Trailing the Muse

featured in the poetry forum March 27, 2024  :: 0 comments

She’s walking on coals
and bidding me follow
Injects my conversation
with garlic and charms

Strews clover on the roads
I take to the metropolis
Lures me to fields
of mines itching to explode

Hums the music of mangoes
and journeys to Saturn
Hands me ink and papyrus
and then laughs

editors note:

So, that’s where she’s been; me with an empty page and a dry nib… – mh clay

Light from Alice

featured in the poetry forum September 6, 2023  :: 0 comments

A fullerene is a ball or enclosed shell of
carbon atoms. The discovery of fullerenes
has been hugely influential in improving
technology in a number of fields.
—The Writers Almanac,
August 23, 2010

I want some fullerenes. An old email in my
Writers Almanac folder just reminded me
of their worth, and thus I now crave them badly.

Maybe I’ve had two or three all this time and didn’t
know it. Maybe the neighbors might spare a cup
from their new entertainment center.

It was on the day, 08/23, in the Great Depression year
1933, that the man who helped discover them was born
in the Texas town of Alice, not far from the border.

Why didn’t anyone notice fullerenes before then, and don’t
you want a bunch, too? I feel empty without a supply,
prompted again how valuable they are.

I’m not making wordplay on fuller-enes vs. empties,
nor am I impulse-shopping. I need filler for pop-up
wastelands, inklings of cosmic lack.

But, please, where are those little baubles,
my current void stuffers? I keep asking and waiting
and then asking again.

editors note:

I don’t think what’s for sale on Amazon is what Bob, Dick, and Harry (or this poet) have in mind. – mh clay

Bags of Chemicals

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

My scientific son says we’re all bags of chemicals.
He could be right.
I know I leak happy serotonin from my armpits
when he sends the rare e-mail.

I feel warm dopamine vibes
when I look in the mirror at my graying hair
and like what I see
despite the loss of sexy estrogen.

My husband made that new dish I suggested for dinner,
and we both agree never to add habanero sauce
and adobo to anything ever again.
The G-I doc was right when he said the gut and brain
carry on constant conversations.
Our stomachs are screaming at our heads right now.

Some prescription disliked my head last week,
but I sucked in the side-effect rage and did not choke
the innocent bystander spouse.
The day I rejected that last pill in the bottle,
we felt glad we still have our mutual life.

Driving by the lake regularly
makes me feel good.
I count on its chemical beauty
for every prescribed transcendent mood.
Good ole H2O.

It always comes down to the liquids around,
about, and inside us:
their balance, their charge, their corpuscular weight.
Maybe crying isn’t so bad nor sweating
or vomiting after a bad fight or scare.
Bags of chemicals on a watery orb,
a blob in vacuous space — makes you wonder, that’s all.

editors note:

Gods bless this liquid life! (We welcome Jean to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

I Astonish Myself

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

I astonish myself—
my socks match

I have the concept socks must match
and also I drive a car

Someone thought the thought we should
bustle about in cars

Thus I make my daily runs
in a practical hatchback with low mileage

So many ideas speeding around the planet—
somebody grabs one from a hurricane

and smooths it out
while two others get their hands caught

in a jar of extra-sweet better-mousetrap
that spills over five continents

and here we are souped-up nations
all in matching socks

and sporty sedans
complete with shiny rims on our wheels

editors note:

…and nowhere to go. – mh clay

Besting Eve

featured in the poetry forum April 11, 2021  :: 0 comments

I try to remember why
I must not eat the warm muffin
in front of me (the preacher-
doctor’s rules, the wellness
articles saved), try to decode
its suspicious calorie count,
the sugar hit. I interrogate the coy
barista, Is the flour processed or
unrefined?

The sweet mound lures me with its
apple caramel perfume, its moist
glow. My stomach growls and sneers
at such puritan sublimation, this
pinched self-love unwilling
to forgive a timid nibble.

Before I plunge like a falling junkie
and take the fatal first bite,
I righteously remind myself
of the bad aftertaste from past
chunky muffins and their ilk.

And so I order a smug plain decaf
in a pristine paper cup to-go
and proudly stride ten brisk blocks home.

editors note:

Our garden we’d enjoy uncloyed, but for that “timid nibble.” – mh clay