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Larry Schug Sep 2019
can’t get a hold of HIM tonight,
phones are busy, lines are jammed
in this reverse marathon telethon
where the callers are the beggars,
pleading for donations from the Lord.

The Lord is busy right now.
To leave a message after the tone:

press 1 for health
press 2 for wealth
press 3 for love
press 4 for all the above

press 5 press 6 press 7
if you want to go to heaven.
Larry Schug Sep 2019
Use your turn signals, **** it.
Keep your speed close to the limit.
Use your side mirrors.
Come to a full stop at stop signs.
Pull over and sleep when you’re tired.

You’ve got a map;
you know how to follow the red highways
between here and there.
You know where you want to go;
but all those other fools on the road
don’t have a clue,
may not even see you.
Just use your turn signals, **** it.

That’s enough advice; you know the rest--
how to light up your eyes when you laugh,
how to keep an open mind,
open hands,
an open heart.
Be honest with yourself.
Use your turn signals, **** it.
Larry Schug Jul 2019
Mother Earth’s children run wild,
uprooting her garden,
filling her house with smoke,
pouring poison down her well
and torturing her pets.
Though she’s mad as a sandstorm,
Mother’s more sad than angry.
She punishes the children with famine and flood,
but in the end, she sighs like a spent storm.

Time is a prolific father,
but not as kind as I am, Mother scolds.
If you children would stop your mischief now,
I could heal the damage
before the Old Man comes downs the road.
He’ll be fuming like a volcano,
raging like a blizzard
and swinging his scythe, deaf to your cries,
the sand in his hourglass about to be turned.
Larry Schug Jul 2019
If you fold up your paper,
turn off your radio and TV,
sit on the steps and sip your tea,
watch the birds and speak no words
as the sun rises yellow and round,
making rainbows on the dewy lawn,
you could fool yourself into thinking
there’s no ****** war going on.
Larry Schug May 2019
Coyote prowls the swamp behind my house,
searching for a duck or goose nest
hidden in tall yellow grass,
thinking of eggs for breakfast,
perhaps a downy duckling or gosling,
maybe some baby mice for dessert.
Coyote sniffs around the nests people make, too;
people who seem unaware,
can’t sense coyote’s presence anymore,
so go about their business
as if coyotes are merely the stuff of old stories.
They seem surprised when coyote finds their nests,
say things like “We didn’t have a clue.”
or “It came right out of nowhere.”
or “It happened so fast.”—
poor excuses for inattention, sleep-walking,
made after coyote has ravaged their nests,
scattered sticks and moss and grass,
then laughs about it when the moon is full.

And There Are Coyotes

that prowl the land inside you, too,
seeking to feed on fears
you thought hidden even from yourself
like prairie dogs in their dens.
**** those coyotes, so wily,
digging up burrows,
feeding on carcasses;
they survive all the poisons
you douse your insides with,
the traps you set,
laugh at bounties on their hides.
Larry Schug Apr 2019
The animal caged
inside the caged animal
knows by the sound and rhythm of footsteps,
who approaches, their intent, their mood,
hears the sound between steps
the same way a musician
hears music in the space between notes,
the same way a poet writes between the lines,
the same way a lover reads the silence between
I love yous.
Larry Schug Feb 2019
The white cells,
seemingly not fearful of  
fear black cells,
wearing hijabs or dreads.
The white cells
are fearful of the brown cells
that **** and process their chickens
and mow their lawns for them.
The white cells fear the red cells
though they like moccasins, canoes,
and wild rice soup,
fear yellow cells
may be smarter than them
so they label them
***** and Chinks.
The white cells  
don’t seem to mind
convenience store sprawl
devouring healthy green cells--
alfalfa cells,
forest cells,
swampy, boggy cells,
black-eyed susan cells.
The Chamber of Commerce
calls it growth,
but this town
needs a tourniquet,
maybe chemotherapy.
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