The Snail (Woolf)

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Slowly to the lighthouse she went,
yet she never really arrived,
like a sea snail so wholly spent
in the sun, she never survived,
oozing over pebbles of thought
and undulating like the waves,
wandering slowly while she sought
other shells, like clefs on the staves
of a song without any words,
yet awash with colors and sound
while down swooped the shrieking seabirds
to feast on thoughts she thought profound.
Nought remains of the languid snail
tossed to and fro along the beach
except her opalescent shell
tumbling within the frothy reach.

Poems About Words

Legalese
Like a hoodoo spell that is spoken
to protect the capitalist sort
when the make-believe rules are broken—
it’s mumbo-jumbo upheld in court.

Liability
The ability for a lawyer
to assess the litigious peril
of employing a young Tom Sawyer
in a Niagara Falls barrel,
and in so assessing such a stake
of recompense owed to the father
if the barrel be of a bad make
and Tom Sawyer should drown in water.

Clusterfuck
Another thot-themed poet
with half of her cleavage bare
just so she can show it,
goosebumps perky from cool air.
Her fans gather to riot
and quick-click a thirsty Like,
if they could they’d buy it,
loving her poem posts— psyche!
They are a cluster of frogs
congregating around her,
scrambling with their key logs
to Like and Share and #her.

Cultural “Appropriation”
A whirling, bottomless rabbit hole
that spins with vacancies down beneath
sediment of history, the soul
of Mankind and all it may bequeath.
The plaintive winds rally and tear loose
all that a person might want to wear,
all they might think, the words they might use,
until they haven’t sufficient air
to speak, to breathe, their voices destroyed,
then their clothes, too, torn apart, now nude
as they shiver in the frigid void
their core now but clay made brittle, crude
without history, meaning, context—
a golem dormant, lifeless, perplexed.
Meanwhile the whirling voices still rise,
whipping up the harshest gusts anew,
concentrated from thunderous skies:
the bottomless hole a stagnant stew,
a vortex deep, Charybdian throat,
flushing down all that has come before,
all that is near and all more remote:
Mankind reduced to a hollow core.

California Dreamin’

The snow is piling high on the
nightstand,
the heaps cut into
New York City snowdrifts
as he snorts the white hills of The Angels,
and like Lot in his cave
after fleeing Sodom
he fondles his daughter
as she lounges in his high-rise bedroom
and plays mama to his papa.
She gets down on her knees
to pretend to pray
and the smile she flashes
is a little girl’s smile
as innocent as American Graffiti
on a 1960’s Hollywood set.
A radio wails in the
suggestive neon-slashed shadows
and she pauses from the
blow
for a divine moment, looking up as if finding
her God.
She listens:
“You know the preacher likes the cold
he knows I’m gonna stay
California dreamin’
on such a winter’s day…”
She slides along another
snowdrift
and crashes into the iconic junkyard
of the American Dream.

Some Rhymes

Little Star
White diamond among black coal,
the star amidst the dark night,
a grain of salt in an onyx bowl
or a pin-prick of pinched light.

Bereft Before Abloom
Child among the stones and mosses,
born beneath the crooked crosses,
futile hopes snipped fresh in the bud,
unblossomed in the blood-red mud
while parents prayed through stinging tears
to He who held the heedless sheers.
Do not ask me my thoughts on Choice
if you sing choir with the same voice.
Do not preach to me about Life
while He whets His unfeeling scythe.
Countless gardens have never bloomed
because the Groundskeeper presumed
to prune and pluck at paradise
with no thought of virtue or vice.

Stoic
The lightning split the night sky
from the slumbering mountain;
just a flash to a sleepy eye
and then down came the fountain,
yet the mountain did not stir,
but slept on in the deluge;
in lightning, rain, and the blur
of a night without refuge.
The mountain shouldered the rain
as a titan of great strength,
and though hail fell, showed no pain,
nor flinched from thunder, at length.
The storm bloomed full in its rage
atop the tall crag-crowned brow,
but was as words on a page:
it felt none, nor ever, now.
Standing afar, all alone,
I wished to not flinch at such,
but though I felt cold as stone
I could not bear half so much.

The Pitcher Plant
So open with your heart
and offering to slake thirst
while your dewy lips part,
but your love is coyly cursed.
So many fools fall prey
while praying at your deep well,
try however they may
to flee from your floral bell
the knell sounds in silence
as they struggle in vain awhile
they drain of defiance,
added at last to the pile.
Drifting, dissolving, dead,
they begin to quickly fade,
by your false love misled,
by your moist embrace unmade.
You suggestive wanton!
You receive all who so dare
to accept your taunt on
good faith in the balmy air.
What cruel sort of love
deigned you should love cruel?
Was it a god above
or Nature who hates a fool?