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Lawrence Hall

                                Midsu­mmer Mysteries

One of the merry mysteries of midsummer
Is that midsummer isn’t midsummer at all
Maybe it was, back in the shadows of time                
When Tolkien’s fairies blessed a happier world

We still light bonfires on Midsummer Eve
Making our summer vigil with good Saint John
While children dance among their fairy rings
Making this sad world better with their happy dreams

And finally

When the fading ashes greet the dawn
We carry our blessings to their little beds
Midsummer Eve seems in some ways to be moveable, from the Solstice to St. John's, so we might as well make a happy week of it!
Lawrence Hall

                     Six Months of Heat and Slanting Yellow Light

Six months of heat and slanting yellow light
And heat and damp and slanting yellow light
And heat and rot and slanting yellow light
And heat and pain and slanting yellow light
And heat and pain and burning yellow light
And heat and pain and sour yellow light

A poem is itself.
Lawrence Hall

                        No One is Your Vibrant Stereotype

One’s words and one’s friends are not tuning forks
They do not vibrate, and are thus not vibrant
Nor are they folksy, colorful, or quaint
Curiosities for you to collect

Poetic verse is free of DNA
An iamb suffers no identity
It boldly speaks its rhythm clear and strong
And metric feet march to their own chosen beat


If you feel that any culture should vibrate
Then go sit on yourself and just…rotate
A poem is itself.
Lawrence Hall

Situational Poverty

V: We was poor but we didn’t know it
R:                                 Oh, yes, we did
Here we have poverty of development.
Lawrence Hall

                             One of the Pizza Cantos

                              “Obey Me and Be Free!”

                    -Free for All, episode 2 of The Prisoner

Cue the queue for Q, Ezras by the pound
A crown of horns in pantos by the fright
Mutually assured denunciations
Keyboarding demon vaccines with a little blue light

There’s cycle paths behind the juke machine
It’s Deep Steak stuff, yeah, it ain’t on the news
And them albino monks hid all our votes
Let’s blame the teachers, reporters, and Jews

Now take your selfie for the F.B.I.
And when those Commies catch you, don’t you cry
A poem is itself.
Lawrence Hall

                      A Dog, a Pocketknife, a Twenty-Two

               For Jared Allen Brandon, of Happy Memory

                             And Jared Walker Bess

A dog, a pocketknife, a twenty-two
The rightful possessions of every Texas lad
For working out the values he must live up to
The virtues that he learned from his solid ol’ Dad

A dog, a pocketknife, a twenty-two
Self-discipline, honest friends, a manly stride
A quiet voice that’s sturdy, firm, and true
A man of accomplishment and quiet pride

For you remember your own boyhood, yes, you do -
A dog, a pocketknife, a twenty-two
A father raises his son right, and does not surrender him to the violence of popular culture (sic).
Lawrence Hall

                      Four Out of Nine Muses Recommend Poetry

Four out of nine Muses recommend poetry
More doctors recommended Camel cigarettes
But we are not speaking of burning poetry
Except by tyrants, who are frightened of words

Kalliope, Cleo, Erato, and Euterpe
Have split the poetry racket among themselves
The other Muses have business of their own
Worthy enough in their own arts, we’re sure

But oh, our four Muses, our Muses four -
We sing for you along your Ionian shore
Kalliope, Cleo, Erasto, and Euterpe
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