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, October 31, 2014

Computer Software Blues

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blues song. The indents on some of the lines indicate a long line broken in two by a pause…

Got myself some software,
Teaches my computer
     to type what I say.
Got myself a headset,
Gonna ditch my keyboard
     ‘cause it gets in my way.
Gonna make me more productive,
Gonna get a lot more done,
Gonna speed up my day.

Loading up my software,
Plugging in my headset,
     I’m chatting away.
Screen looks kinda funny,
Gotta bunch of errors–
     it don’t know what I say.
My computer makes me blue;
Though I tell it what to do,
It keeps on going astray.

Yeah, I got myself some software,
Supposed to teach computers
     to type what I say.
And I got myself a headset
But I gotta keep my keyboard
     though it gets in my way.
I ain’t gonna be productive,
I ain’t gonna get more done,
I’m gonna waste my whole day

All my plans to be productive
Left me files of gibberish
They’re all in mad disarray

It’s a shame I’m not productive
But that’s just the way it goes,
No matter what I say…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hump Day

I ain’t no stupid camel
So Hump Day don’t excite me
Nor any other workday…
But Friday nights delight me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not Going Digital

I’m an analog guy in a digital age.
‘Exact’ and ‘precise’? I suppose they’re the rage
If you think there’s no time for a casual life…
But I’m in no hurry for all of that strife.

You think I should be there at two-twenty-three?
I’ll roll into town at two-thirty. You’ll see
I’m in plenty of time—no two watches agree.
While you’re pulling your hair out, I’m sipping on tea.

So plan out your schedule, right down to the minute;
Live life in a hurry, keep pushing your limit.
But me? I refuse to run rings like a squirrel—
I’m an analog guy in a digital world.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wild West Story

Somewhere out on the lonesome trail
An outlaw dreams of the sheriff’s daughter.
Somewhere back in the boring town
The sheriff’s daughter dreams of the outlaw.
Haven’t I heard this tale before?
I’m pretty sure they got together
At Cactus Mesa, not far from town
When the sheriff came gunning to take him down.

You know no good can come of this—
It never does, in a tale like this.
Couldn’t the ending change this time?
Couldn’t the confrontation end
With the outlaw and sheriff, side by side,
Fighting Apaches to save the daughter’s life?
Couldn’t the outlaw take an arrow
Meant for the sheriff, a shot to the shoulder
That isn’t deadly but wins the respect of the law?
Perhaps in Saturday matinee style
They win the battle,
Daughter and outlaw riding off,
Framed by the setting sun
And her father’s approval?

Probably not... more than likely,
Bang, bang, the sheriff wins
And the daughter will just have to live with it
‘Cause that’s the law of the west.
[sigh]
Time to pull out the Star Wars DVD.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Burnt Offerings

Grimly they go forth
With rakes rather than sickles,
Reaping the frail dry remains
With deep sighs and much perspiration.
There are so many!

They were vibrant in life,
Red and yellow and orange and green
But they all came to the same end.
Now they await their destiny,
Gathered in uneven piles…
And there are so many!

Children are oblivious to the ritual,
Throwing themselves on the growing piles
With much laughter and crunching
Until the adults regain control
And murmur as they re-rake:
How can there be so many?

Finally the offering is made,
Flames crackling and smoke rising…
But to no avail.
Despite the sincerity of their offerings,
Another will be required next week.
And the Reapers mutter this benediction
As they wander away
And ponder their lot in life:
Why must there be so many?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Sunshine

The days get shorter,
The leaves turn brown,
The daily temperatures cool down…
But the sun still shines.
It feels so good!

The birds fly south
To warmer climes
(And older people too, sometimes)…
But the sun feels warm
The way it should.

The year is passing us by.
We pause to wonder why
Time flies so fast;
This year won’t last…
But the sun remains.
That’s understood.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Far-Flung Places

From the home of Rotchschild's orchids
To the shores of Tripoli,
There are many far-flung places
I will likely never see.
Not the isle of long-dead dodos
Nor Mount Everest capped with snow—
If I’m lucky, I’ll see film shot
For some documentary show.

Still, I know that life’s a wonder
Whether here or far away
And I needn’t travel far to see
A miracle today.
So perhaps it’s no great problem
That my life won’t let me roam;
Though my world is not exotic,
There’s no place like home sweet home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Senseless Waste of Cold Pizza

Our pizza wasn’t really cold but I was in a weird mood after dinner. This was an attempt to write a story poem as fast as possible; sometimes it’s fun just to try things and see what you can come up with. You should try it! Just be aware that such poetry rarely turns out great…

When the pizza man came
And the doorbell rang,
It was time to have a bite…
But the pie was cold
So the man was told
That he didn’t get it right.
Then he pulled a gun!
“You’re the seventh one
Today and I’ve had enough!
You can pay my fee
And be rid of me—
Or perhaps you like it rough?”
I was hungry, dude!
Didn’t want no feud
But I knocked that sucker out
‘Cause when I want food
And you get too rude
I’m a fairly violent grouch.
So I’ll warn you now:
When I order chow
And the crap you bring is freezing,
You should stay away
Or you’ll make my day
When I leave you sore and wheezing.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Beta Males

Not the most cheerful verse I’ve written, but perhaps food for thought.

The alpha male’s a Type-A guy
Demanding that you fall in line;
The beta male is chilling over here.

The alpha males engage in war
To find out who’ll control the Corps
While beta males sit chuckling with a beer.

Though alpha males malign the betas
Most of them are beta haters—
One thing they ignore, to their chagrin,

Is that the serial psycho dudes
Project the beta’s laidback ‘tudes…
Respect might be a wise idea, my friend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

An Ode to Pus

Don’t ask…

I pen this short salute to pus;
It’s more determined than most of us.
The casualty of viral war—
Once white blood cells, they fight no more.
Those cells stormed Inflammation Hill
With just one thought: Bacteria! KILL!
They fought with everything they had
And, though your wound hurt oh so bad,
They won! And just to make it clear,
They blew those dead germs outta here!
(I know that ‘pop’ made quite a mess
But would you prefer a deep abscess?)
You clean your wound without a thought
For the white blood cells whose lives were lost.
Their efforts demand your respect, young fellow;
Don’t you EVER say that pus is yellow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scream Queen

Her B-grade horror movie role
Made her a cult sensation…
But doomed her budding film career
To voicing animation.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Helm’s Deep

(Will's having computer problems today so I'm posting his poem for him. -- Mike)
- - - - -
For those of you who don’t know, Helm’s Deep is a place in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For you purists out there, I’m referring to the fortress in the Two Towers movie rather the valley as depicted in the novel.

It’s dark and deep and bare inside.
The enemy surrounds you and,
Although you may be safe inside,
There’s no escape when others block you in.
There’s food enough to last awhile;
There’s weaponry to arm yourself…
But neither gives you much to hang your hopes on.
You’re outnumbered,
You’re undermanned, and
You’re unlikely to survive.
So why do you fight?

Because some things are
Much too important,
Much too valuable,
Much too precious to just give in
When the world demands your blood.
And the sun will rise tomorrow—
The sun will rise
And with it bring the hopes of a new day…
And maybe a victory after all.

All because one weary soul
Withstood the temptation to quit just because
It’s dark and deep and bare inside.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So That’s Why They Call Them Bytes

Endless streams of bits and bytes
Move antlike through an endless maze
Of high-tech fiber optic tunnels—
Nothing stops in cyberspace.

Busily they make their way
From one man’s ant farm to another.
Each one hauls a bit of info;
One’s no good without the others.

Clueless bits and bytes, beware! For
Scattered through the cybersphere
Are many hungry data eaters
On your way ‘twixt there and here!

They’ll try to scarf you up like PacMan,
Devastate my fiscal health.
Please, don’t let them get my bank codes!
Be like ninjas—move with stealth!

O endless streams of bits and bytes
Who, antlike, crawl through cyberspace,
Be vigilant! Please, I implore you—
Else I’ll be a basket case!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Red Shirt

In case you aren’t into Star Trek, the “red shirts” are the expendable crew members. If you see a red shirt going into a dangerous situation, they probably won’t come back. If Kirk takes 5 red shirts down to the planet, Kirk’s coming back alone. It’s a running joke among Trekkers.

First one to transport, first one dead;
Only the fools wear Starfleet red.
If the landing party says “Get your gear,”
Don’t be a hero. Trust your fear!
Expendable crewmen are cannon fodder,
So once James Kirk decides you oughter
Beam down with him to Elba II…
Transfer to Sick Bay. They wear blue.