Understood

featured in the poetry forum April 22, 2024  :: 0 comments

Some things are understood,
But so much else is not.
Doubt and ignorance
Walk hand in hand
With scholars and logicians.

What should we do
At those times when we realize
How little we know
And how much of what we learned
Was bullshit slung at us
By misguided professors?

Nothing is best. Forget it all.
Walk or sit in silence.
Empty out your head.
Start over with less ambition
And less certainty
In your mental abilities.

Be content to be average,
Not one of the cognescenti.
Little will change in your life.
Possibly you will smile more,
And find out you can learn more
From a ditch digger
Than from a Ph.D.

editors note:

When we don’t know what we don’t know, perhaps this is a better way to go. – mh clay

Lost

featured in the poetry forum February 2, 2024  :: 0 comments

I am sorry if I lost you.
Conversations can meander
From one place to another.
Logic can seem too extreme
A way of thinking.

Sometimes you have to
Let the mind go,
Let all those words
Spill out in a flow,
Washing over the table
And everyone sitting there
Before draining onto the floor.

When I pause to come up for air,
Remind me what we were
talking about in the first place.
That might guide us both back
To safe and familiar territory
Where nods and grunts are sufficient
To get across every point
Socially acceptable to make.

editors note:

Are we back to that? Nods and grunts and, “please pass the mastodon meatlets.” – mh clay

New Year’s Moon

featured in the poetry forum December 31, 2023  :: 0 comments

Let the beast out tonight
Just for the evening.
Tomorrow’s another year.
Plenty of time to apologize
And build a better cage.

editors note:

Bust out now, be a better beast tomorrow… or the best beast you can be. – mh clay

Plenty of Time For It

featured in the poetry forum November 4, 2023  :: 0 comments

I waste my time,
And I waste yours.
It is an age of luxury
And leisure.

There’s so much time
And so much nonsense
That could be done.

Poetry fits in there nicely
Between the bowling
And the balling,
The drugs and booze,

And the ignoring
Of all valid excuses
To do something better,
Like taking a piss
On a deserving grave.

editors note:

A perfect pissant puts off again. – mh clay

Don’t Adjust Your Television Set

featured in the poetry forum August 17, 2023  :: 0 comments

The trouble with illusions
Is that they can look so real.
All that gold that is not gold.
All that beauty that is pure ugliness.

I sit here in an oasis in the desert
Holding a daiquiri filled glass
While sipping sand from a straw.

I wait for the cavalry to arrive,
Just in the nick of time,
So the captain can hand me
A billion dollar winning
Lottery ticket.

I will cash it in tomorrow
And change my life for the good.
No more ogres on my chaise lounge.
No more pebbles in my pockets.

I will no longer need to close my eyes
To find all I have been looking for.
I will be able to look straight ahead
Into the face

Of a smiling blue locomotive
Tooting along towards me.
It might bring me to another paradise
If I can only manage to stay on track.

editors note:

All aboard! (Congrats to Joseph on the release of his new collection, Yellow Brick Pilgrim. Get your copy here. – mh clay

Seek and You Shall Find

featured in the poetry forum May 8, 2023  :: 0 comments

I who am not
seem to be
nowhere now
yet everywhere.

Put your eye close
to the telescope.
Put your ear close
to a cloud.

Watch. Listen.
Scratch your head.
You’ll never know
what you’ll find

up there
with the lice
and dandruff.

editors note:

Lose what you learn with a lather, rinse, and repeat. – mh clay

Him

featured in the poetry forum February 15, 2023  :: 0 comments

There were those who said
he was some kind of genius,
but most saw him
as a drunk,

sprawling
on the sidewalk,
pants wet
from his own
water.

The very smell of him
would make heads turn,
generally away,

and yet there were those
who found the sight
and odor
appealing.

They became
unsought acolytes,
keeping their devotions
secret,

lest average mortals,
or the master,
see them

when bloodshot eyes
stirred,
wherever they might be,

in this city
of concrete
and mysteries.

editors note:

There’s a mystery to every miscreant. – mh clay

The Weight of Words

featured in the poetry forum November 16, 2022  :: 0 comments

The weight of words
and the mockery of men.

All this and the weather too.
Storms outside and in.

The crashing of consonants.
The anguish of vowels.

The glares of the ignorant
content in their simplicity.

The otherness of the stranger
isolated by his addiction

to all those sounds
containing meanings

that you strive so hard
to understand.

editors note:

They ain’t heavy… – mh clay

Leather

featured in the poetry forum September 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

You refused to wear leather,
but, in dreams, there you are,
all boots and straps of dead cow,
and not much else.

A pity really.
You look so good that way.
But a dream is what it is.
And waking is what it is as well.

The hands that once held you
are less solid than clouds,
and can not hold on
to what they want, and once had,

in other ways, in other times,
and other configurations,
but never enough to satisfy
eyes that could see so much
after they were closed.

editors note:

Lamenting what was seen but not had. – mh clay

Leave it to us

featured in the poetry forum July 1, 2022  :: 0 comments

The world always walks
on a tightrope over fire.
The world always walks
through a field of mines.
The world always walks
with the devil at its shoulder.
The world always walked
blindfolded towards a cliff.

Ants do not know this.
They build their cities underground.
They work day and night
to feed their numbers,
and fight the small beasts
that threaten their survival.

Grass has no knowledge
of the end of time
being as close as a kiss
from the wind.
It grows in the sun
and sends roots
through the soil.

So much that lives goes on
without anxiety or calculation
of the risks.
Yet hominids in cloth coverings
worry over this,
knowing they are the source
of much of the trouble
plaguing the home
of the big and the small.

editors note:

If the other things were aware of how we are walking the world, they might choose to stop our global swarming. – mh clay