The Poets Have Been Remarkably Silent on the Subject of Firewood

(as Chesterton did not say)

“…’on back…’on back…’on back…WHOA! Kill the motor.”
Leaning on the side of a pickup truck
Remembering the arcana of youth
On the farm: White Mule gloves, axe, splitting maul

Red oak, white oak, live oak, pine knot kindling
Three of us loading wood in the cloudy-cold
With practiced skill setting ranks of good oak
From the tailgate forward, settling the tires

Loading, unloading, stacking, and burning:
This winter’s firewood will warm us four times

We’re All Icons Now

Is there anything left that isn’t iconic?
Each sports hero, actress, and tummy-tonic

Now let The People say “iconic”

Each recipe and coffee colonic
And every writer said to be Byronic

And let the reviewer chant “iconic”

Famous lovers, erotic or platonic
Mountains and islands, and plates tectonic

And let The Newsies type “iconic”

Animals natural or bionic
All weather systems, calm or cyclonic

And let Mr. Meteor cry “iconic!”

Every magazine is stuffed with “iconic”
Which any Byzantine would find ironic

And let the Romans cry “three dimensions!”

Wait...dimensions…declensions…these don’t rhyme with iconic…

Oh, and don’t forget that for every reviewer every writer weaves that same old  layered tapestry of…something or other

And when you go home tonight just be sure to hug your children

When We Flew Among the Stars

When we were children we lay in the grass
And counted the stars, but only up to
A hundred or so, because we got lost
But not out there in space, right here in space

For space had fallen here, all around us
Oh, don’t you remember? We were among
The stars, flying wildly through the silences
Beyond all time, beyond all sense of self

We almost found the secrets of Creation -
And then our mothers told us to come inside

Neo-Post-Colonial Artificial Intelligence Deconstructed

All intelligence is artificial
We do not huddle in burrows, issuing forth
Only to chase down other living things
Beat them to death, drink their blood, and eat them

We moderns huddle in cubes above the ground
With indoor plumbing through pipes that sometimes freeze
While we are gazing, searching for lost truths
In glowing screens made in slave-labor camps

And we have stopped slaughtering other creatures -
We have machines to do that for us now

Little Plastic Army Men in Action on a Snow Day

If I were a boy

I’d range my toy soldiers before the fire
Vast armies of plastic in green and grey
With the cannon blasting the enemy -
A glorious victory again today!

If I were a boy

I’d eat my morning cereal with Robin Hood
Propped up in his Whitman book before me
Its pages open to an England where
Every day is summer, green upon the lea

If I were a boy

My mother would remind me, to my sorrow
That I have a ‘rithmetic test tomorrow

I. From a Vietnamese / Cambodian / Egyptian / Israeli / Lebanese /
Sudanese / Syrian / Afghan Child’s Garden of Verses

Flare light
Flare bright
First flare I see tonight
I wish I may
I wish I might
Not be blown to death tonight

II. From an American Man’s Twooter of Self-Pity

Subtle beep
Subtle beep
‘wakening me from my sleep -
Oh, no! I’m going to die!
Not meeeeeee! Don’t wanna fry!
It’s all about ME – boo-hoo!
Poor ME! Poor ME! I’m gonna SUE!

A Take Away from the Take Away Steak Fingers

King Henry II: Forks?

Thomas Becket: Yes, from Florence. New little invention. It's for pronging meat and carrying it to the mouth. It saves you dirtying your fingers.

King Henry II: But then you dirty the fork.

Thomas Becket: Yes, but it's washable.

King Henry II: So are your fingers. I don't see the point.

-Becket, 1964

Encapsulated in bivalves of foam
As bottom feeders in the fast-food chain
Small fragments of a poor dead cow, chopped, shaped
And formed into cow fingers that are not

For it behooves the diner thus to know
That cows haven’t any fingers at all
But the dear diner does, and digitally
Renders the cow fingers as nutrition

And that is all there is about cow fingers -
Not a topic on which the gourmet lingers

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