Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Situation Now with Pirates

is that these kids are sticking 
thumbtacks through the grommets
of pirate flags, all over America, 
on bedroom walls, hallway walls,
classroom walls, and one pirate flag
was even found flying on a flagpole
in the front yard of a seemingly nice family
who lives in your seemingly nice neighborhood.
The kids think it’s cool.
They think pirates are cool.
They think plundering and pillaging
and ransacking and looting and shooting are cool!
These kids with the pirate flags
are the very same kids on the Honor Roll,
and in student councils and in booster clubs
and in the Future Business Leaders of America-
these are the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts,
the soccer players, the altar boys,
the kids at the county fair showing off their rabbits-
these are the grandchildren we take into
nursing homes to visit their trembling grandparents,
these are the girls we drive to piano practice,
the boys we dress up in baseball uniforms,
these are the very same kids who are hoisting
pirate flags all over the United States of America.
When the adults are away, the kids
with the pirate flags make each other
walk the imaginary plank and they swig apple juice,
pretending it’s rum, and they stab each other
with plastic swords in imitation of their idols,
the pirates, the alcoholic womanizing thieves,
the men who used real swords, and drank real rum,
and forced themselves onto unwilling women.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Toddler Cries for Water


Pretzel in my mouth.
Chunks of salt circulating.
Where is the water?
The pretzel was good
but now is a memory.
The thirst is current.
Help. I am thirsty.
I am so very thirsty.
Give me some water.
Why won’t you answer?
Here I am crying to you.
Why are you so cruel?
This is thirst, yes, thirst,
all I am feeling is thirst.
Is there any milk?
I will take the milk.
I will take the orange juice.
I want liquid, please.
Please help me, Mommy.
Can’t you hear me cry? Wah! Wah!
Please, get me water.
This world is cruel.
Here, the innocent suffer,
mercy is withheld.

Jerome the Gnome Bludgeons a Pretty Kitty

There once was a gnome
by the name of Jerome
who made his home
in the metropolis of Rome.
He chanched upon a stray kitten
and by its beauty he was smitten,
so gently he reached forth his mitten...
(for 'twas cold out) Ouch! He was bitten!
Jerome was shocked, taken aback.
Who knew that this kitten would attack?
"O thou bewitching creature with fur of black,"
quoth Jerome, "what's your problem?"
"Meow," said the kitten with sass. "Meow."
'Twas then that Jerome's anger was waxen hot
and he reached deep inside his magical pot
of lethal weapons, of which he had a lot,
like grenades, AK-47's, rocket launchers,
a slice of bread with polio on it,
and then he paused. He had a change of heart,
for killing kitties is a somber art.
But still his anger was waxen a little bit hot,
so Jerome reached into his other magical pot.
'Twas a pot of non-lethal weapons.
So nobly he retrieved a metal meat tenderizer,
grabbed the pretty kitty,
and guess what he did to her.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Location, Location, Location

Sylvia was raised for years in a city
and so considered it a pity
when her family moved
out, out, out to the countryside,
where rivers were her only neighbors
and rocks her only friends.

Each lonely night she dreamed
of the city she’d left, with its neon 
lights blinking and beaming,
tall brick buildings 
opening their dark doors, 
calling her forward, seeming 
to swallow her with warm mouths
and tightening throats.

But as the days went on and on, 
she began to hear the countryside’s song,
and her dreams began to brighten.

One night, under the influence of stars,
Sylvia looked down at her arms
pushing a shopping cart full of pinecones.
The next night, a taxi driver, a raccoon,
drove her to a mountain, and told her to get out.
The third night, she stepped off a sidewalk
and stumbled into an icy stream.
At dawn she shook from her sleep, 
surprised to find her feet dry.

Only then was she moved
by the story of Moses 
on a mountain, barefoot,

and communing with God.

Wheat Grinding Chant


First you put the wheat kernels in, in,
then you make the button go on, on,
First you put the wheat kernels in, in,
then you make the button go on, on
and then…
grinding, grinding, smash smash smash!
grinding, grinding, smash smash smash!
grinding, grinding, smash smash smash!
grinding, grinding, smash smash smash!

Most of Your Mid-Life



is spent 
sleeping and working
and working and sleeping, 
getting ready for work,
getting ready to sleep,
and waiting in lines,
and filling out paperwork,
and waiting in lines
for the purpose of 
filling out paperwork
and filling out paperwork
for the purpose of 
waiting in lines
but it’s okay.  
Sometimes,
they show you a good movie,
and sometimes,
you get a peanut-butter smoothie.