I don’t really know you, just like you never knew me. You assumed, ever since once I opened my mouth, and out came some impermanent impertinence, as I spoke the thought of a moment. True, here and there I’ve expressed myself embarrassingly in black and white, that more enduring medium with which I’ve abased myself. I can’t change who I am, though I can always change my mind. If you don’t believe that, then I guess that’s proof perhaps you’ve never changed, either. That’s fine, though, I wouldn’t wish to change you. Well, maybe just one opinion. I’m not…
They’ve taken the sheets, now even the mattress, for fear he’ll use them, himself to smother. They wager if he’ll last three days, at best. “I feel for the bastard,” some guards mutter. “What if a European had done it, crossing Il Mare in so small a craft?” “I’ve got no sympathy. No, not one bit,” said the oldest guard. With a sneer he laughed. “Serves him right trying to sneak in that way. Caught a wave wrong. That boat flipped like a toy.” “Yeah, but should he such a penalty pay? Can always send him back, but not the boy.” The disconsolate prisoner agreed. Mehmet wanted to pay for his blunder. Guilty of negligence a court decreed. “Why couldn’t it have been me went under?” I was asked to write a poem in medias res last week and couldn't come up with anything because...that's how it is these days. But I heard a story on the BBC this morning about a man who had the misfortune to have happen what occurs in my poem. The world has always been, at best, an unforgiving thing. And the sea might be its harshest child.
Hello, you, the one who helped me see poetry in my life. Even the strife. I miss what you did, but now you’re gone, life moves on, even when comes the end. Memory, I and thee, together forever on this stage, a white page. Now I’m tired, uninspired. Lost the way, sad to say. So I go. Thank you…. Joe
There’s not much left for the black crows to steal, maybe enough for a mouse’s meal. I'm alone in this field, as if I’d died, unburied though, left to rot, crucified. But that’s my lot once harvest’s done. Still, surprised, I find out I’m the last one, the watcher left when corn’s mostly been stripped before Fall’s frost has nipped, Winter’s winds ripped. I take great pride in how I stood my ground, chasing off intruders without sound. But by this time if you stopped by to ask you’d hear me sigh while I’m still at my task. There’s no rustle of crops upon the breeze, few birds left singing, just my silent "Please, could you stay with me and talk for a while?" I’m sad and lonely despite my stitched-on smile. Farmer’s got more important things to do now. Like feeding our corn to his stupid cow. Come, my true friends, we'll share the seasons’ rest - Crows, be my guest. Mice, nest warm in my chest.
I know I screwed up the last time, and the time before and before that. And I promised myself I’d never put you through a next time, replete with alarm bells and more-than-more-than-likely, go-to-hells, so I just sat. Now here I am between that last time and my time’s-running-out next. Which leaves me with only this time to say hello or goodbye to something that never needed be so complex. But you’re the only one who ever listened to my music, and at least occasionally grinned or cried at my verse. It'd be sweet to share some words again some time, but I’d likely only turn things from bad to worse.
Lying here in the ruins of a life wrecked by this short-haired Samson who never knew his own strength when it came to raining pain and debris upon those who shared it with me. So often I’ve been blinded to reality by silly tendency to be eye-wrapt by beauty or a smile that was only a smile. Now all is weak remembrance, only the out-of-focus recollection of mirages in deserts of hope and dream. How typical. In reaching for the Not-There, I topple the pillars of the Always-Was. It sounds like bad poetry.