Poker Face


I met your ante, eager to involve
myself in overtrumping you. I flinched.
Your level gaze unsettled my resolve,
and now I find my thin composure benched.

No upturn-cornered rosebud lips betray
your boldness, perched in Mother’s shopping cart.
How can you be so blasted calm? I’m prey
to eyes with no propensity to dart.

I’m stuck behind you at the checkout stand,
you liquid-lidded angel.  Clear the aisle —
I may as well cash in my chips. (This hand
won’t help me make a brown-eyed baby smile.)

Your halo isn’t gold; it’s burnished red.
If stares were shards of metal, I’d be dead.

2002 Mary Boren
View Discussion

In Due Time


(with apologies to George Bernard Shaw and Robert Herrick)

You tell us youth is wasted on the young,
that we must gather rosebuds while we may
lest fragile opportunities be flung
like flotsam on the canvas of decay.

With body toned, thick hair and creamy skin
commanding adulation from the masses
the pattern of predominance will spin
its own cocoon around the rugged passes.

But I submit the opposite is true.
It’s adolescent angst that stands in need
of energy to busily pursue
agendas misdirected to succeed.

For only at an age when pride is purged
can artificial values be submerged.

2021 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Trading Races


“When you have only ever experienced privilege, equality feels like oppression.” ― Adam Rutherford

Here’s Karen, captured from a foreign realm,
stacked in a leaky vessel through a storm
where all the crew, from cargo hold to helm,
were black and bold, the undisputed norm.

She’s told to buckle down and never whine
about the weight of sorrow on her back
from stolen heritage. “What’s yours is mine,”
they say, “we’ve set you on an equal track.”

But drowning in an ocean fraught with tears
or stranded in a desert parched with thirst,
the vestige of oppression through the years
can never fade until the tide’s reversed.

Why should it threaten them if she demands
a sign that someone sees and understands?

2020 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Cosmic Crossroads

“Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.” -The Prophecy of Thoth

There will come a time, the ancients said,
when Planet Earth is severed from the Spirit.
As mystics strive to reconnect the thread
with sacred speech, the people will not hear it.

Redemption must go deeper than the words
to overthrow the pattern of stagnation
in human consciousness that undergirds
our currents of decline in co-creation.

For only when the willingness of one
and all anothers unified by reason
to forge ahead together has begun
will heaven manifest its winning season.

And each alone can activate the glue
that binds us to the cosmic retinue.


cc-by-nc-nd

2020 Mary Boren
View discussion on this poem.

“No I can’t stop that, but I can stop what I’m doing to contribute to it.”

Image Source Neil deGrasse Tyson is silhouetted against the birth of the cosmos – the Big Bang – at the inception of the Cosmic Calendar and its vast 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution.

Puff Piece

A canopy of cumulus projection
aligns itself enticingly and spills
its cotton candy succulent confection
across the canvas of the Texas hills.

A viewer, from the vantage of a hammock,
anticipates the daily matinee
with vapors in their drama-packed dynamic
of interactive whimsical display.

But, looking down upon the scene, King Cirrus
harumphs a haughty epithet, “The stage
is mine alone today!” And with the merest
regard he scatters all in jealous rage.

The lively cast of Comal County Clouds
will never fail to entertain the crowds.


cc-by-nc-nd

2020 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Fasting for Lent

I’ve pledged to stifle negativity
for forty days. In striving not to judge
another for the treatment given me,
I’ll dodge the bait to whine or hold a grudge.

It shouldn’t be a challenge to achieve
an altered state of transcendental bliss
if I can find the secret to deceive
emotion with a promise and a kiss.

But Ego has a credo of its own:
“Don’t give an inch in sowing discontent.”
Perception hangs as heavy as a stone
between the poles of stuck and free ascent.

With thirty days to go, I’m half inclined
to chuck it all and speak my monkey mind.


2020 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Halt, Who Goes There?

I see you coming, melancholy mood,
descending like a demon eighteen-wheeler
from out of nowhere racing to occlude
my passage through perception’s truth-concealer.

I’m drifting in bewildering terrain,
white-knuckled now, my eyes are turning glassy.
As wretched shocks dislodge me from my lane,
I can’t escape the damage to my chassis.

With wanderlust careening off the road,
it takes a heap of strength to hold the center.
The labored engine threatens to explode
before my awe-struck psyche starts to splinter.

But wait—I have a built-in safety pillow—
I’ll stomp the brakes and let the airbags billow!


cc-by-nc-nd

2020 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Sustenance

Before she’s drawn a second breath or viewed
her mother’s face, a newborn seeks the breast.
No special training’s needed, there’s no test
for measuring a baby’s aptitude
or mother’s love. The cycle is renewed
as fed becomes the feeder, doubly blessed
with strength. Instinctively, we all ingest
the substance packed in life-sustaining food.

So why should care and feeding of the soul
be shrouded in enigma? Through the worst
imponderable doubts, our Living Guide
extends a standing offer: “Here’s a bowl
of hearty stew for free.” And with a burst
of sight, the inner cynic’s pacified.



o0o

cc-by-nc-nd

  2000 Mary Boren

View discussion on this poem.

Of Two Minds

A brain cannot absorb more than its mass.
I tell myself it helps to let it drain
in seeking to achieve a higher plane.  
How often, wearing blinders, do we  pass
the Buddha Image in a blade of grass
or shun the light beyond the windowpane
for fear its pull will render us insane?
My will is steel, my spirit tempered glass.

Yet there are times the mind will not be barred
from grappling with enigma.  Nonchalance
won’t turn the key to wisdom or prepare
the soul for nourishment.  Without regard
for tethered cognizance, my psyche wants
to conquer obfuscation in the air.



o0o

cc-by-nc-nd

  2002 Mary Boren

View discussion on this poem.



Choose Love

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The lifeblood of the planet is in peril
of swift extinction by exsanguination
from injuries inflicted by the feral
barbarians attacking its foundation. 

Physicians for society have proffered
a proven remedy through mass injection
of Zenicillin. Hordes, instead, have coffered
an arsenal of hate to breed infection.

But deep within the body, organisms
are gathering in overwhelming numbers
to spread the needle’s healing for our schisms,
awakening compassion where it slumbers.

The power of love is dazzling when it stirs.
Don’t flee before the miracle occurs.

o0o

cc-by-nc-nd

  2019 Mary Boren

View discussion on this poem.

Descartes Before Dehorse

The mistress cracks a psychic whip, and he,
a blinder-fitted plodding workhorse bound
by honor, hopes to find a patch of ground
that won’t give way beneath his hoof. To be
or not to be, his sole identity
derives from someone leading him around
in circles, heaping judgment pound for pound
with unequivocating certainty.

He’d never think of putting up a fight,
for every time he jumps, she lifts the bar
to keep his motivation locked up tight,
convinced that it can never venture far
from her own brand of patent black-and-white
philosophy, “I think, therefore you are.”

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2001 Mary Boren

 

Photo Source

View discussion on this poem.

The Preacher’s in the Parlor

I’m hidin’ in the barn. They’re droppin’ in
at suppertime and Papa’s lookin’ green.
Ol’ Skeeter’s broke his leash and fled the scene.
Deliver us from bible-thumpin’ kin!

Aunt Smerka Lott’s a vision: beehive hair
and buttoned up plumb shut from chin to sole
‘cep one long finger waggin’ through a hole
waist-high. (I wouldn’ guess what’s under there.)

Now Mama comes and drags me by the neck
into the parlor. Uncle Filler Buster
is warmin’ up to toss his well-worn cluster
of pearls before us pigs. Oh Holy Heck!

I pray, “Dear Lord, please hurry. They deserve
to be called home.” God’s workin’ up the nerve.

 

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2003 Mary Boren

 

Photo Source

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Job Security

 

Adaptable, dependable, designed
explicitly to fill a threaded slot,
you serve, content to be yourself. You’re not
a bolt, but when some nut gets in a bind,
you’ll spiral in if qualified. Maligned
and snickered-at behind your back? So what?
Opinions turn you neither cold nor hot —
that’s not the way your character’s defined.

For whether long or short or fat or thin,
or backing out or boldly pressing through,
the key is in the willingness to spin
according to the job one’s called to do.
Humanity could learn a lesson in
the perseverance of a lowly screw.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2003 Mary Boren

 

View discussion on this poem.

The Disappearance of Limits

“Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours aware of what they mean… or do our lights wander a lifeless cosmos, unseen beacons announcing that here on our rock, the universe discovered its existence?” – Stephen Hawking

The mental giant in a metal chair
resided in a multi-layered sphere
beyond our grasp, as we who simply stare
into the heavens, wondering if here
is all there is. He brought the world a gift
enfolded in a cryptic paradigm,
unwrapped in subtle stages for a shift
in scientific thought on space and time.

The message of the multiverse is veiled
in gossamer and lace, with calico
and pleated velvet drapes that have assailed
our curiosity, but this I know:
Illusion born of suffering absconds
when consciousness is freed from mortal bonds.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2018 Mary Boren

 

Image by Mitchell Toy

View discussion on this poem.

To the Song of the Cosmos

Your melody’s transporting me away
to sunrise in a candy-coated land
where no one suffers at another’s hand.
You offer me serenity to stay.
I’m tethered to the protoplasmic clay
you fashioned from the void. I’ve always planned
to hitch a ride back home. You understand
my murmurings in spite of what I pray.

But I’ll decline the invitation while
my fellow travelers are left to grieve,
for who would sing your words if I should leave?
I’ve given them the only things I had
to share, a simple sonnet and a smile.
I’ll catch you on the flipflop. Don’t be sad.

 

 

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2018 Mary Boren

 

View discussion on this poem.

Leader

"Namaste" by Thom Ricks

If you can set your biases aside
to champion what’s compassionate and just,
and value every member of your tribe
as if you’d given birth to each of us;
awakening to true community,
not rushing into battle unprepared,
but seeking out a path to unity
when sleepers’ predatory fangs are bared,
and forging through the darkness to the source
of light, replenishing your spirit when
the mantle sags, thus modeling the course
of energy infused with wisdom, then…

I’ll follow you with every nerve and bone
to places I’m afraid to go alone.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

Painting by Thom Ricks

View discussion on this poem.

On a Gusty Day in December

Atop a ladder, Jack, with hair askew
and frownful countenance, leaned in to fend
away resistance. Wrestling with the wind
to hang the Christmas baubles, temper too
acquired momentum. As his banner flew,
three letters pirouetted out to bend
around his backside, shining end to end.
A passer quipped, “Does JOY live there with you?”

I wonder, does it show that she has earned
a front-room space with me? A cozy bed
among the other beds, a comfy chair,
a plate — so little asked, so much returned.
In peaceful co-existence, Anger, Dread
and Sorrow hold their tongues when Joy is there.

 

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2001

 

See discussion on this poem.

Pride and Privilege

“Don’t tear that statue down! It represents
my heritage.” The Civil War still rages.
Although it ended, losers ever since
have sabotaged the bleak and bloody pages
of history. The altered facts we swallowed
have been exposed to light and judged a ruse
to whitewash the atrocities that followed.

The symbols we so carelessly confuse
with patriotic zeal across the board
from founding days are neither right nor good —
they’re remnants of a past to be abhorred
by those “endowed” with three-fifths personhood.

And liberty is just an empty word
until each citizen is seen and heard.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

Photo source and more info on the history of confederate statues

View discussion on this poem.

Origin

William_Blake_Eve_Tempted_by_the_Serpent

Did Planet Earth evolve from random bits
of space debris intensively colliding
in willy-nilly fashion as befits
the current state of omnipresent fighting?

Does the existence here of you and me
derive from Capricana’s first manned landing?
A Legend of Creation holds the key
for those demanding doubtless understanding.

Before a single footprint punched the soil
foreshadowing humanity’s uniqueness,
a serpent was positioned to uncoil
the moment opportunity met weakness.

The Maker softly sighed and shook Her head,
“I wish I’d fashioned something else instead.”

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

Image Source

View discussion on this poem.

 

Beneficence

In days of plenty, when they pass the plate,
assorted fives and twenties fall, and these
can help, but donors shoulder little weight
of suffering from hunger or disease.

In seasons when the world is steeped in woes
and inequality exacts its due
with repetitious cataclysmic blows,
the needs of many overwhelm the few.

But that’s when public spirit kicks in gear
among the open-hearted; those who spring
into the void, rejecting the veneer
of halo’s glow — true colors taking wing.

Compassion is the radiating face
of membership within the human race.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

This was my part of a collaboration with my friend Bill Keller, in which we were challenged to take opposing sides of an issue but write as one voice. We decided on altruism, and he graciously took the con side with a reverse Shakespearean sonnet in response. Our joint effort, entitled “Give and Take”, won second place in the contest.

View discussion on this poem.

Ephemeral

If you remember me when I am gone
with any sense of clarity, ignore
the critic in the shadows who has drawn
impressions from an outline on the floor.

I never fit within the chalky bounds
of others’ expectations. Still, I tried,
until I was awakened to the sounds
of omnipresent promise amplified.

So when you picture me inside your head,
unhampered by the superficial sphere,
behold a ball of energy that shed
the cover humans wear when we are here.

And soon, in less than one eternal minute,
a burst of light will follow. You’ll be in it!

===
cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017

Image Source

The Psyche Takes a Break

Transported to a long abandoned hill,
the vision through a classic poet’s eyes
allows reflective drops to crystallize
in images ascending from his quill.
And, for a moment, time lies hushed and still.
The blush of first discoveries arise
in panoramic sway across the skies
with vibrant colors bending to my will.
But then despair begins to overwhelm
my senses. What’s the use of fantasy
that clings to an ethereal caress
while suffering afflicts the tarnished realm?
Encircled by the world’s insanity,
the mind deserves a holiday, I guess.

===
After On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer, by John Keats

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017

 

Image Source

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A Can of Oops

If I could wield a monumental can
of Oops! and travel back through space and time,
I’d circle ’round the sun like Superman
obliterating planetary slime.

I’d wipe the stain from any human heart
that ever felt unworthiness and shame
and wash the tongues of any taking part
in propagating hatred in God’s name.

The odious graffiti on the wall
would melt away and metamorph into
the artistry of nature over all;
an unpolluted, unifying view.

And after false perception is destroyed,
I’d hurl the dirty rag into the void.

===
cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017

Silence is Betrayal

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
The words of Doctor Martin Luther King
hang heavy in the air. Intentions fail
to halt the arc of hatred’s brutal swing.

The centuries of organized oppression
are coming to a climax. You and I
must take a stand for justice. Shy discretion
is not a virtue when the stakes are high.

As hard-won rights are carelessly dismantled
before our eyes, the growing battle zone
erupting in the streets cannot be handled
with slacktivism. None should march alone.

Resisting with a vengeance, beat the drum
and shout in unison, “The time has come!”

 
 

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017

Heart on a Hill

heart-on-a-hill

The valley of their moody discontent
was littered with illusions that became
a monumental momentary glint
that blundered on the battlefield of blame.

Their bickering beget a bitter crop
of grievances for one divided whole,
a couple poised to scale the mountaintop
together, but without a common goal.

But then he tripped and banged the water pail
against his head so hard it made her sick.
Compassion rose within her like a gale
of cleansing air. Disaster did the trick.

So, climbing hand in hand, they claimed their hill
where happiness now reigns for Jack and Jill.

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2016
View discussion on this poem.

The source of the photo is a mystery. If known to be in violation of copyright, please advise.

Watching the Children Play

children on playground

We struck up conversation easily —
custodians with no apparent lack
of common ground. (It seems he has a knack
for working on transmissions.) Suddenly
his focus shifted momentarily.
Three names rang out, three children answered back.
His explanation made my jaw go slack:
“I need to hear their voices — I can’t see.”

He never saw my estimation rise
for one so fit, with miles and years to span,
whose handicap won’t bump him from the race.
I swallowed hard, then slowly raised my eyes —
two gluttons drinking in the scene — to scan
the playground, seeking out my grandson’s face.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

Photo Source

Make Me

girl on track

Unjustly scorned, I fancied self-control
could somehow keep misunderstanding’s reign
from drowning out the music in my soul.
I’d only march along the sunlit lane
and never have to stumble, stoop, or bend.

The lessons in the dense and tangled brush
are difficult — who’d willingly extend
the season of their sorrows? I would rush,
but Father, keep me here until You’re through.
For laughter fades, and all is vanity
that doesn’t help produce a servant who
surrenders everything unselfishly.

It’s not the celebration, it’s the loss
that draws me to the shadow of the Cross.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2003

The Call of Home

Astral Projection

I’d love to travel astrally,
projecting past the sun and moon
into the realm beyond the bounds
of brick and mortar, blood and bone.

When carried on a single thought
aloft, my busy brain would cease
its constant chattering while I
enjoy the panoramic view.

But for the needs of day to day
existence in a mortal shell,
there’s no place I would rather live
than here at home on Planet Earth.

Let not her strength and beauty fade
because we failed to heed her cry.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2013

Knock Need

door

“Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m waiting, fidgeting with doubt, between
your door and the familiar country road
that points the way back home. I felt I owed
an olive branch at last. Beyond the screen,
I see you darkly now — an awkward scene
looms imminent. Where hearts once overflowed
with easy conversation, seeds we sowed
lie dormant in a fathomless ravine.

I never knew the reason. Twenty years
ago, I’d meet you if I had to crawl.
What stifled camaraderie? Illusion?
Perhaps, if puffed resentment disappears,
we’ll stand on common ground. Along the hall
your shadow nears. Reunion or intrusion?

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2002

The Moving Finger Pauses

rewind
I’ve often wished (who hasn’t?) for a chance
to press the rewind button, start again
and choose a different partner for the dance
of fickle youth to play what might have been.

Instead of giving circumstances reign,
I’d tap the hidden track of inner peace
and circumvent the path that leads to pain;
let static fade and harmony increase.

But tempting though it be to theorize
on rearranging compositions past,
each segment is a lesson in disguise
that can’t be altered once the program’s cast.

And focusing on tapes that self-repeat
defines the formula for soul-defeat.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2012

The Key

clouds1001

Between the posts of now and yet-to-be
exists an air of utter mystery.
The apprehensive ego speculates
its end occurs when there’s no more of me.

Defiantly, it strives to storm the gates
of heaven, railing hard against the fates,
but on a quiet sea untouched by storms,
the soul knows immortality awaits.

For energy is endless — it transforms
in ways we can’t conceive as essence warms
to universal consciousness.  Esprit
arises from Creation’s vapor swarms.

Regardless of the how or why, the key
is living in The Now abundantly.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2012

Holy Instant

universe

Based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles

Behind each errant thought there hangs a thread
of continuity, a knowingness
that’s hidden by an unrelenting fear
of meaningless existence. Only in
suspended judgment can the truth emerge.
When ego is subjected to the light,
illusion evanesces. One by one,
each child of God, awakening, recalls
his rightful heritage of endless love,
for separation never has occurred.
Now, following the thread back to its source,
we see the world for what it is, a screen
projecting unreality, a blip.
The little willingness is all it takes
to conquer thought and matter, time and space.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2012

Public Domain Photo

I Cry

tears

“Sorrows which find no vent in tears will soon make other organs weep.” -Henry Maudsley

It’s utterly humiliating.  Why
must I be doomed to blubber like a dunce
at anything that moves me?  Never dry
or cool, I’m drowning in the genome pool.

Emotions, down with you!  Get dressed, you sluts!
Behave yourselves — stay covered to the neck.
You’re killing my performance, spilling guts,
indecently parading on the deck.

Bewildered, stunned reactions (vacant eyes
and slackened jaws and shuffled shoes) are fraught
with undertones from all who patronize
with pep talk: “Get a grip. You’re overwrought.”

If weepers ruled the planet, we’d allow
a bit of slack for those who don’t know how.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2002

The Community Under the Bridge

bats over Austin

The heart of Texas spreads its welcome mats
beneath wide open skies and live oak trees
for multicultural anomalies,
encompassing the native habitats
of varied specimens. Assorted hats
(from cowboys’ to construction workers’) squeeze
in line with tourists. Downtown eateries
cash in on Austin’s colony of bats.

At dusk, the stellar cast, in one accord,
commences its unflappable ascent
to glory over Congress Avenue.
The Capitol, just north, where laws afford
the bats profuse protection, stands unbent,
without a nod to folks who sleep there too.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2003

Teach Me

childs-first-prayer

Forgive me when my dangling participles,
unfocused thoughts, and split infinitives
induce in me self-consciousness that cripples
the will to seek your company.  It gives
me comfort, peace and pleasure just to know
you’ll wait for me, or meet me where I am or
you’ll even carry me when I can’t go
another feeble step alone.  I stammer
and sputter, clear my throat, and awkwardly
aspire to eloquence; my speech unable
to hold a candle.  Still, you’ve offered me
an all-abiding welcome at your table.

You wrote my heart; you know the words I’d say.
In silence, Father, teach me how to pray.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2003

Pleased to Mete You

Dorothy Parker & Alan Campbell

(after Dorothy Parker)

I offer you my effort to create
a simple sonnet worthy of a word
of criticism, question, or debate
with no assumption flattery’s preferred.

For if you judge it awkwardly enjambed,
pedestrian, unbearably clichéd
unwitty or ho-hummingly iambed,
you’ll never witness my composure fade.

And though you tell me I have not employed
the most appealing diction in my quest,
then I will not be in the least annoyed —
I’ll gladly pay the penalty assessed.

But critic, if you say my stanzas fail
to scan, I’ll come out fighting tooth and nail!

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

Public Domain Photo

Bell Choir

bells

You rise, and congregated ears abound
with expectation.  Soon the air is crowned
in clarity as pure, celestial sound
anoints the sanctuary.  Each one’s own
precisely chimes in turn, for one alone
cannot create the resonance of tone
that’s crucial to the chorus. Willing hearts
and waiting hands coordinate with starts
and stops.  The whole is greater than its parts.

The veil between the realms in times like these
becomes translucent, borne on devotees
of equal worth and echoed harmonies.
May all God’s children stand prepared, like you,
to simply strike one glorious note on cue.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  2012

Confidant

dog-resting

How often can we truly claim a friend
who’ll give, without embarrassment or pride,
immeasurable love, and take in stride
our failures, overlooking ways we’ve sinned
against the name of friendship; one who’ll spend
each moment in our shadows satisfied
to simply listen, watch, and gently guide
in loving ways few humans comprehend?

Anticipating need, the Maker chose
to set aside from claw and hoof and horn
the nobler elements in pure repose
with greed, conceit, and jealousy forsworn.
Unbridled gusto, muddy paws, cold nose;
Devoted Dog, of such is legend born.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

Public Domain Photo

Sandbox Shadows

bully

He looms, Colossus-like, beside the gate,
appearing larger than he’ll ever be.
He’s just a puffed-up playground potentate,
a page in self-repeating history.

He never lacks for awestruck underlings
who’ll vie to hold his coat, or for a crowd
to view experiments with insect wings
and laugh at little girls who cry out loud.

The lucky children later go to bed
in loving homes where comfort is reward
and wonder what it meant when Daddy said,
“They’d rather be despised than be ignored.”

And in the silent depths where shadows reap
a toll, the bully cries himself to sleep.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

The Fall of Hubris

climbing

There comes a time when, with a stalwart heart,
I plunge ahead, not looking left or right.
With clarity and purpose, from the height
of glowing certainty I can impart
a sacred sense of beauty, truth, and art.
Yes, there are times when, bathed in broad daylight,
I walk a weedless, unstrewn path. Insight
is painlessly acquired.  I’m feeling smart!

Inevitably, following the climb,
I tumble from the summit with a thud
and grapple in the guilt-infested slime,
surrendering illusions to the mud.
But mercy reigns above me all the time,
forgiveness measured out in love, not blood.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2000