The Good Gardener, A Prose Poem

featured in the poetry forum January 30, 2024  :: 0 comments

Oh my God, the red light’s flashing on the belief panel. What’s going on? Ah, I see that a 21-year-old-woman from Abilene, Texas, has decided that God does not exist.
I am hurt. Few seem to know that the all-powerful divine one has feelings too. At 21, this lady’s no longer in her parent’s hands. I may not be able to sleep tonight. I better create a sleeping pill to knock me out so I get my eight hours.
I will give her till noon tomorrow to reconsider her position before I take action. She will need to accept my Glory and Beneficence. I, who can move stars and moons, not believed in? What will people think if I don’t punish her? My image will suffer.
Let’s see, if there’s no conversion by noon, I can have her crushed by a semi. A piano could fall on her as it’s being lowered from a second story window in downtown Abilene.
I need something where the blame won’t fall on me.
I can’t have churches emptying out. What will happen to church buildings and other infrastructure? Priests and preachers will lose jobs and starve. I must maintain the line. No belief in Me, no heaven for you. And she was such a sweet young lady. Her parents had her baptized and made sure she was in church every Sunday. She sang in the choir when she became a teenager.
It’s too bad, but I hold onto hope until tomorrow at noon.
Ah, but this is dangerous! I am a good gardener. I must nip the disease in its bud.

editors note:

Tough love! Spare the sheers and you spoil the rose. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 16, 2023  :: 0 comments

Must I embrace the world like a drippy juicy peach?
Like a cholesterol slice of cheese cake?
Like a drooling baby cooing from a stroller?

I could have been born a snail in the spring
Making my way up the side of a suburban house,
Or a day moth batting its fuzzy head against
A window pane and getting a pain

Being human is a privilege
Being in the States is a privilege
Being a divorced male with child support
payments is a privilege
Being a single mom in a tiny apartment on
food stamps and welfare Is a privilege
Being a blue whale or a white male is a privilege

How can I dare to not be happy?
Why do I keep a noose in the closet?
Don’t I have the right stuff to stare down
Nuclear bombs and climate change?
Didn’t I go to jail for chaining myself to a tree?
Didn’t I give money to the right charities,
To PBS and NPR,
And send money to a Nigerian single mother?

I’m so priviledged I’ve got to be happy
even if I can’t spell priviledged
I can claim no excuses
I have a loving wife and loving children
I don’t deserve any of this because I am nothing but the blank
of white, at all times in this climate open to skin cancer.

Mother Teresa, were you ever bubbly?
Drink once made me bubbly.

Let us stop now.
Happiness is like Casper the Friendly Ghost.
It jumps at you and goes BOO!

And there you are happy,

editors note:

If you’re happy and you know it… – mh clay


September 2, 2023  :: 0 comments

Everyone in his department knew John wouldn’t get tenure because he smoked pot in his office. John knew that too. John was tall and thin and sported a beard and long hair — too radical for a college in West Texas. He told me once about waking up in the middle of the night and smelling gas all over their …

Living In Austin Nude Apartments

featured in the poetry forum June 25, 2023  :: 0 comments

Being nude is a state of mind that aims for purity, I’d say.
You can be an orange flamingo standing against the omnipresent blue and green,
I told them.
You are better than any man carrying a rifle of assault.

People would come into my living room, some half-homeless sleeping in their cars, some street musicians, some overnight security guards, some police, and some lawyers—and they’d all be shocked catching the light off my cock.

Better laugh when you jump back, I’d tell them.

Then their clothes would start to feel itchy.

You’re like a snotty handkerchief, they’d say to me.
Too honest, they’d say.
Too vulnerable, they’d say.
Your skin is splotchy.
Don’t you dare think you’re a god.

I do feel a demigod, I replied.

Your groin squawks like a chicken chased around the yard, they’d say.
Time to chop your heads off, all you naked Kens, naked Barbies,
Living in this sassy sewer of nudity.
You are all too plastic when you’re naked.
You set our conformist hearts on fire, they’d say.

I was ugly wearing clothes, I came back.
My self-esteem was stuck down in a grease trap.
Sure I’m ugly, but naked I’m powerful, an ocean liner afire in the calm Pacific

Cover your eyes maybe? I told the doubters.
My love for this world
may be way too much for you to bear.

editors note:

Wear your love; clothes are optional. – mh clay

This is One of Those Relationship Poems.

featured in the poetry forum January 30, 2023  :: 0 comments

Her kisses taste smooth; her mouth is full of knives.
She tosses and slices him up fresh every day like a salad.
The blade of her tongue flashes faster than the speed of light.
You know how these things tend to go.
He turns the other cheek a lot.
He takes walks around the block.
He forgets the beauty of her body.
He forgets the soft rock of their love.
Everything she says about him is true.
His mouth grows wired shut.
He has great admiration for her mind.
She has the quick intelligence of a bird.
He has a brain constructed of concrete.
His cheeks puff out with dumbbells.
If only she wasn’t so always right on right.
Every comment hammers straight the nail of pain.
He calls her Annie Oakley.
He calls her sure shot.
He calls her those things in his mind at work.
He calls her those things in the shower.
He calls her those things walking the dog.
She rides bareback standing on a horse.
With her tongue she shoots him between the eyes.
He has no body armor for her words.
Earplugs only muffle slightly her sharp consonants.
And to think he once loved her scent and her accent.
And to think he once could kiss her scarlet thoughts.

He walked out without goodbye years ago.
He heard she cried continuously for a week.
It never occurred to him she might still love him.
Over twenty years now since he’s been gone.
He’s seen born and raised his very own daughter
And is happily hitched again.
The left one hates him and they never speak.
Fifteen years her gong rang in his skull.
Fifteen years in his head she tried to administer his life.
Fifteen years she told him what to believe and what not.
Now he doesn’t even remember her accent.
In time he even grew to appreciate her sharp slices.
He carefully filed the sharp edges
He actually used some of her criticisms.
Then he learned that she’d had a stroke.
She can’t speak too well right now.
He wonders if God decided the world needed a break.
He apologizes for thinking that.
He doesn’t wish to be vindictive or mean.
This is one of those relationship poems.
You know how they tend to go.
You can wander around in dark rooms for rages and ages of pages.
The person written about is going to look bad.
The person writing is going to come out better.

editors note:

Your chance to write yourself right. – mh clay

Poem for Marc Chagall

featured in the poetry forum June 7, 2022  :: 0 comments

When I did my job
I had this goat
to talk to.
His fur glowed
an intense blue
bluer than any
out in Texas,
I just didn’t wish
to embarrass him
so didn’t speak
about color.
Did he fall into
a bucket of paint?
The goat could
whistle melodies
from Beethoven
while doing the
two-step, I felt
lackluster around
the goat with
my shopping cart
full of aluminum cans
in black plastic bags
that I recycled for
cash. I ALWAYS
gave him a few
to munch on since
he wasn’t into
eating the moon
and the crunching
sound made us
laugh as we
settled to sleep
in our homeless
camp above
Quiet Creek.

editors note:

There’s no gettin’ your goat if you already got one. – mh clay

Miracles Can Take Grotesque Forms

May 21, 2022  :: 0 comments

They were working for Manpower in Dallas back about ‘78, around fifteen of them, unloading furniture in the sweltering August heat, carrying it into the forty rooms of a new La Quinta Inn on Central Expressway. Lisbeth was the only woman on the team. The foreman was desperate and took her on because she was six foot two. Lisbeth needed …

From the Nowhere Newsroom on the Klu Klux Condom

March 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

A strange organization little studied and rarely reported on in the media has members worldwide and is often referred to as Klu Klux Condom. Men covered in leaves and beating drums will set fire on lawns large phallic symbols covered with condoms. The hatred of such a small and soft item that prevents unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is …

Cruise Ship

October 16, 2021  :: 0 comments
Beware, You're Aware

You know what? What? I hate to say, but I have given it a lot of thought. The truth is, well, I don’t love you anymore. What?  Now don’t be silly. We’ve been married 15 years. I’m afraid it’s true. Oh, come on. What’s the matter? What is bothering you? Nothing is bothering me. I feel much better opening up …

Cornball Love

April 24, 2021  :: 0 comments

My life changed when I met a woman. I suppose that’s a cliché you’ve heard before. Stick with me here, don’t get cynical. The restaurant was crowded on that autumn day, and with no chair nearby, the young lady asked if she could sit across from me. I sat alone at a small table with one other chair, reading Shakespeare’s …