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William Marr Sep 6
now that autumn is here
it's hard to avoid
biting insects and pecking birds

but he finds it impossible to moan
no sooner has a wound opened up
than it's filled with sweet juice
Sep 6 · 156
AT THE DINNER TABLE
William Marr Sep 6
bloated by famine in Ethiopia
the stomach must now digest
a TV commercial
of delicious cat food
cholesterol free
Sep 6 · 81
THE NEGATIVE WORLD
William Marr Sep 6
Beating gongs and drums

they celebrate light
in a world
where black
is white
Jul 26 · 110
A PROMISING MORNING
William Marr Jul 26
I don’t care what the weatherman says
this is a promising morning

here and there
I see piercing birdcalls
making slits
long and short, wide and narrow
on the black sky
to let light in
William Marr Jul 26
now
your mouths must stay away
from this big bowl
and go to the ocean
to assume your own responsibility

or to another shore
to make lots of money
that will stuff up your pockets
and your souls
and let your heads stay forever in the hothouse
so well-fed and well-clad
that you won't have to think of today
or tomorrow

*Before an experiment on dolphin communication with humans was terminated,  scientists had to train the two dolphins that were used in the experiment so that they could survive in the ocean.
Jul 26 · 158
FEET AND WHEELS
William Marr Jul 26
you slow feet that walk step by step

be quiet and move aside



make way for the wheels in fast approach

blowing horns and puffing black smoke
Jul 12 · 205
DAYBREAK
William Marr Jul 12
a pair of birds making love on the branch
shake down an innocent leaf

smack! with the slap of a huge palm
a newborn utters its first cry
while the exhausted moon shuts her eyes
to the sun’s ever reddening face
Jul 12 · 85
SUN UMBRELLA
William Marr Jul 12
competing with the sunny world for glory
you prop up a flowery umbrella
a little sky of your own

then you turn your head around
and with a sweet smile
scorch a pair of eyes
hidden behind
a sunglasses
Jul 12 · 92
STILL LIFE
William Marr Jul 12
standing by the window
an emaciated vase
is singing a sentimental ballad
while tearing down
from its heart
petal by petal
the withered
love
William Marr Jul 5
from hearing the word flying
to
thinking of flying
to
longing to fly
to
learning to fly
to
flapping her wings

she finally
soared high into the sky
amid the applause and cheers

that was when she realized
the immensity
of the universe
Jul 5 · 59
FRIENDSHIP
William Marr Jul 5
you wave your hand
without glancing back
walk towards the horizon
becoming a tiny dot
and disappear

with a heavy heart I turn around
yet find you right there

by my side
May 25 · 679
ON NOVEL CRONA STREET
William Marr May 25
unmasked
big eyes
of glass windows

staring
at a sea
of emptiness
May 25 · 86
SONG OF THE HOMELESS
William Marr May 25
Vastness belongs to the oceans
emptiness, the sky
chill, the bones
hunger, the stomach

and the bodies
stretched out or bent
face up or face down
belong to the streets
May 25 · 128
REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK
William Marr May 25
here
everything seems so natural
so straightforward
as if there were no oppression
bending or twisting
in this world

innocent hands
all joyously stretching
to reach the sky
May 25 · 71
COO COO COO
William Marr May 25
it must be a childhood playmate
calling from outside the window
with a soft low voice
coo coo coo
waking me up early in the morning

a partridge
a dove
a lingering owl
or you
a tired wanderer on the earth
returned to play
hide-and-seek
Mar 16 · 196
WASTEBASKET
William Marr Mar 16
with mouth wide open
it’s now ready
to spew in your face
the trash of life
it has long
swallowed
Mar 16 · 538
PAINTING
William Marr Mar 16
pin you down like a butterfly
on a sheet of paper
with the tip of the pen
of reality

see if you can still smile
Mona Lisa
Mar 4 · 166
SONG OF A RAINDROP
William Marr Mar 4
SONG OF A RAINDROP

the closer to the ground
the faster my heart beats
life has barely begun
it now has to end

even if the wind suddenly changes
or there comes a hurricane
I am sure I won't be blown far

no glow of fire
no howling
no ground-shaking explosions
the world
with a tearful eye
watches me
descend
Mar 1 · 581
GENESIS
William Marr Mar 1
God said                                  Satan said
Let there be light                      Let there be shadows
and there was light             and there were shadows

God said                                  Satan said
Let there be mountains                      Let there be valleys
and there were mountains             and there were valleys

mountains of light                     valleys of shadows

God said                                   Satan said
Let there be humans                        Let there be beasts
and there were humans              and there were beasts

God said                                   Satan said
Let there be beasts                         Let there be humans
and there were beasts                    and there were humans

humanly beasts                             beastly humans
Mar 1 · 141
SELF-PORTRAIT
William Marr Mar 1
is this me?
i asked

this is me
you answered
Mar 1 · 347
AUTUMN LEAVES
William Marr Mar 1
Every leaf
helps
thicken
the carpet
&
soften
   (
   )
   (
the
   )
   (
fall
Feb 23 · 132
MIDNIGHT
William Marr Feb 23
with its constant stirring
the long pendulum
of the grandfather clock
finally thickened the time
and hypnotized grandfather to sleep

then at zero hour
it started to beat the war drum
**** **** **** **** .....
on a sleepless young man's chest
Feb 23 · 71
THE STATUE IN THE PARK
William Marr Feb 23
standing like this
(they call it immortality)
with a frozen smile and ponderous medals
is more barbaric
than lying in state
with a red rose on my chest

at dawn, two lovers awakened at my feet
and began reciting the beautiful engraved lies
between kisses and laughs
there was a sharp pain in my chest
at the very spot where the first ray of light hit
at the very spot where they pinned the red rose
William Marr Feb 2
a heart as cold and hard

as an iceberg


our warning hot air

is nothing to him

but a passing breeze
Feb 2 · 135
VOLCANO
William Marr Feb 2
seeing the wounds and scars

humans had caused on his body

he shook uncontrollably

and finally opened his mouth

boom!

to let out his burning anger
Jan 30 · 113
TREVI FOUNTAIN
William Marr Jan 30
I saw you in Roman Holiday years ago
but you are much thinner now
today is Monday
both you and your master have a day off
the sea horses make no waves
nor the Triton and the chariot

Wishing for a happy return
I stand with my back toward you
as done in the movie
and quickly toss
three five-hundred-lira coins

Hoping they won’t devalue too badly
before they hit bottom
When I visited Rome in 1992, Italy was in the middle of great depression
Jan 30 · 105
AT THE MOUNTAINSIDE
William Marr Jan 30
I met a little boy at a mountainside
who was quick to laugh and cry
tears had hardly rolled down his cheeks
when a sweet smile bloomed at his mouth

there was nothing purer than his sparkling tears
nothing more beautiful than his angelic face
I understood the intention of the Creator
and was moved by the child’s innocence

I stared at him with a deep feeling
warmth flooded my heart
tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes
when I looked again    he was gone
My very first poem, written in 1956 in Taiwan
Jan 27 · 76
NEW AND OLD
William Marr Jan 27
with every step
the pretentious
new shoes
jeer
at the memory
of
the old
Jan 27 · 253
CHINESE NEW YEAR
William Marr Jan 27
Maybe it’s the only way
to pop the dud days of the gone year
like popcorn

yet in lighting a string of firecrackers
hands that survived bullets and shells
still tremble uncontrollably
as if facing a fierce enemy
1/25/2020 was the Chinese New Year Day
Jan 3 · 73
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION
William Marr Jan 3
all old resolutions
fall with the crystal ball
during the Times Square countdown
----5--4--3--2--1--
0

YES

0
the best number
to start the new year

a shiny newborn balloon
pure and innocent
rises with joy amid magnificent fireworks
carrying no new prejudices
or old hatred
Jan 3 · 178
SHADOW
William Marr Jan 3
it never favors one over the other
regardless of skin colors --
white, yellow, brown or black
  
not even the most discriminating eye
can find any bone
to pick with
Jan 3 · 64
YOU ARE A HERO
William Marr Jan 3
-- in memory of Senator John McCain

after surviving a POW camp in Vietnam
you return to your country

YES! YOU ARE A HERO

after surviving the prison
of endless human hatred and conflicts  
you return to Heaven

YES! YOU ARE A HERO
Jan 3 · 257
2020
William Marr Jan 3
during this year
you'd better not
think one thing
say another
do something else

we all can see right through you
with our perfect vision --
20/20
Oct 2019 · 264
CÉZANNE’S STILL LIFE
William Marr Oct 2019
Lying back to back on a plate
an orange
and a banana
each dream
its own dream

Cézanne comes over
gives the banana
a half turn
Its graceful inner curve now
embraces the orange’s plumpness

Instantly the air softens
the color fluid
and rich
Oct 2019 · 184
PHOTOGRAPH
William Marr Oct 2019
The shutter flashes
your instant smile

In a mildewed evening years later
you stare at the yellowed album
and sigh

Happy days are gone
May 2019 · 376
A GRASSHOPPER’S WORLD
William Marr May 2019
1.

leaping upward
it finds plenty of room
in the world above

smothering lush green
suddenly lightens

the irrepressible joy of life
springs
up
and down
up
and down

2.

leaping upward
it is pleasantly surprised
to find

the sky is still so immense
the earth is still so vast
the summer is still so green

life is still undefined
William Marr Feb 2019
With a soft moist tongue
you set up a sensuous trap
waiting for careless little me
to drop in

and be shocked
at the discovery
that I am such
a tasty prey
Feb 2019 · 311
MOSQUITO THOUGHTS
William Marr Feb 2019
buzzing
in a sweltering
evening marsh
a swarm of mosquitoes
vexed and unsettled
waits
for a cool swoosh
from a toad
Feb 2019 · 253
TRADE
William Marr Feb 2019
Buying

unwrapping
the package
layer
after
layer

he finds
he has bought himself
a life
of
emptiness


*Selling

he dives
into the sea
of money

when he finds
he can't sell himself
dry
on land
Feb 2019 · 226
AN IDLE BUGLE
William Marr Feb 2019
Holding its breath
a bugle stands in the shadow
of history
patiently waits
for the approach
of a pair of fiery lips

Triumphantly it will rise
to call up
the hunters and hounds
who will set out before dawn
shouting and barking
for a game
of rabbits
or
humans
Jan 2019 · 345
CHEWING THE CUD
William Marr Jan 2019
Chewing the cud
can turn a long-lost spring
green

The older a cow gets
the more it foams
at its mouth
Jan 2019 · 332
GRAVITY
William Marr Jan 2019
after thinking the matter over
the apple gracefully let itself
go

bang
it landed right on the head
of Mr. Newton
dozing under the tree
Dec 2018 · 265
THE POOR OLD ROAD
William Marr Dec 2018
dusty and exhausted
the poor old road
keeps pleading for some rest

but the boys
keep laughing and shouting
and drag him down the hill
Dec 2018 · 208
SNOW
William Marr Dec 2018
overnight
it painted the earth
whiter than the white wall

let everything start over again
let the first big-letter poster
be simple and unambiguous
each stroke exact and deliberate
a single word –
MAN
Nov 2018 · 238
SHARING AN UMBRELLA
William Marr Nov 2018
Sharing an umbrella
I suddenly realize the difference between us

Yet bending over to kiss you
gives me such joy
as you try to meet me halfway
on tiptoe
Nov 2018 · 193
A ROAMING TREE
William Marr Nov 2018
pulled yourself up by the roots

then violently shook off

the clinging dirt

you who like to travel

let yourself go wandering

and find yourself again and again

in an unaccustomed climate



grasping your hand

I can feel the roots

that crave sunlight and water

climb up my arms

and cling to my heart

******* greedily

the remnant water droplets

from our moist homeland soil
Nov 2018 · 141
PILLS
William Marr Nov 2018
she became dizzy as her head swirled
with the yellow pills on her sweaty palm
and could not decide
whether to swallow them
or be swallowed by them

in fact she wondered if they were
the pills prescribed by her unfeeling doctor
or, in her desperation, the stars she grasped
from the sky last night

last night she kept telling her doctor
what she needed was love
not pills
but he just stood there with a cunning smile
take these, he said, you’ll feel better
in the morning

in the morning the room grew even darker
and more empty, she could hear
echoes of her own heartbeats
or, were they heartbeats of the room
banging her head with all its walls

scattering in the night sky
the yellow pills swirled
faster and faster
like shooting stars
Nov 2018 · 164
HALLOWEEN
William Marr Nov 2018
All hell breaks loose—
on this day
children wear hideous masks
to hide
their innocent faces

All hell breaks loose—
every day
adults wear innocent masks
to hide
their hideous faces
Oct 2018 · 306
FISH AND THE POET
William Marr Oct 2018
The fish
which jumped out of the water
struggled
and returned to the water

said to

the poet
who jumped in the water
struggled
but failed to return

Your world is indeed not livable
Oct 2018 · 91
APRIL FOOLS DAY
William Marr Oct 2018
April arrived
with a message on my desk
“Call Mr. Lyon—
Urgent !!!”

I dialed the number
“Sorry Mr. Lion can’t come to the phone right now
He is in the CAGE!”

Before I could put down my phone
her irrepressible laugh jumped out of the line
and bit off my ear, splashing blood
all over my face

It then attacked my innocent officemate
I stood by helplessly and watched him
roll about and eventually die
of laughter
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