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You see them oft this time of year
As earth turns dark and cold
Bugs dancing at such a frenetic pace

What drives them crazy? Is it fear
Of dying ‘fore they’re old
Of being the omega of their race?


When evening comes so fast and hard
When surface becomes too still
And sky becomes purple/pink with blood

Are they like me once playing cards
Hoping that my time was killed
Houseman’s cow contented with its cud?


Rhymed to death before its time
By A.E.’s most depressing verse
Assuring though we die, that we die old

Why do we insist on rhyme
That life’s a blessing, death a curse-
A lie the the poets have forever told


So little bugs, please stop and listen
No need to be like Mirthridades
All one must do is to be still and know

Be still and let your cold death christen
Peace in Heaven and in Hades
You don’t have to go on with the show
Cliff Perkins Sep 21
Eastern Shore

How many poems have I penned
Of this same sunset scene?
What drives my muse to sacrifice
At this altar again?

Lies there some ancient meaning here
That my poor words forsake?
Why do I gasp in awe-filled gaze
Across the mirrored lake?

The last of light flees up the trees
From water into green
And grabs my soul all unawares
And speaks of in between.

Of how there is no certainty,
No solid place to stand,
The only constant, constant change-
How all is shifting sand.

I beg the dying light not leave
I beg the sun stand still
I beg Time’s sands not sift through sieve
I beg Kali not ****

All those prayers go unfulfilled
The night swallows the day
The golden light that each leaf thrilled
Must Hades’ curse obey

Yet as I rage for light I lack
For all the beauty gone
I see a palette of pure black
To paint Orion on

What peace from knowing nothing’s staid
What consecrated bliss!
False idol Permanence betrayed
By sun’s last Judas kiss.
Many years ago in my bookstore meanderings, I ran across a book by Alan Watts titled The Wisdom of Insecurity.  It blew me away with its explanation of how the thing we worship (permanence) is a false god and how the thing we fear (impermanence) is the necessary ingredient of all true peace and happiness.  Like all spiritual truths, this insight is often lost in the distractions of everyday existence and must be regained through spiritual practice.  I'm not very disciplined so I don't do well with practice, but I do enjoy wild nature.  Things like forest bathing or sitting alone by a secluded lake hidden in a wild old forest.  Sometimes the beauty of nature will shock you into this truth about impermanence without the effort of practice. That's what happened here.
Cliff Perkins Aug 10
All written because someone died
Or feared the empty hole
Nothingness personified
Talk of heart and soul

Foolish patter in the wind
Whistling in the dark
Yet when we reach that bitter end
Bite is far worse than bark

A subject one cannot ignore
An object lesson learned
“Not yet!” the anguished do implore
Dispensation spurned

A thousand lines to heal the hurt
A thousand doubts remain
The quick remain to feel the quirt
Cling to the old refrain

Faith has brought me safe thus far
Faith will lead me home
But is the answer truly found
In any ancient tome?

Poetry to soothe the sting
Syrupy as molasses
Sweet bye and bye of which we sing
****** of the masses?

Job was poetry they say
As was much of the Bible
When darkness falls we seek a way
A fable or a foible?

Job perhaps has said it best
Explained it all by half
The reason for the final test
Is God’s hilarious laugh

Take this paper written on
Use it to light the fire
Pile the many others on
Make all death poems’ pyre.
Mine-
A hole in the dirt
Begging one dig deeper
No matter what the cost

Yours-
Such a joyous word
Laughing as it gives away
What can n’er be lost
“But Jesus stooped down,
and with his finger wrote on the ground,
as though he heard them not.”
John 8:6

What ran through his mind:
God’s plan?
Man’s inhumanity to man?
Was her husband kind?

Why with his finger?
Dust into dust
For better or for worse
God given lust-
A blessing and a curse

What did he write?
Some obtuse design?
A stick figure of His own end
A solitary hangman’s game?

Was it Words
To Him to her compare?
******* versus *****?
Which was less, which more?

How to stop this madness?
Stones on her head cast
Turn them into bread?
**** me in her stead?

No matter what he chose
He was sure to lose
Cliff Perkins Apr 11
Across the lake
The sun moves
Imperceptibly
Unless you fail to notice

Dare not be distracted!
Should you be lost in reverie
For only moment
All will change on your return

Night comes
Chasing day
Like hounds after the hart
Nipping at the heels

Rushing ‘cross the water
A shadowy Tsumani
Drowning grass and trees
On the other side
Cliff Perkins Apr 10
A patch of ground
Pine straw strewn
Sheltered from worst wind

Lie down with dogs
Fur hot to touch
Tongues cool to face

Through heavy lids
See magic shows
The sunlight plays
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