The Genome Meets Its Maker

“The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.” -Albert Camus

The father of humanity is forceful,
infusing us with iron-fisted verve
to strive beyond the stars and never swerve.

Our mother is a mistress of decorum
who tempers passion with inherent grace
to those evolving at a slower pace.

But children of the cosmos are impatient
and radical. Like marbles from a bowl,
there’s utter chaos in the way we roll.

Absurdity’s the prime genetic marker
that separates our species from the pack
and obviates the dignity we lack.

2023 Mary Boren
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Image source: Albert Camus built a philosophy of humanity on a foundation of absurdity | Aeon Videos

Chrysalis of Clarity

“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Dear Madame Orifice, you have the floor
for fifteen minutes only to condense
chaotic cognizance into a core
analysis evincing common sense.

Your knowledge of the topic may be vast
but energetic oracles must learn
that less is more — an unredacted blast
of facts won’t make the public’s passion burn.

However, if you stir a million things
around and let your thoughts metabolize
with patience, soon on disentangled wings
a nucleus of wisdom can arise.

Then, like a butterfly, go pollinate
our minds with substance worthy of debate.

2023 Mary Boren
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Image Source: thekidshouldseethis.com

Wrote Weary

“I can read it to ya, but I can’t understand it for ya.” -Babe Schwartz

Dear Reader, are you sure you understand
exactly what was meant? When sparks are stirred
by pen-and-paper pistons, logic’s blurred
and supposition strives to countermand
the benefit of doubt in distance spanned
between my mind and yours. The route inferred
without a map is hit-or-misfired word
that circumvents the destination planned.

Before you call the tow truck, pop the bonnet
and reconnect those loose ignition wires
to hear the motor hum. If that’s no good,
then go ahead and trade my failing sonnet
for verse that runs on self-inflating tires.
I’d understand it for you if I could.

2023 Mary Boren
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Note: Based on the memorable zinger from a heated session of the Texas Legislature circa 1960s. The deTexified quote, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.”, largely attributed to Edward Koch, is a knock-off. Babe Schwartz was one-of-a-kind. 

Pie in the Sky

Heed the lesson of the puppets
pointing to the narrow path.
If you stoop to look it up, it’s
sure to summon righteous wrath.

“Here’s a book of rules to follow,
filled with proper Ps and Qs.
Should the practice leave you hollow,
double down on don’ts and dos.

“Jesus loves you, that’s a given,
as the bible clearly states.
If you want to go to heaven,
hate the people Jesus hates.

“Never drift beyond the margin—
hold your tongue and stifle wit.
Thus avoid the loser’s bargain
cast into the fiery pit.”

Thank you, no. I’ll take my chances,
trusting ’til my final bow
love in any circumstances.
Hell or Heaven’s HERE and NOW.

2021 Mary Boren
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Image: Girard Exhibit, Santa Fe Folk Art Museum

A Farmboy Leaves for College, 1940

He ventured from home as an innocent lad
unfamiliar with matters urbane.
The son of a sharecropping family had
no experience boarding a train,
but with suitcase of cardboard, his spirit was clad
in the robes of a royal domain.

Younger siblings still sleeping, his mother arose
before daybreak to fix him a meal
that would nourish his muscular frame and expose
all her love in a motion to seal
the uncommon maternal connection that flows
through the hands when devotion is real.

From their caring farewell on the rickety porch,
where she cradled his face in the hands
that had patted out biscuits and planted a torch
in his hunger for knowledge, the strands
between home and each step on his long dusty march
would sustain him through unforeseen lands.

Washing up at the depot, the mirror reflected
two flour-powered palm-printed cheeks, well protected.

Based on a scene from my dad’s memoirs,
Hal Upchurch Chronicles: Into the Unknown

2023 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Published
Categorized as All Poems

RockSonnet Stock Rockets!

Would anybody like to buy some rocks?
We’ve got a bumper crop. The summer rains
have coaxed ’em to the surface. Boulder stock’s
a no-risk path to swift financial gains.

They’re easier to grow than wheat or rye —
no rows to hoe, no weeding, seeds are cheap.
The bugs won’t eat ’em and they multiply
like hangers in the closet while we sleep.

Invest today. We’ll harvest in the fall
and, if the ready market holds, it’s clear
(Lord willin’ and the Creek don’t rise) we’ll all
become quadrillionnaires by end-of-year.

When toprock-solid dividends accrue,
we’ll take our Texas cactus public too!

2002 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Consider the Lilies

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow — it empties today of strength.” -Corrie ten Boom

They neither work nor spin nor weave, yet wear
designer clothing finer than a king’s.
The bird that neither plants nor harvests brings
its babies grain to eat. It can’t prepare
a portion for the cupboard — only share
its fortune daily, freely. All these things
are offered for the taking with no strings
attached except to trust His loving care.

Then what’s so hard to understand about
the message? Did I think the earth would spin
completely off its axis if, today,
I called a moratorium on doubt
that dances on my foot? There’s peace within
the heart that lets One lead who knows the way.

2001 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Photo Source: pxhere.com TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)

Notes

When in doubt, return to the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 12:22-31)

Corrie ten Boom was the author of The Hiding Place, published in 1974, a true story of her and her Dutch family’s experiences in harboring Jewish people at risk in the Holocaust at the expense of their own imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

Achilles Heel

“The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed.” – Achilles (Homer’s Iliad)

From what we’ve seen of gods, I must believe
they haven’t got their act together yet.
Those legendary laurels can beget
no evidence of gimmicks up their sleeve.

Our highest hopes are hanging on a hinge
while overseers watch us duke it out
on endless broken battlegrounds that spout
each other’s blood like rivers of revenge?

We rail against the gate; they simply languish
in reverie instead of bringing oil
to free us from this rusted cage of toil
that keeps our lesser species trapped in anguish.

If gods were worth their salt, they would dissolve
our enmity and teach us to evolve.

2023 Mary Boren
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Respite

If life’s interactive dynamic
is pressing, and push comes to shove,
I’d recommend time in a hammock
observing the treetops above.

A panoply moves in the traces
of shadows on branches and leaves
and whispers abide in the spaces
where gentle eternity breathes.

Contentment descends like a zephyr
with curious mystical stealth
exhaling the rat race forever
when daydreaming out of myself.

2023 Mary Boren
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Dialogue vs. Monologue

A pitcher’s only useful if its contents
can nourish or refresh when freely poured
A regulated spout avoids the nonsense
in limitless release of liquid stored.

The vessel always open at the mouth
will need to be refilled when running low.
If bland or flat, instead of meeting drouth,
a standing stagnant swill can overflow.

But silence is a kindness unsurpassed
in willingness to wait within the space
between the words. An empty-headed blast
won’t take the place of listening with grace.

Replenishing the conversation cup
in turn transliterates to shutting up.

2023 Mary Boren
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Image source

Vesting Equity

I write because my mental real estate
is limited. As thoughts accumulate
they spill into the yard at this address
like loose debris that chokes the grass unless
routinely raked and bundled up to wait.

The curbside pickup trailer’s seldom late
but long before the bags are out the gate
I’m filling more while sorting through the mess
I write, because…

without releasing space to allocate
for flotsam overflowing from my pate,
I’d hoard the weeds and lose the words to press
between the folds where brainstorms coalesce
with conscious clarity to contemplate.

I write. Because.

2023 Mary Boren
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“Space Oddity” Blues

“Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.” -Major Tom (David Bowie)

Return with me to Nineteen-Sixty-Nine
when universal dreams were fresh and new.
The race was on; all bets were off on who
would lead the way across the finish line
as Russia surged ahead in the design
of Sputnik, spurring U.S. efforts through
the decade stepping up to mount a crew—
one man’s small step, a leap for all mankind.*

With science and humanity positioned
in love from Ground Control to Major Tom
and David Bowie looking like a geek,**
how hopefully the waiting world envisioned
a brighter color in the days to come
beyond this evanescent moody streak.

2023 Mary Boren
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*Was Neil Armstrong Misquoted? (What he actually said was, “for a man”.)

**Vintage footage of David Bowie looking like a geek ...

It Could Go Either Way

Imagine a life in reverse
through quantum entanglement’s grip
that’s moving from better to worse
aboard an impetuous ship.

Technology’s ready to fly
above the unknown for a cure
to human advance gone awry,
but what if we cannot endure?

Unless we start pulling together
in pooling resources to last,
the future’s unlikely to tether
our tenuous link to the past.

Survival is never a given
if progress is avarice-driven.

2023 Mary Boren
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Inspired by the sci-fi novels of Douglas E. Richards and A.G. Riddle, who responsibly explore such themes as emerging technology, AI, the singularity, quantum physics, time travel, medicine, ecology, and human nature with an equal measure of despair and optimism.

Wealth vs. Worth

“We will all go together when we go.” – Tom Lehrer, 1959

When the seers and prophets of old
saw the future, they boldly foretold
of utopian dreams,
disregarding regimes
being bolstered by glorified gold.

Greater power and wealth manifest
has primarily guided the quest
in the barbarous march
under history’s arch
all the way from the East to the West.

In a world that has waited too long
to unite, the misfortunate throng
is unable to pass
the omnivorous class
that has gotten it horribly wrong.

So humanity lurks on the brink
of a terminal failure to link
all the money on earth
to a semblance of worth
as it circles a nuclear sink.

2023 Mary Boren
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Synesthesia Stew

Panoramic interactions
filtered through the sound of struggle
mingled with the scent of silence
cast a shadow on the scene.
Eyes and ears and mouth and fingers
focus on the fellow feeling
filling designated spaces
all around and in between.

Swirling river bed’s aroma
steeped in energetic flavors
salted with a touch of kindness
constitute a hearty paste.
Add a pound of mountain cabin,
mother’s kiss and robin’s whisper
where a hint of moonlit forest
shivers in the aftertaste.

Senses stir beyond the blend
more than minds can comprehend.

2023 Mary Boren
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Loose Fitting Garment

“Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.” – Buddhist proverb

My ego bows before us
neither witty nor astute
attired in nothing formal—
just a simple birthday suit.

For having shed the layers
of its standard-issue clothes
assigned upon arrival,
bluster cannot strike a pose.

And ego knows its purpose
is to pacify the id
while challenging the toddler
to outgrow the foolish kid.

With automatic effort
in the role of lifetime guide,
perhaps it follows calmly
as it takes my quirks in stride.

But often I’m too wimpy
to embrace what lies ahead.
I hide behind the ruffles
of my ego’s dress instead..

2023 Mary Boren
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Resolutions Schmezzolutions

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.” —Joey Adams

I wish you supreme mental health
in the pleasure of being yourself
for there’s nobody else who can do it.
May you boldly decide to come through it
unscathed by the false expectations
imposed upon new generations.

In the futile commitment to change
as if thinking alone could arrange
your unique DNA to work better,
there’s a trap that serves only to fetter
your link to the fullest extension
of you without vain intervention.

So before you fall prey to the guff
that your essence is less than enough
to equip you for finding fulfillment
released in the deepest distillment
of innocence, peace, and humaneness
within, just say no to insaneness.

2023 Mary Boren
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On Quarks and Quirks

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

When stardust, quarks, and mystery combine
to make a human, nothing can compare
to possibilities. Some say beware
of ultimate betrayal to confine
the breath of life where tangled roots entwine
with evolution. I can only stare
in utter wonder, blinded by the glare
of dazzling supernatural design.

For wedged between the elemental ash
and sentient entity, surprises lurk
in hidden crevices of every hue
across the spectral plane, and in a flash
all heaven is exposed. It’s but a quirk
the miracle of promise can renew.

2022 Mary Boren
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Family Labor of Love

With hammer, saw, and simple plans,
our daddy brought the skillful hands
to build a cabin in her pride
plus all the furniture inside.

Our mama had a role to fill
in hauling lumber up the hill
as she and Uncle Buddy rode
on back to anchor down the load.

Once, perched atop the pickup bed
while Daddy drove full-speed ahead,
the lumber slid and so did they
for downhill surfing all the way.

With many hands, all work is light.
When time arrived to clear the site
of lumber scraps and small debris,
they all pitched in; not so with me.

For Daddy said that none of us
must help unwillingly, and thus
I once invoked the right to shirk
my contribution to the work.

But seated on a log I squirmed
as, soon thereafter, conscience burned.
I heaved a sigh and pursed my lips,
then joined the crew to pick up chips.

1995 Mary Boren
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To My Good Neighbor on the Right

After Robert Frost‘s Mending Wall

“Good fences make good neighbors?”

I’d concur
if politics between religious right
and ecumenical progressive left
are given rein to cultivate a plot
with bitter slur
and deed to seed the garden path with blight.

For in the blur
of flags competing in the yards bereft
of brotherhood, the middle ground is fraught
with peril to the social common good —
no saboteur
of democratic norms can bridge the cleft.

But in the whir
of mower blades that designate the spot
where grass encroaches in our neighborhood,
no fence is needed with a friend to thank
who will defer
in taking turns to guard each other’s flank.

(His name, coincidentally, is Hank.)

2022 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Published
Categorized as All Poems

Bragging Rights

The State of Texas spans eight hundred miles
and folks are known to boast
about its varied topographic styles
from mountains to the coast
of landscape that beguiles.

But I am not as readily impressed
with passing piles of earth that occupy
the land as by the hand that paints the best
of scenery to fill the sky
above the desert in the west.

2022 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Published
Categorized as All Poems

A Third Road

with apologies to Frost

America’s late poet laureate
once needled a buddy to simply choose
a passage exploring how far we get
with one or the other’s divergent views.
He wasn’t prepared for the aftermath.

For whispers of arrogance run beneath
our social conditioning to excel
by mounting a treadmill with gritted teeth
and, trapped in a circle of private hell,
ignoring the choice of another path.

And words have a way of their own to rake
a kernel of wisdom, then strip it clean
of nuance and humor to overtake
subliminal depth in an unforeseen
direction in terms of equivalence.

Though neither’s inherently right or wrong
a march to the beat of a broken tune
obscuring the music within the song
will squander a glorious afternoon
and that can make all the difference.

2022 Mary Boren
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You’re probably misreading Frost’s most famous poem.

Through Native Eyes

I’d like to spend a morning in the boots
of Jedediah Smith out pioneering
before the carpetbaggers in cahoots
with industry showed up for profiteering.

I’d stand atop the continental peak
and whisper not a clue that it divided
a nation burgeoning with ripe mystique.
I’d plant a “Keep Out” sign before it’s blighted.

But how could I usurp another first
to scale a virgin summit as she crested
above a crystal lake and quench the thirst
for worth where never other eyes had rested.

The value of the vista they’d behold
transcends the weight of Rocky Mountain gold.

2022 Mary Boren
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For those who think America’s history began with the arrival of white settlers. “After 75 years of obscurity following his death, Smith was rediscovered as the American whose explorations led to the use of the 20-mile (32 km)-wide South Pass as the dominant point of crossing the Continental Divide for pioneers on the Oregon Trail.”

Pivot Point

In evolutionary terms,
a quantum leap is overdue
as callow human nature squirms
in murky embryonic stew.

We exited the primal cave
with harnessed energy enough
for all, then willingly grew slave
to needless manufactured stuff.

Like toddlers with flamboyant blocks
we fashion castles in the air,
then fortify our walls with locks
and selfishly refuse to share.

While streamers from our satellite
might shimmer with vermilion glow,
unlike the fabled phoenix flight,
velocity is all for show.

Unless we rise victorious
as one, the looming cosmic crash
will leave behind no more of us—
an evanescent puff of ash.

2022 Mary Boren
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Soupe Au Lait

I didn’t choose a mealy-mannered man
who never makes me mad—the utter boredom
would do me in—nor would I want to can
resentments under lock and key and hoard ’em.

When tempers flare, we let the passion boil
like milk infused with onions, salt, and taters
until it nearly overflows. You’re oil,
I’m water: counterclockwise oscillators.

Then just as suddenly the flame subsides
in recognition of our equal freedom
to percolate with peeves, but love abides
in knowing when to cool instead of heat ’em.

I wouldn’t trade the flavor of the soup
that’s cooked with spices added by the scoop.

2022 Mary Boren
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The Unassuming Bard

I’d like you all to meet a fellow,
wise and witty, warm and mellow.
The story opens with the scene
of how he finally “came clean.”

Now, he’s not one to self-promote
but once I’d read the verse he wrote
in service of poetic art,
it struck a longing in my heart.
I hollered till my throat was sore:
“Please gimme, gimme, gimme more!”
So sometimes when he’d write to me
he’d dole one out reluctantly.

One day a note from him arrived
that almost left me sore deprived
throughout the week until I chanced
to turn it over, where enhanced
by simple words without fanfare
a splendid poem rested there.
I said, “Hey Buddy, what a feat,
but next time don’t be so discreet.”

Well sure enough, as time went by,
my uncle ceased to be so shy.
Next time the designated spot
was marked with arrows he had shot
across the paper’s forward face
as in humility and grace
he’d fashioned letters bold and wide:
“THEY BE A POME ON T’OTHER SIDE! —–>>>”

ooo000ooo

Written in tribute to my Uncle Buddy in the mid-1990s, when I learned to my surprise that some of the best poets of our time were related to me. I’m so glad I pestered them for their stories and poems before they died.

Selected Poems by M.E. “Buddy” Upchurch
Hal Upchurch Chronicles

My dad and his little brother, having been raised to never toot their own horns, wrote for love. It was in corresponding with them through pre-Internet years that I subsequently discovered the joy of connecting with likeminded poets online.

1995 Mary Boren
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Up There

“If we look at the path, we do not see the sky.” – Native American Proverb

I learned to walk by trusting Mom and Dad
to hold me up, my hands attached to theirs
on either side, my fledgling vision clad
with confidence until I met the stairs.

Then common sense infringed upon the scene
as blunders, bumps, and bruises set me back,
convincing me that hazards lay between
each halting step, determined to attack.

But drudgery of living on alert
by counting obstacles along the path
in pebbles, roots, or topsy-turvy dirt
will sacrifice the magic to the math.

I’d rather fall a million miles than miss
the marvel of unmitigated bliss.

2022 Mary Boren
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Wabi-Sabi Waits

The wearer who would camouflage herself
behind a superficial face will muster
resistance from the dreaded  bottom shelf
when flawless, creamy skin has lost its luster.

Strategic bits of plastic might extend
her fleeting fifteen minutes’ worth of glory
as frivolous embellishments transcend
the chance for character to tell the story.

She shuns the wrinkles; sages see the grooves
created in the crucible of patience
as surface grinding gracefully removes
the residue of youthful limitations.

For only in the artistry of lines
can wabi-sabi polish its designs.

2022 Mary Boren
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Unflinchable Phonics

Once a species of linguishing wordlums
lay wait from their lair in the woodlands
to terrorize tourists
who travel with purists
protecting the language from hoodlums.

They would squirrel their quivers with missives
of contraband bits of what-is-its,
then hissingly curve ’em
with assonant fervum
to hurl in a rain of munitions.

In the face of unflinchable phonics
the forest would ring with harmonics.
The purists were silenced
and poets were licensed
forever to frolic with sonics.

2022 Mary Boren
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Wake-Up Call

Suppose the power brokers of the world
are not the politicians we elect
to do the people’s bidding on the stage?
What if instead, identities unknown
are hovering in shadows, pulling strings
in turn — precision choreography
perfected long ago on training grounds
unbound by borders. Privileged by birth
alone, they’d hold the legacies amassed
beyond the reach of fundamental laws.

If that’s the case, imagine how they’d stifle
the growth of motivation to awaken
the consciousness of independent thinkers.

2022 Mary Boren
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Conversation Between My Eyes

“I see a healthy couple standing there
barefooted, soon to pace unsullied sands
along the peaceful shoreline, holding hands,
invigorated by the morning air.
I feel the love they share.”

“You must be daft! Delusional! Insane!
There’s nothing but a stretch of barren beach
as far as Eye can see. Beyond the reach
of colorless monotony’s domain
lies tedious terrain.”

2022 Mary Boren
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The Swell of the New Con

(with apologies to Robert Service)

I wanted the fame and I chased it
    with purposeful, passionate verve,
leaving no opportunity wasted
    to enflame the acclaim I deserve.
I self-published a book and I based it
    on an ocean of rare expertise
from an Amazon link that’s re-pasted
    into Facebook promotions with ease.

Now I’m trending on Tiktok and Twitter
    riding high on the peak of the wave
in a viral commotion aglitter
    with the glow of devotion we crave.
To the losers and chumps who are bitter
    that I hoard my exorbitant fund,
I say God doesn’t favor a quitter —
    don’t give up ’til the masses are stunned!

2022 Mary Boren
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83

Independent /
Off the rails /
Absent-minded /
Twice-told tales /

Leaky plumbing /
Creaky knees /
Toenail fungus /
Cottage cheese /

Diabetic /
Lows and highs /
Medications /
Exercise /

Pertinacious /
Battle scarred /
Scooter wheelies
In the yard /

Hard of hearing /
Booming voice /
No pretenses /
Still my choice /

Hunky hubby /
Silver-haired /
Dauntless spirit /
Love unspared /

2022 Mary Boren
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A Godsend

When angels gather for their nightly nose count,
there’s one who ought to be there, but she can’t be.
She’s here performing ministries, and those mount
as presently she’s cleaning out the pantry.

Her chariot got sidetracked in our kitchen
and, once she’d seen the pitiful disorder,
a down-to-earth declutterizing mission
commenced today at noon. Can we afford her?

I’ll summon all my fortitude and scareful-
ly venture in the kitchen for a survey,
remaining ever vigilant and prayerful
of finding all the discards, sorted her way.

What havoc she can handily unwreak,
when Mama comes to visit for a week!

2001 Mary Boren

Image Source 

Illusion of Separation

“The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.” – Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali, #12)

I looked through squinted eyes,
and begged to see The Mystery unveiled;
instead, without a word, you lifted me
with loving arms to set me in your lap
behind the wheel.

A primal burst of light
accompanied our launch through time and space,
and in my rattled, addled sense of self
I dreamed that I was traveling alone
without a map.

This lifetime lost among
inhabitants of unfamiliar worlds
obscured the memory of whence I sprang
but couldn’t kill my longing to return
before I die…

’til guided by a star
protruding from the edge of clarity,
I caught an echo of the lullabye
you sing throughout eternity to call
your children home.

2022 Mary Boren
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Preacher’s Pay

The year was Nineteen-Fifty-Three.
No matter how they fought it,
the serfs were at the mercy of
a revenuer’s audit.

With pinch-nose glasses, black bow tie,
and humorless demeanor,
he sorted through two shoeboxfuls
of records:  Lean Years/Leaner
“Aha! Looks like I’ve gotcha now!
the tax man squealed (excited).
“I don’t see any income claimed
for weddings.  Where’d ya hide it?”

The preacher said, “Let me explain.
I’ve made it a tradition,
when payment’s offered by the groom,
to hold my hand out, fishin’
as if I’m gonna keep it — then
as speedy as a rocket
I hand it over to the bride.
It never hits my pocket.”

“Tradition, humph — the bottom line:
You earned it, preacher.  Pay the fine.”

~ ~ ~

It was a new millennium.
A couple celebrated
their golden anniversary.
A trip was due; they made it.

Rejoicing in the fellowship,
like beans with macaroni,
they thanked the man who’d joined the two
in holy matrimony.
The erstwhile groom, a preacher too,
proposed a toast.  (He’d planned it
for fifty years.)  “Now listen up,”
he winked. “you’ll understand it.”

“I offered money once,” he said,
“for services well rendered —
ten dollars, half of what we had.
You turned around and tendered
it back to her.” (The woman’s eyes
were misty.) “We still owe it
with compound interest due, so here’s
a hundred bucks.  Don’t blow it.”

A proud tradition needn’t stop.
You’ve earned it, preacher.  Reap your crop.

2003 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Based on a true story involving my dad, who is shown in the photo with a different couple. More, including his own poetry, at Hal Upchurch Chronicles

Aqueducts

“Are you a cul-de-sac or a channel?” – Nancy Woods

A home is offered on a cul-de-sac
located at the bottom of a hill.
The carpet, furniture, and bric-a-brac
would be at risk in heavy rainfall; still,
it seems a pleasant place to live.  I’m told
the problem’s not the overwhelming type,
since rising water’s easily controlled
by channeling. The groundwork’s laid, each pipe
is needed in its place as, drop by drop,
the depths are filled to bring one thirsty plant
a crucial chance to flourish.  Dammed up top,
however, they won’t hold a trickle.  (Can’t.)

Imagine a supreme communal force
with every channel flowing from its source.

2002 Mary Boren
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Fickle Flight Plan

Well, if I ruled the world, all the fish in the sea
would have noses and fingers and toes
and each air-sniffing human that’s wishing to be
unencumbered by nostrils and clothes
could swim free.

And if I ran the planet, the stars in the sky
would be spelling out secrets in verse
as the passage through parallel bars on the fly
would empower the people of Earth
flitting by.

But with me in control at the helm, I suspect
unintended results could occur,
so let’s leave all the plans for the realm in effect
in the hands of The Maker. With her,
dots connect.

2022 Mary Boren
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Steve Jobs Reflects

A digital encyclopedia
finds followers who cling to shifting ground
above the swirl of social media
where fabricated adages abound.

With Morgan Freeman’s name below the quote
or what the Dalai Lama might have said,
a circulating myth could stay afloat
in perpetuity when they are dead.

The final words attributed to Steve
concerning wealth and power don’t ring true
about a man compelled to take his leave
exhausted by disease, without a clue.

In truth, as heaven broke across his brow,
he simply said, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”

2022 Mary Boren
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Fact check: Final words of Steve Jobs were not about wealth (Reuters)

The Heartbreaking Last Words of Famous People