Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Licorice and Water

The Poet gets drunk on licorice and water
At first it is only a loose tongue and a small waver
But after a sip and a few more black bites
He fumbles with a small bag and brings out a tin whistle
After a few bad notes, he whips out a tune
Before unheard, unknown and now unforgettable
He throws in a second tune better than the first
And passes it on to the firefighter
Better be careful, he’s high on chocolate

I Fobbit or Sergeant Fobbit

‘Fobbits suck,’ I read this
every day as I close the
door of the port-a-john.
Nice to know I suck. Although how
this kid would know, I can’t tell.
I joined in ’87 when I was 17.
Being young and stupid I followed
my recruiter’s advise and
trained in the chemical coir.
I quickly learned that war is
            at it’s best when it only
            features blood and bullets.
Nerve agent and mustard gas
            make those old things seem
            quaint and desirable.
My war plan expanded to saving
            my guys from Cold War
            weapons of mass destruction.
I knew that if I was ever called
            to do my job, it would be
            hell for those few that survived.
And hell for me picking up the
pieces. And likely, doing my
job would be the end of me.
I taught and trained with no
            thanks and no help. Commanders
            and first sergeants shut me down.
The Gulf War came and quickly
            went. My brief moment of
            importance died.
And finally my time was up,
            I got out. I swore I
            would never do it again.
Then 9-11 came, and I though
            maybe I was wrong, but the
            time didn’t seem right.
So I stayed out.

Iraq came back, and I looked
            again. But still, even
            with chemical need,
I stayed out.

2006 and a well placed brochure,
            things had changed and
            I was needed back.
Two years later I stood in Afghanistan, with
a promise from my first sergeant:
I would not leave the wire.
So on this fob I sit, and old
            Fobbit. Doing a job I’m not trained
            for, and not needed for.
But young man, when things come
            down, and you find you’re
            not as hot as you think.
I’m the old, wise sergeant that
            is ready to reach down and
            pull you out of the mess...
You made.

Fall Spirit Fair

He hid in dark, surrounded by
bright yellow and orange, dusky
burgundy and purple

Full breasts and stomach threatened
to tear her shroud of gossamer
and lace

From the shadows he followed
from a distance he plotted
‘Till she left

peopled paths and wandered a dark
alley. He moved quickly and
from behind,
pulled her down Plucking at black
wrappings he tore the gossamer
and ripped the lace

Pinning her arms and body, he
forced a lurid kiss Which she

with an open mouth Arousing
him to disengage, but his lips
were sealed

To a burning, drawing pain.  And
when the woman released his

He found his mouth drawn tight
leathery and thick. Arms floundered,
his hands

coming up to explore his face
She lovingly found a hand, he
screamed in pain

As her lips and teeth drew from wrist
and fingers And gave in return
pain and

a lessening of life force Then
moved up the arm and to the
next hand

And on to all remaining
limbs and parts ‘Til all that lingered
whole was

brain and neck and heart

Caressingly, her lips found his
throat and placed themselves

for their final draw, who’s pain
encompassed fully Both Mind and

So much that even when she left
his corpse To dance among the crowd
laced shops and rides

With her shredded clothes flowing and
bobbing behind her.  He still screamed
with his mind

and thousands of others like him
Screamed pain back, engulfing him in
misery that

only found comfort As each new
casualty joined the ranks Of

seething leathery minds

Dust Motes

Shift in the air
Flying through the night
On their way to
Who knows where
They sparkle twinkling
In my light

Destroyed Joy

The unopened sunflower bud
Lay ripped and shredded
Useless on the ground
My work, my hope
Joined the dust
Instead of reaching for the sun
And sharing its bright light
With friends and passersby
My joy lies victim
To vandals


Dance with the beauty
            She will only last the night
Dance in the starlight
            She will fade in sun’s light
Dance barely touching
Embracing will hasten doom

Bagram October

A black day, late in October
I hear a cat mew
I look for it in surprise
For felines here
Are rarely seen and never heard
I turn back to my writing
The report is soon due
And I hear the cat again
The a third time it calls
More insistent than before
I push aside my computer
As I hear a thump from outside
I open the door and find face down
A man that I am sure I know
I rush to his side and try
To turn him over, but
His body is too stiff
I reach a hand to check his pulse
And find it blank
Then shift enough to see his face
Still and stretched with fear
I see my commander dead
I turn back, to run inside, report the death
But the once loose door is now jammed shut
And as I pull and pry
I hear now softer, but
With more menace
A single

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Aliens

Little aliens under my floor
spread their voices
reach out
with spindly bowed arms
prying at the plaster
with broad flat teeth
pick at the nails
making little children
scream with fear
bringing adults to
catatonic bliss