Monday, June 1, 2015

Pistons in Her Haunches

It's a 50th anniversary dinner
for Bernie and Blanche at the Elk's Hall. 
After dessert Blanche grabs the mike
and primes the crowd by announcing,
"Fifty year's we've been married
and Bernie's never had a sorry day." 
Then Bernie grabs the mike and says
"The nights have been wonderful, too.
Despite her orthopedic shoes, Blanche
still has pistons in her haunches." 
In fact, after all these years, Bernie has 
but one complaint: Blanche never 
gets to the point in any conversation. 
It's up to Bernie to decipher the code.

Early every morning Blanche and Bernie
sit in their recliners and sip coffee. 
Blanche stares into space and then
jots down on a legal pad everything 
Bernie must do before their lovely 
Victorian house falls down.
Bernie in the meantime reads  
the obituaries with one eye
and watches Blanche with the other
and waits for her head to rear back,
a mule ready to bray a prologue 
Chaucer would envy.

Many times Bernie has asked Blanche 
to give him the bottom line first.
"Tell me up front what you want me to do 
and then fill in the details," he tells her.
But with no bottom line in any conversation, 
Blanche makes Bernie feel as though 
a python is winding around his chest. 
"I know what the python wants,"
Bernie says, "and he'll be quicker." 

After 50 years of marriage,
Bernie says meandering by Blanche
in conversation is a small complaint. 
He'll never have a sorry day as long as
Blanche has pistons in her haunches
because every now and then, 
despite stenosis of the spine, 
Bernie likes to bounce off the ceiling.
That bounce, he says, is why 
he married Blanche in the first place.

Donal Mahoney


The Capitalist Way

It is easier for a camel to pass
through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich 

to enter the kingdom of God, 
Jesus told his disciples.
Centuries later Warren

an investor in America
heard about this and 
asked Fu a manufacturer

in China to make 
millions of 12-foot needles.
Then he asked Ahmad 

a bedouin in Oman
to breed smaller camels.
Look for the IPO on Wall Street. 

Donal Mahoney


Vertigo with a Touch of Syncope


I look in the mirror
 and I'm not there.
Where did I go? I don't know 
so I look around and see my wife 
with the dogs and kids. 
Not one of them sees me. 
Recliner's empty. So's the bed.
I must be somewhere; I always am.
Barber claims he saw me yesterday
and I won't need another trim 
for a month or more.
Dentist says I have no teeth to fix,
that I should keep gummin' it,
so why would I go there?
Maybe I'll call my sister who knows 
nothing about me now. 
We haven't talked in 20 years
When no one's in the mirror
they sometimes find me 
behind the couch chompin'
on a Dagwood sandwich
but this time it's different.
Where am I? Heaven? Hell? 
Somewhere in between?
I hear Hoagy on the piano
playing "Georgia on My Mind." 
Text me on a cloud 
if he plays "Stardust."
The drinks will be on me 
for everyone in the house.
 

Donal Mahoney