How the Universe Works

featured in the poetry forum November 22, 2016  :: 0 comments

When your happy world
is
falling
apart,
melting down to a tragic swamp,
sucking you into the depths of sorrow,
squeezing you with the burden of loss,
it’s as if the whole universe is

going

down

with

you.

But rest assured:
the universe stays put,
never mind accelerating expansion.
Even when millions of happy bubbles
burst in a single explosion,
the universe doesn’t budge.
The show goes on,
with or without you,

but

it

takes

a

lifetime

to get used to
how the universe works.

editors note:

World without end (though, not for us), amen. – mh clay

Tough Hide

featured in the poetry forum August 29, 2016  :: 0 comments

They’ll do you in
With such thin skin.
Please, dear, I count on you:
Tighten your hide
For a bumpy ride,
Grow it an inch or two.

Girls, they’ll cut
Through your mild heart.
No, darling, this won’t do:
Turn it to stone
And make it known
Rock is softer than you.

Crooks will pretend
To give you a hand.
Take care, I’m begging you:
Weaken your trust
If you want to last,
Beware, whatever you do.

So, with tough hide
On this bumpy ride,
With heart, harder than stone,
And with zero trust
You’re bound to last —
So what if you die alone.

editors note:

Survival need not be solitary. – mh clay

Editor’s Lullaby

featured in the poetry forum December 28, 2013  :: 0 comments

(In response to a loud sequence of Waaaa! and Aaaa!)

Thank you for your submission.
I regret to inform you
that we are unable to use it
at this time of night.

There’s nothing new here,
in your indignant tears.
They didn’t grab me.
This needs a better twist.

The title of this should just be Waaaaaa,
but really, with all these repetitions
and self-indulging emotion
your poem is beyond salvation.

We wish you good luck
in placing your poem elsewhere.

Will you kindly shut up —
don’t ruin your relationship
with the editor.

editors note:

Yes, friend poets – Editors! Can’t live with’em, can’t live without’em. – mh

Word Economy

featured in the poetry forum May 5, 2013  :: 0 comments

Dear Bill,

Your “To be or not to be”
doesn’t work for me.
Invoke word economy,
tighten your wording:
think B&B/J&B/GB.

Parcy Monious,
The Editor of “Word Economy”.

editors note:

From one editor to another… (sending thoughts of gratitude to economize a bit, too)… (giggle) – mh

A Poem Or Two

featured in the poetry forum August 26, 2012  :: 0 comments

Hey, I could use a poem or two
To brighten up my day —
There’s nothing like a merry verse
To chase the gloom away.

Yes, I could use a poem or two
To thrust upon my foes —
There’s nothing like a witty word
To step on hated toes.

So, I could craft a poem or two,
But they are hard to hone.
There’s nothing like an awkward verse
To make an author groan.

editors note:

A rhyme about rhyme, about the struggle sublime. Nice! – mh

What Have You Got In Your Backyard?

featured in the poetry forum March 24, 2012  :: 0 comments

Garbage bins, a crippled rocking chair,
Weedy flowerbeds, yawning cats,
Lizards drinking the sunshine,
Dirt, barking dogs, busy ants.

How about a star exploding, a supernova
Spilling out its luminous star guts
Just a million light years away,
Right in your backyard.

So what have you got in your backyard?

editors note:

It’s the backyard of the mind; trip over a wagon or a fallen star. – mh

An Apple

March 24, 2012  :: 0 comments

Did
it
really fall on his head,
the mythical Newton’s apple?
Not exactly, but who gives a damn —
it looks great in cartoons, that’s the point.
The apple indeed landed beside him while
he meandered pensively in a Lincolnshire
garden — thus was born gravitation. And if
I walked through an orchard, would I get
revelation as well? Worth a try. There
still may be fruits on the
ground.

Shredder

July 22, 2011  :: 0 comments

Years of bills, receipts, accounts,
Dusty stacks of assorted papers
Rustle like dry autumn leaves
As I feed them to a hungry shredder:
Devoured, disfigured, disappeared.

What about my crumpled dreams?
Could I stuff them into the shredder?
My crippled impotent thoughts,
Rotten hopes, spotted with mildew?
Shred them to bits, greedy chomper!

Devoured, disfigured, disappeared —
Relief, rebirth, renewal
Or end, emptiness, eradication?
And what if the shredder gets sick?
Disgusting. Forget the renewal.
Paper, I’ll give it more paper.

Naked

featured in the poetry forum July 22, 2011  :: 0 comments

My body is not perfect,
It has never been,
Time does not help either.
Still, I’m not bothered
When you see me naked.
Perfect or not,
I’m not ashamed.

It’s different with my poems.
Some of them I share with you –
Those where my pain
Is nicely combed,
My soul is covered with
Many layers of wrappings
Glued together by resin of laughter,
Placed into a painted
Sarcophagus of rhyme.

Other poems though,
Where my pain is
Unkempt and disheveled,
My soul is naked,
With ugly bulges of sorrow protruding
Beneath the worn out rags of illusions,

I may show them to somebody else,

Not to you, I don’t want you to see them.

A Man on the Stair

featured in the poetry forum April 6, 2011  :: 0 comments

First floor, second, up I run,
Here he is, the familiar man,
Always there, between
The second floor and the third.
Cracks in the stone stair
Portray him, visible only to me,
I never fail to meet
His eyeless stare.

Third floor, second, first,
Down I went, never turning back,
Continents away,
No regrets, no despair,
No cracks in the stairs,
I use an elevator today.

Why then if I drift
Toward the past,
To the shabby house
Of my childhood years,
The first face I see
Is him, always there,
Etched on the stone stair.
I never fail to meet
His eyeless stare.