I ought to be running.
The plan in my phone
Says I ought to be running,
Not writing alone
On the sofa, inertially
Biding my time
Inaction in rhyme.
Seven is the number that
I reach for at each dropped hat
And it bothers me to quit
Before I count up to it.
Iambs are not seven’s friend
But this poem still can end
El Niño takes the beach by force.
The war fog lifts. What’s left? A horse.
First question: Did the rider fall?
And two: Is Aquaman that small?
I button the cat in her jacket
And straighten her wee little tocque.
She calls for an egg and I crack it.
It’s breakfast. Let’s feed these fine folk!
Rocky Road and oatmeal stout
It’s what I’m owed
The penguin took my meatball
But I won’t have him arrested.
He only wants to play with it,
As he himself’s attested.
He’s practicing for fatherhood:
He keeps it on his feet
For warmth and its protection.
After practice, then I’ll eat.
A month or so and I’ll forget
The pain today. I haven’t yet
And that’s okay: A hard long run
Makes marathon day much more fun.
“Hey, William Shakespeare’s dead! It’s in the news!”
“I know. He died four hundred years ago.”
“No, I don’t think so. You’ve got him confused
With someone else. This one wrote Romeo
And Juliet. We saw that just last week!”
“That’s who I mean. ‘The Bard of Avon,’ right?”
“Um, yeah, that’s what it says. How– did you peek?”
“What? No! Why would I?”
“Maybe just for spite.”
“But what would be the point? That makes no sense!”
“Is someone targeting celebrities?”
“Celebrities? You’ve lost me…”
“First, there’s Prince,
Now Shakespeare. Don’t they always die in threes?”
“That’s just an urban legend. Anyway,
When choosing sides today, no doubt
We’re siding with the one that’s out,
But climate change will surely win
‘Til we start spending less time in.
The planet that we’re living on
Would likely rather we were gone
The way a dog beset by fleas
Might ask its human, “Bathe me, please?”
We’re not the best of tenants, true.
We’re messy, and we’re greedy, too.
Your hospitality, dear Earth,
Is infinite, as is your worth.
We don’t deserve you. All the same,
We hope you’re not too sad we came.
As Richard Gere said years ago,
“[We] got no place else to go!”
Mr. Nelson passed away
In Chanhassen, MN today
The music world bathes in pain
And mourning for his Purple Reign