For the Dust

featured in the poetry forum September 4, 2015  :: 0 comments

They buy it. They sell it. They tear it down.
Those little pieces of history
In which childhood memories are stored.
You see it go, bulldozed, imploded.
Uprooted, paved over, places
Where you played or loved or dreamed.
A piece of you goes up with the dust,
Rising clouds that will not return as rain.
You watch, saddened by progress
That leaves you farther and farther behind,
Living in a past that no longer exists.

editors note:

There are riches to be had in razing the past to the ground; no money in memory. No wonder we never learn. – mh clay

Hook, Line, and Sinker

November 5, 2014  :: 0 comments

Fishing for love
In a sea of sadness,

Bait your hook
With heart and soul,

See what tugs the line
Or swallows it whole.

Carp Day

featured in the poetry forum November 5, 2014  :: 0 comments

stream flowing
over stones,
frothing white,
river spirit
impregnating water
with oxygen.

carp and catfish
huddle at the dam
attracting foxes, raccoons,
all giving thanks to life
for enriching them
with the wonder
of movement;

chemical combustion
of sugars,
energy abundant
for the swim downstream,
the chase and kill
caught in teeth.
all feel the pressure
of the jaws closing

but sing and swim
and run and dance
they must
for as long as they can
in the spring sun
before their turn
must come.

editors note:

Seize or be seized! It’s gonna be somebody’s day; make it yours. (Read another fish story from Joe on his page – check it out!) – mh

The corpse in the garden

featured in the poetry forum August 23, 2014  :: 0 comments

the corpse in the garden
has laid there six days
the sun burns hot
and the garden stinks

a man of clay should go out
and prod that body
with a sharp stick,
see if white worms
bubble from the skin

check for a wallet
and maybe a name
keep the cash
if there is no i.d.
assume it is god.

editors note:

What comes from letting the dead do the burying. – mh

Even Superman Gets the Blues

featured in the poetry forum October 4, 2013  :: 0 comments

My ability to save the world
is somewhat limited today.
I sit here on the bed
with my hands between my knees
staring at the costume and cape
still hanging in the closet.

Not today. Not today.
I think in bed I’ll stay.
The world can save itself.
I’ll read a tome from my bookshelf
and snuggle under covers
with a feather pillow,
and if the world is still here
tomorrow or whenever I feel better,
I will try to don that cape
and fight to protect
whatever is left.

editors note:

Accrued ambivalence clouds crusader conscience; inaction ensues. – mh

Crank Calls From The Dead

featured in the poetry forum July 20, 2013  :: 0 comments

Ancestors keep calling me
in the middle of the night
and hanging up the phone.
I tell them we are of one spirit
and to leave me alone,
but they keep calling, say,
“You are us and we are you.”
They won’t lose my number,
and will give me no rest.
I will have to move myself,
but where can I go
where their words and genes
will not follow?
It is hard enough to be yourself
without having generations
of baggage to carry.

editors note:

Those bags are a lot to carry, ‘specially since they started charging to check’em. Genetic Debt: Pay now AND later. – mh

S & M In The Work Place

featured in the poetry forum April 19, 2013  :: 0 comments

The leather is subdued,
kept to belts, purses, shoes.

All good workers learn to kneel,
take the beatings without a squeal.

“Thank you master,” you must say
when managers take pensions and benefits away.

“Be thankful you still have a job,” is what you hear
while budget projections are rammed up your rear.

“No raises this year. Some reductions may occur.
Increase production you lazy curs.”

We bear the stripes upon our backs,
kiss the boots and grovel home,

still blind and proud in our American faith
in truth, justice and the marketplace.

editors note:

Marketplace monotony molds our moods to mutual benefit – that’s the line! Any one biting? – mh


featured in the poetry forum January 29, 2013  :: 0 comments

This stuff inside behind these eyes
See the world not as it is,
Confused by facts and lies,
False data mixed with the true.
Inept at choosing between the two.
Mistakes inevitably crowd this life:
Anguish, guilt, shame, and fear;
Anger, hatred, sadness much.

Hope is found in looking away,
Observing a flower in full blossom
Lodged in a crevice of the cliff side
As you tumble passed
Towards the rocks and lions
Waiting below.

editors note:

True or false, the same awaits all. Might’s well find fun in the tumble. – mh

Getting Religion

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

After having worked all your life,
The new lords of management
Have arrived with their new religion,
Preaching the glories of poverty,
Not for them, just for you
And others of your ilk and age.

Soon you will be shown the door,
The imprint of a large iron boot
Bruised into your backside.
The lords of management encourage you
To enjoy your new freedom
As you fight among the beggars
For a place on the sidewalk
With a cardboard bed,
And an open air urinal.

editors note:

This is enough to make atheists of us all. No god but mammon? – mh

Thieves In High Places

featured in the poetry forum November 9, 2011  :: 0 comments

The hand in your right pocket
and the hand in your left
are both responsible
for stealing your future
and robbing you of your past.

These outlaws seldom ride together.
Both have bounties on their heads.
When things get hot they disappear
into sand and sagebrush.

It’s been said one’s in Mexico;
the other hiding out in Greece.
If they ever get brought to justice,
notify me, please.

I’d like to see the trial.
I’d like to hear the pleas.
I’d like to hear the judgment
and the sentence for these creeps.

Then I’ll slip back to my shack
where a better house once stood,
and I’ll eat a can of cat food
and drink to the gone neighborhood.

editors note:

Anyday, in any future, the thieving country could be yours. Let’s drink to the gone neighborhood while we can. – mh