Five Poems

Image by G Poulsen. CC0/Public domain license.


I surfaced the other day
coming up for air and
rubbing shoulders in culture
discovering what I never

saw before too close to the
forest and not isolated
getting enough solitude to
see life has become so cheap

attention goes for nothing
like seconds that never come
back just keep ticking away
I think it was during football

with each turnover time out
commercial break where we
spend our attention without
anger rising being directed

to all the ways some parting
with money will bring
happiness ask your doctor if
it’s right for you so you can

walk in total serenity surrounded
by lovers and family in your old
age driving a perfect high tech
car on empty city streets or

mountain passes through snow
bringing Christmas to the warm
light and happy people within
a remote cabin



what if becoming needs a token to get
on the bus something from the
imagination external thing with magical

powers magical thinking this one thing
while it is in your possession gives you
super powers or something short

something to which to aspire by jiminy
cricket a feather enabling an elephant
with big ears to fly until he lost it but

that was after he already knew he could
awaken Jesus he was a handsome man
maybe even Jesus to a degree saying

this person is now educated who has
demonstrated to our satisfaction the
ability to learn something to hold in

your trunk when you apply for jobs or
imagine making or doing things on your
own finding your niche market audience

becoming something closer to your
ultimate destiny taking one small step
for man at a time on a long and winding

road until you realize you have everything
you need already thank god or not could
be a token all you need is found inside

imagination and I am tempted to cry out
no my savior spirit invisible friend muse
don’t leave me sitting here on the banks

of the river all alone unless I don’t need
no stinking token


Paper Moon

all the world’s a stage
with omnipresent cell phones

whatever you do doesn’t count
until you take the picture
or make the video and post it
to your friends who become your audience
to the extent they are interested
parents are becoming directors
and kids poseurs
and then they switch
OK I’ll be the parent now

of course we have known all along
that we wear masks to get through the day
and invent our roles as we go along
largely catering to what our audience expects

but when the affable salutatorian
lifeguard back from his first
year of college hangs himself
in the basement which mask
does the audience expect

I know I know life goes on
it’s only a paper moon
hanging over a cardboard sea
the level of which keeps rising
but what if it were real

and people knew
who they were in their
heart of hearts
or at least who they want to be
and tried to find out who’s hurting
and wears his mask ironically


Stranger and Sojourner

so then Uncle Remus you
are no longer a stranger and
sojourner but you are a fellow

citizen with the holy ones and
a member of the household of
god zipity doo dah my o my

what a wonderful day honored
guest at my master’s table in
the manse it is not a story that

works as the sinner is the
enslaver and the holy one is
Uncle Remus who succeeded

in the pursuit of happiness
gaining entrance to the kingdom
of heaven it is he who gets to

welcome him who was once
the sinner enslaver master
saying you are no longer a

stranger and sojourner but a
fellow citizen with the holy
ones and a member of the

household of god which is
what needs to happen the
cosmic reality of the situation

the upside down way of
the creator a story Disney
could not imagine or would

not want to tell that the whole
system is evil


Mixed Bleed

I surfaced for the holidays spending
them in shallow places ready for a
deep dive but no one was interested

pleased however to note the diversity
of the happy families depicted in TV
ads wondering marveling even that

capitalism seems to be pummeling
white supremacist sensibilities with
happy mixed bleed couples if not

totally black

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