MOURNING DAD & Poems by Strider Marcus Jones

MOURNING DAD

he is decomposed
from a bramble rose
now-
his thorns
of storms
drow,
foetal curled
in the underworld
faerie peat without plough.

is it fun
with all those comical
musical
jacketed jesters-
or primplum
suitedrun
by posh ancestors-
doing the same this and that
to keep your spirit level flat
with docile protestors
wired to silicon investors.

i bought this new fedora hat
in whitewashed Mijas
to be my own brown
Romany
see as-
let them face their ignominy
when i wear it here in town-
like an un-shoed horse
from the roadgorse
prancing right
through their moral less light
brim slanted defiantly down
eyes outsider brown.

is it no Left or Right there.
do you have your chair
to sit in.
can you smoke your pipe
gathering stars in its clouds at night
thinking thoughts in nothing.
do you still use words
to help wingless birds
or is it silent
to the violent
fermenting fear
when the truth comes near
just like here.

 
THROUGH TALL WINDOWS

 
in late afternoon meadows

low light sketched your shadows

in Mucha pose

while I watched

through tall windows.


opening doors

footsteps on floors

all the clocks

in the house stopped

in the sundial

of your smile-

 
then prying phones

became postponed

and dissolved the blocks

of being drones

in dosed

apartments

opening closed

compartments.

 
more Bogart and Bacall

in Key Largo,

or The Poet by Vettriano-

in the hall,

we took Hopper’s painting off the wall

with its stark stress

heart of darkness.

 
Us

 
we are composed

out of the fate of stars

a light dark light so old

and tuned that regards

most of Us as Other

peasants

who are clothed

without privileged presents

to burn wood in cracked stoves

under crumbling cover.

stitched to Their time

we entwine

in our own interpretation

of this spinning station.

only burlesque bright skies

and the iris flowers of abandoned eyes

can change the fixed views

of a selfish landscape

into united hues

of equal state.

our reality is broken-

we are the hosts

and ghosts

who have been stolen

the violated tokens

of corporatist totems

screen greed being traded

and invaded

then beaten for protesting by police

working for the Thief.


BABYLON'S BOHEMIAN BOUQUET


i like the way
some words you say
go against gravity
and linger in the air
when you've gone.
sad or fair,
they blow away
this dungeons dark oblivion,
and water me with wisdom
like a soft shawl
with scents and sounds
that i wrap around
my senses come what may-
you give it all,
and love abounds
in Babylon's bohemian bouquet.
like butterflies
in druid grey skies,
the fragility
of eternity
ripples with uncertainty,
but doesn't woo, then waver in your eyes.
it's steady gaze
seduces praise,
then fondles and savours
loves succulent flavours,
like innocent alibis.

Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms. He is also the founder, editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal https://lothlorienpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/

His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, Germany; Serbia; India and Switzerland in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; A New Ulster; Impspired Magazine; Literary Yard Journal; Piker Press; oppy Road Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine Poetry Magazine; Dissident Voice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

3 Sonnets: Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples, Like Epictetus on Mushrooms, Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest by RW Haynes

Mrs. Alving Contemplates Her Nipples

Hedonism governs men, or simple greed
Deludes them always, so these masculine minds
Delight in lies that their convenience finds
So that for them there’s nothing true indeed.
If the lies are just nature’s just excretions,
Or by-products of heated oxidation,
I see their value as no more than negation
A healthy memory turns into deletions.
Lusty dudes, braggarts, loud buffoons,
Imploring forgiveness, tender sacrifice,
Though only my surrender will suffice,
I scorn your swaggering, you groveling baboons.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” These babies cry.
My nipples are mine now. Big babies, good-bye.

Like Epictetus on Mushrooms 

If Fortune turns its face toward the sun 
Whose light takes eight minutes to arrive, 
Then I put aside impatience to revive 
Fortitude in hope when day is done 
My sputtering candle may be noted then 
For what it’s worth, although its little light 
Took sixty years of travel through the night 
To let its fitful illumination begin. 
Duty is useless if no mark is made, 
And if the light should vanish, be unseen, 
As the Spartan said, I’ll fight then in the shade, 
Divested of incumbrance, darkly serene. 
Take your insincere sympathies, then, 
And stick them all elsewhere, all the way in. 

Another Ha Ha Chuckle for the Blessing of Rest

She thought light would leak on all
True dilemmas, personal honor, life or limb,
What to cook, what to hide from him,
And when she saw some ominous shadow fall
She knew to relish inevitability
Like an old stone statue staring in a tomb,
Silently satisfied in that silent room,
Mutely assimilating shadows she could see.
“My poetry will get you,” she wanted to smile,
“My syllabic dynamite, my shapely lines
Of harmony, tangled like wise vines,
Must stack all being in an elegant pile.
But you, O Diogenes, what you are after
Provokes no more than a brief fit of laughter.” 

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Ode to Olivia. A Poem By Jack D. Harvey

       Ode to Olivia

Oh, Olivia, during
what disingenuous dialogue,
getting closer and closer,
you told me
in that bar by the seashore
"pretty good-time girl
comes once, comes often,"
eyelashes shyly lowered,
thick and lustrous,
lowered time and again
to hide the hard eyes
I knew were there.

I was surprised by
your interest;
vital with intent,
your lithe body
tilted towards me,
white teeth showing
in a smile, breasts
firm and unfettered
in your summer blouse.

Delirious with your fancy magic
I nearly fell off the bar stool,
fell like a fairy-tale frog
clear down to the bottom
of the mossy well, my member
swelling in your favor,
transported to
to your body's joyful openings,
anticipating
hot and wet,
those ports of entry,
those sweet breasts,
that sweet tongue
flicking between your lips;
promises of things to come.

O ye spermy nights of the gods!

The rune on our canoe's tail
says "enter here, ye of little haste"
and willows brush our arms
as we paddle down the river
of ardor and fulfillment
and coming together and
whatever else
we can muster up
from a time of dreams,
from the manna
of this earthly paradise.

Olivia, you were brown as a nut
from a summer of sun;
a glamorous summer goddess
there for the taking and still
it came to nothing.
A change of heart,
a parting glance,
and off you went.

Your naked this I never saw,
your curly that I never pawed;
alone in the majestic garden
of self I sit stiff and cold
as a block of ice;
a lonesome soldier in a sentry box
waiting for the gate to open;
it never does.

Olivia, you left me
as you found me
and just as well
for the both of us.
There we were
in that bar,
and there we are forever,
enshrined, inscribed
like Keats’ Grecian urn,
graceful outlines,
a frieze of some long past event,
at rest in that luminous
wasted moment forever;
no future, no past,
no time at all and
what never happened,
what is not there
just as real
as what is there.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, The Comstock Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Typishly Literary Magazine, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and elsewhere. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

His book, Mark the Dwarf is available on Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Mark Dwarf Jack D Harvey ebook

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Exam Week. A Poem by Loukia Borrell


Exam Week
 
We were in the middle of finals
and needed a quick getaway, so
we dug out our bathing suits and
packed a cooler with beer and those
hard chocolate chip muffins we
brought back from the cafeteria.
 
I wore a black, polka dot swimsuit
that laced up the front. It was just a
little tight across my tits and, for once,
I had cleavage. My hair looked like
Madonna’s when she did “Like A Virgin,”
even though I wasn’t one. Neither was she.
 
All afternoon, I sunned my young body
on a floating dock and you swam in the lake.
We thought of nothing. Not school, not exams,
not the muffins, not the beer, not our families,
and not our friends who didn’t know where we were.
 
I think of that day when I feel like ending my life.
I have no idea whatever happened to you and don’t
even remember the last time we spoke or saw each other.
All I know is that day. It happened. I remember it.
All afternoon, life was lighter than it has ever been since.

I could float. 

Loukia Borrell is the American-born daughter of Greek-Cypriot immigrants. She is a former newspaper journalist. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals in the United States and United Kingdom, including London Grip, Cerasus Magazine, and The Bangor Literary Journal. She tweets @LoukiaBorrell and has a website, loukialoukaborrell.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Diaphanous, disingenuous 3 Poems from Prabhu Iyer

 Diaphanous, disingenuous

Parsed in the Planck intervals of me, 
diaphanous, is it not you?
Yet impossible, disingenuous
this dichotomy: thirst
after the conjurings of sentience? 
Parsed in the Planck intervals of me, 
is it not you, ineffable ? 
And yet the flood tides of rage 
toss me over on the waters of life;
Gulf between eyes shut and open -
chasing after the web of thoughts;
Parsed in the Planck intervals of me, 
is it not you, ineffable? 
Who do I call, dear presence,
when called to act by the world,
true to my being and becoming?
Impossible this dichotomy:
diaphanous, disingenuous, ever 
 Dear electricity, what are bulbs to you?

Dear bulb of light, 
what is electricity to you?
Do you like it in your corner
beaming in your shine, or
in a chandelier
adorning the nights?
         Dear chandelier,
what is electricity to you?
Do you like it in your throne,
brimming in your shine, or
in a celebration
of glory lights?
        O celebration,
what is electricity to you?
Do you like it in your vestal
ornamentation
of sundry occasions?
       Ever humble unknown
flowing through the veins
this elixir of life that lights up 
lamps, chandeliers -
one indivisible borderless,
yet bringing a hundred
filaments to celebration:
       Dear electricity,
what are bulbs to you,
chandeliers and celebrations?
Darkness, darkness again

Night goes back to night, darkness darkness again, 
no one cares for daylight now, when tears and stars
fill up the lakes shiver sharing in our grief,
where we sit in longing for one last time;
Desolation goes back to desolation, ingratitude 
ingratitude again, our homes too unbeautiful,
Little, too freckled to house your poise,
steps that measured out the vast;
Silence goes back to silence, unfathomed
grief grief again, our hearts too frail for your love,
this hour of separation, we break our bangles
uninterrupted by the beat of the dhak;
Inconsequence goes back to inconsequence
mundane mundane again, that you must come 
despite us being us, darkness darkness here:
light devoid of light and life devoid of purpose, 
Everything goes back to everything 
rudderless rudderless again, boatwoman, 
who will to sing to us of the journey
to the fjord of wisdom, past the gulf of the dark?
Night goes back to night, darkness darkness again, 
desolation goes back to desolation, ingratitude 
ingratitude again, silence goes back to silence, 
unfathomed grief grief again, inconsequence 
goes back to inconsequence mundane mundane 
again, everything goes back to everything 
boatwoman, rudderless rudderless again -
just a prayer of longing, for one more glance 

Prabhu Iyer is an Indian poet writing primarily in English. A scientist by training and practice, Prabhu weaves his quest of truth, beauty and goodness into his verse. An avid student of poetry, he is inspired by the spirit of the romanticists and transcendentalists, while also being influenced deeply by figures of the avant-garde, drawing upon such movements as cubism, surrealism and magical realism in the sense of gesamtkunstwerk or ‘total art’. He is also an ardent fan of popular lyrical poetry as manifested in the variegated Indian devotional, musical and film traditions. Prabhu’s work has appeared in anthologies and poetry journals including the PLT and long-listed a couple of times for the prestigious Erbacce Prize for poetry. He has published two volumes of poetry, ‘Ten Years’ exploring the themes of love and loss, while ‘The Hermit’ is a surrealist collection of poems. He is also working on releasing a collection of Haikus collated over many years, especially during the COVID lockdown. https://www.amazon.com/Prabhu-Iyer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Life. A Poem by Amita Sanghavi

Life:

The tear,

The sigh,

The twinkle in the eye.

The whisper,

The wrinkle,

The silent, true story

You and I survive.

Amita Sanghavi writes poetry, teaches at university and loves to visit art galleries and museums.She teaches English at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat Oman. An is MA from Lancaster University, UK, she is pronounced Ambassador of Poetry to Oman by World Poetry, Canada and Representative of Immages&Poetry Art Movement, Italy and Affilate Researcher at CELCE University of Leeds, UK.

Her poetry book “Lavender Memories” and two edited poetry anthologies were published in 2018, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Her latest book s ‘Astad Deboo: Poetry in Dance’

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

VERISIMILITUDE. 5 Poems by Askold Skalsky

KEYS IN A ROW  
 
Perhaps someone
will play a melancholy
keyboard piece as I am
leaving, and, stopping
to listen, I’ll have a vision
of what is to come if I
linger, if I walk up
to the player, wait,
then ask some pertinent
question with an eager
mien, the seconds gone
when I would have been
outdoors in the clear,
the moment interrupted
with a careless insufficiency,
the scattered patterns
of my life converging
into a broken string,
a clappered wheel
on which the hours
tick and dance to
their inoperable end
 
***
 
to be released from a long
slow slough, much of it
impenetrable like the circle
of a dream manifest as reality,
frightful and avoidable,
a bag in a corridor laced
with shadows and squalor,
which the mere eye of me
is afraid to undo
 
***
 
moving through
the veins, a fire-
ball with dim
obbligatos and
dark copper
bangs, like old
radiator pipes
when the steam
hammers at high
velocity into their
joints, warming
the room and
almost waking
the sleeper from
his sleep
 
***
 
here in this morning’s morning
self-forgotten sullen twang
comes a star gilded and silver,
climbing still like the pine
branches tipped with needle-
frantic green, yes, caught
like a tiny chip on the great
waist of some spectre surface
emerging into the dissolving dark.  
 
LANDSCAPE IN FALLEN LIGHT, WITH CHILDREN
 
Just an unimportant place,
radiant and ordinary,
deserving the utmost scriptory,
with golden quags
up to the knees,
the sun blotting the lough
like streaks of silver haze
settling in a quay.
No need for a raveled sky
of quizzical significance,
the wrangling heads
foundering in the streets,
questing the unending sop
of memory and imprecation
to put life into the big words,
immiserating the ivory dungeon,
as one antinomian calls it,
reduced to bah, to babbling ooze,
slightly ecstatic now and then,
what is preserved
when meaning is deflated,
page after page, of invisibility,
of pity for hope lost
in hell’s sunken bolgias,
or the faces strapped
to the skullbones
of the starving young. 
 
 NOW THEN, THE OPEN EYE  
 
August’s close
but I already feel
the solitary cold,
a sleepless place
and zero of the night,
like an infinitive
without an end
and half reluctant
to begin. But solitude
is just a postlude
to the now where all
the wrongs set in,
a moment’s atom
out of kilter,
out of being true,
where finally the heart
may intermit its beat
with careless equanimity
or grave abandonment
like a nimbus
with its watery crystals
of deep ice,
washing the sorrows
from your face,
from all the lineaments
of being you.
 
 
VERISIMILITUDE
 
                   After a passage from a novel by Virginia Woolf
 
Somewhere in the middle
I recall a brewer’s cart
and the genial narrator
describing the gray horses 
that had upright bristles
of straw stuck in their tails
like sprouting plumes
above the small brown daisies
peeping from their haunches’ clefts.
And a woman, seeing
this slipstream brook
of burblings through her mind,
immediately brightens,
and sorrow drops away
like a feathered colander
sifting the prismatic richness
of her life, kindling with equine
pleasure an infinite hubble-bubble
of mysterious commotion
out of the  pernicious flurries
of gone time, a lollop on horsetail
streams with straw-thatched coronets,
whimsical and vagulous,
like sea-green sprites,
bedraggled by happiness
and blessed with silly dreams.
 
PROBLEM, SOLUTION, ETC.
 
Her academic pedigree
was impressive--Swarthmore,
Columbia and the Sorbonne.
But toward her hundredth year
she confronted her biggest source
of perplexity and vexation,
the state of being weary
and restless through lack of interest,
and began her day
with crossword puzzles,
then the game shows on TV.
Did she return to these
as the day continued to impair
itself by attrition?
Ramakrishna used to rebuke
card-playing oldsters—
Had they nothing better to do
on the verge of their greatest change
of outward form or appearance?
Are crosswords any better?
Should Kurtz have done puzzles
in the dark,  filling words into a pattern
of numbered squares in answer
to correspondingly numbered clues
to prevent facing the abyss
before him, the memories in him?
What is a six-letter word
for a painful emotion
compounded of loathing and fear?

Bio: Originally from Ukraine, Askold Skalsky has published poems in over 300 online and print periodicals in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, mainland Europe, Turkey, Australia, and India. He is the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council, and is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hedge Apple. A first book of poems, The Ponies of Chuang Tzu, was published in 2011 by Horizon Tracts in New York City. He is currently at work on several poetry projects, including a poetry cycle based on Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. A book of poetry, Shapeless Works of Partial Contemplation, is due to be published by Ephemeral Arts Press in November.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Heidegger Looks at the Moon. Collected Poems. RW Haynes. Reviewed by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Heidegger Looks at the Moon is the latest volume of poetry by RW Haynes, who is well known to us at PLT (Poetry Life & Times), where as well as being Interviewed, his various previous works,
as well his poems have been hosted. Haynes is an individual of many abilities, a scholar of Greek language, he is versed in the Classics, a playright, novelist, a biographer on the Texan Playright Hoorton Foote & poet, he teaches at A&M International University of Texas, Laredo, USA, where he’s been a lecturer for the last 30 years in Anglo Saxon Literature, Dramatics in Chaucer, Shakespeare & Ibsen’s plays amongst other activities.

It is not surprising, perhaps, that his poetics are in the classicist metric style and form. Almost inevitably, I find, we see, surrupetitiously appearing in verses a tightening of form in Shakespearean vogue. I think he will be the first one to admitt that he is almost in bondage to the sonnet and drawn by the fascination and challenge of being able to render a vast scope of vision into such a compact and condensed form. Also what we learn from Haynes is his overwhelming admiration for theater, but more so for the actual actors who perform theater, he literarily stands in awe and reverence of them as artists in their medium. I mention this because it is reflected, I believe, in his works as a poet, which introduces many varied persona as mediums for his poetic voice. Of course both history and place, he is from the deep south USA, figure extensively in his writing, an example features in his sonnet Downtown Waco. Midnight. Heidegger Looks at the Moon. In it’s opening line The Bush Library really ought to be here! Apparently Waco was on the list but it got removed to Dallas ‘The loss of the Library was the worst blow to hit the city since the 1953 Waco Tornado killed 114 people’ he comments in another text.

I might say that he views as the same conflicts and conditions of the human species over time as intrinsic to their existence, passion, love, hate, grief, despair from antiquity to the present are fundamental in the human make up. And his poems intensifiy in a contemporary idiom and context this phenomena. Having said all that, I would add, that his poems by no means make for easy reading, if the reader believes it can just pick up the volume and flipantly peruse it for a couple of hours and come away gratified, it’s in for another think. It is a work that you have to go back to again and again. These are poems that demand you give them attention, that you work at them, because in their own genre, they are masterfully crafted. I personally found in reading them, that just at the moment you feel most comfortable with the verses, stanzas, you are saying to yourself, yes I am with it, what appears to be a harmless snug line tucked away in a stanza rivets you with its complexity and plunges you into new depths, which is what a poem should do, imo.

The very title Heidegger Looks at the Moon, Heidegger is a complex philosopher and Haynes believes that poetry should be philosophical (in this I share his viewpoint) he believes in the etymology of the word Sophia, as the love of wisdom ( a hope, which I would also like to share in). Heidegger thought of humans as linguistic beings, language is the house of being, but he also feared that language could be our own entrapment, that the way we spoke about a certain object or event made it into what it was and also alienated us from what it really is. This of course is a great simplification but I think i could say that his concern was that instead of talking about nature, we end up only talking about ourselves, which prevents us from being activated, acted upon or impacted by anything, which in the end makes us become – the living dead. So accordingly, if philosophy (wisdom) is the task of poetry, it must be to awaken us by the use of poetic language to recover the world which is ours and to which we belong. Haynes poetry in its idiom both ancient and modern, in it’s scope and intensity, it’s range of variety and mood, in its quest, is perhaps a kindling beacon towards that lost light. Below are three poems selected by the editor from the reviewed work.

HEIDEGGER LOOKS AT THE MOON R. W. HAYNES w w w . f i n i s h i n g l i n e p r e s s . c o m
$ 1 9 . 9 9 / P O E T R Y

Glad to be a Stranger

It is good to be a stranger where society
Reflects like twisted mirrors the solipsistic
Projections of emptiness, grinning foolishly,
Mentally overpowered by the simplistic,
Empowered by gadgets and electricity,
Delighted by dim superficiality.
The lotus-eaters’ half-stoned colloquy
Achieves at best a specious affectation
Sustaining complacent juvenility
Inflated greatly by bogus education,
So nothing should make anyone want to be
More familiar in this situation:
Regret is best where mindlessness prevails
And humanity overwhelmingly fails.

Barking and Sparking

Dogs do play politics, but their machinations
Laughably  proclaim their devious conniving
More transparent than the representations
We think necessary for surviving.
Applying, though, proportionality,
Envisioning an abler evaluation
Viewing us likewise, does our acuity
Do us more credit than the canine situation?
Cerberus! Are two heads better than one
When both are empty? Are all fools the same
When all is finally said, or barked, and done
And final justice weighs our praise and blame?
Is the difference between eloquence and barking
A mere matter of a few more neurons sparking

Black Friday in the Texas Thrift Store

The man with the outraged voice
Gripped a black plastic clock
Shaped like a modernist pretzel.
It looked like it had been found behind
A burnt-out garage, after too much time.
“The price is too high,” he complained.
“And the time is wrong,” I replied,
With more sympathy than intended.
“No, no,” he said, “the time is fine.
All it needs is batteries to work.
But just look at the shape of it:
I think it’s perfect for time, don’t you?”
“Um, yas,” I philosophized slowly,
“I see what you mean. Time and pretzels,
You’re quite right. But do you think it works?”
He glanced sharply at me. “Of course it works.
The shape is right, the time is right,
It’s just the price that’s wrong.”
“But everything’s half off today,” I tried,
Not that the honor of the Texas Thrift Store
Mattered greatly to me, but time still does.
“It doesn’t matter, does it?” he complained.
“The time is fine, but still the price is wrong.”

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, has published poetry in many journals in the United States and in other countries. As an academic scholar, he specializes in British Renaissance literature, and he has also taught extensively in such areas as medieval thought, Southern literature, classical poetry, and writing. Since 1992, he has offered regular graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare, as well as seminars in Ibsen, Chaucer, Spenser, rhetoric, and other topics. In 2004, Haynes met Texas playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote and has since become a leading scholar of that author’s remarkable oeuvre, publishing a book on Foote’s plays in 2010 and editing a collection of essays on his works in 2016. Haynes also writes plays and fiction. In 2016, he received the SCMLA Poetry Award ($500) at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference In 2019, two collections of his poetry were published, Laredo Light (Cyberwit) and Let the Whales Escape (Finishing Line Press).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at Artvilla.com ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & https://poetrylifeandtimes.com See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)