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Remember when we did as we pleased?
Now we’re wrinkled, gray, and diseased
With Rage that crushes any caring heart,
And drops us low to our knees—
There is no succor or understanding
For respite or for relief for any parents’ pleas.
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness
Into that snare of ever wrong turns?
To put down hard roots
Into a never loved land,
Grasping, with our heart that burns—
Another lost kite strung over a high tree,
Another lost thing we swore to safe keep—
Living a clueless life beyond what we hear or see;
As now I lay me down to sleep?

–Amberly Alexis Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala.

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Hours Pass So Slow In The Day

The hours pass so slow in the day
Then decades are gone in a flame
Y’all, hold your lovers a little longer
While you can still remember their name
Forever lasts before end of the day
Then forty years have gone just like that
Y’all, hold your lovers a little tighter
Before you die and get laid out down flat
Our lives read out in poems half writ
With or without a dear someone with which to care
Y’all, hold your lovers a whole lot closer
Make sure it’s with you the time they want to share
The hours pass so slow in the day
Then decades are gone in a flame
Y’all, hold your lovers a little longer
While they still care to remember your name

Theoretical Storms

Theoretical rains
And supposed storms
I know it’s crazy
What odds and a thought forms
When you’re old and lazy
And now it’s just all slowness and pains
And they’ve stopped reading your porms

Lightening displays
And rumbles cross the street
I say watch it
Listen for the sax down beat
You know you’re gonna catch it
But Young Turks loom over newer days
And they’ve taken over your old seat

Suspended sunshine
The streets return a cleaner dry
Come on, let’s go
It’s time to take another try
Lace it up and hit the do’
Kill off two miles and don’t whine
If your goal is to really fly

Heatwave

Thank God, the Sun finally fell,
And my grass is all hay, as far as I can tell.
And, she has remarried, well done, well-played;
While I return to my room and its old bed, unmade.

How to escape these grayer ill-jointed days
As we reap the errors of our less-traveled stupid ways—
Find a job, see the doctors, count to ten.
You are right, you’ll never touch her again.

Mercury pauses up past one hundred and two;
Horrible news arrived from the Audubon Zoo;
A jaguar slipped her man-made enclosure;
Happily-ever-after looks very far from sure.

This Heatwave is here for another fortnight.
Wear your sunscreen, hold onto fantasies tight.
Pay the right bills, sell the rest of the stock.
O to have mystick time like from Ashland’s clock.

Weather well, all ye Christians, thru this Austin heatwave.
Gather fresh chrysanthemums for this Land of the Brave.

Poet’s Last Word

Oh, where in the world can your poet run
When the words fall flat, and the rhymes won’t come?
Oh, what hard trials arise to squash younglet poetry,
Like a weeded up, oak-wilt, unlovely and broken tree?
No thesaurus, no dictionary, nor dog-paged Bartlett’s
Can save a poor rhymester when the scansion he forgets.
Arched over his blank page, a pen rusting in his hand,
He remembers clever phrasing that once lofted grand.
But today, too many hours passed, when imagery faded away:
No paragraphs soar to shine, no dark truths for a heart to sway.
Just letters on a keyboard accompany the page gleaming white—
Is it old age, or a brain cancer, or Alzheimer’s that’s blanked his inner sight?
Swirling leaves, the pelting rain; no, just tears to wet another empty page.
Crashing thunder, volcanic explosions; no, just writer’s blocked impotent rage.
Was all this alleged talent just Life’s joke on the unwittingly absurd?
What do you say to the one who cannot find the poet’s last word?

Progression

Now she’s gone
And it’s just me left here.
No, I don’t really think
I’d like another beer.
It’s a progression
In the park where
We used to walk over,
Is now all covered up
In a new spray of clover.
It’s a progression
And memories of us
Are now hard to hold onto;
The doctor says perhaps four months
Then I’ll be gone too.
It’s a progression
All the happy turns sad
About the time of sunset.
You wouldn’t like it here;
That I had agreed now I regret.
It’s a progression
Our kids are good;
I think we did pretty well;
Now nurses and lawyers—
All grown up from Farmer in the Dell.
It’s a progression
Yes, it’s time to rest
And for you to go.
I love you for coming,
I just wanted you to know.
It’s a progression

Across Audubon Park

Now I’ve become old
Time has passed and taken hold
Down to the plain nitty gritty
From now on things won’t be so pretty
At least that’s what I’m told

Now I’m taken ill
The future promises a different thrill
Taken to bed feeling low
No one speaks about how this’ll go
Where did I file that Living Will?

Now the days have grown dark
What once was passion is the barest spark
Take my things I need them no more
I’ve deeper mysteries ahead to explore
Sprinkle the remains across Audubon Park

Now I lay me down to slee….

Another Poet’s Power Trip

7pm Friday evening:
The loner ponders a new blank page;
You’d think he’d have better
At his now advanced presenile age.
But no prospects permit,
And no leads present,
All in all
He remained a proper gent.

7:08pm Friday evening:
Some words managed to flow
Out of prompt sinus gyrae
And across the page, to and fro.
The rhyme lofted well,
The context sufficiently obtuse,
Pondering current lost lovers
[As usual TV fare was of no use].
But no prospects permit,
And no leads present,
All in all
He remained a proper gent.

9:30 Friday evening:
The night’s offering to WordPress Publish—
He’d not edited much,
Twas all a spot of heartache and sly rubbish.

10pm Friday night:
Off went the power strip.
Another headache for morning,
But for now: another poet’s power trip.
But no prospects permit,
And no leads present,
All in all
He remained a proper gent.

Plethora

Aspiring to be someone’s boyfriend,
And I want to fly to the moon:
Neither has the ghost of any chance
Of occurring anytime soon.
Aspirations of someone now older
Are akin to those of a teen:
Both want to be and make someone happy,
The longing is still felt quite keen.
Do you want to take on a boyfriend
And fly to find the man in the moon?
Call or comment when you are able—
Yes, right now wouldn’t be too soon.
Together we’ll share a plethora of smiles
While counting the days and accruing the miles.

Ankle Breeze

The angry drubbing from the cold January Sun

Has beaten all the trees’ leaves to the ground;

The peal by a distant neighborhood campanile

Offers but pastel respite from this new winter day.

After hours and an ankle breeze brushes cold
Times bear hard and thoughts scare appalling—
Late on a school night and we risk a third glass bold;
Excuse me, dear, but why is it hospice keeps calling?

Home—a far place unreachable, unknowable, except as

Errant memories allow.

Three score save one with 22 gray days to go,
Yet cannot believe one keeps falling.
Walked this way thousands of times but now…don’t…know,
But why does hospice keep calling?

Tomorrow comes to call as if knowing

Something…