Articulation: Three Variations

Haiku:
My thoughts are scattered
like toys from a toybox, spilled
by an angry boy.

Rhyme:
Stumbling, at times, over my own thoughts
like a boy whose toybox has been upended,
scattering about army men, dinosaurs, robots,
all scarcely coherent in a clutter, untended.

Vers Libre:
My words became as
action figures with articulated limbs
interlocked together
in a cramped toybox, difficult to
extract
without pulling up a riot of
entwined bodies, fighting to
select the one desired
and losing my peace to a tantrum,
kicking the toybox over, spilling
its convoluted hoard
and stumbling over the mess,
the thoughts
strewn out
like a battlefield of fallen brothers
unwilling to let go of one another,
even in death,
for the fleeting chance
at animated life.

Haikus

Perhaps Jesus just
faked his death to skip paying
for the Last Supper.

He thought his mind was
a steel trap, but really it
was just dummy-locked.

Her widow’s veil was
black cobweb behind which she
licked her scarlet lips.

“Eyes lie,” he would say.
“Watch the hips as they pivot.”
True in fights, and sex.

Like a Rubik’s cube
rhyming poetry must be
puzzled out by turns.

Haiku Halftime Show

Legalese is smoke
from a dragon just before
it burns you in court.

Pretty petal mouth
fragrant and pink and blooming,
hiding a wasp’s sting.

The busy spider
scrambled up its dew-jeweled web,
fussing over guests.

She dreamt of flying,
her young wings clipped and crippled
by her mother’s tongue.

Ghost-faced bandits steal
through the misty midnight dark;
opossums on the move.

To purify wells
by drinking up the poison:
subprime mortgage loans.

They crucified Christ
everyday, their hatred
biting hard like nails.

Little fawn baffled
by fluttering butterflies;
the joys of childhood.

Sleepy-headed boy
nods on the couch, King Arthur
knighting him in dreams.

Whiskey yeast prospers,
distilling what will kill it—
as do humans, too.

The doll did not move
as she hid in the toy box,
fearing sweaty hands.

He wrote poetry
as passementeries stitched
to life’s humdrum hems.

To wed to that name
was to noose oneself with a
gold-inscribed choker.

Her blouse button popped
with the heaving sighs of her
harlequin daydreams.

Her breasts spoke true
with their deep cleavage divide;
a divided heart.

How like a hammer
his thought, a chisel his word—
Freemason wizard.

Witching Hour Haikus

Her words were written
upon hearts as on tombstones;
cold, hard, deep, final.

“Teach a man to fish”
they say, as if they don’t own
every river.

Streets cobbled with skulls
and anthems of unheard screams—
parade of empire.

He clung to belief
as if a shipwreck’s flotsam,
but t’was the iceberg.

They all vowed she was
the salt of the earth, and so
she salted the earth.

Firstborn of Egypt,
did not you die innocent
as God’s other Son?

Whatnot Haikus

Her mason jar heart
was crammed full of sweet jellies,
now crystallized shut.

He kept his bright thoughts
to himself, like fireflies in
an airless shoe box.

She felt his gaze slide
over her naked contours
like a slow, wet slug.

A pen trepanning
to relieve the pressure of
old, stagnant ideas.

Blueberry custard
Eastward, yet lemon meringue
Westward: dusk’s divide.

As a startled doe
crashing along the fence line
she rebuffed herself.

Late Night Haikus

This expansive prose,
like a seven-gabled house
amidst hawthorn trees.

Coquette playing coy,
the moon peeks out from her veil
to wish me sweet dreams.

He was slow-minded
like frogs squatting on asphalt
after heavy rains.

(To an overrated author)
To quote or to quaff
when calling the wind by name?
No clever fox, him.