Born 1964, (Liverpool, England) difficult birth, didn't find my voice until my youth. Years of thinking I was nobody and treated as such. However, hit the paper papering over the scars. Found understanding and belief through words. I have been published and performed widely from the BBC, The Tate, galleries and pubs and everything in between.
My poems autobiographical, others topical and several my take on life. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing. Please feel free to share your thoughts on links below.
Contact: David R Mellor firstname.lastname@example.org
Website (wix) The Poetry of David R. Mellor
(Facebook) The Poetry of David R. Mellor
(Twitter) “olunikat” The Poetry of David R. Mellor
Just a bit part in life’s big movie screen
Do you remember getting lost?
On the path you never took
Spent a life time being a stranger and always forgetting to return that look
Always a second behind that big break
Just a bit part in life’s big movie screen
When all were gathered to be cast in their part
Dentist, doctor, perfect father
You forgot your part
Fluffed the lines,
Stumbled and broke down
Ran down countless alley ways screaming in the dark
Hitting the pillow
Chatting to the demons within
Cursing the day
As I sit here smoking my cigarette (knowing I will never die)
As I sit here smoking my cigarette...
I realise I will never die
because, I have never lived
never breathed in the air of a new day
without attaching the exhaust to it.
Never tasted a kiss
anew (anew anew FOR GODS sake, let us be seated)
always tinged with sadness and regret
like the parting from you mother (BLAME BLAME just open the wine)
does she wish I was another
as I sit here
with the years
and misplaced, possibilities, keys, coins, tears
betting slips, odd socks and love letters, ripped in shreds
I realise… that I actually died a thousand times
each chiseling a line
on my furrowed brow
As I sit here smoking
My last cigarette.
Dating in a State
I’m hanging around on a dating
In a state
Keyboards covered in tobacco, crisps, sticky with beer
Telling someone I like to climb mountains,
I’m calm and sensitive and in control
But I’m typing... words… I can’t… see
And I’m starting to spill truths
I like betting, drinking, smoking, doing most things to stop me thinking or feeling
Kids miles away and I’m up in the air.
Are you still there?
Sea and Know
I look around myself
Never spending much time in...
Easier to cast my eyes
Than knowing how I got to this place that I take in
I look around
Sometimes the words lie too much with me
Calmer more relaxed they would take their place
Open doors see a happier side
See my inability to extinguish lies
See and know
That you can’t take this picture from me
And God knows you tried
Because I have looked deep and around myself
And seen it here and now
That I’m glad to know you.
No life is right
No life is wrong
No life is left
With just a swan song
Somewhere along the life-line
You woke someone up
You made someone happy not fed up
And although you let people eat you up inside
You were too young to realise
That your life
Is not right
is not wrong
Your life was singing,
as it will at the swan song
I wish I could act cool about this
Go back to when my temperature was just above zero
Without the thought of your kiss
Slip back into a cold case
No need to break the iceberg
But my body shifts to your embrace
I don't wish to act cool about this
I want to race down platforms
Stumble over words
Let my mind trace over your body
look at you lost for words
time ticks against us
wasted in knots
and there's always a good reason for us to get lost
in a moment, when our mind set cools down,
and the frozen years of longing
are lost in our sound
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet/Author/Digital Artist originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. He has been writing for many years and enjoys writing, hiking, playing guitar and spending time with his cats Merlin and Willa. His published work can be found at numerous print venues including Tuck Magazine, Least Bittern Books, Indiana Voice Journal and Whispers in the Wind.
Jacob Swam the River
with holy socks
gray thinning hair
ate early Sunday
fought in Vietnam
hides in plain sight
raucous lost dreams
fires and final breath
in spite, death calls
peace finally found
a cold November night
socks in unlaced shoes
as Jacob swam the river.
Lesser Temptation, Rev 2
Streams of ethereal dreams
while lost in the crimson bayou
a weeping willow serenades
an ominous decrepit mansion.
Cartwheeling through Hell,
or cowering under a mangrove
in the old voodoo swamps
of misty heartless sanction.
Quaking within the freeze
or perhaps a new disease,
left shirtless and bereft
in the cold without ration.
Stuck within the embrace
of a shadowy woman's arms;
ghostly visions sing loud of
shattered pious abdication.
Waking within a fantasy,
still reeling from the reality
whispered from fractured doors
and deeds of lesser temptation.
Casting glances are bestowed
ringing down the singing hallway.
Marie Laveau dances in peace to
a sonnet of high righteous inflection.
Oh Sweet Southern Style
Porch swing moves in rhythm
with gentle southern breezes
floorboards noisily creaking
while the rocking chairs waltz.
The smells of honeysuckle
and Granny's fried chicken
wafting through the fields
of peanut, okra and melon.
Fond memories returning of
Apple pie and peach cobbler,
end the day as twilight comes.
Ducks flying hastily for the lake,
into the tangerine colored sky.
Remembering warmer days
of the Spanish Moss swaying.
Cooler nights in a humid haze
a fleeting glimpse of time there
chasing frogs in the old creek
cat fishing at grand daddy's pond.
That southern style can't be beat,
sweet Georgia forever on my mind.
Mindless Patter, Rev 3
Chartreuse mountains of clouded fountains
where the purple ship sails horizon bound.
Fitting seas for the gentle solar breezes;
the forgotten found there sleeping sound.
Adrift through your days in a splintered haze;
stolen within the dreams of a mindless patter.
Seeking revenge for life's unforgiving ways;
enchanting breath bestowed by your master.
The ship steers clean and handles so well,
from beyond a tangerine tempest batters;
off in the distance witnessing a ringing bell
leaving us stifled, wounded and shattered.
Lashed to the rail, diving like a breaching whale
through water less streams of steamy, icy mists.
The mind doesn't care, or perhaps won't dare,
to revive and decree the injustice or bliss.
I can't feel the pain through disheartened disdain;
exploring my path while dishonoring all wrath.
I seek a reprieve to a raucous soulless reign;
a lost purple fantasy or wandering psychopath.
Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India. He has has been writing and publishing poetry for the last thirty years. He has seven volumes of poetry to his credit and his poetry has been widely anthologized. He has been published in Gloom Cupboard, Art Arena, Other Voices Poetry, Glasgow Review, Osprey Journal, New Welsh Review, Dead Snakes, Dissident Voice, Poetry Life 7 Times, WritingRaw among many others on line journals and print magazines/ journals in India & abroad. He holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding.
today the dead man
looked heavy weight
with the Bible by his bed
I thought he would speak to me
but then started nosing around for more
more dying years, a reason to live
beyond redemption.Some of the church
people I knew were there.
Prayed. Praying and colours
walked swiftly across the room
tears left his face the moment
he was released. I waked bereft of tears
the bus huffed, panted
and then we got down to
discover a village dotted
with hills streaks of fading
blue and discoloured green
a small house somewhere
where inhabitants seemed
to be on strike, a petrol station
looked sorrowfully at us
the bus had suffered from a stiff
puncture, and our bodies taut
just wanted to know the name
of this village where at 6 pm
all had gone to sleep
in the midst of hills signing off
perhaps an uneventful day
except that massive tyre puncture
M.J. Iuppa lives on Red Rooster Farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Most recent poems, lyric essays and fictions have appeared in the following journals: Poppy Road Review, Black Poppy Review, Digging to the Roots, 2015 Calendar, Ealain, Poetry Pacific Review, Grey Sparrow Press: Snow Jewel Anthology, 100 Word Story, Avocet, Eunoia Review, Festival Writer, Silver Birch Press: Where I Live Anthology,Turtle Island Quarterly, Wild Quarterly, Boyne Berries Magazine (Ireland), The Lake, (U.K.), Punchnel’s, Camroc Review, Tar River Poetry, Corvus Review, Clementine Poetry, Postcard Poetry & Prose, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney(Norton), among others. She is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.
He Didn’t Intend To Get Close
Complaints never clogged her throat, yet he imagined it. He served a bony fish for dinner, knowing she was a refugee; yet, he was the one stuck in this bedroom community. He met her at a Huggers happy hour. Wine and cheese and skiing on a mountain covered in fresh snow— everything said, soft winter glow. It all looked different by March. The truth was what he noticed when his half-closed eyes got a real look at her: Her wine-stained mouth never stopped moving, and her exquisite beauty mark— he touched her cheek— gone.
1.Rollie-Pollie, armadillo of the bug world, rolled up tight as a pill. Terrestrial. Always on the right track— waiting to be discovered when a rock in the garden is lifted, revealing night’s secrecy.
2. Women’s thoughts: deception is beauty in the woods where pink lady slippers bloom among fallen moss-covered trees. Melancholy passes over the scene, wanting flowers that are as intimate as incidental lovers.
3. Bound and tied with wire rope, the gray boulder sits in a dry river of stones. Anchored by misgivings, it stays in the same spot. Years have gone by, still there, out of touch.
4. Sleepless night. I wander the rows of the just planted garden. Is everything where I left it? Wind rinses over shadows, sending a chill under my nightgown. I remember leaving you.
A Modest Proposal
I’m fond of found money. Finding loose change on the sidewalk, or folded bills tucked in the pocket of my forgotten jeans, or a crisp single in one of my books that was put down, then picked up just when I needed it most, makes me want to smile a lot, but I only grin a little. I purse my lips, double checking the do-re-mi before I put it in another safe place.
What could I do with a C-note? Buy groceries. Take you out to dinner twice, maybe three times. Pick up a new shade of lip gloss. Have a clear conscience in Goodwill. Hide it in my sock drawer. Save it for car repair. Go to a_______ concert. Steal away for two days. Think about it.
Ajise Vincent is an economist and social researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have appeared or are forthcoming at The Bond Street Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Jawline Review, Jalada, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Chiron Review, Asian Signature, Ann Arbor Review, Yellow Chair Review, Bombay Review, Snapdragon: a journal of art & healing, Ann Arbor Review, The Cadaverine, Souvenir literary journal, Sentinel Quarterly & various literary outlets. He loves coffee, blondes & turtles.
MESSAGE AT GIZA
Yester night, at the tunnel beside the pyramid of Giza,
I met a boy whose only source of nutrition
is the mucus from his leaking nose & tears from his raining eyes.
He broke my chain of ignorance & told me tales --
Tales of how the noun called people is modified by adjectives of sufferance;
Tales of how the land has been barren and now seeks fertilizers called policies;
Tales of how the Nile of our shamed-past drowns any cargo of fulfillment.
He told me tales of how devils now cast spells of chaos using the rod of Moses. Abracadabra.
SERMON OF A FIANCÉE
tonight, i’ve come to declare my doubts as a sermon
on the road where bald seers count beads,
chant incantations, mold resolutions,
just to ransack the past and peep into the offing.
Sincerely, i am being beaten by worry.
i am also drowning in confusion’s ecstasy,
for I don’t know if our conjugality
still springs forth waters of truth.
you liken my love to a python
that engulfs your conscience with innocence,
yet you still stare at Asabi’s bulbous hips
that wriggles as she sashays.
you said you have chewed off your past of infidelity
& spat it to the swaying dust,
yet the white man’s rubber still dances in your pocket
I’ve watched you drank from the gourd of lust,
gesticulating in your drunkenness, mocking every iota of my patience.
Haba! I am bleeding pints of pangs
that’s affecting the pulse of my love.
please change, lest you see our future
walking down the aisle of goodbye
Asabi: a woman from the Yoruba tribe.
Haba: a word used in pidgin to signify stress, pity or worry.
i know the odor of your grievances, brothers.
it smells like alcohol tattooed on the sinews
of erraticism. it bears the emblem of war.
in obedience to the regimen of your ploys
i came to you with the horn of solidarity,
blowing, interluding, yearning, for the
rhythms of compromise. all have been vain.
can the riddle of the palm crack the endocarp of its nut?
does the mahogany sprout from the void of winds?
now, i come again, empty, without my amulets,
charms & arrows. asking, appealing, again & again,
let’s commingle as one -- as all, brothers
Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree.
He edits online journal Episteme:
The tiny beings,
Live beneath the rocks,
In the Icelandic terrain
Where climbers cannot survive.
Parallel, mysterious, orbits
In that subterranean region
Visible only to the blessed few,
Pure of heart and mind
Children and artists;
These are the ones finding the craggy rocks holy,
And a sanctuary to the elusive community.
Mythical gets real
In that eternal kingdom of magic.
The hidden folk choose to reveal to the
Believing, bypassing the sceptics.
The graceful bamboos
Awash in the golden hue,
On this bright morning,
Swaying like Amazons,
Along the serpentine
All mixed deftly by an invisible hand
And creating, in an instant,
A pulsating, animated canvas!
On slender stripped branches
Blossom the white flowers,
Soon to die;
The Champa in big clusters,
Blooming on the bald tree;
Nature has covered amply
The tree’s shocking bareness;
The white adding tender colour to
The stark brown of the stunted tree;
A marvelous sight in the wilderness,
For the urban eyes, looking for relief!
Can you hear me out there in the sky?
Mama says you are now a bright star
Watching me from great heights, every moment,
Clear or a cloudy night.
I miss you, when I fall down on the playground,
And there is no strong hand to pick me up, bruises and all,
And dear father, I miss you after returning from school,
The house is quiet and grim and there are menacing shadows
Inside/outside; grieving mom in the restaurant, working on the tables;
Dear father, when I score an A and there is nobody around to share this news,
In a suburban home.
You left two chests as the legacy that I explored on a rainy night
In a little Indian house; there was thunder and lightning and dark outside,
I opened up the rusted chests and found a priceless treasure of old books,
Your life-long friends, now aged and neglected, sitting in a corner of the attic;
Slowly, over the months, I entered a Wonderland unrivalled,
A Victorian home or an Elizabethan play-house or a treasure island.
Or, the city of Dublin first recorded in 1914 by a great guy and re-experienced in late 1990s.
It was the best gift ever to a lonely teen that grew up but remained a permanent child,
Gawking at the marvels un-locked on white paper by supple vibrant words,
And all your friends, the writers, became my friends as well…my rich legacy that still continues.
Are you hearing me out?
Fathers are the guys, who impart real lessons of life,
They look tough but often cry, hiding hot tears,
When you pop up suddenly, hardly noticing their red eyes;
Unknown to us, they keep a vigil, when their own is down
With cough and fever, and agnostics pray for kids’ welfare;
Fathers are skies that cannot be measured in mere words;
We carry on, unknown to us, one side of theirs in our own life.
We become to them what they were to their fathers.
Freya Jackson is a young writer from Leeds (England). She has previously been published on writing maps and empty oaks.
I loved her like I loved August sunshine. That kind of red sunshine,
That fizzes beneath the skin. There is nothing in this world quite like her sunshine.
Let me call her beloved and build bridges from the honey stick of her throat
Because when she calls back her words are always the viscous sweet spread of sunshine.
Sometimes she hides somewhere beneath her skin a thousand clouds
That she tugs against her eyes, and looks at me like black-lead sunshine.
But I love her even when she carries herself like empty skies,
I am the cold lightless moon, and even in her coldest days she sets me aglow like sunshine
She calls down to me: Freya, why do you obsesses so about the edges of halcyon days
The only thing to do is live in them - lace around yourself like the golden threads of sunshine.
This is the part which I pray to The Lord my God:
They call him O Doctor of Repetition
Return has often been known as a symptom of
This holy atrophy
I have seen him eight times before to pray for a miracle
Each time he has taken himself inside another Earthly Body,
Each time he spoke with the same voice of uniformity
This is the place of pilgrimage and I come to him prostate
And then we stand questionnaire to questionnaire
The promised cup of ambrosia is offered and I am thirsty in the same way that salt water is
And that is all I taste
That same corner of the Red Sea given to all ardent believers
Because he does not know any cure for drowning but the ocean that bit you.
He recites the Lord’s Prayer stopping me at all the dirty bits
And all I can say is yes, sanding down my tongue until I am a shade of the word.
How holy are the Godless
Who get their miracles from Tesco Clubcard points
And I have often been an atheist
Know my sickness comes from cannibalism
I never did get the hang of resurrection
But it is the only way I can live again
I can see my discarded bones in the anatomy of a Church
The way the stain-glass windows all match his PR scheme,
The half hidden office without an ocean
Where they measure meekness against inheritance claims
I know I am blessed,
Been given benediction often enough I can recite it
Feast on empty syllables that do not let my stomach settle.
And I know the correct paperwork to file for divine intervention
And I know all he can hear is scripture but I cannot make my tongue twist around any sound but humanity
So I speak with my throat jammed shut.
But he knows this trick,
And gives me a sword instructs me not to swallow it
And I tell him that is impossible because I spend all my time at circuses but he still will not
Give me bread to better consume all of my sharp edges
And I still must eat because resurrection is the only way to live again
These are Holy Words
He tells me in the thin line of his pen-stroke that I am the most blessed of all his sheep
Because I still cannot find myself
We do not need words, he and I,
He has seen me undress myself nine times now
Is familiar with all my secrets and has already made a note
Of all the things I will say, he is sure
This process is just ritual
That bit where I go O God O God O God please I'm so unhappy
He is pleased I am acting so correctly today
And rewards me with another patronising smile.
He tells me about the new-bound promise of Heaven
Tells me that too is miraculous
But I am still holding out for my Miracle
I tell him again of reincarnation
And he smiles like AutoCorrect, gives me flesh for resurrection
Resurrection is the only way I can live again
The key is obedience
But we are not on the same wavelength
He asks if I was expecting him to do anything else
I reply that I wasn't expecting anything from him
I see the parched forever of a desert and all he sees is red
(That was the exhortation)
Please God I'm scared
Please God. I don't want to come back here anymore.
(That was the yearning)
He hears but finds himself and his holiness impotent
Against all these prayers.
He sends in the next believer
And I walk home bone weary and alone to crawl into bed and dream of resurrection
and all the other ways of dying
Once you were so afraid of losing your grip on this world,
That you left behind deep scars of your way across it,
Clung to everything you could from your feet
All the way up to you steady shoulders,
The ones that have now shrunk you down into
An upside-down semi-colon of a man,
Now the floor sits undisturbed
So slight you walk.
A musing on the virtues of concession
I have long twinned my heart with my throat,
I am not ashamed of that. It is not shameful
To ally oneself with torchlight
But sometimes I wish I l could look at morality as land gained
At my feet all I see are bullet holes deepening into the same patch of mud.
Something in the way you draw your teeth together
Hollows me into silence as easily as isolation,
And yet I can see nothing worse than moving even a millimetre away from myself.
I resolved once to spend each day excavating everything solid down to the roots
Dig deep and find out why they caress the earth’s deep underbelly in some places, and in others dig harsh into her guts.
I believe both of these things could be equal.
He says ticket please;
this is about the train
I cannot stomach travel sickness
Lines steal-yellow-steal, waste-sites and warehouses
Stopper throat with bile
Not sick though. Sick but not the kind that passes
Projecting – to travel one place to another. A thought. Not a thought
Trains. I understand now
It goes from one place to another
A thought. Not a thought.
He says ticket please;
DAVID SUBACCHI POET (email@example.com)
David Subacchi was born in Wales (UK) of Italian roots and has three published collections of poems. ‘First Cut’ (2012), ‘Hiding in Shadows’ (2014) and Not Really a Stranger (due in May 2016).
His Blog is at http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi
Watching the footage now it seems dated
The dull colours of old camera lenses
The flat caps of farmers behind fences
Waiting at the road blocks that they hated
Posh voiced army officers interviewed
And working class squaddies with sharp senses
Fearing the trigger finger that tenses
Keep all their answers uncomplicated.
High above a helicopter whirring
Drowns out the shouts of young children playing
A priest in dark clothing walks past praying
We fail to hear the words he’s saying
This is bandit country someone explains
Where no last trace of innocence remains.
Because there is no heartbeat
Because his limbs are still
But yet warm to the touch
There is only silence
He lingers between two worlds
On the edge of a precipice
Losing balance slowly
While we hope that strong arms
Will catch him
And that angels wings
Will give him shelter.
Because there is no life
Because it is all used up
Mostly for our sakes
There is a quiet trembling
Amongst the machinery
And the smell of disinfectant
It is a turning point
Without his guidance
To give us confidence
Every tick of the clock
Predicts our own passing.
Because of the stillness
Because of the silence
There is a vacuum
Waiting to be filled
With our despair
Or our perseverance
So we pray that daylight
Breaking through the blinds
Will illuminate our hope
And not expose our
WAITING FOR A HURRICANE
In early hours we lie
With windows slightly open
Listening to rainfall
Waiting for a hurricane.
When it comes
We will close
All openings vulnerable
To a draught.
And passing cars
When it arrives
We know little
Can be done
To stop the wind
And tearing felt
From roof tops.
But we wish
To be awake
To face its coming
So we lie together
Breath rising and falling
Waiting for a hurricane.
Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Guwahatian Magazine (India), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Osprey Review (Wales), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs
(Photo: Carol Bales)
A Chance to Say Good-Bye
After World War II
before women had tattoos
before men wore earrings,
I was a child in a world
with kids as odd as me.
I’m still here but tell me
where are they?
Remember Joey Joey
who yelped in class
every day before
doctors knew the nature
of his problem, his
barbaric yawps scaring girls
and driving boys down
on their desks laughing
until the day he disappeared.
I had no chance to say good-bye.
Can’t forget Petey, the toughest kid
in class, not quite right either.
He uppercut a girl in the third row
and disappeared the same day.
So did Bobby, who my mother saw
on his porch eating worms
one by one off a porcelain dish
as she was coming home from church
under a parasol, stylish in that era.
She asked if Bobby and I were friends
and I said, “Bobby Who?"
I had no chance to say good-bye.
But Jimmy was the nonpareil
when it came to kids not right.
I saw him after graduation leap-frog
parking meters like a kangaroo
down 63rd Street for half a block
woofing as he cleared them
until the cops took him home.
I had no chance to say good-bye.
They locked Jimmy in the attic
of his parents’ house for years
but at least he didn’t disappear.
Years later I saw him in a dark bar
with his twin brother drinking beer.
He sat quietly, not a single woof,
not a bar stool threatened by a leap.
There I had a chance to say good-bye.
A Quiet Beauty in Gray
The beauty of gray
I never noticed until
the other day I saw
a quiet beauty in gray,
on the bare limb
of a dogwood tree,
peer down through snow
and scold below
a Maine Coon cat,
a jungle of fur in gray,
sitting and staring at
a feast that will never be,
the two of them a watercolor
in the quiet beauty of gray.
My wife’s upset because
I won’t answer the phone
in the middle of the night
even though the phone's
on my side of the bed.
And I say that’s because after
all these years we both know
whenever the phone rings
in the middle of the night,
someone we know, maybe
someone we love, has
died in an accident or
is lingering in some ER.
That’s why I’d rather
let the message go to
the answering machine
and the two of us
can listen to it there.
It gives me time to stiffen
and my wife time to cry.
plain and simple
when I fill the feeder
out in the sycamore
with millet and niger
and sunflower seed.
Back in the house
I stare out the window
and watch juncos
and chickadees bicker
on the perch, spilling
more than they eat.
Cardinals and jays
drive them away, argue
and spill even more.
Then starlings take over,
and like rice at a wedding,
seed fills the air
pleasing the doves below.
They walk like old nuns
and peck at the manna.
Apples Fall Close to Trees
My mother always said my father
was a little odd and she lived with him
all those years and should have known.
When we were small my sister and I
knew he was different. No other father
answered questions in double talk
hidden in a brogue.
My sister and I finally agreed decades later
that all the neighbors who said he was odd
were right, too, and who can blame them.
When Mr. Bittle over the fence told my father
Mr. Murphy from down the block had died, my
father told Mr. Bittle that people were dying now
who had never before died. It’s no wonder
Mr. Bittle went back in the house.
My mother said she often forgot how odd
my father was until he came home from work.
Once when he was removing the thermos
from his lunch bucket she told him someone
had stolen the Brickles’ truck and he yelled,
“What would Mary Supple say to that?”
My mother asked who Mary Supple was
and my father said she was John Godley’s
cousin who had married Paddy Supple.
My mother said she had never heard
of John Godley or Paddy Supple and
my father said that's because she came
from the wrong side of Ireland and not
the side he came from where everyone
knew the Godleys and Supples farmed
the land next to the cliff that dropped
into the sea and if you were courting
after visiting Ryan’s pub you had to be
careful dancing close to the edge.
As a grandfather myself now I know
when I double talk with grandson Jack
and ask him whether kids walk to school
or carry their lunch and he says they ride
the bus, I’m not surprised when he asks me
what’s the difference between an orange.
That’s when I tell Jack it wouldn’t be fair
if Grumpa told him the answer because
he’s too smart and can look it up
in the encyclopedia on my desk.
And then Jack says he’ll Google it
on the iPad when his dad gets home.
He wants an iPad for his birthday, Jack says.
And that’s when I hear my father yelling,
"What would Mary Supple say to that?”
Dr. Piatt has had poems nominated for Pushcart and Best of Web awards, and published in The 100 Best Poems Anthologies. He has published 3 poetry books “The Silent Pond” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,”
(2014), and “LIGHT” (2016), 3 novels, 35 short stories, 7 essays, and over 865 poems. He earned his BS and MA from California Polytechnic University and his doctorate from BYU. His poetry books are available
on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
The salty mist suspends over the ocean shore, like London’s fog then vanishes quickly as the sun comes out from behind diaphanous clouds warming the shore. Gulls, terns, and sandpipers quarrel over broken seashells with tiny crabs hiding inside: An abandoned red plastic pail absently flung beside the shale outcroppings of the cliff above the shore reflecting a child’s quickly changing interest. Neglected spoons for carving sand castles lay in the warm sand, remnants of a child’s dreaming mind. Children splash in the incoming tide, unaffected by the chilly seawater while an elderly couple sitting under a large yellow umbrella with huge sun hats, large dark glasses, and white noses, watch with envy. Kayaks bouncing on white haired waves glide deftly over the ocean’s skin, fishing boats far off bob up and down as they claim their salty prey with nets repaired with knots made over a lifetime. Four Dolphins speedily skim adroitly over the briny water, leaping in the air, keeping sunbathers in awe. Happy memories slowly build, unknown at the time, in the mind’s of all those who are enjoying their special day at the beach.
When the sky was black with Unfinished promises, and dark Absurdities, I heard a tapping in My aging mind… long forgotten Memories, washed upon my Mind’s cluttered shore: The rain Came down, and drenched the Earth with bones and skulls … I Became soaked with dread:
From where did these emotional Tappings arise, from what dark Canyon in my cave of old Mysterious thoughts did they Seep into my Soul? Away…away Dark images… fade into Sky…vanish Into the cobwebs of The night’s moonbeams: Do not Color my last hours with stressful Echoes, which darken my final moments… But, then I heard a faint tapping…
Absurdity called stridently,
Oozing through an unlocked window,
It brought a rusted atmosphere of fear,
While pundits of dread ate rotten apples,
Within its immoral fetid exhaling,
It emitted fear and heartbreak,
It called for your hand,
You succumbed, regrets formed in sky,
The staircase to heaven folded into stillness,
The earth crumbled in confusion,
The garish smiling clown leered,
Causing the sun to weep, but then
Dawn approached and absurdity left,
Whispering curses as it vanished.
The sunset sweeps into the pink horizon, leaving the gawking gulls and timorous terns lost in the droning of the tedious waves bursting onto the cool yellow sand. The day fades into the pinkish gray of evening and somewhere above the roar of the tide, in the silence of sky, rests the memories I left last summer.
The days are shorter, the hours smaller, somewhere around the corner; summer veered into autumn then fell into winter. The winter’s coldness soaks into my bones rusting them like the brine rusts the iron tossed upon the seashore, corroded remnants of a mighty ship that rests on the bottom of the sea.
Time, the one thing in which we have no control, tramples on one’s life and upon all things resting on the bottom of the ocean, and on the top of the earth. Rusted iron and weakened bones are the aftermath of time… nothing can escape its relentless fury.
It’s 4 A.M. in the morning,
And, I am still awake…
I keep worrying about my voice,
I was once told I needed to find my Voice…
But, it keeps falling into future Hours…
What is voice?
I don’t think I write voice…
I write emotions,
Is that voice?
Or is it just the clanging,
Of lost feelings…
Echoing inside my rusted poetic Soul?