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Skin and teeth play
into this

could've moved
uprooted
our lives changed

by location
culture shock

but instead
we opted

one more time

for wheat
cows and corn

and today
window men

cutting dissecting

removing the eyes
from their sockets

new windows for our home
not our soul

more curbside appeal
and better outward vision

whit howland © 2019
The anti poem.
Silver never seemed so close

those quarters
filched from my pocket
by Tahoe's
invisible hand

but at 13
a baker's dozen
from repeated dives
I found out otherwise

water clear
aquamarine and shallow
near the dock I was fishing off

yet so cold it almost choked me out
I had to let the quarters go

so like Uzzah knows and
I once said

the world speaks

sometimes it says BLANK OFF

put down your cameras  put down your pens
for the love of God no pictures and
most definitely

no poems

whit howland © 2019
My poetic life these days
is all about taking sadness,
fear, angst,
and distilling them into a sour mash,
then creating an elixir for the soul.

In other words, poetry is not about purge,
but of purification,
of myself, my psyche -- how do I do that,
you ask?

Simple. I'm a man of few words,
and because
I am man of limited diction,
like Caleb did for Moses,
I let life and my universe speak for me.

For instance, take this barn near my house ...

It's timbers blighted, brittle, almost bone weary,
its middle sags,--
but its not sad, its belligerent, mean--

just one more gust of wind, it all comes crashing down,
and brother, sister,
if your around,
near it's wrath, lookout!

Or the motor court down the road ?

Paint peeling, windows broken--

but regardless of her looks-- her voice is angelic as she sings to you for another chance at supper and glory.

So you see poets,

the sun, moon,
stars, trees, structures,  streets, walls,
all laugh, scream
and weep for you --

you just have to tune your ear
to their frequency.

whit howland © 2019
Built in plainer times
when men were raw and lean
raised on beef and clear
on what they were needed for

buttered boards make up
its sturdy frame
and in front stands a gi-normous
healthy unapologetic cow

next to it
a big boot and shiny spur

all this advertised by
an affable neon lassoing huckster

and as they say

it is what it is
what you see is what you get
and either the steak is good
or it ain't

and that's because

bold broad brush strokes

are what sells the tickets
moves the iron
and always wins the day

whit howland © 2019
The dream the intent
gone long ago
like all good things

whether it should have passed an unfortunate
unnecessary debate

but also
up for discussion
grabs

the importance
of form structure of a dream

and the worth of a historical
timeline of an automobile
from fin to future vision

Whit Howland © 2019
Dear Sister

Although right now
you're not too keen on memories

there was a time when it used to be

stories and memories
were our musical symphonies

masterpieces serving only
to pass the time and get us past

the dreadful weekends of our
chores and other drudgery

so let us take one more trip
down the red brick road
and reminisce
about the robot we tried to build

the end result being
nothing we planned
but more than we ever could have dreamed

for the eyes the arms
the hands and metal feet
of our doomed creature
that should've have worked

failed miserably

but what was successful
was our monochromatic journey
through lands
of pewter steel silver and
shiny chrome

and at the end the road
was this marvelous monolithic
impotent monster that I still see
in the wee small hours of the night
when I close my eyes

and let that be the coda
for this fantastic voyage

signed

your fellow maestro of absurdity
and your brother

Whit Howland © 2019
Disclaimer: Narrator and subject  fictitious. This poem was inspired by the paintings of James McNeil Whistler, namely "Whistler's Mother".
Dear Granny

Not sure where you are
but I am positive I know
who you are with

Grandpa that is
again
somewhere  sailing
deep at sea
in the far far east

and like when you were here
I've ridden many waves

some with expert ease
and some so towering
I almost crashed myself
upon the rocks

but Granny
I am really writing
because
there was one thing
you once said
that now has hit the mark

sometimes there's no hurry

just float and see
life through many lenses
at all different angles
before you launch

plain word and verse

though over time
profound and most treasured

signed

Your Loving Grandson and Fellow Sojourner

Whit Howland © 2019
Inspired by the Japanese painter Hokusai
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