Friday, February 8, 2019

Beak Boy
originally at Strange Poetry

For his seventh birthday, the parents
gave him a jungle-themed birthday party.
Zebras, lions, and rhinos romped around
with elephants and monkeys.
But he chose the toucan mask.

An hour later, they found him squatting
in the tallest tree in the backyard.
"How did he get up there?" mother asked.
"It's just a phase," father suggested.

It's been months.  
He only comes down for earthworms
and slices of cake.  He doesn't do his
chores anymore but has built a rather
splendid little nest.  

The neighbors complain of late night
video game flashes and sounds
coming from the tree.  The parents
don't know what will happen when
winter begins to approach, but father
is still insisting it's a phase.

originally at Eunoia Review 

Some people put marks
around a spot of earth
and others hang glass on the wall,
or revel at ceramic figures
or write to famous persons

We collect small items
in boxes, wrap them in newspaper,
and store them away
then get out the old objects

Put them back up to change
seasons, and the cycle continues,
our application of sacred
given to tiny kiln-blown fragments
that cannot even say our names.

Symbolism Takes a Seat
originally at Eunoia Review 

In walked dear symbolism,
whom I invited so often to
class with me and down
she sat.
Along the ride, she pointed
out the plumage of bright
birds flapping past, perhaps
resembling courage;
a pool standing stagnant
representing my lack;
an old man signalling
the inevitability of my fall.
Dear, you read too deeply,
she told me as she left,
just enjoy the rest of the trip,
which I took to mean life.
But maybe not.

originally at Eunoia Review 

In rushes the season, in rushes
the dog, small frantic creature.
I drain my life before the classroom,
seeping out my humanity
before an unforgiving audience.
The lesson could involve a dancing
tiger and there would be no ovation.
I could light myself afire and someone,
probably that shaggy shiftless one,
would declare, Boring, then return
to a private world of video game avatars.
My switch of gears is abrupt, threatens
to tear out the transmission of life,
spitting out gravel. Somewhere there’s
a new town with the same old “folks”
who populate this town, only wearing
slightly different shades with a variation
of the now-familiar vernacular.

originally at Eunoia Review 

When they have unearthed us, will they
look back at our architects and mutter,
How they rivaled the pyramids, or will
they first get hold of our wasted celebrity
adoration, our overpopulation, or propensity
for barbaric neighborhood yawp, will they
first peruse the words of Faulkner or Melville,
or lay their hands on the garish pop novels
we carry with us, with oversized umbrellas,
considering our culture with furrowed brows,
will their verdict be, Let us imitate them, or
No wonder they have all gone missing.

originally at Eunoia Review 

The slap of rubber, even in its clownish
lavender shade, conveys the deepest sense
of other, the hand arranging the needles,
shaking up the small bottles and I bidding
my love to go be prodded with those same
sharp implements, the smile on a nurse’s
face as thin and medicinal as those gloves,
a voice like the tapping out of air bubbles.

Orange Epidemic
originally at Eunoia Review 

I dreamed about a world where, suddenly
at the edges of their being, some people
started turning orange, burning shades
of autumn, and so the landlords and officers,
wearing their capitalistic top hats, threw
these shades of persons into chains, stuffing
them into Orwellian overalls, and put them
to diligent work building a new country,
throwing up the guard of a new regime.
I have to stop reading dystopian fiction
before turning the lamp out.

JD Dehart


The night is young but I’ve deduced that tonight,
Amateur night in the theatre of nightmares,
I am feeling particularly old, as is the music I now
Sit here finding myself listen to and for the first
Time in this lifetime a new year spent alone
As work is finally out and the beer and whiskey
Is slowly, at this age everything starts slowly,
Begin to work its magic.
Tonight belongs to the word and the drink
And the smoke and now work is out all the
Things I love to do are here before me; laid
Out for me to devour, abuse and just get
Plain crazy on.  Jimi sings about letting the
Good times roll and tonight, lets hope, those
Times come around as this, I hope, becomes
A pattern, a behaviour, a routine.

If it does expect more words and more
Good times a-come rolling down this new life
This new path, another damn routine that
Will hopefully see me finally escape this
Dreaded place to a bar with cheap drink and
Cheaper women who love my words and
These damn songs that I’ve spent a life
Culminating into this, the final perfect cut.


Happy new year I say to myself as there is
No one else around.  I pop a cap off
Another beer as I begin to build another
Smoke and the year is here, in a state
It had better get used to.  Wasted is how I
Entered last year and wasted is how I left

So that’s another year done, another year
Proving the doctor’s to be damn wrong again
But this year I may well slow down, wait a
While before kicking it all off.  Now, ten-to-
Eight, Wednesday night, the second day, time
To pop that cap and start building all over again.


My room has been refreshed
After last weeks’ efforts in the
Records department, a new old
Bed on which I can really rest
And a mad Monday morning
Turnaround.  It seems this
Refreshment has fallen at a time
When I think heavily about my

My drinking doesn’t refresh me
Anymore but the efforts in my
Room bring about great change
As the muse returns as well as
Some level of confidence that
Eventually everything will be
Okay.  These words will get
Written and work will carry on
And maybe, eventually, happiness will return.


The seventh poem tonight brings to mind the
Month of my birth.  July I came along, late
As is so often the way, the largest in the ward
From the moment I came out. 

“How old is he?” they would ask my Mum
Looking down at me smoking in my cot
Eyeing his wallet for any loose change with
My legs hanging over.
“I only had him this morning,” she told
Everyone who asked no doubt aware that from
Now on my life was going to be difficult.


Another morning spent wasted,
Listening to idiots talk on the radio
Who it seems will go on and on and on
Never-ending just like the game of
Solitaire I play against my laptop.
I should be sat working
On these words but without the
Experience to write about
What is there?

This particular distraction has
Occurred a whole bunch of times.
Today I played twenty games,
Keeping my win percentage at
53, and finally grew tired just
In time for a wee smoke before
Lunch and then that new place
Round the corner the place that
Don't feel like its work.


Beep it goes
The damn smoke alarm cries
As at last I put out my
Last joint tonight.

Bed beckons,
Thank fuck for that
Hopefully no beeps
Will keep me awake

For tonight the dark
Clouds gather and I
Hope that tomorrow
Will bring great news
From overseas.

Bradford Middleton

Beak Boy originally at Strange Poetry For his seventh birthday, the parents gave him a jungle-themed birthday party. Zebras, lio...