Death Before Beauty

August 1, 2020  :: 0 comments

“You dream of me less these days,” my father says. Even in my dream, I feel guilty, like I did when he was alive. He would say, “You don’t call no more?” even when we’d talked earlier that week. I try to hide my shame, but he can see through it. I am dreaming. My mind is wide open. “I …

The day the vaccine was discovered

featured in the poetry forum May 16, 2020  :: 0 comments

The day the vaccine was discovered
They gathered in parks.
They marched in parades.
They sang songs.
The world would return to normal, they dreamed.
Then only the very rich got the vaccine.
Then only the celebrities and congress.
The vaccine is available to anyone who needs it, it was said.
To get it, you had to prove you had never had COVID.
Which meant you had to have had a test.
Which not enough people had.
Which not enough people could get;
To get the vaccine, you needed to have insurance.
But not all insurances covered the vaccine.
And due to demand
The cost was very high.
Which meant that not enough people could get it.
Then the parades turned into protest marches.
With guns.
Then many turned against each other.
Those who wore masks and those who didn’t.
Those who were tested and those who weren’t.
Those who had the presidential vaccine stamp on their arms
And those who didn’t.
The day the vaccine was discovered
Was like pulling on the string that held things together.

editors note:

Poetry? Or, prophecy? Oof! (Read something with a lighter touch from Mike on his page. Check it out!) – mh clay

Lamentations of Scottie

May 16, 2020  :: 0 comments

Scottie’s Log, 2550:

We appear to be stranded somewhere in the Vega system.
3 suns and boy it is hot.
Course, Kirk has had his shirt off since we landed on this damned planet, prancing around in his nylon Speedos.
He is always on the prowl – even now.
I messed around with the Dilithium Crystal configs and blew the life support system, so everyone is pissed at me.
The captain especially.
They forget the time I pulled us off Tantalus before its 2 suns simultaneously exploded.
Or the million times I’ve warp sped away from enemy pursuit.
No one notices me until something goes wrong.
Maybe Kirk is getting newly laid every week, smooching with every pretty yeoman that gets beamed aboard; not me.
New planets, new women for the captain.
I’m not sure if I’m mad because I’m jealous or because he’s a bastard.
But I do love him – loved him since we met at the academy.
Will I die out here in space? So far from my home – away from everything I have ever known – green hills, rocky cliffs, Mary MacDuff’s blue eyes.
Must I go on?
Can I bear this heavy load alone?
Too much time by myself in the basement of the Enterprise.
Too much time waiting for something to go wrong.
Too much time.
When will the luck go my way?
Back to the pickle I have got us in; as soon we’re off again, I’ll be off the hook – until next time.

editors note:

Glad to know we’ll have a Scottie to help us out in 2550 (Speedos, too). – mh clay

Calling Vito a Guido

October 5, 2019  :: 0 comments

Having tied his Capezio shoes, Vito brushes his white slacks and gets up from the chair. He walks over to the mirror in the living room to brush his black hair — again. He tilts his head to one side, looks at himself from the corner of his eye and runs the brush across his coal black mass of hair. …

Swollen Seconds

featured in the poetry forum April 30, 2019  :: 0 comments

Glorious organ and cheering horns
Swarms of birds
Rushing the cushioned clouds.
And there is you.
Your yellow eyes melting.
Yesterday’s crying on your face.
Fallen seconds trickle down your
Swollen cheeks.
The weeks worn
Around your neck
Like broken diamonds.
Tonight is still.
The moon eclipsed.
The stars unfixed and the lighted
Sky dims.
Look! A hush inks the darkness
Even Darker.

editors note:

A hush to comfort, a breast to rest. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 11, 2019  :: 0 comments

Reaches down into
Itself.  Where demons mingle.
Knotted roots signal battle.
The blackened soil, a hollow
For unseen wars. Muted screams stored into
Silence.  The roots coil back,
Like harrowed victims chased home. Once inside
The dark terror subsides and they can rest. Tomorrow, as leaves,
They sing in the sun, their flapping kisses the pearly air.
Where angels cushion
The light

editors note:

Where birds of feather flock, not scatter; fight fears, threats shatter. – mh clay

Hanging by a Thread

February 9, 2019  :: 0 comments

I was a high school teacher before they came. I’m not sure what I am now. They said they chose me because they needed cases to test. To make sure their experiments worked. Now I feel more like a Wax Museum custodian than anything else. What I most recall is that it was a very regular night. Even the light …

The Silence of Slow Time

September 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

He is crouching on the grass behind a bush, out of wind. Only a few feet away he hears the growling of a tiger. He holds his breath until his lungs almost burst, cautiously letting the air seep out of his lungs. The tiger lingers, but then seems to stroll away. It doesn’t matter what we call this being. He …


June 2, 2018  :: 0 comments

Ever since St. Bernadette had a vision of Mary in the grotto, tourists came to Lourdes, some to be healed by its miracle. Arriving by train in Lourdes, Roberto alighted onto the streets, now crowded with seekers from across the globe. They came from all over the world, some on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and some even on flat beds. …

Under a spiral arm

featured in the poetry forum December 28, 2017  :: 0 comments

Under a spiral arm, she kissed me. A beam of moon-glare light streaked past us. A meteorite?

She laughed. But my heart felt heavy. Something about her emerald eyes said she would have to leave.

Shiny metallic rocks. A pulsar beating like a desperate heart. The sound of a waterfall.

Scared of heights, I looked at where my feet stood. I must be standing upright, I thought, but it was hard to tell. Was this an asteroid? I had only seen them in books. Dark black chunks of angular rock. Pockets of glittery metals. Suspended in the shawl of eternal night.

I didn’t know her name, but I knew her. Yet I couldn’t place when or where we had met. Maybe we had always met here. Her paraffin white face, so smooth and perfect. Full lips, like rose petals. Almond shaped eyes.

We didn’t speak so much as share jokes, looking at the stars. I made a gesture, pointing my finger, suggesting that I lived in one of those distant solar systems. Her laugh made my skin tickle. She nodded and pointed with her nose, as if saying yeah I’m going to be just as vague with my astronomical directions. Then she reached out to hold my hands in hers. She took a deep breath. Suddenly, her eyes grew wet. I wanted to burst out crying, too. All of my old games laid bare. All my hang-ups exposed. We held each other, our bodies shaking.

Then everything seemed to tilt. A hole in the sky opened, pulling everything into it. As she drifted away, we reached toward each other. In that moment, her fingers like long flower stems. Her nails painted ocean blue.

I knew we’d meet again.

editors note:

A celestial tryst, a stellar stop, a romantic ride; (seeking?) certainty of love in an infinite loop. – mh clay