HELL IS A LONELY PLACE (by Charles Bukowski)

he was 65, his wife was 66, had
Alzheimer’s disease.

he had cancer of the
mouth.
there were
operations, radiation
treatments
which decayed the bones in his
jaw
which then had to be
wired.

daily he put his wife in
rubber diapers
like a
baby.

unable to drive in his
condition
he had to take a taxi to
the medical
center,
had difficulty speaking,
had to
write the directions
down.

on his last visit
they informed him
there would be another
operation: a bit more
left
cheek and a bit more
tongue.

when he returned
he changed his wife’s
diapers
put on the tv
dinners, watched the
evening news
then went to the bedroom, got the
gun, put it to her
temple, fired.

she fell to the
left, he sat upon the
couch
put the gun into his
mouth, pulled the
trigger.

the shots didn’t arouse
the neighbors.

later
the burning tv dinners
did.

somebody arrived, pushed
the door open, saw
it.

soon
the police arrived and
went through their
routine, found
some items:

a closed savings
account and
a checkbook with a
balance of
$1.14
suicide, they
deduced.

in three weeks
there were two
new tenants:
a computer engineer
named
Ross
and his wife
Anatana
who studied
ballet.

they looked like another
upwardly mobile
pair.

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HANK (by Cliff Yates)

for Brendan Cleary

Woke up this morning in Arizona,
a filling station on the highway,
under someone’s pick-up, dismantling the gearbox
which is a joke
because I’m the kind of bloke
who starts looking for the left-handed hammer.

My name is Hank, I smoke roll-ups,
call you ‘Bud’ and have a wife called Gloria
who hangs endless items of clothing
on the washing line out front
when she’s not in the kitchen
singing along to Country and Western
on the radio.

Men just turn up and say, ‘How’s it going Hank?’
I hammer repeatedly on the silencer
pretending I can’t hear,
hoping they will go away
and thinking, ‘Who the hell is this?
What does he know
about me that I don’t know?’

I inspected the washing, worked out
that we have eight children
between two and sixteen. Also,
judging from the patches
on the jeans and shirts
and the state of repair of the house,
we’re not rich. And, judging from the way
I’m going at this gear box with a monkey wrench,
not likely to be.

THE LAWS OF GOD, THE LAWS OF MAN (by A. E. Housman)

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I.

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I. Let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.

But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbour to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
They will be master, right or wrong;
Though both are foolish, both are strong.

And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and man.

From VILLA STELLAR: XIII (by George Barker)

Yes, it is heavenly here. But I think of the misted November
evenings and clouds coming up over the Cairngorms

And there in the May Borghese Gardens with a foam of
blossoming flowers around us as we sat at a small table
she with a hat like a huge waterlily and a glass of iced
lemonade sweating in sunshine and the Roman sky like the
interior of an enormous pearl, and semi-precious lizards scooting
among the hibiscus. I said: ‘It is pleasant here.’

She answered: ‘The sun is not Scottish. I feel faint.
Yes, it is heavenly here. But I think of the misted November
evenings and clouds coming up over the Cairngorms
and the violent gusts of rain and the cold amber streams jumping
among the lichened gullies and the rowans hissing in rain
and a single horned sheep standing still as stone against the sky.’

Hill of Allargue viewpoint at Corgarff

Riding the Train to New York (Reblog)

A beautiful little poem. I have known such moments …

train-3169964_1280

By Dianne Moritz

Sailors in starched whites,
Jostling, joking, bumming
Cigarettes, whistle as I pass.
Young mothers, beside cranky
Children, seem wistful.
Old men glance up
From newspapers, smile
As I pass with my tall,
Handsome boyfriend.
We find our seats.
I reach for his hand.
He shakes me off
Like a smoldering ash,
Leans back to nap.
I turn away, fuming.

When I gaze out,
Into the dark glass,
A panicked stranger
Stares back.

           
Dianne Moritz enjoys capturing brief moments in time, celebrating trials, tribulations, and beauty of life. She dreams of publishing a book of all her drabble.

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FORE-MOTHERS (by Kathleen Raine)

They were younger than I,
Younger by all my years, those country lassies
Who little dreamed their dreams
Of love would bring me here,
Travelling away from their accustomed days
Into this strange place, beyond their guesses
Of a future that might be
Some day, some far-off day
Beyond companionable kitchen and plain stone house
Under unchanging hills and a wide sky.

Deceiving dreams of love, that promise only joy,
It was to me you led, along a lonelier road
Than ferny loning where each lingered with the lover
She needs must choose, since he it was that met her on the way
And stepped into the circle of her dream
To carry her away, to carry me away
Into the exile of that dream’s awaking.

Or are my waking days the regions of their fears
Whose dark shapes were lurking, passions and griefs
Less innocent than those familiar songs of Scotland tell of:
And yet my dream tells still of Paradise.

THE LILY-POND (by James Munro)

There were goldfish in the pond where I grew up,
shubunkins and huge golden carp, newts
of course, and tadpoles, and in spring great skeins
of frogspawn. Concealed among the water lilies,
I would watch as dry, clothed people
strolled past or sat upon the wooden bench
and chatted or kissed or simply rested awhile
and gazed at the pond, the water lilies, me,
without seeing.

But time goes by and life,
and the world we knew goes with it:
one day, the officers of the law –
a social worker, a teacher,
a policeman – came and fished me out
and sent me away to school.

Now I sit on that bench and gaze and dream
and see great golden carp glide into
the sunlight then with a silent flick of a fin
slip back under the lily leaves and out of sight.
Watch a frog swim up to breathe, climb out,
look round. Put out my hand. It hops away.

Tadpoles have gills, frogs don’t.
Which is unfair. Children too,
though most don’t care, don’t
understand that for them there’s still
an option to living on land.

A fly on my arm crawls and tickles. Another
joins it. I move, they buzz, zip, return.
I lower my hand into the water, close
my eyes and dream I never went to school,
never learnt to be a person, clothed and dry.