A Matter Of Opinion

Some folks might say you’re “picky.” Well, it’s one such word they’d use …

and that depends entirely on who’s expressing views.

“Persnickety,” “particular,” “fastidious,” or such,

can all be used to say that, well, perhaps you care too much.

And though I see how “anal” might describe your special zeal,

this girl prefers “meticulous,” which lends a different feel.

Dear, I need words with loving connotations to give praise.

Assiduous intentness manifests in sexy ways,

and there’s no doubt about it. You get everything just right.

You’ve got the perfect technique down; you demonstrate each night.

So I don’t mind you taking time and wanting things just so,

(yes, even when it’s good enough, and I wish we could go).

I know that when it’s my turn, you will take your time the same,

and that gives rise to ecstasy that makes me call your name.

So, fussy and punctilious are compliments, indeed.

You’re vigilant, self-disciplined, and know just what I need.

You’re ever-s0-0bservant, and your work is so precise.

Bravissimo, sweet man! Your eye for detail’s really nice.

His Favorite Things

Physics and math jokes and CPU towers,

open source software, and wizards with powers,

hobbits named Bilbo who chase after rings …

these are a few of his favorite things.

Linux and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,”

that rolly-polies are landbound crustaceans,

Lannisters fighting so they can be kings …

these are a few of his favorite things.

Cool 3-D printing, Joss Whedon, and Slashdot,

all pyrotechnics and building a flash pot,

knowing the reasons a pendulum swings …

these are a few of his favorite things.

When the code fails, when the part dings,

he is not deterred …

he simply revisits his favorite things,

and carries on like … a nerd!

Lyrics ©2015 Bridget Ayres

Set to Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things”

What Was Sown

That brute, Igor Wilhelm, got older each day

while sitting alone on his porch,

his once-strapping shoulders, a wilting display,

his words finding no one to scorch.

Way back in the day, he directed his brood

by yelling and swinging a belt,

those caught in his path all subject to his mood.

He’d brand them each day with a welt.

One night he fell down and called Junior for aid,

which drained the last charge from his phone.

His grown son decided it’s time that he paid,

and left him, to languish, alone.

Sickly

I feel like my body is rotting,

disintegrating into ash.

My blood is congealing and clotting.

My bones, like old wood, are too brash.

My organs are screaming for mercy.

They deal with the onslaught each day.

My trunk and my limbs grow more pursy,

until I won’t tell what I weigh.

The poison, I take for its blessing,

with fear of the fallout to come,

in hopes I can change my own dressing,

and find a foothold, though I’m numb.

When daylight will reach me next morning,

all progress I’ve made is reset.

Then, new horrors come without warning.

What hope I had found, I forget.

Condemned to repeat the disaster,

I wake up again out of spite.

Until fate has won, I’m still master

and choose not to give up this fight.

Oh Printrbot, Oh Printrbot!

100_1685*

Now the future is here;

it’s inside of my house!

My inventions appear

with the click of a mouse.

Filament from above

feeds extruder below.

Great productions thereof

I can watch as they grow.

Appearing before me

the stuff of my dreams,

or what downloads for free …

it’s as cool as it seems!

Oh, sweet 3-D printer,

a maker you’ve made me.

You’ve done it this winter,

so I serenade thee!

(*mustache cookie cutter by dhulihan)

Unscrutable

I don’t understand the folks who rant this time of year,

angry at the way some choose to wish them love and cheer.

How did “Happy Holidays!” become a hated phrase?

It’s a whole damned season that goes on for MANY days!

We still count Thanksgiving and the new year coming in.

Don’t say “Merry Christmas,” and some act like it’s a sin.

I want happy wishes spread, involving god(s), or not.

It’s not the words I care ’bout, but the warmth behind the thought.

What Santa Doesn’t Know

rhymaphilia

It’s time for Christmas! Ho-Ho-Ho! I hope that Santa doesn’t know

my indiscretions here and there, like how (inside my head) I swear…

’cause other drivers make me mad. On Santa’s List, they’d count as bad.

In fact, it really is quite best he doesn’t know. He hasn’t guessed.

It’s also fine he doesn’t know that if a cookie’s not just so…

I can’t expect to serve it, right? And since it’s more or less a “bite…”

I go ahead and eat it. So? I’m just saying…he can’t know.

And since I don’t mind telling you, there has been something else I do…

From time to time I hit some sales to buy things for my family’s males,

but find that I am fixed upon some darling thing I then try on.

And if it doesn’t look too bad, and if the price won’t make me sad,

I take it…

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It’s a Christmas Miracle!

It’s only eight days until Christmas arrives,

and I, wanting so bring cheer to friends’ lives,

did go to the post office closest to me,

walked straight to the counter, no line I could see …

Weird. Had they just closed? Could it now be past five?

No, 4:29! Lucky time to arrive!

To make sure my eyes weren’t just playing a joke …

to prove I’m not dreaming and hadn’t awoke,

I looked at the thrilled postal worker, who smiled,

and asked, ‘Please Sir, tell me, has my mind gone wild?’

He lifted his finger to make a “shhh” sound.

He liked the place empty, and looked all around.

He said, “Please don’t jinx me. I want this to last.

See, it’s never happened, in all Christmas’ past.”

The Longest 40 Minutes

The longest forty minutes start at six o’clock each day,

right after you have called to say that you are on your way,

for I know you have left from work and they don’t own your time,

and yet, I’m not there with you, lips in contact, limbs entwined.

I picture you inside your car, the highway lane below,

lip-synching to whatever song is on the radio,

hair lit up and golden in the light the sunset’s cast,

passing by each exit, till you come to ours, at last.

Although it takes place daily in a standard business week,

this being the tenth year of our romantic marriage streak,

it still gets me excited, like the first time that we met,

awaiting your arrival at a locale we’d preset.

By now, the only difference is, we live where we will meet.

It’s not a restaurant. It’s just a residential street.

Although they’re long, these forty minutes do come to an end,

and I am reunited with my husband and best friend.

Growing Old

I want to be with you forever.

I plan to grow old by your side.

 We’ll go on adventures together,

both leaving no option untried.

Someday, we may have matching canes,

or blend all our food into soup.

We’ll talk, on the porch, of our pains,

and snog, even though we booth droop.

Then one day, when I need a scooter,

we’ll add on a special sidecar

so I may ride close to my suitor,

not caring if we look bizarre.

I welcome the wrinkles and gray,

wait up for the dentures and flab,

don’t mind if you need a toupée,

or stop for an afternoon nap.

As long as I’m with you, life’s great.

There’s no place that I’d rather be.

You’ll always be my perfect date,

at twenty-six or ninety-three.

Awkward

I haven’t been in public much the last decade or so,

my social interaction freezing in a lost tableau.

When I did get back out there, I was thinking of it wrong.

But I should know that nothing stays the same for quite that long.

Since I have lived with chronic illness, nothing is the same.

At times, I do not recognize this person I became.

The changes were involuntary, yet I can’t go back.

So, helplessly, I’ve seen my life careening off its track.

The Sick Me is so different than the Healthy Me had been,

which means I oft feel awkward, even here, in my own skin.

But being out in public is far worse than when alone.

When out there, I must live as though my woes are unbeknown.

Here, in my home, I don’t pretend that I am not in pain.

I don’t pretend my illnesses aren’t clouding up my brain.

In fact, I don’t pretend at all. That’s why I’m staying home,

and working out my feelings in another silly poem.

TGIO!

Whew! Thank god it’s over! It seems I’ve survived.

Six days past November, and winter’s arrived.

The waters were rocky, the rapids full blast,

with my raft behind, set to come in dead last.

Implosion was forecast. I wanted to quit.

But, not before adding that last little bit …

and just one more thing I’d forgotten to say ….

Such blabbering on! Filled up pages that way!

And I was reminded how wordy I am,

a great superpower to have in this jam!

 Ooh! Here comes Verbose Chick to ramble and rant,

to boost my word count when it’s shockingly scant!

My writing persona, complete with a cape,

sat typing her thoughts as my story took shape,

clack-clacking away with a cat in her lap,

who’d settled down there for his afternoon nap.

And so, she returned everyday till I won,

my passion renewed, like I’d barely begun.

If I had just quit, ’t’would have been a mistake.

Yet … thank god it’s over. I needed a break.

I Heart My Geek

Thanks for being just the geek I need to save the day,

whether it’s a question of my keyboard or display,

or another program that won’t load or open files.

You will come and fix it while you flash your dazzling smiles.

It might be an installation, or a network thing,

or turn into an upgrade, like the crash last month would bring.

Thanks to you, my hard drive dying wasn’t all that bad,

crushing its effectiveness at making this girl sad.

Right away you had me up and going in a pinch

using a small doo-dad that was no more than an inch.

Running Linux from a thumb drive kept me going strong,

helping me participate in NaNo all month long.

When I got my ’puter back, she’s better than before,

lots of room to grow, with most of what I lost restored.

Having tech support on site all hours is such a plus.

You come, investigate, and fix, but never make a fuss.

I’m so glad a super-nerd comes home to me each night,

seeing to my heart and any tech-related plight.

Here’s to you, my one and only favoritest of nerds!

I aim to pay you back, immortalizing you with words.

Clueless

In honor of NaNoWriMo!

rhymaphilia

 How dare you disobey by skipping town!

How dare you threaten suicide this week!

As far as jerkwads go, you take the crown!

I’m so damned mad, I almost cannot speak.

Who told you you could act like you’re a star?

Who told you those were okay things to say?

Who told you you could go and steal a car …

who taught you how to do that, anyway???

So figure out a way to get back home.

And come up with a good excuse (this time).

That ego that you’re using’s just a loan,

with which you perpetrate outrageous crimes.

I’ve never met a man as cheap as you.

I can’t believe the liberties you took.

When I say I’m surprised, it’s ’cause it’s true–

This wasn’t in the outline of my book.

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Blitzkrieg!

Some marathon writing will take place tonight …

so brew some fresh coffee and buckle up tight!

I vow to play catch up, perhaps get ahead

(I promise I won’t go to Facebook instead).

Long gone are distractions that plagued me last week

which caused my word count to remain rather bleak.

I’m back here at home with my blinders attached.

Production today has been thus far unmatched!

My knuckles are cracked and my fingers are hot.

This time, I am giving it all that I’ve got.

Click-cllickety-clack: the one sound in this room.

My sweet story bud is beginning to bloom.

It’s full-speed ahead as the pages fly by.

I aim to win NaNo, not to give it a try,

for I’m the white rabbit, who cannot be caught.

So, 50K, here I come, ready or not!

Diversions

It’s only three days in, and yet I’m behind.

I want to clear all but my book from my mind.

Instead come distractions that flood my poor brain.

And not one of them is remotely germane.

I try hard to focus and block out all noise,

resist interference my cell phone deploys,

to keep to the subjects that boost my word count,

a problem I promised, this year, to surmount.

But here I am pausing to dally in rhyme,

a thing which, on most days, is sweetly sublime.

Yet, now, on this day, it’s an unwelcome path.

The goal that I’ve set? I have reached only half.

So now I must go and push on for the day …

just me, my computer, and cheap Chardonnay,

skipping through NaNo Land all through the night,

to share with the world my main character’s plight.

I’ll bust out my blinders! Hole up in this room!

Draw in a deep breath. Let my story resume.

A NaNoWriMo How-To

You’re taking part in NaNoWriMo? Want to find success?

Get settled in, resigned to live November under stress.

So, first things, first, you’ve got to start, or else you can’t complete,

for if one doesn’t start, one faces guaranteed defeat.

Just pick a plot and go with it, or else be left behind.

And do not stop to edit, yet, although you’ll be inclined.

Tell all your friends and family. Let Facebook know it, too.

You’ll feel much more beholden and be apt to carry through.

 Put stickers on your calendar; mark days you reach your goal.

You’ll want to keep momentum once you see you’re on a roll.

You’ll write it out so quickly, you will have a great excuse

for why it’s kind of cheesy (you can put that fact to use).

Continue writing, even if you’ve nothing else to say,

as sometimes brilliance happens when one plows on through that way.

The most important thing is to remember, this is fun!

Write 50,000 words within November, and you’ve won! 🙂

Don’t Die, Halloween!

Every year’s more quiet. Halloween might disappear.

If only I could prove my pumpkin patch is quite sincere ….

When I grew up, dressing out in costumes was such fun!

By now, alarmist worry-warts have very nearly won.

Guess who poisons children? Usually someone that they know.

That fact doesn’t matter, as the dwindling numbers show.

Come back, Halloween, and bring some lady bugs in tights.

Send me tiny cowboys on the most fun of all nights!

Vampires, witches, werewolves, or a salesman in a suit …

I just love to see them all and hand out chocolate loot.

Babes in arms in pea pods? Welcome! Please knock on my door.

My kids are too big now; they don’t dress up anymore.

So few children ring our bell, we may not even try.

Plus, I overestimate the candy bowl supply;

on top of wishing more kids would be trick-or-treating bound,

I wind up eating unclaimed treats, and gain another pound!

I’d love, instead, to put them in a mummy’s candy sack.

But I guess times are changing and there’s just no going back.

Playing God

To have this kind of power is a rush.

It’s far more satisfying than a game.

Their lives and dreams are mine to build or crush.

I say exactly what is in a name.

I’d give them what they want, but that’s a bore.

The conflict is what drives the story on.

Just when they almost bust, I pile on more,

then drag them through a dazzling denouement.

At times they beg and plead, but I won’t bend.

They’ll suffer if they must to tell the tale.

I’ll work them right until the bitter end.

I love to orchestrate each last detail!

The thrill of playing god intoxicates.

I coast high on the wave that it creates.

That Thing You Do

You’ve learned to do some brilliant things for me.

You try whatever goofy stuff I like …

evincing you’re my loyal devotee

by spending time on what it is I hype.

The fact that you’re resolved to pet my hair

stands out among them all, for it’s the best.

It causes me to go limp in midair,

to flop, immobilized, down on your chest.

I’ll stay there for as long as you’ll allow,

and bask in every stroke that you impart,

your fingers brushing gently on my brow;

the chills send warmth that travels to my heart.

You make a point to fit it in your day,

a kindness my love hopes it doth repay.

Procrastination

Procrastination rears its ugly head, prepared to strike.

He has intent to slow me down and bring me to a halt.

But his deliberation works more quickly than he’d like,

and I complete my goal, his hesitation most at fault.

Dear Plot Bunny …

         Dear Plot Bunny …

                Hop away and leave me here in peace.

         You’re usurping precious time. Your antics have to cease.

         You can wait till next year, or adoption is a choice.

         Either way, I don’t have time to give your cause a voice.

         Nano’s hard enough without distractions such as you.

         It’s an order, not a question. Go ahead, now. Shoo!

NaNoWriMo Approacheth

Yes, NaNoWriMo comes again in just a short few days.

I’ll stay up long nights typing in a caffeine-powered craze.

We will not have clean laundry and our supper comes in bags,

as long as I can say my target word count never lags.

The trash will pile and wait a while for me to take it out.

What’s left inside the fridge will turn to green and start to sprout.

Our cats become proactive or they may not get their food.

They must meow to shake me from my focused writing mood.

At our Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll inhale my meal and dart;

for when the month’s end nears, I reach the most intensive part.

Sweet pumpkin pie will fuel me for the climax of my book,

it being the one thing I’ll stop to do my part and cook.

For now, I work my outline so I’ll know how it will end.

Or, maybe I’ll find out that it won’t go as I intend.

My research time is winding down and drawing to a close.

There shall be great technology in what I will compose.

A world like none have never known is in my brain this year.

So, welcome back, November! I’m excited you are near!

blue sky, go away

now he hopes for cloudy days

they come when skies are blue

drone strikes set his town ablaze

informing his world view

school will wait or disappear

his life is torn apart

every moment filled with fear

that we put in his heart

Awake

I don’t want to close my eyes and fall asleep tonight.

Nightmares come; I spend those hours prepared for fight or flight.

I can’t wake or take control, a victim through and through.

Fear and I match step in our horrendous pas de deux.

As I lay there, poised to dream, I try to focus thoughts.

I think of people I adore, and happy, pleasant plots.

Lately, it won’t work. I dream of danger, always scared,

fighting off some beast with which I’m violently ensnared.

It takes so damned long to shake the feelings nightmares leave.

Knowing they’re not real has always failed to bring reprieve.

So I stay up far too late, avoiding what I need.

Sleep comes with a price which I won’t easily concede.

Then I spend my days much more exhausted than I should,

straining my poor sanity and all that it’s withstood.

I perpetuate the cycle I’d most like to break.

And since it’s all the same, I think, tonight, I’ll stay awake.

Home

While you were gone, I tried filling my time;

I wrote out the ways that I missed you (in rhyme).

I sought out my friends for some coffee and talk.

I even tried taking a cat for a walk.

And, feeling our house was the best place to be,

to stay when you’re ever so far ’way from me,

I rushed on back to this place we have made,

and did feel relief by your likeness conveyed.

Now that you’re here, though, the difference is stark,

so much so that I feel the need to remark:

I was still homesick, although I was home,

as much as if I had continued to roam.

It’s just a house, even with all your things.

The feel of a home is what your presence brings.

October Lives!

Autumn’s in the air! October leaves crunch ’neath my feet.

There’re tasty things like pecan pie and candy corn to eat.

Decorations burst forth from the boxes where they’re stored.

I practice fancy footwork (to evade the zombie hoard).

Sweater weather makes me smile, no matter how I feel,

as do the leaves a’fallin’ and the branches they reveal.

I love the way my kitty cats grow in their winter coats,

and how they purr to taste a bit of egg nog on their throats,

sculpting pumpkins all night long and roasting up the seeds,

nostalgic, jostling hayrides pulled by chestnut, frothing steeds.

Not too cold or hot, October breeze blows through my screen,

as I count the moments till the night of Halloween!

A Longer Belt

I know I shouldn’t cry or boast.

This ain’t the worst I’ve ever felt …

but I keep getting diagnosed!

I think I need a longer belt.

I would just add another notch,

but I am out of room by now.

Diseases add up while I watch,

stark helplessness upon my brow.

It’s nothing deadly, that’s for sure.

But life goes on, and worse, I get.

Who knows what all I shall endure?

Not me. Things happen. I forget.

These tally marks are all I’ve got

to add up horrors, mounting still,

the next annoyance I have caught

that drains my hope and saps my will.

It is my life, so I’m engrossed …

I write down every symptom felt.

Lists help to get me diagnosed.

Lists prove I need a longer belt.

The Long and Winding Road

This is the longest drive I’ve had to make in quite a while.

Can’t wait till you arrive with your endearing, goofy smile!

It’s forty minutes to the airport gate and your embrace,

my eyes anticipating the “I’m home!” look on your face.

The long and winding road I take to get from here to there

feels longer every second, I’m most painfully aware.

’T’will, too, be hard to last the journey back here to our house,

for it has been too long since I have held you, darling spouse.

So, I will want to stop off at a hotel right away,

and consummate our love again ASAP, without delay.

Once we are home, two cats compete, and cry to feel your touch,

when mostly though, they slept, and didn’t ask where you were much.

Both of them plus me makes three; of arms, you’ve only two.

So pet me till I’m satisfied. Pet them when I am through …

for I, unlike our kitties, felt a genuine heartache.

I missed you every moment, while asleep, and while awake.

I dreamed of lying with you in our bedroom, in your nook,

of how you stroke my hair through several chapters of your book,

of knowing you are “home,” although you leave to go to work.

Just having you in town prevents the urge to go berserk.

When you are home, our life resumes the way it’s supposed to be,

with you beneath our roof, imparting cherished love to me.

Let’s skip the long and winding road and stop off for a spell,

extinguishing the fire that your sole touch was meant to quell.

Making Do

rhymaphilia

depression-84404_150

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That’s what people say.

I guess I’m forced to test the theory now that you’re away.

I know that it’s for business and you won’t stay past a week.

It’s still too long to go without your kisses on my cheek.

I’ll live in your blue sweatshirt and I’ll spray it with cologne.

I’ll bring the cats to bed with me so I won’t sleep alone.

I’ll buy another toothbrush and I’ll put it next to mine.

I’ll tell myself that while you’re gone, I’m gonna be just fine.

I’ll put on all the TV shows I know you like to watch.

I’ll wear your robe and slippers and I’ll sip your favorite scotch.

I’ll transplant my butt to your indentation on the couch.

I’ll ask myself each morning, ‘Who’s my favorite little grouch?’

I’ll do all those mundane things, like taking out the…

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Rebel With A Cause

I woke up this morning and told Weakness to fuck off.

Time for some adventure, though I know I’ll pay the cost.

I’m not gonna listen when my body wants to quit.

I’m a damned good actress. And today, I’m playing “Fit.”

Push until my legs are leaden and my shoulders shake.

Push through shooting pain that comes with every step I take.

I’ll ignore The Urge To Stop and press on till the end,

sure I’ll miss in triplicate the energy I spend.

Focus on the atmosphere, not Physical Complaints.

I’ll do what they’ll do and I’ll not tolerate Restraints.

Come and get me later, Lactic Acid and Regret.

You will have me, true, but you may not come claim me yet.

Set up vigil, Sir Fatigue, and wait here if you must.

I am up and ready, and I feel downright robust!

All you bad guys go ahead and regroup while I’m gone.

But for now, no matter what, this bitch is moving on!

Missing You

 

I tried the best distraction I could, visiting with friends …

to give myself some company until your journey ends.

I needed something marvelous to entertain my brain,

to keep my heart from bursting as I slowly go insane.

Although those friends are tried and true, I missed you just as much.

We talked of gods and man, the state of life, the world, and such.

No matter what the subject, though, my thoughts would turn to you,

no substitute available to last the two weeks through.

I sit and count the moments till you’re in my arms again,

here, soaking up the atmosphere we’ve conjured in our den.

I learned that while you’re gone, our home is where I want to be,

within the walls that witness all our witty repartee.

Your smell is in a bottle; I can douse myself each day,

and walk around imagining you offered me a spray.

The book you last were reading’s on the nightstand by our bed.

I use the same shampoo you use to groom your golden head.

And though a saucer’s never ’neath my cup of morning joe,

I think it’s cute you use one, so I do, too, when you go.

I have our family albums, and our portraits on the wall.

I wait with bated breath until the next time that you call.

I clear my afternoon to Skype and hear about your trip,

and know that when you say “a crisp,” you really mean a chip.

I long for it to be the time to go get in the car,

to fetch you from the airport once you’ve landed from afar,

to bring you home and lock the door and throw away the key,

and keep you right where you belong, alongside l’il ol’ me.

Illegitimi Non Carborundum

 Don’t ever let the bastards get you down.

Don’t give them what they want and take the fall.

Brush off your fear and turn yourself around.

Make sure they all can see you standing tall.

You’re so much better than their lies and hate,

far stronger than their arrogance and greed,

no side show in the circus they create …

there’s nothing state-of-mind can’t supersede.

To live well is the fiercest counterblow.

Deprive them of their precious schadenfreude.

Take charge and redefine the status quo,

and never let them know you’ve been annoyed.

It’s easier to be said than be done.

I promise, if you do it, though, you’ve won.

her

see her in the parking lots

pushing carts of treasures past

tattered dolls and tarnished pots

harshly judged and never asked

scraggly hair and faded eyes

hollow bones, a shaky frame

pure of heart, though none surmise

human rat without a name

someone once belonged to her

needed her like lungs need air

all that happened now a blur

echoed in her vacant stare

A Happy Ending

We women so love to wed our man’s potential,

the power of “could” the most sought-out credential.

The person affianced, in large, inferential,

my choice, at the time, had not seemed providential.

All marriage, by nature, is experimental;

who’s there at the altar is merely tangential.

By now we’ve advanced through a time frame essential

to label your love flow my way nigh torrential,

your treatment of my beating heart deferential,

your goals, which change with mine, our shared differential,

your husbandly ways of the flesh quintessential,

the thirst for life shown in your works influential …

my love for you still leaps in bounds exponential.

Don’t Ask

Don’t ask me how it’s going, for the truth is that it’s gone,

 a wholly unspectacular, prosaic denouement.

Don’t ask me how I’m doing. It’s a question that I dread.

I hate admitting how long I have lingered here, in bed.

Don’t ask me how I’m feeling, ’cause the answer is the same.

You’ll think I protest too much and dismiss what I declaim.

Don’t ask me how my day’s been so I won’t feel I should lie.

No man should have to fill his head with all that I decry.

Don’t ask me if I’m better. I so want to have good news.

Lacking it, my side of things, I heartily recuse.

Don’t ask me if it’s you who’s added pain to my distress.

If I have made you feel that way, I promise to redress.

Don’t ask me anything at all. Just hold me extra tight.

Being held by you is all that makes my life alright.

Fine

Yes, I looked fine when you saw me last week.

I looked as healthy as you,

dressed to the nines with my hair high and sleek,

dipping my bread in fondue.

I hadn’t left my own house in too long.

I had a friend do my hair.

The times that I go out are when I am strong.

It took three hours to prepare.

Yes, I looked fine at that wedding last year.

You even saw me go dance,

cutting the rug with my sweet engineer,

caught in our own lover’s trance.

By evening’s end, there were tears in my eyes.

Stabbing pain shot through my back.

I danced with my lover, however unwise.

I knew that I’d have an attack.

Yes, I looked fine at the mall back in June,

smiling and trying on shoes,

drinking my coffee and whistling a tune,

texting friends as I peruse.

I got a new diagnosis that day,

the lesser of two horrid ills.

Some browsing is what held my teardrops at bay,

far better than too many pills.

 You seem convinced that I’m doing just fine.

I’m a magician, my dear.

It’s misdirection, a talent of mine.

Not all things are as they appear.

Affected

 I think of you and what you’ve taught as my true inspiration

although you weren’t trying to pass on your calm savoir faire.

Your wisdom is manifest broadly without affectation.

It’s living, between our encounters, that makes me aware.

I find myself out on the fence or beset with a quandary,

with so many ways to approach, to destroy, to succeed.

I’m set into motion and act, little time spent on pondering,

decisiveness coming from your gallant words that I heed.

The lessons pour in from wide range of topics and actions.

If I were to just beg advice, I’d not know where to start.

I’ve gleaned what I need from unseemingly linked, broad abstractions,

that graciously set up a residence here in my heart.

Mirage

fearless, clinging to the underside of sheer rock faces

roaring underwater, out of primary habitat

the wind sweeps through removing what scant vapors and traces

remain of the hate your verdure doth heartily diffract

singularly bold, your wings spread steal my quickening breath

words trip and fail to stack high enough to reach your ascent

held out in sparse offering the lusty, voiceless vignette

which, lacking all else, frames the height of all my good intent

Phoenix Rising

I’ll feel better next week when my medicine kicks in.

I’ll feel better once I get some rest.

I’ll feel better next week when my therapy begins.

I’ll feel better once I’m not this stressed.

I’ll feel better next week when my surgery is done.

I’ll feel better once I lose this weight.

I’ll feel better next week when the healing has begun.

‘I’ll feel better …’ words I overrate.

I’ll feel better next week if next week will ever come.

I’ll make up a reason if I must.

‘I’ll feel better next week,’ I will chant until I’m numb.

‘I’ll feel better …’ words I seldom trust.

I gave faulty reasons and the words had turned to ash,

dying in a fizzle of a flame.

Now the phoenix rises from a long-awaited flash,

carrying the banner of your name.

I’ll feel better next week, though my symptoms haven’t changed.

I’ll feel better though the worst’s not through.

I’ll feel better next week, for your visit’s been arranged.

I’ll feel better, for I’ll be with you.

Fair Warning

Kick and scream and stomp your little feet.

Sing out how it isn’t nice at all.

Wallow in your misery and defeat.

Rant for hours because you took the fall.

Gossip will take place; accept it now.

Know that folks will talk of certain things.

If you don’t like talk … don’t break a vow.

Otherwise, expect the mud one slings.

Rising Above

Kill ’em with kindness, as Mother would say.

They’ll look the fool and you’ll come out on top.

When they get ugly, just yield right of way.

Don’t let it bother you if they won’t stop.

When I was young I resisted the task,

spitting right back when my foes would incite.

Now grown, I gladly will don the full mask,

work to be classy, and swallow my spite.

Like so much else, she was right on this front.

I’ve seen results she predicted back then.

I remain calm and deflect each affront,

hold my head high as they judge and condemn.

Soon all involved see our disparate styles,

wondering why I’m deserving of hate,

rising above as I deal with such trials,

keeping my cool till my troubles abate.

Vanquished

When the paint dries, it’s a much darker shade,

no way to judge till the moisture is gone.

Left in the sun, tubs of plastic will fade.

Cygnets grow up into glorious swans.

Life, left unguided, evolves on its own.

So too, those children, mistreated, grow up,

somehow resisting the seeds that were sown,

good men in place of the terrified pups.

Unsolicited

We all really hate when you give us advice.

It just undercuts our attempts made thus far.

We know that you think those suggestions are nice.

But bear in mind I earned each IV and scar.

You don’t know each treatment that I’ve ever tried.

Two decades have passed and I’ve been through it all.

It’s not just your words, it is what they’ve implied.

What’s lacking in wisdom, you make up with gall.

I’m so very glad things worked out for your aunt …

and yes, she had symptoms that sound just like mine.

Your grasp of my illness is naive and scant.

Your words are not helpful; they just undermine.

See, I don’t tell you how to do things at work.

So, don’t think you have any right to tell me,

’cause this IS my job, you magniloquent jerk,

as anyone ill as I am would agree!

D-Day

Hollow words float to the sky in retreat,

tails out of reach so I can’t grab a hold.

Actions are heavy and strong like concrete,

their presence a value far greater than gold.

You say you’re willing, as though that’s enough,

counting on me to not force you to prove.

D-Day is here, sir. I’m calling your bluff.

Man up and show me, or pack up and move.

It Felt So Good To Write It Out

‘Don’t send it … don’t send it,’ I say to myself.

‘Just leave it alone. Wait at least one whole day.’

It’s best that it spend ample time on the shelf.

My words are so harsh that they merit delay.

Although what I write is undoubtedly true,

these frail circumstances require due tact.

Sound sleep should take place ’fore the final review,

for after it’s sent, I can’t ever retract.

It’s time that heals wounds, as it will do with this.

I’ll try to keep such to myself until then.

To send it off now would be sadly remiss …

I won’t get the chance to start over again.

The Socially Acceptable Thug

Someone should pay for this. Someone’s to blame.

Give me an address and give me a name.

Accidents happen, and yet, I am owed.

I’ll do my part to see justice corrode.

My foot was broken; two million sounds fair.

I can’t live life as a mere thousandaire.

Call up a lawyer and tell him the tale.

Take them to court; let due process prevail.

Find me a good ol’ boy judge to preside.

Find me a jury who’ll be on my side.

Pass off a judgment and make them comply.

They have insurance, so bleed them all dry.

Then, when your premiums triple in size,

I can pretend that it’s all a surprise.

If all my actions remain unimpugned,

sympathy swells from this new-made tycoon.

The Verdict

I can’t say I’m surprised to get the news.

It falls in line with my unchosen course,

arriving just in time to disabuse

me of the hope that fate is not the source.

I pray that nothing changes for the worse

before I’ve time to take stock of my debts,

to pick out my own coffin and a hearse,

adorned with golden filigree vignettes.

Though … six good men can’t heft it, I’m afraid.

Regret and sorrow overload the joints,

disfiguring my final promenade

with spectacle that never disappoints.

A blaze of glory seems the better end,

the course of action I, myself, intend.

King For A Day

He’s the quiet kid who sits in the corner.

He’s the last one picked for the team.

No matter where he is, he’s the foreigner.

 He’s the King of Low Self-Esteem.

His single mom would be his only mourner,

and would pay dearly for his scheme.

Nothing he had said could possibly warn her,

his words not sounding too extreme.

Though she did her best, everyone will scorn her,

and honor, she’ll never redeem.

Still, she is most grateful he was born of her,

despite the fatal blasts and screams.

 

Grease Monkey

Well, look at you … all sexy … with that grease smeared on your cheek,

your hair mussed, perspiration on your forehead, neck, and chin.

Just seeing you like that can make my freckly knees go weak,

and cause prolific goosebumps to appear upon my skin.

The black tank top you’re wearing shows your arms off at their best,

all seventy-three inches of your wingspan, tip to tip,

ribbed fabric stretched across your sweaty gladiator chest,

utility belt slung down low, a nail gun at your hip.

With your new fog-free goggles pushed atop your golden head,

the lights that you’ve installed have caught your dazzling hazel eyes.

They’re bringing out that glimmer … things we could go do instead,

which call upon what’s in the tool chest stored between your thighs.

The soft synthetic leather palms on your mechanic’s gloves

feel velvety enough that I’m an instant devotee.

So let our eldest borrow them for projects that he loves …

and buy a special pair for use when you’re alone with me.

Like those on expert surgeons, they fit steady, practiced hands,

ensuring every detail of your work will be done right.

Your hands make your endeavors turn out just the way you planned,

including those that take place in our bedroom every night.

Now bring that hot mess over here and let me have a go,

for certain projects must take precedence, and this one’s mine.

Although you tend these leaky pipes, they often overflow.

That’s just what happens when you tool around and look so fine.

 

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