On Monuments of War

people say that they hate war

that they don’t want anymore

massive casualties and gore

yet monuments are built

edifices of national guilt

over the blood that was spilt

glorifying past wars

on distant shores

to settle old scores

why

build

any

more?

Call of the Coded Words

they’re a siren’s call to mystery and intrigue

laced with meanings from a special colleague

coded words that creep into conversations

secrets exchanged between rival nations

words so fraught with hidden meaning

can also contain something demeaning

peeling away layers of deep mistrust

that if decoded could easily combust

turning a questionably civilized society

into a maelstrom of vicious impropriety

Frog Night Serenade

ribbit! ribbit!

went the big bullfrog

while sitting on a floating log

ribbit! ribbit!

in a basso tone

making the lady frogs groan

ribbit! ribbit! ribbit!

the bullfrog sang

before he suddenly sprang

ribbit! ribbit!

taking everything he had

to land smoothly on a lily pad

ribbit! ribbit! ribbit!

excited girl frogs were arrayed

waiting for the bullfrog’s serenade

ribbit! ribbit! ribbit!

sang the bullfrog under the light of the moon

while his delighted audience tried not too swoon

Rebellion of the Clocks

time was lost when earth’s clocks rebelled

against constraints man’s science brought to bear

triggering deafening alarms and chimes everywhere

shattering clocks of every type and style

leaving broken timekeepers behind in a pile

of wristwatches

pocket watches

novelty watches

and other mechanical cousins

products of man’s efforts to capture time

such impunity

bending universal physics like salt water taffy

in order to control society

making people account for every hour of the day

and when to pray

until cosmic forces finally intervened

against the invention by human beings

The Rum Seekers

75 words

the bottles stood intact in a ragged line on the beach’s burning sand silent sentinels taking a stand as the hypnotizing waves lapped nearby telling a tale of drowned sailors and a ship’s sad demise so near paradise and mere meters away from an island fit for castaways to live out their last days after a lifetime of piracy on the open sea searching the beaches for booty and unbroken bottles of good British rum

Riffing on Living

205 words – free verse

life in the fast lane of concrete jungles weaving through cities and states seeking altered states and the key to paradise while cities burn from fires caused by climate change and a whole range of environmental disasters brought on by corporate behemoths that breath life into Wall Street’s secrets corridors of power looking down on the average citizen nearly powerless trying to fight Goliath with a cell phone tapped by the FBI and marketers vying for the masses money in cyberspace a dangerous place where saints and sinners trumpet their wares to the unwary visitors responding to special sales for limited times – but wait there’s more – in the pursuit of happiness religions and cults seek converts with promises of saving souls and access to elite Hollywood parties where the wealthy meet to greet one another and brag about big contracts and casting beds while women fight for equality and freedom from perverted movie execs soaked in their huge egos looking for the next star in an industry of dreams where viewers suspend reality to escape a world of lies that have formed like cobwebs in our society holding the average person victim with fake news and rhetoric straight from hell and premiering near you soon.

205 words – free verse