Reflections, Part I

There’s nothing left to say
There’s nothing left to feel

There’s no one left to save
There’s no one left to heal

There’s no reason left to cry
There’s nothing left to write

There’s no reason left to die
That’s really worth the fight.

4 January 1993, Gießen, Germany

This is another old piece from my files. It has a companion poem called Reflections, Part II.

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Don’t Forget

iphone-x-camera-wide

The new iPhone X has
Dual 12 megapixel front facing cameras
That operate in unison to produce
Crisp lifelike photographs with
Bright vivid colors from across the spectrum
And true depth of focus.

But you will still die someday.

10/01/17

Perspective

“Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say”
– Marcus Aurelius, translated by George Long

Life is short;
The Universe is forever:
An ocean swallowing
The teardrops of human existence,
Born a thousand eons
Before our earliest ancestors
Had drug themselves from
The primordial ooze.
So long ago that
Only God was there
To witness the blessed event.
Though, perhaps, even He
Is too young to recall the day.

A dozen millennia after
Our great-great-grandchildren
Have become dust
Blown on the solar winds,
It will still be here,
Waiting patiently
For its appointment with Death
At the other end of Eternity.

19 July 1999

The Last Secret

Your dog was left in her living room,
Still on his leash.
This the only note you left,
The only sign that something
Was horribly wrong.

Alone you walked,
The salty breeze blown
From the Pacific.

How long did you sit
Listening to the rhythm of the waves—
Your thoughts totally and forever your own?
Your last secret,
Under the stars, among the waves.

Why? Why didn’t you pick up the phone
Instead of picking up the gun?

8/27/17

Content (Senryu)

Pleased to be alive
Gardening in the hot sun
Grieving not its end.

6/6/17

This senryu (aka a “human haiku”) is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD. I subsituted the synonyms “Pleased” and “Grieving” for “Happy” and “Sad”

Survival Skills

In the chasm between dreams and reality
Falls pain and disappointment,
Bridged by madness and hope,
Holding off the suffocating
Black blanket of eternal night.

5/29-6/3/17

Reoccurring Dreams

The dreams return,
Can’t stop them from coming,
Dreams of the past,
Relived like a robot,
Unable to deviate from programming.

Dreams of things that never happened
–that never could–
But I that know to be true:
On stage alone,
Ukulele-playing Tangled Up In Blue,
Rock-Band-Playing
Won’t Get Fooled Again,
Sharing a backstage drink with
Early ’80s Pete Townshend,
Toasting a fallen friend,
Fidgeting for a fix.

Dreams of the future,
Not flying-car Flash Gordon future,
No Starships or monoliths.
The real future, my future:
The coming darkness,
Depression and death.
Standing on the beach
Feeling old and tired,
Isolated; alone,
Ready for the end.
But I’m wrong.

5/29/17

Adapted from Chapter II of Summer of a Doormouse.

Thermodynamics (a Tanka)

Entropy grows
Past the point of no return
Time’s arrow flies on
Toward the heat-death future
A fate sealed by mathematics.

5/24/17

This is my second response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 35 – PAST & FUTURE.

Very observant readers will note that this Tanka doesn’t hold strictly to the 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count. I opted for what I felt was best for the poem. There is actually some disagreement regarding syllable counting when writing Japanese forms(Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, et cetera) in English, since the Japanese “on” and the English “syllable” are not synonymous.

Hunter and Prey (a Tanka)

Eyes glow in the dark
Dead twigs crack under footfall
The prey hears nothing
The circle of life must close
Sharp clean claws will finish it.

5/9/17

My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 33 – CLEAN & SHARP

The Coming War (Tanka)

Armadas set sail
Missiles locked on target
Egos go to war
Everyone else pays the price
In blood and innocent lives

4/25/17

Poem #30 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo).