nice

Friday, December 17, 2010

Outcast

“So, to yourself be true,” they say—
But when she is, they get ticked off
Because it’s not what they approve!

It doesn’t matter anyway—
No matter what she does, they scoff.
They want control of every move.

She's ostracized when she won’t follow;
The outcast finds that hard to swallow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Single File

One behind the other,
Each man follows
A solitary path,
Unwilling to admit
That any other traveler
Walks the same road or
Seeks the same ends.
Many go astray.

Yet the shortest distance
Between two points
Remains a straight line.
Is it so strange
That lines should live?
Perhaps the way home
Lies in admitting
A leader exists.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

End of Daze

When I struggle with confusion,
Life is just a big intrusion.
Is it caused by self-delusion…
Or perhaps a brain contusion?
If you ask, here’s my conclusion:
I need mountaintop seclusion!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Butterflown

This binding little chrysalis was once
The happy home they always wanted;
Never did they think to leave it.
Then one day, something happened.
Their ordered little world became a prison;
Escape became their only hope,
Their only goal, their only option…
Their only battle.

The struggle ended violently,
Their former homes destroyed with nothing left
But shreds of efforts past and present
Barely recognizable.
Then, from the wreckage
Multicolored canopies reached up
And billowed in the gentle breeze,
Lifting them to heights they never knew
Or dreamed they’d ever see.

Now, free at last, they launch themselves
And flee from their cocoons,
Never to return…
As life begins for real.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Venus de Milo

Both Greek and Roman images combine
In search of ways to make this poem rhyme.
The rhyme scheme’s really weird; it goes “a-b-
c-b-a-d-c-d-a-e-c-e.”


Disarmed by fate, the goddess of love
Could not resist her judge’s lust.
Fate took her from her cockleshell and
Boldly bared her stony bust.
For Venus claimed she was the friend of
Those in love, but cared for no man’s
Heart—and when compared to Helen,
She went and stuck it to the Trojans.
No longer will she preen and shove
Us mortals ‘round—she’ll soon discover
No one cares about her yellin’…
Plus, there’s some things that lies won’t cover.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Roly Polar

A snowball
Rolled along the ground
Gets bigger
Until the kids get tired
And decide to call it a snowman

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Transmutation

The table is laden with vials and dishes,
Mortars and pestles, bottles and crucibles.
Slowly the alchemist empties a flask
That’s filled with a liquid, yellow and thick,
And primes his distilling equipment. It’s time!

He kindles a burner; slowly it bubbles
And pungent aromas waft through the room.
A vile-smelling essence remains, and he gleefully
Scrapes it all free—this life-changing substance—
And seals it away with a tight-fitting cork.

Two thousand years hence, a new generation
Of bored teens in chemistry class will agree—
While snickering discretely—that only a teacher
Could get so excited about stink bombs.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow Fairies

Silently they come;
Youngling fairies
Flit about the yard,
Playing hide and seek
Amid the falling snow.
With tiny fairy wands
They trace ‘round fragile leaves
That cling to slender limbs.
A flimsy fairy film
Remains behind,
Where falling flakes may light
And, caught like flies,
Form lacy drapes
And icy spires—
A regal getaway
From fairy godmothers
Who seem to run the world.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hopeful

He sees the looming problems, but he knows
One little unexpected change could turn those
Problems into probabilities. And
Even though his future isn’t clear, great
Futures seem to come to those who hold
Unquenchable desires to succeed. Such
Lodestones guide a spirit’s destiny.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Khan Job

So, Khan…

On Star Trek’s “Space Seed” episode
Where you said your genetic code
Made you supreme, a god to men—
We saw Kirk kick your ass. And then

In “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”
When you told Kirk to bring it on
Your rematch with the ship’s C.O.
Left Kirk unbeaten, two-and-oh.

So what’s the deal? Your words were grand
Like any preening superman…
And yet your ego’s neutralizer
Was Starfleet’s leading womanizer!

You’re telling me your intellect
Did not prepare you to expect
The mind games of a cosmic flirt
Whose prime directive deals with skirts?

Though your genetics may be blest,
If you’re our future, we’re depressed:
Advanced or not, you’re just a jerk
Who wound up schooled by Captain Kirk.

Twice.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Display Island

I cruise through the door
Of the grocery store
Where an uncharted display awaits;
I linger, quiescent,
As glaring fluorescent
Suns play on the gifts of the fates.

The bargains abound
As they tastefully lounge
On a beach spanning several aisles,
While a soda can reef
Threatens shipwreck and grief—
Must my budget be damned by their wiles?

Odysseus’ travels
Came quickly unraveled
When at last he gave in to a tease;
But in time even Circe
Came through with some mercy—
I can’t expect any from these!

Though they claw at my heart,
A new course I will chart
By the signs in the Celotex sky.
If I stick to my list
I will somehow resist
All these sirens and safely sail by.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sumo

Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
Bales of straw surround the ring
Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
Where the giants clash and cling.
Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
Only feet may touch the ground
Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
As the wrestlers circle ‘round.
Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
Wrestling greats are never thin
Push, push, shove. Push, push, shove.
‘Cause the biggest usually win!
Push him out. End of bout!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Survivor Guilt

And so it happens every year:
They gather together the day after
And stuff themselves with fermented feed,
Trying to forget the feathered friends
Consumed in the ceaseless reverie
Of Thursday’s celebration.
These “E-bird-nezer” Scrooges never
Realize this solemn binge
Portends a future rendezvous
With the Host of Christmas Dinner.

Perhaps they do not care,
For hope ne’er springs eternal
In the turkey breast…
At least, not for the turkeys.
For them, it truly is a Black Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sahara

A million arid lifetimes trickle silently
Like sand through the waist of an hourglass;
They long for some forgotten passion
To smash their airtight timepiece,
Churn them into a living sirocco,
And scatter their gritty remains
Across the waters of the Mediterranean.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On the Shores of Troy

A thousand ships approached the shores of Troy.
Apollo gazed down on their shields of bronze,
Unmoved by their reflection of his face.
Could he predict the bloody ten-year war
That would ensue? And did he care that many
Trojans, all worshippers devout and true,
Would die in hopeless struggle with the Greeks?

A thousand legions stormed the shores of Troy.
Imaginations fueled by dreams of glory,
From both sides thousands fell in senseless death.
Apollo watched, unmoved by human sorrow
As children lost their fathers to the sword.
He sent a deadly plague upon the Greeks
To aid one priest… but not to save his people.

The corpses piled up on the shores of Troy.
For naught they served the Sun God—selfish, vain,
Who cared not for his people as they died.
Briseis was from Troy, but Agamemnon,
His anger kindled by the Sun God’s act,
Took her from brave Achilles… and Apollo
Deserted her, which drew Achilles’s wrath.

A massive horse stood on the shores of Troy.
Apollo by this time had killed Achilles;
His tool of vengeance—Paris, Priam’s son,
The one who brought this curse upon the Trojans—
And yet Apollo turned his back and watched
As Greeks exterminated those who loved him.
This act assured Achilles of our honor;
Unlike the selfish god, he loved his own.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cinnamon

Everyone loves how its
Split personality
Makes its taste always seem right.
Whether smooth on a sweet bun
Or pungent in curry,
This bark is diverse in its bite.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Toadal Domination

When Moses went to Pharaoh
And told him, “Let my people go!”
Old Pharaoh just ignored him.
Then Moses turned the Nile to blood
So people couldn’t find a drink
And Pharaoh called his court magicians:
“Guys… a little help here?”
So they made bloody water too
And Pharaoh didn’t let his people go.

Hmmm… they made bloody water too.
Pharaoh’s answer: More bloody water…

A week went by, the Nile still bloody.
Moses went a second time
And got a second “no.”
“Ok,” he said, “this time it’s frogs.”
A zillion frogs made Egypt home
So Pharaoh called his court magicians:
“Guys… a little help here?”
And they made even more frogs come
So Pharaoh didn’t let the people go.

I sense a little problem here.
When Pharaoh called his court magicians
(“Guys… a little help here?”)
Shouldn’t they have solved his problems?
NO, they made them WORSE!
I think I would have fired them…

But this time Pharaoh showed some sense.
He summoned Moses, not his guys:
“Mo… a little help here?”
And Moses, just a little stubborn,
Told him, “Let my people go!”
“Ok,” said Pharaoh, “It’s a deal—
Just send these frogs away!”
And Moses asked a simple question:
“Tell me when; you set the time.”
And Pharaoh said… “Tomorrow.”

TOMORROW?!?

Although this happened eight more times
You needn't hear another word;
Right here you have conclusive proof
That politicians never change.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leaning Tower of Pieces

           It’s getting late;
The party’s     winding down.
      In desperation
Someone        grabs
      A box of skinny blocks
And dumps        them on
       The coffee table.
Bored but unwilling to leave,
     Bleary-eyed players
Build a            tower
     Layer          by layer
And then remove the blocks
        One by          one.
     Gaping holes    appear.
     The      tower trembles
And leans threateningly
Until the last crucial block
Is                  removed;
The rest scatter everywhere.
The players laugh and cheer…
         And decide to bring
Video games next time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Deerly Departed

Welcome to the Reindeer Games,
Honoring the famous names
Of those whose charge across the road
Became their final episode.
Their banner, flying at half-mast,
Reminds us of the way they passed—
Two pairs of rings that symbolize
The headlights shining in their eyes.
And once the ceremonies end,
The competition will begin.
With blazing speed, excited deer
Make unsuspecting drivers veer;
Each throws a high-speed body check
Against a car to cause a wreck
While judges gauge the damage, based
On splatter, shock, and lack of taste.
The winners—silver, gold, and bronze—
Are picked and, joined by wide-eyed fawns,
Survivors praise the famous three.
(They get awards posthumously.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Post-It Note

Sticky little paper square
You can place it anywhere
On it, write a detailed letter
So you can remember better

Since I use them all the time
They’ve replaced my failing mind
Now if I could just recall
Where it was I stuck them all…

Friday, November 12, 2010

Zipper

You do know fly means “very good,” don’t you?

I tolerate his growls
As I go about my daily chores…
Until his gaping grin
Makes me a spectacle.
At times he just defies my will
And when I try to shut him up,
He grits his teeth and won’t comply
Or bites so hard it hurts.
How did someone so sadistic
Merit such a sensitive position?
No matter where he is,
He’s anything but fly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

PsyFi

Tick, tick, tick, tick; the clock keeps on a-ticking.
I toss and turn. No use; I just can’t sleep.
My lips are mud, baked by the moon, but licking
Doesn’t help them. Annoyed, I rise and creep
Downstairs to find myself an empty glass
For water… then I hear it. Something moved
Across the hall! I know I heard a crash
But I’m alone and know unless it's proved
Untrue I’ll never get to sleep. I go
To check; it’s just the cat, which I forgot
In my frustration. Well, what do you know!
I leave the cat some tuna mush, then hot-
Foot back upstairs. And yet I won’t be smirking;
Attempts at sleep are now just pantomime
As my imagination keeps on working
Overtime.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Red Zone

The last 20 yards on your opponent’s
End of the football field; if you get there,
You expect to score at least a field goal.


After so much effort
After so much pain
You made it to the red zone
But you fear it’s all in vain
You’ve been here many times before
And tried to “run and gun”
You gave it everything you’ve got
But couldn’t get it done
Still, that’s the way it goes sometimes
It’s no use to complain
Just make your way back to the zone
And try to score again

Sunday, November 7, 2010

R.I.P. 2010

Just two months left in twenty-ten;
We’ll never see this year again
And that’s just fine for most of us—
It threw us underneath the bus!

But now’s the time to celebrate;
The holidays invigorate
Us like no other time of year…
So let’s prepare for Yuletide cheer!

Forget the past—let’s look instead
To a brighter future still ahead.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shanghaied

I never would have joined her scheme
Had her looks not rendered me senseless.
A bottle of bourbon, a wink, and a smile
Was all she needed to take me down.
Her pouty lips faded away in a fog;
I never saw her again. And when
I woke, I staggered blind and nauseous,
Barely able to stand erect
As the deck bucked violently under me.
The sun assaulted my aching eyes.
I took one look at the billowing waves
And emptied my stomach over the rail.
I guess my mother was right—she said
Blind dates are a one-way ticket to trouble.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flab

Flabby bodies, flabby minds—
Too much time on our behinds!
Jobs that make us vegetate
Make it worse the more we wait.

Gotta get our butts in gear
And cart that jelly outta here!

If we rise and churn that butter,
We might rid our lives of clutter
And drag our world out of the gutter.
So stand and move—don‘t sit and mutter!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brief Candles

Beautiful yet dangerous,
Capable of both blessing and curse,
Flickering flames dance
In life’s capricious breezes,
Maintaining an ever more fragile grasp
On swiftly-burning wicks.
With ephemeral fingertips they reach
For the candle’s threadlike handle
And find only ashes,
Consumed by their efforts to hold on.
For a moment they float,
Their delicate bodies unattached,
Before the candle offers them
A new hope for survival.
But candles cannot last forever;
In time the wick is no more
And the flames flicker one last time,
Leaving only memories of glowing warmth
And night temporarily quelled.
Celebrate the flames while you may,
And carry their precious light with you always.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Punkinhead: A Redneck Horror Story

In the punkin patch out back of town
Some durn fool kids was messin’ round.
The quarterback and the new prom queen
Just couldn’t wait to shed their jeans,
So off they came and down they went;
He plowed her field till she was spent!
She happily let him have his way—
He wasn’t the first she’d done that day
‘Cause she was a sex enthusiast;
But she didn’t know he’d be her last.

There, nekkid in their furrowed bed,
Her cowboy rode till he was dead—
She heard him yell; next thing she knew
His head jerked round and off it flew!
She screamed as blood sprayed from her lover.
Then a toothy punkin grinned above her
And settled on the dead boy’s neck.
“Let’s ride this train until we wreck!”
He gave that girl an awful pumpin’;
They say her screams were really somethin’.

The farmer heard her. He grabbed his gun,
Hightailed it out there in a run,
And then he saw that ghastly hunk
Humpin’ and swayin’ like some old drunk!
He staggered back—then found some spunk,
Lifted his gun, and shot that skunk!
But the ghoul just smiled as he eyed his prey,
Called a ghostly steed and rode away.
But he yelled, “You’ll die before sun’s light
‘Cause she’ll bear my child this very night!”

Then the farmer’s legs both turned to jelly
As he glimpsed the poor girl’s swollen belly.
“Please hep me, sir! “ she hoarsely begged.
“This thang inside me’s the living dead!
My kid’s a monster, it cain’t be born—
Ya gotta kill it before the morn!”
He closed his eyes and fought back tears,
But she was right and his task was clear.
He shot the girl and called the cops,
Who found her body among his crops.

At first the locals kept it quiet,
But soon their greed was running riot.
The undertaker’s gallows humor
Capitalized on the growin’ rumors,
So her tombstone bears this cryptic score:
“The horseman rode this pale young whore.”
For merchants here, it’s quite fulfillin’;
The souvenirs make them a killin’.
And the tragic pair? They’re not quite dead—
They’re a merchant’s dream as “Punkinhead.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fading Light

The shortest day of the year draws nearer.
The lazy sun sleeps in a little longer
But the boss understands; he lets it slide
Because it’s been a long tiring year. And then
The sun slips out a few moments before
Closing time. The customers are miffed
But most adjust—after all, it happens
Every year like clockwork. Fading light
Becomes night life, and the holidays
Celebrate its brevity; but the parties
Take their toll, the boss gets impatient, and
The work piles up. Somebody’s got to pick
Up the slack… so up comes the sun, gradually
Rising to the task and pulling the rest
Of the world along. Enjoy the fading light
While it lasts… before it also fades away.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Humpty Dumpty 2010

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
And all of the bankers foreclosed on his house
And cancelled his credit and called him a louse.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Warrior Race

Proud and defiant, he will not be beaten.
He stands on the battlefield, bloody and bruised
But undefeated. He didn’t want this battle.
He much preferred to stay at home and wrestle
With his children, basking in the warmth of love
And firelight, but ruthless forces threatened
To destroy his home and family. He vowed that
They would NOT succeed; he kept that vow. And now
He’ll cleanse himself; he’ll cast away the bloody
Remnants of this war, the memories of those
Who find no joy in life beyond destruction
Of all that makes a life worth living,
And go back home to those who yearn for him.
They’ll kiss his face and heal his wounds and love
His warrior heart. For men of peace are the true
Warrior race; love is their fiercest weapon,
And woe to those who try to tear it from them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

He Found the oDor Ajar

The wise man held his nose and said:
"Deodorant is indispensible;
To go without is reprehensible."

Friday, October 22, 2010

The End of the Dinosaurs


Long ago, those ancient creatures
That we all call “dinosaurs”
Walked the earth, and recent Science
Found this telling dino score:

Intercontinental travel
Made them sick from “dino spores.”
Some believe infection killed them
As they dropped on dino shores.

No, it wasn’t asteroids—
Their big butts might get dino sore
But lack of soothing creams aren't lethal…
Though we’re sure they dino swore!

Runny noses drove them crazy;
Without any dino stores
To supply them, lack of tissues
Killed more prey than dino wars.

As horrendous noxious sneezes
Caused disease to dino soar
From one victim to another,
All fell dead as dino doors.

That’s what we see in the fossils
Left behind as dino spoor:
Stuffy noses made them blow it.
That’s the final dino score.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Inkspots

Inkspots on my fingers,
Inkspots on the page.
Inkspots from my leaky pen
Throw me in a rage.

If I was an artist, then
I might treat them as clay…
But as it stands, I wad them up
And throw the mess away!

'Cause some make art from errors
And some make truth from pain…
But sometimes I just make mistakes.
I guess I’ll start again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Luchador

Luchador is the Spanish word for “wrestler”
And lucha libre is the style—“free wrestling.”


I wish I was a luchador
A star of lucha libre
I bet that I could find a suit
For sale somewhere on eBay

I’d wear a brightly-colored mask
With lots and lots of glitter,
A bright red cape, and silver pants
To set my fans atwitter

I’d call myself “El Grande Mas,”
The greatest of them all!
(Although I’d have to gain some weight—
Right now I’m pretty small)

My fans would scream with pleasure
As I stepped into the ring
I’d raise my arms and roar for them
(And maybe even sing)

Perhaps I’d taunt my foes with names
Before I beat them down
Then dance around the ring a bit
To celebrate my crown

Yeah, if I was a luchador
Each day would be a win
Instead of one big headache
Needing too much aspirin

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leonardo’s Notebook

Leonardo wrote the ultimate book…
Or so some people say. They know he drew
And doodled quite a bit. With backward script
He pondered nature’s mysteries in great
Detail, his secrecy inspired by thieves
And spies in the employ of rival kings.

Or so they say. I wonder if it’s true.

Perhaps the great inventor really wanted
An understanding of a senseless world
Where bastard children had no rights at all
And only his great curiosity
Could save him from the common man’s despair.
Perhaps his journal represented life
To him in ways he thought no other man
Could hope to understand; therefore he wrote
Those hopeful pages to himself… and hoped
Against all hope that other souls would find
His cryptic notes and understand his findings….

And learn that human spirits rise above
The world around them and become much more
Than helpless cogs trapped in some great machine
If they will but devote themselves to living…
A king might sell his soul for that, indeed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Drunken Spiderman Theme

Spiderman, Spiderman
Drained another Budweiser can
Shouldn’t fly through the skies
After he socialized
Look out! Down comes the Spiderman

Is he stoned? Listen, bud—
He’s got 90-proof booze for blood
Loses grip on his thread
'Cause of webs in his head
Watch out! You’re beneath Spiderman

Squinting in the light
Right around breakfast time
Groggy eyes aren’t quite
Ready for fighting crime

Spiderman, Spiderman
Wobbly staggering Spiderman
Criminals are ignored
As he slumps to the floor
He’s out—
Too many times he drank up
Now the police have chained up
The drunken Spiderman!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jack Sprat 2010

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean.
His health insurance cost a mint…
But hers was just obscene.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Buttocracy

The butts below are all assaulted
By bigger butts who’ve been exalted.
Kick butts enough to prove you’re braindead,
You’ll reach the top… then you’re the butthead.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Seven of Nine

A love poem for Star Trek: Voyager fans.

Seven of Nine, my sweet Seven of Nine,
Loveliest Borg to have once been my kind:
Make me your drone, guide my daily routine,
Join my collective, and rule as my queen.
Seven, it’s true that I’m not cybernetic…
But one glance from you makes my probe go kinetic!
Our union would be a unique symbiosis
Of beauty and passion—here’s my diagnosis:
Resistance is futile when you’re all I see.
Dear Seven of Nine, please—ASSIMILATE ME!

Friday, October 8, 2010

HippopotaMuse

On days when I need big ideas
But don’t have any clues,
I seek some inspiration from
My HippopotaMuse.
Unlike some airy fairy, she
Has vision, style, and grace.
She brings me thoughts with substance—
You know, ones that take up space.

I’ve learned to bear her piggish looks
And love her toothy grin!
‘Cause when I need her help, I find
She’s eager to begin.
With shoulders broad and haunches stout,
She totes me till the end.
When I need help creating stuff,
On her I can depend.

Perhaps she’s not the prettiest
Of muses making rounds,
But when the rest won’t carry me
She never lets me down.
So I salute my trusty steed
Who never will refuse
To ride in search of new ideas—
Go, HippopotaMuse!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Little Green Men

They only cost three dollars a bag. He
Rips it open, giggling with excitement,
And dumps them all over the floor. Little
Green men go to war against each other,
Armies making their last stand on blob-shaped
Pieces of ground. A dozen plastic lives
Were lost this day, but we don’t even know
Whose side they were on—they all looked the same.
But this war is not over; it will start
Anew sometime after cookies and milk.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Glass Half-Empty

Glass half-empty, glass half-full:
One’s good, one’s just horrible!
And yet those two are just the same—
“A rose by any other name…”

Although we see them differently—
A view that’s just illusory—
Remember when you feel accursed
That either one could quench your thirst.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catcalls

I try to watch the game unfold
The quarterback has gotten bold
And as he passes for the goal
I hear those stupid catcalls

With pointy ears and twitchy tail
He claws at me, and without fail
He rudely starts to mew and wail
With loud and numbing catcalls

His whiskered nose is in my face
His fishy breath is a disgrace
And I can’t make him leave the place
As he keeps yowling catcalls

But once I miss the crucial play
He shuts his mouth and struts away
And I am left to curse the day
I bought him and his catcalls

Friday, October 1, 2010

Head Code

I habben’t had a head code
In sebben muntts or so.
I wish I didn’t habb one dow—
I hate dese head codes so!

I caddot take a decent breatt—
I’m breeding tru my mout.
I struggle as I blow my doze
To try an clear it out.

Instead, I look like Rudoff
Doh it’s dot Christmastime;
My trashked’s full of tissues an
I’m bout to lose my mind!

So dow I’m goinn to go to bed
An sleep my code away—
Wit all the medicine I took,
I’ll sleep till Saturday!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finger Food

Eating with one’s fingers
Strikes some folks as impolite;
To use “organic flatware” is
A callous oversight!
But it’s no problem if you choose
Your dinner guests with care—
You’re better off with spotless hands
Than dirty silverware!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beach Blanket Bimbo

A shapely sausage stuffed
In a casing much too little,
She sizzles as she browns
On her brightly-colored griddle.
The hungry hordes may drool,
But their tastes are noncommittal—
They’ll only want this sausage
Till it plumps around the middle.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Covert Operation

The house was dark, I couldn’t sleep;
I had to have a bite to eat.
I thought nobody else would know…
But suddenly I stubbed my toe.
I struggled not to scream and shout
And let my little secret out,
But all will see when they arise—
It’s purple, and twice its normal size.
At stealth, I’m just an awkward rookie
Betrayed by milk and a chocolate cookie.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Moonshine

So undulating and intoxicating,
Lanky streaks of moonshine saunter shamelessly
Across the dark waters, flaunting their wiles
In an assault on our inhibitions.

So titillating and scintillating,
Their hypnotic dances catch the weary
Watcher’s eyes, tempting his parched soul to drink
The sweet nectar of their blatant seduction.

Rejuvenating and invigorating,
A few long draughts of their potent liquor
Renew his jaded spirit with spirits
Fermented in Nature’s best breweries.

Moonshine is a good woman, but she lusts
For the man who appreciates her vices.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Calm Waters

It’s the moon shining down that betrays them.
Gathered in pools or sequestered in lakes,
Gentle ripples make their way along calm
Waters, bouncing off shores both artificial
And natural, to make intricate patterns
On the surface. Soon they will be destroyed
By cannonballs of human flesh; the shelling
Begins with taunts and laughter, and the end
Is an explosion of childish pleasure.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hannibal

Carthage’s warriors marched behind Hannibal,
Skirting the Mediterranean Sea;
Crossing the Pyrenees cost men and animals
But he kept on till they reached Italy

Publius Scipio ordered the Roman force
“Stop him before he can make it to Rome!”
Quick-thinking Hannibal altered his army’s course
Frightened the Romans and threatened their home

In the end, he couldn’t hold what he occupied;
Beaten, disgraced, he found no victory
Cornered by Romans, he opted for suicide—
Died in the year B.C. one-eighty-three

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Claymation

Day Number 6:
The Lord took clay from the earth He made.
With thoughtful care
He formed two figures, then He bade
Them rise and breathe.
Within their breasts He placed two flames
To give them life—
To animate their fragile frames
With hopes and dreams,
Perhaps to seek and grow with Him.
Their foolishness
Caused flaming hopes to flicker; dimmed
And darkened hearts,
Each suffering in lonely pain,
Found sacrifice
Alone could end sin’s tragic reign.
Why do we wonder
That our animators find such
Fascination
Now when clay responds to their touch?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Shade

Morning comes.
The sun peeks over the earth’s edge
And darkness flees before him…
Except for them.
The shadows refuse to go.
He rises up to his full height
And glares down…
But they laugh at his burning gaze.
They huddle together, becoming
Mere dots
Made all the darker by
His growing intensity.
My hair stirs
In the gentle breezes as I stand,
Sheltered in their gentle embrace,
And sigh with gratitude.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pyrokinesis

Just a thought, a single spark
Searching for tinder
A glowing ember awaiting ignition
Upon the mind’s hearth
It crackles loudly as it blazes
Suddenly afire
The flames consume all they touch
And innovations are born

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Where Trouble Grows

“Though affliction does not
Grow up from the dust, nor
Trouble spring forth from the ground,
Yet mankind is born
For the purpose of suffering,
As surely as sparks fly upward.”

When Job lay there suffering,
These were the words
His friend known as Eliphaz
Offered as comfort.
I doubt Job felt better
When offered the obvious—
Especially when those words
Said he’d done evil
And this was his punishment. Ouch!

And yet, there was truth there.
Suffering draws us
As moths to a flame
Or fish to a baited hook.
Though we don’t want it,
We cannot avoid it.
The most fertile field
Where trouble grows
Is the place where the living thrive.

And so, there is comfort
In knowing that suffering
Means that we’re living…
And knowing that growing
Is something that’s seasonal.
Where trouble grows now
Is the most fertile ground…
And soon trouble’s season
Will pass and the blessings will grow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Itchy-Sketch

I scratched so hard I left a mark
The itches wouldn’t stop
I scratched so hard I left more marks
Around, beside, on top
My arm is such a messy sketch
Of white and bloody streaks
The doctor says the itch won’t stop
For two or three more weeks
Too bad I can’t just shake it off
And have the itch erased
Instead I have to keep it coated
With a sticky paste
I hope it doesn’t leave a mark
Or feel like old dried cobs—
At least my arm won’t end up with
Two little twisty knobs

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pixelated

It started out so small… nothing really;
A tiny irritation just beyond
My range of sight, and neither clear nor steady.
It wouldn’t go away and so I stared
Intently, my flustered mind unable
To make the slightest sense of it at all.
In time its pixels filled my field of view,
This tiny object grown grotesquely huge,
Its details now enlarged beyond all logic.
Obsession bred significance
Based only on its awkward size.
Imprinted now upon my mind,
I realize that pixilation
Is but vision poorly focused.
Perhaps some things should stay small after all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Judgment

For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

The Lord of Hosts sits high upon His throne
And gazes down upon a human sea.
Its churning passions toss the multitudes
Like helpless driftwood; He is not amused.
He notes their endless strife and lack of care
For those less fortunate; He marks their names
Upon His book of deeds. He will remember
Those who profane His name and hate His people.
His power will soon defeat His enemies;
His name will soon be praised across the earth.
Remember well His sovereign might; remember
All his blessings; remember He is just.
Sound the shofar; proclaim His holy name!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Paradox

Today’s tragedy:
A dozen children running
For their lives
And no one even asked
About the absent parents

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Faux Pas

When I commit a social gaffe
And everybody starts to laugh
I stop and stare because I wonder:
Have they never made this blunder?
Surely I am not alone
When I screw up; so as I’m thrown
Beneath the bus, I savor this:
I least I dared to take the risk.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fingertips

We embrace, knowing this is the last time
We’ll see each other for a while. She sighs,
And tears dampen my shoulder. My fingers
Gently entangle themselves in her blond
Curls. I wish this could last a while longer…
But it can’t. We ease away from each other;
My fingers release her hair and lightly
Caress her cheek, down to her dimpled chin.
I tilt her head up and brush my trembling lips
Against hers. My fingertips linger, then
Fall away into loneliness once more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Screening

This poem is patterned after Beowulf's
Accentual alliterative style.


For endless hours, I’ve continued
Feverish scribbling, the screenplay lengthening;
Finally finished, filming begins
And rolling cameras capture the truth.
All of the audience stares in amazement
As my emotions are made visible;
And now at last they know my needs,
Brilliantly beamed, the bad and the good
Together, full-grown. No silver screen
Could prepare my friends to process this news flash.
Reviews alone remain to be heard.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dogma

Some believe
That love wanes when evil
Is unrestrained—
But why should we acquiesce
To such common knowledge?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hybrids

Neither good nor bad, neither true nor false,
Our lives refuse to offer simple options.
With all our knowledge and all our effort,
Still we struggle to find acceptable
Routes that lead to the future we desire.
Can’t we find a source of motivation
“Clean” enough to fuel this nation’s will
And not pollute relationships amidst
Our own divergent population? Surely
So many viewpoints, each with glowing dreams
And new ideas to draw upon, can fuel
Our corporate good with all the power needed.
Engines stalled by ravaged hopes need not
Remain unused, but drive us on to greatness.
Synergy’s the key—but will we keep on
Searching till we find that proper blend of
Hope and harmony that breeds respect?
On that discovery our future hangs.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Partly Wholly

“What I believe” demands a commitment
I think I‘m mostly willing to give,
Although of that I’m no longer certain.
My heart is divided; my lust for more
Clings too tightly, strangling my reason.
I struggle with doubts, hedge my opinions,
And second-guess the straight and narrow way.
In ages past, both “holy” and “wholly”
May have shared bonds to a single truth…
But I’m neither saint nor whole today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Snorgasm

The quest to find a little sleep
Involves much more than counting sheep;
It’s fresh sheets on a well-made bed
And pillows for your weary head.
A glass of milk might calm your nerves
When stress has drained your last reserves,
Or nightlights bring a cheery glow
When nagging fears refuse to go.
Your needs indulged, to bed you scamper;
Soon you’ll awake, a happy camper!

But sometimes life won’t act in deference
To your needs—and then the difference
Shows through clearly: You must choose
Between your life or a plushy snooze.
Against this tension you may struggle—
Should I work, or should I snuggle?
But when I’m forced to face this chasm…
I much prefer a good snorgasm.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feral Musings

The homeless cat
Crawled out of the brush pile
With a limp chipmunk
Held in her jaws
And trotted fearlessly
Across my backyard.
Money problems
Are too tame for her.
I envy her strength,
But find chipmunk stew
A bit too gamey
For my taste.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Solar Flare

One smile
And her magnetism overpowers me
As she passes by—
All my feeble attempts at
Communication are disrupted.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Black Hole

No peace
Radiates from the icy space
Where she orbits.
DANGER! Avoid crossing
Into her event horizon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stonehenge

The ancient ring of stone, now ever-present
In our imaginations, still perplexes us.
Its purpose yet unclear, we scurry anxiously
Through it, over it, around it, ever seeking
Some small piece of a puzzle lost
Through eons spent becoming more ourselves
And putting off our awkward adolescence.
What did we do there? Who did we do it to?
Did once we have a knowledge, crucial knowledge
That might provide this day with needed light
And end our worries, maybe teach us peace?
Perhaps our history holds a helpful key—
But maybe not. A ring of stone, no matter
What its age, cannot revive our spirits
Nor dampen all the evils deep within.
We will not find salvation in a stone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bait

That tasty fish that I just ate
Met its demise because of bait.
Its name (before it met its fate)
Is now preceded by “The Late…”
It made me think about my date;
She’s beautiful, but should we mate?
Temptation put him on my plate…
Excuse me, hon. I think I’ll wait.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

World at War

Flowing stream
Runs rapidly southward
To sluggish sea.
Salmon charge northward;
Corals withstand a storm.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pure Politics

With silent precision
Born of ancient arts,
One puff;
Death claims its victim,
The entourage feigns innocence

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Experiment Update

A newer chapter has been added. Updates
To the page where I record my ongoing
Experiments have been rare, though my quest
Continues. Take the time to see what's there;
Perhaps it will inspire your own creations.

Charybdis

Round and round—at times life seems
But a dizzying whirlpool, smashing beams
And spars like toothpicks, crushing dreams
Of the day my ship comes in

Unlike Odysseus, I will face
Its growling hunger; by God’s grace
Across its funnel I will race
And squelch its noisy din

And when my victory ends this pain,
I’ll christen my new life with champagne
And for all my mates she drove insane
I’ll celebrate this win

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Japanese Game Show

Your silly antics
Result in cheap laughs for
American viewers…
And you get no residuals.
What were you thinking, dude?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

PIN

Get free info, plus
Unauthorized withdrawals—
Enter their code now

Friday, August 6, 2010

Super Vision

When I was young, my dream
Was to be like Batman.
Strong, smart, rich, rough, no fear—
All the things I wasn’t.
In time I realized
I need rescuing; I’m
Not the rescuing type.
Would Saint John of the Cross
Have termed this awareness
The “Dark Knight” of the soul?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Odds Are

Nothing’s really certain around this place
Lately. With so many uncertainties
Facing me, so many problems to solve,
Sometimes it seems as if I’ll never win.
But I’m an optimistic gambler. I
Grab those old bones, shove ‘em in a dice cup,
And shake those babies for all they’re worth. Maybe
I roll a seven, maybe I get snake-eyes…
But I stay in the game and take my chances.
Odds are, one day I’m gonna break the bank.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In Praise of Stupid Rhymes

Comic poems with antic meter
Make a bad day slightly sweeter.
Some detest such cheery humor—
They like hearing spicy rumor.

My opinion isn’t hazy—
Sourpusses drive me crazy!
Sorrow-spewing blunderbusses
Drive me mad with all their fusses.

Let ‘em have their gossip chorus;
Give me laughs—they’re more canorous!
Once from fun I have partaken...
I'll survive their bellyachin'.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Prison (rewrite)

Trying to improve the first version. It’s
A minor change, but I think this works better.


Realization:
Solitary confinement
Feels worse in a crowd

Friday, July 30, 2010

Prison

A rare attempt at haiku.

Realization:
Solitary confinement
Exists in a crowd

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brown Grass, Green Grass

What a wonder! What a miracle! Grass—
Of all plants, it receives the least respect…
And yet it speaks with a consumate wisdom.
Disdained by the masses, ignored or blamed
As fashion takes us, still it grows, relentless
In its determination to survive.
Scorched by the summer sun, the green grass burns
And turns a scraggly brown, withered and fragile;
But one small shower, one brief morning dew
Renews its luster. Left for dead, once-lush
Fields turn brick hard, their life crumbles to dust,
Cruel winds whisk away the last trace; and yet,
Should the rains return and soften its heartland,
Tiny blades of grass will soon find some way
To reassert themselves and start a new
Empire, their tiny green hordes now determined
To spread their dominion across the plains.
Jesus said that even though grass is here
Today and ends up getting burned tomorrow,
God still cares for it. Lord, make me like grass.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where Wolf Dreams

Full moon rises; howling wolf cries out,
No companion save moon’s icy stare.
Bloody death alone can still the pangs;
Fierce desire consumes too-brief despair.
Cold night passes; howling wolf recedes;
Morning light steals blessed peace. Throat burns.
Transmutation finished, broken heart
Rules human thought till howling wolf returns.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ginocide

Back in the Twenties, a thirsty public
Filed into the speakeasies and roared,
“Give us a drink – Uncle Sam won’t tell us
What to do!” So the bathtubs became stills
Where juniper berries, grain alcohol,
And a lot of nerve became bathtub gin.
The patrons drank, and many became still,
The noxious concoction silencing roars
That dying to drink was worth dying for.
Such happy hours caused Uncle Sam to take
A more temperate approach to buzzkill.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Plectrum

Frantically I claw at the guitar strings,
Trying to dig melodious sounds from
The steel ground with a dull plastic pickax.
Untapped veins of music run deep beneath
This flat plain of spruce, but all I find are
Irritating buzzes. I wipe my brow,
Take a deep breath, and resume my mining.
This song is buried deeper than I thought.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Aphrodite

Rising slowly from a roiling sea
Of strife, the fledgling goddess lifts her head,
Reaches out her hand, and smiles, demure
Yet brazen; all the world stands still in awe.
As Nature rearranges life itself,
Acknowledging her presence, she is drawn
Toward the man she chooses to receive
The gift of her devotion. She enchants
Him with her smile, then with her scent,
And then her gentle touch; she takes his hand.
Together they depart this sacred beach
While others watch with longings unsuppressed.
But he sees no one else, save her alone;
His life began anew when love was born.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vuvuzelas

Angry hornets sting the air
And swarm around the soccer field
Their raging thunder shakes the walls
Until the opposition yields

An ancient custom modernized
From horns once worn by quiet kudu
Critics argue: Is this noise
A cheering blast… or aural voodoo?

No one knows for sure, but somewhere
Businessmen are all abuzz
They’re making lots of money selling
Noisy plastic vuvuzelas

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ode to a Personal Toiletry

I’m into silly poetry lately;
I’m sure it will pass soon. Just be patient!


I don’t know what I’d do without
My trusty little deodorant;
It saves me from those social gaffes
That come from being malodorant.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Headache

They call me Boom-Boom. I like it noisy.
Acoustics are wonderful under this dome.
Although the space is crowded with gray stuff
That rarely gets used, I still call it home.

Many’s the man who thinks I’m a pain
But think twice before you condemn me, sport—
You wish you were as determined as me
And I’m against drugs of any sort.

Maybe I cause you trouble and stress
And ring in your ears like clanging bells,
But that’s my job. What’s your excuse
When you cause a headache to someone else?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sippy Cup

Marketers may call them “Insulated
Mugs,” but we know where they really came from.


Oh, precious little sippy cup!
I’m glad your lid fits tightly
‘Cause otherwise I’d spill my drink
And stain my clothes. Unsightly!

I know that you were made for kids
But I won’t be too picky
‘Cause when adults spill drinks, we end up
Mortified and sticky.

So thank you, Mr. Sippy Cup,
For ending cataclysm—
‘Cause now my drink will quench my thirst,
Not crush my narcissism.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Elvish Presley

He couldn’t be more than five years old but
His mane would do a rock star proud. His parents
Clearly know a legend when they see one;
They tease and mousse their little prodigy
Until his decoupaged pompadour can’t
Be mussed by breeze or shower or nuclear
Winter. A pair of shades and an emphatic
“Thank you very muuuch!” greet strangers who think
He’s both cute and strange. Does any parent
Really expect a healthy teen to sprout
From a poor sawed-off copy of “the King”?
I just hope he doesn't leave the building
Unsupervised...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dragons of the Sea

Slowly, majestically, the dragons come
With nostrils smoking, red eyes flashing brightly.
They slither silently across the deep sea,
Seeking their prey among the foolish ones
Sailing their dark domain. A merchant sets
His sights on wealth, wealth beyond his wildest
Dreams, only to find the sandman possesses
Gaping jaws and fiery breath, and prefers
The crunch of splintering masts and shattering
Bones to such sweet sleep as the self-assured
Adventurer gains from his avarice.
In the end, his partners will mourn his fate.
The curious will investigate and
The skeptical will castigate, but
The dragons of the sea will take their share.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rockets’ Red Glare

A meditation on watching fireworks.

Not red alone, but blue and gold and green—
A rainbow of explosions high above
The earth and her inhabitants, all standing
With mouths wide and eyes like flashing mirrors,
Reflecting the wonder of excited
Kids—no matter how much those eyes have seen.
Explosions thrill without fear; fire rains down
And no one runs in terror; all gather
Together to watch as the tools of war
Bring joy to the young at heart… and all cheer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Endless Asphalt

Sometimes road trips can get awfully tiring.

Endless asphalt rolls beneath us,
Boring mile after boring mile.
Lines of pines streak silently by—
Giants marching in rank and file—
And I can only wonder when
We’ll get there, like a whining child.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pluto Is No Longer a Planet

Poor little Pluto! Scientists say he’s
Only an ice ball out beyond Neptune—
Never a planet, it seems, after all.
That’s what they say, those stubborn starwatchers:
“A planet must orbit alone in space;
Its neighborhood must be a quiet place.”
Not socialite Pluto! Scientists found
Too many partyboys rockin’ his hood.
They promptly evicted him; now he’s gone
And his hood is a lost memory. He
Just wanders, homeless, never again to
Know the warmth of… well, he never knew warmth,
But that’s not the point. It wasn’t his fault.
Blame Eris, that backstabbing gate-crasher!
The goddess of strife he didn’t invite
Made such a ruckus, she ruined it all.
Without that mistake, our poor old Pluto
Might still be rockin’ as Planet Oh-Nine.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Astroturf

A poem consisting of six Collom lunes.
Collom lune: American haiku form;
Three lines of 3 words, 5 words, and 3 words.


Synthetic grassy substitute
Where cleats grab better but
Falls hurt worse

Never needs mowing
Fertilizer merely makes a mess
Doesn’t waste water

No more reseeding!
Merchandiser makes a perfect pitch:
Turn grass under

The perfect lawn
Never wreck weekend plans again
Your neighbors drool

Company sales skyrocket
Oxygen production plummets to zero
Immaculate cemetery remains

No one drools
But here’s one good thing:
No doggie poop

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Money Woes

Here’s a silly poem for paying the bills.

Your money comes, your money goes—
Into the black, out through the nose.
An empty wallet clearly shows
The less that comes, the more that goes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nightmare in Stone

It’s kind of strange… but then, most nightmares are.

I step through the portal of light.
Momentarily blinded, I
Find myself on my knees, retching
From the journey. I didn’t die
But I doubt I feel much better
Than I would have, had I done so.
I look around and all I see
Are busts of Marilyn Monroe
Smiling down, just like the Virgin
Mary would if she was granite.
The crowd of Virgin Marilyns
Are planning to drive the planet
From its orbit with the power
Of their minds, and they surround
Me, singing songs about champagne
And slinging some smelly herb (ground
With their heads) from a big glassy
Bowl that looks like some kid’s marble
Shooter grown big and cut in half.
But they’re drunk and only garble
The words, so all I hear is just
Gravel on a tin roof—rusted.
The love shack of the love goddess
Rumbles, and the words get busted
Like piñatas and spill still more
Nasty herbs over us, and when
It hits the Virgin Marilyns,
They all turn into girly men
Statues in pleated white dresses.
Now they’re growing, and with voices
That echo like deep hollow wells
They say, “Of all the bad choices
We’ve made, this takes the cake!” My heart
Pounds—I’m standing in Golum town,
Sweating bullets… then I wake up.
I won’t sleep till I “column” down.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunshine Supermen

For the members of the U.S. Soccer
Team, who played great in some tough conditions.
They made us proud to be Americans.
Inspired by the song from—who else?—Donovan.


Sunshine crashed loudly through the goalpost windows,
Repeatedly streaking past stunned goalies
In the final minutes, stealing their hopes
Of easy victory. Domination
Takes time—we know it—but in a short while
Our sunshine supermen will show their style
‘Cause they’ve made their minds up—the World Cup trophy
Will one day be ours. Won’t that blow the minds
Of the others who’ve looked down on our efforts?
We’ll soon be there, on the world football scene
Standing tall… Won’t that blow their little minds?

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Meaning of NO

Funny how much we can say with only
Two little letters. IF carries all our
Hopes and dreams in a single resigned sigh
Or an optimistic outburst. UH says
Less about our confusion than about
Our general lack of interest. And then
There’s NO, so negative-sounding at first
And such an onerous burden for most
Of us to carry. And yet it’s the YES,
With its massively heavy third letter,
That yokes us in bondage and commits us
To following paths we soon grow to hate.
NO shuts off one path and leaves a thousand
More open for travel, while YES and its
Pathological desire to please picks
A single road at the expense of all
Other options. Does this mean NO means freedom?
I’m not ready to say that just yet, but
Perhaps we would all be better off if
We just learned to say NO once in a while.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poetry in Motion

Sometimes I feel a sense of loss
When I write poems on a laptop.
It saves on paper—yeah, that’s true—
And making copies easily
So I can rearrange the words
Without completely losing all
My early drafts is quite a boon.
In some ways it improves my work.

And yet I miss the scratch of pen
On paper as I wrestle with
Some headstrong, mulish metaphor.
Tac-tac-tacking on a keyboard
Lacks the romance of the starving
Artist; it sounds like wasting time.
Drumming thoughts into submission
Loses something in translation.

But in the end, I think I miss
The satisfying “scrunch” and rattle
Of balled-up rejects sailing toward
The waste can most of all. To hear
The sound as insubstantial thoughts
Take shape—and still, despite great care,
Miss their mark—is a thrill unmatched
By any other medium.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Demons as a Metaphor

Reddened by the fierceness of His anger—
Painful to the touch, like glowing neon—
Horny little devils ache and wonder:
Could such scalding judgment be foregone
By a little forethought of their actions?
Heaven’s indignation seems obscene!
“Tiny indiscretions” shouldn’t merit
Punishment so stern or so routine.
In their fury, all-consuming vengeance
Twists their logic hopelessly askew.
If they suffer, everyone will suffer!
“Misery loves company.” It’s true.

And so cartoonish minions hit the warpath;
Whiny diapered dragons vent their wrath
And rarely pause to rue neglected sunscreen…

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad Reckoning

This one is in memory of my dad.
From “dead reckoning,” navigation based
Only on previously-known positions—
Or, more simply, navigation by guessing.


A new ship has set sail, its navigator
Not yet sure of himself, and he relies
On your guidance. How do you chart his course
When your own maps are so inaccurate
And your North Star is not clearly in view?
This shoreline seems fairly familiar but
The open sea offers landmarks no more
Familiar than the scratchings on your map
That proclaim “here be dragons.” You take soundings
Frequently, but you are out of your depth;
The ocean is fathomless, like your fear.
And still you do it; the truth is that guidance
Often consists of no more than a smile,
A hug, and a few words of encouragement.
And somewhere, “father” on, this young ship’s captain
Will undertake the training of another,
Amazed at your great knowledge of the sea.
There is no other way to learn the trade
Than by mastering the tradewinds firsthand.
It’s a skill passed down from father to son.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pebble Beach

A brief meditation on the golf course,
Site of the 2010 U.S. Open.


Carved by the ocean, painted by breezes,
Vistas with dangers that drive men to prayer.
Beauty disguises a legend whose terror
Tests players’ spirits. Golfers, beware!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stuck Figures

“Something has to be done. That much is certain.”
They stand there, rigid and expressionless
Like stick figures scratched out with magic marker
On a photograph—they don’t belong there.
They’re out of time, out of their element,
Out of luck. “At least we could have tried something,”
One murmurs as the boss approaches them.
It’s a moot point; barring a miracle,
This failure will be swept under the rug
And never mentioned again. It’s just business.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Housecat’s Grace

Inspired by picky housecats everywhere!

Lord, we’re tired of eatin’ chicken
Roast beef makes us want to sicken
Tuna fish will leave us pickin’
Only one thing gets us lickin’!
Give us what You know we savor
Or You’ll garner our disfavor
Only one thing makes us quaver—
We want food that’s fanny flavor!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Generic Fairy Tale

Well, once upon a time
A long, long time ago
Something unexpected
Happened to somebody.

It caught them by surprise,
But they knew right away
Something had to be done—
It had to be done quick!

So they made up a plan,
But things didn’t go well.
Some strangers got involved—
It got complicated.

In the end, this person
Managed to do ok,
Largely because they were
A good sort of person.

This taught us a moral:
Good people do ok...

Somehow, my life ended
Up in the wrong story.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Soul (Slam-Influenced)

Yet another version of Soul, this one
Influenced by slam poetry. Searching
For the best is also an experiment.


I’m not alone. He's watching me every
Moment—I’m sure of it. He follows me
Around all the time so I decided
To catch him—me?—and prove once and for all
I’m not crazy, he’s there. I lunge at him,
Thinking my tackle’s good, but he slips through
My fingers without so much as a squish.
So the mystery remains: Just who is that
Guy constantly moving in the shadows
Just beyond my reach?
Scientists say he’s
My imagination; I'm nothing more
Than a splash of chemicals and some gooey
Jello making uncontrollable sparks.
But if that’s all I am—just a cosmic
Cocktail, neither shaken nor stirred by something
Transcendent—then why do I care he’s watching?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Soul (Original Version)

Here’s the original version of Soul:
Iambic pentameter length lines with
No concern for the number of stresses.
Comparison with the sonnet version
Proves form influences the final poem.


Ethereal, intangible, in question—
It cannot be seen, it cannot be proven.
With gossamer fingers it maintains
A tenuous grasp on human consciousness.
Will we deny ourselves and all we are
Because we won’t believe what we can’t see?
Philosophers from millennia past
And great theologians—all these agree
The spark of humanity far exceeds
What nature alone presumes to give us.
This subliminal existence points us
Toward a sublime truth: Neither animals
Nor gods, our mere being poses more questions
Than physics and all the sciences can
Explain… so the answers must lie beyond
This mortal coil, in the realm of the soul.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Soul

This is an experimental sonnet:
Lines are iambic pentameter length
But with only four stresses on each line.


Ethereal, fleeting, evasive, in doubt—
It cannot be seen, it cannot be heard
Yet gossamer fingers may lift the devout
From bowels of gloom where hopes lay interred.
Philosophers from millennia past
And great theologians—all these believe
The spark that ennobles us cannot be cast
From the selfsame mold as the world we perceive.
Subliminal consciousness clearly points us
To a truth more sublime: As neither beast
Nor god, our presence here anoints us—
Indeed, compels us—to seek the priest
Presiding over this mystery cult.
Ignoring this task brings a dire result.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Piranha

Inspired by an NBA playoff game.

They surge down the court, a school of piranha
In search of prey, their hunger overwhelming
Their individuality. Five players
And yet one, linked by an insatiable
Desire to dominate this wooden sea.
A single glance from one, and another
Responds—inside, outside, passing, shooting;
They circle their prey, anticipating
Their every move before it can be made.
Familiarity gained from their hours
Together erupt in a scoring frenzy,
And the carnage is inevitable;
They devour mercilessly, without conscience.
Others will soon hear of this desecration…
And they will fear. A dark, consuming fear.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Brainstorm

The grey matter firmament darkens as
A moody front of creativity
Rolls in. Calm thoughts give way to unsettled
Rumbling as colliding ideas shatter the
Placid mind. Neurons firing randomly
Send jagged bolts of enlightenment surging
Beyond accepted norms; no previously-
Held notion is safe. Torrents of novelty
Drench the stubborn ground. After the deluge,
New concepts will push their fragile blossoms
Through unquestioned beliefs, and this stormy
Mindscape will be irreparably changed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flat Tire

I’m not sure where I picked up that old nail.
All I know is that my once-smooth journey
Was interrupted by a loud ka-POW as
The steering wheel jerked itself violently
Out of my hands. Now here I am, sitting
By the side of the highway, watching others
Pass me by. I’m as flat as an old tire, and
I know I’ll need more than a quick patch job
And a few strokes of a bicycle pump
To get me back up and rolling again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Misunderstood

Musing on the eighth chapter of Proverbs,
Where Wisdom is portrayed as a woman.


When Wisdom came to visit me today,
She said we had to talk about some things
So I said, “Come on in and stay a while.
I’m making dinner—there should be enough.”
So she sat down, and I was cooking something
Or other—I can’t remember now—and
She kept talking. I said “uh-huh” and “yeah”
A lot about… whatever till she left.
I don’t recall just what she was talking
About. I do remember burning something.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Give ‘Em Hail

The earth perspires beneath the summer sun.
Exhausted by her daily stellar race—
A thankless marathon that’s never won—
Her seas, now steamy mist, ascend apace
As Sol's fierce visage burns her lovely face.
The orphaned droplets huddle in her sky
Where, separated from her warm embrace,
They seek revenge against her cruel goodbye.
Enraged, they gather in a thunderhead
And form their vengeful feelings into chilled
Bullets, munitions keen as solid lead
To share the pain of longings unfulfilled.
And she, abused, her role misunderstood,
Endures their wrath in suffering solitude.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How to Get Rich off Sasquatch

How to make extra money on the side.

Walk the woodlands,
Find a footprint,
Catch on camera,
Talk to trackers,
Start a study,
Ask an expert,
Think up theories,
Plead for patrons,
Publish papers,
Nab some news time,
Cause a crusade—
“Save the Sasquatch!”—
Peddle products,
Pile up profits, and
Wind up wealthy—
But under no circumstances whatsoever
Must you ever find an actual
Sasquatch
Or you’ll have to pay him
A ridiculous percentage for
Violating his privacy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dead End

Why the road ended here, I just don’t know…
But is it fair to call it a “dead end”?
It’s a small neighborhood—just five houses—
But how many does it take to count as
A “living end?" Three have children, laughing
And riding bikes. Four have young adults with
Plans to rise above their present status;
The other houses a retired couple
Deep in planning a trip to Italy.
These folks have not reached a dead end by any
Stretch of the imagination, have they?
Too many people race madly along
Through life, with no regard for what matters.
That, if you ask me, is the real dead end.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cast & Crew

Some melodrama is good for the soul.

They say every man is the hero of
His own story. I am hero, villain,
Damsel in distress, heroic collie
(“Go find Timmy, Lassie – go find Timmy!”),
And the deed to the ranch rolled into one.
I am both rescuer and the rescued,
With an ending yet to be written. I
Bet it’s a New York Times bestseller.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shroomers Beware

Shroomers are mushroom gatherers.

Beginners should hunt with
A fungal authority;
Safety is always
Your utmost priority.
Don’t make more work for
The nursing sorority—
Only pick shrooms from
The morel majority.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript

My smoldering ideas refused to set
The page ablaze, despite my glowing prose.
A choking smoke hung over it, obscuring
My vision, killing any hope of finding
Something combustible amid the words.
And then a gentle breeze blew across them,
A gust that cleared away the haze and fanned
A nascent spark unseen before. Suddenly
The prose erupted, a firestorm of passion.
My readers may need fireman’s gear for this!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

The first line of my poem said what I wanted,
But it was pretty boring. Anybody
Could have written that line, so I trashed it.

The second time it sounded better but
It didn’t really express what I thought.

The third time? Very classic did it sound,
But odd indeed the structure seemed. I feared
My readers wouldn’t understand what I meant.

The fourth vine sprouted from a metaphor.
That time, not even I knew what I meant!

But the fifth time I got it almost perfect!
I was so happy… then I wrote the next line.

Now I’ll have to rewrite that first line again…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Closing Time

Tick, tick, tick says the warden on the wall,
The final moments counting, counting down
Until I blow this joint and take a brief
Reprieve. So many problems clamor for
Attention, and I have so little time.
Tick, tick, tick but it seems to take forever
And the boss’s ire draws ever nearer –
What’s a man to do? My chosen prison
Now confines my weary soul; this dreary
Tick, tick, tick will never end until I
Break these chains and find another
Institution less intent on making
Tick, tick, tick the measure of my worth.
But until then, I must endure the endless
Tick, tick, tick of life till closing time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Variety is the Splice of Life

We pan for chromosomes of gold
Along the twisting streams
Of breedings caused by endless years
Of lustful human dreams.
Biologists insist that from
Such unexpected trysts
Some better folks will come along –
But not without some twists.

The wealth of past millennia
Lies buried in the silt,
Though sometimes all the bits we find
Are nothing more than gilt.
But as researchers start to mine
The gold along its shore,
They’d best take care, or they might breed
Some vicious albacore.

Perhaps it’s best we trust to fate –
It’s worked for us so far.
Attempts to restock nature’s stream
Could turn things quite bizarre.
In any case, the chromosomes
Continue with their work –
Who says they need the tugging of
Some scientific jerk?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Whale Done

Call me Ishmael and set my sails for
Parts unknown; I’m sick of stagnant ports.
The water, not the mainland, is my home;
A tall ship and a strong wind call my soul
To adventure, far from this madman’s shore.
I’ve no desire to scuttle Ahab’s whale
Before he scuttles me; I’ve holes enough
To sink my floundering soul. Hard truths are learned
When others take the wheel and plot your course;
More monsters roam the land than swim the sea,
And worst are those who roam betwixt the two.
I’ll joust no more with whales or vengeful men,
But rather seek a pleasant desert isle.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wayfarers

A white-hot noonday crowd blazes around me,
Their gazes intense, intrusive, unwanted.
I stop and squint, then nervously slip my
Hand inside my jacket pocket… and sigh
As my fingertips find my one defense;
A single snap of my wrist, and they spring
Into readiness. Soon my Wayfarers
Surround me, their cool demeanor blocking
The curious stares. Burned by the harsh glare
Invading my world, I relax in their
Gentle embrace; then, smug in the knowledge
That none can see me, I smile and move on.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Main Squeeze

A misshapen toothpaste tube tossed carelessly
On the sink awaits me when I get up.
Patiently I flatten it out, despite
My rush to get dressed. I fold its bottom
And roll it neatly, crimping it with a
Slight “V” shape that I hope will encourage
Her to respond likewise. I squeeze the gel
Onto my toothbrush, then sigh and wonder
If we’ll be dining together tonight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Poetic Licentiousness

Somewhere along the way, a piece of prose
Rebuked my clumsy overtures. Incensed,
I pressed my cause, to no effect… until
A minor rhythm change struck home; it moaned
With pleasure. Emboldened by this conquest,
I courted other passages – my sole
Intent, to bend their rigid wills to mine.
With each new score, I poked and prodded further;
Their “oohs” and “ahs” seduced my soul as well.
Does that make me the new Don Juan of poesy…
Or just another gigolo of rhyme?

Friday, May 7, 2010

One Eye on the Game

In memory of Vince Spence, fondly known
To the golf blogging community as

The
One-Eyed Golfer. At a mere 61,
He left us far too young. "Good night,
sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"


Clichés abound at a time like this
'Cause we don't know what to say
When a friend like Vince has come and gone
And the ache won't go away.

But to frame our thoughts with the images
Of the game he loved so much
Seems appropriate now, since golf will feel
The loss of his special touch.

In a day when heroes stumble
And abuses glare so bright,
Ol’ Vince kept one eye on the game
While never losing sight

Of the people; his friends and family
Will never be ashamed.
In many ways, he’ll always be
The spirit of the game.

So now that his score is posted
And he’s played his final round,
He can rest with the other champions
And with both eyes see his crown.

We’ll miss you, Vince.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Down-to-Earth

It’s less a place, more like an attitude;
I’m not sure why some think it’s such a great thing.
When “down-to-earth,” a person acts like this:
Eschews the ornate, favoring the dull;
Wears “sensible” clothes; does “sensible” things,
And values traits like “common,” “drab,” and “bland.”
Apparently this earth’s a place of boredom,
Where lack of stimulation drives its dreamers
In search of life to places such as Vegas.
Why else would they need to keep calling them back?
“You need to come down-to-earth.” Perhaps the
Tourist Board should try a less judgmental tack.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Something Wigged This Way Comes

Three fashion editors at Macbeth’s new
Gossip magazine gather around their
Lastest crop of embarrassing photos.
Their leader laughs maniacally, then speaks:

Leader: Fashionistas seeking fame
Clamor ‘round the famous name
Terrorized by growing fears
As the paparazzi nears.
Timid starlet, preening star –
Makes no difference who you are!
You will be condemned in time
To a life of fashion crime.
Each transgression, big or little,
We’ll condemn, with no acquittal.

All: Hail us, we’re the style elite!
Each opinion that we tweet
Gets devoured by anxious masses,
Whom we treat like senseless asses.

Leader: Exposés of fashion slips
Flow like manna from our lips:
Gaudy dresses, wrinkled suits,
Tennis shoes and mukluk boots –
All incur our scornful wrath
As we stalk the red-rugged path.
We won’t rest until our dictums
Reign supreme among our victims
And our narrow view of fashion
Is the public’s only passion.

All: Listen to the style elite!
Readers merely stand and bleat
While we fill their minds with drivel
Till their tiny brain cells shrivel.

Leader: Butchered haircuts, colored messes,
Hairdos wired for bogus tresses,
Hair extensions fail the task.
Rugs and toupees – must you ask?
Caps or bonnets, we don’t care;
Cover-ups won’t help your hair!
Listen to our expert voices
As we bash your foolish choices
Till your sense of style succumbs:
Something wigged this way comes!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Late Show

Dusk has fallen. Bare trees, bent and twisted,
Reach their gnarled fingers toward the full moon.
Nervously I walk along the shoreline,
Jerking my head at every creak and wail.
Is it just the wind… or maybe something worse?
Then they strike – hordes of tiny bloodsuckers,
Driven by relentless hunger. I struggle
But it’s no use; another victim falls to
Their bloodlust. Come morning, the mutation
Will be complete; deformed by the mosquitoes’
Venom, I’ll be a repulsive creature,
A pariah, condemned to frighten small
Children. I’d better find some Benadryl… FAST!