Efficiency

I’d been cutting corners

Until my fingers bled,

Then looked for more time,

But the clock had fled.

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A Walk at Dusk

Following like a lonesome dog

a whining cur nips at a deaf heel,

while long shadows disappear into the night.

Antidote

[Using today’s prompt from The Daily Post to flex my lyrical skills]

Where the twilight of hope gives way to the reluctant dawn
And tranquility is poisoned with fear,
A quickening stone clears the paralyzing dam
To cure the silent disease.

Stalemate

Victory is a mirage for both of us,
the manic schemer
and his somber doppelgänger.

But the game can’t be stopped
and the only way we know how to play
is to imagine an oasis that could sate
our thirsty ambition for winning.

The brash schemer believes his coming triumph
is the destiny unjustly denied to him,
and knows it will be the start
of a life-long winning streak.

His quiet foe is confident
of a devastating conquest,
draining his opponent of the desire
to continue trying.

The game continues,
momentum flowing to one side while ebbing from the other
before shifting like the tide,
balanced in indecision.

The game tires both combatants,
Yet neither is willing to concede.

Chrono Logical

Time has been wasted,
seeking comfort under leaking shingles
crafted out of fear.

Time passes,
screamed wordlessly by the invisible clock
hanging from the wall like mildew.

Time has come,
to escape from the hovel of necessity
and dance in the foolish rain.

Habeus Corpus


The smiling jailer nodded as I yelled out my request.
He unlocked my cell, and without a pause, removed my gilded bracelet.

“Come this way,” he said, and like a kindly neighbor
Led me down a darkened hall, to the judge’s chamber.

But when the door opened, I only saw the baliff.
“Where’s the judge?” I demanded, “let’s get this over with!”

“He isn’t needed,” the baliff said, “you’re case is very simple.”
“This is outrageos!” I replied; no time to act civil.

“Show me the charge, and tell me who accussed me.”
The baliff looked at me, then winked: “You can go now, you’re free!”

“Is this a trick? You know I’m nobody’s fool!”
The baliff laughed, then left the room — he seemed so very cruel!

The smiling jailer then said, “I’ll show you what you seek.”
Not knowing what else to do, I decided to take a peak.

He led me down another hall, this one brightly lit
And ending in another door — I pushed, but couldn’t open it.

“It’s locked,” the jailer told me, “you’re gonna need a key.”
But when I turned to ask for it, there was no one there to see.

I looked at the door again, but saw no knob or lock.
And then I knew the answer — it didn’t come as a shock.

I closed my eyes, touched my temple, and wished the door away.
And when my eyelids raised again, no barrier before me lay.

The room was dark, but I felt no fear.
I knew that the truth was near.

So I stepped into the black, and in my mind
I heard a door close behind.

Total darkness, then a moment later, light all around.
I was amazed to see what I had found.

Mirrors everywhere. The ceiling, floor, each wall.
And my face staring back at me. That was all.

I came to seek my freedom, but the truth that I did find
Was that my body was in a prison I had made with my own mind.

Eric Blair

orwell-id-card

You warned us back in forty-nine
About the stamping boot.
The blow could come from right or left,
And render freedom moot.

We fought a frigid war for years
Against an iron curtain.
Your corpse became freedom’s hero,
And the freshman’s burden.

But die Mauer came down, and then
Your words seemed old and tired.
Your famous work a distant year,
No more to be admired.

Our victory seemed so complete –
History at its end!
But the coming years unfolded
In ways we didn’t intend.

We spent our aspidistral lives
In shopping, while asleep.
And sold our freedom on eBay
To a vain, huckster creep.

We thought that meanings chose the words
But we were so naive.
Our leaders tell alternate facts
And ask us to believe.

You never felt comfortable
Born in your evil time.
Perhaps we share a bond with you –
Our eras seem to rhyme.

What would you make of Amazon
And your resurgent fame?
And would you like the adjective
That we’ve made of your name?

We need you in an age like this,
Your words so clear and true.
For none should face despots alone  –
Not Smith. Not Jones. Not you.

It’s Time

The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dali (By Image taken from About.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20132344)

The Persistence of Memory, by
Salvador Dali (By Image taken from About.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20132344)

There has been time

for selecting, collecting, erecting, and protecting.

There’s more, always more,

but the pleasure in things has decayed over the years,

an expensive wine turned to vinegar.

 

Trophies gather dust on a shelf,

relics of a time with no responsibilities, and abundant possibilities.

Memories of a place fondly remembered

can be transformed by regret into tombstones

that mark the passing of dreams.

 

The time has come

to mock maturity, abandon surety, embrace the lack of security.

To discover the wealth in life that has lain hidden

during the futile search for safe satisfactions.

To leave comfortable interiors for the curiosity of the outside world.

 

 

In time, the future will reveal

how close ambition comes to the ideal.

Lunar Conversation

You once told me something someone sometime somewhere said,
that watching the moon was like living with an unstable person.

So long as you kept your eye on it, watched it every night, 

noting the slight changes in its appearance,

then the variations of its phases would seem natural,

like a flower, bursting from nubby bulb to brilliant bloom then wilting down to nothing. 
But if you get distracted for a few days,

and then look for the orb in the midnight sky,

it won’t seem anything like it had been when you saw it last —

a slender winking crescent giving way to a gibbous carbuncle,

the midnight beacon that had bathed the earth now all but invisible,

what had been rising in brilliance now shrinking back into darkeness.
Remember how I laughed at you?

How I recalled my fourth-grade lessons on the moon’s orbit,

reminded you how the lunar phases were nothing more than the product

of a celestial equation?

The moon’s appearance was orderly and predictable, I told you.

No mystery or romance — just science.
I remember you smiling,
and pointing up at the sky without looking.

“We all have the same teacher,” you told me,

“but each of us learns something different in class.”
The moon will be full tonight,

its brilliance casting basketball-pole shadows onto my driveway.

I’ll squint up at the silver coin, smile, think of you.

And wish you were with me.