Bradford Middleton

THESE 4 WALLS
These four walls have closed in for 
Me of late, keeping me captive as we
Enter yet another period of lockdown.
Word has come down that we shouldn’t
Even leave our homes but for some it’s
Becoming so damn difficult.  We, who
Work the kind of job that keeps us all
Going, often live in single rooms and 
Are often alone and it’s hard as I wake
Every morning knowing the only voice
I will hear all day is whoever is on
My radio as I sit here struggling with
These words as my 4 walls close in.

Bruce Mundhenke

This Tiny Peace

I sit at my window,
In this tiny piece
Of the world,
Content with the scenery,
In no hurry at all,
No need to go fast,
Alright to go slow.
This is my portion,
In this time and place,
To have time to consider,
And contemplate...
The plan to create 
A new world to rule,
Is progressing at light speed,
With no need to fool,
The minions at large,
Signed on for the ride,
But once they consider,
And realize their plight,
They will no longer be able
To think for themselves,
Or turn back the tide.
In the end there’s no worries.
This too will pass,
The cyber connection,
Not meant to last.

James Eric Watkins

Illusions of Invincibility

Time seems to rise and fall
like the tall-grassy 
memories of man's youth.

In this lifetime 
I’ve seen men at 
their weakest moments,
so low that cracks on dirty
wet porches towered above them
and again, on the summit 
of their most triumphant 
accomplishment.

And now, looking back
I can see that the greatest 
differences in those men 
were not the strength of
their bodies or the money
in their pockets, but their thoughts.

I’ve suffered so much pain 
and the loss of men that I often 
wonder when I might crack and fall.

We called each other brothers. 
We were related by commonalities 
and friendship, a need to be around 
others like us who understood. We all 
had our own stories, some sadder than 
others. But we would grow to understand 
that the blood flowing inside our veins 
does not define our brotherhood. Some of us 
would also grow into feared men, some 
sooner than others. Like men in war, we 
bonded as brothers in arms. Some conquered 
their worlds with illusions of invincibility. 
Many of them are gone now. And now 
that the end is in sight, all the illusions 
I once shared with them subside into 
the past like so many of their faces have. 

Daniel Klawitter

Sinner’s Song
 
All the things I conquer
They come back like fate.
And the things I treasure
Become the things I hate.
I want a heart like Jesus
But I ain’t no saint.
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
I wrestle with my demons
But I sometimes let them win.
And if you don’t believe me
Just ask dear Rosalyn.
She will say I’m spineless
Even though I’m a vertebrate.
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
I surely ain’t no angel
I never claimed I was.
And sometimes if I’m drinkin’
I’m a little more than buzzed.
The preacher man on Sunday
Said “God don’t make mistakes.”
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
I make my resolutions
But I know my will is weak.
I have the best intentions
But I think I’ve sprung a leak.
I’m like a broken building,
You forgot to renovate.
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
I used to have more courage
I used to be admired.
I’m not sure how it happened
But now I’m just so tired.
If you gave me a kingdom
I’d surely abdicate.
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
We all have our temptations
And mine has long black hair.
I know that she’s no good for me
I know I should beware.
Of course, I shouldn’t meet her
No, I should not fornicate.
See my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
All the dice are loaded
And I won’t play the game.
All the lies exploded
And now there’s just the flame.
A candle in the darkness
Helps me to contemplate.
But see my fallen halo?
I pick it up too late.
 
Yes, all the things I conquer
They come back like fate.
I know I should resist this
But still I hesitate.
And in my weed-choked garden
No good seed will germinate.
See my fallen halo?
I picked it up too late.

Howie Good

Re: Vision
“I’ll lick stamps,” I told the gargoyle from HR during the job interview. “I’ll lick whatever you want.” He shook his big, ugly head no. And as quick as that, I found myself back on the street. It had just started to rain when Jesus appeared. My first thought was that he looked nothing like his picture. 
&
Horror is everywhere. If you go searching for some way to escape, you’ll just end up in a 24-hour McDonald’s beside a woman with fangs and a mustache. I’m not there even when I am, head crooked to the right, as if listening to the Carter Family sing “Wildwood Flower” via my metal fillings.
&
You who believe the most astounding lies, who wipe your behind and then sniff your fingers, the moon could look to you some nights like a shiny gold button dangling on a loose thread, but it never does.

Stephen Jarrell Williams

Outskirts
 
Always thinking ahead
 
outskirts of a typical city of now
many with crimson tattoos
sown into wrinkled foreheads
 
loosening my belt
finishing my potato chips
and Pepsi chaser
 
heading back to the new wilderness
after voicing my opinions
to those that will listen
 
stirring a gathering crowd
sticks and stones
against my thick scars
 
but something about me
holds them still
perhaps tired of killing others
 
I shrug
squint
hearing angels in my head
 
my fists filled with heaviness
many wondering how
the world came to this
 
several miles out
I’m thinking I’m free
but someone sent the hounds after me
 
I crawl into my cave
temporary home
possibly my final tomb
 
but I believe I’m safe
plenty of dog biscuits
in my backpack
 
always thinking ahead
for a few more minutes to live.

John Tustin

FUNERALS, LOVE AFFAIRS, DEATH

 

I’ve written more poems

about funerals

than I’ve attended

funerals

 

I’ve written more poems

about love affairs

than I’ve had

love affairs

 

I’ve written more poems

about death

than I’ve

ever died

Randall K. Rogers

Don’t Know If I Hit That Bugger (A Christmas Poem)

In solitude
realization 
dawns
higher
than suggested
great works
consider
your meditative
mind
playground
for seasonal joy.
Merry Holidays
Happy Christmas
Have a bang-beat, great-go, big-haul, 

rip-roaring, neck-or nothing, every time a bulls-eye,
bell-ringin beatnik Christmas!
And mighty Hanukkah!
groovy Kwanza!
chillin’ Ramadan!
the blackest of Satan fests!
Jains celebrate non-violence to microbes Noel!