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.

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.