The Damming of Sauquoit Creek

On the day the word came down
The people all just stood and stared
The time has come to make a change
The politician said

It’s been a long time coming, and
We know there will be sacrifice
But it will all be worth it when
The power starts to flow

The dam went up; the waters came
And Willowvale went under, just like
Chadwicks and Washington Mills
And large parts of Sauquoit

Some people wept, but still, they knew
That they’d all voted in this guy
And hey, WE have the power now
To bend and redirect

It’s a matter of power
And what’s the harm to drown
A handful of insignificant
Working-class towns?

maniac wind

when the maniac wind blew in
her habitat was unprepared
she’d had no time nor fragile chance
to adapt to chaos, chill, and din

when the maniac wind moved in
all she could do was stand and watch
amid the pieces of her world
as wildness whisked them all away

when the maniac wind dug in
she felt like a naked mannequin
deprived of covering, home, or dime
devoured by gale’s rapacious maw

when the maniac wind blew up
its riotous intensity
broke down its own integrity
its violence turned upon itself

when the maniac wind blew out
she whispered softly in its ear
it curled up in complacency
she put that tempest in a paper cup

“What do you mean, declined?”

“What do you mean, declined?”

I blinked uncomprehendingly
At the Caucasian woman
40-something
Kind, and yet detached
Who did not want
To place a stumbling block
Between me and my purchase of

A splendid painting
(Done on cloth
In pure traditional technique)
Of gracious Bodhisattva Tara
Precious Buddha of right action
That I longed to bring back home
And hang upon my bedroom wall

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said
Do you perhaps have
Any other payment method?”

“Uh, of course, hang on”
And so
I fished out my bank debit card
Procured the thangka and
Went blithely on with my retreat
(Receiving teachings from
H.H. The Dalai Lama!)

It wasn’t till I got back home
And logged on to my credit cards
And bank accounts
And did the math
I realized just what I’d done

In retrospect
(With psychiatric input)
We looked back on that hot summer
As the time I had
My first full manic episode

And I’d spent nearly every penny
That we had
(And thank-you to the
Miracle of credit cards
I’d also spent
Near every cent
We didn’t have)

The summer
And the years we spent
Exhuming our financial state
Remodeled my relationship
With money

It’s not that I won’t let it go
(It goes as freely as it comes
And both of those will vary)

It’s more that where and how it goes
Are things that I will monitor with
Lots
And lots
Of care

Curiosity Killed Moriarty

And did I tell you curiosity
Killed poor Moriarty?
Did you wonder who he was?
Or did you think of how he died?
Did you suppose he was a kitten
Or assume he was a nemesis?
Or say, did it occur to you
That maybe (only maybe)
Moriarty could be both at once
If he sincerely tried?

Well let me tell you how inquisitive
Little Moriarty
Met his melancholy ending
In a melancholy place
And how his death defeated someone
Who considered him her nemesis
Despite the fact that he was just
A tiny little kitty
With a tiny little scrunched-up little
Kitty catty face

Young Shirley Homer never thought when she
Took home Moriarty
That this tiny tabby cat
Could hold a nemesis inside
But well, it didn’t take him long
To demonstrate he was her nemesis
A nemesis who never stopped
Destroying all her knitting
‘Til she knew she must completely give up
Knitting (and she cried)

So Shirley wiped her eyes and said, the game’s
Afoot now, Moriarty!
I’m not going to be beaten
By a tiny tabby cat
And so she tried 100 hobbies
And each one she tried, he decimated
Painstakingly decimated
It was quite depressing
I won’t lie – poor Shirley got a tad
Despondent about that

And then the day came when the final straw
Fell on Moriarty
Shirley’d given up on crafts
But she loved cooking still, at least
She had a massive pot of gumbo
Boiling bubbling on the stove top
Moriarty poked his head in
Then of course completely fell in
Shirley never did another hobby
And the little beast…

Well the Napoleon of muddles
Fiendish cat called Moriarty
Curiosity had killed him so
He had just eight more lives 😸

For Owen Wesley Bulanow

Keep on looking around
Bright and welcoming Owen
Hold on to that hope
As you range far and wide
Keep on seeing this world
And the people around you
With the joyful embrace
That’s so clear in your eyes

I can’t promise that people
Or universe, either
Will always reward
Your inquisitive trust
But keep bringing it, Owen
Your glad curiosity
Gives you the power
To change worlds and hearts

(And if someday you think
Well, this sounds hyperbolic
Where’s evidence for
This potential to change?
I submit: tiny Owen’s
The one who persuaded
My skittish wife Tina
To enjoy holding babes)

Of Jesus and Tinúviel

The Son of God
The story goes
Accepted death
Upon the cross
And in three days
He rose again
Regaining immortality

And Lúthien Tinúviel
Of legend
Did surrender
Her eternal destiny
To live a finite life
Beside her Beren
Who was mortal man

In every time and place
There have been those
Who gave their lives
For love
Or to save others
They were human
Not high elves or deities

I wonder how it feels
To be immortal
Facing death or bounded time
I wonder more
About the human being
Sacrificing this
Her only life

The End of Poetry

On the ides of NaPoWriMo
I thought things were going groovy
Ah, but little did I know
That they’d decided to rise up

I had no inkling nor suspicion
That my verses would attack me
Not until they showed up holding knives
(Keen, cutting words indeed!)

I am hiding on the next blank page
There isn’t any cover
But I like it here – it’s language-free
Except…I just can’t hold my tongue

And now I am surrounded
I can read the writing on the wall
Oh, which of my creations will
Now execute this sentence dire?

Et tu, “The End of Poetry”? Et tu?

:’-(

X-P

Day of the Pig

’Tis Wednesday the Thirteenth again
And everyone knows what that means*

Like Friday the Thirteenth is bad
Because back in the day the witches
Would assemble on a Friday night
In groups of twelve (plus Satan)**

Back before enlightened times
On certain Wednesday afternoons
The village patriarchy gathered
Twelve of them – and Priapus***

So to this day good people fear
This moment on the calendar
When men with too much self-regard
Find their pomposity inflated****

Best ignore them for today
Tomorrow, back to normal grief*****