featured in the poetry forum May 2, 2024  :: 0 comments

Who would write that line?
Someone who had a soul?
Someone who wanted to hurt his soul?
What would cause you to hurt your soul?
Do we know what souls look like?
Does a soul have hands?
Does a soul have nails with cuticles
you can shove toothpicks under?
Can the mind shove toothpicks?
Do souls scream?
What pain’s deeper?
If you have ever considered doing that,
you know.

editors note:

Ouch! IYKYK. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 13, 2024  :: 0 comments

Read: India, 58,000 deaths from
poison snake bites last year,
mostly rural men, women, and children.


Read: 2,000 Afghani pregnant women
housed in tents in Germany.


Read: Thousands of Haitians
crushed by earthquake and storm
flock to the border to be sent away.


Read: Millions die world-wide
from a virus that re-creates
itself with different masks.


Read: Pollution devours air, soil, water,
and spits fire across the land.

GODOT, still waiting for

editors note:

Apparently, it’s how we wait that matters. – mh clay


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

Unless you aren’t
you’re one of those
who lives a stove burner life
your stove as big
and wide as you make it
the number of burners your choice
more or less
yes, life ignites some
unusual ones you don’t want
but have to tend
frantic running
from knob to knob
adjusting, adjusting
don’t let that one boil over
make sure that one is on simmer
shut that one off!
when turn it back on?
low, medium, high flame
oh, the phone rang
your grandson crying
running and running
back and forth
turning knobs
that one boiled over
that one burned
that one perfect
until your stove tamps
goes cold and they
turn all the burners off
you’re done cookin’

editors note:

Gas or electric, when you’re done you’re done. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 23, 2023  :: 0 comments

No Disneyland in Nigeria.

Cannot be.
Disneyland is fun in the sun.
So much fun.

Missing children.
Missing lives.
Missing history.

I wish Nigeria were just a ride.

editors note:

Where some would pay to leave that park (if they could). – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 3, 2023  :: 0 comments

There is no city like New Orleans.
Prisoners, bondservants, slaves
sent into swamps and hurricanes.
They threatened revolt
till France sent ninety
ladies of ill repute,
tended by Ursuline nuns
as marriage brokers,
calmed the city down,
thrust it into the pulsing
spicy stew it is now–
with Mardi Gras, cathedrals,
gators, ghost tours,
beignets, gumbo,
streetcar named Desire,
magnolias, Spanish Moss,
Willie Mae’s chicken,
Bananas Foster, turtle soup,
one-of-a-kind Dixie jazz,
Zydeco and Voodoo dreams.
Thanks To the ladies of ill repute—
I take my hat off.

editors note:

Behind every good civilization… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 7, 2022  :: 0 comments

When it is over, war
is like a sunken ship.
The waters flow over it
till the next ship
floats till it’s sunk,
and again forgotten.

Many years from now,
future students will get
a history assignment,
read about the Russian
invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
They will yawn and feel disgruntled,
perhaps behind in their work,
put if off, then read it
while headphone music
jumps boring lines off the page,
note that Putin deployed
over 20,000 soldiers
to their deaths, an uncounted
number of civilians massacred,
turn the page quickly
as it will probably
not be on the test.

editors note:

What we’re taught but never learn; doomed to repeat, repeat, repeat… – mh clay


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