Night Fell on Two Poets

featured in the poetry forum June 27, 2023  :: 0 comments

Night fell on two poets.
They shared a burger cut in half.

Tennessee shooed away all its cats.
The mouse union dominated volunteer state politics.

The poets gained no superpowers from their repast.
The burger left only ketchup stains behind.

The expelled cats invaded Kentucky
and cleared low income housing of mice.

Poets moving into a neighborhood
did not cause property values to drop measurably.

The expelled cats that invaded the deep south
gathered for weekly meetings in used book shops.

All the poetry professors at the state university protested
that their combined salary was not worth one football coach.

University of Tennessee fired its football coach
so the state could afford the inflated price of replacement cats.

Dawn broke on two poets.
They shared tea and a bagel cut in half.

editors note:

Cats and poetry professors, unite! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 12, 2022  :: 0 comments

One day I plan to be
the skeleton
some archeologist uncovers
and places in a trash bag
to reassemble
in a field museum workshop.

My plan does not mention
if humanity lasted so long
for the archeologist
to be from the genus
Homo sapiens.

Maybe it will be
the first space-faring aliens
who discover what once was
our hectic civilization
and try to determine
how our species vanished
in spite of handy inventions
like duct tape
and the Swiss Army Knife.

Maybe my bones
will migrate over time
closer to the surface
and be dug up
by a sated coyote
that cleans its teeth
by gnawing on my femur
while his full belly
makes noises
under the moonlight.

editors note:

Our hegemony as curiosity or bone burp. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 12, 2021  :: 0 comments

Pittsburg vanished from the map
and the earth as well.

It was the worst case of shame
Paul had ever witnessed.

The shame centered around
Pittsburg’s reputation for racism.

Having never visited the city
Paul was not sure the reputation was warranted.

He doubted Pittsburg hid in Philadelphia,
the city of brotherly love.

Cleveland was an unlikely hiding place—
though an arch rival’s guest room

under a Jim Brown poster
would be the last place Paul would look.

He guessed it was possible
that Pittsburg had been kidnapped,

but he found no ransom note
after searching the Allegheny region.

He followed a trail of dingy-yellow terrible towels,
but they led eleven or so miles west

and ended abruptly at that peculiar
West Virginia spur that houses Wheeling.

editors note:

Apologies to Pittsburg! But wherever you’re hiding, might as well come out. – mh clay

Emergency Room Surge

featured in the poetry forum October 17, 2020  :: 0 comments

I remember it was a Tuesday
when the mass-mailer postcard arrived
informing me, and the planet’s entire population,
that the Earth would stop rotating on Friday,
for the hours of eight through five,
so a repair to the Earth’s axis
could straighten out the seasons
with a return of magnetic north and south
to the poles.

If they were upright at eight-twelve
everyone who took the postcard as a joke
tumbled over from an unappreciated application
of Newton’s first law of motion
when the earth suddenly
ceased revolving.

editors note:

Inept with your inertia? Best hang on… – mh clay

Who Gets What

featured in the poetry forum August 31, 2019  :: 0 comments

I’ve been to Texas twice.
I was killed neither time.
I was not converted to Conservative Christianity.
I was not converted to Texas-style Barbeque.
I was not forced to color myself red
or an overlaid shade of purple.

I’ve been to two of the five Texases.
The residents told me the state should be subdivided
based on geology, which I assume means by rainfall.

The panhandle is a stretch of interstate highway
to be crossed on my way to eastern points of interest.
Amarillo, you are a great place to put gas in the gas-tank
and food in my food-tank.

Marfa is a minimalist art Mecca,
if the locals will permit me to apply that term
with mideast origins—
don’t miss the Prada store display
standing alone on the prairie.

I met a street corner group of Texans in Albuquerque,
who believe in only one book, the Book of Revelation.
I’ve met similar groups in the forty-nine states I’ve traveled thru.
They are like children, trying to stay up real late on Christmas Eve
with preconceived notions of what Santa Claus delivers
and who gets what.

editors note:

With such certainty, we claim to know what we can’t know. Believe it! – mh clay

Quick & Current

featured in the poetry forum February 5, 2019  :: 0 comments

I don’t want to be forced to argue
in favor of my existence.

Just because you cannot always see
my line of thought, my six-foot-five self,

does not mean I will not allow you
the last word as in the past.

I will make do with the clouds
that close in on the mountain tops

and blow aspen branches to the ground
or break pine boughs with heavy snows.

We see the effect of the wind upon trees,
but not the trees’ effect upon the wind.

It is that way with people—
impacts, no matter what type, effect both parties.

I collected enough downed wood
to stoke the stove most of the winter.

Yeah. I spend a lot of time trying to see
the fire’s flame beyond the yellow-orange tips

into the wavy lines of smoke-cloaked heat
rising up the chimney flue.

editors note:

Up in smoke? No waste when you’re up in it. Selah… – mh clay

Halfway Friendly

featured in the poetry forum February 17, 2018  :: 0 comments

In the land of ten-thousand bent nails
peace skews a little sideways,
right of the pot smoke, left of the unregulated industries.

I do not own a claw-hammer.

I am not a tenacious advocate of Emily Dickinson.

If only sunflowers grew in my sister’s garden this time of year,
Wisconsin would be a much brighter place
or simply possess more yellow beneath gray slate.

editors note:

Peace, from what we don’t and what we aren’t, would shine a little brighter with a touch of color. (Read another mad missive from Kenneth on his page; about branded belief – check it out.) – mh clay


February 17, 2018  :: 0 comments

Paul’s beliefs petrified.
He has not changed his mind since.
Some of the farfetched theories
he read in checkout-line tabloids
turned into cults
that demanded designer uniforms
and telegenic high priests
and a rash of logo-printed items
in a gift shop adjacent to the sanctuary.

editors note:

We always invest in what the market will bear; believe it or not. – mh clay

I Remember #02

featured in the poetry forum February 4, 2017  :: 0 comments

I remember my four sisters being only one sister
seen without my glasses on the morning after
three too many pints.

I remember kindergarten as the place
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches went to be tortured.

I remember the easy bake oven
the next door neighbor girls owned
and how their mom cooked hash-brownies in it
and forgot about them when their uncle Larry rang the doorbell
and did not come back to the oven till over an hour later
only to discover we’d eaten half a dozen.

I remember buying a Barbie doll with my birthday money
as a present for Suzie’s birthday a week later,
but my dad thought I bought it for myself
and drank away the next few days and nights panicked.

I remember my first puppy shit on the floor
and I loved him all the same as I cleaned it up
as we worked out person to puppy communication.

I remember the birthday clown that scared me
limped home markedly, after I hit him in the shins
with a home run swing from my brand new baseball bat.

I remember basketball tore up my right ankle three times
and my left ankle two times and broke my left wrist in five places.
I was very, very slow in figuring out
basketball liked me less than I liked eating Brussels sprouts.

I remember screaming every cuss word I ever learned
at three drunk hunters who mistook me and my dog
after they fired shots in our direction,
claiming elk are in season and they purchased their permits.

I remember the ghosts that fill this room
like talc covered hands clapped to a cloud
and they whisper every baby name
I cooed to my daughter as I changed her
as she changed me.

editors note:

Sweet remembrances. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 20, 2016  :: 0 comments

My Buddha wears a red dress, spiked heals
and a Chicago Cubs tramp stamp.

My Quan Yin appears both as a sparrow
and a mockingbird.

Morning’s acolytes speed away from me
wearing bright colors and the latest running shoes.

If I gave you my Get Out Of Hell Free card,
would you give me your veteran’s burial right

so I may rest eternally under the sycamore shade
of Antietam’s national cemetery?

By now the coyotes have dragged
last night’s white tail deer road kill into the wood,

so you may exit the house without witness
of that particular mechanized savagery.

Even the worst part of me loves you,
forgives you, for the oblique issues we howled last night,

each of us too lone wolf under a full moon
to hear the hunger and loneliness deep in our bodies.

The worst part of you, takes my Cubs hat
and wears it to keep your hair out of your eyes

as you work on the pickup truck’s engine
or on a walk in the rain that inspired Noah’s toil.

editors note:

Knickers nabbed in Nirvana. Ommmm (my)! – mh clay