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Jeff Lewis Jun 2021
Blind men leading,
and the mute follow.
The future
stands wide open,
     if you have the right key.
Nov 2020 · 464
Jeff Lewis Nov 2020
...that life is a blank canvas
after I've
pawned my paint and
for a bitter cup of coffee
and a bus pass.
hold on to your dreams
Jul 2020 · 644
What to do with the night
Jeff Lewis Jul 2020
I would banish all my ghosts
      banish all pain
            all shame
I would banish the night
      but then
             I might forget my name
Dec 2019 · 133
A Proclivity for Pessimism
Jeff Lewis Dec 2019


         float free

But the sky
                                    is clear and blue

Thwarted again.
Jeff Lewis Nov 2019
Rortle beans.
You've never had them.
But if you had,
You would know
They make you chortle.
Like a tortle on its back
Would never do
To you.
Poor tortle. (flip 'em over will ya)
Up too late
Jeff Lewis Nov 2019

That's what I have today,

But nothing
might be

if seen a certain way.
Nothing is nothing, except room to grow.
Oct 2019 · 362
Halloween in Tampa Bay
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
5 pm Halloween afternoon
87 degrees outside
I wonder--is that in the shade?
I'm not expecting many snowmen
Looking for Snickers bars.
As a kid i might dress as an artic explorer as a way to stay warm. Different places, different times.
Oct 2019 · 199
Dancing for Joy
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
The club was hot.
The music rocking.
On the floor I was dancing for
Only to find out she left with
her girlfriends.
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Rain on a Monday.
It’s been done.
In that over-and-over sorta way that so much of
life has been done.
Like crippling heartburn after tacos on Tuesday,
or crippling heartbreak after that wonderful date,
or DECLINED while you’re standing at the register,
when you know you’ve got money,
or thought you did—
and of course there’s a huge line waiting,
or burnt-on-cheese in your favorite pan,
or that traffic jam on Friday afternoon.
You know,
when you had those plans
with her
or him
or whomever,
or whatever.
Weekends spent laying in bed,
staring at the ceiling ’cuz that’s the only way
to face the week ahead,
and the only real positive you can find is
you don’t really wish you were dead.

It’s all been done, every bit,
and so much more.

We need a change,
a different way,
a different plan
some sort of revolution,
but one where everybody wins.

We need a bucket,
But one without a bottom.
a place to drop
all those worried woes.
We need…hell, I don’t know…


…strawberry ice-cream by the gallon?

maybe…wise and kindly dragons?


I want a dragon,
and greenish bronze with scales the size of dinner plates,
a whiff of smoke and a faint essence of sulphur.
crimson eyes that pierce the soul.
And so wise he makes Merlin seem like a dolt.
he’ll tell me stuff—tons of really smart stuff.
All those things I already know,
and know that I know,
but somehow just won’t see.

…and I want ice cream.
and a place that makes time go slow
so I can sit and take a pause.

and, of course—
I need a Fricking unicorn!
Like, why not!
Who couldn’t use a their own personal unicorn on a
                                                  nasty, rainy Monday afternoon?
I think I’ll name him Fred.
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
.                                        Waiting.

          Just that.


And knowing
                               futility in this course.
I think I  may be forced to take action before I see any change. Funny how that works.
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
He read the leaves like
love notes.
Heard music
in the breeze. He knew
the trees by name.
The child was at home.

Now leaves are code.
And, notes tumble on jumbled winds.
The forest is strange...
edit 6/2/21
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Chasing the horizon
a dipping sun.
I pursue that line,
       that point of
between land and sky.
Never bothering
to ask
what would happen
if I caught it.
Reaching the coast I rent a boat 'cuz I didn't know how to fly.
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Had a dream.
Dreamt I was brave.
Like a knight who slays dragons.
Like a great adventurer.
Like a martyr dying for conviction.

Yet woke, I lack
to follow such a dream.
Oct 2019 · 516
Do You See Me?
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
I see you.
sitting there thinking
no-one see me
sitting here.
I see you sitting there.
Or are we all invisible in our little bubbles?
Oct 2019 · 80
Finding Solace in a Wood
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Ambling a forest path, soft earth
cushions his feet. Winding past
ancient trees. A tawny buck, branching antlers,
crossing the trail. Frozen
for a moment, then gone.
Picking a berry, spot of blood—Prickly vine,
but sweet,
purple black and juicy.
Beyond the pines he spies a lake,
crystal blue,
and longing for its cleansing chill, he—

He stumbles.
Shackles fling him upon the ground.
Here Master dictates.
Reality found at the end of a whip.
Heavy loads and
heavy labor are his lot.
A slave to the whims of others,
worked to exhaustion,
he is skin draped on a bony frame.

By twilight he dines on meager dole—
beans and rice.
Above the tinkling of chain on chains
and the muted groans from tired men,
under the first stars of the coming night,
the hoot owl calls. He closes his eyes

…and longing for its cleansing chill, he—leaps,
gasping in the cool, clear water.
Swimming with strength unknown for years.
Plunging deep below the surface,
water embraces,
and he accepts its grasp….

Oct 2019 · 191
Acknowledging Vain Ego
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Very much, I want
to write something really grand
and deep
and profound.
Something that will make
the reader gasp at its erudition
But, so often,
we don't get what we want.
So, what is it that I need?
Erudition-- I found that fancy word in my thesaurus.

I think thesauruses are really cool tools, but really!? Erudition?
Oct 2019 · 694
I wonder what I'd see
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Sitting in an abyss of my own creation,
as the wax of my last candle drips burning down my hand,
and I wonder:
what would I see if I blew it out?
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Kneeling form
Prayers uttered
Eyes look up to heaven

Slender match
Waiting wick
Paid by proffered coin

Tiny fire burns
Wax of holy hope
Melted prayers glisten

Moist eyes reflect
Tears slowly dry
Tracks on sorrowed checks

Another coin
Another flame
Who would be to blame

The burning candle
Flickering tells
It’s time for letting go

Burning low
Hope gutters
Golden rings forgotten
ancient history, but memory is persistent.
Oct 2019 · 106
Getting Myself Spun Up
Jeff Lewis Oct 2019
Naked on the bed.
Crumpled sheets
             tossed aside.
Unsettled strains.
          Musical snippets waft from

fan spins.        

Breeze on skin.
What does it mean anyway?
           The fan?
                     The spinning?
                                What the hell does it mean?

You see it in movies sometimes;
      the fan… spinning
         a room… spinning
            the moment… spinning
      spinning…               off into some sort of premonition
                                      or foreshadow of disaster.

Like in the script from some film.
     One of those with
                                      the dark edges  
           and the loud


What does it mean?              
           What the hell could it possibly mean?
                           Does it mean anything at all?

   all it means is
        it’s too **** hot


                            might be that’s all it means.

Sep 2019 · 145
Trying to Hold the Wind
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Love came to me on the wind
Affections whispered
By zephyr breeze

Love came to me on the wind
Gentle caresses
In Spring flowers fragrance

Love came to me on the wind
And left
In that form I could not hold it
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
I'm right, they're wrong.
They just won't get along.
Of course that's why we fight.

                     (Effing morons anyway...)
Life is hard when you're always right.
Sep 2019 · 365
Graves of the fallen brave
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Riding the train to Mall of America near Minneapolis. Fort Snelling National Cemetery lies East of the tracks. Outside the windows pass these gravestones. Stark marble markers in the place of heros. Rigid rank and file, monuments on parade in mimic  memory of the command to "Attention!"  

And there are thousands. Row after row, column upon column, they march into the distance

Until finally, I closed my eyes and listened to the rumble of the  train, wheels upon tracks, and to the conversion of a young family seated behind me as they talked about all the fun they will have at the mall. The Mall of America -- found out past the tombstones, beyond the graves of the fallen brave.
The V.A. maintains 138 Cemeteries in 40 states according to Fort Snelling is not the largest.
Sep 2019 · 187
The Doldrums of the Middle
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Stale airs stalled in a fetid grasp;
Wilting both body and soul.

Seems for years wishing on sargasso seas for even yet the barest breeze.

Without direction. The birds, the gulls, the albatross have left me to my fate.

Sweating life which I canpppp ill afford,
I pace this motionless deck.

Recalling, wishing the storms of youth. Then, at least, there was movement

In fevered dreams, I faced down gales.
On a dying ship I approached that shore.

The sun peels, cooking flesh, but here
not even scavengers deem to come.
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
There are times when I have to stop
on the side of the road and wonder,
how did I end up in this state? But then I remember some turn I made about a hundred miles back, and who knows why. Then I turn the key and wish I'd brought a map.

How far to the next rest area?
Sep 2019 · 417
A different form of power
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Such amazing strength,
To be so weak and
Yet survive.
Weak by choice or station?
Sep 2019 · 253
My Father's Coffee
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Father, I hope this can will do; it’s Folgers.
You loved your coffee black, mud strong.
I remember how to make it,
Water in the ***.
Float the grounds.
Boil ’til they sink.
Campfire style, you called it.
That last cup, pour careful,
so as not to get the grit. I remember
how it went.

But Father, once I do this
once we commit your ashes to the sea;
once I pour this can of dust into the river,
what then?

What should I do
with this old empty coffee can?
My father, ever pragmatic, wanted a three pound Folgers Coffee can as an urn.
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
The beauty of Spring gave rise to
Summer, who’s warmth and gentle days
brought us to....

…how did it go?

Halcyon days of May blossom into
Summer daze, lazing into bounteous Fall.
Curling Autumn leaves shiver
on crisp....

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Spring sprung flowers and sun and rain.
And then, fledged,
bounded into Summer’s
heat, picnics, fun, and games.
Summer drifting, wanders into Fall.
Best known for harvest, yellow buses, colored leaves, and all.
Then Winter took
that which we knew, and covered it in silence quilting snow
and said,”Wait till Spring.”

Who knows.
Could be, that's the way it went?

But, likely, more like this:

The seasons passed.
Passed with no regard at all.
Until that day we placed a marble marker in chilling rain;
and talked about Springs, and Summers, and the Winters of life,
and how we hide the pain,
and how we’ll never be the same,
and we never are the same.
A fiction based in truth. But, in my family, we would never talk about the seasons.
Sep 2019 · 301
Broken Bridge
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
In my dream, there is a broken bridge.
That bridge impossible to cross.
Yet, all is possible
                     in the land of dreams.
why fret?
Except, this:
                     In my dream, there exist this broken bridge.
after:  "The Broken Bridge and The Dream", Salvador Dali
Sep 2019 · 299
Honey With My Coffee
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
I like Honey.

Honey likes sugar in her coffee.

And, I love Honey at my side,

Sipping dark heaven’s roast.

Hers, a bit sweeter than mine.
Sep 2019 · 192
Mood Lighting
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Ordering a drink.
      I really need that empty glass.  

The lights are slow.   The pace
                        is dim.    The room
         has a sense of non about it.
A piano man plays
                    tuneless  songs.        
                   And couples    stare    
     past each other.
I kept trying to tag a positive end on this poem, and every time I did it told me to F' off and get back to work
Sep 2019 · 458
The Revisionists
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
The way we rewrite
Our histories,

The way we polish
Our achievements

The way we conceal
Our all our flaws

I have to wonder
About memory

Was I ever that "me"
That I recall
Was reading camila's 'How's this song called' when my brain did this.
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
I would write with letters bold
and stylish flare to break the mold.

Italics letters, I would like.
To make them seems a fright.

The very size of any font:
big or small is what I want.

Style settings won't transfer
Boring text makes me grrrrr!

Editorial control,
That is what I want to know!
No...really! How do people get italics and such? I see them, wish I could be them. The style attributes I set in my word processor (Pages on Mac) don't transfer.
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Nine muses attend the burning
of creation. Sing they.
Songs of sadness. Flames
fill the night.
Smoke carries the knowledge of Ptolemy across the sky.
from Caesar’s burning fleet*
ignites the home of Euclid and Heron.

Words that knew the world reduced to embers.
*one of several explanations for the cause
  of the fire.
Sep 2019 · 170
Sleep Please
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
My pallet rejects
My somnaic advances

In the morning
I'll take it out against my coffee ***
So, what if  "somnaic" is not really a word? Too tired to care much.
Sep 2019 · 209
Going Through the Motions
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
I wake early in the day
to avoid judgement
in the eyes of people
who seldom look my way.

I go to bed at night
when they say I should.
“You’ll feel better.”—I don’t.
It stops the pestering.

I have to plan a busy day.
“You’re active that way
and won’t have time to mope.”
At least, that seems the plan.

I have no goals to reach in life.
At least, not of my own.
Any plans I think I hold
are simply held on loan.
excited about the day, yah...
Sep 2019 · 1.2k
Crazy Mary
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
standing in line
for mail
at the homeless shelter downtown
get a stamp…or
that fill her hand she’s writing
to the FBI
writing to the CIA
the DEA  
perhaps the NSA
what she wrote?

some days
she tells
of shadow people who plot
and scheme
she hides from
and their attacks
they track her
she hides
inside a dream
or more accurately, constant nightmare.

she talks to people in the air
rambled words
furtive glances
she listens  
what are the words that are being said
but then
who cares
no one knows those words
just Crazy Mary.
Crazy Mary is a composite of several homeless people I've gotten to know over the years. Untreated mental health problems are a huge issue that needs to be addressed in order to address general homelessness.
Sep 2019 · 305
...Lost My Cape
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
She seemed to think my name
could be Clark Kent
and she knew my alter-ego.

But, my Kryptonite
is expectations.

Sep 2019 · 155
Impractical Love
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
What do I do to prove my worth and show my love for you?

I might ride a mighty raging steed to defend my maiden’s honor.
I could.
Well, maybe not. I’m very bad with horses.
I’d just fall off and bust my ***.
It would be a bit absurd.

I could pick you every daisy, rose, and mum; every flower in the world.
I could.
And make a huge bouquet.
But that would make you sneeze, I think
and no one else has flowers.

I could bring you down the moon and stars from their home up in the sky.
I could.
But where the hell would you possibly put them.
Your closet can’t have near the room,
and it’ll cause havoc in the tides.

I could give you the beating heart from my chest to prove my endless love.
I could.
For truth, no—I don’t think I could.
I kinda need it now to live and,
well, frankly that’s really rather gross. I mean…yuck.

How do I prove my love for you and convince you of my worth?

I hold your hand.
I hear your voice.
I kiss your lips.
I give you all my time.
For such a love as you
I could.
Life is better if you embrace the absurd, I think. It can broaden the possibilities and sometimes make you smile.
Sep 2019 · 344
No Forwarding Address
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
My ex showed-up again today.
Although, she’s not been here for years.
I wish she’d go away.

I feel, once more, that stabbing bite;
That poison dagger in my back
that twists at thoughts of her.

Those certain songs I hear at night,
or in some random woman’s hair
re-lives when love went bad.

But painful memories will fade;
at least that’s what I’ve heard them say.
Time heals the broken heart.

I wonder when that starts.
Let go of hurtful memories (do as I say, not as I do.)
Sep 2019 · 440
I've Got It Good, But...
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
These days I dredge the past
                 for the kind of  pain
                      that used to drive
                        my words. Heartache
                 was the fuel of poetry
            and I drove those lines
                                  like a madman.
But, now that tank runs dry,
          which, I guess, is a good
                                  thing really.
Now lucky in love, but wasn't always. So why does it seem so much easier to write good poetry from the bad sh^t that plagues us than to record the good that happens?
Sep 2019 · 293
Samsung S9
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
I have a universe
in my pocket... and some
lint. The world
at my fingertips,
all knowledge awaits
and forty two cents
in change rattles next to it.
I have a universe
in my pocket and what...? I
use it to watch cat videos
and trade petty barbs
with fellow trolls under a bridge.
Sep 2019 · 349
Looking in Shadow
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Looking into shadow.
That place back there
     where light won’t go.
and I see…
A me, I think, not me.
I’m not that thing,
sorrowful wretch,
a broken soul that peers back
from the blackness I deny.

I Am Me! but me won’t let me go.

**** You!
( **** me…?)
**** this…

“Shadow, won’t you let me go?” I ask. And
I answer…

But, as yet, I will not hear him speak.
Sep 2019 · 198
What Dreams a Tree
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Does a tree dream of running?
Does a lake wish to fly?
A boulder in the woods, I think,
thinks slow and mossy thoughts,
for that is who it is.
So why can’t I be me
and dream a dream that’s meant to be?
I was reading elle jaxsun's  "running" when this thought came to me -- what do trees dream?
Sep 2019 · 620
A Poem to Star Dust
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Do you recall being stardust?
I don’t.
But, that’s what they say.
Elements forged in fusion’s crucible;
atoms born in the hearts of stars.
Do you recall being a comet’s tail?
Do you recall a time in space?
I don’t,
but then, it’s been a while.
Do you recall the lakes and streams;
swimming as fish,
or being water?
Do you recall the plains
when we roamed as beasts,
great and small?
Were you an antelope, a butterfly, a bird?
Were you a flower?
Were you Cleopatra?
Was I…Anthony, or just
some tea in Cleopatra’s cup?
(Did Cleopatra even drink tea?
I don’t know.)
Do you recall when you said
you loved me?
I do.
They told me,
“don’t fall in love with stardust.”
But then, what choice did I have?
we are all star dust.
Sep 2019 · 747
a slip of the....
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019

              spilled          some
        on                  the

Floor and
                                               as they lay
                                    ­  surmount
I've    ever     written.

                                 ...and I lay down my pen for a broom.
Sep 2019 · 293
My Cat, The Great Hunter
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
Tail twitch.
Cat crouch.
Haunches high.

…silly squirrel…

Tail fairly ***** now
(never understood…
won’t that announce
the cat’s about to pounce?).

that’s it squirrel…

oh yeah…

...silly rodent…

…stay right there...

don’t climb that tree…

…good squirrel...oh!..

you’re in SUCH trouble…

…weren’t a screen door in the way.
Watching My always-indoor cat fantasizing of his next great hunt, then I get his toy and let him **** some feathers on a string.
Sep 2019 · 185
What Form of Flames
Jeff Lewis Sep 2019
He wondered—
the mode of perdition’s redress.

No need of brimstone;
sufficient are memories;

— The End —