ife is full of contrasts and paradoxes, things that add up and things that don’t. Things that fall into place, and things that contradict themselves. Take the brightness of dull, for example. Pure absurdity. You’re probably thinking with an accusative scowl and these big glaring eyeballs, What do you mean? That isn’t a thing. It isn’t an expression. You made it up! Well, sure I did. That’s what I do. I’m a maker-upper. Some might call it being creative. Or hocus-pocus. Call it what you will. It has nothing to do with the matter at hand. What I was trying to say before you started staring at me like that is . . . okay, now I’ve forgotten. Ugh! (Rolling my eyeballs.) Wait, where are you going? This is your fault! You have to help me rethink of it, whatever it was!

Admittedly, that could take awhile. My memory’s bad and my brain is soggy. Kinda mooshy. The sponge effect has sailed. Sooooo, while sorting it all out into some manner of perspective, rather than running to hide or hopping the next freight train that rumbles through my head, one might simply contemplate the unthinkable in order to derive the impossible truth from the possibilities. There are so many possibilities, it is practically essential to narrow things down as best we can into a hypotenusethis. (Yes, it’s a word! Two, in fact, squished together!) Otherwise we are certain to be buried beneath an avalanche of the profoundly unfounded and gravely immaterial.

Don’t mind me, I tend to ramble. It’s just how I’m put together, as if I were taken apart once upon a time and the pieces no longer fit. I’m sure there were spare parts left over too. Whatever the case may be, upper or lower, space or mental, I can be very nonsensical. However, I can on occasion be fairly undull. In other words, bright. Which must be the brightness of dull. So I suppose there is such a thing as that particular unfounded profundity. It exists, if only to prove my point. (And then it can go back to the unequator, or wherever such no-sense words reside.)

Wow, this is sheer gibberish, even for me!

In case you haven’t understood a word I’ve said, you are not alone. Most individuals on the planet are in your shoes. Must be some popular footwear! Or maybe they’re in the same boat. Except that it would require a ship. A truly gargantuan vessel too grand in size to float. But fortunately for you, there are dictionaries of the English language available (not necessarily to be used as flotation devices should the ship in question go blub-blub-blub). Probably even for Kindle or Nook or whatever brand of electronic gadget you happen to own (and definitely should not use in water). Myself, I like traditional books. The genuine articles. Page-turners. Physical copies of the printed persuasion. (Equally unsuited for aquatic activities, but at least they won’t electrocute you.)

And then again, besides all that, if you don’t speak English, there are some nifty translational tools you can apply that will decipher meaning or intelligence out of a block of text. Although . . . “My monster’s name is Spot” could end up sounding like “My freckle ate my doctor”. I don’t think that would make any better sense. A freckle doesn’t have a mouth. Everyone knows this. It can’t even chew. Or swallow. And if it could, it has no stomach. Hence, the point is moot. Like so many of my points . . . I must have a cupboard or drawer somewhere crammed with my mootnesses. They do tend to pile up. But that is beside the point.

What this amounts to, in a roundabout fashion, is a preambular introduction to a poetic theme. Whether a moment is dull or undull, striped or polka-dotted or painted blue, whether it floats your boat or sinks it or leaves you without a paddle, it is always a fine time to read a poem. My verse can be giddy. Or mind-boggling. Or chocolatey dark and macabre, as if leeches crawled under your skin to suck the joy and hope right out of your soul (I just made myself shudder). One thing is certain: There is never a dull moment in my peculiar little “oddysseys”. So keep your head above water and smile for the fishes. Perhaps they won’t eat you! Oh, and read some poems! You’ll be richer for it.

never a dull moment

When it’s one of those days

That it’s better to sleep through,

But you can’t stand the not-knowing;

You’re tired of listening for that shoe,

So against your better judgement

You emerge from your cocoon —

If curiosity killed the cat,

You might be sorry pretty soon.

Sure enough, outside the door

Is where the dreadly dross begins

As a paperboy arrives

To promptly kick you in the shins.

What the heck? You gape in wonder

While he presents a blaring banner,

Which reads in boldface KICK ME!

With an ostentatious manner.


You’re disgruntled as can be

So you shake a rankled fist,

But by then the kid is gone

And your anger has been missed.

Then of course the car won’t start,

Or maybe it’s a truck,

And your bike has sprung a flat

Because you’re clearly out of luck,

Forced to hike to catch the bus

Then you wait for quite a while.

You’re determined to be mad,

Though it’s easier to smile.

The carriage hurtles, doesn’t halt;

The thing accelerates instead.

You yell and chase it for a block,

Your face a lovely shade of red


Eventually another number

Pauses near you with a wheeze,

And you board it warily

Just as someone blasts a sneeze.

The only vacant seat you find

Is beside a whooping cougher.

You tell the driver nevermind

And decline the dubious offer.

But the coachman doesn’t heed,

Pouring speed as if to fly,

So you’re flung against the sicko

On his lap and eye to eye,

Where a gust of viral heebies

Is released into your face.

A dripping wreck, you fumble grossed out

To the only empty space . . .


Then learn this guy is a hijacker

From his discomposed expression,

And the gun he’s brandishing

When he makes a wild confession . . .

“Shoot me now!” you sorely gripe,

For you’ve heard a bit too much,

And have grievances yourself,

But don’t use them for a crutch.

“Let me off at the next corner!”

You request of the protester.

“I’m annoyed at types like you

That allow your rage to fester.

We each have our own dilemmas,

There’s no need for senseless trauma.

Find a shoulder to cry on

And please spare us all the drama!”


With this brashly lectured tirade,

You’re kicked off the crazy bus.

Which means you’re back to walking,

As confused as most of us.

There is never a dull moment

If you’re having an off-day.

You will meet the strangest people

When the street sign reads Wrong Way,

Who are short some missing marbles

Or may hum a Loony Tune.

You never know with madness;

Might as well spit at the moon

As reason with a nut-job

Heaven-bent upon revenge.

It’s like trying to rearrange

The basic layout of Stonehenge.


Somewhere that bus is circling

Or another coach the same,

In an endless holding pattern

Of a finger pointing blame.

The offended party’s mission,

To make a statement and be heard;

An act of pain, a memory’s stain.

A bitter thought’s broken word.

We can make the new day sweeter,

Embrace its song within our soul,

Till the clock runs out of midnights

And Life’s jigsaw becomes whole.

Yet for the lost, this very minute

Is too immense for them to bear.

In that hour they need the kindness

Of somebody else to care.


If your day goes off the deep end,

And Life’s turmoils weigh you down,

Reach for something good outside you

That might contradict your frown.

Or try listening to someone;

Maybe they will listen too.

It could mean a world of difference,

As the smallest thing can do.

There don’t have to be dull moments,

We can polish them like brass,

Till they shine like brand new pennies

Bringing luck, a bit of class,

And a smile to be your rainbow

When you’re standing on your head . . .

Sometimes it takes a change of angle

To convince you you’re not dead.

dubious certainties

The cretin arose from a dismal deep

Disgruntled and grumpedy for lack of sleep

He tried to roar but could only peep

With a sinister boding of pernicious ignite

Kindlings of calamity, the flint of fright

A momentous occasion at the break of night

He shook his fist for the gods to heed

Enraged at the squawk and his mawful need

A tragic consequence it was indeed

For he went to bed and misplaced his mind

Never a rational thought to find

Insomnial dredgings of a soulless kind

As such it is and such it will be

When the mind’s eye fades and the brain can’t see

One might as well have the wits of a pea

Thus the ogre glowered and fiercely maundered

In other words, he barbarically wandered

He may have even paused and pondered

Forgetting what he would generally do

His natural degree of normalcy too

He had no idea, the faintest clue

But with dubious certainty his pulse would beat

To the criss-crass stumblings of two left feet

A fish-gasp of breath and a craving for meat

This was who he became, not how he was born

We can find ourselves entrenched by scorn

And wake bereft, intensely forlorn

This corroded man did evil turn

From a heavy load and a lot to learn

Yet the sour fate he refused to spurn

There is something to be said for a man like he

Enduring much strife out of loyalty

Who yearns to run wild, go crazy and free

Until he snaps and awakes deranged

His sense clean gone, his life estranged

Priorities jumbled, thoughts rearranged

It’s the dubious certainties that drive us mad

To regret the things we wish we had

Existing in a state of sad

Unless we are forced to make a fresh start

The mindless man returned to smart

But then he lost his heart.

the wackadoo

A monster was born on a sunless day

His body contorted, distorted by chance

With mutant cells most foul and fey

Surrounded by chilling circumstance


Death accompanied a misbegotten birth

For a whale lay beached upon her side

The calf had taken everything

Her babe expelled to the sand, she died


The air was gray, his aura bloody

With flesh transparent, a mottled hue

The other whales would flee instinctive

From the ugly-bugly wackadoo


Air-breathing, six-limbed, anomalous

A creature unknown to beast or man

Its countenance was quite unseemly

As if scrambled in a frying pan


A row of razor dorsal fins

Arrayed the crawly critter’s back

Dark eyes aglare, he consumed his mother

She made a satisfying snack


He scurried off in search of prey

For it was almost time for lunch

A monster can get awfully hungry

His life consists of his next munch


A coastal village would do nicely

The odd thing crept into the town

Invading like a spastic space tick

Trembling eager to slurp them down


An ox provided another tidbit

He burrowed his snout beneath its skin

To ingest the innards like a smoothie

Until the ox looked very thin


Those people didn’t know what hazard hit them

Despite their animals losing weight

As the wackadoo fed on human blubber

The fools thought they were looking great


Embraced by the town as their saving grace

The wackadoo never lacked a meal

Their village mascot performed liposuction

On masses of pilgrims who flocked with zeal


What might have been a heinous assault

Became a celebrated event

The town unveiled a statue of Wacky

In honor of an abhorrence that was provident


There is often a bright side to each tale of woe

If you look for the positive slant to things

We exist in an enormous balancing act

And sometimes from bad, a blessing springs.

the brightness of dull

White-hot wrath delivered dull as a sprinkle

Onto shorn edges of sharp tempers dusted by the twinkle

Of a heart’s smolder shimmerously imbued with trust

In a city of immobile monuments to rust

Where lies the double-sided sword of the words once spoken

Against the bifurcated balance of sleep’s eternal token

All that transpired in consciousness or dream

Under a solitary shroud reposes without seam

In unwhispered death where day and night are now the same

The withered remnant of a tale existent by no name

Awaits the stirring embral trace of the will to survive

A spark, a glint of proof that something’s still alive

However virulent the rain of self-destructive contamine

Aligned with genuine disasters like parchment and famine

That once spelled “the end” of an industrial age

Built on steampunk foreign enmities, the stitches of rage

What hands forged together could just as well smite

In the grip of the Fistigoth, held incessantly tight

There the giants and moguls were masters and lords

Ripping out the entrails of tall cities by hordes

While scattering morsels for vultures and crows

A carpet of doom spread by mushroom-cloud snows

And the corpse of Mankind resting in pieces

Can the undead still walk once the ravaging ceases?

Will the brightness of dull ever heal its own rift

From an abundantly impious unhallowed facelift?

We spirits are left to dream life anew

Out of rubble and stubble’s ripe essence astrew

What a shame that intelligence ignored common sense

Or perhaps this grand burgeoning wouldn’t be in Past Tense.

Origami Snails

Butterflies, cranes, flowers and swans

Dragons and birds, simple frog designs

Can be wrought from the folds of a paper square

With only some cleverly bended lines

But beware of shapes rendered out of the box

A blueprint unsanctioned by ancient approval

Forsaking tradition with an improvised scheme

Could land you in need of a curse removal


Just follow directions, don’t crease willy-nilly

Or you could wind up swimming with permanent coyness

Unblinking, unthinking, a shrinking violet

At the bottom of a fish pond, staring up joyless

It happened to me when I crafted a slug

Nobody warned me what that might entail

I thought I would try making one my own style

So I furrowed and fashioned an Origami Snail


Immediately an atmosphere of ominous portent

Would darken the day as the heavens did pour

The skies cracked with lightning, a cloud cannon boomed

Wind ruffled spare papers from table to floor

I shivered as cold fingers tickled my spine

Not ever had I felt such impending fear

My snail was untouched by the elemental display

But a tome on paper art clobbered my ear


Plaster fell, then the ceiling collapsed

I was compelled to escape as the apartment swayed

And around me chunks of construction crashed

I fled clutching the snail I had carelessly made

Things didn’t improve when I left the building

The street split wide; Fate was gunning for me

If you value your health, you will heed my warning

Don’t ever an origami shortcutter be


As I cower in the restroom of a shopping plaza

Regarding the mollusk my hands wrinkled and pleated

Inscribing these words on the bathroom wall

I rue the day that I flagrantly cheated

The snail is transforming before my eyes

I toss it to the trash yet it clambers out

Ballooning, enormous, a mouth grabs for my head

As I record my last words with a horrified shout . . .


~ Published ~
April 30, 2012

Spread The Word

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