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, August 29, 2014

Gone Bad

Not so long ago, you see,
This fruit was fresh as fresh can be.
So many longed to gulp it down…
But now they make a gagging sound.

Its brilliant red turned bubbly gray.
Yes, in a matter of a day
That fruit devolved from firm to squishy.
Diners eye it feverishly!

Once it whispered to my palate;
Zombies now go, “Ummm, brain salad!”
Come on—end this horror flick
And throw it in the trash. I'm sick!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Predict

The night was dark. Inside the tent
Her face was hidden by a shawl.
Her client sat, unmoved and bored,
While she gazed at her crystal ball.
“Ummm… I predict,” the gypsy said,
“A tall dark stranger coming soon—
An unexpected visitor
Arriving with today’s new moon.”

“I can’t believe,” her client said,
“You think I’d buy that load of crap!
A tall dark stranger? Why not say
Someday I’ll drop food in my lap?
I’m paying you for useful facts,
Not old recycled movie lines.
If you can’t give me more than this,
I’m outta here. Don’t waste my time!”

The gypsy rose. She stood so tall
Her cowering client gazed in fear.
Beneath her shawl, the darkness hid
Her face. He longed to disappear
As she intoned, “Don’t mock me, boy.
The future isn’t yours to see—
But if you wish, I’ll show you yours.
I promise it will be a scream!”

Her client fled as though pursued
By some sadistic maniac.
She watched, then whispered with a grin,
“Now I predict you won’t be back.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rain Dance

Pitter-pat, pitter-pat, pitter-pat-pat-pat;
The rain comes down and it sounds like that.
KA-BOOM! There’s a rumble, then it fades away;
A storm rolls through and it stays all day.
But life won’t stop while the rain comes down
So everybody grumbles as they head for town.

Umbrellas out and raincoats on,
Their feet get wet as they dance along—
Up on their toes and jumping little puddles,
Bouncing around all the humans huddled
Together. But nothing can stop the spray
From the cars and the gutters and the kids at play.

The hot streets steam once the cold rain stops
But you still see a lot of awkward jumps and hops.
Others move smoothly, their movements deft…
But nobody’s happy with the mess that’s left.
The crowds should cheer—they survived the dance!
But it’s hard to be cheerful wearing soggy pants.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Long Distance Runner

You’ve come so far
You’ve so far left to go
It seems it never ends

Your breath is labored
Your lungs about to burst
It seems you can’t go on

So many problems
So much pain and suffering
You wish it all would end

One thing you must remember:
One foot in front of the other
So few finish the race

Don’t give up the fight
Don’t slow your pace
You’ll win if you hold on

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hot Chick

Inspired by lunch at KFC.

She’s Colonel Sanders’ babe,
Sizzling in the pressure cooker.
Brown and crispy—she’s a looker!
Diners have it made.

Lounging on a plate,
Steaming hot, all firm and juicy—
Makes my lips go loosey-goosey!
What a dinner date!

When our time is done,
All my deepest needs are met, you
Crunchy babe—I won’t forget you!
Call to me, I’ll come.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Old Mother Hubbard 2014

Old Mother Hubbard,
Poncho’ed and rubbered,
Searched through her storm-flooded home.
The cupboard was shakin’—
Her dog saved his bacon
By hiding inside with his bone!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deterrents

A fence that’s covered with splinters
Is better than one without,
For trespassers learn in a painful way
They’re better off staying out.
A dog the size of a quarterhorse
Is scarier than a pup;
While a puppy may yip and bite your heels,
The big dog’ll eat you up.

But home security’s tough to plan
In dangerous days like these;
Deterrents can only go so far
‘Cause the law protects the thieves.
Choose the splintered fence or the hungry dog
And the judge might put you away;
Your best bet’s a lawyer who lives with you.
He’ll even scare cops away!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Photobombed

Aplomb means “poise.” Ironically, Dictionary.com says
it’s from the French à plomb, “according to the plummet,
i.e., straight up and down, vertical position.”
That fits this poem perfectly!

We’re on vacation at the coast.
Our daughter thinks a photo post
Of all the family would be fine.
We storm the beach and form a line.
The camera’s on a tripod stand
So we can set the timer. And…
Nobody saw that seagull flyin’
In behind our clueless line.
The camera caught our lost aplomb.
It really was a photobomb!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Trippin’

It’s a long long way
From this rest stop to the next
And the fan belt won’t stop squealing
It’s as if this car was hexed
There’s a knocking from the rear end
And the cooler’s sprung a leak
Gosh, the road trip’s barely started—
Will we make it through the week?
We be trippin’
As we putter down the coast
We be trippin’
And my brain’s already toast
Till this trip is at its end
Into madness we’ll descend
‘Cause we trippin’

Yeah, we slippin’
Losing touch with what is real
I be grippin’
Ever tighter on the wheel
Life back home don’t seem so bad
When these road trips drive you mad
I be trippin’
Oh dear Lord, if I survive
Next time out we’ll fly, not drive
No more trippin’

Friday, August 8, 2014

Old Torn T-Shirt

Another tanka—this one’s more reflective

It’s nothing but an
Old torn T-shirt, so unloved
But so comfortable—
Most of us wish we could be
Sew relaxed and casual

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Her Hourglass Ran Out

A tanka about a beachfront tragedy

Most of her figure
Settled below sea level;
When the tide came in
The savage undertow sucked
Her sands of time out to sea

Monday, August 4, 2014

Booze Clues

Inspired by the kid’s show Blue’s Clues although I didn’t use the theme song. It’s a verse-chorus thing, with chorus echoes in parentheses. I see this as a music video, with the singing G-Man backed by hillbillies in chains—captured moonshine runners—playing washtub bass, banjo, guitar, and washboard…

I’m a Revenuer’s son
I’m a G-Man by trade
I been tromping ‘round them mountains
Where the moonshine’s getting made
I don’t like them moonshine makers
I destroy their hidden stills
Then I confiscate their whiskey—
It ain’t leaving them thar hills!

Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Gotta buncha men to help me
Stop them boys from running booze
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
They can’t hide from me forever
‘Cause I’m out there hunting clues

I can smell that corn mash cooking
From a quarter mile away
I can feel them old stills rumbling
Every night and every day
I can hear your engines revving
When you try to make a run
If I catch you hauling moonshine
You’ll be jailbirds when I’m done

Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Gotta buncha men to help me
Stop you boys from running booze
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
You can’t hide from me forever
‘Cause I’m sniffing out the clues

You can run on down to Ma’s,
Or to the church, or Billie Sue’s
But I’m gonna find you anyways—
It’s time to pay your dues!
I’m a Revenuer’s son
Yeah, I’m a G-man through and through
And you’re just a moonshine runner
There ain’t nothing you can do

Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
I gotta buncha men to help me
Stop you boys from running booze
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
Booze Clues (Booze Clues)
When I’m done, son, you’ll be wishing
You weren’t walking in your shoes
‘Cause my lazy-looking bloodhound
Follows all your smelly clues

Friday, August 1, 2014

Explodibles

Here’s a commercial for a new “convenience food”…

Does lunchtime bore your youngster, dude?
Excitement’s what you need!
Explodibles are the latest fad,
The coolest way to feed!

Just stick them in the microwave
And turn that thing on high,
Then duck and cover, tuck and roll,
And kiss your butt goodbye!

Should you and Junior make it through
And haven’t lost your lunch,
Perhaps you’ll like Explodibles…
If anything’s left to munch!