Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Vernon Waring Sep 2015
children dream
in peaceful slumber
no monster intrudes
on their gentle breathing -
as soft    as delicate
as their first prayer

           but somewhere
           some unfathomable nightmare
           will soon spread over the landscape

           for this innocent night
           to end
Vernon Waring Jun 2015
I am upset
That my car gets
Ten miles to the gallon,
And the car I bought
With a defective horn
Was obsolete
The year I was born,
And my washing machine
Has a habit each day
Of coloring my clothes
A nondescript gray,
And my calculator's been
An unruly guide,
Subtracting when I add,
Multiplying when I divide.

Should I sit back in silence,
Pondering what to do?

But my mind can't solve this awful mess.
It's defective too.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
I. The Assassin

    Smoke and dust
    **** oxygen
    from his puny lungs
    as he rises on an
    ancient freight elevator

    At the warehouse window,
    he assumes a darker mask,
    his bony finger
    tracing the trigger's curve,
    his beady eyes narrowing in
    on the slow moving target:
    that famous sculpted
    head of state
    so perfect
    in the plaza light

    Finally he will plummet -
    a bruised puppet
    slipping through
    a surreal night,
    a phantom of smoke and dust
    blinking in the glare
    of a Dallas lineup

II. The First Lady

    Her deep whispery voice
    unspools a reel of film:
    crowds, blinding sun,
    a promise of shade
    in the distance,
    then a sudden odd quizzical look
    on her husband's face

    She recalls that moment
    of slow motion shock:
    that serrated piece of his skull
    floating lazily
    in a blur
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
is a strange animal

with lines
and then
perilously   freakishly    faulknerically
but not to worry

the trick is to ***** around
with the readers' heads a bit
let them wonder
   what's going on
get them used to
   obnoxious departures
   sudden jolts
      of expression
   devious detours into
     obscenity, indecency

these are the
tourette's moments
of a poet's creative life:
a move to keep those with the
attention span of an infant gnat
awake  alive  responsive

some may expect poetry
to take them down
safe  bland  routes:
         a snowfall enhanced by red robins
         perched on a rustic fence

         a lake with canoeing lovers cooing
         in a shimmering moment
         heartfelt elegies
         quaint quatrains
         hip haikus

but can these images
really keep you entranced?

well, can they?

it isn't like i didn't warn you
or the horse you rode in on
Vernon Waring Feb 2017
towels mingle toss tease
in an unforgiving rush of water
merrily tumbling through waves
rich with detergent

meanwhile dark fabrics twist
in an angry climactic surf
while lighter colors undulate elsewhere
in a wet frivolous frenzy

dainty lingerie -
in yet another machine -
gently sails in a delicate ballet...
whites, pinks, muted yellows and blues
intermingle playfully as they wait
for the cool rinse cycle to commence
and perform its own unique magic

finally the dryers prevail
and the folded garments rest on a table -
the warm spent players basking
in a glorious afterglow
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Her lilting voice,
sweet and soothing,
once moved audiences
to laughter and tears.
Now, at bedtime,
she hones her celebrated art
for her daughter's enjoyment,
regaling her with stories
of wizards and talking birds,
of princesses and castles
and magical visits to a
glittering fantasyland.

She tucks her child in
and listens to her prayer,
then sleep tiptoes
into the quiet room
as the little girl
turns over gently,
all her lovely dreams
just waiting to unfold
like a glorious sunrise.
Vernon Waring Mar 2017
Alliterative alliteration
always amuses
and excuses
my silly muses
Vernon Waring Jun 2015
and now we sing of whitney...
nothing can contain her she
takes the shape she fills
the space she moves
through ether
nothing can
stop her
like quicksilver in constant
motion she flickers and a million
candles glow at her loveliness
nothing can blur her face so
perfect that angels hush to
behold her and when she sings "i
will always love you" only the
moon can hold that
magnificent voice
soaring beyond
the crest of

a ceiling of stars can only
welcome this sparkling
laughing luminous
slip of a girl as she
ascends far from
earthly cares
up up up
she glitters in a swirl of

she is almost home
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
I will be brief,
If I may,
In what I do,
In what I say.
Your words hurt me
More than you know.
I'm leaving now
As blankets of snow
Cover the earth
Beautifully white,
Flakes whirling fiercely
On a harsh winter night.
It's almost that time
For peace and good will,
But I am still hurt
And so I will still
Hold on to my feelings,
My anger, my doubt,
Wondering as I leave
If you'll figure out
What it means to be left,
To be tossed aside,
Forgotten, bereft -
Alone without pride.
Yes, my heart's broken,
And my loss is deep,
But now I know just what you are -
A miserable, heartless creep.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
TV weather people
I find to be a pain
With their doomsday reports
Of drenching rain,
Of raging winds
And threatening skies
And temperature's
Escalating highs

Easy on the eyes
Always gabby
They give more advice
Than the current "Dear Abby"

"Keep your pets inside
During a monsoon,
Grab an umbrella
If the skies reflect gloom,
Apply sunscreen
And avoid the sun's glare -
Boots, jackets, coats, gloves...
Always be prepared!"

And forecasters' eyes light up
When a storm is due
And if there's snow
They'll remind you
To get bread and milk
And a load of rock salt
And don't forget to shovel
Your snowy sidewalk

Their do's and their don'ts
Are a pain in the ****
I advise all of them
To keep their mouths shut!
Vernon Waring Oct 2015
Masked Invaders
on the scene

Aliens from Mars
Lady Gaga
Rock & Roll Stars

and Movie Stars
dripping with jewels

The Pope
a Priest
a Flying Nun
a Fireman
and a
Ray of Sun

As witches fly by
on this frightening night
we know there is no end
to its devilish delights
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
I am leaping fountains and quiet parks,
museums of culture and halls of learning,
a place of lofty dreams and stark ambitions,
colliding like campaign posters on a wind-swept parkway.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Who wrote these famous lines?  I know.
His name is Frost.  How apropos!
The poem has woods and a lake,
A farmhouse, horse, and falling snow.

There's also a harness bells' shake,
A sweep of wind and downy flake.
Though some say symbols do abound,
Frost wrote it for remembrance sake.

His rhyme scheme's difficult yet sound.
How he labored to put it down -
A work with a majestic sweep,
Simple yet so deeply profound.

The final words are very deep.
They speak of promises to keep,
And a journey that will end in sleep,
And a journey that will end in sleep.
Vernon Waring Aug 2015
Could we have a moratorium
On nature poetry please
A resounding snoratorium
On meadows, lakes, and trees

A halt to poems about sunsets,
Full moons, snowfalls and such
These tickle the fancy of nature buffs
But for others - not so much

A cutback on odes to roses,
Summer's glory or butterflies
Fewer tributes to all things blooming
And birds that fill the skies

Let's take a break from winter scenes
And the beauty of an ancient sea
Try one about the human race
Think of the novelty
Vernon Waring Nov 2015
Think of it as a bad dream...

You're sleeping soundly
on a Greyhound bus

Suddenly you're awakened
by cold water
creeping up your shoes
inching over your ankles

You jump up
only now it's too late

The door of the bus
is locked
from the outside

The windows are stuck and
the glass can't be shattered
no matter how hard you pound

The water is no longer gradual
It is swift, rushing upward
enclosing your body
past your waist
up to your chest
covering your neck

In seconds
there will be no place
left to breathe
just the rapid snakelike swirl
of ***** water

You're left submerged
Your eyes sealed shut
Your hands gnarled
in a deathlike grip...
You're hopelessly caught
in the rising, surging
pull of water
moving out of a river
onto the city streets
Vernon Waring Jan 2017
with its scent of burning leaves -
a month lacking light
casting shadows
everything dark and ashen

always moving
edging into desolation
always moody
a strange month
with its clouds
hovering close to the ground
filmy unwelcoming clouds rising slowly
all day
enveloping everything
by nightfall
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Gemini's delightful.
Cancer is polite.
Leo is romantic.
Virgo's quite bright.
Libra is creative.
Scorpio, tenacious.
Sagittarius, festive.
Capricorn, vivacious.
Aquarius is witty.
Pisces, prolific.
Aries is charming.
Taurus, terrific.
Taurus is quite stubborn.
Aries, a frightful *****.
Pisces, a flaming cheapskate.
Aquarius is mostly crude.
Capricorn's nasty and spiteful.
Sagittarius, shallow and weak.
Scorpio's flagrantly flighty.
Libra, annoying and meek.
Virgo's simply pompous.
Leo, clearly deranged.
Cancer, always impossible.
Gemini, downright strange.
Vernon Waring Oct 2015
theres something so final about a period
which is as it should be

commas always get in the way
coming and going like anxious insects
trying to make themselves important
as they scatter over a page
already overrun with too many words

question marks have a slightly
swooping profile curve just above
a period
theyre kind of elegant
they remind me of a swan
with a regal attitude
i saw once on a pretty pond

parentheses embrace words like **** curves

and brackets are like steel gray bookends
fencing words in

exclamation points are so abrupt
and rude and angry
like an outburst
in a classroom
like fireworks
in a funeral parlor
dont mess with them
they mean business

hyphens dashes colons semicolons
and quotation marks
that surround what we say
and dont forget the ellipses that
take the place of
words we omit

sometimes i like to write stories and poems
with no punctuation no capitalization
no grammatical rationale whatsoever

dare i ask

how did i do
Vernon Waring Aug 2015
filled with necessities:
a revolver
razor blades
sleeping pills
a rope
a map
cell phone
car keys

all useless
without some
false bravado
Vernon Waring Nov 2015
It waddles across the landscape
an untidy blubbering mess
that cannot hide its hugeness
its folds of flabby flesh

Its expanding multiple chins
increase its oozing girth
a monstrous shape that maneuvers
to threaten the planet earth

It moves like a massive shadow
with its striking stature and depth
it destroys the people's planet
with one smothering crushing step
Vernon Waring Dec 2017
Sometimes I just want to break free
from pen on paper

I want to get away from the sound of
my ancient typewriter clacking away
my fingers creating images dialogue feelings
the actor inside me wanting to
crash through

Sometimes I want to break away
from the pool of words
I want to startle someone
make them understand
my search for clarity
my desire to
take down the
fourth wall
the mad architect
shuffling through
a mass of blueprints
looking for the one
that shrieks order
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
the judges liked brianna, a tiny girl
from texas with the janis joplin rasp in
her  voice...the headstrong teen had
been on the road forever to get to the
"american idol" audition site in dallas.
the judges really liked her sunny girl-
next-door looks, her honey blonde
ponytail tied with a bright yellow
ribbon, her sweet, innocent smile,
and then she went on to wow them
with her soulful rendition of "me and
bobby magee." she thanked the judges
for giving her the green light to go on
to hollywood for the next big step in
the competition. she could not believe
her good fortune and told them
everything was truly possible and
how her family and jesus had brought
her to this magical moment.

...just seconds before she was called
into the audition room, she'd been
daydreaming about the fourteen-year-
old ****** boy she deflowered in a ford
focus the weekend before. it happened
in a mall parking lot just a mile from
her home. she was trying to remember
the boy's name: justin? jason? joshua?
something with a "j" and then - just like
that - someone was summoning her
into the judging area and she quickly
forgot about the boy. she had so many
things to contemplate now. stardom
was within her reach and, besides
that, what's in a name anyway?
Vernon Waring Sep 2017
I may as well warn you.
This poem will not end in death.
I haven't decided what it will be about.
But it won't be about death.
I don't have any desire to explain it
or peddle it
or wrap a ribbon around it.

There are so many other things to explore.
Why waste time on something no one really
knows anything about?

I'm being rhetorical.

Sort of.
Vernon Waring Jun 2015
a blank white page stares at me

it seems to be
taunting me
daring me to fill it
with lush language
and clever rhyme schemes

around the same time i imagine
a white flag waving on a full moon
a moon swimming lazily
in a galaxy of

this scene of cosmic perfection
enhanced by my lopsided logic
somehow inspires me

i take a long deep breath
and my pen begins its journey
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
with two gin & tonics
mary jo
moves behind the wheel
on this lonely

she squirms
in the unadjusted seat
at the insects zooming
in the headlights' glare

putting the car
in drive
her twenty-second ride
begins in panic
hurtling down a
dirt road
littered with ruts
her right foot straining
to reach the gas pedal

she approaches the
rickety bridge
but its flat
makes no impression
as she proceeds
forward and
into the swift current
the tidal splash of
two tons of metal

the nervous senator
walks toward the cottage
wondering if mary jo
will find her way back

he suddenly remembers that
a man will soon step
on the moon
but his thoughts
are diverted
by the fragile sound
of girlish chatter
rising from the clammy darkness
like an aria
or an omen
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
I am the people and the neighborhoods,
the pretzel vendor and the bank president,
the silver spoon child and the child who hungers.

I am public forum and barroom debate,
an investigative reporter and his angry subject,
the jury's patient search for truth,
a silent vigil outside City Hall,
and I can hear, on this humid summer night,
the voice of history's resounding approval.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
someone still likes
the way words
race across a page
like brazen insects

someone still marvels
at the magic and movement
of poetry
rhythms that challenge
and calm the heart

someone still respects
the simple music
of a single sonnet
so sweetly sounding
the reader whirls
in exhilaration
like a ballerina
in a sunlit room

now take the words
and make them twist
and turn and jump
and rise and fall

you are their master
their leader their captain
make them bow to your voice
make them cower and despise you
call you hateful names
curse your power

bind them up
in a choke hold
watch the blood
fill their faces
their tiny mouths
squealing in pain

then release them slowly
into the night
whispering your forgiveness
currying their favor
for you know
in their naked humility
in their confusion and fear
they are
after all
only words
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
In an unreserved room,
deep in drapes and gloom,
stood a wild-eyed deaf-mute
in a beltless cape,
his fingers speaking parts he played
in his stepsister's ****.
Vernon Waring Aug 2015
her mother called her
a textbook virgo,
levelheaded, organized,

and every spare moment she had
was spent writing

most of it was hopeful...
possibilities outlined neatly
on elite paper stock -
serious poems to be
submitted to editors,
poems to celebrate
special occasions,
outlines of plots
for short stories
she planned to write

her personal writings
were deeper, sadder

she wrote reams in a daily
journal about troubled
relationships, tiffs with
her husband and kids, her
competitive sister, each
comment meticulously penned
in an elegant flowing manner

but that final note she left
was the shocker,
written in a freakishly
jumpy, shaky hand,
overly loopy, jagged,
a note on cheesy motel
stationery, filled with longing,
with despair,
words spewing out of her pen,
out of control words
scrawled far from home,
the solitary writer engaged
in an emotional seizure,
facing her phantoms alone
and losing
Vernon Waring Jun 2015
Violins straining
lights playing
on the heroine's face
her eyes misty
with suffering
the handsome hero
caresses her frail hand

her hand rests
on the chenille bedspread
her face passive
against an ivory pillow
her eyes close
soaring voices rise
lights dim

the hero
his lady
the room
Vernon Waring Jun 2015
My baby's born
a blank page

at first, no words graze
his pale bloated belly

fresh from a nap
he giggles mindlessly
as computer keys
tickle him rudely
their dark impressions clumped
just above his knotted navel

he will not mind
as I fold him neatly into thirds
slip him into
a number ten envelope
drop him in a mailbox
en route to an editor
whose judgment will not be clouded
by flesh and blood
pride and joy
Vernon Waring Dec 2015
what is more useless than beauty?

it's nothing more than an arrangement
   of features that please the eyes
a form of visual perfection
   that inspires awe
a whim of god to distribute it
   in modest numbers

but it still works its magic
when it sashays down a street
and children at play stop
as if a goddess is in their midst
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
The demons of drugs, drink, and excess
Seem like malevolent strangers
Purveyors of madness and mayhem
Symbols of doom and danger

The demons that overwhelm us
The demons that we hate
Threaten us at every turn
They lurk, they taunt, they wait

We should look deeper every time
We fear the demon's flaws
For they may not be hiding from us
They may not be so strange after all

We should look within ourselves
And heed that urgent call
For the demons may be staring at us
From that mirror on our wall
Vernon Waring Oct 2015

I fell between the cushions of his super-comfy sofa
with pretzel salt snuggled between my pages.
Another sign of disrespect for inanimate objects
includes cat ***** stains that now soil my beautiful
maroon leather cover embossed in silver with his
initials. This guy is very mercurial, very spontaneous.
He just started a brand new job last week and he's
decided to leave it because it's "just not" for him.
He's planning to move away to another city, reinvent
himself - and revise his resume -  so he can next
fit into a blue chip job he's never held at some Fortune
500 company he's never worked in...and probably
never will. He's also planning to magically "become"
a Wharton grad which he knows will require a very
attractive resume sure to score points with head
honchos, much more impressive than the associates
degree he actually acquired from some obscure
community college in Jersey. He also plans to "create"
a wife and two kids. Employers, he believes, like
a family man, not a bachelor with a roving eye. Family
men get raises, promotions, they move up, they fit in.
This guy knows no boundaries and he's got it all
figured out. His fictional alter ego will escape detection
because he's pretty certain most companies never
really check the backgrounds of potential employees,
but he qualifies all this by confiding that such a generalization
may not be 100% true.


He has yet again changed his mind. He's not going to
leave the job after all. Some big shot at the company
complimented him on how quickly he's learning the
ropes. Looks like that career renovation is no longer
on the table. And one of the new hires - a redhead
named Lisa - who started the same day he did asked
him to join her for lunch. He digs the forward type so
he says "yes" and it turns out they clicked.


****** Day for me! He's now decided to forego any
more diary entries although he refers to me as his
"journal" - obviously a more butch designation than
the antique genteel "diary" of years past. He's decided to
stay on the job, stay focused, blah, blah, blah. Being a diary
is no walk in the park. I've given him all these pages
to confide in...I've given him an outlet for his deepest
thoughts, his wildest dreams, his secret desires, and now
he's ditching me like a cheap suit. (Pardon the cliche.)
Excuse me as I prepare for the old heave-**.
Ingratitude is always a *****!
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Suspending moments
above this spindle stretch,
the rope tugged tight
under his shifting feet,
his eyes catch the spotlight
shining on ring one.

Transfixed by the knife-thrower,
he too is strangely thrown,
hands leaping endlessly
through a somersault sky;
hands to head, hands to chest,
then to thigh,
while knives turn quickly
and a liquored mob shouts:
voices breaking
against the freak show tent.
Vernon Waring Jan 2017
She was a shy, detached woman
shortchanged at birth

In all her life
she never opened her arms to anyone
never returned affection
her heart an icy chamber
stoic, closed

Half the time she was penned up in isolation
trapped in an asylum
a life cruelly altered by thorazine
and shock treatments
her soundtrack a choir of madwomen
their voices running riot
in her only home -
a snake pit

She was trapped in a Bronte novel
her mournful eyes fixed
on some distant invisible point

She remained disconnected
a doomed woman
a doomed time
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
One snowy night years ago I was driving home
and my ancient classically beautiful ford
thunderbird spun around in a perfect
three hundred and sixty degree
direction careening but in a
slow-motion way on slick ice. I recall pleading
in a frantic prayer to keep my car free
from collision while my body was
angling crazily like a crash test
dummy veering dizzily
but I survived.

I drove home recapturing my breathing with
renewed respect for God's good grace and
my incredible brush with mortality and I
wondered about the snow that falls
settles paints prettifies and terrifies
our universe, that never lets us
forget the drift between life
and death, between fear
and serenity.
Vernon Waring Mar 2017
most of the time
he drifted
in and out
of cindy's life

the man she once looked up to
was now enslaved
by the bottle
his hair receding
his face lined
his smile

he told her he had a new girl
in atlantic city
a dancer he met
in one of the resort's
endangered casinos

cindy pictured the girl as
brunette bangs
hard eyes
a lap dancer
hooked on something

the next morning
he threw a few twenties
on the kitchen table
left a note
in his hung over scrawl
about catching a
greyhound bus to a-c

he was already
out the door
on his way
to nirvana

when she read the note
all she thought was
'bye daddy...see you whenever'
Vernon Waring Nov 2015
Some people like a sometime friendship
Others say they like a sometime fling
Some people like a sometime lover
But I don't want any of those things

I only want your kisses every morning
I want to be the one who holds you tight
I only want to be yours exclusively
My everlasting love each day and night

Some people spend time spinning daydreams
Searching for someone they'll never find
Some people waste time chasing rainbows
But loving you is all that's on my mind

I only want to hold you every moment
I only want to know you will be mine
Never ending trust is what we'll always have
A love to share and treasure for all time

Some people say that I'm old fashioned
They say my wishes don't mean a thing
Some people just want part-time loving
But your true love makes me want to sing

I only want your sweet self near me always
I only need your love to set me free
Full-time loving's not filled with empty wishes
Full-time loving's made for you and me

Some people think love's just illusion
Fleeting like moments from the past
Some people seek the temporary
But what I seek's a love that lasts and lasts

I only want your kisses every morning
I want to be the one who holds you tight
I only want to be yours exclusively
My everlasting love each day and night
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Smiling upon her sleeping there
Graceful child with face so fair
With hair like flame and eyes so dark
And laughter like a meadowlark

Lovely child of summer light
Her prayer like music in the night
Her mind proceeds in peaceful flight
To dream of clowns and leaping kites

Sleeping through these silver dreams
Her breathing soft as gentle snow
That drifts upon December's trees
To light the darkened land below

Her quiet heart as light as wings
That fill the sky in early spring
Her hopes are bold and brave and bright
Her love as warm as candlelight
Vernon Waring Feb 2017
late morning
we're asleep
the phone rings

i hand it to her
she tells me
it's the drugstore
her prescription's ready

later i'll remember
her voice sounding
a little weary
but there's
no pain there
no urgency
yet there's something
not right
about her voice
something disembodied
like a lost voice

a little later
when i wake up again
she's facing me
her eyes are shut
then three rapid exhalations -
three in a row -
escape from her mouth

then there's silence

i call her name
there's no response

i scream her name
nothing happens

i touch her arm
she's warm
but her eyes remain closed
her hands are still

i phone my daughter
she says call 9-1-1
9-1-1 tells me what to do
i do what they say
then rescue people show up
and take over
then they rush her
to the hospital

my daughter drives me there
we go inside
but we don't want to

we don't want to hear
what we already know
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
I see ladies of a certain age
jump out at me,
breaking through sidewalks
with their floppy handbags
and floral dresses,
a gaggle of clowns
enjoying a last laugh,
giggling like girls
on a long-ago prom night.

Suddenly I'm charmed
by the vision
of a lovely young woman
greeting a tall man.
He hands her white orchids
and a beribboned box of candy.
The man does not see her
wink at me
as his massive arms encircle her
and the sidewalks open up again,
swallowing us up in seconds
while our aged revelers flee
in adolescent revolt.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
bukowski socialized with
                                             sean penn and madonna
but he did not care for
                                             the material girl with her airs,
acting like a literary
                                             poseur, name dropping, chatting
about swinburne, like
                                             some patron at a bloomsbury
salon. she even asked
                                             him if he would appear
in her raunchy *** book
                                             but he refused. bukowski
would complain to sean    
                                             about madonna's phony
behavior and sean would
                                             get furious and defensive.
bukowski just laughed it
                                             off. he valued sean as a
friend and an artist but
                                             he had no time for
madonna playing hip,
                                             he said, she's not being real.
bukowski treasured his
                                             daughter, his wife, his cats,
classical music and his
                                             muse, his way with words,
characters, situations.
                                             he was a regular guy
and a gifted poet...
                                             and everyone called him hank.
Vernon Waring Sep 2015
Eleven years ago, I was standing in
a field surrounded by towering
trees. As on many nights before, I
was taking my dog Scotty for a walk,
and then letting him run loose for a short
time. This particular night he seemed
anxious, restless. He began to howl - a
bloodcurdling, evil bark that shattered
the stillness on that crisp autumn evening.
He seemed to be responding to something
only he could sense and then there was
an enormous floating cloud, a sort of heavy
mist that filled the atmosphere quickly.
Suddenly a spaceship with blinking green
and yellow lights materialized and landed
not so far from where we were. I lost sight
of the dog, just heard him barking wildly in
the distance. A door opened on the spaceship
and a steel gray robotic creature with one red
eye in the middle of its head stepped out. It
was brandishing a silver sword and it was
then when the entire field became engulfed
in  an overwhelming darkness.

I was in shock and started to run.
Somehow, even with all this terror
and confusion, I made it home.
Breathless, anxious, fearful, I told
my wife what I'd seen and heard.
She approached me, grabbed my
trembling locked fist, and pried it
open; Scotty's leash fell soundlessly
on the rug. Startled and sobbing,
she shrieked, "Where's Scotty?
What happened to Scotty?"

I had no answer then.

Or now.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015

A moonless night in May.

Inside the compound,
everything appears to be
almost pitch black.

Night vision goggles lift
the veil of darkness.

With the goggles, everything inside...
         all the details of the home,
         become startlingly visible,
         revealing all in this surreal setting
         - suffused as it is with
           a dreamlike green hue.

And then there are the eyes
of those looking on...
     Osama Bin Laden's wives, children, couriers
     peeking out from doorways,
     huddled in rooms and hallways,
     their voices whispering in Arabic;
     those large curious eyes incredulous
     as they study these invaders
     with their goggles, their strange gear,
     their weapons drawn as they methodically
     carry out their mission.

This night so far four people have been silenced by gunfire.

The raiders are certain Bin Laden
is up ahead on the third floor.

They climb slowly up the
dangerously slick steps wet with
blood, moving with deliberation
toward their target's bedroom.

They hear suppressed shots fired
by their point man
and see a tall figure flee
back into a room.
He's been shot.
The men in pursuit enter the room and
more gunfire ensues.

A small cluster of people are also
there in the room - two women, three children -
eyewitnesses to history...

They are confused, dazed, shocked.

They see this wild man,
this phantom of our most torturous dreams,
writhing on the floor,
desperate, struggling,
about to take his final breath.
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
Feeling jumpy
Rapid heartbeat
Constant daydreaming
Smiling inappropriately
Butterflies in the stomach
Feverish but in a nice way
Extreme feelings of euphoria
A springlike rise in one's temperature
Hearing singing when there's no one there
An unexpected interest in romantic poetry and schmaltzy love songs
A sudden urge to dance

DIAGNOSIS: You're not sick -
                         You're just in love!
Vernon Waring Dec 2017
it's like me
landing suddenly
on an empty island
drifting on a sunless beach
stumbling over cold shifting sand
waves roaring
strong winds pounding me
like a dazed prizefighter
going down for the count
lost and alone
wondering what hopeless hell i'm in now
Vernon Waring Oct 2015
The friend I know
is not the friend I knew

His once open smile -
focused, pleasant -
has become a fast fade,
changing instantly
into a serious unforgiving expression,
a Dustin Hoffman smile,
fleeting, formidable,
a solemn face that closes gates,
builds walls,
seals fate,
the expression of an
enigmatic character
in a strange novel
speaking endlessly
with great authority
and then
just like that
with a turn of the page...
never ever appearing again
Vernon Waring Jun 2016
Some victims end up in a ditch somewhere
bullet holes in their heads

Others are buried six-feet-deep
in neglected pastures
or end up drawing
a last breath
in a seedy motel room

They become falling stars
their brief bios featured on
crime shows
their sad tales
filling the airwaves
their names forgettable
histories unremarkable
victims whose renown emerges only
from their sudden shocking demise

They become fodder
for the crime junkies...
curious insomniacs
watching docudramas -
america's nightmares
playing out on millions
ot tv screens

You can sense the sheer terror
victims feel...
their eyes flickering in the dark
when someone's hands
silence them
their screams muffled by
dissonant music swelling -
a crescendo of shrieks and sounds
building toward
that awful
final fade
Vernon Waring Jul 2015
We grieve as one to understand
how death could take this joyful man
who knew some days were swept with rain
and some nights filled with loss and pain
but knew the sun could light the way
and give him strength to face each day

And now at last he finds release
Sleep well my in peace
Next page