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

There were those who said
he was some kind of genius,
but most saw him
as a drunk,

on the sidewalk,
pants wet
from his own

The very smell of him
would make heads turn,
generally away,

and yet there were those
who found the sight
and odor

They became
unsought acolytes,
keeping their devotions

lest average mortals,
or the master,
see them

when bloodshot eyes
wherever they might be,

in this city
of concrete
and mysteries.

editors note:

There’s a mystery to every miscreant. – mh clay

The Weight of Words

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

The weight of words
and the mockery of men.

All this and the weather too.
Storms outside and in.

The crashing of consonants.
The anguish of vowels.

The glares of the ignorant
content in their simplicity.

The otherness of the stranger
isolated by his addiction

to all those sounds
containing meanings

that you strive so hard
to understand.

editors note:

They ain’t heavy… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

You refused to wear leather,
but, in dreams, there you are,
all boots and straps of dead cow,
and not much else.

A pity really.
You look so good that way.
But a dream is what it is.
And waking is what it is as well.

The hands that once held you
are less solid than clouds,
and can not hold on
to what they want, and once had,

in other ways, in other times,
and other configurations,
but never enough to satisfy
eyes that could see so much
after they were closed.

editors note:

Lamenting what was seen but not had. – mh clay

Leave it to us

featured in the poetry forum July 1, 2022  :: 0 comments

The world always walks
on a tightrope over fire.
The world always walks
through a field of mines.
The world always walks
with the devil at its shoulder.
The world always walked
blindfolded towards a cliff.

Ants do not know this.
They build their cities underground.
They work day and night
to feed their numbers,
and fight the small beasts
that threaten their survival.

Grass has no knowledge
of the end of time
being as close as a kiss
from the wind.
It grows in the sun
and sends roots
through the soil.

So much that lives goes on
without anxiety or calculation
of the risks.
Yet hominids in cloth coverings
worry over this,
knowing they are the source
of much of the trouble
plaguing the home
of the big and the small.

editors note:

If the other things were aware of how we are walking the world, they might choose to stop our global swarming. – mh clay

Everything Matters When Nothing Matters

featured in the poetry forum April 29, 2022  :: 0 comments

Everything matters when nothing matters.
The way the dust falls in the light.
How a cat stalks a spider.
The scrape of steel wool
against an iron frying pan.

It all matters.
It all matters so much
because nothing matters.

It all stopped mattering.
Now the sight and sound
of all that continues
to go on and be
to the fact that nothing matters,
eats at your gizzard,
tears at your lungs.

You can’t breathe.
You can’t think.
You can’t watch.
You can’t listen.

All you can do
is sulk in your chair,
pull at a beer
and pretend the TV
talking to you
is the one you miss.

editors note:

Until all that matters is the background chatter. – mh clay

In the blood

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

I try to bleed a little bit each day.
Not a lot, just a little.
A nip here, a cut there.
No big puddles on the floor.

Shaving is usually enough
to make the sacrifice,
feed the dark gods,
keep them hungry
but satisfied enough
to let me get through the day.

The small loss
may bring the sunrise
that lights up my room
and the garden outside,
keep things in balance,

and send the demons
to the next house over
until skin heals
and whiskers grow again.

editors note:

No styptic to stall the dawn. – mh clay

Keeping it quiet

featured in the poetry forum December 9, 2021  :: 1 comment

The wife sleeps. She gets up at 4 AM.
It’s 9 PM and I feel guilty for being up.
I try not to make noise, just scratches on paper.

All these words are toned down
so as not to wake an early riser.
Any excitement in them
is of the quiet kind,

what you find when fishing,
or driving a country road
just to see where it goes,

or turning a page in a book
with all that thunder and gunfire
locked down into sentences,
so only you can hear it.

editors note:

Reading out loud with nary a sound. – mh clay

Dark Secrets of the Concert Hall

featured in the poetry forum September 24, 2021  :: 0 comments

The piano is afraid of the cello.
It does not know why but it is.

The drums exist in their own world.
The horns, close by, waiver in loyalty,

longing for the violins and violas,
but knowing the brass section is exiled

to a land of greater noise.

The conductor sees all,
but ignores as much as possible

such discord in practice and concert.

It is her job to make all rise above
the petty squabbles,

insecurities, rivalries, foolishness
of so many instruments

assembled for a purpose,
greater than their own,

and lead them, as best she can,
in finding a harmony

greater than the sound
of so many individuals

so near to each other’s throats.

editors note:

Well, tickle my tympani, there’s enough tension there to put a “t” in Eroica. – mh clay

A Sign Says No Dumping

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2021  :: 0 comments

In the mud and murk
Trout hide well
Along with turtles
And tadpoles.

A body however
Would be easier
To find
Unless chopped small.

A creek yay deep
Is better for concealing
The small and living
Than the big and dead.

Still, people try.
The water looks deeper
Than it is
And strangers
Who pull up in cars
With loaded trunks

Don’t realize
How many hooks
Probe the dark green
Of a summer day.

editors note:

A plea for responsible recycling. – mh clay

The next act up after Jesus

featured in the poetry forum April 4, 2021  :: 0 comments

You look once
and see magic.

You look again
and see nothing at all.

That’s the way it goes kids.
Miracles are all in the timing.

Get it wrong
and it’s just another game of cards.

editors note:

With nothing but imagination up your sleeve. – mh clay