Poems | Thomas Piekarski

Sick Lady Taking Off Her Hat by Ernest Williamson

The Candidate

More lies defecated from the Prince of Darkness’ eyes.
More addiction to cyber space, fairy tales and taxation.
More days gone than days ahead. More time for dying.
More earth to canvass and pick bushels of raspberries.
More religions to choose from than ever existed before.
More money always going to the rich and less the poor.
More reasons than not to drop your weapons right now.
More poison absorbed daily by the oceans than advised.
More impromptu policies leak through the mind’s dam.
More incentive these days to purchase a Pacific island.
More gold here than expected once the dirt gets assayed.
More power to the people who actually make an attempt.
More gunpowder please to enforce my unpopular opinion.
More nursery rhymes read as I powder the baby’s behind.
More mopping the hallways where spooks hoot at night.
More responsibility than ever to donate blood if you can.
More hard work than systems will get you the best results.
More of the same means much less rain out on the prairies.
More chickens stacked in the freezer, more cookie dough.
More ways to view reality thanks to hope and fuzzy math.

The Palm Reading

I see in your palm a convulsing river
like the mighty Andean Urubamba.
I see Neruda huffing and puffing, up, up,
until he reaches Machu Picchu.

At this moment your life seems an enigma,
punctuated by snowdrifts, the weight of which
threatens to collapse your glass roof.

While liquid opal gushes over Iguazu Falls
moons from many far-off places will squeeze
through the mesh of your unconscious,
illuminating your path with reflected light.

What others would ordinarily expect
is discarded in favor of songs you’ll write
for yourself, without anyone’s help.

Those who would taint decorum will insist
on devaluation of scruples.
Meanwhile you’ll ride cable cars as they groan
and clank up steep hills, providing spectacular
vistas of galaxies from every imaginable angle.

And now you’re anxious to coax wind-whipped
nerves out of their frigid waves, across the beach
and into a private cove, way away from
elements that would cause you distress.

You could play it safe and continue to act
as though on stage in a theater in the round,
hoping that you’ll thereby avoid all of the shabby
nomenclature and insubstantial phrases uselessly
strewn hither and yon, to no-one’s benefit.

But you’re duped if you trust that by dropping
to your hands and knees, slinking, crawling across
yesterday’s everglades you’ll be led
to a land of boundless karmic joy.
Like a snail without its shell, bound to leave
a trail, you’d lay down a slimy track
so that those who succeed
in surviving the flames of infamy
could hunt you down and snuff you out.
You are now longer necessarily a case
of someone knocking on heaven’s door
anonymously, in denial that a primal eye
peers through ochre clouds and casts a beacon
that brightens fairies and demons in your sleep.

One evening soon while stirring a pot
of hot cioppino you’ll stumble upon the discovery
of erstwhile unsolvable puzzles, and overcome them
with little trouble, the chains of intolerance
having been broken by virtue of your sheer will
and determination. Then pain and torpor will cease
their pursuit of you, and you will harbor harmony,
which has been your goal and should remain so.


A lot of Oscar idols like Gregory Peck, Olivia
de Haviland and Clark Gable remain ensconced
in Hollywood’s Pantheon. But many others who
had lavish mansions cratered, their works obscure.

It doesn’t take long for stars to rise and fall; fame
has it’s disadvantages. Marilyn Monroe had it all,
the most sought after woman in the world. But she
was jilted by Arthur Miller, and fell into the claws
of those rascal Kennedy’s, then drugged herself
to death. Walking the shoreline from Malibu south
to Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, one will follow
the footsteps of Johnny Carson who liked to take
his dog along that route. But Carson’s thousands of
quips are deceased and will never be heard again.

Most poetry of today won’t last longer than tomorrow.
Light can be bent around a celestial body, but minds
don’t bend. Some banner ad on Facebook will take
the place of the poem about the jolly otter munching
clams in an isolated ocean cove when the tide is out.

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