Canary In The Mine

View the shame parade

complete with photos

the worst on the planet

with their hoard, listed in order.

This is a sick dysfunction,

perhaps the sarcastic

illustrious praise

at their misdeeds

is too subtle

immersed as we are

in this madness.

A rus-in-urbe rooftop garden

trucked-in soil

and pumping water

to complete the illusion

of what is only

natural.  When we ground

ourselves and face the need

that looks so much like greed

and claim it,

how do we read

the cast of billionaires

and what is our recommended

treatment for these outliers

of the human condition?

Inspired by: Hoard, Order, Rus in urbe and Illustrious and the Forbes list of billionaires.

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Change of Tack

Winter knocked the wind

out of my sails, frozen

in this bay with no power

and no justice.  Come thaw,

I will set out once again

like these migrating ducks.

How many lands have

my ancestors shuffled through,

eking, aching hearts,

dreams to glide

to prosperity 

or at least

fairness?

Indigenous to a mysterious

past, far back beyond

what’s remembered.

Stranger here

and the earth is muttering

darkly with the disrespected

bones we feel

in this thick air.

We open to the despair,

the only bridge

to hope

that tiny glimmer.

Every intuitive leap

brings us closer

to the edge

of change

like spring,

that long-awaited miracle

palpable

rising.

Inspired by Justice, Power, Thaw and Sail.

I Need A Miracle

I’m huddling in the last

days of winter and how

do people stay alive?

When that dark wind

sprays madness,

do they simply nestle

under comforters

slack-jawed and snoring?

I wheeze until I rise

long before the sun.

The sameness feels

like shame.

My ancestors spoke words

that had no meaning

to the people they slaughtered:

money, value, property,

own, discard.

Propelled by myths

of separation, we settled

and moved,

dispossessed

and greedy for everything

we can’t see

and can’t say.

We’ve put a price tag

on the gift and how can we

continue this interest-bearing?

Once we blamed the regal

heads of state, so made

a single alteration

in our wealth

driven by war

consuming

consumed

consumption

our progressive wasting

away

and tell me, please,

how do we stay

when we can’t take it

anymore, screaming

through the birth pains

coming of age.

 

Inspired by Regal, Alteration, and Spray

This Wild Ride

I slip past the expectations

of people who knew me

before now.  Fluid as I

paddle in this iridescence

to summon my magic

at the bottom turn.  That tiger

shark, lurking, makes such

a strong case to stay on my board.

I surf through this sea

of change to catch

a wave, flying past

with an exultant cry before

my magnificent wipeout.

A rag doll in a washing machine,

so long beneath the surface

before I can rise, thrashing,

to reunite with my breath.

I’m here with death, my old

friend, finally learning

to enjoy the ride.

 

Inspired by:  Case, Iridescence, Magic and Learning.

Money Calls

So it seems I must be derelict

in my self-styled duties

to follow the seduction

of money.  It is this daily

practice that forces me

out of the uniform

I don for society —

no, not these yoga pants.

I strip and strut

naked, hoping to fascinate

with my faults.

Everywhere I look, the signs

say poets must bare

precisely what they’ve never before

shown to the world.

And so my dilemma,

halt my morning peep

show to ferry secret missives,

hat in hand

because the larder is empty,

my fasts are long in the tooth,

and how I hanker

for a pretty dress and

a ticket to the symphony!

Poetry doesn’t pay

those luxuries, at least

not today, so I’ll continue

this love letter off the record.

 

Inspired by: Uniform, Fascinate, Fault, Derelict, and being torn between a contest entry that insists on poems that have never been published and the delight I experience every morning when I hit that pink “publish” button.

Rattle My Cage

 

She takes her act abroad

and then dares to poke

the sleeping tiger, sneering

how it’s tame.  She’s out of reach

one too many needles

the snarl erupts

fury boils over.

Hot eyes measuring each

irritant, perspective in reverse,

and all the careful work

I’ve done —

this wild beast needs to heal

— burns in an instant

away

away

away with you.

Hide and weep

while I yield my sweetness

to this surely fatal bite.

Inspired by Reverse, Act, Abroad and Needle.

In The Dead Of Winter

 

I’m fasting today, imbalanced

from a surfeit of English

murder mysteries — a dangerous

overindulgence.  What was I

thinking, opening the door

of my humble abode to this

variety of callous and cruel,

promiscuous and psychopathic

killers?  The detective, so shrewd,

inspects every canal and footpath

for clues, looking at what is present

so the hidden will emerge.

Perhaps he’s schooling me

in my own investigations, but

I can only bear that quirk

of a brow so many times,

his incredulity at the novice’s

wild guesses — before I stop

this unhealthy binging

and page through seed

catalogues instead, intuiting

the most organic nourishment

I can cultivate,

come spring.

Inspired by:  Variety, Overindulgence, Canal and Humble.