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A figment

What ghoulish guardians have we created,
materialized from nothing
(or at least
our imaginations) brought into being

for our benefit?
They must watch us

from the sky, or on our shoulder,
or having ascended to a place

we mustn’t comprehend, from some
heavenly vantage point.

What faith we instill
in cherished choruses of cherubs, imaginary
(or at least
invisible to me) while we count down

to joining them?
An advent calendar

for atheists merely leads
to disappointment.

We implore them,
asking the winds to change
(or at least
dissolve) demanding death divorce

taxes and embrace uncertainty.

Still they do not listen.
(Or at least
I do not imagine them to. My imaginary

friends long forgotten.)

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Another day at the grocery store

They found forever among the Froot Loops,
halfway between Frosted Flakes
and immortality in that special place
under the lasting look of a toucan and tiger
eyeing whatever future spills
in colorful milk poured before them.

When they once again crossed carts
in the frozen aisle of Eggos
and perpetual loneliness, they let go
of forever – it now tasted stale,
iced over and bland. No amount of salt
and preservatives could save them.

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A maritime scene

A seamstress swims by
the pirate ship, her hem undone
as her legs drum beneath
the water’s otherwise somber surface.

The sun’s light stretches longer
as it attempts to dip into the ocean
for the night, highlight as it goes
the foibles riding along
the ocean’s impenetrable surface.

The fish – home from school –
tolerate this blemish, frustratingly
unaware that the sun dances in gold
just above the mysterious surface.

The seamstress swims along,
her head bobbing dolefully on the surface,
bubbles betraying her beside the boat,
moments from a maritime scene
marred by murder.

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Up in the sky

The sky is clouded today with jolts
of curiosity curated with awe
by admirers looking up
with reverence, reveling though remembering
limits are a manmade conceit.

How could you not marvel at what you
don’t know, as if counting to infinity
on your fingers
is as natural as the nuclear fusion
we ignore hanging just above us.

Why aren’t you fascinated with forever?
The perplexity of perpetually trying
to perceive that which is above us,
beyond our understanding, clouds
my mind too often, obscuring the blues.

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Marriage well worn

What to say of a marriage
well worn? She’ll dive into a coffee
pot this morning, swimming
into another day as hours do laps
around the clock.

Her eyes – from what I can see –
refuse to accept the daylight,
fighting a battle she’s lost before but,
ever hopeful, lashes out once more
against the sun.

I place a hand on a coffee mug and
pledge allegiance in whatever wars await
after her hair is dried and our son
once again demands we mix
water and milk.

For a few minutes, we are a couple
embracing small moments crackling
with sparks the same they have
all these years even as the clock dances
through another day.

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Beholder of the eye

Behold the ghoulish beauty,
the elegance we find
in everyday places:

tired rioters
holding each other up, exhaustion
exhumed from discarded weapons
of mass distrust;

the joyful egg
bounding through a flower bed
with the crack
of a breeze winding it forward;

the hungry musician
ensnaring a wheelbarrow, merely
a mistaken muse
inspiring labored hymns;

and me – I
sprint to a parking meter, a wild
armed mime escaping
from a box only I can see.

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Keep kicking

Somewhere beneath the waters
of another dream washing the day off
I slumber through the dark, uncertain night.
What is life but a series
of best guesses, sailors choosing a course
without stars guiding them? We swim,
arms flailing, struggling to keep our heads
above the salty tides pulling us
somewhere – better?

With the sun I’ll break free of this repose,
swim this way – or that
way – guessing at an island paradise
I can almost see beyond the reach
of my freestyle fingers, stretched straight
like they taught me. I’ll keep kicking,
keep moving, keep ahead
of the currents – but for now I rest
my weary legs, my arms.

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October’s song

They say October has announced itself
in multicolored appendages
and mornings you cling close to your chest
even as trees drop all modesty.

Nature’s design has always been to promise
tomorrow’s potential even as revolution
leaves us tilted more closely darkness.
So we are marching through the elements

of time, the drums marking days
shorter though I know we will not
slow our tempo. An intelligent child
escapes persnickety leaves one at a time.

The tune this October remains hopeful,
crunching leaves underfoot
a momentary soundtrack. No one will slip
on wet leaves when pushed out of sight.

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