for a moment, the word stops breathing,
your heart quits pumping and bleeding in the
only healthy way it knows how.
there is silence—and then there isn’t, not anymore,
the sky is shattered by lightning and your
pulse jumps with every rumble, your body flinches with
every roar and the sky is turning far darker than it was a minute before,
the wind is like a turbine, going round and round and round,
tearing, ripping, and seething, you can see the clouds descending,
you’ve been through this time and again and you know the power
this twirling cloud will be rendering, you should be inside,
you can hear Mike Morgan yelling over the static of your TV
“prepare yourselves for the damage this will bring!
hide under mattresses, bathtubs, if you must under the kitchen sink!”
it’s coming your way, it’s picking up speed and you try not to imagine
what has made up the debris, you come to your senses,
realize it’s real, accept the fact that it’s not a drill, you grab who you can,
you shove them down stairs, you start counting heads and start saying prayers,
the cellar is dusty, you choke for clean air but it’s howling outside
and you know you won’t find any out there, metal is screeching,
someone is screaming, sirens are bleating out to anyone who cares,
it takes three men alone to make sure the door doesn’t tear off it’s hinges
in the height of the scare—and suddenly it’s over, you can’t here anything from anywhere.
the world again stands still, but it isn’t holding it’s breath,
it’s watching a thousand electric sparks die a last death.
you push against the doors, you need to breathe better air
and you can hear someone telling you that you need to take care,
but you push and you shove and you break free of your prison,
you climb out to see how your world has faired,
but there isn’t
even if i climbed to
the highest steeple of the highest church
prayers would not be able
to save you.
Old men went to sleep
And did not set their
Grumbling Police Officers
Wrote no more tickets,
No more felons.
Casinos turned off
Their glittering lights,
And stages dimmed.
The young men dreamed
No lasting dream,
And the Markets closed early,
Not a single Lottery ticket
Churches set out signs
On their lawns and in their
And the Governments
Collected no more taxes.
Fire Houses disconnected their
Alarms and let the air
Out of all their tires.
Children said their short
Prayers and huddled in the dark
Until the blowing sand and emptiness
Carried them all away. . .
. . .and a great silence fell.
Copyright © 2010 By Richard D. Remler
"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."
-T. S. Eliot
Sitting in this yellow room of yours
Planning our great get away of bores
This sunny spring day shines on us
We are holding each other without a fuss
Practicing our secrets before we’re out
Our childhood means nothing now
We got to please leave, get out of here
Make these promised vows and run my dear
She was crazy for me
I was crazy for her
We were crazy for us to be
Hiding under the blankets of your covers
Hanging onto these cliffs of dovers
Swearing to our solemnly prayers
I’ll play with your long golden hairs
For as long as we are to be near
We’ll hold hands together, looking into this mirror
Then run away from all the unsolved problem
Was I ever supposed to know I was going to feel numb?
I’m so tired of these rests
We are just out on our lasting bests
Fantasies are just busy thoughts
Like writing down lists and dots
Just untrue marks and this ten month lie
I just feel like I could die
The sacrifices of this expression
When should I bring this to mention?
What comes next, what will be best?
Is this right, is this wrong?
I’m so tired, so heavy with thinking
I wonder what we’re doing tonight?
And for every night for the next one hundred years.
Perched high upon a gaudy throne
In her faded dream kingdom
Where everything is soft
And glimmers and glows
Where brutal reality is hidden
By soft colors, the colors of jasmine
And butterfly wings
Weary and strained
Like a dying star
Turning the trick
She dons such deliberate disguises
White satin, a paper lantern
Lighting virgin candles
To hide the stains
And with wide-eyed laughter,
Dropping virginal lies like pearls from a necklace
Clinging to hope
To unheard prayers, unseen supplications
Her restless eyes
Begging for mercy
And wandering aimlessly
Through rainy afternoons in New Orleans
Her lips whisper a battle cry
I don't want realism. I want magic
I tell what ought to be the truth
Truth is sin
Verity and naked bulbs be damned
When Technology died,
some of us merely shrugged and
Tried to go back to before...
Only it wasn't the same...
So many hard-wirings gone,
So many places where we used to go,
So many thoughts we used to know,
Forgotten in an ethereal swirl...
Internetted and forgotten.
Power plants done, and no more juice
To feed along the sagging wires.
Once the Internet went down,
(Without so much as a diminishing blip
Of dying light (cathodes were gone)),
Ah, Lord, we missed the ethereal glow...
Screens now dead and flat,
Unable even to reminisce
The comfort-glow of former irritants,
The fuzziness 0f electronic snow....
And telephones! My Lord!
To think of how we used to talk!
Electronic prayers, each other we implored...
So much connected,
We forgot the depths of face to face,
Now cellular paperweights lie dormant,
Longing for at least a little life,
Reminding us those days are gone.
We pass our little news
Word of mouth now,
Word of mouth to ear,
Only if the ones
We want to know are near.
I don't come here much anymore.
Too many memories.
They say every house has a tale to tell,
Every rusted door jam a mystery.
That window over there, looking pale
And yellowed with age
And dust and yesterdays wonder, I broke
Way, way back before Grandpa had his stroke
And Grandma left her rocker for the last time.
I'd thrown a baseball right through it.
Pa was drinking then, the hard liquor,
And he whipped me raw out back behind the shed
With the full buckle. He reminded me
Windows cost money we don't have.
She was six or seven then.
She was just learning how to ride a bike,
And she was proud as can be.
She would hang out by the hollyhocks,
Pretending they were scarecrows,
Naming each one,
And telling me she'd found a pirates treasure
Buried out there near the windmill that still needed
A coat or two of fresh paint.
She was that shine in Momma's eyes,
The one person in all the world Grandma would tell
Her stories to -
Stories that would bring Eleanor
Into worlds of imagination and wonder
She'd never known before.
And Eleanor would drink it in,
All the color and fire,
That lingered in every word.
And when she wandered that late October night
Into the fields,
We searched up and down with lanterns lit and flashlights, And the neighbors helped,
And we found her come morning in the silo.
I guess she'd climbed in to explore.
You can't breathe when it hits you. It's like it
Sucks the air right out of the little space you find ,
And the weight of the grain slowly drowns out your Thoughts and your struggles, your prayers
And your cries. And nothing's left to do
But feel that terror
Of nothingness pull you away.
So many memories...
And I was angry then. Angry at Pa,
I blamed them for everything and then some.
I learned to smoke , and I did it well.
I learned to swear, and I was good at it.
I didn't stay home much after that.
I left, hitched a ride to New Castle Valley,
And then to Porterville.
I didn't care for schooling,
So I found a job feeding pigs.
That lead to butchering. And I was good at it.
I could lose myself in it. In the thunder of the sin,
Found some satisfaction in how they bled.
I didn't go back til after Dad died.
He'd lost everything, did a bit of drinking,
Spent his time in the county jail,
Did more drinking
When he got out.
I'd learned Grandpa died of the pneumonia,
And Grandma had a few strokes.
Nobody ever told me what happened to Momma.
She just disappeared.
...and over time I grew less angry.
And I'd talk to God at night,
Sometimes I'd talk to Eleanor, cuz I knew
She was up there with God doing angel things,
Probably riding a bicycle real good by now.
Time marched on and I made due.
But I don't come here much anymore.
This place haunts me.
The silo that claimed Eleanor now a rusted heap
Of wood and metal that watches every step I take
...and I hate it,
I'd burn it to ashes if I could.
The porch where Grandma's rocker sat
Is weather beaten and tired.
And the stump where Grandpa would sit
Trimming his fingernails with that pocket knife
Lays on its side, victim to the winds of time
And those echoes that whisper things I thought
And I lose it for a moment
And have to mop away a few tears.
Me, a fifty-six year old blubbering fool,
Still picking at the scars.
I can hear her voice,
As she circled the gravel road on her bike,
Kicking at the small stones to get the bicycle moving
Just a little faster.
And I can almost see her sweet face
And her eyes so wide
They captured the Autumn sun like a rising star.
And there's Momma, hollering "Supper's ready."
And Pa, slamming down the hood on
The truck and wiping the hot sweat from his brow
As Grandma's little rocking chair squeaked its protests
Into the wind.
And there was Grandpa,
Grinning and pocketing that knife
And kicking mud off his
Work boots and heading on in.
No, I don't come here much anymore.
This place holds far too many ghosts for my tastes.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
"You fall out of your mother's womb,
you crawl across open country under fire,
and drop into your grave."
Brandy Pot Pig, Slough Companion you'll make
To prize your Aura for his Demands cope
Though Breathe you not; Life does succumb your Shape
Still ignite his Prayers for some Soft Hope
With such Stale Breath his Mind condones still
His Method-of-Tribbles well he can bundle
Such Pampered Master does rub your fur until
The Silver-Saned Eye calls for his Handle
And like his Child the Monkey witnessed made
Hung by his Closet for his Devotions barred
To lift your snout and wiggle his Escapade
Realise his Youth just Subscribed too Hard.
Perhaps your Counsel, plaster Fines therein
Need no Forced Receipts; Or Boosters wherein.
Fashion this as liquor to give spirit to
a song in write. Seen seldom to weigh
words at play in search, sewn
expensive for time spent in trust and
recite. Penciling not for profit so
rhythmic this may show. Find in the
presence to open and reflect our
woes. Only prescription for
uncommon those in write. A same
those who compose. This on display is
the compromise of sheltered dreams
and the soul, of rhythm in gentle prose.
This is the allure of the jewel of
life. Sent as promise a same a
wish. Stem those genes and make
heavy this vision and prayers in
might. These are our rays made ink, to
weigh the pressures of waves constant
in cycle, to detract from nature’s
Heavenly sight. Lost we shall dream
and ever so patiently grow old ~ but in
heart live bold.
Rugs were in Persia mathematically
correct and with an Indian craft
colorful, Heaven sent. Only captured
in a metaphor this day, so men do
master, so simple this way. Simple this
as to measure the years past, shudder
away tears, for the river purifies our
passions commandeered. So culture
our gardens to prosper and replenish,
in the green untamed, and natural in
Today we thimble a sew for tomorrow,
for our craft is spared only to simple ~
ness of editing, not journeyed journals
to an ever-changing composition.
Perhaps unfamiliar this vest, this
life. Sample the living, in books that
inspire. Dismal I think the desire to
purify a pen in this heavy practice, a
dance an art. Time lends a flavor,
marinating appealing to a fashion so
Always calm to prolonged righteous
reason, modern making, yet captured
still as storytelling. Uncommon
to cues, but refreshing at leisure, is now a
computer who makes simple what once
was wasted time. Measures made in
this art are laborious, the passion is
for the pen, reel it in as your tool,
rations will in turn ~ give as a well and
nature and sow, the seed of the write.
Refinement ~ un-forsaken, notes of
detail, must reinvent and inscribe in
ink. The bank of intuition lay tender as
our diction. Replenish in the soil of
our Native grounds to seed another
tool, the luxury of our lingo. For
inspirations may befriend or become
uncharted if left in the cold. Sold but
without a surrender to all integrity, we
will call for many souls to ship and
receive what Forefathers intended. In
over our heads, over watering our
behaviors, half unknowingly over
diluting our mental treasures, is this
the liquor of life, all too fancy in
measure but it was the tea of rebellion ~
and so I toast ~ to a drink tonight.
Inherent as memories of a generation
now surely within time, we will fill the
promise within crafted lines, and
file away ~ many promises ~ many
revisions ~ many times. In spoil we shall
not surrender our bounty of honesty
and wisdom, so gray in years we
mend. Dent our self-serving self ~
respect, make and justify the wheel in
role common. Like a beard in keep,
intention is relevant. Surely women
refine makeup as to show beauty in
character. Thus what we intend to
refine is an endeavor to unwrinkled
and celebrate the qualities of growing
old. Time is of new defining, for the
times are naturally at all times in
ritual of change.
Memories to grace the gift of sight ~ are
the shades to carry our reflections
away. One, who trusts and so cares,
lay in the daydream of light. In a wish
sent salient, reference to eyes unveiled,
patiently as a seed shall ripen, the
flavors of life will flower in springs
day. We hanger ~ thus shelter, the rags
made clothes, best when leather to
weather firm and tight.
Regift the promise, to harness the
wind and make words potent as those
before did without regret. Today in
general we lean and conform on the
fundamentals, too disciplined, mirror
of stale literature. Similar to wood
varnished but without the stains of
life. First revision is not for giving,
only what is taken, luxury of
time. Color your copies of the wood
you talk in and pencil in your
pressures to relieve the pain, simple ~
ness and cold feet lay sold, as buttered
bread to fill. But imperfect, so
forthcoming, wills the literature of
today ~ finding promise in ceremony
by charting drafts and revisions to
send in message to those young in
read. This voyage is regretfully gentle
as our host made monumental any
verse, so breathe within the soul and
hearts of men, to find new styles to
milk the mind of reason. Leafs from
the tree of intuition ~ censure the
picture, sell in the filter of Freedoms
fight, not first drafts ready when
Battered but purely by pace and
meager beginnings, the wave of
procurement in the arts of linguistics
will saddle and shelter the idea
profound. Don’t toss away the raisin
of a pen in hand, for we lean to easily
in bits and bytes. Promise of Heaven's
pennies falling in rhythm will sing
Majestic in find, common in ground,
gift a find, in leisure, in time. Gather
they guard and uphold the greater
good, not to entertain but inspire. Just
as ones soul is when right. Humbled
in behaviors so chips in clever may
fall. But poker face we have become,
once centered in earnest of essays in
rent, now owners of ideas
embellished ~ in verse ~ our native
treasures. Second we charter the raft
of ideas in mend, to conceive works so
aspiring as the poets and linguists of
historic claim. So riddled ~ so
mastered. Surely a new discontent
shall offer, in a pebble of examples
met, but with practice and structure
our youth will pen.
Demand must be patient, for
procurement in the arts of linguistics
will nurture and mother our future
Leaders to a discipline in their own
right. Never forget the days of past
generations for they marveled in the
arts ~ and in rain it falls in our hands
~ to luster and defend. Poetics are too
political if not in share. Protection of
this is how Freedom was rung. The
hungry will maintain its resolve and
rightfully so. Riddled as sow ~ these
lentils, this meal, these feathers, this
ink ~ shall fuel the fire. A dance in the
pillows of night ~ shall brush the painting
in the Autumn of ones days. Flaccid in so
Glorified by the shadows of
protection, but only one day is stored
for this intention. Freedom is in the
work engraved beside it, within it,
sharing we celebrate it, and our Brave
provide it. Celebration comes by way
of duty and hard work, and is rises
high and early in the dawn. Yes, on
the Forth Day of July. Food and
pleasures are gifts for price paid by
our Soldiers and Agencies who protect
and defend our freedom and intelligence, and
calmly watch over it as we carry
along. All under the calm watch of
Gods umbrella. Future dreams are
blessed a same, for all under this Flag
by notion alone, seam and dress and
hence sail ~ with solemn truth. Trusting
the winds of reason to keep us Forever
Free and on course to replenish the
soil, for those young in years. Students
in the day dream of life are in the send
to allow their pen to charter this
peaceful but daunting Nation to one of
peace and prosperity. Willingly and
calm the lion stares afar from
American shores, Democratic in nature and
always reinventing in this idea we
call ~ the American Dream.
It was just one of those days
when the haze of summer had just started to lull the suburbs
into a sticky heat
of grills and lawn mowers
of air conditioning
(everyone pretended not to use it; windows! barked the mothers, windows!)
and the sweat stuck to the brows
of the life guards
napping in the sun
above an empty pool
the Dawson pool.
No one ever swam there
and the lifeguards knew it
those teenagers, sunning themselves lazily on hot days like this
(and the mothers! They complained about the tans. Cancer! the said.
In a way they were right,
The waters were clear but the fences were rusted
the diving boards were falling
throwing themselves off the deep end
those lazy days
and the mothers! the constant nagging of soccer moms
lulled around the pool
on the day
Her face was like shoe leather
tanned by no fewer than 98 summers spent on porch swings
like her feet were considering
this woman presented her 5 dollars to the girl at the gate
(some surprised lifeguard, because, you see, no one ever swam in Dawson pool)
and pushed inside.
Cassandra never left her porch.
and the mothers! how they scolded their children for teasing her
(even though they had done the same thing at that age.
That's how old Cassandra was).
Decades of the suburbs
and push mowers
and world wars
stayed like photograph around her face.
The lifeguards stared.
Cassandra kicked off her flip flops and shrugged off her mumu.
In a pink bathing suit she sank into the water.
The age melted off of her as she danced through the water
the strokes were slow and deliberate
and the lifeguards watched as she pulled herself from one end of the pool to another and back.
She made 16 rings
remembering her childhood
for her marriage
and then 60
before she stopped.
60 years old, the year her husband died.
The year she had stopped talking
aside from the hushed prayers in church
but she was talking to him; that didn't count.
And Cassandra just disappeared.
No one found the body
no one found anything
aside from flip flops and a mumu.
The lifeguards were nearly scandalized
for letting Cassandra drown
but soon she went from a news story to a ghost
and the mothers! sniped at their children
"Did you here about old Ms. Cassandra?
They say she found God."