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18h · 24
Happy Fun Ball
a bauble
or a geegaw

something to spark
the imagination

to relieve the stress
a release valve

so to speak
mine you

was something
bounced off the wall

stretched
like Stretch Armstrong

and molded like playdough
you were there

but not really
often just a figment

of a magic afternoon
where both of us danced

with crickets lizards
and whirligigs

but now you are gone
one day I cut you loose

by choice and necessity
though you still haunt me

on sleepless
and moonless nights
Surrealist word pop art
Ten jokes a day
greasy bacon and runny eggs

at wit's end
of the string already frayed

tattoos and needle scars
cigarette ash and stains

on the table
***** mop water a rag

and ten jokes a day
from pain and heartache

is where the laughs
come from

your's mine
and everyone else's

in between
An impressionistic word painting
2d · 61
Click Bait
knee ****
or reflexive
response

by

visual
stimuli
designed

to get a reaction

you always
back
me into a corner

leaving no choice
but to push
to click or flip

whatever is convenient
immediate
expedient

or red
An abstract word painting
5d · 347
"That's my time"
In the sun
and that I have

for my day
in court

not in front
but behind the mic

without it
my voice is timid

my resolve flimsy
and shifting
An abstract word painting.
Where even the doorman
has a joke

and no one
is straining gnats

or swallowing camels

because they're too busy
swatting them or smoking them

while trying to scratch
an itch

that is next to near
impossible

to reach
A word painting.
Aug 4 · 113
The Storm
Whit Howland Aug 4
Too much water

he said

we are taking on too much water

he said

as the outside patio bar flooded
and the hanging plants

so laden with rain
dropped

from there hooks
splashing

and smashing
onto the submerged concrete

the sky rages and weeps
and we are left to pick up

the pieces
A word painting.
Jul 30 · 239
The Funny Bone
Whit Howland Jul 30
There's nothing funny
and it doesn't tickle
nor is there any gold to be spun

the sensation's rough
filled with pain tears
and very little mirth

but that is best understood
coming from your mouth
directly into a silver microphone
Doing stand-up these days.
Jun 18 · 30
Garden Gnome
Whit Howland Jun 18
With a pointed hat
ruddy face
and a frosty beard

you take me back
to a past
of fried bologna

cheese Wonderbread
and mayonnaise and
in the end

I am left
with following
conclusion

you truly are
what you ate

all those years ago
A word painting.
Jun 15 · 71
stop watch
Whit Howland Jun 15
never

never

we are never off
the clock

always

in a race against time
on a  hamster wheel

that and along with other
absurdities

gets stitched together
to make life's quilt

that was never

never
and I mean never

supposed to make
any sense
An absurdist word painting.
Jun 11 · 112
The Juggler
Whit Howland Jun 11
Bean bags tossed
two and fro

his hands are fast
this man

in his striped shirt
and black pants

literally

he juggles
while I struggle

to balance a marriage,
job

hopes and dreams
seemingly and somewhat absurdly

on the head of a pin
May 28 · 55
Chinese Restaurant
Whit Howland May 28
Messages
of common sense

coupled with dimestore
philosophy

slipped neatly
into sugary wafers

while the Great Wall
in faded gloss

exists far across
the dining room

in the beginning
there was light

albeit pale

and our mouths watered
but what we came for

never really transpired
and we left

wanting more

of what we do not
know
An impressionistic word painting.
May 27 · 127
Comedian in a Bar
Whit Howland May 27
No spotlight
that disappeared
years ago

now

just you wearing a madras jacket
loud shirt
and a polyester tie

leaning
against a varnished wooden rail
speaking into an old radio mic


trying to talk
over the Rolling Stones
on a Wurlitzer Jukebox

to no one
in particular
May 17 · 287
Glorious Morning
Whit Howland May 17
This morning your eyes sparkled
as you talked

to the birds that chirped
through the screen

then you shimmied up
your scratching post

I wish I could take back what happened
to you three weeks ago

and found you before it was
too late

my cross to bear but
bear it I will
Apr 30 · 199
Stand Up
Whit Howland Apr 30
Take my wife
PLEASE

STAND UP

as in also
you  stand up
for

LOVE
SPOUSES
for

SISTERS
BROTHERS
for

MOTHERS
FATHERS
f­or

COUSINS
AUNTS UNCLES
for

NIECES
NEPHEWS
and also

United
WE STAND UP
for

EACH OTHER
Apr 16 · 274
Bar Magic
Whit Howland Apr 16
It's the small acts of magic
like the floating bar napkin

the dime for every quarter
or the clean separation

of two straws
tangled as lovers

matched
somewhere south of heaven

these little sleights of hand
turning heads everyday

and changing minds
forever
Apr 15 · 97
Pinball Machine
Whit Howland Apr 15
A flashing light
and a painted
Elvis gyration

flippers
a silver ball
and the sounds

bing bing
bing **** bing
bing bing bing

Brother

I think about you often
how you were bounced
back and forth

between homes
schools
happiness and sadness


and the short stack
of quarters you turned
into

free game after
free game after
free game after

free game
A word painting with the straightforward message.
Apr 9 · 66
Delta
Whit Howland Apr 9
Yes
it is safe to say
things got weird

our paths diverged
like many rivers
headed to the same ocean

or many veins
carrying blood
from the same pumping heart
Apr 2 · 199
April Fools Day
Whit Howland Apr 2
Buckets
of flashy yellow nuggets

by the bullion
it is there

if you are fool enough
to search for it
Mar 26 · 103
Foosball
Whit Howland Mar 26
Plastic players
you spin on a spit
in an attempt to knock

a plastic ball
into
the goal

you are we are
doings things
that are way beyond

our control
A word painting with a straight forward message.
Mar 20 · 91
Barrel of Laughs
Whit Howland Mar 20
A funny bone
a gag reflex

and an innocent
question

would you go out
with me

was all it took
for you to spit

Coke
through your nose

all those years
ago
Mar 19 · 52
Mechanical Dog
Whit Howland Mar 19
I might rollover
and bring you
the morning paper

but my bark
is metallic
echoes

and sounds
as if it was made
in a metal drum

a noise
that will haunt you
forever
Mar 18 · 46
Cotton Candy
Whit Howland Mar 18
pink and sugary
your words
so lyrical

and yet
so fleeting
they dissolve

in my mouth

I don't want to believe
but I do believe

you sold me
a bill of goods
though I'm not bitter

how could I be
with such sweet
salesmanship
Mar 13 · 232
Measurement
Whit Howland Mar 13
I am sandwiched
like a slice of ham

between
two pieces of Wonder bread

measurement
and judgment

you measure my intellect
by my words

yes
they are simple

you judge me
by my clothes

yes
they are threadbare

but please don't judge me
any further

or measure

until you try me
with mustard and Mayonaise
Mar 12 · 53
Cold Snap
Whit Howland Mar 12
Yesterday
the weather was warm

with the sun sunny
side up

and the sky was a solid
blue

and now
I must honestly ask you

what just happened
a cold snap

ok maybe
but seriously

ginger
preferred
Mar 11 · 323
Spring Snow
Whit Howland Mar 11
Like a giant hand
shaking a box of soap flakes
all over the place

then

scouring
rinsing
wiping dry

repeat

the last gasp
or a new beginning
A word painting.
Mar 5 · 47
small town USA
Whit Howland Mar 5
take up thy bed and walk
is what you said
and though you were gentle

there was a force behind it
like a swift-moving river
more than enough to make me rise

put on my shoes
and take those first
wobbly steps

and eventually walk
and walk
and never

look back
Mar 4 · 562
March Madness
Whit Howland Mar 4
Much simpler
than a scramble
for a basketball

I'm crazy for the trees
beginning
to bud

for the warm air
and the thaw

and the crisp walks
under a freshly
minted blue sky

but most of all
I'm mad for you
that's right

it's mad love

for the woman
I would not have
any other way

that I want to march with
down the road
to our golden years.
Feb 28 · 100
Sunshower
Whit Howland Feb 28
A planted seed
watered

great things
to grow
and come

like roses

or deeds
that will be recorded
for posterity

and colorful
full fruit
but not from the poisonous tree

and study
for practice application
and surely

but edible
oh so delectable

not just for academic
and entertainment
purposes only
Feb 27 · 330
Mule Deer
Whit Howland Feb 27
There's a whistle blast
on the wings
of a guitar string

followed

by a mountain of mirth
joy and a little dirt
under our nails

as we ride the rails
you and I with an occasional dance
to distract us

from the cup of joe and fact
that we are flying
by the seat of our pants
Absurdism and homage to a fantastic comedian and singer.
Feb 21 · 62
Telephone Operator
Whit Howland Feb 21
Press that button
pull that cord
plug it in over there

and see that red signal light
blinking
I need your help

maybe
could you check
for an alternate spelling

or try dialing
that number again
I am sure it's right

that's the number
he gave me
please sir/ma'am

I am desperate
so very desperate
to make a connection
Feb 20 · 238
Rooster
Whit Howland Feb 20
On top of the world
I am

well If not the world
at least the roof

right now it's sunny
but there's a storm coming

the clouds are gray
and the wind's picking up

stirring the ground
and blowing me

every which way
Jan 31 · 342
Broken Sunrise
Whit Howland Jan 31
Open
with a red-orange sunrise

then
crack that sunrise like an egg

and let the yoke and white slop
into a mixing bowl

question
do we then beat that egg

scramble it
or do we fry it or

maybe poach
perhaps

we just leave that broken sunrise
in the bowl on the counter

someone else's gift
or curse
A surrealistic word painting. An original.
Jan 28 · 507
Briefcase
Whit Howland Jan 28
Leather
wrinkled with age

but trusty

case in point
without the fluff

we are talking about a grip
that's been through it all

seen it all
and stood the test of time
A word painting with a straightforward message.
Jan 22 · 100
Kansas City Dream
Whit Howland Jan 22
A stray thought
in the day
enlarged

by night

and now you are deep
dreaming
about fair weather

and a place
you've never been

Kansas City

it lingers
it dangles
like a shoelace

never tied
or unfinished
like a *** only

half thrown
An abstract lyrical word painting. An original;.
Jan 21 · 59
The butcher shop
Whit Howland Jan 21
Meat sliced
by a stainless steel blade
and by the pound

prime
and choice

back then
cuts were cheap
but such

as life
A word painting with a straightforward message. An original.
Jan 20 · 48
The Dunes
Whit Howland Jan 20
A Neon Splash
from a forgotten age
of cool and class

and jazz
palpable and complete
with curls of smoke

it's still there
you

are still there
it just takes a while

to notice what was once
so familiar so clear
and dear
A word painting.
Jan 19 · 62
Far and Away
Whit Howland Jan 19
Just a  speck
but I know it's there

across the sound
waiting for the tide

to recede
and the sand bar to appear

a bridge a connection
to the past

and a spark and a flame
to future enlightenment
Jan 19 · 112
Absent Minded
Whit Howland Jan 19
Maybe
a scrap of paper
with a name number or address

that slipped down
river
and over the falls

memories
leaving one by one

until there's nothing left
but a hollow wind
blowing

into some glass bottles
perched
on a split rail fence
An imagistic word painting.
Jan 17 · 234
Jarts
Whit Howland Jan 17
Mutant darts
or
if you prefer

cricket

the board
was your lawn
green in summer

but seriously

what were we thinking
as we launched
these big metal missiles

with plastic
feathers
on the other ends

and that's the thing

back then
we just did
and that's what made  

all the difference
Jan 17 · 283
Shredded Wheat
Whit Howland Jan 17
toothpicks
in a bowl of milk
ready

to be lashed
together
into a raft

to sail down
a river
literary or otherwise

literally

a litany
of possibilities of where
this vessel

could go
An abstract word painting.
Jan 10 · 79
Lighter
Whit Howland Jan 10
January
and there's a blood orange
sunset

glowing in the sky
at five o clock
which means

we are
on the downhill slide
of darkness

heading for days
of warmth
and nights of blinking

fireflies
but honey like I 've said
many times before

never defer happiness
grab it now and not
like a falling star

but a rising one
you catch
and hold onto

by its wispy
glittering
tail
A word painting. An original.
Jan 9 · 67
American Flag
Whit Howland Jan 9
Glops and swirls
of red white
and blue

it does not fly
or billow in the breeze
it hangs

a piece of art

something to start
a conversation
you know

just small talk

with no guarantees
but no fine print
and definitely

no dotted line
to sign on

either
A word painting. An original.
Whit Howland Jan 8
Blue

a mixture green
the color

of grass in summer

with yellow
like the summer sun

and that to me is something
that will never equal

sadness
An abstract word painting. An original.
Jan 7 · 215
Gray
Whit Howland Jan 7
Solid
the color of steel
that much is clear

but an area
where things get
murky

how could that be
when overtime
it becomes the color

of our hair
when we turn wise
and able

to see the forest
for the trees

gray
the color of days
that are cold and rainy

and there's no
ambiguity
in that
Jan 6 · 41
Upon a meadow
Whit Howland Jan 6
Fake or real
we wonder

the grass
tall and green

with wildflowers
among the blades

a butterfly flits above
the canopy

and farther above the sky
a marbled blue

augmented
by a yellow sun

and we wonder
fake or real

and yet we  dread
the answer
Jan 5 · 78
Farwell, Friend
Whit Howland Jan 5
A weeping willow
weeps for me

it wipes the ground
and washes my feet

a canary sings a chirpy
little tune

that might be melancholy
if I let it

but time is too short
it was the last thing

you had to teach
me
Jan 3 · 351
Smile
Whit Howland Jan 3
Boxes of stuff
dropped
by mechanical pigeons

flitting about
from street to street

eggs and spam
sizzling in a frying pan

the bouncing ball
the Yellow Brick Road

if we follow the plan if we paint
by the numbers

our wedding picture
on the mantle

forever young
as we slide gracefully

into our golden
years
An impressionistic word painting. An original.
Jan 2 · 76
'22
Whit Howland Jan 2
'22
We're no longer young
or wet behind the years

are jokes are old
and they groan

like hunger pains
from someplace

down deep

but what is it
we hunger for

and will we find it
before it's time

to lay down
and go to sleep
Jan 1 · 53
crayon
Whit Howland Jan 1
but what we need
maybe just one little
thing

like a crayon
magenta
then

viola

a picture

the loaves
the fishes
to feed the soul

with seven baskets
left over
An abstract word painting.
Dec 2021 · 35
Yule Log
Whit Howland Dec 2021
Just one red candle
******* into a log with peeling bark

burns

with fresh wax
dripping

down the sides

so much could have been said
should've been said

but now's not
the time
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