Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Soft, Cool Grass

Depressed about the market? Up the creek
With bad investments? Honking up stale stuff,
Attempting to expel the crap with snuff
That someone left behind? Is it too weak
To do the job? When you begin to speak
Are people looking like they've had enough
And bailing? Is the skin on your palms rough
And unappealing? Does the ceiling leak?

I know you hoped some answers would appear
Like magic, but the magic is all gone
And nothing's left but heartaches from now on,
Unappetizing and intensely drear,
And if you've been depressed, and of ill cheer,
Lie down and mope, there, on your neighbour's lawn.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Retail Credit

I bought some cooked beef ribs, to take them home
For lunch today, then left them in the store.
With all my other shopping, so much more
Than I could carry, I began to foam
Around the mouth like a daft forest gnome
With hoof-and-mouth disease. Just past my door
I dropped my heavy parcels on the floor,
Then went through them, as with a fine-toothed comb.

No ribs. I called the cashier, who agreed
This sad, egregious error I had made
Was irreversible, but then she played
The retail trump card: in my hour of need
They'll credit me with what I paid. My screed
Is ended, all my grievances will fade.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Profitably Spent

While in a bank line with my wife today,
We saw a man who must have had a hunch:
Arriving early, found the guy at lunch,
And sat down pleasantly for a long stay.
I thought perhaps there's something I should say,
But he seemed happy there, as pleased as punch,
So why get our silk panties in a bunch?
I smiled back, and remained above the fray.

Our own appointment started somewhat late,
But only seven minutes, and the time
Is profitably spent now, on this rhyme
About the day's slow passage. I would state
Some meaningful deep thought, but it's just fate
That sends us into banks, for thrift or crime.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unseen Sword

Before the subway train had reached St. Clair,
I looked up from the Russell Hoban book
That I was reading, and began to look
Across at this sweet girl with dark brown hair
Whose hand-held something – cell phone? – made her stare
And start. She violently leaned and shook
One! two! three! times, then stood up straight and took
Herself and her device right out of there.

It looked completely weird and untoward,
The way she shook three times, convulsively
While sitting on the train across from me,
As if she'd been held down and neatly gored.
I looked for villains with an unseen sword,
But nobody was there that I could see.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Dreams We're Having Now

The dreams we're having now are just the start
Of something bitter and unsure, the rim
Of the volcano, cup filled to the brim
With dregs. What isn't keeping us apart
Is scaring us, what isn't queerly tart
Is stale and bland, but full of empty vim
And hints of vinegar, a sort of hymn
To unease, full of bathos, without art.

At last, the deeper truths will be unveiled:
Distraught, repressed, we'll see monstrosities
Committing newly dreamed atrocities
Unhappily, recalling loves that failed,
Embarrassments, fresh, harsh, highly detailed,
And accidents at high velocities.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Facing the Night

I promise to be brave. I'll face the night,
You'll see my smile when stars are growing dim
And time is short. Whenever things look grim
My courage rises and I bring a light
To unswept hallways where I used to fight,
And now I pray. I know a secret hymn;
The fellow that I once tore limb from limb
Knows it as well. Together we recite:

Your ancient ways are not our current ways.
Here, now, we understand that loss and grief
Are just the other face of sweet relief.
We had been waiting here for several days;
Now we are gone. Our foreheads are ablaze
With what we know now: fever is a thief.