In Response to a New Orleans Palmetto Bug

featured in the poetry forum August 27, 2019  :: 0 comments

I know who you are
because you’ve traveled,
haven’t you?
I’ve seen you when the lights go on,
midnight, three a.m.
waiting with those damn antennae twitching,
the bully in the hall approaching.
I’d rather have you,
you of the resounding crunch,
reminding me to always wear hard slippers
so I know I have a soul, can send you popping
in the wee hours, giant that you are.
The tiny one’s the one to fear,
he never comes alone,
apocalypse of Germany,
piles of zombie soldiers
swarm after the bombs fall.

editors note:

My, how the tiny are treated. But, how tiny are all, compared to the swarm? – mh clay

Drink Me Small

featured in the poetry forum March 10, 2019  :: 0 comments

There’s a hard place where the heart goes,
recessed in forgotten lobes
retained from the time we knew no happy.

Now the frontal sings of joy, despair,
water flows, its drops are prescient,
telling us which way to go.

You’re a rock shined in places
other times rubbed raw with grief
abandoned in a far-off cave, a shroud.

The stone lies heavy on a chest
of doubt and pain, lifted, you see,
a gem appears in calloused hands

and somewhere in the labyrinth of turns
there is a pinpoint door, a needle of life,
drink me small and you shall find it.

editors note:

One small sip, no easy quip, to pull diamonds from your breast. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

They said that it would end this year
like before, before, and before,
spinning, then the thing just stops
and we stand still, no centrifugal
keeps us landed, but the gravity
of situations ends, we will not leave.

They’ve said it other times I’m sure
the year, the month, the day
and we would drink, and laugh
find many ways for people without futures
and fall wasted, not bereft, left strangely calm,
awakened the next morning, still the same.

They said that it would end this year,
in fire, and rain, with floods and pestilence,
but witness every morning the same dawn,
blue sky, the tragic magic of the day,
not today, or tomorrow, nor next month,
though next year, maybe next, perhaps, it ends.

editors note: No end to our countless ends; wanting to be gone to be right. – mh clay

Wag the Dog

featured in the poetry forum October 26, 2017  :: 0 comments

I planted a seed
and they think it’s a story,
now see the tree,
a twig with branches everywhere,
oak in the land of disease
but gypsies keep the semblance of arbor
congregating where the page is moth eaten.

I planted a story
and they think it’s real,
they drag it in coffins
when my birthday comes near,
non-celebrations alight with years
no editor will touch,
there are no additions, no subtractions.

Tales add nothing to the fact,
created just to wag the dog,
now the dog’s alive and well
but cats no longer venture near,
felines can fall for several stories
but this fiction has no end as tributes grow like rivers,
the beach is rocks but never sandy, cats know litter when they smell it.

editors note:

It’s all story; just some smell worse than others, as any discerning cat can tell. – mh clay

East by Northeast, West of Eden

featured in the poetry forum June 14, 2017  :: 0 comments

Such is the nature of the beast shrouded,
cloaked in his Sunday worst
having just bit off what he cannot chew,
red/white cluster gathered on a lip’s corner.

I smile because I know,
he and his significant are screwed,
wait, the argument’s beginning shortly,
this place wasn’t Eden, after all.

All for scarcity,
all for lack of knowledge
and the tree stands mocking
now that no one seems to be the wiser.

Foolish few in their beliefs
as mother births a father
and father feigns an assignation with his little girl
because an oak just told him she was naked.

Snakes? The skin is soft and warm
so perfect for the King of Earth’s new clothes,
his children (which are grands) parade as idiots
and uncles that are brothers, sisters, cousins

as the reptile stays to take the blame.

editors note:

It’s the myth makers who get to assign the blame. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 8, 2017  :: 0 comments

I shall find a rock
big, hard, cave-like,

Small fire,
a cat or two,
weave moss for coverings.

Crawl space,
one stand up in the middle,
a hole to the world.

There I shall make a life,
dream a fairy world
and venture out feet first.

editors note:

A happy habitat; good for a stand or a dirt nap. – mh clay

The list

featured in the poetry forum June 15, 2016  :: 0 comments

Bread, some milk of human kindness sorely lacking,
Edward Sotomayor Jr,
teardrops, wails, earplugs for the sirens, screams,
Stanley Almodovar III,
buckets, mops, plaster, artists at the door,
Deonka Deidra Drayton,
roses, balloons, teddy bears, the sound of crying, laughter
Amanda Alvear,
bricks, mortar, rainbows, solidarity, hate thrown into stale alley bins
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz,
soup, candles, empathy where none exists, where people come together
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero.

There’s something I’m forgetting
something I will keep forgetting,
maybe pieces of a lunatic, a pine box, shovel,
anonymous one dug to hell, thrown in an unmarked grave.

More music, laughter, dancing, singing, painting on the walls
Mercedez Marisol Flores,
Enrique L. Rios, Jr. and so many more,
balm for broken hearts, some thoughts and prayers,
a promise made that cannot be acknowledged,
to Do, to Be, and not to be upon a list,
and paper, I am running out of paper,

And some Kleenex.

editors note:

A list to make statisticians cry! Orlando, for all the stricken… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 2, 2016  :: 0 comments

No book
of magic,
spells misspelled
or simplified,
uncommon use
brings out
much more
than common in us,
common wrong.

Back doors,
are locked
to certain people,
admittance gained
by those
speed read
between some lines
who realize the secrets.

in words of code,
bald rules
were never meant
for anything but broken,
when an “x”
is not an x,
except when used
in obfuscation.

the right of
others, flaunting
flagrante delicto,
gallows hanging
outside churchly squares
and never any holy there.

Taste water
on your tongue
know feast from thirst
as liquid becomes holy
from belief, suffused, one body
of ability who walks on water
frozen, trial by fire and ice,
believers grasp the truth
that’s closest to the chest

get it wrong.

editors note:

When answers abound, the trick is to ask the right questions. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2015  :: 0 comments

Notice the non mirror image,
stripped backing, a window
and you are a tree, a bird singing,
a car goes by with the boom, Boom, BOOM,
you are an irate citizen writing letters to the mayor.

Fixer of stare back, black paint
and the picture changes, it is you,
but not, your mind knows who you are,
it is not this reversal of fortune, sag eyed
wrinkle in time, you wave and the beast waves in turn.

Smile, the flake from breakfast, she ate the same
in that other universe, does it come back to haunt
her in her old age? Or maybe she lives forever, through
the membrane and you try to step, she places her palm
against yours, sad smile, maybe a tear for what might be,

You both turn away.

editors note:

Turn from one parallel universe; walk smack into another. – mh clay

As Tears Go Nowhere

featured in the poetry forum May 28, 2014  :: 0 comments

Can I cry if I want to?
Here within the confines
of nowhere, crepe covered
mirror a shrine to coveted strength,
I am party to appearance, look
to not a semblance of a tear.

Red eye flying through the night,
in dreams I fashion reasons, postulates
of failure, standing in the rain’s emotions
waking to primeval glisten into ducts.

These ducts line up in rows, feathers
act as substitutes, the downy softness
of a face in dark repose, absorbing blow
to blow redundant, dry the by and by.

I sit and watch as others slough the moisture
from the air, my air, dead air lost without
a sound, I will not wail, I will not weep,
only sweat of brow, a reference to the weather.

editors note:

Eye drops to get the red out, but not the rend. No tears for the tear. – mh