Still Life

Standard

Arranged meticulously,

posed purposefully,

captured faithfully —

life not as it happened,

but a skillful composition.

Sliced pomegranate,

with a few loose jewels nearby,

a vase full of poppies,

wine glasses half full,

a fresh loaf of bread

a steak knife flanking

an empty plate.

We stand on the outside

looking in,

a window to a moment,

forever undisturbed —

not life as it once was,

just an arrangement.

Take this with you,

only in memory,

no flash photography.

Toxoplasma Gondii

Standard

Stay with me, please.

You’re always on my mind.

I don’t care

when you go hide,

or wander far and wide,

scratch the curtains

or knock my glasses

off the table.

Take your time,

I know you’ll be back.

I feel you with me always,

When you’re nuzzled with me

I am stable

once again.

Stay with me please,

because you’re my friend.

I am tamed once I see you–

how little you do for me,

my favorite freeloader.

To every need, I will tend;

you can feed yourself,

bathe,

and live your life without me,

but I’ll do it all — all for you,

that’s what I choose.

Please stay,

you’re always on my mind.

Bystanders

Standard

We stand

In long shadows,

passing through,

passing through,

they’re silent

Wanderers,

adrift, going where they’re taken.

Currents in the void

have shifted;

you’ll never see them again.

Mutters echo softly,

barely audible,

across the way.

Look them in their eyes,

they will not acknowledge.

As surely as time flows,

they will not stay.

Who are you?

Who are you?

I cannot say.

No one knows,

but they all ask

the same of you.

Fission

Standard

Chack

Goes the cue ball,

as it breaks

the tenuous structure

at the start of the game.

We collected these balls,

and set them here

for specifically this purpose.

The purposive percussion,

can have unforeseen side effects,

such as scratches,

shouting matches

or, at worst,

the 8-ball finds a way

to lose you the whole affair.

But with precision and care,

the collisions

and chain reactions you hope for,

carry you through.

A game of pool revitalizes the night.

It brings joy and energy,

that escalates,

as each ball finds its way to a pocket,

out of sight

but not out of mind.

All from the predictable instability

at its outset.

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Sycamore

Standard

Winds of change,

carry me away,

I will spiral

as I ride the currents,

to still waters,

to green pastures.

The gale will wail,

but I will not falter,

it’s fury will take me

somewhere new,

I have faith.

I will put down roots,

I will stand as tall as I can,

from midsummer,

through first frost

but, here, I cannot stay.

Winds of change,

I will follow your lead,

I fear no obstacle,

you have carried me above them.

Though you have set me down,

I will not rest,

The sun sets in the West,

I will face East,

and take in the morning light,

no matter the hand I’m dealt.

Winds of change,

carry me away,

I wish to see the world,

carry me away.

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Protect and Survive

Standard

Everyone hears the wail

of Siren calls,

fewer hear the Jericho Trumpets.

The lucky ones

see a flash of brilliant light,

thunder shakes the nation

announcing War and Death.

The Four Horsemen have arrived

all at once.

We never thought we’d see this day

destruction is assured,

the radio tells us,

there is still hope for salvation.

3 knocks,

signal coming Pestilence.

Put out the fires,

lock your doors

and hunker down

in the basement.

Bags of sand stacked high,

keep out nuclear dust.

Pots and pans,

tins of meat,

cans of beans,

may outlast us.

We await the all clear,

as Famine patrols.

We thought the war would never heat up,

but all it did was boil over,

and we were caught in the crossfire,

someday we’ll pick up the pieces.

Pianissimo

Standard

A light touch,

can really pluck

the heart strings.

My heart sings,

at the opportunity,

to practice with you.

But I, at times, am Icarus

too ambitious-

too inconsistent

with the placement of my fingers.

But vigorous no doubt,

My hope is that practice makes me perfect,

I can fine-tune this

day by day,

I just hope the neightbors

have nothing to say.

As they have their privacy,

so do we,

we’ll keep our sour notes

and symphonies,

all to ourselves.