featured in the poetry forum July 22, 2022  :: 1 comment

At every turn,
my mind will confront
my negative emotions—
fear, anxiety, jealousy—
who are like a bossy Aunt
who moved in
after she blew her life
and had to live with me,
nowhere else to go.

It won’t do any good
for my mind to stand firm
with crossed arms
and a withering glare,
and say things like:
“Get it together,
Use your head,
Wait to
see what happens,
or try to reason
with her
because she will
weep and scream
and declare
the worst could happen.

“Your dog might tear her leg again.”
“It most likely is cancer.”
“Your company could move overseas.”
“Probably your wife cheated.”

No matter how much your mind
tells her to pipe down,
she never will.

That bossy Aunt digs in, persists,
bound and determined
to make my life
as bad as it can be.

editors note:

Don’t let her in. Pull the shades, change the locks. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 8, 2022  :: 0 comments

Like a playing card
turned sideways,
a King or Jack,
as thin as invisible,
I see myself sometimes
as the card they pull
to bring the house down,
to miss the goal,
spoil the broth,
muck the pile,
screw the pooch.

build my stack,
kick me through,
stir my pot,
rake me up,
just pet me.

Try again.
Mercy thickens.

editors note:

Give to get, thicker life for all. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 2, 2021  :: 0 comments

Life is like a delicious piece
of hard candy
popped in your mouth
and sucked and sucked
until it becomes smaller and smaller
as your teeth crack the last thin piece
and you swallow it at the end.

editors note:

Increase longevity, lick languorously. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 2, 2021  :: 0 comments

Where does a heart go
when it cries out?
Does the heart hunt
for what makes it weep,
cry so hard it leaves home?

Search for a lost
spouse, child, pet,
roam the empty world
try to find what
will never be again.
Is finding nothing
the only solace
that can stop the tears
and bring us home?

At home, the rooms
look the same
but a stark absence
sits in every corner,
immovable until time
makes it disappear.

editors note:

The missing thing leaves a permanent hole filled with time. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 8, 2021  :: 0 comments

Thoroughbreds blister to the top
of the stretch, heading for home.

So are we.
We hit the bend of the turn,
aged decrepitude looms.

Rounding off a full life,
headed for home.

Not sure what is home.
Not sure how long
the stretch extends.

Finish strong.

editors note:

… but, also last. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum September 28, 2020  :: 1 comment

You treat my heart like a cat treats a mouse.
taking your own sweet time.
Until you pounce,
leave a partly eaten heart
in some corner.
Sweet, sickly purr.
Off again for another.

editors note:

Lover’s lament, mouse’s demise. Damn capricious cats. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

Open the door.
Who might be there?
It is the stuff of restless dreams.
Recall the Grimm tale
sisters who
spat vipers or
spoke jewels.
Go inside anyway.
See who is sitting on the sofa.
Stare back at the pain.
Open your mouth.
Say it.
Even if ashes fall on the floor,
Together you can sweep them up.

editors note:

Request or bestow, it’s good for the soul. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 8, 2019  :: 0 comments

What if all the stores
collapsed into rubble
hauled away?
Or disappeared into the sky
like some concrete Rapture,
all the children left behind
no way to buy new toys
no need to wheedle parents?

Children look at playthings
in their homes,
broken, rusted, boring.

What for
the children of Eden
had Adam and Eve stayed,
eschewed the apple?

Skip rocks in a stream,
swing on a tree branch,
fruit wars,
count the stars,
love their pets,
outrace the four rivers.

editors note:

God’s toys, toy gods; who plays with whom? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 12, 2019  :: 0 comments

an egg of pain
fingers flutter atop
sway and fro
what can break the pain?
song snaps glass
a song can…

shell crack
struggle out


flex wings


editors note:

What the break makes from song sung. (We welcome Vern to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 9, 2018  :: 1 comment

The sun she became a woman
and spread her hot legs
for the young man in the moon
and oh what a wild child
that Earth is.
Never gives you the cold shoulder like Mercury,
the orgasmic war cry of Mars,
tantalizing sighs of Venus,
runs cold, rock-strewn rings around you,
or up and disappears like dark, irrelevant Pluto.

Just lives in blood and sorrow
and the ecstasy of its
history until
it will turn over in bed at last
and do itself in,
suicide by spoil.

editors note:

Just like Mom & Dad; put all the elements for self destruction into us. – mh clay