Tuesday, July 27, 2004



in their bite

the poison stings

the flesh of their victims

emerging from piles of dust

legions of the king of trouble know

that the fate of their furry cuddly adversary

will soon be that of total annihilation

because the legions of trouble

know not the word retreat

they are unstoppable

they are evil

they are


(for lady lauren and her minions of squirrels)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Moth in the Fish Tank

1983. Summer. The Bible says the days are evil but these are just plain torrid. So for the last couple days there’s been a visitor on the back porch. They say he’s a moth, but he looks more like a butterfly with big velvety wings. Autumn colors, like the carpet and furniture in our living room. We kind of adopt him just as we did the goldfinches that frequent our feeders. They eat Niger Seed. Comes from India. These are the days when Dad gets home from work and immediately fills the evening running the log splitter. All I know is that the noise splits my head until a storm comes. This moth is so docile. He sits there on the picnic table and finally crawls into a fish tank we’d just decommissioned. These are also the days when Tuesday nights mean Happy Days gearing up for its final season. I never miss it. That Jenny Piccalo sure fascinates me despite being so nonchalant and annoying. So why do I ignore the girl next door with the same description? As I watch the moth her house is behind me. Her dad told us what kind he is but I forgot the name. Then one night something a little weird happens when he makes a pool of white liquid on the glass. Mom says it’s a scent so he can attract a mate. Still, my initial thought made my heart sink. I assumed the fluid of life had missed its chance and I had to sit down for a while and actually choke back tears. But, I guess if that’s only the welcome mat then there’s still hope. Why do I care? And why is she such a pain? We used to goof off all the time but now she’s like this giggling grinning googley-eyed bag of hormones always telling me I don’t know enough about, well, sex I guess. Just where’d she pick up this Jack and Diane crap and who the heck told her she could sing? Dingbat. Most of all I’m pretty tootin’ sure she talks about me with people at school. It’s a conspiracy! A HUGE conspiracy and she’s in the grade ahead of me and they’re ALL in cahoots. But the moth made me aware of things I’d never thought of. I was deeply moved and pretty confused. Kind of like that dream I had back then where I was floating across the back yard and she floated toward me and then, well, it happened. I awoke and there was proof. Even then I admitted to myself that it was because we knew each other. Not because she’s cute and was always taller than me or because she’s a laugh riot to be around. Heaven knows I could care less about that stuff. No, it was because we’ve spent so much time together and now there’s this new force acting within me. But by then I’d let the world mold me into a shell and there’s no way I’d ever get that close to her. Just too frightening to even ponder. Yep, the combined length of our yards is just fine by me. Far as I know that moth never enjoyed mutual company, and I was further saddened to eventually see him shrivel over his vain crust of love potion. I went on to start the sixth grade on my 12th birthday and became increasingly alienated as the fall wore into winter, allowing my misunderstood outlook to justify putting up walls. I gradually mellowed out, but I never asked with words whether the girl next door might like to flutter off with me and create a new future. Rather, I did answer the question quite clearly by my actions over the years. So far, it’s “no”. But does the story ever truly end this side of Glory? Didn’t think so.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Big Heavy

it's those thoughts again
every night i find myself
fighting them back
when i try to sleep
sometimes when i'm just
i try to quiet my mind
but they come back
they rob my peace
big fat heavy dark worries
a boulder
just about to crush me
unless i run
or just ignore it
yeah think about something else
tell myself
it's gonna be ok
i mean
it's nowhere near bad enough
in the world
for the rapture
to happen soon
or is it
this boulder is too heavy
to even lift
let alone to carry
if it falls from the ledge
i’m done
if i share it
will anyone
ever understand
can anyone
carry the load
can someone
take it away
give me the peace
to rest
the joy
to live
the strength
to carry on
who will encourage me
day to day
pick me up
when i stumble
why do i feel
like a kid
in trouble
with my parents
what have i done wrong
well plenty i guess
but who hasn’t
i'm a good person
still i wonder
do i ever need
to say
once again
to god
that i’m truly
truly sorry
is there still time
will it be ok
i keep thinking
i’ll get better in time
yeah someday
surely i’ll understand
what i need
to be ok with god
but what if that’s just another
just another pipe dream
can’t i have the assurance
right now
someone once told me the verse
to live is christ
and to die is gain
but i don’t think
i mean
that i can say that
like i mean it
feels kinda funny
fits as a square peg
in a round hole
what if this is like
my last chance
to make peace
with god
soot is such a strong smell
like when a locomotive train
chugs by
leaving that stench
coal smoke
dank steam
why does that seem to permeate my nostrils
oh god am i closer to
than i thought
torrid midday sun
scorches my flesh
thick soupy air
oppresses my lungs
cold of deepest night
chills my inner bones
darkness leaves me stammering
smoke burns as i choke
will someone please
please someone
touch water to my lips
can anyone
massage some life
back into my hands
as they curl up
rigor mortis
hear my breathless screams
demons are whipping
no one can stop them now
into your hands
i commit my spirit