Okay, boys and girls and everyone:
come close—closer—and listen to this.
The odds against us, you, or me,
being viable, of being born, of living on for years,
make it nearly impossible
to have happened at all. Statistically,
the chances that any of us exist is virtually zero.
Therefore, god or no-god,
each person living is by definition
a feckin’ miracle. Existence is miraculous.
We are, each of us, marvelous.
Let’s start acting like it.
Congratulations! Here. Have a cigar.
Look both ways and take in all that is seen.
Mind the gaps because in the game of existence,
their enormity is incomprehensible.
If you are interested, click here to read all about your chances of being.
And, finally, a bit of music: “Have a Cigar” (Pink Floyd) as covered by Elephant Revival.
I returned to your place of business, like I said I would.
A clown-man there told two jokes. At first,
I glared at him to the silent end. The other
I interrupted so I could give you my coffee order.
I allowed him to finish. I again stared
before telling him his joke was unfunny and that his
comedic skills were woefully lacking behind his
overflowing obnoxiousness. Was he your father?
You would not take my money. He paid.
I sat quietly, typed my poem, drank the
Americano and chewed the muffin.
Now I wish I hadn’t. You
did not look at me or say another word. Then,
Sorry. Henceforth, the city library
has much more to offer and
better silence, too. No jokes.
Is Divinely Beautiful your real name?
Tell your father that my low opinion
of him has declined and my vote
is not for sale.
No apology necessary.
Look both ways but think on your feet.
Mind the gaps of silence when the wind passes.
Saturday (June 18th) , I wrote this poem at the Round Rock Writers Guild Word Yoga (poetry) exercise Zoom workshop. My friend, Kathrine, said she wanted to see it here. Who am I to disagree?
Her excellent blog is published at: https://lklatham.com/. Her exceptionally wonderful books of dark, speculative fiction designed to beguile the imagination and convince you the things that go bump in the night are real is sold wherever great lit can be had.
A Moment of Time
My mantra is right here, right now
in this place with my life
that is the sum total
of forty-million moments;
some so frightening
I thought I would die,
others so boring
I thought I would die,
but here I am,
right here, right now,
just me—Mister Bill—
and my 40-million moments,
greedily hoping for
ten or twenty million more,
when frightening or boring
(un)important to me.
Look both ways with awareness of time, but this moment is all we have.
Mind the gaps for good days and bad, as pleasantry is a matter of perspective.
Sometimes I don’t understand, or
(and it’s not the same thing)
I misunderstand, hoping
somehow to be brought
to correction and truth,
by way of clarification,
Like one day
writing to prompts.
A young lady made clear
her (pre-pandemic) intention
the several months long hike
of the Appalachian Trail,
Georgia to Maine.
Starting in February,
finishing in May (unlikely),
every day for months.
She had done eighteen miles in one day,
no more; none
during March or July
on a rocky or muddy ascending trail.
I wanted to say, that’s a marathon a day,
every day, for at least three months (more like five to seven) bearing a pack, food, and water.
But I didn’t. Is it for me to say?
Lest I dash her dream with reality.
Is it for each person to discover
our dreams? To defeat challenging demons?
Not with wisdom but with grit.
Each of us must, on life’s long wander,
one day, one step at a time, take the risk.
Look both ways on every trail.
Watch where you step and mind the gaps lest you find a limp.
Follow your dreams.
Today, I was to write a duplex poem, a variation on the 14-line sonnet form (also echoes ghazal and blues) developed by Jericho Brown. While I did not make the last line the same as the first, I think it still fits the form near enough.
Look Both Ways
In my seventh decade I can sense
How the shortened horizon stimulates me.
As near horizons power my desire
I feel impatient and curious.
Curious about much, impatient to learn
As my memory seeks its own beginning.
Like flashing movie trailers of memory
I feel a revival of haste when I see
Time is not long, and my need is urgent.
Reality has broken though my dreams
And my dreams bow to stark reality.
From this end I see better my beginning,
My story told from beginning till now.
My seventh decade has finally arrived.
Look both ways regardless of how near or far the horizon is.
Mind the gaps because memory is tricky business.
Today’s one-thirtieth of NaPo prompts challenged me to write a poem that uses repetition. I may repeat a sound, word, phrase, image, or any combination. I chose a name. (Note: published one day late because someone forgot to click on publish.)
When Nothing Else Can
Maybe Bukowski was right.
We are strange, we of the people.
Is someone’s world better
when we’re not in it?
Bukowski’s is gone.
Bukowski had a point
about hate’s self-sufficiency,
better to not care at all if love
needs so much help. Gratuitous
masturbation of the psyche
is all about Bukowski.
Bukowski was right when he said,
the world is full of boring, identical,
mindless people. They run from the
rain but revel in tubs of bubbles and water.
Where’s the glory here? said Bukowski.
Bukowski didn’t tell me to find what I love
and let it kill me, but I blame it on Bukowski anyway.
There is a loneliness in this world, wrote Bukowski.
Just drink more beer, more and more beer, now
that’s really Bukowski!
I think Bukowski was right when Hank said that
sissies have hard lives. And most important for me,
Bukowski said, nothing can save you except writing,
and equally important, a poem knows when to stop.
I think what Bukowski said is nuts, but also too true,
so it stops, but this is not the end of this Bukowski bit.
Look both ways when sampling the sweet and the sour.
Mind the gaps for clues of generations.