Monday, December 31, 2007


I'm devastated – devastated, blocked
On every side, all cylinders misfired,
Unhappy, uninvolved, and uninspired,
Outsmarted, out of chances and out-talked.
I wanted out, but all the doors were locked.
I hoped for wisdom, but I felt too tired
To listen to somebody I admired
Who offered sensible advice I mocked.

So I deserve whatever grief I get,
Whatever unintended consequence
Occurs with each new passionate defence
Of those unpleasant acrobats I met
In Africa, when we were cold and wet,
But I believe, still, in their innocence.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Burned Speak

The crashing sounds you hear are not the sea,
Nor cymbals at the far end of the band,
Nor are they people who, trying to stand,
Fell over in a sad heap, suddenly.
It might be monsters, or a lonesome tree
Attacked by flames your carelessness had fanned
Into a conflagration, eating land
Like popcorn. Check out the infirmary.

And say, is that a rabbit in your pants,
Twisting and playing, aching with desire?
Have you sunk utterly into the mire?
Amid the ashes, and the burning plants,
Those crashing sounds you hear may be the ants
Marching relentlessly into the fire.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Love's Woe

I can't remember everything you said,
But you were talking very fast and loud
About the way I failed to make you proud,
There was something about ingesting lead
Until I was disabled, deaf, or dead,
And who would care enough to buy a shroud?
You told me you were bloody but unbowed,
I think, then turned and hit me on the head.

That hurt. It wasn't just a glancing blow,
But solid and unkind. It made me pant,
Complain, and whimper. You began to rant
Impressively about the Bible, snow,
My thoughtlessness, and, I believe, love's woe.
I have tried to remember, but I can't.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Unpleasant, tactiturn, and menacing
Is what I obviously want to be,
A character that mostly isn't me,
But some of that persists here, hovering.
I'm diffident, I'm fond of cuddling,
And have been known to smile so sunnily
That mountains bend, great rivers run more free,
And where there was stone silence once, birds sing.

I smile at my friends, damn them with faint praise,
Express my thoughts with delicate delight,
Pretend respect for darkness and the night
But secretly prefer the summer days,
Hot, humid, sweaty, long. It's just a phase —
Soon I'll be menacing, and mean. That's right.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Who Stole My Heart?

Who stole my heart? I didn't recognize
The scent of her perfume as she walked by;
I only know I felt like I would die
If she was leaving me. But, no surprise,
She slipped away before I could devise
A strategy to keep her here — a lie,
Or even something true, a heartfelt sigh,
Perhaps a well-turned phrase about her eyes.

She's gone now, gone now, and my broken heart
Will never mend. I don't want it to mend,
Just as I never wanted this to end,
This love of mine, but oh! true love can smart
When your beloved chooses to depart,
Not stopping for this sweet hand I extend.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Financial Adviser

I don't ask you my questions about shares,
Because I know that you would tell me lies.
In fact, I don't mind falsehoods – no surprise,
I tell myself, no harm. Who knows? Who cares?
Someone explained to me about the bears,
The bulls, the frauds, tiered loans, greensheets, blue skies,
Portfolio selection that defies
All logic, and those ties our broker wears.

It isn't that I understand. Who could?
The whole affair is mired in muck and murk,
And our poor broker is a useless jerk,
But knowing that does no one any good,
And so I don't ask questions, though I should,
If only to annoy you. Does that work?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Grown Quite Deaf

I've grown quite deaf now, I would like to say.
I cannot hear your insults any more,
And though I see you thrashing on the floor
Tantrums are silent, now, since yesterday,
When I decided that my heart, in disarray,
Was so completely full, more than before,
That there was no room left. My ears were sore,
So I decided they should rest. Hush. Stay.

I have no hearing aid, and can't read lips,
So any words you speak will slip right by,
Making as much impression on my tie
As on my heart. It's time we came to grips
With silence, like two threatened battleships.
If I can't hear you, I won't hear you lie.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Our Powers

You know you can't turn water into wine
Or raise the dead, so why should we believe
You're something no one normal would conceive?
All this barrage of "unto thee and thine"
And "live forevermore" sounds rather fine,
But nobody's convinced. It's my pet peeve,
This souls stuff. So what if, on Christmas Eve,
They buy it, and a recently dead pine?

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn?
Your creed is pretty shop-soiled, too,
A mishmash of bright lights and ballyhoo
Mocked up to celebrate the lost, love-lorn,
The loosely put together, and low-born.
I think we've all had quite enough of you.