The Well

[First appeared in The Avalon Literary Review, Fall 2014]

My well runs deep and dry;
pebble-bottomed pit,
broken glass among the rocks,
the occasional coin, some sad soul’s wish
left in the company of cold, dry, stone.

I would if prompted recount a fiction
of strangers passing, full buckets, and refreshment;
of the joys of spring, a shaded canopy
and welcome offerings.

Redact the sunlit horror
of spitting children and the piss
of careless parents.

Their monstrous visage increased by time;
lifelessly growing, refusing to die
with fonder recollection; lost,
like meager moisture hoarded,
hidden, then dried.

Nothing

(first appeared in “The Lyric”, Volume 73, No.1  – Winter 1993)

Poor me, we cry, then wash our hands;
this world of ours makes such demands
and no one knows just where we stand
and so we stand for nothing.

For now we hold, as science shows:
that nothing is and no one knows.
Our course is cast upon the flows
of, from, and back to nothing.

We build our castles by the sea
and conscious of the irony,
ignore the tides of destiny
as if we thought them nothing.

Workaday

(first appeared in “The Lyric”, Volume 73, No.1  – Winter 1993)

Awake again to tasks and daily ways;
Reluctant rise to foot the well worn soil,
the stomach calls, the spirit set, obeys;
surrenders contemplation for the toil.

Plunged from a slumberous sanctum into moil,
the mind proscribed to nigglings magnifies
each feather-weighted doing to a deed,
each step to leap, each act to enterprise.
The flesh, disdainful, strives to solemnize
the squalid thoughts which witlessly obey;
that void of sovereign value hold the prize
of sustenance for the ensuing day.

The torpid night serves only to restore
sufficient dint to propagate the chore.

Time Flies

(Ok the credit is longer than the poem… WHISPERING WORLDS-The A/A/ Productions Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction Poetry Anthology 2001)

Some moments pass, transcending time,
aware of their transgression;
while those within claim their own minds
distorted the progression.

Pencils and Buttons

(first appeared in “Mind in Motion  -summer 1992)

The harvest is ripe,
the file soon to be closed.
There is nothing left to push
‘cept for pencils and buttons:
signals cuing signals,
it’s as endless as credit
and infinitely more costly.

There is nothing left,
no new things to acquire;
all is transaction,
all is a changing of hands.
Each ringing it drier and drier,
’till there is nothing left,
but symbols and signals,
and us, the thirsty,
and us, the hungry,
and all our pencils,
and all our buttons,
and push we will;
’till we wear the skin from the last of our fingers.

And without our eyes
we will know only our own pain;
and that of those we touch- during
breaks.

Please Brother, drink from my empty cup.
It is gold and it is platinum,
with diamonds round the lip
and emeralds at the base.
Please drink and share my hunger.
Let me push your buttons,
let me file your soul.
Let my acts be justified by numbers;
come with me,
be like me,
die with me,
please Brother, drink!

Fill me with your emptiness,
calm me with your sorrow;
for I too am sorry,
sorry for you,
but mostly sorry for me.
But there are buttons to be pushed
and papers to shuffle;
my empty house needs an addition.

Please Brother,
pay me a visit.

Pinholes

(first appeared in “Mind in Motion  -winter 1990)

Blind concentrations of power,
generated by a cycle of souls on the ground;
people,
with mineral objectives,
raising voices of anger to tune of the discontent.

Time patterns the arrangement:
pride stands primped in historical mirrors.
Decades refract,
and day after day wears paint fresh with new colors.

New banners are boldest.
Old shades, once brilliant,
smashed subtle by modern materials;
pieces fly,
and beams align by random habitation.
The subsequent structures are founded in mud.

Destiny!
A parody of light,
Images are bent in transcription,
millions of faces are pressed to the screen.

Prisms:
adding fuzz to the uncertain,
bending ray after ray till the spectrum has faded to black.

Folly!
Small sparks obtain lighthouse proportions;
clowns play kings as they dance on the darkened stage.

Pinholes,
fostered by contrast,
cold aspects of sunlight drawing moths to be singed at the
wing.

The streets are lined with treadmills,
millions on millions march grasping at stars.

Ardent,
whims raised to a passion,
adding heat and momentum to a fire raging out of control.

The ground is burned to gray,
the heat suckling on modern chaos.
All shades are distorted and colors are blended to drab.

Vessels of Blind Talent

(first appeared in “Mind in Motion  -winter 1991)

We are merely vessels of blind talent.
We have no visions of truth.
we see only as far as our hands:
strong and skilled,
hungry to touch and make and possess.
Holding and hoarding, we claim ownership.
We grip all that our feelers find,
yet grasp nothing.

We claim the light of wisdom in our darkness;
pointing to our accomplishments.
Yet the mysteries we solve are not mysterious,
just the solid object of physical fact,
stumbled upon in pride.

With unguided fingertips we fumble our surroundings,
reshaping the clay we trip over,
building newer and better monuments to our blindness,
crushing city after city to build one house.

And oh, do we sing:
our horns tire from the blowing!
And ever so boldly we march to the beat,
banging our heads,
trying to quench the thirst for tools;
hands screaming for occupation,
minds moaning for light.

There is no questioning our proficiency,
we are able to do all that we are called upon to do.
But in our blindness, we hear only ourselves.
We would be better to do nothing,
if only that were possible.

There was a time when we didn’t notice the damage:
yearning to climb, but unable to see under foot,
but now jagged bits of destruction puncture our
outstretched hands,
yet we continue our groping,
singing songs to a light we can’ t possibly know,
yet still claim to possess.

Ages of Reason

(first appeared in “Mind in Motion  -spring 1993)

Reason slithers through the ages,
slave to the will.
What party wears its laurels,
what city its crown?

Athens fell and then Rome;
time plunders all fortifications.
World views tumble like dominoes
and definitions of man.

Strange chaos in sequential order:
new ages and new justifications,
logic pillars each empire of ideals,
strength derived by context.

Modern dramas play out on ancient stages,
present shadows darken history’s tales.
Short sighted, each era is equally enlightened:
ignorant of the future, rejecting the past.