Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For the Artists Formerly Known as Alive

Perhaps we don't deserve them anymore--
An inartistic age will bring collapse
That spreads as death upon the island shore
Of greatness, lost big beat without relapse.

How can't I grieve--how can't those waves wash high,
Erode my soul and yet rebuild my soul
With every death--how can I now deny
No time is guaranteed to reach your goal.

The sea of time's eroded far too long,
Too much--two times my life is what I need
 To do all I must do--I must be strong
And let these deaths become my vital seed.

It's early when an artist has to leave:
They help us see ourselves--that's why we grieve.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Permanence

Concrete is the poem
Concrete is the heart
Concrete are the labia
That let the soul depart

Concrete is the butterfly
Listen! Concrete Blonde
Reject God in anger, sing
Against the divine bond

Concrete is the soul
Concrete are my words
Lusting for a permanence
Concretely lifting birds

Concrete are the ruins
Concrete Romans raised
Concrete music, mandolins
Are strumming like we're crazed

I want to whisper with the wind,
Enjoy my cycled breath--
So chisel on my concrete tomb:
My soul-words conquered death

Monday, May 2, 2016

Left

The problem with this rusty ship
Is that it needs more oxygen!
I say we put it in a tank,
And do make sure it's very dank,
And then get all the smartest men
And we'll go on an ocean trip!

You say that oxygen's the cause
Of all the rust? Don't be a fool!
With nitrogen I've seen rust end,
And oxygen is like it's friend,
And it's a more reactive tool.
Don't bore me now with all your laws!

I can't believe you let me take
This ship out; now the men have drowned.
We'll lift it up and take it back
And give more oxygen--the lack
Of that is what is clear--I'm bound
To get this right, cause I'm no fake!

Friday, April 29, 2016

You In Here

As poet there is nothing I can do
About the fact that all you read is you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

On Misanthropy

The lovers of humanity are really misanthropes
Who cannot stand real people. Smiling, they just bring the ropes
To tie their legs and hands--and when they have their victims bound
And when they've cut out all their tongues so they can't make a sound,
They'll look in pity on the slaves that they have cruelly caught
Within their misanthropic web of hate and say they ought
To thank them for the drink and food they give since they can't take
Care of themselves. They swear they do this for all mankind's sake--
They see themselves superior--their egos love to grow
Upon the flesh of all their captive prey. But soon they'll know
What every autocrat will someday learn--that slavery
Will one day end and from the misanthropes we'll all be free.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Door

You stand before the wooden door. It's closed.
Perhaps it's locked. What stands behind the door?
Another room? Outside, where you're exposed?
Will you be safe or will you dare explore?

You stand before the open door, each hinge
A tarnished plate of brass exposed to sight--
The threshold dares invite--you feel a twinge--
Of anger? Fear? Of sorrow? Hate? Delight?

You stand before the weathered door--it's cracked
And all you have to do is push--a breeze
Could open it--anticipation's wracked
Your muscles, which must push and which still freeze.

There's sometihng that you sense deep in your core--
You know that one of these is your own door.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Soundings

I made a sound--it made you laugh, or cry--
It made you wish that either you or I
Would die--it made you pause and reminisce--
It brought you sorrow, joy--it brought you bliss

I made a sound and you got off your chair--
It made you gnash your teeth and pull your hair--
It made you gasp--it made you clasp your mouth--
It made you take a trip down to the South

I made a sound--it changed your very brain--
It made you want to sing its soft refrain--
It made you feel the absence of all ground,
For that's the power we have in a sound.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Politician

He came into the cave with trumpery
To spare and found the prophet, shot him dead
And told the chained men, "Only look to me.

I'll care for you and you will lose all dread!"

He climbed up to the cavern's open mouth
And rolled a stone across it, made a seal
Against the sun, and then he headed south
And doused the flame. The dark engulfed the real.

"Just hear my voice," the man announced. "That's all
You need, for I'll take care of all of you.
Behind you I have made a great stone wall
Protecting you. I promise that it's true."

He said, "I promise I'm the chosen one!"
Then lit a fart and said, "Behold! The sun!"

Friday, April 22, 2016

Misreaders

You think my poems analyze or blame?
Then you don't know how poetry play the game.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Progress/Regress

I stand before the world, astonished--see
The ways words fold in people's mouths to flee
The facts, the truth, the myths which must explain
The things we've learned--and in that knowledge, gain--
That violate what's clear and obvious
To anyone who has evolved, like us,
From social apes in hierarchies with males
Who love to dominate. It never fails--
We must have government, an alpha who
Will tell us what is just and right and true--
The world is zero-sum, and what is gained
Just comes from loss or others' fortunes waned.
But none of this is true--we do not need
To keep the species at an ape-slow speed.
We stand on new horizons--do be proud
We are the urban species, and we crowd
Ourselves in interactive densities
To get along with strangers, seek to please
Them rather than to use cruel force to steal
The things we want. The Huns want to repeal
Our civilized discourse and interactions
And, racists, sexists that they are, make factions.
The trader, innovator link to make
A social world for everybody's sake.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To the Failed Entrepreneur

You stood upon the brink and stared down fear
And sought to sell what you thought we would want,
But you miscalculated and paid dear--
You took a risk and then you took the brunt.

And though financially you're ruined, broke
And bankrupted because you couldn't make
It work-and though you are unknown, a cloak
Of ignorance about your fate can't take

Away your courage, everything you've done
For everyone by trying--when you fell
And failed, you helped us learn. No, there is none
Who did not grow from water from your well.

Unlike a soldier you's shot down in war,
Your loss is hardly permanent--you stand
To try again, to learn--an open door
Is what you see, and through it are the grand

And awesome opportunities that you
Will make if you succeed or fail--the wealth
Of our society is only due
To those who fail and learn--you are our health.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Coffee for the Soul

You shouldn't want to quench a student's thirst
For knowledge--No!--You ought to make them burst
With thirst and die to know still more and more--
Like coffee, knowledge is a drink we pour
And pour into our endless cup--awake
It makes us, makes us thirst for more--a lake
Of coffee makes us want an ocean--know
And you must know some more--it is a flow
That opens flows. It's when a student's cursed
Your teaching that you've quenched a student's thirst!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Social Justice Warriors

They march, they march, they march
Against imagined slights
Their lives are almost perfect so
They're out there picking fights

They're easily offended
They're always waging war
They wear the mask of the oppressed
And play at being poor

They think that they're so moral
They think that they're so brave
But all they really want to do
Is put love in the grave

But all they really do is
Project their guilt and shame--
Cry-bully racists who oppose
Themselves think you're the same

They hate free speech, propose
New segregation rules--
These racists against racism
Are dangerous and fools

And so they march, they march--
They march against a ghost
Of history they keep alive,
For they love hate the most

Monday, April 11, 2016

To Whom the Future Speaks

The things he said just seemed ridiculous,
As everything a prophet says must sound,
For we are certain that the future's open
And prophets mean the future must be known.

But boundaries are never absolute--
The boundaries of these poetic lines
Are not deterministic--freedom grows
In spaces that each good rule will define.

The futures whisper in the prophet's ear
In metaphoric lines like rapid streams
And rivulets that therefore are poetic
And often come in vivid fever-dreams.

Our branching choices speak from future times
Through whisper-voices that but speak in rhymes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Spring

The winter ends with the emergent crocus
That violates the snow. Bright daffodils
Add sun to melting sun. The fiery tulip
Cups sun and dew before the watery iris
Brings violet once again. The blood-tipped dogwood
Flowers spread white beside the rosy redbud.

Is this a tiny pea upon the redbud
Tree, smaller than the tiny grounded crocus?
The flat and woody flowers of the dogwood
Approach in size the nodding daffodils,
While all the twisted petals of the iris
Bring beauty different from the simple tulip.

In streaks of color, there's no simple tulips --
In small complexity, match the rich redbud
While solid color, simple lines on iris
Flowers balance complexity, and crocus
Delight us with their sign. Fields of daffodils
Spread dancing delight beneath the dogwood.

The forests turn white in the spring with dogwood
When snows are gone. I fill a crystal tulip
Vase, bring the spring in yellow daffodils
Into my home. Outside our window redbud
Trees purple yards. There's but a final crocus
Left in our yard, transferring roles to iris.

The ground shoots forth the green blades of the iris,
A contrast with the trunk and limbs the dogwood
Displays. And lost within the grass the crocus
Hides thin leaves. Waxy, wavy, thick, the tulip
Leaves look so artificial. The dark redbud
Twigs hide in hearts. Strap leaves grow daffodils.

You are the dance and sun of daffodils,
As complex and as bold as are the iris,
The red and heart of fractal-branching redbud,
As solemn and as layered as the dogwood,
Delightful and inspiring as tulip
Flowers, you break my snows like the first crocus.

The daffodils all fade beneath the dogwood
Cross -- then the redbud beans. Aspiring tulip
Beds fail. The iris seize spring from the crocus.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Kings Elect a Jester

We found a field of fools
We planted long ago
Before our eyes, what a surprise
To reap what we would sow

We thought that we would like
To hear the honest truth
But it's all lies, and who denies
We like fools just uncouth

There's something in the soil
That grew our fools all wrong
The old were wise, but these despise
All those who don't belong

The jesters with their bells
Are doing somersaults
Their ignorance is just as sense
As all their many faults

And yet the crowd is cheering
They want them to lead on
The tightrope breaks, the jester rakes
Dead bodies until dawn

Monday, March 21, 2016

Deceased Poet

What good's a living poet?
He won't be taught in schools --
His words, though true, aren't subject to
The ramblings of such fools.

What good's a living poet?
There's no one gets his rules --
You just sit there, quite unaware
And call him king of fools.

What good's a living poet?
His words seem useless tools --
They won't convey the things he'll say
To you unreading fools.

What good's a living poet?
There sitting on their stools
To read aloud to such a crowd
Of five or fewer fools.

What good's a living poet?
He'll die and then you ghouls
Will think him great and then his fate
Will be exposing fools. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Might or Right

What sort of justice justifies you Gauls
To dare demand this land, by threat of force
And violence, from these, their rightful owners?
What business do you even have to ride
And raid through Etruria, barbarians?

Because all things belong to those who, brave,
Will carry justice on the points of swords!

The Romans, civilized, thus asked the Gauls --
The Gauls, barbarians, gave answer back.

And thus the civilized continue asking,
And thus the barbarians still reply.

What sort of justice justifies demands
That others must hand over what they own?
Injustice born of force, unjust justice,
What's justified by all barbarians
Whenever those barbarians may rise.

Monday, March 7, 2016

On the Prophets of Beauty

In ancient times the prophets were the wise --
They saw into the unity of things --
There's nothing human they could not surmise --
They promised humans but eternal Springs.

In modern times the prophets only know --
But knowledge brought a power and a call
For specialty, diversity to grow --
But somehow people felt it brought the Fall.

And now the time has come for prophets who
Preach beauty -- wisdom, knowledge both combined --
To unify our senses with our reasons,
And show how old and now create the new,
So in this wealth humanity can find
Appreciation of all of the seasons.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Strength and Health

Goethe gave a literature of strength
And health -- and should we not be strong?
Why do we seem to go to any length
To say that strength and health are wrong?

I must confess, along with you, I held
Romantic views of illness, sang
The song of dissipation, those we geld
With institutions, those we hang.

But now I see that different kinds of health
Are brought about when we define
The human into realms of newfound wealth,
Diverse in taste as finest wine.

True beauty binds diversity to one,
Makes one diverse -- we should find joy
In all our healths, each learn how we can run,
Each learn to build and not destroy.

Romanticism, Classicism both
Are health -- as Hegel said -- are true
To who we humans are in all our growth.
A greater truth combines the two.

Yes, the eternal feminine must rise --
And raise true manliness aloft
As each sprouts feathers as poets devise
A verse of strength, both hard and soft.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ashraf Fayadh

Where words are dangerous, the poet lives
In symbols and allusions just to find
Another day to bind to wisdom which he gives

You face the world, must bow before the dreck
Who think the poet's magic make a witch --
The heretics will pitch their axe into your neck

They cannot silence you -- your death will seal
Your words in souls who heard of you in death --
Your words will pass your breath and make your readers heal

The cowards seek the power of the state
To silence those who give the world a glance
Of better things -- a dance, a song, a better fate


Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Song of Seduction

I want you to seduce me --
Your sensuality
Needs to emerge -- you need to purge
All that won't set you free

I want you to seduce me --
Be confident! Be bold!
Your ample waist is to my taste
You're all I want to hold

I want you to seduce me --
To take me in your arms --
I'll hear your heart, breath pull, depart --
Enjoy your rhythmic charms

I want you to seduce me --
I want to feel you bind
Me with the joy that you employ
When you engage my mind

I want you to seduce me --
I'll look into your eyes
And, yes, I'll drown in their deep brown,
Delight in all our ties

I want you to seduce me --
Be confident I will
Enjoy the charms your body warms --
I cannot get my fill

I want you to seduce me --
And let your fingers roam
Across my skin and we'll begin
The dance that makes you home

I want you to seduce me --
There's nothing that you lack --
So never hold back, just be bold!
And I'll seduce you back

Monday, February 8, 2016

When Philosophy Lost Its Way

What was it doing wandering around
These halls? Were painted cement blocks the place
Where one could enclose wisdom? Was it found
In labyrinths where none could find its trace?

Should it be in an institution, cut
Away from life, society and human action?
Perhaps the string it dropped would help him shut
The door against its present life of faction.

What happened to the sun, the open courts
Where one could question everyone and goad
The dozing wide awake. The soul aborts
When empty halls is all it's ever showed.

Surround yourself with children who don't care
And it's no wonder foul is thought as fair.

Monday, February 1, 2016

True to You

You never have to worry I will leave
You never have to worry I will stray
Our love is something you won't have to grieve
Our love is something I promise will stay

The most important thing that you must know
Is I am so in love I'd never throw
Away our life -- no, I would not let go

You know my loyalty runs deep and true
My loyalty will tie me to your side
My loyalty belongs only to you
And always acts as my unerring guide

The most important thing that you must know
Is I am so in love I'd never throw
Away our life -- no, I would not let go

You know that I'm a social nightmare -- how
Did I get you, my beautiful, dear wife?
You really think that I would try to wow
Another when you are my complete life?

The most important thing that you must know
Is I am so in love I'd never throw
Away our life -- no, I would not let go

You never have to worry I will stray
My love for you will always, always stay


Monday, January 25, 2016

Artistic Problems

Originality or relevance
Or self-expression -- none are relevant
To poetry or any of the arts
Than swim trunks are to Asian elephants
Or poems are to any elephant --
On art they leave their stench, like mental farts.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Leviathan

Look to the coldest monster in the sea
For your salvation -- look to it and plea

For life and livelihood -- then sacrifice
Your wives and daughters to its tongues of ice --

Then sacrifice your lives to all its lies
That it will satisfy your endless cries

To satisfy your envy and your hate
That you mistake for justice while your fate

Is having all your flesh sheared by the knives
The monster's maw bears -- blood will flow. He dives

To depths below your worst and first despair
And leaves your bloated bodies floating bare

For fish and gulls to pick the severed flesh --
And all because you thought a tangled mesh

Would finally assuage the guilt you fish
For in your depths -- you finally have your wish

You never understood to be your lust
For punishment -- you feel the balmy gust

Of putrid air the coldest monster breathes
And blame the warrior whalers with their wreathes

They throw you in the sea -- your monster soul
Is rolling limp upon the stony shoal.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Uprising

Behold the evils hatred of mankind
Bring -- envy is the hatred of mankind

The youth have razors, slicing eyes to blind --
They do it in their hatred of mankind

They seek out virtue, seek its bones to grind,
Devoured in their hatred of mankind

They make divisions ever more refined
In tribalistic hatred of mankind

They'll take your tongue and make sure that they've dined
On critics in their hatred of mankind

Their progress looks much more like a behind --
Illiberals all have hatred of mankind

They'll feast upon your brains and spear your mind
Unless you love their hatred of mankind

Injustice forms the minute they have wined --
Their wining shows their hatred of mankind

Illogic, anti-reason both have vined
Their mindless, protist hatred of mankind

Authority is where crybullies find
Support for all their hatred of mankind

These racists against racism want kind
From kind split off -- that's hatred of mankind

They can't be happy -- hate seeps from their rind
To make to justice hatred of mankind

When you're disarmed, they'll make sure that they bind
You with their lustful hatred of mankind

And when you're weak, they'll make sure that you're lined
Against the wall with what was once mankind

Monday, January 4, 2016

To Leslie Marsh

I raise a drink to Leslie Marsh, my friend
And my supporter -- you ask, I'll lend
My pen to your endeavors on the mind
Within the model Hayek once defined
To help make sense of order emergent,
Evolved and natural. A turbulent
And stimulating time, a mental match
That's liberated -- each fermented batch
Will lift our spirits, make our nonsense sing
Its silliness so sober we can bring
A lightness and delightfulness when truth
Is sought in serious discussions. Couth
In uncouth jokes, the paradox of life
Is found in all your love and lack of strife.
New England British friend in Canada,
You live life like a Latin comeda
And bring us all along in your delight
With drinking, talking, minding through the night.
With hours of sleep, a conference the next day,
We still find energy enough to think and play.
There's nothing I can say that's slightly harsh --
And so I raise a drink to Leslie Marsh!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Seeking Dreams

I'm keeping it surreal. Not dripping clocks
Or walking rocks hard fast upon your heal.
The dream will seem to come in cream that tops
The milk can poets lift among the crops.
The crops are fruiting stop signs in long lines
To harvest in the winter when designs
Descend delightfully in dimpled flocks
That not even the Spring would dare repeal.

I'm sure this network field will yield, or merge
With plastic prairies sprouting poppies pure
As coal. Our only goal should be to toll
The walkers and the bells upon the knoll
Until we cannot hear the snowflakes grow
Upon the wind. We've surely sinned to know
And overflow with every mental urge
Until by seeking we become unsure.

The future fades to fact in foamy dreams
Where certainty is certain to succeed --
Poetic lies of pies and plums and pain
That won't refrain -- the dreams of the insane
Bewildering the present to present
A present of the prescient who all went
To where the certainty has turned to seems
And all the dreams are realized in deeds.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Krampus!

The jingle bells will tinkle
To let you know he's here
To feast upon your naughty children's fear

On Christmas Eve the Krampus
Will come and get your kid
And put him in a cage and shut the lid

The jingle bells will tinkle
As cruelly he will laugh
As he pokes at you with his wooden staff

On Christmas Even the Krampus
Who knows of all your tricks
Will beat upon your backside with his sticks

The jingle bells will tinkle
And he'll say with a grin,
"Be good or I'll come back for you again!"

On Christmas morning Krampus
Drops off the girls and boys
Who needed discipline instead of toys

Monday, December 21, 2015

Santa Claus and Krampus

As Santa sleighs across the sky, the snow
Clouds drifting in, the Krampus trails along
To punish all the children who don't know
How to be good, and for them sings this song:

I come tonight collecting boys
And girls who are bad
They're put in bags and beat with sticks
I'll beat them mad or sad

And Santa sings along as well -- he sings
A song of joy that echoes out above
The towns as soft as smooth angelic wings --
To everyone he sings this song of love:

I come tonight, deliver toys
To children who are good
I bring my bag of presents which
Bring joy to those I should

And thus the Krampus travels through the air --
A long-tongued, dark-hair trail of Santa's sleigh --
The two together ensure life is fair --
The bad are punished, good allowed to play.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Pigeon in the Park

I love to watch the pigeon bob her head,
The sun refracting off her neck to shine
In purple-free, deep colors rich as wine.
She stops to fill her breast with my white bread
I broke to bring her here to keep her fed
So she can make a milk that is divine
That only in her breast can she refine
And feed to those who languish in her bed.

She stands upon the concrete corner, cool
And cautious, ready any time to fly --
She always wonders if this is a trick.
She bobs her head. Is she a feathered fool?
And yet, her stomach's full, she can't deny--
And so if there's a blow, she hopes its quick.

Monday, December 7, 2015

In the Magical Land of Ohio

I want to run away one day
To fields and fields of corn
Perhaps a city's where I'll stay
Where factories adorn
A land in winter covered in snow
The magical land of Ohio

I want to go where cities rise
Like weeks among the fields
I know that I will find my prize
Where all the flat land yields
Such fruited grains, where everything grows
The magical land of Ohio

I want to discover myself
Under a cloudly sky
I want to get off of this shelf
And no one can deny
There's no place like this place I don't know
The magical land of Ohio

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ode to the Loris

The loris lies along the limb, each leaf
A light and limber living love of brief
And fleeting things, for each will fall and float
From limb to litter, acting as a coat
Of green to brown so death does not bring grief.

Can one adorabled by wide eyes, round
In round head, have a reputation found
Among the sloths and serpents? You know "slow"
Is in his name. Some say a venom flow
Ought to be feared from every bite inbound.

Our cousin doesn't deserve such cold shade
Beyond that given by his trees that braid
A home, protection, food, and place to sleep.
He only wants to live and slowly creep
To food and love and where his bed is laid.

These loris lies do not deserve the least
Attention -- just believe your eyes, the feast
Of traits that make a mother of us all --
And in the evenings you can hear them call --
Their whistles fill the woods in the far East.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mature Love

Hispanic lass
Upon my bed
This silver glass
Shows youth has fled

And in its place
This beauty lies
Within your face
And to your thighs

In middle age
Your bud has bloomed
My hormones rage
They're not entombed

Each year that goes
My love just grows

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Love's Chakras

Beloved, you're a spirit of renown
That sprouts my wings and makes me dare to fly --
You tempt me with your spirit's filmy gown
And blind me with the diamonds of your crown.

You're always on my mind -- I can't deny
Electric flows and all that they denote,
Cliche or otherwise. You bring me high,
And I just have to look you in the eye.

The words I speak, the loving words I wrote
Since you embraced me have made up my art,
Are for your ears, are meant to gently float
From mind to mind and heart to heart from throat.

But if you were to make a map or chart
Of who I am through every when and what,
Then you would find there in the central part
A home for you in my warm, woken heart.

My instincts are to touch and love you, shut
You off from all and keep you in my noose
Of warmth, my very navel. I would cut
Off all for you -- I feel it in my gut.

The depth of creativity's let loose
When I am gazing on you. I'm no brute --
You turn on my love, art, poetic juice --
Because you make me want to reproduce.

My love transcends and dives below my boot --
I love your gold and red and gray and brown --
I want to be your sacred magic flute,
And each of us can be the other's root.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

To Frederick Turner

To Frederick Turner, Homer of our time,
The man who taught me rhythm, form, and rhyme
Belong to poetry at any stage
And age, there's few whom I would love engage
On any topic, every topic -- wise
Man that you are, to read you is a prize --
Philosopher and poet, you transcend
Them both, and both you therefore do defend.
My praise for you, I ask, do not dismiss --
You helped to bring me up from the abyss,
My mentor, mage and sage, my wedding guest
And Muse -- because of you my life is blessed
With wisdom and with poetry, with plays
In verse. Though nothing that you taught me pays
In one economy, you've helped me see
The profit other orders make. I'm free
Because you grounded me in time and verse --
There's no way I could ever reimburse
You for your leading me up from the cave
And seeing that all life should not be grave,
Or just a place where we should, sadly, cope,
But rather is a place of joy and hope.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Oedipus Tyrannus

With care I limp along in blindness sight --
Oh, too much sight! -- developed in my soul.
This limp was given to me by my father,
These children given to me by my mother,
These empty sockets given to myself.
I leave behind the pestilence I brought
Because I sought to seek a pathway home
Away from my mistaken home, to flee
Into my mother's arms, away from mom
And dad, protecting them, I thought. I ought
To wander in a circle -- circles sought
Me out to bring me home from home, womb
To womb, and now near Athens is my tomb.
This cane, my curse -- it gave me sight to step
Before the Sphinx, her wings outstretched, her tail
Twitching, her lion legs low, crouched, her breasts
Wet-streaked in blood from victims she had killed
That very day, her face as beautiful
As it was awful, and answer her words,
Her riddle I in doubleness could answer.
I saw her fury press her wings down tight
Onto her body right before she threw
Herself onto the craggy stones to die.
I saw her simply lie. In triumph I
Marched into my new torture I mistook
For pleasure gardens and my just rewards.
I knew I knew and, knowing, knew I knew
How to be king -- appointed if not born --
How to be ruler over man. A wise
And sober king -- with brightness I would blind
Myself -- in too much light I could not see
The plague in front of me, that I had made
Because my virtue was a shade to hide
The outcomes of my choices. I had bound
All those I loved, who perished by my fate.
The weakest of me line is all who'd live,
My brother-in-law uncle left alone
To rule an empty city, empty home.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Running in the Park

Stroller and mom rollerblading
Behind the wide as pie eyed child
Never having gone so fast
Cool air through his hair tuft
Matted plaited ratted on his head
A child's mess
Mom's best success
Now having gone awry
He watches pass green leafed sky
And never wonders why
It's not textured green
Now flatted blue and white
When feathered movement catches his eye
For but a moment before
His mom and speed
Send it out of aight
To sudden forgetfulness
Mother turns a sudden curve
Sharper than she has in past
He feels it lean
Then straighten out
And continue his rush
Down the broken regular sidewalk
they rhythmic ticking
Sending him to sleep
Despite the joy of speed

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Attack on Paris

The great Enlightenment began in France --
It's there that liberalism took its stance
Against the darkness, let the spirit dance.

There ignorance gave way to seek the true
And every man would one day get his due --
The mind of man would rise up to the blue.

Our path to liberty was given light --
We'd know the way and know that it was right
And virtue would turn every soul to white.

These ideals far too many learned to dread --
Nazis, communists, haters came instead --
They lost, as will those who turned Paris red!

Demon Worship

Descending from their paper tower
The coldest monsters hug their power
They love it when it's feeding hour
It's their own souls that they devour
They hate you but it's they'll decide your fate
And you will beg them, Don't deny
My every want, my every sigh
I'll swallow up your every lie
Declare your truth is not up for debate
And you will worship everything
They say, demand they be your king
Then cut your throat so they'll enjoy their hate

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Tale of Two Prophets

I.
The tribe surrounds him, listens to his words.

I hear the voices, voices of the birds --
The gods have sent their messengers to me --
They spread their wings and sat upon my knee.
     The spirits up above
     The send their love
     And say that you must live
     Your life to give.
The gods are angry at our wives
Whose thighs are cold and tongues are knives.
As husbands god is angry, too --
The do not love , give what is due.
You leaders, power's not for you to take --
     Don't be a fake,
     Live for our sake --
All this commands the spirit of the lake.
The fruits will  rot before they're ripe
And worms will wriggle from your tripe.
     If you do not obey
     Beginning now, today.

The tribe beheld this holy man and trembled --
His words commanded all who had assembled.
II.
 The crowd walks past him, each ignores his words.

The voice of God is speaking to the herds
That He is coming soon to punish all
Who built around their hearts a concrete wall.
     The angels up above
     Say God is love
     And therefore you should give
     Your live ot live.
Our God is angry at you wives
Whose thighs are not for men at dives.
At husbands God is furious --
They cheat and lie, are cruel and cuss.
You leavers seek in power evil deeds,
     Like noxious weeds
     You spread your seeds
Of wicked envy for your needs.
The institutions that you made
Will crush you all before you fade
     If you do not confess
     Your sins so God can bless.

The crowd ignored him -- all but one, whose call
Brought men to silence him behind a wall.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Daydreaming

The sun fades into the forest top, trapped
Among the leaves that entangle the rays
And keep the sun around just that little
Bit longer when they really shorten days.

My legs strengthen walking through the open
Fields and woods, as I climb the mountain, rocks
Scuffing my skin thicker. My brain is clear
As this air from busyness, stress, and clocks.

The meadow lark is giving way to owls
And whip-poor-wills -- the bullfrogs lose to crickets --
I lose nothing in this transition -- night
Brings the milky way -- no city light thicket

Blocks out the vast majority of stars
Out here so only Orion stands out
As he hunts. No, he is joined by others --
Out here the gods exist -- there is no doubt.

Of course, the land I walk here in this dream
Must be paid for over and over -- tax
Is always due -- I'd have to keep the money
Flowing in -- they'd never let me relax.

I might as well stay here in this office
And continue living in the suburbs
And chase my tail here in my others life
And make sure that my life never disturbs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Four Displays

The sweat trickles down his neck nearly lost
In muscles he is building with each rep --
He builds them with each drunk man he has tossed --
He crafts his body, careful with each step.

His suit and Lamborghini  both were made
By hand in Italy -- he made his wealth
Himself, and every debt is always paid --
He's generous and in financial health.

His words are worshiped, musical and light,
Complex and deep, reflects his spirit, mind --
He'll take a bird, reflect his own delight --
The web he weaves are words you will unwind.

The peacock lifts his eyes and spreads them wide --
His demonstrations are the peahen's guide.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Zorba the Zebra

Zorba the zebra of Zanadu
Looked out on the plains
Then ran right on thruogh
Then tiptoeing tantalizingly
With nothing to do
He lay on the beach
And slept on a shoe

And as he was sleeping
Lorenda the lion he sat
And wondered while looking
At where he was at
Then he looked at his belly
No longer was fat
So he stood on his head
And cried like a brat

Lorenda the Lion lay lazy around
Then out on  the beach
Was Zorba he found
Then licking his chops
He knew he was bound
To soon have his dinner
If he made not a sound

But Zorba awoke
He was never asleep
He never did dream
He was never that deep
So he ran from Lorinda
Without even a peep
And Lorenda thought Zorba
Was really a creep

Friday, November 6, 2015

Vision

Electromagnetism flies through space --
The sun releases it and it reflects
Off objects when it's certain waves, which grace
Our eyes -- though some of it each eye deflects.

The light provides electrons energy
And reconfigures retinol whose change
Creates cascades of electricity
Down neural pathways sight will rearrange.

And yet we see what we anticipate --
We mostly just confirm -- our brains construct
The world from fragments that they can relate
To instincts, concepts, what they can deduct.

Blue morpho butterflies, electric blue
And black, glisten in the sunlight and dew.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Important Things

I've left behind the crimes and Congress, stock
Exchange, the daily news -- they're all the same,
They do not change from year to year, yet lock
Our minds to them as to a tiny flame.

I've left behind the petty things -- the crimes
Of governments remain the same, the words
We speak repeat, and history still rhymes.
I'd rather hear the call of speckled birds --

I'd rather hear the ocean sing and see
The painted bunting flit between the leaves --
I'd rather feel the granite scrape my knee --
I'd rather taste the air as my chest heaves.

I'd rather smell your hair and tink our rings --
For these are all the most important things.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Time's Writing

There written on the leaves is all the pain
The Summer brings, the drought, the death-dry heat,
The tears and bruises, where the worms remain
To bite around the vein, keep fresh the meat.

The flower rises, it's the plant's last stand
Against the dying. Its potential seeds
The soil, its future toil, demand,
And hope fulfilling all its desperate needs.

The Autumn, Winter comes and plants deep death
Across the earth -- we lose all worth and wail
That we won't last -- and so we cast our breath
To tell our seeming senseless untongued tale.

The Spring deluge expands the seed to sprout,
And thus the future dissipates our doubt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ends and Means

The time of flames has come to make us burn --
The poet speaks, we understand. We turn
Our words to ends, we must philosophize
We know their meanings when they're means -- we're wise
Until we seek to know beyond the time
The wood is used, reduced to beat or rhyme
From which arise the means to mean, a song
Upon the score to satisfy the throng.
And thus we speak the truth and safely shock --
We reap rewards and rarely taste hemlock.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Homo Narrans

We spend a lifetime listening to others' dreams
And fears and joys and sorrows, sweet defeats
And wearying desires -- all are treats
For fallow ears -- we wish for all that speaks and seems.

We're storytellers every day -- we spend our nights
Telling our stories to ourselves -- each day
We tell each other stories and we play
With narrative and language to our ears' delight.

We gossip and we tell our tales -- each fairy tale
And novel, poem, epic, film, and verse
Contributes to our humanness and nurse
Us as it covers and withdraws its silky veil.

I am afraid that that is all we are, we men
And women, cultures and societies --
Afraid? No! Joy is what you ought to seize
When you agree that life comes off of tongue and pen.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Philosophers and Poets

In Hades the philosophers are blind
They wander unaware of their own kind
As each one's contemplating his own mind
Each one a monster that no one can find
Each one believing all he left behind
Are shadows and the sun has merely shined
Too bright and that their eyesight will unwind
And everyone will love what they've divined
And they release them from the chains that bind
Each person to the wall they're sure they've dined
Upon the flesh of truth they merely grind
Their teeth on nothingness that they've defined

With people places things the poets leaven
The truth and that is why they sing in heaven

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Culture of Children

I've tried to find adults, but they all fled
From college, work, and high schools -- they're all dead,
Much like the gods of old --
I find but puppy days, demands, and dread--
There's no one left who's bold.

We need to take our sons at age thirteen
Into the terror forests where we'll wean
Them from the sweatened milk
And drum them into men with virtue's mean,
Away from vice's silk.

A ritual for daughters, too, to bring
Them into womanhood -- we need to sing
Of love and due respect,
Responsibility that brings the Spring
Of wisdom to reflect.

And once we've brought adulthood back, we'll find
Behavior problems fade like mist, the mind
Now cosmopolitan
No longer child-deaf and child-blind
Our lives can now begin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On Self-Control

You can't control yourself without a self --
It's cybernetic self-control -- no elf
Within the brain required, desired, or found --
Emergent network feedback is the ground --
So courage lets you face your fears, stand cool --
A person unafraid shows he's a fool,
As vicious as a coward, both of whom
Will lead the mirror masses to their tomb.

Behold the virtues, products of your choice,
Made possible by your emergent mind
Affecting neural pulses and their flow --
Behold your freedom, love it and rejoice
That you create yourself, unless you find
You don't believe, for freedom means you know.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Present of Happiness

"We hardly ever are; but we were and we shall be." -- Paul Valery

Depression pulls and pares us from the now
Into the haunted mansions of our past,
The rotten wood, the shades of dead don't last,
Yet they seem always first to mind somehow

Anxiety, our future fear, will bow
Us down beneath its weight and slowly cast
Its shadow -- its cold darkness makes you fast,
To death and drink your sweat from off your brow.

The present must present itself in you
For joyfulness and happiness to live --
Revise your past and future both, rewrite
Your life and author only what is true,
Erasing bends and breaks -- you have to give
Yourself permission to find hope, delight.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Spoiled

Oh, shallow-rooted flower, I can see
Why you have grown so delicate! A life
Of being told that you don't have to learn,
That you should live in cotton, free from strife --

Collapsing at the slightest hint that you
Have failed to make the greatest thing on earth,
You fail at life, you fail to grow, you fail
And fail to make a single thing of worth --

But on your shelf you have your trophy -- dead,
Of meaning, representing nothing. Death
Will wipe your worthless work away and we
Won't have to hear your worthless whining breath.

Friday, October 23, 2015

To the Humans

There's little human in the way I think --
You see the superficial me, the me
You've made me show as you forced me to shrink
And grow more you and greater, lesser, free.

I really see an oddity when I
Am watching each of you -- you seem to me
An oddly acting ape -- I don't deny
That I seem that to you -- we're neither free.

We must project ourselves to socialize --
But I'm mistaking you, and you of me --
It took a son, and years, to realize
Our foreignness -- that shock has set me free.

But you've mistaken me for you, but worse
In thought and speech and action -- look at me
And you see you, and that is where the curse
Has always lain and will not set me free.

I am an alien to how you act
And think -- I hear you speak nonsense to me
In petty gibberish -- I have no tact,
But speak my mind -- you censor, I am free.

I fault you for not loving only truth --
But I embarrass you, you censor me,
And I become withdrawn -- I'm not uncouth,
Just different socially -- and you're not free.

You stare; I will not look -- you do not care
About too much; obsessions filling me
Drive all my actions -- I will rarely spare
Your feelings; censorship, though, sets you free.

My social awkwardness belongs to you --
I'm fine just as I am -- let me be me
And not a poorer you -- let me be true
And that will help us both improve, be free.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Wandering Goddess

The temples fell, and Venus wanders, worn,
Across the earth in search of worshippers --
Her clothes are torn, neglected -- she endures
By those few who find love in life they've borne.
Her neck and chest, what pearls should adorn,
Are bare and bruised -- she's treated like a curse,
As too much madness is -- the joy that's hers
To give is gone, and we are left forlorn.

But we can bring her joyful madness home,
Back to our hearts, its quickened rhythmic beat
That flush our flesh with blood. Dear Venus gives
If we would just receive. Dig up your loam
And plant her seed and harvest all her wheat --
We and she are starving; joined, though, love lives.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Depth of Culture

The way you act, your music, dress, and speech --
Our cultures matter most to us -- they cut
Into our cores, what others to us teach --
We're certain culture reaches to our gut

Excuses from a superficial sheet
We wrap our universals in -- you can unlearn
Bad habits, antisocial acts -- repeat,
You can unlearn what decent people spurn

And yet we writhe and make such deep defense
Of petty differences and vile vice --
We to go war because we take offense
Over if our tea's served warm or full of ice

And yet we will defend a vile act
As just a difference of culture -- judge
A clitorectomy as evil, backed
By science -- trust that I will bear no grudge

So do not tell me when you act a jerk
That you were raised that way, you can't be blamed
For what your culture wrought -- it will not work --
You act an ass and you should be ashamed

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eminent Domain

I work, but what I earn I do not own --
I have a house that I can always lose --
I live the lie that I can always choose --
I cannot feed my family what I've grown.

I am a serf, work for my vassal lord --
A sharecropper who's working for the man --
The government will take all that it can --
Enough so it won't fall beneath the sword.

Our lords have changed their names, and that is all --
The gods have changed into democracy --
The atheists and anarchists both flee
While we blame them we stand against the wall.

Police and armies march and they restrain
Our troublesome -- society deprives
The thinkers, dreamers, livers of new lives --
Our lives belong to eminent domain.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Dragon Fear

The dragon Fear will keep you in your place --
He'll stare you down with his green eyes
He'll make you feel death is a prize
And make you kneel and feel you're  a disgrace --
He'll make you feel his heat before he flies.

A sometimes glance of sunlight seems to wane
One's hope -- why should light ever raze
One's hope? -- and yet, it cannot raise
You off our knees so you can face your pain,
And promise will not put you in a daze.

And in the dark you cannot see the gold
That piles around you in the cave --
You seem intent to stay a slave
And punish anyone who dares be bold --
You'll torch and torture him into his grave.

And then the dragon Fear will grin at you
And compliment you on your sin
And tell you that you're going to win
The prize of loyalty: belief that's true,
But venomous as what drips off his chin.

And you will lash out blindly at your loves
And you will take the steel-tipped spear
And stab the one who is most near --
And you will think your shackles velvet gloves,
And you will cower in the dark in fear.

And then the dragon Fear will cruelly laugh
That you, his captive, killed his foe,
And did it knowing what you know
Since you'd been handed the two-helixed staff --
You joined with fear, and now nothing will grow.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Divine Knowledge

Where Shelley's atheism would find faith
Today, no theist verse would find a home
Outside religious magazines -- a wraith
Of narrowmindedness erects a dome
To make sure spirit-feeling will not roam.

The nyads, dryads do not have a place
To dwell -- we cannot find the spirits' land --
Our poets, editors would find disgrace
Among their peers if life should not be bland
Upon the page as atheists demand.

Heroic gods could scarely grace the page
In anything but reference, irony -
To dare be earnest, that would but enrage
The village atheist -- he'll make you flee
From his harangues, his every empty plea.

And God the Father, God the King won't reign
Much more than human kings or emperors --
And why would any atheist dare deign
To deem a theme on him should open doors
When they have existential verse on whores?

The fuzzy deist God, the cosmos' voice
That sparked existence just to step aside
Is still too much -- in Him you can't rejoice
Without sly ridicule -- they won't abide
Until you have confessed that God has died.

And that now leaves us with the blankest verse
Of petty observations, with our eyes
Cast down upon the ground to see what's worse
In life and humankind, that but denies
That we are anything but food for flies.

But if you dare to lift your eyes, the glow
Will blind you right before you see the sun,
And seeing beauty you will finally know
What virtue needs, and all the damage done
By failing to aim high to reach the one.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Welcome to Adulthood

You think you're getting freedom from the rules
When you join the adults, that field of fools
Who lie to you and to themselves -- but worse,
The adult rules oppress until the hearse.

We're training you for bosses, to obey
An aristocracy -- no time to play --
You have to pay your bills and all your debts --
They'll tax away all but your last regrets.

They'll tax your patience, tax away your love
Until you lash out -- then the rules descend
And you will feel your bosses' iron glove --
And you will break if you refuse to bend.

But if you break, you have a chance to win,
And that's when your adulthood will begin.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sick Unto Death

If leisure's culture's basis, culture's dead --
We murdered it as it lay sick in bed --
We don't have leisure time -- it's not a perk
That's granted by the places where we work.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Serious Poet

The Serious Poet has come to town!
He is a man of much renown --
Frivolity will get his frown --
If it's not his, he'll put it down --
The Serious Poet has come to town.

He will declare there's nothing worse
Than any that is not his verse --
"What silliness!" he'll say with terse
And scowling frowns, his voice a hearse
In which true poems must immerse.

His greatness stretches back and back
And since there's nothing he should lack
He knows that he must stay on track
And never let influence crack
The poems of this boring hack.

"Your poem rhymes? Then that should date
It back to sixteen eighty-eight --
We all know Serious Poems state
In anti-rhythms -- no debate.
And this is fun, and we should hate
All fun -- only the dull is great."

The Serious Poet will thus proclaim
That unless you bow to his fame
And make all your work just the same --
All serious, sad, and very tame --
That all you'll ever write is lame.

The Serious Poet has come to town!
He is a man of much renown --
Frivolity will get his frown --
If it's not his, he'll put it down --
The Serious Poet has come to town.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Prelude to Revolution

What power and what holiness he must
Command -- can he strike down men with a breath?
Or with a wave of his high hand? -- I trust
Offending him is sure and certain death.

How else can he stand there before the crowd
That cowers, silent, shuffling, looking down?
Ten thousand to his one, they have allowed
His rule with purple robes and mere reknown.

They follow to his clanging bell -- he herds
Them with the sternest looks, the warmest smiles,
And with the eloquence of his harsh words --
All ignorant and dark to his dark wiles.

And yet he doesn't see the one who stands --
Refusing to salute, obey commands.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Prince Without Letters

"A Prince without Letters is a Pilot without eyes. All his Government is groping." Ben Jonson

No President admits to reading Pope --
No Senator is sensitive to Swift --
No Congressperson could point out a trope --
These ignorant Fools are on the seas adrift.

The Iliad ignored, the Odyssey
Is not obeyed -- no Cato, Seneca
Or Catulus -- their wisdom we all flee --
And liberalism dies, America.

And who now reads the secret legislators,
And who knows who invented human nature?
It's not your narrow-minded Senators --
There is no wisdom in your legislature.

The anti-intellectual Left and Right
Are on our social systems but a blight.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

On Patronage

The patrons are the poet's audience --
To please them is his pleasure -- he is poor
Without them -- words won't come his way -- and hence
He writes with them in mind -- they make him more.

Your audience determines what's your song --
You sing the song of government to pay
Your bills if they would pay -- or you belong
A partisan of people -- they're your clay.

Yet there are those who think they must refuse
To have an audience for whom to write --
They say their art is sullied if they bend
To any will but theirs -- they seek a Muse
Of solitude -- they don't care to delight --
But people die when they cannot depend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Way that Can Be Spoken

The poet is a Proteus who flows
Up from the sea into a quaking tree
And from a tree into a snake, a rose,
A person and a stone, a tiny flea.

I am these things -- I speak their language, hear
Their thoughts and sighs -- I delve into their time
And space to tell you what they most revere,
Each dream and virtue, every lust and crime.

And thus you cannot hold me down, proclaim
You know my mind -- I am the voice of each
And every being which emerges, same
And different -- these are what I come to teach.

I am a lion -- try to grasp my mane
And I will like a fountain flow away
Between your fingers -- get a cup, it's vain,
For I'll become a golden ass and bray.

I am the atom and the stone, the stars
And firmament -- I am the flowers, fruit
Upon the branch, strong horses and old cars --
I am the leopard and earth-bound newt.

I'm man and woman, sane and lunatic,
I'm mortal and divine -- and in this strife
Where all I speak is true and but a trick
You'll find uncovered consciousness and life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Nature's Sacrifices

The oil slicks across the sea, the black
Refracting rainbows. Death for fish and birds
Who get caught up and wrapped in oiled waves.

It's easy to forget this oil means
The great wise whales aren't hunted near to loss
For oil that they carry on their flesh.

The sea gulls whisper that they welcome life
Made by their sacrifice when, rare, it's asked.
The sardine schools are surfaced in great thanks.

Around the windmill generators birds
Are sacrificing selves to keep the seas
Clean of the oil. Feathered bodies pile up.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Home Cooking

I grew up in Kentucky with a mother
Who was a picky eater. Spices rare --
Just seasoned salt -- we dared not have another --
The cupboard for the spices was most bare.

A little Southern (for my dad), a bit
More Northern (mom, who cooked), we ate Ragu
Spaghetti, chili bland of chilies, flit
From biscuits sopped in sausage gravy, stew

With carrots and potatoes to fried eggs
And toast, corn and mashed potatoes with cream
Gravy, fried chicken (breasts, but not the legs)
All filled the kitchen table, curling steam.

I learned to cook with spices when I went
To college. There I tried cuisines that I
Had never had the change to even scent --
To Chinese, Mexican I had to try.

And now, a marriage later, on most days
I'm making tacos, enchiladas, corn
Tortillas wrapping chicken, spicy trays
Of food, hot peppers used like I was born

In Mexico -- or Texas at the least.
My mom would find it odd I feed my brood
Such meals -- but honestly we do not feast
On Mexican: we only call it "food."

Friday, October 2, 2015

Names

A name is magical, a spell --
A name converts a verb to noun,
Turns constant change to being -- cell
To truth, it fools you like a crown.

Your name is your illusion you
Are who you were and who you'll be --
When you are not, are never true,
But always changing what we see.

And yet a tiger names a thing
With stripes, sharp teeth and claws, and death
Will follow your dismissal, bring
You down to being without breath.

Becoming turns to being -- worn
Upon its feedback, being's born.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Narrow-Minded

Our poetry is missing monsters -- delve
Into the mind to find the rind of thought
And you will soon divine the synthesis
Of all with awe to thaw each thought we sought.

The serpent, lion, eagle, flame emerge
To fearsome dragons, awesome concepts drawn
To sum our fears, to tame our tears, to bring
Us courage through the breaking of the dawn.

The dawn divinified as exposed breasts,
The sun a chariot drawn by a god,
The stones are spirit-filled and fairies, sprites
Are found in trees and nights as our eyes nod.

The tree of life, great Odin's horse, the tree
Of knowledge of what's good and evil, fig
And pomegranate, sacred groves once filled
The forest of our minds, which once were big.

We think our minds are open and are free,
But they cannot contain the multitude
Of monsters that our minds once loved and grew --
Our minds now merely make a sickly brood. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Leaves of Absence

The grass is crimson as the sun's curve dips
Below the  Earth's -- the crimson purpling
An instant after the sun falls, the drops
Of light enough to see the shadows spring
Into a fading black. The cardinal ships
Its final song to cue the crickets sing.

The wind whistles the grass -- you cannot see
The waves of regularity that sweep
Across the surface our eyes make, agree
Is there, although it's only what we reap
From flowers, leaves that move independently
Beneath the wind that grows as dark grows deep.

The old forest fades black in the new moon --
It disappears before the prairie lands --
And we are left with sounds -- a fat racoon
That chirps and rustles, dips its little hands
Into the stream, a tiny splash -- a loon
Disturbs the night -- the frogs call their demands.

And all of this will fade as our eyes hide
Behind their lids and our brains close each ear
As we fall into rhythmic breathing, slide
Into a consciousness too many fear
To bring into the sun. They will reside
In darkness, fearing it will reappear.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To the Demons

Our Master asked for me to write this note
That we should concentrate on those who gloat
That they are wiser than all men and so
Deserve to lord it over others. Grow
Their power, let them feed the envious
And fill their bellies with that poison puss
So they will gladly give their powers over
While cursing what would feed the divine clover.
We must empower parasites who feed
The envious -- together they'll indeed
Destroy the good that grows on Earth. A plus
If you convince them hate is virtuous,
So long as envy is the driver. Hate
Is always what we aim to make -- debate
Replaced by accusations and the lie
Each honest disagreement would deny
You of your dignity, your right to what
You've chosen to believe is true. The cut
Of challenge we'll make look so deep, they'll fear
The slightest disagreement -- they'll give ear
To none who would correct what's wrong in life --
Or even little things -- they'll feel such strife
At any challenge, they'll demand that all,
Including they themselves, be made to fall
In line with those they deep their betters. Ditch
Descending on the pastors, priests -- no, switch
To lifting demagogues who preach that sin
Is virtue, theft is giving -- all to win
A vote. Yes, do take note that power grants
Us ease in what we do. Prudes drop their pants
In lust when power comes their way. Let's trust
That power does corrupt, that all men lust
For power to corrupt their souls to Hell
And we will surely see our numbers swell.
Just have our preachers preach that coveting
Is virtue, wealth is stolen -- that will bring
The world to us, and Hell will dwell on Earth.
Persuade men that a gang of thieves is worth
Their love and worship -- men of demon stock
Should be considered as the solid rock
On which society should build itself.
Now, do not think that we are going to shelf
The great reforms we made with Screwtape. No!
Those petty things are genius! Although slow,
The little things will eat away with time --
We do not have to concentrate on crime
To lure a person far from God. We tease
And make it so there's nothing that can please,
No matter how good they may have it. Lust
For more and covet, envy, lose all trust,
And slowly break the bonds that make men good --
Help them destroy their culture, neighborhood,
Society by making them mistake
These things for government -- for goodness' sake! --
It is pathetic how these can
Go wrong, be led astray since time began
For them. I think with this we found a god
For them -- a god of men to whom they'll nod
And bow before. They'll think they have a Father --
They will -- who rapes then treats them as a bother.
Do this and it's our Master you'll most please.
Sincerely yours, sirs, Mephistopheles.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Sociopath

He's charming, arrogant, and thinks
The rules do not apply to him, denies
Authority. And so each woman drinks
The soullessness that lies behind his eyes.

He could have been a C.E.O. and crashed
His corporation since his superficial
Charms could have lifted him until he cashed
His winnings and was paid for his dismissal.

He could have been a politician, ran
For Congress, won persuading everyone
He wanted what was best for them, he'd ban
For power for himself and just for fun.

Instead, he raped and murdered in each state --
That this was different is up for debate.

Friday, September 25, 2015

To the Prospective Poet

I want you to learn how to say
What can't be said,
The things that linger night and stay
Within your head
And will not turn themselves to words,
those can't-be-caged translucent birds
You deeply dread.

I promise you there's nothing worse
Than looking deep
To sing a song, to make a verse --
You'll want to weep
As you drag words out of your well,
Ascending out of your own Hell,
Whose steps are steep.

But here's a promise: when you're done
And you have made
A poem, you will find you're one
With your deep shade
And your bright sun. The poet's tree
Can help you make yourself free
And never fade.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fruit Bats

They flit up to their mother, mouths agape,
These little brothers begging for their treat
Then running off -- a game they play with grape
Or apple, peach or pear -- the fruit they eat
A favored sweet they beg for every hour --
Today they yell, "It's watermelon power!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Work-a-day Lives

You wake up at five-thirty, pee and walk the dog,
You're barely dressed, you wonder if it's going to rain,
Your neighborhood and mind and wife are in a fog,
Then shower, kids to schools, wife to work, you to train.
Three hours' prep for work before you start your work,
Then constant deadlines, constant rush that keeps your mind
From higher things (and lower things) -- you ask the clerk
If you have days, but you have used them up. The grind
Of what they rightly call this life that's not a life,
When all you want is to get kids in bed and sleep
To do it all again. Your weekends free for strife
That built all week. You always sow, but never reap.
So that you can give up the life of being crawlers,
Sometimes the only thing you need's a billion dollars.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Love Song for Anna

If I fell into your arms now
And fell for all your charms now
Would you love me til I die?
I could live well with the knowledge
That you cannot get in college
That you'll love me til I die.

If I cuddled you for hours
And danced with you in showers
Would you love me til I die?
I'm so happy that we're married
We're each other's til we're buried
Cause I'll love you til I die.

If I gave into your kisses
And gave you all your wishes
Would you love me til I die?
You're my beautiful, sweet lover --
Let me meet you under cover --
Let me love you til I die.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rebels

I must rebel! I want to make a Hell
Of anything you've got! No, don't demand
I ever stand for anything -- don't tell
Me how I must rebel. That will not stand!
I will rebel for ignorance, I will
Demand to never know. And wisdom can
All go to Hell. And beauty is just swill.
I will refuse to ever be a man!

Conformist! Rebels do not deign
To reject riches of the mind -- they find
Their purpose there -- they want to breathe the air
Of freedom education makes, to reign
Over themselves, unfasten every bind
Of ignorance whose weight they cannot bear!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Contemplating

I'm sitting here with no distractions
While thinking of the world in fractions
It's constant flowy wavy actions
Emerging into many factions
Made from and making all reactions
The only thing that's not? Inactions
I give you this with no retractions

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Poet at Work

I have permission to be bored
And thus the visions flow
Imagine the imaginings
Of images that grow
When these constructal thoughts are loose
And flow at different speeds
So turbulence emerges hence
To different mental deeds

A poem here a story there
A dripping dew of thought
The strength of flowing moves a stone
Is giving when it ought
Connecting facts to new ideas
In fractal novelty
The lone controller at the helm
A cybernetic flea

Beloved I can think of you
The censor has gone home
Now butterflies with shimmer scales
The cosmos in my dome
Discovers ways to link and think
Enjoys the subtle sounds
It makes and takes the rhythmic strings
To force its boundless bounds

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Madison's Moralists

Bowed
Proud
The crowd
In the cloud
Felt they were endowed
With virtue to deem what's allowed
Hypocrisy hacked them showed none had lived as they'd vowed

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Do Not

Shun
Fun
Fashion
Correction
Alliteration
Intellectualization
Floccinaucinihilipilification

Monday, September 14, 2015

Daniel's Name

His name is Daniel, don't call him Dan
He is a baby, he's not a man
His pretty mommy's his biggest fan
His name is Daniel, don't call him Dan

His name is Jesus with a strong Hey
Don't call him Jesus with a strong Jay
He likes to eat and he likes to play
His name is Jesus with a strong Hey

His name is Camplin -- and that's Camp and Lin --
It's never Campbell or Gamblin --
To make this mistake's a sonic sin --
He name is Camplin -- that's Camp and Lin

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Proposition On the Battlefield

I hate to have to be so blunt,
But hidden, you have what I want --
You know I'll find it if I hunt
In cover like an army grunt.

Perhaps the military brass
Would frown upon my being crass,
But I know, hidden, in your grass
I'll find the place where I must pass.

I think you know that this is best --
And no, it's not how you are dressed --
But rather I feel very blessed
That I have found someplace to rest.

Perhaps you'll even get a kick
From me -- perhaps you'll even stick
With me. Now let me light this wick
To clearly see my lucky pick.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Dream of Order

The trees reflected in the window seem
To move more quickly than the trees in front of me.
The distance drives perspective to a stream
That flows in chaos under this slow dream.

There's nothing -- no one nowhere knows the fee
For what it takes to learn there's little that we need --
But who will referee reality
And understand the dreams that make us free?

Our minds are made of neurons' dreams -- each scene
There's imaging is their imagining. They leave
Imagined leaves upon their branches, clean
Of chaos, making everything to mean.

The cell's the dreams some molecules will weave,
Like jazz emerging from musicians' common beat,
Discovered in the fragments they retrieve --
Whatever's left behind, they won't bereave.

The train's sharp jerk makes reverie retreat
and I'll remember only what my mind will deem
Worth writing the neurons so this meat
I am can dream until I am complete.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Proposal

(For the 10 anniversary of my asking Anna to marry me.)

With this diamond, simple sparkling crystal,
Glance at linear eternity,
Bound upon this metal ring, its circle
Endless in its curve -- both making growth,
Growth of love as they bind you to me,
Flesh to flesh -- this shows the love that binds.
With this ring I ask that you please rob
Me of all my liberty, and let
Me take  all your liberty as well,
So we each can live and love with greater
Freedom than we each of us know.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Son's School Bean

The plastic planter
Grows a bean -- three leaves, three months
Of drought -- life persists

Monday, September 7, 2015

Caged

Should I oppress myself and live in chains,
Shackled to walls worn slick with drip and slime?
Why should my soul be slipped into the stocks,
And why should I cut out my tongue and mime?

And why should you insist to keep the key
That keeps me in the dungeon, safe away
From proper people and good company?
Why take the whip to me, begin to flay?

The red upon the metal cuffs are stains
Of rust and blood. My struggles are as clocks,
As regular and circular as time --
It's up to you if I should ever flee.

What kind of love would keep their love at bay
And never let their being out to play?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Prima Nocta

A crescent of blood sitting low in the sky
Alone in the darkness, too dim to deny
That the evening is heating the darkness tonight
So the demons are rising and death can take flight.

You demons are coming, I knew all along
that death was as certain as your lies were strong.
And the earth will now shatter in popular fear
So the people will crumble from what they revere.

The lies that they love are now living from lust
That greens our insides and soon molds all our trust
So we covet the good until we make it rot
In the fear that there's someone who has what we've not.

You demons are dreaming, but we'll make it real --
We'll murder and rape until we all reveal
That we do not need demons, that you are all dead.
Your last blood is now trickling off of our bed.

You lunatics promise the night will be day --
You promise that evil is tamed, it will play
And bring joy to the weakest and justice to all.
It's the promise the serpent made once -- in the Fall.

Our God is our Devil, we've merged them into
Utopian visions where virtue's run through
And left bleeding beside the night road to be found
By the good to revive and provide a new ground.

The sun will soon rise and we'll seek out new shade,
Where truth is then hidden -- the light that it's made
Will illuminate all of the grasslands. We'll see
That the farms all enslave and the natural makes free.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Watching the Window Washers

The window washers white against the gold
Skyscraper, twenty stories up, the sun
At morning hides behind the skyline. Cold
Is months away -- the heat has just begun.

The ropes are bending in the breeze that builds
Between the buildings, building energy
In complex bottlenecks. They're making tildes
Above the Spanish spoken silently

To those of us who walk the sidewalks, heads
Down, looking at our cell phones, brisk to work
In offices. What delicate long threads
For lives to need -- for cleaner, boss, or clerk.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Will to Beauty

The weakest like to exercise their power --
Abusers all lash out from lack of power.

The artist makes the world anew, makes life
Worth its experience -- that is his power.

Amoebas stretch their pseudopods to move
And eat -- a feat of their own will to power.

Beloved, I will always love you -- feel
My love in touch and kindness, love's true power.

Behold the rose's slow-unfolding flower --
Become entranced by its strong fragrant power.

Your brain is rhythmed by this poem's rhythm
And rhyme -- such patterns are a poem's power.

My readers get my best in lines like these --
It's here where I, Troy Camplin, find my power.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Blessed Rage for Orders

The human mind must always seek out orders
 In which to live and men bark out their orders.

The shells are lined up, all by size and colors
So that they make a set of spiraled orders.

You cannot love the government and hate
Police whose jobs are following those orders.

The hurricanes transform the skies from seas
Into their awful, dissipative orders.

Sweet tragedy performs sublimity
To show the transformation of all orders.

Behold the lines that Troy has crafted -- I,
The poet of sublime emergent orders.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Love and Loyalty

It seems there's nothing I know how to say
To you so you can fully understand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

I try to speak, and yet you look so gray --
A cloud has darkened all your fertile land --
It seems there's nothing I know how to say.

And yet I cannot seem to bring the day
With syllables -- should I sign with my hand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay?

The rain is streaming down -- we can't delay --
Although the flood is making its demand,
It seems there's nothing I know how to say.

I feel I'm without keel and washed away --
I yell and hope you hear across the sand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

It seems what I can say will not betray
My feelings for you, even words I've planned --
It seems there's nothing I know how to say
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Commemorations

Shall we commemorate the Trail of Tears
With Andrew Jackson statues marking miles?
Perhaps we should commemorate the years
Of General William Howe -- will that bring smiles
To all Americans, remembering
His role in history? We surely must
Embrace who made our history and sing
Of all they did. Our love is only just.
The Stars and Bars were raised for slavery
And raised again against blacks' civil rights.
Commemorate the foes of liberty
And those who brought us to our darkest nights?
Some things we should not raise; some we should raze --
Some things do not deserve a nation's praise.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Constructal Trees

I love the branching form of dicot trees --
Order, chaos, criticality please
The eye with expectation and a tease
Of difference. The bald cypresses have knees
That clear the water. Mangroves border seas
And branch above and below their trunks. Breeze
Brings movements to branches as their leaves seize
The air. A few have flowers, attract bees
And bats and birds and butterflies. Decrees
Are sung from their branches. We feel disease
If we're too far away from their firm lees
And their shadow darkening a few degrees
From the heat. And what other guarantees
Our air, ensuring that we do not wheeze
Through life? (Unless their pollen makes us sneeze.)
Complex beauty belongs to all of these --
We thus must always be our trees' trustees.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spiders on the Playground

With every day the children play
The spider webs are torn,
And every evening, they don't grieve --
A new orb web is born.

The corner space will make a place
The spotted, colored sphere 
Makes triangle with spiral, pulls
A network insects fear.

They'll make each moth into a broth
Drunk from a silken cup,
Then toss each husk throughout the dusk --
Morn, all the kids wake up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

As I Listen

I, loving, listen to your talk --
I'm quiet, cautious, worrying
While gazing across through meadow saffron,
Vase pushed aside so I can be
Lost in white eyes' brilliance,
Wishing now to languish long
In lacteal cherry springs --
Among the frangrant clouds
Whose misty rains will fall forever
In forests on the mountain side,
Our freedom, caritas, dreams, and things
Made real among the shrouds
Of crinaline whose shiver,
Brought about by breezes quiver,
Cannot hide your heart from mine,
The truth transmitted through your eyes,
Your tone, your voice, your very sighs.
So then I'll ask for you to be
The only one there is for me,
To fill you full of love and trust
By bringing back blue butterflies
To new beloved life --
By bringing back the hope we need
Within each others' eyes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Algorithms

The social world norms
To which I fail to acclimate
And failing them unleashes storms
That I don't know how to abate

And so I have to set up rules
To travel through the simple things
As though I am the king of fools
And every move makes jinglings

And so I greet you at the door
And ask you if your day went right
I ask you write down every chore
And say "I love you" every night

Please do not think because I must
Make rules so I can do my share
That I am cold -- I hope you trust
It means I truly deeply care

Friday, August 21, 2015

Church Music

A bird whistles in the church,
A high-wooden whistle, a whistle
Full of life, sending joy to restless feet.
Strings sing under boughs
Of summer leaves in summer greens,
Providing perch and cover
For the little birds. Such lively colors
Flitting in the air,
In and out the open doors,
their colors mix with colors
Which dance along the church's floor,
Sun through branches, then through glass
Of kaleidoscopic colors.
The wind creates the dance
Decorating the floor,
Dancing to the whistle and the strings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Indecisive's Proposal

With many freckles and blonde hair,
He must be careful lest he err in
Finding out what and which and wherein
They may be made a pair.

He did not wish for a mistake
Lest he should find himself forsaken
Or even found she soon was taken,
For then his heart would ache.

He did not want to be too brash --
He knew for sure his soul'd be ashen
And lose its love of life, compassion
Lost, gone within the crash.

He hoped he'd not mistook her cue --
He hoped her love would soon be true in
Giving a "yes" -- a one from two in
What was his truest coup.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Ode to My Grandfather (Virgil Inman)

Although he couldn't tell a joke,
He took too long, and timing's everything,
I took more pleasure in his life
Than any other man's
For attention given to a curious mind
Whose interests shadowed his own.
A writer who encouraged writing,
A thinker who encouraged thought,
A naturalist who encouraged science,
Greatness encouraging greatness that he saw,
A hidden strength he could hide no more
When the first strike against his mind
Became the stroke that changed his life
From one who loved birds, raccoons, and moths
To one who found one with desire,
Strength no one thought he'd had.
With every stroke that struck him down
He fought back with an inner power,
Slowly forced to give up his loves
So he could fight for life,
A battle of will against fierce time,
Blood vessels determined to pop,
He fought for years,
No matter his fears,
No matter the bad news he got,
New stroke, new seizures, fainting spells,
Whose awful onslaught soon would end,
Despite the strength of the fight.
Death's relentless fortitude
Would finally bring on time's last stroke.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Visiting Grandpa

South Bend uncle, friends, and grandparents,
Vacation haven throughout my youth
Two-week sleepovers or Christmas week,
Thanksgiving four-day weekends,
A quickday cleaning of grandma's house,
Visitation with all our firends,
Nature with my grandfather.
Curtains hung in moth cocoons,
Hatching giant polyphemus and dark red-brown cecropias,
Laying eggs for us to raise.
Monarchs raised and chrysalis hatched,
Covering the house in moth and butterfly beauty.
Racoon raised, a rambunctious ruffian,
Playing, destroying, adorable fun,
Tiny screech owls kept in the basement,
Raise and care for the little one.
On every visit, search for birds,
Upland sandpipers my grandpa's find,
Nesting, wings protecting little ones
Beneath man's wings landing overhead.
A winter showing newfound hybrid duck
On Saint Jo river, swimming calm,
Part merganser, part goldeneye,
Lovely in its mixed-up features.
Christmas birdcounts taken out
To do our job for Audubon
I find I have a knack
For finding things no one's seen before,
Perhaps a birding young child's luck
Or inherent from a birding grandpa
Who found hybrid ducks and nesting sandpipers
That none had seen before.
We'd go for daily walks,
Walks wandering through the backstreet fields
Where I first and lastly saw
Hummingbird moths feeding at flowers,
Quickbeat wings' invisible hummings
Fascinating, remarkable joy to life
In bright sunlight flower fields
now vanished under houses' floors.
Into Michigan to introduce
"The Orchid Lady" to a youthful orchid lover,
Then off to show a norther boggy marsh
Filled with hungry pitcher plants scattered with their blooms
And there, close by the edge,
Wild orchids, hot pink glory,
Frilly sun-touched lips of tiny rose pagonias
Among the dark green moss.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Incommunicado

We sit upon the couch -- the television
Is on. You stare at your cell phone, a vision
Indifferent, it seems, to me. You stare
And will not talk. And I? I will not dare.

My words are cotton in my mouth, they dry
My tongue. Why weight you down with each concern
And make you worry more? Should I deny
You sounds and syllables you'll only spurn?

We sit upon the couch -- the advertisements
Are on. I look at you. Are your resentements
Too much to overcome? Your every tone
Has turned sarcastic. Put down that damn phone!

I want to say I'm sorry for the fact
That I'm the man I am. I cannot help
That I'm obsessed and don't have normal tact.
I'm simmering. One day you'll hear my yelp!

We sit upon the couch -- the television
Is off. You stare down at your phone. Division
Is our relationship. You simply stare
And I conclude that you no longer care.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Nightmare

He mustn't fear for fear is loss
Of his dreams
His dreams to see her
To be with her
Alone
Not in the lonely crowds where they talk
Though they arrive separately
But in a place they chose together

Fear is a loss of happiness
He could potentially find
Though it causes him distress
She could misconstrue his mind
In wanting to see more of her
More than just a rendevous
Or friendship
But a relation redefined

Could he kill his fear
Of women
Of wanting women
Wanting her
Of longing for her love he could not seem to have
No matter what he could have of her
As he'd had her
And would again

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Gift

He stood before the gloomy council, stood
As none would stand or ever stood before,
So proud of his achievement, of his gift --
The gift to them, to man, to all he bore.

Then in a booming voice the man proclaimed,
"The man you see before you, I have tamed
The thing that to this point had only maimed
Or killed men on the fields the storms enflamed."

He showed it then to their unseeing eyes --
They could not know what visions lay in store.
They all leapt back in awful, abject fear
And each man trembled, cowards at their core.

It flickered there before them, shedding light --
The fire shown forth, ever, ever bright.
They were the first such men to see the light --
It made them cringe in awful, freezing fright.

"What have you done!" he heard the council scream.
"We will be tortured by it ever more!"
"If that man tamed the demon we call fire,
Then he's the Devil -- hear his awesome roar!"

He stood amazed and trusted not his ear.
He brought a gift -- it's nothing they should fear.
A gift for man to hold and cherish, dear.
He never had expected what he'd hear.

"How dare you think that you could bring to us
The demon fire, bring it through our door.
You dare to tell us that the demon's tamed,
That somehow you are man's new savior?"

They then moved forward as he backed away.
He could have, with his gift, kept them at bay --
Instead, he dropped the fire onto the clay
Floor of the cave the lived in on that day.

The council took him, bound his hands and feet
And left him lying there upon the floor.
They left to then decide upon his fate --
He feared whatever these men had in store.

That day he stood, tied proudly to the pyre.
His gift would lift his people from the mire.
And as they lit the stake, his chin grew higher
And died surrounded by his gift of fire.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Tale of Two Men

He shouted out for all who'd hear
How great the house was he had made
That crumbled slowly at his feet.

He shouted loud for all to hear
How great the railroad was he made
As metal splintered, people died.

He shouted shrill for all to hear
How great his plan would be to save them all
When all were dying as a herd.

In silence built the other man --
The house stood great and strong
And shouted with its strength for all who'd see.

In silence built the other man
A railroad which networked a nation
To create wealth for all who'd see.

In silence built the other man
A business that would profit from his mind
And house and clothe and feed all those who worked for him.

The shouter saw the silent man --
He saw the threat he was to him and set out to destroy
But died instead from his intended sin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Houses

It must be better because it's old
they said forever of the old house,
Its usefulness has vanished from our sight --
Our eyes see rot and pale, chipped paint,
Cracked ceilings and dull floors.
It must be better because it's old
They said to keep the new house down.
Its beauty would be too much,
It makes our house look like a dump.
The dear old shack makes ours look fine.
The new house will destroy our homes,
And its design is such a fright.
It doesn't look much like a home,
It is a mansion to our eyes.
And so they fought to keep the new house down
So they could keep the old around.
And so their lives turned ever-poorer
As the depraved old house was praised --
And everyone ensured the new
Was murdered well before it could be born.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Silence

Is silence such a sin? Must melodies
And beats breathe fire in our ears each day
And moment? Must the television stay
On? Must the talking fill up every breeze?
Must noises flood us from the street and freeze
Our hearts to solitude? Must we delay
To death the day the silent solar ray
Enlightens us and lifts us from our knees?

The breeze batters light leaf on leaf, the stream
Crystals the air, a warble and a peep
Of tree frogs answering the sparrow's call --
These are the silences I seek. I dream
Of dew drops drumming as the lilies leap --
I want to hear the silence of it all.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Harming Others

Gulls gather, hanging in the air
as if from invisible strings, hanging
above the waves rolling in, tiny
whitecaps on tiny waves. The sand
swirls up under each incoming wave,
disturbing it, renewing it, building it
from sand it took from other shores.
A crab scampers in scattered sunlight
across the sand, then down, gone
in a puff of sand.
I must be careful where I step
For fear of crushing him, though I know
there are unseen others lurking
under the wave-loose sand
that I cannot worry about, lest
I fear to step anywhere and remain
standing, stationary in the waves,
unwilling to move,
unwilling to return
to the shore, the sun-hot sand
that burns my sole
with each quick step
as I dash toward my car.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kamper Park

Tadpoles scatter from the shallow
pool stagnant off the side
of the creeping stream.
It's almost dusk, the sky
pale blue-gray. I wonder
how they know that I was there.
No shadow fell. Maybe
vibrations from the shore
as my foot fell inches
from the water's edge.
Frogs splash ripples
as minnows dart in such a hurry
they create a flurry of waves
and water splashing inches
from where the rocks give way
to flat, smooth concrete.
A bottle sits in the center
of the stream, neck
only visible above the water.
The rock where I sit was placed here,
covered in concrete
to make it permanent.
Children and peacock cry
from nearby, the park
and zoo ready to close
and closed.
It's getting too dark to see.

Under the Stars

I often sit for hours under the stars,
Staring,
Wondering what other see in them that is not there.
What lives, what men have walked
Under these stars, across these fields,
Once plains, now tilled and broken up?
There is a certain melancholy in those who
Look to the government for everything,
Giving up their autonomy and self-worth
For a false security --
Not a security found in man, in each individual spirit,
But the security of guns, easily turned on you
When the power changes hands.
When fathers, bringing sons into fields, once plains,
To show them the stars and make them men,
Are replaced by guns, why should we be surprised
When our sons use them to prove their manhood?
I want my son with me,
Under the stars,
Staring,
Learning to see in them a source of light. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On Knowledge and Idealism

I wonder what things, what colors, what shapes
Fill the things that matter in my eyes --
My eyes see eyes of blue and brown and green
And what what they've seen
That I have failed to see, no matter the difficulty
They've found in seeing. I try so hard
To become clear, to sprout, to bloom
In prismatic colors shining in moonlight spread
Loose on the morning horizon
As soft, bustle, silent warnings.
I must be careful as I stare
At the subtle sheen shining off the water's surface,
Barely broken by waves, small, serene,
From a wind that I cannot even feel
Blowing through my hair or on my face
Or even see up in the trees, rustling leaves.
I wonder what the others have seen and wonder
Whether they have seen all I have seen
And f they even see at all or even if
I am the one who cannot see,
Staring into such strong flames they melt
My ability to see at all,
Leaving me to wonder where that leaves me
With my eyes
And all I've seen and seem to know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Protest Poem (for Rainer Maria Rilke and Wallace Stevens)

This poem could be about Bill Clinton
and his signing the Defense of Marriage Act,
or how he could have harmed this coutnry
had he ever passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about  George W. Bush
and the wars he started and the civil rights destroyed
or how he harmed this country
with regulations leading to collapse.

This poem could be about Barack Obama
and the recession he made worse
or how he has harmed his country
since he passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about the far Right
and the bombing of the building in Oklahoma City,
or the terror acts of Eric Rudoplph
or the racist terrorism perpetrated on black churches in the South.

This poem could be about the far Left
and the good men killed by Ted Kaczynsky,
or the attempts on researchers' lives by the Animal Liberation Front
or the 70s terrorists silently assimilated into our society.

This poem could be about guns --
How our children shoot up schools,
How our police shoot minorities in their neighborhoods,
How the Second Amendment is not for deer but for politicians.

This poem could be about legislation
Creating most unfairness and inequality,
And I could tell you to throw rocks at cops
Whose rubber bullets will run out very soon.

This poem could be about wars and famines,
Taxes and subsidies and other violations
Of our basic human rights, even those
We never considered violations

This poem could be about any one
Of these external things, such things
As pass away one day, but sometimes only
Once things get worse, but it is not.
 
Instead, this poem is about important things --
The changes that we've made,
The changes that we ought to make
Inside ourselves, the way that we evolve.

This poem is about the way that you and I
Must learn to change, must learn to grow,
Mature, become who we most truly are, with pride.
Then, when we are better, the world will be repaired.