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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In a Perfect World



IN A PERFECT WORLD

Professional athletes and teachers swapped salaries,
Prisons now are places one wants to avoid,
Art is now rotated among the world’s galleries
So it can be appreciated, noted and enjoyed.
Chocolate only has a quarter of the calories,
And only those who choose can be called unemployed.

Politicians work two terms, then go back to their jobs,
Which works because every citizen now votes.
Nobody ever cheats, lies, steals or robs,
Because society now integrity promotes.
Watterston goes back to drawing Calvin and Hobbes
And teenagers return to the sowing of wild oats.

Poets are lauded like rock stars once were
Student memorizing their latest quatrains,
Riding in limos, with liveried chauffeur,
Drinking the world finest champagnes.
Why, thank you for the compliment monsieur
The French still the world’s culture maintains.

But the one thing that would make this world perfect
The one wish my spirit most wants to impart -
Lovers would never their lives or families neglect
Never in anger or deceit would they depart
Two hearts, once committed, never disconnect
When caring and sharing are perfected as Art.



©2014 Christopher Reilley

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Blessings of Disconnect



THE BLESSINGS OF DISCONNECT


If I had a wish, I would ask to be unmoored.
Drifting lazily with the current, one oar in the water,
making beautiful circles without end,
a galaxy spiraling enveloping arms.

I would watch the horizon, as my view
traded places with some one else's view,
the universe slipping away untethered
by demands upon my time.

You might perhaps want to signal me
using nebula, the only language I would understand -
jagged spiked ones for warnings
smooth creamy ones for poems about the warnings.

And for those few moments,
when all I ask is to be forsaken,
use dark matter to speak with me,
so that not even concepts could escape its pull.


©2011 Christopher Reilley

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Four Minutes To Midnight



FOUR MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT


The midnight hour tolls from behind the curtain on the global stage,
Hiding sussurant whispers that have managed to escape the cage.
Traditions have been Frankenstein'ed so no skeptics can deny
The need for introspection, or the pain of wondering why.

Hopefully the palace guard will decay into grave-land dust,
Leaving behind an infrastructure collapsing into orange rust.
When the dawn of revolution colors horizons far and wide,
The clouds will provide a backdrop when hawks and doves collide.

The common man wraps himself in debt, worry and fears
While drug cartels and rich infidels throw sand into the gears
Hoping to knock Western society completely off the rails
So that their own ideas of what should be will triumph when ours fails.

The rot that fills the abscesses of madness rides as herald to the storm,
Of uncertain future failings now that black clouds have begun to form.
The desiccation of our most human and our nation's cherished ideals
Feeds their own usurpation as fear-mongering debate congeals.

Nothing left but scavengers, ripping flesh from the carcass-ed beast,
Raptors and hyenas slinking westward from the fabled East.
And we, the faithful few, will never accept what assails our eyes:
The teeming mass of vermin, War's maggots grown to godly size.

When dust has blown and webs are spun, when Man has been put to rest,
And ideology has died from the fight to determine whose is best,
When the human race has run its race, come to the end of its course,
There will be nobody left to feel a shadow of bitter remorse




©2014 Christopher Reilley




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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Danger Days



DANGER DAYS


Letting my fingers slide over moon-milk,
facing down danger
in my mantle of youthful enthusiasm
that I recite from memory
in my middle age,
I remember when I put myself out there.

There were long wet days full of rain,
huddled beneath the overpass
sharing false warmth
from a plain brown bag.
Passing the roach until our fingers cooked,
tasting true warmth on her lips.

There were late nights glistening,
dodging the red and blues
as they cruised,
flicking authority the bird,
risking it all for her love
risking my good name for us.

Meeting so many sets of parents,
staying warm and soft-edged
in order not to scare them,
then revealing the baddest of boys
to tickle her fancy
and her soft curves.

There were times I nearly wet myself,
cliff diving, bumper skiing, fist fighting,
daring to be who I foolishly believed
I was supposed to be,
in order to touch her
where it was dangerous to touch.




©2007 Christopher Reilley




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Friday, January 9, 2015

The Weekend of Two Birthdays!

Both of my daughters were born in August, and one year we attempted to hold their birthdays together, one for their friends, and one for our family.  Turned out to be too much work. The next weekend I wrote this. 

THE WEEKEND OF TWO BIRTHDAYS

Stirring, saucing, boiling, bake,
Braise the meatballs, frost the cake.
Setting up chairs and dressing the stage,
Decorations all appropriate to age.
Hot food, cold food, beer and wine,
Enough to feed one hundred and nine.
Vacuuming, polishing, dusting and clean,
Hiding the refuse, we do not want it seen.

Saturday arrivals, tween girls all a’twitter
Singing karaoke, wearing costumes with glitter.
Pizza and soda and chocolate everything
Laughing at how badly some kids will sing.
Egg toss and water balloons, and prizes for all
Books and gizmos and things bought at the mall.
Laughing and singing and all their good friends,
Sighing and hugging when it finally ends.

Sunday is for family, who come from far and near
To eat themselves silly and drink all our beer.
They pinch cheeks and compliment, saying sweet things
And give gifts of clothing, jewelry and rings.
“My how you’ve grown”, and “Don’t you look sweet.”
“Here is some money,” and endearments complete.
Great food, conversation and stories re-told
Some things about family just never get old.

And when it is all over, all things said and done,
Dishes all washed and the mess left is none,
After murmurs and kisses and songs softly sung,
And cherished delights of being older, yet young,
They are both tucked away, dreaming with soft smiles,
And we consider with pleasure that it was worthwhile,
We sit back and enjoy some peace, saying “Well dear,
How do you expect to top this next year?”




©2009 Christopher Reilley

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Far From Innocent



FAR FROM INNOCENT


I am a sinner.

I am a statue, moored by concrete, set in my ways,
set in stone, inside rock.
There are places upon me which the sun has never seen.
Inside, hidden pipes of justification
spout excuses that will never work.

Shortcuts and make-believe have led me here,
will faith carry me back?
Isn't it a part of faith to have faith that it will work?

Even those little things, those accidents -
fingers jammed up in a door frame,
falling on icy steps;
even while screaming
I know that I am responsible.

Thinking about mustard seeds
shrinks the scope of my world,
until the only thing left is possibilities.

And the hardest part is that God has forbidden
judging ourselves or others.
So I suppose I am guilty there, too.




©2013 Christopher Reilley

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Was Kissed by a Cloud



I WAS KISSED BY A CLOUD

I was kissed by a cloud today.
It found me when I was looking elsewhere
for someone to love

I lavished time,
passing folk
preened for nobody,
squandered moments that were better spent
in growth.

Look at me, I cried,
then when they did
I cried,
for I knew they saw me
as I am.

I felt a touch
softer than a dream’s shadow,
touching me in places
that rarely saw the light of day.
And when I looked for the source
I was moist
with sky tears
weeping at the beauty
of what I am.




©2010 Christopher Reilley

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