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

Sometimes the pain
Of artistry
Is almost too much
To bear

The disappointments
The doubts
The debts piling up

But how do you calculate
The return on investment
For the Parthenon,
The Pietá,
Or Moby Dick?

When did we stop
Learning the joy
Of growing the beans
Just so we could count them?

editors note:

Selah! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 21, 2022  :: 0 comments

The glacier did not speak in tongues
Or speak in a forked tongue
Or a tongue of fire
Or a prayer to God
Or a sixth sense
Or a gift of prophecy
Or a sequence of numbers
Or a pattern of colors

The glacier did not speak in the
Sweat of passion
Or the fire of ideology
Or the mendacity of politics
Or the pettiness of lucre
Or the veil of horror

What the glacier said
Is in small scratches
And polished stones
And lines across the
Walls of the valley
And in the deep of the lake
And the skeletons of fish
And the boulders in a field

And that like all the others
Under the weight of the ice
Or the heat of the sun
We all become
The markings of the vanished

editors note:

Yet we strive to say as much on paper or in digital air. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 26, 2021  :: 0 comments

That morning he lay at the bottom of the stairs
Twisted, broken, and released
Discovered by his wife at the end of the service

That week they came to the house
Eating fried chicken, beans, and bacon
Green Jello salad, tuna rice and Velveeta
Remembering the good things about his life

At the viewing the funeral director
Apologized beforehand
And shuffled off to arrange the flower arrangements

On the way to the cemetery
They drove through a long, flat swamp
Passing the hearse as
A grandson flew over in a plane
Late, but still there in the Spirit

The cemetery was peaceful
The Balm of Cavalry
And wheeling the casket over
The spongy ground
Someone wondered if the casket was long enough
For so tall a man
So devout a Christian man
A man of the Church his whole life
Loved by his family
A great example to us all
A man who beat his wife
And knocked her teeth out
A man who whipped
His daughter with a belt
A man who was a lawyer
And stole money from his clients
A man who prayed unceasingly
And was saved by Grace

The preacher,
A short, portly fellow with grey hair
And size 7 loafers
Said he did not have to guess
Did not have to wave a magic wand
Did not have to click his heels

That he knew
That we knew
That this man was in Heaven
And that he had entered into the
Joy of his Lord

editors note:

So, what do you know? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 12, 2019  :: 0 comments

The nurses
Come and go
Talking of pulmonary flow

The living breathe
And the dead exhale
Every minute
Now a lifetime
As this world ends
For us
With a rattle
A pulse
A beep

To bridge the
Sanctity of the living
Rebuild the shattered coil
Proclaim the victory
Over death again
We have
Refined the horrifying
In situ Frankensteinian
Resurrection of the body
Long since past
the freshness date
Stamped on it
By the hand of the Almighty
Or the coding of the double-helix

editors note:

This is why some choose D N R. (We welcome Tony to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


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

Blood-orange cloud towers
Writhing in the sunset
The tall pines in shadow
And the tentacular roadways
Thick with engines
Breathing like fire-eaters

A sense of not going forward
A sense of going too far
Like Los Angeles
New York
Or Mexico City

Another empire of the living
Built on an empire of the dead,
This one made of concrete,
Carbon, and swamp gas
The water rising up
Into a forest of billboards
Marketing the unregarded
Scientific wisdom of the Savior:

The meek shall inherit the Earth

editors note:

Heirs of the urban sprawl, all of nothing is theirs. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 16, 2019  :: 0 comments

We’re closer now
Joined at the synapse
The electronic halo

Compression of space
Quickening of time
Gaining of microns
Splitting of quanta


Coming towards
Coming apart
Of sound
Of light
Of inward flow
Free market
Of outward pulse
Reality that is
More real than
You’ll ever be

Mandating acceleration
Flooding the target
Measuring the path
Showering the neurons
Until another datum
Enters the portal:

But we’ll
Reboot the system
Manufacture the solution
Mix the dopamine cocktail
Invent the savior

We’re closer now
Than we’ve ever been

editors note:

So “close,” but can’t solve the equation for “there.” – mh clay