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Apr 2019 · 107
Worst Case
John H Maloney Apr 2019
What's the worst that could happen?
I don't want to know,
but I think that I'll likely
find out, even though
I've done all I can
and I hope for the best.
I just can't help feeling
there's something I've missed.
My poem for day 2 of the April Poem A Day challenge.
Today’s prompt: Write a best case or a worst case poem.
Of course, I had to choose worst case. lol
Apr 2019 · 400
John H Maloney Apr 2019
At this point, it seems pointless
to even bother sleeping.
Before I even realize it,
the daylight will come creeping.
Forcing me to do something
I've scheduled far too early
and to grow increasingly,
irreparably surly.
I’m, once again, taking part in the April Poem A Day challenge on the Poetic Asides blog.
Today’s prompt: Write a morning poem.
Sep 2018 · 372
Requiem for a Pipe Dream
John H Maloney Sep 2018
Everything seemed perfect,
it just all fit into place.
That is, until the day it slowly
blew up in my face.
I should have know much better,
seen it coming from afar,
but we never truly understand
how blinded that we are
by hope and need and every void
we just can't seem to fill.
However much you feed them,
they just get hungrier still.
I'd like to think I've finally learned
this lesson once again,
but I'm sure that I will probably
be back here now and then.
"The less emotional work that you can farm out to things outside of yourself, the less likely they are to be interfered with by things that you cannot control." - Taliesin Jaffe
Aug 2018 · 122
What was I thinking?
John H Maloney Aug 2018
Caught unawares
and unable to deal
with a foolish illusion
that I thought was real.
A lapse in composure,
a loss of control.
A lifelong anomaly
taking its toll.
Aug 2017 · 183
Capacity Exceeded
John H Maloney Aug 2017
Stray tangents weaving in and out
of conscious comprehension.
Far too many data points
demanding my attention.
Overloaded, overwhelmed
and over everything.
Whatever sense I may have left
hangs by a fraying string.
Jun 2017 · 394
Just Listen (a sound poem)
John H Maloney Jun 2017
tu da ve za sivi
va du vi za vada zo
veda ga va caduza
nevaga za du vo
badeva bada debu
yana ba va gada ze
remana ga redava
mada ga de bada ve
Written as an experiment in separating sound from meaning. Like instrumental music, all that matters is the sound of the syllables, but like the interpretation of a conventional poem, the exact sound of each syllable is up to the reader.
Jun 2017 · 195
It Is What It Is
John H Maloney Jun 2017
This may not be all that,
but it just might be ok.
The right words are hard to find,
but I'll still write anyway.
From one line to the next,
pushing forward bit by bit,
without much else to say
so I guess that this is it.
I've been in a bit of a slump for the past couple of weeks so I decided to write about it and it led to the first piece that I've been able to finish in that time. Fortunately, I like how it turned out.
May 2017 · 218
Constant Vigilance
John H Maloney May 2017
Stay under the radar
and always out of sight.
If you don't get noticed,
then you just might be alright.
Leave nothing unexamined,
don't be taken by surprise
and never let the world see
what hides under your disguise.
May 2017 · 148
What Do You Know?
John H Maloney May 2017
Drunk on good intentions
and desperate to act
on comforting presumptions
taken as fact.
Ignoring all the details
that haven't come to light
because it should be obvious,
because you know you're right.
May 2017 · 191
Better Right? Than Happy
John H Maloney May 2017
I could do the "right" thing
and finally cave
or just continue
to dig my own grave.
An easy decision,
or so it should be,
and maybe it will be
but right now there's simply
far too much at stake
and I'm probably making
a fatal mistake,
but better to stick
with the devil you know
than to take any risks
and potentially grow.
May 2017 · 180
Can't Let It Go
John H Maloney May 2017
Too much time spent getting nowhere.
No more patience left to spare.
A wasted effort, best forgotten,
but then why do I still care?
May 2017 · 970
Convenient Truth
John H Maloney May 2017
Stand tall, but not too proud.
Speak up, but not too loud.
Don't be afraid to be yourself,
but only when allowed.
Don't be an inconvenience
and stay out of the way,
but when it's deemed appropriate,
say what you have to say.
Apr 2017 · 184
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Meandering, pointless beyond recognition,
oblivious to the cause of this condition.
Inspiration once near is now slipping away.
Without passion to cling to, no spark lights the way.
Relentless, intimidating uncertainty
eliminates the trace of possibility.
Idealistically idle, unable to move.
Far too much left to learn, but still more left to prove.
Apr 2017 · 180
Wait For It
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Almost there, but not quite yet.
A given I'm not sure I'll get.
Sense and reason say take it slow,
but impatience has begun to grow.
Hour by hour the minutes creep,
while I wonder if I'm in too deep.
Within my grasp, but still out of reach.
Another day stalled in the breach.
Apr 2017 · 237
Untitled 2
John H Maloney Apr 2017
A calculated reflex
in case of emergency.
Just a way to stack the decks
so nobody can see
the weakness hidden just below
the surface of my shell,
behind the curtain of the show
I can't bring myself to tell.
Apr 2017 · 246
Untitled 1
John H Maloney Apr 2017
The higher I climb, the deeper I fall.
Doing whatever I can just to stall
the inevitable realization that I'm lost
behind some imaginary line that I've crossed.
No rescue in sight, no plan of attack.
Hoping against hope that I'll find my way back.
Biding and wasting my time until then
and wondering how this could have happened again.
Apr 2017 · 199
The Tale of a Tale
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Its withered, folded pages
tell the story of a story
that's been told a thousand times.
Yet each time,
with every new detail discovered,
every character nuance now understood,
the story is reborn
and the old pages, once faded and worn,
come alive, anew,
to tell their story once more
as if never before.
Apr 2017 · 222
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Exceeding capacity, ready to break.
Exaggerated desire my only mistake.
Overwhelmed by sensation, my self-control lost.
Overzealous consumption; now counting the cost.
In time this discomfort will all fade away,
instigating another ravenous display.
Until then I'll ponder this wanton concern.
Unfortunately, I'll probably still never learn.
Apr 2017 · 193
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Just a few simple words
carefully arranged.
Set in stone for now,
but inevitably changed.
A pointless explanation
of personal insight,
a vain attempt to justify
what I already know is right.
Embellishing the commonplace
until it seems sublime,
or could it be nothing more
than just a dreadful waste of time.
Apr 2017 · 105
Off Hours
John H Maloney Apr 2017
It isn't quite ideal,
this living in reverse.
In fact it's quite surreal
and just a bit perverse.
Rotating counter-clockwise,
never quite catching the sun.
By the time the day is over,
it's only just begun.
Apr 2017 · 207
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Caffeinated conversation,
hyperbolic tales of woe.
With plaintive resignation:
"there's just nowhere else to go".
Dollar after hour spent
on grease and grand designs,
wondering where the time went
and reading too much between the lines.
Apr 2017 · 142
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Little by little,
a piece at a time.
Chipping away at what used to be mine.
Insidious impulse
masquerading as need.
Lie, cheat, and steal its only purpose, to feed.
Laying waste to my health,
and twisting my mind.
While, all the while, it renders me blind.
Calming my demons,
or so it makes me believe.
Yet giving me all the more reason to grieve.
Apr 2017 · 128
3720 to 1
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Stumbling against the will of probability
in the infinite, indefinite, unyielding wait and see.
Wagering the future on a lapse of sanity.
Despite advice, still thinking twice, I brace for what will be.
Apr 2017 · 253
First Encounter
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Soft lips
and gentle fingertips.
Slowly, inhibition slips
With nothing left to say.
Nothing standing in the way.
We touch.
At first, it seems too much.
Never before have I felt such
a thrill.
As if time is standing still,
not letting another moment pass until
the desire we share is, at last, unrestrained,
a primal exhibition of passion unchained.
Bodies entwined, a frenzied display.
Everything else just melts away.
Apr 2017 · 146
Primal Scam
John H Maloney Apr 2017
It's simply just a chemical reaction, nothing more.
Developed as an unavoidable means to ensure
the survival of the species, a genetic safety net.
Filled with hope and promise, but it just leads to regret.

A co-dependent waste of time romanticized in vain,
quenching your emotions as it drives you quite insane.
Soft, enticing agony, a velvet shrouded fist.
Malignant smoke and mirrors, but still maybe worth the risk.
Apr 2017 · 121
What If Only
John H Maloney Apr 2017
What if only there could be a way
to know what lies ahead.
What if only I knew how to say
the things I've left unsaid.
What if only this was meant to be
and fate was on my side.
What if only it was clear to see
there's no reason to hide.
Apr 2017 · 117
This End Up
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Digging out from under
everything that I've become,
trying hard to separate
the pieces from the sum.
A difficult solution,
but one long since overdue.
I just hope I don't collapse
before I can break through.
Apr 2017 · 101
Let Me Out
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Heart and mind racing,
still pacing my cage.
Blindly retracing
each step just to gauge
the odds that I might
get through this in one piece.
Too tired to fight,
yet unable to cease.
Apr 2017 · 141
Most Likely
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Thrown over the cliff
by a billion what ifs,
because I simply couldn't be sure.
A shadow of doubt
was still lurking about
and had rendered me too insecure.
Grasping for certainty,
scared of what could be.
I'm rapidly turning obsessed.
I just need to know
how it's going to go.
Maybe then I'll be able to rest.
Apr 2017 · 109
Say When
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Just a little bit more
is all that I need
to satisfy these demons
so desperate to feed
on the few remaining pieces
of my peace of mind
and then maybe I might
be able to find
a more permanent solution
to the problems I face
and all of those scars
that time can't quite erase,
but until that happens
I'll just have to endure
and try to make do with
just a little bit more.
Apr 2017 · 120
Nothing Better To Do
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Compelled to self-destruction
for the sake of novelty,
an alarming deconstruction
of my flawed ability
to handle the monotony
of mundane repetition
and an irrational tendency
toward personal sedition.
Apr 2017 · 106
Give it Time
John H Maloney Apr 2017
You may not believe it now,
but in time you'll feel the sting
of all of the contempt
that familiarity can bring.
Once civility erodes,
predictability gives way
to recycled, stifled conflicts
left with little more to say.
Apr 2017 · 101
Getting There
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Old habits die slowly,
never resting in peace,
Clinging to the familiar,
but all things must cease.
Wraiths of the past
come to take what was theirs.
Time claims to heal all,
yet too slowly repairs
all the wounds that say more
than we could ever tell,
but the scars that still plague us
define us as well.
All the fragments of flashbacks
and steps to retrace
are just pieces of puzzles
to fit into place.
Apr 2017 · 134
Presumed Guilty
John H Maloney Apr 2017
The trial's begun,
with a jury of one,
and I know what I've done
so now the truth will come out,
but while I've done my due diligence,
I just can't find the evidence
to assert my own innocence
beyond unreasonable doubt.
Apr 2017 · 109
And Again
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Why do we keep doing this
when it always ends the same,
with little more than spite, regret
and a shifting sense of blame?
We must find something better
than this misplaced courtesy,
but we'll likely just continue
for the sake of what could be.
Apr 2017 · 287
Attenuate the Din
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Continuous cacophony
closing in around me.
Relentless, senseless chaos
compromising my ability
to maintain my facade
of calm stability until
it all comes tumbling down,
as it inevitably will.
Apr 2017 · 95
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Fumbling in darkness
and waiting for the light.
Hoping against hope
that everything will be alright.
Clinging onto anything
that helps you make it through,
contented in the knowledge
that there's nothing you can do.
Apr 2017 · 194
The New Guy
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Unstable indignation
leveraging ignorant desperation
and exploiting separation,
while you breed uncertainty.
No sense or sympathy can dent
your childish entitlement,
as if an unpaid settlement
is all you ever see.
Apr 2017 · 114
I (Don't) Want to Know
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Both rewarded and punished,
for taking the bait,
with aggressive regression
to a simpler state.
In adrenaline's wake,
you're surrounded by fear.
Just a small price to pay
when it all seems so clear.
Apr 2017 · 262
Desperate Times
John H Maloney Apr 2017
I'm out of desperate measures
and it's only just begun.
Off to a running start,
but now there's nowhere left to run.
I need to catch my breath,
but that's a risk I just can't take.
There's so much ground to cover
and still far too much at stake.
Apr 2017 · 107
You Should Have Known
John H Maloney Apr 2017
Reality's cold intrusion
upon a benign delusion
leaves you struggling to cope
with the absence of hope
and the onset of untold confusion.
Nov 2013 · 494
I did What?
John H Maloney Nov 2013
A peculiar somnambulation,
inspired by a dream,
just a fight of imagination ...
insane as it may seem.
Creating nothing but allusions,
albeit with the best intent.
Leading to all the wrong conclusions
and a great deal of embarrassment.
Oct 2013 · 744
Closing In
John H Maloney Oct 2013
I hate to admit it,
but I'm starting to see
that my comfort zone
is growing smaller than me.
A slow suffocation,
removing all doubt
that I must find a reason
to find a way out.
May 2013 · 467
John H Maloney May 2013
Caught completely unaware,
I never thought that I should care
or in any way prepare
for the possibility
that what seemed an apparition
was just pattern recognition
and an overdue admission
that I'm not where I should be.
May 2013 · 432
John H Maloney May 2013
But then again, it's hard to tell.
It might, but maybe not. Oh well.
I think it could be ... tough to say.
Just too many shades of gray
and far too much uncertainty
in any possibility
that I just don't know what to do.
I think I'll have to think it through.
May 2013 · 538
Thin Ice
John H Maloney May 2013
Distancing myself from
everything I ever knew,
far away from borrowed dreams
and stolen points of view.
Perpetually waiting
for the other shoe to drop
while hoping that just maybe I've
gone far too far to stop.
Apr 2010 · 549
Bleeding Green
John H Maloney Apr 2010
Scratching at the bottom of the barrel just to find
any scraps that I can forage to maintain my peace of mind.
Eliminating anything that’s not a basic need
As my assets liquefy with such depressing speed.
Just to make it through today is all that I can ask,
but I doubt my bank account is equal to the task.
Struggling to hold the line until my ship comes in
as the waterline keeps rising and the air is getting thin.
Apr 2010 · 1.0k
John H Maloney Apr 2010
A trick of light
to bright to see
what’s standing right in front of me.
No time to spare
or care at all.
Too unaware, I try to stall,
but it’s too late
my fate is sealed.
It can not wait, it will not yield.
The time is here.
It’s clear that I
must persevere or say goodbye.
Apr 2010 · 519
Never a Dull Moment
John H Maloney Apr 2010
Beware the unexpected,
waiting and unsuspected.
The hidden traps within the gaps
that cannot be detected.
The more you think you know
the less that you’re able to see.
Assumptions lie and life defies
John H Maloney Apr 2010
I just don’t know
what’s going on.
It once was there,
but now it’s gone.
It couldn’t have
just disappeared.
This seems to be
just as I feared.
My faculties
have slipped away,
I knew it would
turn out this way.
How can I keep
what I’ve still got?
What was I saying?
I forgot.
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