Mythical Kings [Common Meter]

Don't sell us benevolent kings,
  such creatures can't exist.
 An unchecked mind won't self-censor,
  and lame dogma persists.

The Golden Age Mythos [Common Meter]

There never was a Golden Age,
   a time much better than right now.
 But playing martyr 's all the rage:
    to think our world the garbage scow --
     whose stinking mass forever grows.
 Lest you think that I'm saying these
    are times of pure and sweet repose,
 Please, let me put your mind at ease:
These times are best. These times are worst.
    (To blatantly steal from Dickens.)
 This twist is just how we are cursed
    to shriek like that sky fall chicken.

Grasp Reflex [Common Meter]

Der Untergang der Titanic
A white-knuckled grip on the rail,
  though the ship is sinking.
 The brain insists one hold tightly;
   there's no mind for thinking.

A samaritan pries at your
  fist, but it will not budge.
 In giving up, he feels guilty --
   conscience jury and judge.

You couldn't wedge just a single breath
  to crack a space for thought.
 A simple thing it is to let go,
   but look what fear has wrought.

A quarter million tons now drags
  you to the cold, dark depths.
 Until the body's unthinking 
   gasp of watery breath.

The hand lets go, but still you sink
  trapped by your last mistake.
 The tragedy of a grasp reflex 
   that you could not break.

Cave Monster [Common Meter]

I sit within an empty cave.
   It's empty, that's for sure.
 It's dark, so dark that nothing shines.
   What sound is that? A purr?

I'm in this cave, and not alone,
   but with what I can't say.
 It's in the back where it's jet black --
   a predator? Or prey?

I'm walking now; I don't dare run.
   the ground is all cockeyed
 with stalagmites and stalactites.
   I grope, in need of guide.

And feeling through Stygian space,
   I bust open my head.
 Warm blood, I feel, run down my face.
   I'm squeezed by rising dread.

I hear a squeak, a mouse strolls through;
   then silence is restored.
 If only my mind were so rid
   of its outsized horrors.

Bliss / Comfort [Common Meter]

There is no breath that's like a breath
   that's taken three miles high.
 And never so deep was a sleep
    after days of light in eye.

And water is the most beloved
    when burning thirst is slaked.
  To starving souls no gourmet meal
     e'er bested bread, fresh baked. 

Leaf Enlightened [Common Meter]

I stared, and stared, into a leaf
  until my vision changed.
 And I could see the whole, wide world
   so artfully arranged.

The leaf, it mapped my universe
   from atom to the sprawl.
 Compressed, layer-on-layer, there
    was one and, at once, all. 

But before I could grasp all that
   this vision truly meant,
  a gust of wind did catch that leaf,
     and fluttering it went.

Escaping the Cave [Common Meter]

Climbing a mountain, I feel like
  I've escaped Plato's cave.
 My senses reel as though they're a
   crew of newly freed slaves.

The sky is bluer, rivers green,
  each grit granule is clear.
 And even at the very edge,
   there's ease in feeling fear.
 By "ease" I mean not frozen stiff,
   but like a friend so dear
 that one can take one's grand peril,
   a gift received with cheer.

Take me to the mountains, I say,
  where it's serene and real,
 and I can open up my sight
   to a world that's ideal.

Jolie Laide [Common Meter]

I've seen in ordinary eyes
  a special twinkling glow.
 In rough and sinewy muscle
  I've seen a grace in throe.

From rotund torsos, I have seen
  a lithesome prance or strut.
 I've seen a thing called character,
  in schnozzes that kink or jut.

If beauty below the surface,
  it finds you splendor-blind.
 Then defect 's not in the object
   but in the viewer's mind.

Fruit Beauty [Common Meter]

The flawless deep green melon rind
houses a pink, bland flesh.
The rind - pitted, yellowed, lumpy -
hides fruit: red, sweet, & fresh.

A World, Too Fast [Common Meter]

I stand upon the cobbled walk
 as scooters whiz on by,
and think this world 's too fast for me,
 and tilt my face to sky.

But there's a contrail gash up there
 made by a hurtling sky-tube
that jets its way to who knows where -
 while I'm the slack-jawed rube.

To match the world to my breath's pace,
 and watch the blur lines form,
and hear each note of music played...
 We'd sync to my waveform.