Smiling Upon Them

featured in the poetry forum March 18, 2017  :: 0 comments

weeps inside the stone
family crypts, bones of old
nuzzled close to tombstone of a new one
no more than five, hit by a taxi, just one of thousands
transporting the near dead back and forth
to markets, to churches, to landmarks meant for saviors
who still bleed for sinners and saints
on the smallest of atolls, where rainwater embraces roads
like watery pillows on beds of sand.
Barefoot children still dance
prance like wild animals
chasing each other, or dogs and cats
in cemetaries adorned with plastic roses
aged photos of mothers, fathers melted in ceramic tiles
gracing the boxes, meant to pay tribute to the lineage
of men and women on the island nation decimated
by weapons like Ivy Mike unleashed on Bikini and others
forcing the creation of even more downtown memorials
for gawkers to photo, natives to cherish.
Will U.S. millions ever pay back
the loss of a culture, the ruin of hundreds of tribes?

People who built canoes, fished tuna, baked breadfruit
today drink Coke, eat Fritos, chew betel nut, send prostitutes
to Chinese, Japanese and American ships as payment in full
as, “Hallelujah, I’m saved!” rings from each shiny new church
saving lives by the hundreds each and every day
in exchange for all souls now and forever after.

editors note:

It’s the capitalist way – world without end. – mh clay

Once Upon a Time

featured in the poetry forum October 4, 2015  :: 1 comment

I wrote
so many words
my fingers exploded, bled
red across the keyboard, down the white desk top
until the bones showed, exposing
the exact nature of the thoughts, emotions
carried into the letters and truths
I so sought out in midnight runs
to serenity.

Went to the doctor the next morning
asked if this condition was a permanent one.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is – unless”
“Unless what!” I bellowed, still in pain
the wrapping around the digits soaked.

“Unless you cease the unnecessary tears
you unveil. All might be lost
because every molecule of your being
is connected to a greater whole, and the ideas
you spread across the pages weep
when you tell your tale too many times
to too many people”

The well-intentioned ER medic re-bandaged my wounds
gave me a shot in the arm and a prescription
before shooing me out of her hospital.

So here I am, yet again, while the moon is full
hoping beyond hope her diagnosis was incorrect.

But if she’s correct,
and my hands are the ones to blow this time
I think I’ll just stay at home
let nature do its work
reflect on the purity of God, the Universe
before taking my final nap, shaking off
this mortal coil, knowing that my final thoughts
were those that needed to be shouted
not to the mountain tops
but to the world from a tiny room
filled with photos of my child, my girlfriend,
and all the other memories that made me
fill the galaxy full of love . . .

editors note:

Once upon a time is ever and always waiting for the storyteller to begin. – mh clay

They Sing

featured in the poetry forum August 19, 2014  :: 0 comments

her name, outside my window,
each one, excited for the day before them
proclaiming to the world life is new again
this morning, in the darkness
and at dusk, as it disappears into the rainbow
of colors, a palate fit for Monet.

Should I be jealous…
their words belong to the wind
lyrics I can only capture by ear, but not duplicate?

If you were here
we could practice the chords together
in our own voices, low and sweet,
create our own melody, a song
that even they would listen to with envy
as they looked in on us
and wept.

editors note:

Mortals mouth the melody to make the angels cry. – mh

Time’s Arrow

May 4, 2014  :: 0 comments

Flies irregularly
hits and misses
hearts aflutter
hands held
bodies coupled
in love
in lust
inconsistently touched…
with compassion
with empathy
until they
learn to
see into
the realness
of each
other’s soul.


featured in the poetry forum May 4, 2014  :: 0 comments

crept across my day, freezing
my all ready wet and damp limbs
ill prepared for the suddenness
of the rain, the hail, the floods
pounding at my half dead carcass
as I dragged it across the night
scraping knees, bloodied,
to the refuge of the shelter…
made of cardboard and particle board
magazines, newspapers my bed.

Somehow you found me
in my rubble, collapsing
lent your hand, pulled me close
to your heart, kicking aside the imitations of life
I called home
without someone
like you.

We re-write the present
for the future
retouching the past with brushstrokes
only artists of elegance can make
until our canvas is readied for new paint
earth tones that breed clarity and calmness
erasing the bleakness
of the blackened sky
that caused the shadows
the self-hatred, the fear
of a man who believed
he was not worthy of friendship
let alone love.
Let us look for others
as the one slave you set free
and pay it forward
shall we?

editors note:

Yes, we shall! When the universe smiles on us, why not smile on others? – mh

The Change

featured in the poetry forum February 10, 2014  :: 0 comments

Deep inside the thatched building, filled with red, yellow, green
of all sizes, lengths and shapes, tangled separately and amongst each other,
she screamed.

All the others breezed passed
as if moving through Hitler’s funeral.

She whimpered, cried, thrashed around
like a turtle on its back, struggling to see the world…
from an upright position.

The bicyclist laughed
a little boy cautiously crept by without so much as touching
the thing in front of him.

As the tears streamed longer
and the voice crackled with coughs,
the pleas for help simply could not be ignored.

After a photo of the unhappiest of attendees
the father pointed to the mother –
“I think she needs a diaper change!”

In the corner of the arboretum,
the lilies whispered, “Hush little baby…”

editors note:

Noise and waste; pollution affects all. “Hush!” indeed. – mh


featured in the poetry forum January 23, 2013  :: 0 comments

clutters your DNA
swirling with magical properties
making you, you, separate
but connected
to me
and her.

Clinging to you when available
squeezing me as tightly as you do
I say, “I love you,” but why
do I think of HER
when the syllables escape
my lips as I kiss YOU?

Unexplained is explainable
even though I do not see her
in your face
I feel her
in my heart
through you.

editors note:

Sweet is this severe separation, a bitter twist on genetic memory. – mh


November 2, 2012  :: 0 comments

we make up about ourselves, others
who seem intent to invade our hearts
take no prisoners as they steal the gold and jewels
meant for the next generation. What can I do
to preserve the peace on royal grounds
without my beheading by the public?

Metaphors made for lover’s actions lack punch
reality of what truly makes them tic-tock their clocks
the inner workings of gears grinding until their face
display repeatedly says, “Times’ up!”

Stories I make up about each potential lover
pale – but comfort in the desperate moments
before dawn. As I roll over, wonder,
will she be the kind to share truth
before laying down, rolling over, playing
possum, pouncing on me with eyes piercing
dissecting until my heart is cut out for mere pleasure?

Opening one’s soul – if I still own mine –
makes sense only if the fables we concoct
become . . . sensual, passionate, truthful
for more than fifteen minutes.

Cyber City

featured in the poetry forum November 2, 2012  :: 0 comments

Seeks you
embraces our desires
captures all dreams
steals away the lives of ordinary people
promising to serve men, women
the loniest of the lonely
who pray for companionship
young, old, rich or poor
needy as they
who sit in corners
behind desks strewn with papers, photos and cream
laptops radiating the heat
of desperate lovers
who hear only the words from pink, thick lips
of avatars pure of heart
with nothing more to say than
“Hi – wanna hook-up?”

editors note:

Should you find yourself sliding down that slippery cyber slope, there’s a remedy: <ctrl> <alt> <delete> (Another good one from Joseph on his page – check it out.) – mh

Time Enough

featured in the poetry forum February 22, 2012  :: 0 comments

he whispered
to her,
is as important
as any desire
men and women
when day turns night
and the screaming stars
fade behind the shades,
the bottom edges filthy
from dead flies on the sill,
and couples never notice
as they close their eyes
with time
at last.

editors note:

We have what we have; but with another, enough can be enough. – mh