June 16, 2019

Battle Of The Bulge

misty winter wonderland morning
laying in a foxhole
at the bottom of the world
but somehow it doesn’t seem deep enough
the beautifully rhythmic pitter-patter of machine gun fire
the battle rages on
while the snow falls so peacefully
blood in the snow
snow in the blood
snow on the pine trees
standing like silent sentries
jeeps making tracks pretty little patterns in the snow
grinding tank mechanical death approaches
crunching the snow beneath its treads
burned out buildings burning forlornly
BOOM BOOM BOOM
walking on eggshells through the forest
twig-snap twitchy finger
POP POP POP POP among the pines
like multiple corn poppers
wind picking up
artillery raining down
frozen feet like chunks of concrete
ain’t roasting no marshmallows by the fire

June 14, 2019

Freight

lazy too hot do nothin’ day
on a nothin’ going on July cooker
except for the hu-mid-i-ty
and the metal fan driving the Indy 500
a speed phenomena going around in circles
humming an old blues tune
trees applauding the sudden presence of a breeze
dog strummin’ his guitar to year of the cat
howling at the late afternoon moon
between sips of drinks
from a cold water metal bowl on an uneven wooden floor
that has the groans of an old man sitting down
and creaks and squeaks in the hallway
heard in the downstairs bedroom
where you can find the cool no matter who was down there
screen door slam the soundtrack of summer
train whistle a county away
it’s more like a blast—a blast from the past
freight or passenger I wonder to myself and nobody else
the rumble shakes and quakes the windows
I stare out the front one
looking through the dirty screen of seasons past
and over the stalks of corn
the window held up by a stick of old wood that doubles as a lock
ah, it’s freight, coal mostly
with a few graffiti sprayed boxcars along for the ride looking sad
no caboose—they’re rusting away in some freight yard
forgotten by many, unknown to many more
gone are the old men of the railroad
like my grandfather before me

Damn, I never asked which one he worked for

June 12, 2019

Bad Back

when you got a bad back like me
it hurts to stand for that national anthem
I don’t wanna stand for in the first place  
when this song plays, you have to stand up to show ‘respect’
idiotic symbolism that means nothing
it hurts to sit for Sunday dinner
it hurts to lay down
an old worn and torn recliner I got from the thrift store
is the best friend I got now
I can’t join the Army or Navy  
though I didn’t get that urge until I was too old anyway
I’m not much for following orders
it would have been insubordination and court martial city


I can’t work anymore
I can’t play golf anymore
I can’t go bowling anymore
I’ll never climb Mt. Everest or K2
I can drink, that’s not a problem thank ya thank ya
I can eat some barbecue ribs and coleslaw
I can read what I want, read what I feel
Writing poems isn’t a problem
I know some people got it worse but
I think about when it didn’t hurt
running around, playing baseball football hockey
bending, reaching
the only reaching I do now
is for days now out of reach