The Sports of Shrimp Babies

featured in the poetry forum October 9, 2016  :: 0 comments

The sports of shrimp babies, those decapod crustaceans,
Minus mainlanders’ blue rocks, iridescent stones, ice,
Round little ponies, frosted cupcakes, cockershells, orchids,
Seem calculated for their elongated bodies, nothing more.

When critters rely, primarily, on whirling as their approach to locomotion,
On paddling with swimmerets, not turning cartwheels, nor jumping branches,
They discover screaming for help means screeching or otherwise shrieking
For safety. Consider, stalk-eyed beasts’ shelter’s only found in sediment diving.

Prawn, after all, remain so low on the food chain as to be expendable.
They lack rocking horse dreams, know no warm breakfasts of frumenty,
See no flames tickling heat into empty spaces, except for intervals like
Oil spills, finned predators, many troubles lancing their domain.

editors note:

Not so bad, these lives; fried in panko, dipped in cocktail sauce. – mh clay

Lava Bits Dancing: Lovers’ Lament

featured in the poetry forum July 26, 2016  :: 0 comments

Lava bits dancing, dancing, dancing,
Flame fingers dancing all dark long.
Learning page prancing, prancing, prancing,
Lessons from prancing all dark long.
Lamenting romance, romance, romance,
Woodland copse romance all dark long.
Prodigal chances, chances, chances,
Tomorrow’s chances all dark long.
Lodging no answers, answers, answers,
Praying for answers all dark long.
Cycles spill questions, questions, questions,
Sons and their questions all dark long.
Dangerous letters, letters, letters,
Queries, not letters, all dark long.
Fire and water, water, water,
Volcanic water all dark long.
Gone astray children, children, children,
Romance’s children all dark long.

editors note:

And so we step through love and life, “all dark long.” (Say, Mad Readers! Hannah has a new book, “Friends and Rabid Hedgehogs,” just launched. This collection of short fiction can be ordered on Amazon here.) – mh clay

Personal Rules of Interpretation

featured in the poetry forum May 10, 2016  :: 0 comments

Personal rules of interpretation, like flattened leafy thalli,
Those foliose growing among cold rocks, usually yield little.
See, accretion requires, whether among persons or flora,
Simple, direct, functional choices to cull truth, survive daily.

Not possible to pay enough cottonseed oil or cornmeal cakes
To generate aesthetic norms, to ride the best merry-go-round
Horse, to pump hard, extremities burning, down a high knoll;
The sun fashions brightness and shadow, makes gusts pucker.

When clouds puff voluptuously, when sky cotton also drifts,
Raindrops get blamed for bollixing picnics, for messing with
Outdoor concerts, backyard weddings, volleyball games, jazz.
(Nothing’s said of the many sere gardens that bloom thereafter.)

editors note:

Bust for one, blessing for another. How do you see it? – mh clay

Milk Thistle and Fenugreek

March 11, 2016  :: 0 comments

While I’m the recipient of Happy Springs’ Senior Citizen Prize, I can’t comprehend why my art’s heralded as precious. Five-year-olds can knock together found objects. True sandbox pals attribute value to most refuge, even stuff, which after being turrets and moats, is tossed aside as bottle caps, lost memory sticks, broken rubber bands, and paper clips-gone-wonky. When my neighbor Jim-Jam …


featured in the poetry forum December 27, 2015  :: 0 comments

Without having to understand mechanisms,
TEOTWAWKI could be a time of killing
Cherished bunkmates, delivering “love notes”
Filled with anthrax, gifting solace via
Suicide squads, government thugs, Big
Brother organizations, or, maybe, the seeding
Of highway meridians with oxeye daisies.

Mass graves won’t be dug at family
Gatherings, picnics, walks in the park.
When making compote rich in wine,
It’ll still okay to drizzle cinnamon, chop
In grapes, add toasted coconut. Many
Buildings yet standing will source safe
Comestibles, offer culinary consolation.

Like erstwhile friends, we won’t brook:
Expecting money back guarantees, the
Resurrection of half-dead creatures, old
School morality, well-intended sharing.
They’ll be no privacy of rented spaces,
No teatime biscuits steeped ‘til ready,
Just navy seals skulking among copses.

Woodlands won’t be playgrounds. No
Orchards will stay unclaimed. Vast fields
Will get marked as boot reflex provisions.
Enforcers, not extermination camps, will
Determine seasoned park workers’ strength.
Well-armed others will survive by pulling
Stuff, ransacking chosen, assaulted bodies.

Despite earlier celebrated mutual norms,
It will be laughable to hike out from cities.
Abruptly, alliances will seem less vital
Than signal mirrors, whistles, magnetic
Compasses, lighters, boots, lead pencils,
Multi-tools, radios, smoke grenades,
No one will bother learning calculus.

Having jumped across torn limbs, scouts
Will view upright trees as principled allies.
Singular persons, if perspicacious, will auction
Pets for tourniquets and purification tablets.
Dear hearts will search mag-lights and rifles.
(The rest of us will limit interviews to select
Prisoners, after stealing all handy bashas.)

editors note:

With the New Year looming, “tourniquets and purification tablets” will go a long way toward surviving the post-holiday apocalypse. – mh clay

Trade Relations in the Horseshoe Galaxy Cluster

December 11, 2015  :: 0 comments

Reid was optimistic. The latest sales forecast located his zone in improved prosperity. Other leading economic indicators, too, looked rosy. There was a sharp increase in building permits in his region. As well, the dollar exchange rate had climbed, and unemployment claims had dropped. Whereas Reid wasn’t yet ready to invite Deidra to sample Champaign in his apartment, he was …

Some Small Lizards

featured in the poetry forum October 13, 2015  :: 0 comments

Some small lizards,
All green fierceness,
Protective of sill plus
Sunny stoop, assembled.

News rang around that
Distant critters, chitin-
Covered clans, marched
Land to land, determined
To achieve biotic conquest.

Sticky tongues adequately
Acceded most of those bugs
To space in reptilian intestines.
Scaly’s newest cohort prospered.

editors note:

One day, we’ll compete for the same protein. Watch and learn! – mh clay


August 28, 2015  :: 0 comments

Jacey: “Professor Trigger believes we can rediscover childhood through hypnosis.” Bruce: “Pass the cheese puffs.” Jacey: “Really! Reduced peripheral awareness and all that. Think of it! Back to diapers….” Bruce: “Kidding me?” Jacey: “No. Back to bullies….” Bruce: “Who’d want…” Jacey: “…and high school babes.” Bruce: “Stoner. How’d you get into this school?” Jacey: “Rich uncle. Big donations. Kidding. Good …


featured in the poetry forum August 7, 2015  :: 0 comments

Fragrant stuffed packages,
Scalloped assemblages,
Tiny dim sum dumplings
Honeyed, cute dainties.

Like middens, where
Shells, shreds, lithics,
Other artifacts, rest
‘Til recouped for use.

Wee phonaesthetic branches,
Twisted from moss, trees,
Hang low over city streets,
Are extant during ceremonies.

This passel, that reliquant
Gruff crusts, debt, sunshine,
Penurious bairns with rich
Debutantes, all together.

Words make sennights unlike
Days marked by painting,
Pottery, whistling, yoga;
They trump limited vitality.

Manifestations coined in
Mots turn many lessons,
Cull creative arts’ core,
Form our culture’s epaule.

editors note:

Speak them or eat them, this says a mouthful. – mh clay

White Hairs Dance the Zambra

featured in the poetry forum June 16, 2015  :: 0 comments

Who might have thought that white hairs,
With thinning scalps, could prove old crowns more precious
Than downy, babies’ heads?

Why would wrinkled rapscallions dare thump castanets,
Or dance Fandango, Siguiriyas, Son Jarocho, maybe Zambra,
Instead of sipping soda on the sideline?

Where in the world would faded recollections,
Along with tarnished memories, vibrate like mighty throstles
Among crab apple blossoms?

What’s wrong when our populous lets lock-
Downs be governed by pejoratives, by rigid pigeon-holes,
Perhaps also stupid typecasts?

editors note:

Heads up, Young’uns! Sit this’n out and let some senior Swirlers show you a thing or two. – mh clay