Beggarly Kingdom

Sometimes I feel as if
I can conjure whole worlds
with the merest of words,
like a wizard with illimitable power,
or a king at whose summons
his subjects hastily gather
to serve,
and at other times I grope
like a blind vagrant
for coins spilled from his
beggar’s bowl.
Even now
the words roll away from me,
impoverished as I am
of the rich tributaries of poetry.
even when the floodgates open
and alms are offered in
with gratitude’s cornucopia,
whatever wonders
I manage to conjure
cannot muster the worth of a
with words alone
and, so, I return to the
to grind my own bread
from a wealth of wispy, unwelcome


So many people seem to think
that the realities of everyday life
should simply
like a
flock of birds
when they pass through them,
but the realities of this world
are not skittish feathers taking flight
at your slightest plaintive breath—
they are hailstorms of
and you are always in the
You can bleed out with
you can harden your
and temper your heart to be

Ought For Nought

They wake up every day
to a war zone,
but are still asleep
no matter how much they claim to be “Woke”.
Like Little Red Riding Hood
they are lost in the
The world would be a better place if…
Racism would disappear if…
Women would be safer if…
You have to grow up
before you can
look down on others,
and this ought-is fallacy is just as dangerous
as any other Big Bad Wolf in this world.
It is a
useless prayer
in the aftermath of tragedy.
It is
hot breath
against a hurricane.
It is a Devil beckoning with a grin
and a protest sign
while we go with him, hand in hand,
in a march for the
illusion of “safe” spaces
in the pits of Hell.
The Lake of Fire is turbulent,
no matter how much you preach at it.
Before you wade deeper
remember that an adult can drown
in three inches of water
and, so, “kiddie pools”
don’t exist.
Nor is sarcasm a defense mechanism.
Snark doesn’t impress a shark,
especially as he circles you
while you tread water in your
high-heels, ladies.
In the past Celtic women knew
they had to defend themselves
with axe and spear and sword,
for while their men suffered a single
and then death,
Celtic women suffered
endless thrusts
and the longing for death.
They were fierce, frightening, oftentimes
more terrifying
than the men in their tribes
and they would laugh in your face
if you started your defense with
They lived in the past
but are more progressive than any
prog-rocker today.
Make no mistake,
despite the crowded cities
and the looming skyscrapers
and the bustling sidewalks,
you are still miles away from civilization
and must defend yourself
like a Navajo girl
alone on the open Plains.
All of those police are as far away as
in this world, or,
even worse,
they are as close as
rising over you like the
Old Testament, ready to rain down
hellfire and bullet fury
should you…
Well, “should” never factors into that equation.
They may kill you in blind elemental rage for
no reason at all,
as happenstance as
in a tornado funnel.
And while you can scream
“Racism should never…!”
it does, so
get over it, or else
more bodies will pile up
while we all salivate
with self-righteous fury
at the kill count.
“Finally,” we say,
“I can be outraged about something!
It ought to have never happened…!”
And then we go about our lives,
changing nothing,
because human nature never changes,
our pressure valve letting off steam
to maintain optimal levels.
It is like a
tune-up for a car, done
now and again
to maintain the vehicle.
Change the oil and spark plugs.
Rotate and balance
your bias.
But with so much
Social Media we
overwork the engine,
overheating and needing an
I am so over it.
Sometimes I feel like my engine block is
and I should be retired to the junkyard.
It is like being too Woke to
stay awake.
My headlights are dim
and flicker in disbelief.
I just want to retire from a world
saturated with its own conceits.
Go back to sleep, maybe.
But should I?
Maybe I ought to…