The Persistence of Things

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

(after the rocket attack)

She died with a clean sink,
with all the forks in the drainer
points down and handles apart
and not a speck of melted cheese
in between the tines.
She died with a clean floor
swept clear of little crumbs
and cellophane bits from snack packets.

She died with a tidy pantry,
cans arranged by sell-by date,
the lentil bag cinched up tight,
and a full jar of coffee beans
just waiting to be ground
for that perfect wake-up cup.

Come into her kitchen. Look around.
Turn and face the faceless appliances
that sit muted, waiting for her touch.
The lettuce in the fridge is still green.
The tomatoes are hardly shriveled at all.

editors note:

They say it’s about countries and creeds. Nope! It’s about this… – mh clay

Sweet Willy

May 19, 2023  :: 0 comments

We were fooling around in bed one night, me and Tim, when we came up with the idea. Where did it come from? Maybe it was the weed we’d smoked, pretty good stuff, and like Tim always said, Garbage in, garbage out. Obviously, the idea was anything but garbage. Well, there we were, no clothes on and I looked down …

The Cure

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

It just made me feel so much better.
All it took was a few shots through the bus window.
The crack of glass as the bullets hit,
crazing the window, pop, fzzzz, and then
the crazed bellow of the bus motor
as the driver slammed his foot on the gas
but couldn’t go,
for the wheelchair ramp was stuck in place. So
I stood and watched as
people poured out bus doors and windows
like frantic ants from a squashed anthill, heard
women scream, men shout
and shrill waves
of children’s shrieks
knifing through the air,
rising and falling
like sirens, ambulance, firetrucks,
car horns blaring,
it was all so
invigorating –
And I felt sweeps of blood
rushing through my body, felt
cleansing waves pouring through me
while a million phones flashed
light light light –
Distant wailing, cops approaching,
and oh my headache was

editors note:

Worse than any disease. – mh clay


November 1, 2022  :: 0 comments

It’s seven pm, a summer early evening, the hour when the swallows that live in the carport suddenly blow across the yard in long swoops. Celia leans against the threshold of her house, her arthritic hands cupped around a mug of chamomile tea. She watches the swallows dive and rise in the air. She scans the horizon beyond the yard, …


September 10, 2022  :: 0 comments

I knew Sam from Jerusalem, way, way back in the day when we were both new immigrants to Israel. In those days, everyone in the neighborhood had keys to each other’s houses. Some of us had phones, some had washing machines, and it was easiest to share these things with our friends by just letting them come and use them …

At the Head Shop

March 15, 2022  :: 0 comments

The man behind the counter looked me over as I staggered into the shop. “Full up?” he asked. I nodded stiffly. I was afraid to move too fast. The man, George, lifted one hand. “It’s all right,” he said. “I’m glad you’ve come in. But why did you wait till now?” “I—there was just so much to deal with.” I …

I Watch Myself Move Through the World And No One Notices I Am Not There

featured in the poetry forum October 8, 2021  :: 0 comments

I am out of sync with myself.
Inside and outside do not match up.
Like a filmed event
with a two-second sound delay,
a cascade of
anxious, racing thoughts
jerk me away.
I am pulled in all directions
like a rubber band stretched too far
and then,
again and again,
snapped back,
and each stretch and relax
returns me to myself
more limp than the one before.

But I am well socialized.
You’d never know.
I get up in the morning,
get the day’s chores done,
go to the stores,
deal with the bank.
I smile at the proper places
and know when to shut up too,
but I am not here,
not here, not with you.

editors note:

If we out-of-sync could sync then we’d be there. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2020  :: 0 comments

If I am so smart, why
am I so stupid
or is it more
in that category of
when you think
if you only do that thing
one more time,
one more time,

editors note:

Because, maybe it will, maybe… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 7, 2020  :: 0 comments

God is playing dice with the Universe.
The Universe throws doubles.
God sighs.
Six million is a lot to lose.
Now it’s God’s turn to
hunker down and shoot.
Ha, says God. Pandemic!
Those dice are rigged, says the Universe.
Not so, says God.
It’s random.
I don’t believe it, says the Universe.
I know you, God.
You keep records.
You hold grudges.
And what about Einstein?
He had a theory about you.

God laughs.

editors note:

Laugh it off and double-down. Seven come eleven… – mh clay

The News from Israel

featured in the poetry forum April 26, 2019  :: 0 comments

The t.v. announcer says
Siren. 15 seconds. Direct hit.
I think
Toilet paper. Crackers. Cat food.
The radio announcer says
Cabinet meeting. Reserves. Call-up.
I think
Canned tuna. Bottled water. Eggs.

The Internet says
Missiles. Rockets. Tunnels.
I think
Cooking gas. Kerosene. Batteries.

I don’t say
What I think I know,
What I don’t want to know,
What I don’t want to think.
And so I keep thinking
Coffee. Aspirin. Apples.
Peanut butter. Face cream. Soap.

editors note:

What else can you think when never-should-happen becomes every-day-thing? – mh clay