I know now very clearly
the president of my country
does not care
about the costs we paid dearly
here to eradicate
the chains of hate, millions dead
in a civil war and an untold
number more
gone from murder by lynching,
bombs on churches,
shots killing marchers and students
and Martin Luther King Junior.

I want the world to know,
especially Haiti and Africa, that I won't
go another day without praying
to the Good Lord
to show us the way out of this.
I will devote as much time in a day
as it takes to wash my soul clean
in the name of this president.
Too many people have died.
Too many people feel hopeless.
I want the world to know
one day very soon,
the better angels
of our natures
will coalesce in mass to eradicate
the hate from our Oval Office
to stitch again quick up
to our psychic wounds
the tourniquet he removed.

I was going to apologize here in the notes for being political.
I am beginning to believe it is almost impossible not to be though.
I'm not claiming allegiance to any party, but rather an allegiance
to my country.
Happy Birthday, MLKjr. born January 15, 1929.

how many poems are written about
love and hate
living life and welcoming death
happiness and sadness
the fearful and fearless
sanity and madness?

how many poems are written about
darkness and light
the sun and the moon
the stars and the galaxy
the universe and our planet?

how many poems are written about
the trees and the rivers
the mountains and the valleys
the animals and sea creatures
the oceans and the land
the sky and the clouds
nature and everything it provides?

how many poems are written about
anxiety and depression
suicide and living life to the fullest
music and silence
philosophy and art
incarceration and liberation
coffee and tea
booze and drugs
war and peace
politics and religion
sex and celibacy
masturbation and addiction
and those who use it
for recreation and those who
believe it’s an abomination?

how people are drunk?
drunk on alcohol
drunk on love
drunk on books
drunk on ideas
drunk with magic
happening all around them

how many poems does it take
to sing?

how many words do you need to
piece together to end this poem?

as many as it takes
until everything is
swallowed into the
abyss of nothing

The Holy show
is put on
year after year,
but it's not the same
now you're not here;
the whole performance
lacks a certain something,
my son.

We exchange gifts and cards,
put on the lights
and decorations,
stock up on things
for the Holy feast,
get ready for the big day,
but it's not the same
now you're away.

The big day comes,
the feast is cooked
and set,
table arrange
and places laid,
wine or beer,
crackers pulled,
but something is missing:
you're not here.

A father talks to his dead son
 Dec 2017 William A Poppen
Laine

Can you sit with me
on a Saturday night
and not get drunk?
Would you take me
out for dinner instead
to show me off, lead me
away from a hot stove,
follow a country road
to show me the stars?
Someone out there
is like this, but
I  don't know
where he is.

 Dec 2017 William A Poppen
Laine

he crept along
the edge of my tent.
i peeked, asked
how it went.
he said he loves her
and left.
but then he came again,
helped me pick grain
to grind for bread,
kissed my hand
and traced the callouses
on my finger pads,
wondered aloud
about life's pageant
of work, work, work
and death.
i noticed as he walked
away, his head
was down, his feet
slow to go home.
my grandmother taught
me that men would come
like sweet pups
to my window, try to
convince me
of their loyalty, their big,
brown eyes lethal
in drawing me, their tails
wagging in hope.
she said men are like dogs.
they love anyone
who will feed them
and give them love
but would run like the wind
when the door
was left open,
only to return
when they are hungry
or cold.
he came again
to the edge of my tent
and this time
i slept.
this time i dreamed
of wide, open windows
and wild
breezes.
i dreamed i was the one
who left.

the idea that men are similar to dogs (not all negative) is rooted in centuries of oral storytelling and ancient-version fairy tales.
source: "women who run with the wolves" by dr. clarissa pinkola estes
(a joke i heard is cuz they like to bury their bones. :) )
 Dec 2017 William A Poppen
r

Night, that cheating wife
of the Sun pulls on
her black panties

the ones with a thong
and glittering sequins
that stll lets the moon shine
singing his silent love song

until dawn comes around
and she slides off her dark
stockings from each leg

slowly one by one
before her husband awakes
and asks her to break
him a golden egg

for breakfast, over easy
my sweet woman
and let the yolk run.

I can't forget what never happened,
With false memories of you.
I wish to forget the events that did
The ones that haunt me still.
The ribbons and bows of preparations,
The unbridled joy of celebrations;
The returning  from varied vacations,
The last corner turn onto our street.
The Sunday meals with family,
Grandkids bouncing on our knees
While I sit content by you.
Afternoons with books and tea,
Steeped in a murder mystery.
The silent walks beneath our galaxy;
Entwined and wrapped watching t.v.,
The quiet evenings burning fires,
The passion of our own desires.
Or just laying awake while you sleep.
I placed the whats in the who, where, when;
Recalling shadows of future events,
That won't be happening again.

I don’t like tuna fish.

I don't like it the way
I don't  like
men who study
little girls

I don't like it the way
I don't like
bullies
and
rich people
who won't share
or poor
people who are
cruel to
their own kind
because they have
to put their
pain somewhere.

I don’t like tuna fish
because my mother
told me, "eat it--
it's good for you" the way
she insisted I accept
the rest of
her distasteful
lies.

I dont like how the taste
of canned tuna finds
its way back into
my mouth long
after its been swallowed  
and shit out.

It reminds me of the
unbearable
that I thought I survived--
that I thought I left behind
but didn't.

By:  Evelyn Augusto

Oh! anniversary of loss
I grieve--
like a child-less-mother,
whose breast knows
the phantom itch
of need:  
the pinch of teeth, the
weight of life filling her--
the regret of not savoring
the tug and pull of love
a little longer.

And so our last night
together, for me,
came too soon.  
And now the eleventh
day of every
month passing--
I die a little more to you.

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