Wading For It

Standard

Beware of any oasis,

because nowhere in this world of oddities,

will you cross the same river twice.

Try, try, try, as you might,

leaning into the current,

cannot bring you to the past-

grasping for the rain drops,

will not help you

stand steady and weather a storm.

No matter how torn,

you may feel,

there are times you must leave it all behind,

you’ll know it when you see it.

But so be it,

and fear not,

you never have to leave green pastures,

if you can bring them with you,

in tempests and torrents,

deserts, meadows, canyons, summits.

So long as you’re still going,

you are always exactly

where you need to be.

If you’re a fish out of water,

I really hope you’re a mudskipper.

Microplastics

Standard

Even in crystalline

waterways,

you will find

traces

of traces,

that divide with time

but never disappear.

They have multiplied recently,

added up immensely,

but won’t be subtracted.

Humanity has left fingerprints,

evidence,

Of wastefulness,

And decadence.

Washed-out facial scrubs,

Crushed-up soda bottles,

And toys discarded long ago,

All have lost their usefulness,

Yet refuse to decay.

All have altered Earth’s circulation,

Left her face mottled,

Bruised, and scarred.

Think twice before throwing things away,

Just because you can’t see something,

Doesn’t mean it won’t stay.

Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

Standard

Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

Backmasking

Standard

Kids,

let me set the record straight

about “rock-n-roll” music.

It is an instrument

of evil-

a tool of demons,

devils,

and those who serve them.

It will rot your brain,

morally bankrupt you,

and turn you into a pawn

of satanists.

Don’t panic,

don’t “turn on,

tune in,

and drop out,”

and don’t you dare buy another album.

“It’s not all bad,”

you might be saying to yourself,

but you’d be wrong,

and here’s why.

The devil is clever,

he hides his demands,

in the music in two ways.

1) He has his messengers carry out

their acts of debauchery in real life,

instead of talking about it.

Monkey see, monkey do.

2) They hide their messages in their songs,

and it’s as simple as listening

playing the track

backwards,

to reveal their evil intent.

You can beat the Devil,

just keep your wits about you.

Kids,

why can’t you listen to nice music?

Omissions

Standard

Without “you,”

the phrase “you don’t talk to me anymore”

demands an entirely different kind

of response.

“All you can eat, kids free”

Lacks some needed nuance,

Without the comma.

Although synonymous

An “I don’t know,”

Can create a lot less drama,

Than a shrug and a grunt.

Just one tiny piece in a conversation

Is key

In understanding

Misinformation.

You may fill in the blanks,

With what you want to see,

Or miss the forest for the trees,

In making assumptions.

Sometimes you can say everything

You need to say

By not saying anything.

Direct-to-Video

Standard

Purgatory can be found on Earth,

In thrift stores,

bargain bins,

And supermarkets.

Names and faces,

Some famous,

Some strangers,

Etched forever into

Sequels no one asked for,

To movies no one’s heard of,

Residing in everyday

Neighborhood haunts.

Horrifically corny schlock,

Poorly-written nature docs,

For children,

And TV movies that aired once.

No one makes something,

That no one is supposed to see,

But you wonder

whether these people

are where they want to be,

When you can buy half their filmography

for five dollars

and get one for free.

But maybe this is their dream,

To do what they love doing,

Make scenes,

And be seen,

Without being heard of.

Those souls are in my thoughts

For now.