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.

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!