I cleaned out an old drawer
of odds and ends.
there were paperclips and the door to a battery case on some remote
an orange candle stub, from Halloween I think
lots of batteries and four flashlights, though only one worked
and parts of things which I'm sure made sense to keep at the time
I have no idea what they are now
I cleaned out an old drawer
of thing I've forgotten
pictures of my daughter in a lost setting
a letter of gratitude from a friend, but for what?
a postcard from Barcelona
graduation announcements for our friend's children
I don't think I sent a gift
I cleaned out an old drawer
of memories and my past
a ticket stub from an evening with Isabel
a newspaper clipping of my son in scouts
old mother's day cards from the kids
subway map of New York City from October 2001
Memories of adventure and love
I cleaned out an old drawer
and sorted, straightened and remembered
batteries went together in a small box
rubber bands and coins in their proper place
memories dusted off and replaced
out of the drawer and back into my head
My life is a little like cabinet drawers
stuffed with junk and trash mixed with treasures and tools
I think I'll clean my cabinet more often
I'll organize some things that I'll need
like my mom and dads affection and support
my friends kindness and playfulness
I'll throw away the useless things
like anger, resentment, and regret
to make room for my treasures
And I'll be reminded of what has been
a childhood of play, security, discovery and love
my magical children and the wonder at every age
my beloved and her steadfast love and respect
faith, hope, joy, compassion, service
Sydney Seymour Salazar
Made a quick stop in South Zanzibar
To see if he could rent a car
On his pilgrimage to Zinn.
He tried to ask the lady Clerk,
But she only went about her work,
Without a moments hint nor smirk
That she had even noticed him.
He asked the man who washed the cars,
And drank his tea from apple jars,
While watching flights of shooting stars
Until the morning rolled on in.
But even he seemed unaware
That Sydney Seymour Salazar was there,
And ignored him with that subtle stare,
Much to Salazar's chagrin.
Sidney hopped and plopped, he ooked and eeked,
He twizzled his toes, and then he squeaked.
He jumped up, then down, until he leaked,
But still nobody noticed him.
He finally moseyed on his way,
Across the windy, winding brae
Having little more that he could say,
He simply took it on the chin.
Nobody shows respectful courtesy anymore,
There's no common ground, and no rapport.
Or, perhaps, he thought, somewhat cavalier.
They simply do not care for crickets here.
Copyright © 2011 Richard D. Remler
"Life is not so short but that there
is always time for courtesy."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
all i want
it's not a front
can roll in a blunt
something i drink
not something to eat
or a quick feel
not a tug on the reel
a new steering wheel
but it's what i want
and i'm gonna find it
trying to figure out where to look
i've read a number of books
to see what in the world
i saw it in a kid
he was riding his bike
and another little boy with his father
flying a kite
i saw it in the face
of the kenyan who won the boston marathon race
i saw it in the eyes
of a young couple
and it was two guys
i see it in the sun
in the beaming rays
when it grazes my face
i smell it in the kitchen
mother's cooking dinner
the roast is in the oven
and the dog is by her side
i saw it in her face
in her eyes
when id come home from work
she'd jump off the couch
in a very quick spurt
and start barking
i miss it
wish it was staying
i'm gonna find it
no matter how hard i try
i'm going to make it
through the world i'll glide
i always strive
but how do i get it?
do i stop try?
or go harder?
travel waters uncharted
boats not chartered
i seek happiness
i want to be smarter
i'd rather it not
have a price
can't be bought
all i sought
all i seek
just had a dream
and in the future
Do you want to live forever?
said the Gardener to me,
tending to a creeping thought
and watering the sea.
I replied, no, but thanks, you see,
I'd rather be a tree.
And spread my branches out
shelter creatures underneath.
A tree? A tree? He whispered tentatively.
Why, I can't remember what it be.
That word. That thought. That memory.
He shook his head and shrugged at me.
(So I scratched a crude drawing in the dirt
and The Gardener squatted there pondering at it a while,
robes lifted up above bony knees)
But I do that too, said He, jumping up quite suddenly.
Pardon me, but I just see no need - No need to be a tree!
Just beg a princely role of me
and I shall fill your fantasy!
I said, thanks, but well, you see..
I'd rather be a tree.
He paused for quite a while.
Then said okay, a little hesitantly.
Then said that he would not be that okay
until he sees these silly things called trees.
And until he sees the purpose of the thing it is
that means so wonderfully much to me
want to be a tree.
So He turned me to a tree and put me in a park.
Where couples came and families
and cuddling lovers in the dark.
And colored birds were friends to me
and I sheltered all of them beneath.
And spread new life through little seeds
and quenched the world its need to breathe.
And in the autumn dropped my leaves
to feed the insects in the weeds.
I stretched my roots in
luscious ground and saw such beauty all around.
old and happy as only a tree
could ever wish or hope
And then one day I saw a face, quite out of place, was watching me.
And He said..
You are very naturally a tree
and have done so extraordinarily well in green
that I will leave you be to live your dream.
And as he walked away, it seemed
he smiled happily back at me.
Love you forbidden storyteller
Won't you come to me tonight
Whisper a story in my ear
A little louder so I can hear
So when I open my eyes
I might believe in the lies
So that when I'm left for dead
The pain might seem small instead
And you can come back the next night
And tell me another story
So it can happen all over again
Mr. Coffee, who just today
Sent Margaret Thompson a bouquet
Of Birthday Lilies, green as tea,
Just shared a bit of news with me.
How odd he seems when he is near.
So daft at times, and very queer.
He told me just today a grim
And spectral spirit is haunting him.
He told me how it steals the light,
And how it keeps him up at night.
And then he said, "But I don't know
If it is friend, or it is foe."
Mr. Coffee's Ghost, says he,
Fancies his Cranberry Tea.
For he's spied it, quiet as can be,
Pour itself a cup, or three.
He suspects it fiddles with the Loo.
He's heard it flush a time, or two.
Though he figures it just wants to play
In its ectoplasmic way.
I fear, I do, our gentle friend,
May have finally met his bitter end.
That he may not see the here and now.
That he's lost touch with us somehow.
I fear his mind perhaps is spent.
And no one knows just where it went.
As though it packed its bags one shifty day
And lumbered off to Paraguay.
I fear our dear and troubled friend,
Has slipped right off the deepest end.
As though he's lost his crackers and his cheese
In tons and tons of black-eyed peas.
Or, perhaps it's but a jest? A way
To put us to the test today?
To find if we can fairly see
His little play at comedy?
He said he asked his Ghost one day
If it would kindly move away.
And it spluttered out, quite unrehearsed,
"But, truth be told, I was here first!"
Mr. Coffee says he has a Ghost
That likes to steal his raisin toast.
And when he leaves the living room,
He hears it toying with the broom,
Shaking corner cobwebs fair,
Dusting things from here to there,
And sweeping clean the Parlor screen.
Aye, it's heard, it's just not seen!
The oddish way he looked today,
He seemed just a wee bit gray .
Asking if he'll ever comprehend
If his Ghost be foe, or it be friend.
He says, "Of course the floorboards creek."
He hears the murky darkness speak.
He feels the curtains move and sigh,
As evening slowly tip-toes by.
He says, "The place is rather drafty, yes.
And it's a madhouse, I confess.
The sounds this house makes in the rain
Are never easy to explain"
This Ghost will turn the heater so far down
All it gets is cold.
And then tap tap tap the attic wall
Whenever it feels extra bold.
It will shadow every little room
With a phantasmic potpourri
This spooky little specter
Mr. Coffee cannot see.
This spiteful spook, it flickers lights,
To express it's ectoplasmic rights!
It rings the doorbell in a way each day
That scares the neighbor kids away
He'll spot a restless shadow dance,
Whenever he nods half a glance.
And Mr. Coffee feels he's in the right to stay,
And does not want to move away.
So, Mr. Coffee has a Ghost
A fair bit ghoulish of a Host,
Who thinks itself a China Rose,
And keeps poor Coffee on his toes.
Reminding him most every day,
His Ghost will never move away.
And in this Peculiar Poltergeist's parlay,
His Spectral Specter's here to say.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
"The Helicon of too many poets is not a hill
crowned with sunshine and visited by the Muses
and the Graces, but an old, mouldering house,
full of gloom and haunted by ghosts."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfello
a little piece
of my soul dies
every time i see
some poor girl
who thinks that
she is everything
but all she does
is throw herself
to the dogs of this world
i wish they
they are not wanted
in a year from now
they will likely
take to the streets
because that is
the only place
left for them
A Little Fall of Rain
That song hits me
"If I could close your wounds with words of love"
"Just hold me now
And let it be
"She essayed to smile
And his fabulous work
But not limited to
This wretched soul
She loved with
All her heart
And died as she lived
Loving a boy
Who never saw her
For who she was
I'm getting old and I am falling to bits
think I'll give up the ghost
and just call it quits.
It's alright for you,
You're all so young
and so very vibrant
but I am reliant on doctors and pills
and every day I go on just brings me more ills.
The Priest Calls...
..and tells me,
'that life is but a distraction
and afterwards the real action begins
Repent of your sins'
I don't want to hear that no more
I show him the door.
I try to shuffle around
but I admit it at last I am almost bedbound.
The Lady Calls...
..I let her in
another repentable sin?
but she just looks and she laughs
'the only thing you'll get in that bed is bedbaths'
I don't need to show her the door
she's there before
I even know it.
getting old is the pits
are you also thinking of calling it quits?
Life is a fight
nature fights for the light
we are all blind in the night
and none more than me.
I can see I'll go on 'til the day's finally gone
but nothing tastes good any more
I wonder who let my taste buds out the door.
The Devil Knocks..
..and that shocks me awake
but I never really sleep
got to keep my eye on the green line.
the monitor doesn't allow me to sleep
but 'Old Nick makes me sick
he's even older than me
why would I want to be one of his acolytes?
they're just little shites.
I show him the door
and he roars into flames
I've never been good at poker
But me and Life played a game
I pulled a horrid, useless hand
And lost every penny to my name
The consequences were harsh
Life gave me them with a smile
With very little to work with
To overcome the trials
Life gave me keloid scars
Life gave me misophonia
Life gave me depression
Life gave me paranoia
And panic attacks
And a fear of love
(And a huge nose
As if I hadn't had enough)
And I'm meant to accept my "spoils"
From a horrid poker game
And spend years of my life
Pretending I'm okay
I'm supposed to laugh
And have a smile on my face
But what emotion should I show
When the audience walks away?
I'm supposed to do this
Without being too fake
But how can one be genuine
While wearing the facades they make?
So when others ask why I'm suicidal
When they ask why I find everything bland
When they try to fix my apathy
I just tell them "I drew a bad hand"