The Not-So-Dearly Departed

It was dark at dusk in downtown Denton
and damp in the ditch where the dew had not drained,
and, as dead as the dirt daubers down in the trenches,
lay Duchess Delaney of Denton’s remains.

Once white were the dresses now drenched by the grime
of the muddy recesses of Mortimer Lane,
and morbid the dirges entrenched in the minds
of the dutiful Dents, who as yet did not deign

to recover her royal remains from the road
and return her to rest where the room would not rain–
to deliver the dirty cadaver to Duke
Delaney of Denton’s unknowing disdain.

For long had she scoffed at their plights and their troubles.
Their fights were but scuffles; their furies were feigned.
Her scorn for the voices she’d forcibly muffled
had doomed her to die in the drunkard’s domain.

And so, as the tyrant lay splattered in dung,
the most decent of Dents did not stoop to restrain
from savoring the sweetness that tingled their tongues
as the dearly departed laid rest to her reign.

The Thing about Words (Triolet)

(Triolet – certain lines have to be repeated word-for-word in a specific order throughout the poem, changing only in punctuation.)

My words can say anything I want,
but the truth is that what I really think
is bleeding through. And whether or not
my words can say anything, I want
to force them to do as I feel they ought
to do. So now that I’ve set this in ink:
“My words can say anything I want
but the truth.” — is that what I really think?

Stalemate (Sonnet)

Two honest thinkers engage in simple discourse.
Truth be told, both hearts pitted and hollow,
though each knows that passion strikes discord
and so refrains; the civil path to follow.
Discussion states desires to be swallowed
in white and black, with nothing to distort–
no frantic fits of anger, fears, and sorrow
to sway the weaker thinker to resort.
Unfortunate, that this should be the course,
that true opinions clash with such appalling
contradiction, yet with such feeble force
that neither yields, and neither wins; Stalling.
Still,
Contempt and bitterness would be restored
if stagnant disagreements were ignored.

A Terse Seafarer’s Verse

(A poem using only the left side of the keyboard! Plus punctuation.)

Ever at sea, we sweat, swear.
Savage, as ravaged seafarers we are.
Steadfast at greed, we swagger, carefree,
draw daggers as fast as a westward breeze.

Grave faces scarred, a tad fevered at best,
a starved, battered crew, few feet at rest
as we scatter wet streets, barrage bearded braggarts,
grab ragged carafes, grab axes, grab scabbards.

Rewards are sweet, a scared bawd wears a bra.
Defaced a red dress, we aggressed as we awed.
Sacred as stargazers’ garbage. Avast!
Retreat ere arrest, afar seaward we cast.

As dead as we dare. Beware tattered craft,
as crass caws reverberate abaft.

On Meaning

If by meaning, illustrating meant
to disconnect and
reconnect in
scattered disentanglements,
to juxtapose aesthetic senses,
lost and found inside bejumbled sentences —
And then if meaning, ever once intended,
rendered beauty thus pretended,
and to circumvent
would only serve to further muddle
meanings as of yet befuddled
by the very feelings meant to
silence those discretely comprehended —
and wile away the sentiments amended —
then I along with many words
would wander free
among the verbs,
the wailing whispers scarcely heard,
and wonder whether, if beguiled,
meaning wouldn’t soon unravel,
sentences be damned, and dying
metaphors begone, and beauty
never meant
become a thing defiled.

Face-Off

A gruesome deed,
But necessary, the one I must
Commit.

Dirty jobs
Entail a bit of
Force, a little
Grit.

Here,
I’m faced with a
Juicy problem to
Knock around a bit…

Look, don’t
Mean to burst your bubble, but you’re
Not hard to
Outwit.

Pain contorts my face, my
Quarry
Reddens but doesn’t
Submit…

Tweezing, pinching, squeezing…
Until my
Valiant efforts quit.

Wait, I’ll just use my
X-Acto knife.
Yes! Take that,
Zit.