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Musty Heart

I shouldn’t have opened the door
(I decided I couldn’t take it anymore)
Shouldn’t have flung open my heart
(She said she would just come once more).
Left again, leaving me all ripped apart.
Not knowing the reason: a scrabbling on the roof?
I just had to go and see this storm’s proof,
Now gelled into rent and hidden autumnal leaves
Akin to slighted tricks up magicians’ sleeves.
No time like now, like the present, some day or this hour–
The gravity of the empty not knowing drags with such majestic power.

I shouldn’t have opened this, my old man’s prison door,
But creatures such as we must go out and must explore.

Protocol

Want to toss you from the window
Kick you on down the hall;
Totally because of another Covid Solstice,
Songs will blame you for everything and all.

Twasn’t quite all the lies
That drove me deeply into the mad,
It was lingered honeyed phony histories
That made us all go aware into the bad.

Acid lyricism beat upon ragged congas—
Tattoo played upon my head that storied eve:
Another sterling child father moment never ending,
Still now for your passing, and embrace, I still grieve.

Six feet under is the agreed protocol,
Yield thee to the last cool embrace of Death;
Whether or not you’re ready or not at all:
Lastly arrives the time to draw one’s last breath.

Don’t cry , don’t blink—
Missus Vera is buried today.
Of course I still love you;
I’m just alone and have lost my way

Storm Warning

So it was in an old era of insufficient chocolate
And there wasn’t a whole lotta love going on too
I remember she had packed her oh so pretty face
Which left with her name through International Departures Gate Two

But it was really really raining, coming down real hard
Tropical Storm June was plying her blowing trade about town
The lights all went out when all the lines all went down
As luck would have it the red candle sputtered, caught, and glowed
And there’s lotsa lots of fish in the sea, or so I’m told

So we gotta get us a Whitman’s Sampler
And perhaps a new forever love, for true
Blonde, brunette, or gray, even a gambler
But she’s gotta know as I’ve not the least clue

Next morn the tree killers buzzed through the hood
Cutting away the branches, clutter trees, and opened up my road
Twas a new Time for more insurance claims stories, a la mode
But I shredded all that old paper, I’m retired ya know
And the cat needs his vet shots and now I really gotta go

It’s a rough finding you’ve only two M&Ms
And which would be the wrong color, just to be sure
In this odd time of insufficient love and chocolate
Perhaps in a wrapped Arc d’Triompe we can find a cure

Helpless

The slings and arrows have taken such a toll,
Phydeau and she wince past the dawn.
Northern winds harass a delta plain–
Barb rolls over, she’ll be nobody’s pawn.
Please, turn it down,
Neil’s not all that’s wrote.
If the horse rolls over
Do I still get my billy goat?
Awaiting the witchiest hour
To sign up for my holy jab.
So I can dance with the princess
From Allthat she Alibab?
Super something passed a time ago,
But a girl lingers oh so very near.
Yet no future looming for us nor me
However so much we wisht a dear.
Slings and arrows have rent their path
And a once wanted love has died anew on the vine.
Whither’s the way to play this old game?
Please, young lover, show me a surer sign.

A Waupaca Snowday

Yes, she’s a pretty redhead.
No I don’t know her name.
Ask her out? Nah,
It always ends the same—
I don’t get her,
She doesn’t cotton to me.
It’s been like that
From the dawn of eternity.
Bring her home for Thanksgiving?
I believe that’s a bit too soon.
With all that six-foot social distancing
Might as well be on the dark side of the Moon.
I heard from Waupaca,
It’s gonna snow all day,
But the trains keep a-runnin’
On that Canadien North railway.
There’s Loo and her mighty kid,
Out chasing the Loco Progressive!
I tell ya these holidays alone
Are getting a mite depressive.
I think I’ll trip over to the Twilight Zone
And look into Mr. Nelson’s Game.
Ask her out? Nah,
It always ends the same.

A Safe Place

I’ve lost that place to let a tear;
My heart’s gone to its safe place.
How could things go so wrong?
What new horrors must we face?

Barricades fall from Seattle town,
But nothing’s better, not at all.
I’ve no stamp for my letter
Begging to be allowed to call.

Things today sing with a minor key,
But youngin there’s just one thing:
Passion stills, for just a moment, the longing—
Yet loneliness in old age still prides its sting.

Did she survive the novel virus?
Will she return to us fully alive?
Glasses for all to share the sauterne!
Breathe the air! Dance! Sing! Thrive!

I’ve lost the time to shed a tear,
My words go without a decent rhyme,
The End: how will we deeply know?
What new pain unfolds with wrinkled time?

Fathers’ Day In Quarantine

Ya know she smiles loud
Cuz she’s got all them teeth
But don’t take my word for it
I’m pretty far from beyond belief
All I truly know is better days coming week after next
I know this to be quite true
Cuz it says so in my daughter’s last text

Daughter conquers the days
With a lot more stress than I do
Pouring over hiragana squiggles
A looming test is messing with her artist’s do—
A perfect score in her Summer Japanese (!!!)
Brought my little brilliant girl
Down to her very studious knees!

Soon one far day she’ll marry
And support her brilliant kid’s studies
Skinned knees, broken arms,
Betrayal by once assumed close buddies.
And I’ll wish she finds all the joys
Such awesome women usually discover
Uncovering men buried inside hapless little boys

Tis quiet over on the cul-de-sac
‘Specially when I turn down my stereo
But it’s another Fathers’ Day
So turning Yes’ Starship Trouper to eleven, doncha know!
Singing along with the best dead rock stars
But what on Earth can we do—
We can’t go to restaurants, movies, or bars

An unassuming liquid red
Half fills this humble glass
Cabernet Sauvignon from over Sonoma way—
Wish I was sharing with my own sparkle-eyed lass.
But now time to rewash this mask:
Such varied fun in lockdown
Filled with this new time-worn vital task.

Yes please do come on over
To my wee cool place,
Always room in Alexandria
For one such as you and your happy pretty face!
We can play all the latest games,
Or uncover our darker tragedies,
Then smartly resolve them with neat effectual reframes!

Ya know he smiles loud
Cuz he’s got all them flossed teeth
But don’t take my word for it
I’m pretty far from beyond belief
All I truly know is better days coming week after another
I know this to be quite literally true
Cuz it says so in a text from my encouraging but distant brother

[PS Stay home, stay safe, practice the best proper social distance
Or may a gravid moose find relief in the spaces within your pants!]

Corona Gone

The sun fell down,
And broke its crown,
The dollars came tumbling after.
Sneezles and dweebles
Racked up all the peoples,
Drowned out in all the laughter.
Maybe you ought take a pill
And go for a finer thrill;
Tomorrow may never come.
Tis a long way home
Where you’re far from Rome;
Make sure your pickle is dill.
He’s got all the ventilators
Certified by prime aggregators;
Are you sure his lapel mic’s on?
Forget Southern Nights,
Time for Last Rites,
She’s gonna be corona gone.
How do you give someone a hug
Keeping six feet apart on a rug?
May I ask: are you a believer?
Tell everyone I love them so,
And I will miss them when I go—
This morning I got up with a fever…

Happy Valentine’s Day Faye

So at the Gates stood Conor
Awaiting his newest best friend.
Faye joined him eager yet sore confused,
This was no one’s idea of a good end

She’ll never be seven
She plays now in Heaven
And our tears yields no answers
To the never answered Oh God, Why?

Why did that thirty-something
Lose contact with his humanity?
Just playing outside in her front yard
These things are always so damn hard

Are we all so willfully and totally blind?
Is this some new flavor of miswrought insanity?
Our ocean awash in pain and despair—
There’s no satisfying answer, ever, anywhere.

Bad parenting, bullying, party drugs?
A chromosome split and expressed wrong?
Just why can’t this stop, just…please…stop!
Do we just let this go and let Pain chase erelong?

Faye and Conor skip off into the sunset,
We here, head in hands, perplexed and twisted.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Faye, and to you who still love;
While our tears coalesce with a countenance sorely misted.

Her Surreal Highness

Her Surreal Highness,
The Fairie Queen Helen Of Tippie,
The High Duchess of Laney,
Order of the Dreaded Honey Bee Sting [Knight & Plank Owner],
Nurse Most Excellent of the Shire of Greater Bastropia [Ribbons with Flourishes & Bows],
Hottest Reddest Heart Insignia, First Class, Distr. (Education) of Lockhartton,
And dozens more exquisite honours and accomplishments regal,
Was in mourning.…

Sally Gossamer Wingstep, hesitant, took one step,
Then walked slowly onward from her nest;
No fluttering nor soaring above the Fairielands—
Grounded, given the great sadness, she thought best.

In the distance…The Queen’s Tree…
Her great branches weighed down in sorrow.
Betrayed The Fairielands further grief:
There was to be no Queen’s High Tea tomorrow…

Sally felt so awful to feel so awfully angry;
The Queen’s loss was far worse than a missed party.
Even though Jonathan Spider had woven her the finest dress
Which shimmered bright while flowing about her curves smartly.

But the yawning emptiness in the Good Queen’s Castle,
Even the young fairie felt as she struggled with how she was feeling.
She could not grasp the meaning nor see a path ahead;
The sheer suddenness had left all their minds sore and reeling!

Absentmindedly, Sally rounded into Copse Square,
And came face to face her Most Regal Presence!
Wide-eyed, stutter stammering an apology quick,
Sally keenly hoped she was making some sort of sense.

“Oh, my dear Sally, it is you!” Queen Helen said.
“Are we not cavorting across the sky?
Such joy you lend us with your loops and curlicues…
But you are walking, please tell us why.”

Said Sally: “Oh, Your Highness, I thought it improper to fly
When in these dark days we mourn with thee.
We too share in your deep loss, and weep.
We agree on foregoing this year’s High Tea.”

“Nonsense and nettles!” roared the Queen.
“As our spiders weave and the highland bees make honey,
I will care to have our fairies unfurl their wings, to fly,
And so to rule the skies, whether they be dark or sunny!

“So, such and such a time that has as now passed…
Methinks, it is time to move on, I most solemnly decree.
Yes, he has gone, but we shall recall his Royal Goodness—
Sally, care we must and shall host a Great Celebration Tea!”

As swiftly as their wee silken wings could beat the wind,
The fairies carried The Announcement all over and beyond the Fairielands:
All who had furled their wings were to don their most Fun and Glorious Finery,
And TO FLY into the Castle Ballroom with all the Joy such a Fete demands!

At the appointed hour, our fairies looped, soared, fluttered, and flew,
Doing the most ambitious winged acrobatics into the Castle Ballroom;
Even Queen Helen, in her richest Duchess of Laney silver livery,
Flew around such that even the keenest witch could not match on her broom!

Sally Gossamer Wingstep, seized the room—such curlicues and soaring loops!
She was wearing a new shimmery gown, so tight and true to her young frame, without guile.
Her Surreal Highness, The Fairie Queen Helen Of Tippie, The High Duchess of Laney,
Joined in the fairies’ rapturous applause, and did give Sally a nod, and a knowing smile!

Wondrous fruits and cakes and teas were served to the celebrants in abundance.
Her Majesty even allowed the Royal Tea Keeper to let loose the rare jasmine.
From now, and for the time ahead, she would remember the lifting joy
From her subjects as on this night all joined in the grand celebration of him.

So, the Great Celebration Tea ended as a wondrous success—
The Good Fairie Queen went to her rooms while floral aromas caressed the air,
Because surely you know that what is best with good jasmine tea
Is a hearty, loving serving of Tender Laney Care!