Two More Poems

Landscape
Winter, you always seem a mean old bastard
as you blow cold air to put in the last word,
blanketing the earth with your icy scorn
until the land is bleak and blank and forlorn,
killing the old year and wiping it all clean
with your chilling whiteness, so deathly serene;
but I know why you clear the old canvas
with thick snow and ice all around to span us
as if lathering on a coat of primer
to cover the old art of an old-timer—
you work hard for your granddaughter, the Spring,
so she may start afresh with her coloring—
growing new flowers, (after you allow it),
dabbing hues in abundance from her palette,
she’s a master at landscapes, form, and light,
and you, the craftsman, set the easel just right.

The Messenger (Dedicated To Kansas)
Like Ahab hunting the White Whale,
I chart a course and set the sail,
hunting the world’s end, the wayward edge
where oceans plummet off the ledge—

for I wish to know the point where I
am at the threshold of the sky,
following the stardust in the wind
to dare the waterfall to send

a message in a bottle out
to the silent void, roundabout
the land, the sea, this spherical stage
of Man’s drama, his scripted page

written within us, in our blood
and ubiquitous, like the Flood,
and thereby reach a god’s willing ear
to witness now this woe-wrought sphere.

Bound by binary brinkmanship
and life but a brief, fleeting blip
within Strings, between Venus and Mars—
we are but puppets of the stars

in the long venue of this place,
this empty theater of Space
where stars are spectators so quiet
that we oft wish them to riot.

And so this message to the void
afore, or aft, we are destroyed
is but a letter in a glass urn
reaching the point of no return.

Some Quick Poems

Rumor
A single soft-whispered word
rising gently as a bird
can destroy all that we love,
its wings blasting from above
like the giant Roc of old,
growing fat with each tale told.
Though born so oft Sparrow-small
and meek as a Robin’s call,
it can perch upon your tongue
and therefrom become far-flung,
though a Halcyon afloat
and so idle in your throat,
it grows bigger, breath to breath,
with nary a single death,
but rises upward once more
like to the phoenix of lore
burning with a ceaseless light,
its tell-tale feathers so bright.

Garroter’s Guitar
With a Garroter’s deft finesse,
he pulled the angel hair taut,
strangling from the chord a scream
that crescendoed as a
guitar solo,
silencing the cut-throat bar where
smoke swelled in suffocating waves
within the morbid gloom of a
killer evening show.

Blood-Red Leaves
The ancient stag
was crowned in years of wisdom
and wariness,
knowing well by instinct
the Death Sentence that came
with dying leaves
crunching underfoot.

Still Life
He whetted the blade
of his sharp palette knife
to start his crimson phase
with the perfect still life.

The Nihilist’s Delusion

Pardon my breaststroke
over oblivion,
but the undertow will take me
inevitably
in time,
not with my eager acceptance, thank you,
but with mortal fatigue,
meanwhile your undead body
bloat-floats complacently
over oblivion,
coming eventually
to ashen shores
so you may make
ash angels
after having razed the world
and all of its myriad “illusions”,
attempting to delight in the
ruination
of the
joys to be had
rather than throwing yourselves
upon the pyres
and giving resolution
where your philosophy’s resolution is due.
You wish to beat us down
with the bones of the departed,
striking our hopes with a cruel
tattoo of
“You too! You too!”
as if we were not aware
that even headstones crumble,
given time;
and, yes, we know that
we ride determinism’s
compulsive waves
along the continuum of life—
it is no hollowing revelation.
Excuse me,
but while you numbly nestle
into the shoreline’s ashes
after you have smote all meaning
in your estimation,
and while you stubbornly mutter
your mantra of “malignant uselessness”,
I cannot help but note the irony
of your continued existence;
for while you champion mass extinction,
the puppet does not burn himself
to cinders
to rescue himself from the supposed
“conspiracy against the human race”.
Actions speak louder than words,
and you seem quite disingenuous
while you gleefully lob
Molotov cocktails into the sea
like bottled letters
meant to reach distant shores.
It is an ironic joke, you know—
the one about the
self-professed nihilist
who refuted his own thesis
by showing up
in person
for the book signing.
Yes,
we are meat puppets
tangled up in our own strings,
but only you seem to be
high-strung about it.
Then again,
strumming other people’s
heart-strings
has always been lucrative,
even if money and ambition and
etcetera
further the delusion
you decry.
Perhaps you should use the ashes
as eyeliner
for your late-term
Emo phase?
Meanwhile,
I will make my sand castles
as I please.
Somehow I doubt your
ash castles will last long,
and, besides, wet ash
burns the hands
which shape it,
yet will never clean the hands
of the hypocrisy
that stain them.

A Smattering Of Poems

Social Media Divas
They welcome voyeurs with spread
lenses,
inviting complete strangers to peruse their
intimate stream of posts,
their
photo-filtered lives,
and yet, however deep the probe delves
with flash and magnifier and high resolution
pic-pic-pic-pixels,
their lives are only ever
shallow;
the gleaning of a photo,
taken with “beauty face” on,
while all of the hollow
blandness
is hidden
on the backside of the camera.

Jester Of Jazz
He is always tripping along
from one improv moment to the next,
playing an unrehearsed song
as if he is badly hexed.

Sometimes he falls flat on his face
and smashes into a clamorous mess;
sometimes he has the saving grace
to orchestrate a feat of finesse.

But it is all up in the ambient air,
as is he, stumbling and somersaulting
over sheet music, his instrumental flair
a capricious cadence, never halting.

And there are times when he fumbles the note
and stumbles upon something quite sublime—
something beyond what is predictably rote;
a little out of rhythm, but keeping in chime.

Tradition
Tradition is the
graveyard
upon which we happily picnic,
unmindful of the
dead
buried beneath us, their
muted displeasures
unheard
as we lounge in our own
era.
Only the
graverobbers
seek the dead’s pretenses,
and who should trust a man
wearing the blood-gemmed ring
of a dead tyrant
recently exhumed,
or heed him when he says
“Tradition dictates…”?
After all,
Tradition
is the mold-eaten bedrock of
our home, sickening us as we
breathe in
its spore-crowded vapors.
Why not simply build a new home,
fresh upon a new foundation?
Why not
enjoy this picnic
and not mind the
worms
eating at the remnants
of a decayed era?

Entangled Genius
Is it not like a
spider
entangled and
dying
in its own web,
how he went
bankrupt
at his own casino?

Sisyphus Sighed
“Why not just give up?”
they ask, as if they do not
push rocks uphill, too.

Dis-Crete Labyrinth
Within the labyrinth
of your life
you are
Theseus, venturing bravely
while reliant upon another’s thread
to lead you out of
entombed darkness,
but you are also the ravening
Minotaur,
bullheadedly stubborn
and unwilling to ask
for help.
The Minotaur, being
pride,
shadows Theseus, being
humility,
and how often one overtakes
the other
as the maze twists and bends
like a spider’s web.
But there is a third among them
and she is Ariadne,
she being
grace,
and she holds the
clew
whereby the labyrinth may be
explored
without losing oneself completely to
Daedalic hopelessness.

A Collection Of Images

Knob, Fog, Sun
An old knob slept amidst its breath
like a dragon wreathed in its own smoke,
sleeping silent as if in death—
yawning flames as the clouds broke.

An Old Allegory
Two cardinals fight for territory,
their bright, bold splashes of crimson red
clashing and spilling, that age-old story
of when Love compels bloodshed.

Boys Will Be Boys
Like whitewater tumbling upon rugged rocks
and then running smoothly thereafter,
the roughhousing boys took their stone-fisted knocks
and went on playing—bubbling with laughter.

Needless Storms, Needless Nightmares

Through the belly of the midnight storm,
like Jonah in the wallowing whale,
the world remained all aswarm
with rain and wind and biting hail.
The downpour fell heavy as if thrumming
like a blacksmith’s hammer upon the sword
held in Christ’s mouth, his Second Coming
among thunder and lightning—a wrathful lord.
Trees thrashed about in terror-blind mobs
as if to uproot themselves from the earth and go,
and black clouds shrouded behemoth knobs
while the Dragon’s wings deafened all below.
And among the fraying thunderhead
there floated ever after the Reapers,
phantoms wandering from bed to bed—
bad dreams visiting peaceful sleepers.

Broken Crown Kings Free Giveaway

Anyone who follows me knows I try to post a poem or piece of fiction each day, sometimes several times a day. Over the last year and a half I have published over three hundred poems. Broken Crown Kings is the culmination of this marathon. Currently the ebook is available for a free download if anyone is interested (for two days only). Many poems have been revised and modified from their original form. There are also two short stories included which concern the purpose and the pretenses of poets. One, titled “Ukiyo” was originally called “Poetic Justice” when I first published it serially on this site. The other short story is titled “Ashes, Echoes, And Empires”.