Night Owl

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Your wildest dreams

are sweet relief,

a cease to endless wandering,

rest for your weary mind.

And rest you try to do

but release eludes.

Your alarm clock shows

the lapsing night,

instinct tells you

there’s more to do

but even the sun rests now

and today, for you,

is not yet through.

The moon watches,

Tantalus of the night,

sharing your affliction,

stillness surrounds

but it never partakes.

It chases the sun,

shape-shifting,

with a glint always in its eye,

but never does the moon

bask in the light.

Relief,

you hope,

is soon to come,

you lay your head

on your pillow

and fade away

for a moment,

“Good morning New Jersey!

Today’s forecast is 72 degrees,

sunny with low humidity.”

If only the new day,

could wait

until tomorrow.

Life’s Lemons

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Half-empty,

or half-full,

just remember to drink deeply

and you will feel refreshed

in either case.

Every drop in the bucket,

contributed

to its current state.

A smattering of shattered glass

can lead to

angry wails,

or end with

a beautiful mosaic.

Sit down and do your scales,

I guarantee you

with dedication

you will be able to play more

than “hot-cross buns”

and “Happy Birthday.”

Today is worth it,

not perfect,

because the best way

to find a beautiful view,

is to keep climbing.

When life hands you lemons,

fix yourself a drink,

and add some zest

to everything you do.

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A Limited-Time Offer

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Black and white montages

of your every day

average Joe

miserably failing

at mundane tasks.

Cut to open,

blinding white,

well-lit

studio space-

a prophet enters

to offer liberation.

His promises are grand,

his obligations are reasonable,

he tells you

salvation is yours for the taking;

he shows you

the sacred code

to speak with one of his disciples.

They beckon you

to pay your indulgences,

and enter the promised land

of Convenience.

Judgement day is upon us,

the prophet sweetens the deal,

if you are among the first 200

to accept him,

he will give unto you

a sacred chalice

that is impossible to spill

because of its NASA-inspired design,

but the clock is ticking.

You dial the phone,

but the line is busy.

You cannot live a life

of fear and ignorance

anymore.

When the words of the prophet are with you,

who stands against you?

Once more you dial,

and it rings for 3 minutes,

limbo.

Evil will not prevail today,

you tell yourself,

but you’re not so sure.

You walk in the shadow

of the valley of death,

into the kitchen,

where the reception is better.

One ring begets two,

which begets three

and on the fourth,

Hallelujah!

You have been welcomed

to the pearly gates of Convenience,

where every widget

is yours to order,

for 5 easy payments

of $19.99.

The angel on the other side

Is pleased to inform you,

that you are the 156th caller,

you have earned a sacred chalice

of your own,

what a steal!

Hemocyanin

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You and I

have new blood,

The oxygen we need,

pulled from each breath,

is cradled

in a molecular nest,

and bound in iron:

scarlet Hemoglobin.

But our ancient ancestors,

and the still-living

relics of the copper age,

still hold to

their old ways.

It courses through their veins,

blue

like the patina

on a penny,

that’s seen

better days.

Red blood caught on,

but ours is not the only way.

Our cousins in the deep,

also well-travelled,

use azure Hemocyanin

it still works it’s magic,

just like ours

but matches their lifestyle,

working tirelessly

undaunted by cold,

darkness,

and depth.

Flesh and blood,

follow their own

rhyme and reason,

what falls out of fashion

can often still function,

in the right place,

at the right time

and in the right hands.

Bootlegs

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Thank you for your patronage,

please come back soon!

When time is money,

there’s always something to do,

something new to see,

but only if you’ve already

won the lottery.

Success is timing, position,

some natural talent, skill

and heaps of dumb luck.

Many more

came before you,

with the same big dreams

playing in their minds,

but few have seen

their designs

pan out.

It feels like stealing,

but we can’t blame people

for doing what works,

and won’t put a stop to it

any time soon.

Shutting down a kiosk,

selling off-brand handbags,

t-shirts and shoes

is cutting down one bamboo stalk

in a vast forest,

hightailing it out

and congratulating yourself,

only to return again tomorrow

to do it all over.

They, like you, are also the little guy

and we all have big dreams here,

but there are bills to pay

and time is money-

there’s only so much

to be made and spent

in a day.

Imitation is flattery,

and in an uncertain world,

I’d be honored to be called

a safe bet.

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Facebook: The File Pile

Instagram: @thefilepile

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Through the Micrometer

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Bit,

by agonizing

bit.

Every tooth will fit

neatly into its

corresponding groove,

so that all

goes smoothly along,

without a drop of oil,

or so help me

God.

I will breathe life into this machine,

by the sweat of my brow,

the skill in my heart

and every tool on my belt.

There is no room for interpretation in my work,

it is so,

or it does not function.

I consult my micrometer,

and make my judgement calls,

which bits can serve,

and which

must be filed down,

beaten flush,

or discarded.

I am the Stradivari

of player pianos,

my creations will help themselves,

play their parts

and serve their needs

with or without you.

Pig Iron

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I will serve you well

but please be patient with me,

take great care because I’m brittle.

Have your finest blacksmith

forge me with precision, fold and fold

until I hold an edge that slices through armor

Like a scythe through long grass,

I am purpose-built.

Then have craftsmen

pour their hearts out

ornamenting, doting on and refining me

so that I’m form meets function.

I’m impure, but that’s not to say

that I’m not worth it.

The discipline it took to make me pales in comparison

to what it takes to wield me.

Keep me polished, oiled and sharpened.

Hold me tight,

and swing lightly,

I will do the rest.

When you sleep,

keep me on the wall,

so no harm comes to me.

If you bring me with you,

young samurai,

keep me sheathed

unless I’m absolutely needed,

so I can’t harm a soul.

Keep me safe,

and I’ll do the same.

I’m a little rough around the edges,

but if you’re looking for a fine sword,

I will serve you well.