It isn’t easy finding time to write
In every day, regardless of demands
Upon your mental bandwidth and despite
Dismissal from those who misunderstand
The freedom that exists in structured tasks,
Such as the ritual of sitting still
And giving yourself latitude to ask,
“If this word doesn’t work, then which one will?”
I wouldn’t call it discipline- perhaps it
Is something in the satisfaction of
Creating things; Perhaps it’s even habit-
But at its root, it’s doing what you love.
So in successes, bask in jubilation
And try to overlook sleep deprivation.
When asked to do a task that one will fail,
And no-one else could possibly fail less,
To acquiesce and know one won’t prevail,
Will always hopes of better things depress.
When bearing blows for others is the norm,
Perceived a toll for traveling the road,
Conditioned thus, it seems to be bad form
To point out the disparity in load.
So when new leadership makes a request
On finding to what you’re habituated,
That one speak up when one is feeling stressed,
With dreams of normalcy one’s inculcated.
Alas, while old assumptions will persist,
The status quo and hope can’t coexist.
Just who can say what makes a splendid day?
Could it be weather, neither gray nor sunny?
Or lovely friends, or impromptu soirees
At which a game predictably turns funny?
Or maybe it’s that mix of novelty
And mourning those familiar things now past,
Although some aspects of the memory
Persist, despite unlikeliness to last.
Perhaps these complications and desires,
Thus born of what’s expected and believed,
Engender joy that naturally transpires
When perfect parity has been achieved.
The confluence of wistfulness and verity
Are sadly, an inestimable rarity.
A whaling voyage loomed within the cards,
And having little wealth with which to hire
Harpooners, smiths, or doughty foc’s’le tars,
We set to sail, our fortunes to acquire.
But what fair wind t’was started at our backs
Soon chilled our hot pursuit clear to the bone.
Inadequate our floundering attacks,
Until I faced fell Timor Jack alone.
Such early victories are often Pyrrhic,
But this time, fickle fortune smiled on me,
For once, the chapter Symphony was lyric
Instead of pitiless as shark-filled seas.
The Pequod sank in her pelagic grave,
And I, not Ishmael, was somehow saved.
Inspiration: Moby Dick, or The Card Game
Road trip vacations could have been the worst,
But we had Stinky Pinkies and Padiddles
With trucker honks and I Spy interspersed,
And in the desperate times, we played at riddles.
But as we grew, our games also matured
To “In My Pants” and “Who’d You Rather Kiss.”
But from these callow pastimes I was lured
By golden promises of lasting bliss.
For when I first heard Yellow Car described,
In which the yellow cars are pointed out
With non-car targets thoroughly proscribed;
A never-ending, never-winning bout.
As long as people drive, then here we are
Always engaged in playing Yellow Car.
Inspiration: Cabin Pressure, Ottery St. Mary
Though Hamlet’s Mousetrap shows a regicide
By deadly poison dribbled in the ear,
Far crueler is toxicity implied
By cunning tongue believed to be sincere,
A weapon won’t discriminate; a knife
Will slay without regard for class or wealth,
But slander visited upon a wife
Is an attack by proxy via stealth.
For Shakespeare knew the greatest tragedy
Was hurting those whose standings were precarious
By goading paramours to jealousy;
The innocent destroyed by the nefarious.
Four hundred years ago he understood
That bad thoughts grow more easily than good.
On days when fights are easier to pick
And one must call on friends to whine and vent,
Some time detached from conflict is the trick,
Since fury flooding further strife foments.
So moments spent with meals or taking walks
Could re-align perspective and revive
One’s absent humor, though attentive talk,
Can keep the heated bickering alive.
But when the mind has truly disengaged,
Then memories the mind may then enthrall-
While there’s no room for them when one’s enraged,
In peace, the brain finds what the heart recalls.
The anniversary of one friend’s passing
Shall raise temporal ripples everlasting.
Requiescat in pace.
When someone called me poet, I demurred
And said that what I write is really verse;
When asked the difference, I then deferred
To dictionary, lest I make things worse.
I found that verse has meter, which I knew,
And often features rhymes at ends of lines,
And while a poem has a rhythm, too,
It’s figurative language that defines.
So if some standard verse I wish to write,
I’ll stick to my familiar metric feet.
But if a poem’s in the cards tonight,
There’s just one thing it needs to be complete.
To call this verse when it is poetry;
Could that be classified synechdoche?
B minor is they key that Gershwin chose
For his sublime creation “Summetime.”
But for a previous singer the band chose
A full C minor chart; hardly a crime.
A half-step up makes little difference
To saxophones in their ideal range,
But for a vocalist, it explains whence
A lovely piece can end up sounding strange.
And so a song that sits high in the voice
Becomes unsingable when raised a jot
And so we get to make the lousy choice
To sing a seventh down or sing it not.
At least when I arrive at the reprise,
I’m free to sing whatever notes I please.
When children wish that they were fully grown
Adults will scoff and say they should enjoy
The carefree years before they’re on their own.
Such sentiments are certain to annoy,
For there’s a fundamental misconception
That toys and sweets are what they would possess
Yet by that age, they’re sure to take exception
To inequality without redress.
For what adult has never felt frustration
At being overlooked or even taunted
When seeking dominance and approbation?
Is this a thing to which one should be wonted?
Besides, ice cream for meals brings finite cheer
Since many flavors do not go with beer.