​They see a lobster

featured in the poetry forum April 20, 2022  :: 0 comments

​They see a lobster crawling out
every time he opens his mouth
to utter the words he had memorized
for a speech he never attempted to write.

They see a lobster shrieking out
every time he constructs a smile
that is unwilling to endow
his hardened features with the amity required
to lure the crowds.

They see a lobster reeling out
in the corners of his eyes
inebriated with tears that ripple
with self-love
as he gazes upon the sufferings of humankind.

editors note:

Such characters (recognize one?) are an affront to lobsterdom. – mh clay

A Thistle

April 19, 2022  :: 0 comments

The first men I fell in love were Robert Kennedy and Jesus Christ. I hope I am not blaspheming if I say that I found a prophet extremely handsome with his auburn hair and Celtic beard. I loved both JFK and his brother, but for me Robert was handsomer. I gazed upon my heroes long hours, until the Virginian (James …

Old Spice

February 12, 2022  :: 0 comments

He records the weight and breadth of her censorious words every night in his notebook. He keeps a chart of his tears, another of her screams, and a few tick boxes for the scarcity of halcyon days. His face has become a topography of his ill-hidden fears of displeasing a woman who had hijacked the best of his years. He …

A Chasm

featured in the poetry forum February 2, 2022  :: 0 comments

When you failed to impart your feelings to me,
I was bound to falter with hesitancy
for a beauty like yours had fettered my eloquent ease.

Nothing had repulsed me in your athletic physique,
a pair of arms, disarming my wit
whenever your sleeves unveiled their muscular feats.

A pair of eyes that probed without being intrusive.
A pair of lips that regaled with English translucence.
A pair of hands that intimated a world of assurance.

We drifted apart,
a chasm widening within our hearts,
submerging our hearths with early snowfalls.

editors note:

Looks good, feels good, fails better; a cold chasm, indeed. – mh clay

The Crying Game

November 26, 2021  :: 0 comments

I searched for something the least voguish. The location was an embassy though the occasion was only a job interview. London was in verdure with its tree-fringed roads. Sunrays multiplied in my eyes that beamed with joy – my first job interview since I graduated only three months ago. The interviewees hardly noticed my entrance into a very spacious room, …

A Free-Born Smile

featured in the poetry forum November 10, 2021  :: 0 comments

How can you abort
a smile that has been free-born,
that is neither cajoled nor bought,
that is not designed by a dentist who adorns,
that imparts to the onlooker a current of warmth,
that woos the worst sworn enemy with a truce,
that endows the oldest face with the glow of youth,
that makes a pair of lips eloquent without words,
that builds a bridge between nations that constantly fought,
that opens a gate into one’s innermost thoughts,
that rewrites a hasty letter with a cordial tone,
that rebukes the frowns that are the offspring of gall,
that humors a forlorn soul,
that exposes for the beloved two rows of amity’s pearls.

editors note:

With those priceless pearls? How can you, indeed? – mh clay

The Aesthetics of Penury

August 21, 2021  :: 0 comments

She lived among sordid squalor, yet she only beheld what enthralled, such as a stray sunray that fleetingly slipped into her darksome room or a moth happily fluttering round half a candle that her little brother was given at church. The key to her tidiness was a bar of soap that she earned from her overtime chores. Having scrubbed myriads …

Betrayal

featured in the poetry forum August 20, 2021  :: 0 comments

The legacy of betrayal that started before
Judas Iscariot is bound to endure
for centuries to go.

I think of St. Benedict and the noble crow
that snatched the poison those brethren sowed
in his dairy food.

And the Templars who observed their chivalric codes
were arrested and tortured in the name of the Lord
by a treacherous pope.

Entire countries are habitually sold
for their possessions of gas or gold
by rapacious rogues.

And monogamy, whose veil is ripped and torn,
is daily ravished by lechery’s thorns
to propagate divorce.

editors note:

Only done by us. Yay, Humans! – mh clay

Knots

featured in the poetry forum May 23, 2021  :: 0 comments

When camping as a scout on our Heights
the knots we studied entranced my eyes.
We sat on pine needles and learned the art
of creating with pieces of rope that chafed our hands
sophisticated shapes that sailors and mountaineers knew well.

But knots of entangled hair are of a different type,
a nuisance that makes some mothers do without
their daughters’ luxuriant locks of hair,
which end up littering a hairdresser’s floor,
with a rope of tears of scathing salt.

“Tie the marital knot,” everyone enjoins
in this benighted part of a benighted globe,
though divorce has become the trend and cult
of a culture ridden with social contracts,
“or meet the lot of lepers and other outcasts.”

editors note:

Such are the binds that tie, like them or knot. – mh clay

Abandonment

April 17, 2021  :: 0 comments

Hounded by neighbors and ruthless schoolchildren during the day, their nocturnal, air-rending cries of hunger keep me vigilantly awake. Stoning is the most lenient fate that awaits mums, puppies, or the already lame. My ears have attuned their nerves to catch the slightest bark that has a tinge of dread as it squeals its alarm away. A stray dog has …