Pillow Envy


There is a pillow between us.

That’s all
just a fluffy puff of cotton and foam
lying nonchalantly, lengthways,
pointing carelessly at the headboard
and forming a T with the other pillows,
a circumspect intersection of downy
hiding its shameful face under the covers.

You are no further away
than before
and yet I can not seem to reach you.

It lies motionless and silent
as do we,
but I can hear it’s muffled laughing.

A feather-light wedge.
The softest of simple machines
prying our sleepy bodies apart
with no effort,
save its cottony presence.

You roll over and I can see
the soft outline of your face.
You embrace the barrier
dividing us and pull it close.

I take a moment to reflect
on the silliness of pillow envy,
then I grab the pillow and cast it
from the bed.

You are startled, but none the wiser
to the melee that has ensued.
I slide to the center of the bed
in victory and gloat myself to sleep
with your arm around me.

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A Million of You

Cell Division


I’ve loved a million of you,
second by second,
through and through.

The one that I met
ordering fries,
a sheepish grin
and a timid line.

I’ve loved a million of you,
minute by minute,
through and through.

The one that I kissed
on top of the car,
the girl you were
the woman you are.

I’ve loved a million of you,
hour by hour,
through and through.

The one who carried
our children with care,
positive and negative
we make quite the pair.

I’ve loved a million of you,
day by day,
through and through.

The one who said yes
then yes, I do.

I’ve loved a million of you,
moment by moment,
through and through.

I’ve loved each and every person
that you’ve gradually become
and all the parts that added
to contribute to the sum.

I’ve loved a million of you,
person by person,
through and through.

God is laughing

MickieDees


The small plastic balls of varying color bounced around inside the nets as small hands flailed, a few of the balls breaking free and rolling past our feet. My son of three, smiling away, crawled out of the balls and disappeared quickly into one of the tubes, as did many others.

People abound and pigeons galore, we looked away and chewed our burgers slowly, trying to keep the wind from carrying the fry bag away. Sprinkling salt into the puddle of ketchup. Talking about the weather, my job, and bills to be paid. Then a scream. It is my child’s scream.

Terror. He’s hurt. Perhaps twisted an ankle and fallen down a tube? A busted lip? In a fight with a larger child? Following the scream from outside we see his face through the clear plastic of a corner section.

The others had left and the maze had turned thick… dark, empty. He had probably circled once, maybe twice, with nothing familiar, the walls of the labyrinth impenetrable. Trapped with no way out.

We pointed out directions as we tried with calm voices to settle his heart, elephant tears rolling from his cheeks. As my wife walked to the tunnel entrance and hollered to provide direction, I couldn’t help but realize the silliness of it all.

A small laugh giggled its way up in spite of his tears and terror, and as he turned to follow the voice I wondered how he could be frightened at all. In the mind of my child it was the end, with no way out and no hope. And there was no one else around to help. His fate had been sealed by a colorful tube with a bubbly, convex lens through which he could see the outside world but never reach it.

Safety couldn’t have surrounded him more that day if it tried and the unnecessary screams were calmed in a short time. His tears and terror soon forgotten as he attacked another section of the playground. We settled back to dipping fries and I couldn’t stop laughing.

As a result of this encounter with terror and loss of hope, I wonder if in my most pitiful of states, my darkest of hours, in which all of my hope is gone and there seems no way out, if God is looking at me and wondering why I’ve lost all hope and given up. Why I am crying at all. Why I can’t just stop and listen.

God is whispering through that dark tunnel so I can find my way.
He is watching from very close by.
And my tears and terror will end soon enough.

And I wonder… no, I’m certain.
He is giggling all the while.

Sin

Water Well


The day I dug the hole
was laborious and solemn,
unkempt hair wild in the rain
with cakey mud and deep
it went down, down, down
only a pinhole of light at the top
and then I threw in the body
and left.

I came back in four years
gallivantin’ on the baked dust plain
and there were rocks sittin’ in that place
circling up a roped bucket that ran down
to the water that the people all drank
and I wondered about bacteria and death
and e. coli blackness and pissed-off cows
or whatever you call it
and out walked that side of the road dead man
from a whirlwind tepee
still wearing that canvass suit that
married us in madness that muddy night
and pointed at me and yelled to the people
who pinched my arms and drug me to the well
where that stranger I knew so well
watched me enter that pinhole headfirst
to cleanse myself in the muddy wallow of Karma.

 

The Clock

My troubles all started 15 minutes ago
when the clocked ticked a stop and ran really slow.

All the people I loved who didn’t love me back
all seems now, rather matter of fact.
The luxurious items that I could not afford
all the cars that I drove that I did so adore.
But the gold and the jackets estate sales did claim
and the Porsche and the Lexus are all but a name.
And the plasma I watched from the living room wall
and the front load washer standing seven feet tall
are in someone else’s house or in someone else’s hall.
The trophy wife I landed with my TV and my car
Is reading life insurance papers at the local bar.
The estate in which I lived, with movie room and pool
was my kingdom here on Earth which I can no longer rule.
And as I float above my body and the surgeon tries his best
there is one last thing to you that I really must confess.
I’ve had it all wrong from the very, very start
for all these things I mention lie nowhere near the heart.
As they call the time of death I take a moment to reflect
and see my life, like my car, was a crumple of a wreck.
I made myself an island, accomplished well and spent
credit cards galore, and loved every cent.
But it’s people I have missed, that necessary part
more precious than the original, Italian works of art.
Some people take with them the heartache and the sorrows
from the loved ones and the kin who weep for all their morrows.
And dreary though it is this brokenness, a gift
we can carry with us here, far and wide across the rift.
But today no one weeps, no tears for me to keep
as I travel my last path through the far and wide and deep.
I didn’t see my time here as painful until now
I wish to set things straight, but cannot figure how.

So I say these words to you, embrace well others there
and for material things, do not give a care.
For at some point in time, which you will not know
the clock will tick a stop and run really slow.

The Behavioral Psychology of Woodpeckers

Pull_hair

We both have deadlines

he and me and

we’re not so different really

except he bangs his head against his desk

like a ravenous djinn gone mad inside

his emerald coated bottle of a cubicle

and he does this for three minutes

and then a small hole forms

just an eggshell patina break

and he uses his teeth to snag

some object in it…

Paper!

A wadded, rolled up, already stapled and collated

report for the boss

and I just stare at him and then

I stare at my monitor as he

pulls it ex nihilo from the mini-fissure

in his desk.
Everyone skips to lunch and

I’m alone and behind and

worried and

so I bang my head

like he did

really, really hard

but can’t make three minutes worth

and then I wake up on a nightly vacuumed carpet

and see a circle of eyes peering down

and feel crimson running from my forehead

and I think

just like a Robin

that a Woodpecker

is just a crazy bird.

Scientific Inertia

Mustache

Mr. Bachenstein was quite fine

walking home from work,

a light stroll until he suddenly
flew into the air and sped like a rocket

head first

into the bottom of a dangling piano

nine floors above.
And birds, well… they just had to

learn to eventually fly upside down

and build their nests on the underside of the branches.
And fish, well… they rode the largest

blue flying amoeba ever to the exosphere

where the oceans splashed against nothingness

and formed a blurry prismatic shell for those of us

clinging to lamp posts and

clustered, confused on ceilings.
And Remi and Ted’s Pinto

lifted off like at the end of Grease

but they weren’t singing,

just screaming for some long minutes

until, as they suffocated slowly,

they saw a tidal wave coming to swallow them whole.
And so with differentiation at work again

we’re all finding it hard to breath

and so if you find this note in a bottle years from now

know this: it was dropped by a scientist from the doorway

of a lab in Switzerland into the seas above

and we found the Higg’s boson

and we are sorry about the Gravity thing.
In our defense, it was an outlier, you know.