Archive for November, 2011

Jeannie, 11

14 Nov


Face of an angel.
Timid eyes of a deer.
A whisper like cotton.
A laugh that brings tears.
A strong aura you can see from afar.
A fragile life that can vanish
Like a shooting star.

If you make a wish,
I’ll make it come true.
Because my friend,
I so much love you.

Only a brutal twist of fate
Could tear our wishes apart.
Alas, little girl you were born
With a hole in your heart.

An unfair world full of chronic madness.
Deserving souls feeling ironic sadness.
One day you’re outside playing and laughing.
Then you’re in a cold, white room,
Crying and gasping.

Helpless parents in quiet hallways roam.
“Mommy, Daddy, I want to go home!”
“I promise dear it won’t be long.
Just rest your head down
While Mommy sings you a song.”
Daddy cries….Mommy prays.
“Dear Lord, bring us back
The good old days.”

Your sisters at home
Stare at your empty bed.
“God bring her home soon,” the older one said.
The middle child felt remorse and shame.
Never meant to tease you.
She’ll never be the same.

You’re feeling better.
Your doctors are too.
A welcome home party
Will be ready for you.
But home is not where you’re going.
Not the home you think.
For the angels have prepared a bed
Where you can peacefully sleep.

Your spirit remains strong,
But your body too weak.
Mom and Dad look at each other….
“Our future looks bleak.
Don’t let her see us cry…
Remain strong for our reason to live.”
“Mommy, Daddy,” you say.
“I have nothing more to give.”

Time to go.
Time to bid adieu.
From the center of my soul,
I will deeply miss you.

Mommy holds your hand,
As you hold the hand of death.
Before I can say goodbye…
You’re gone.
With the sound of a swan’s last breath.

There are no words.
Just make-believe smiles…
Wearisome chatter.
Silent tears…
Dreams shattered.

Where are you my friend?
Where did you go?
Why is this day of mourning
Going so slow?

Oh, there you are.
I can see you at last.
But this isn’t the face
I knew from the past.
Seeing you lying in a small, pink box
In a pretty white dress.
Is a sight that will for years
Cause me great distress.

Dead brown hair…
Translucent skin…
Somebody bring her back to life
With just one kiss.

No such luck.
You’re gone for good.
Can’t say goodbye.
I know I should.

Do you want to scream,
“Don’t leave me!” I wonder.
As they lower you six feet under?

As I walk away
I do not say goodbye.
For I know we will see each other
In the afterlife.

Watch over us as you wake up
With the morning dew.
Until then we will live our lives…

Without you….

Tanya Powell

This was inspired by the death of my good friend Jeannie…she was only 11.

September Blitz

14 Nov

It was a September Blitz
and with tears in our eyes and ash on our tongue
we watched our world and our innocence,
burn in the shrapnel
Yeah a September Blitz
and for those who remember,
the sound and the thunder
we stayed changed,
frozen in a moment burned in flame
For those who hoped we would learn
that day never came and we watched it destroyed in the spiral of a plane
A September Blitz
a day of courage twisted to serve
a catalyst used for marching
not change, not unity
A September Blitz
a spreading fire of hate and mistrust
of tears and fear
But the young remember
the sound and the thunder
and with ash on our tongues
we strive to remember,
the flames and the fear
but also the hope,
the unending hope
rising from the smoke

C. Serret

Love Feels Like A Map I’ve Never Read Before

14 Nov

Tracing maps on your skin,

breathing you in

I count my stars

that I’ve found you

Tracing maps on your skin,

breathing you in

I count the ways I love you

Cliched or not,

I can’t escape this feeling

of destiny,

this feeling of instant sunshine

when I hold your smile with both hands

Tracing maps on your skin,

breathing you in

I don’t want to escape the feeling,

that you might stay

-C. Serret

I Want To Feel Free Again

14 Nov

I want to feel free again

Learn how to breathe again

so I’m back at this memory

running the car to nowhere

with the wind in our hair

We have nothing left to share

except to keep moving

with or without each other

live or die

But babe let’s keep moving

striving, reaching

So gun the car

let’s keep moving

bring us forward

no matter what’s ahead

We’ve got each other

even if we can’t believe it


-C. Serret

Do you hear the crickets yet?

14 Nov

Do you hear the crickets yet?
I long to hear their song.
They let me know
When it’s time to dream.
To forget the day.
To remember yesterday.

Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet
And I don’t want it to.
Glued to the rocker
On my front porch.
Gazing across the yard.
Oh what beautiful ivy,
It’s seen alot.
The air so still.
The branches don’t move.
Neighbors so quiet,
Are they still there?

Just me alone.
So much better this way.
The clock may have stopped
For the crickets and me.
Now is the time
To numb the pain
Of a bankrupt life
That was filled with
Disillusion and lies.

Tried to be invisible
But those skeletons
Always lured me toward the light
Where they all could see me
Trembling with fury
After the salt dried on my cheeks.
No more
No more.
On this July evening

There will be a fleeting hush
To the nightmare I endured
When the crickets hypnotize me
And put me in a merciless sleep
With their lullaby.

-Tanya Powell

Shadows and Heartbeats

14 Nov
Hold me close a little longer

Make these shadows seem a little warmer

You don’t care, never did

but let me pretend you do

So hold me close a little longer,

make me believe there’s more to life

than shadows and heartbeats

Let it seem like your heart can beat for me

Help me believe there’s more to life,

than shadows and heartbeats

-C. Serrett

In the Last Gasp of Daylight

14 Nov

In the last gasp of daylight yer there

With yr daughter in your hand

Playin at the bruised-apple park until dark.

Ya jump in yr minvan and ball that jack




Too Old Young Men

11 Nov

We’re a couple of too old young men

Who keep going back, again and again


Calling each other on the phone

Time’s passed, neither leave it alone


Caught in dark delusions

Fears fed by nightmarish illusions


Our memories explode

Upon those desert roads


Telephonic recollections

Disharmonic introspections


Our Hysterical ramblings

On the historical trampling


Of an Arab nation

In an empirical aggregation,


Of power and petroleum

And a dream that we sold ’em


With the butt of a gun

‘Neath their hot desert sun


Just a couple of too old young men

Who keep going back, again and again



-Stephen Handlin


Linkhorn’s Song

10 Nov


I’ve got a place to stay ’til Halloween

My rent’s paid if you know what I mean

For a minute I can sit and breathe free

Maybe I can take a little bit of time for me

Maybe I’ll go buy a twenty bag

Maybe I’ll go drinking at the Golden Stag

I’ll need money, got to get some

Just a little for the months to come


Right now I gotta scrimp and save

Gonna work myself to an early grave

I wouldn’t miss a minute

Nah, in the papers I’d print it

If all around you is struggle and strife

Relax and know that this is life

Overcoming obstacles

Melting problems like popsicles


Every monkey’s got to find his next meal

Even for the single-celled this is the deal

Throughout life you will overcome many struggles

Food, warmth, and procreation: basic needs we all juggle

This modern life is more complicated

With social problems more complex than what I’ve stated



I’ve slept in Luxury hotels and in ditches

And I’ve been with angels and evil bitches

I learned even high-class people have high-class problems

And like the rest of us they can’t always solve ‘em


We all just keep plugging away

Wishing for some impossible day

Where we live happily ever after

Prolly the only one who did was the Zen master

And even he had to deal with pain and frustration

As the kids next door fucked with his meditation

He takes a deep breath, does the best he can

This, they say, is the measure of a man


Don’t waste time crying

Better to keep on trying

Can’t say how to do it

Gotta deal with my own shit

But give it a shot

And while you’re at it smoke some pot


From: Baby’s Book, by Stephen Handlin copyright, printed with permission


A Short History of Poetry

10 Nov

It feels good to stand and say I’m a poet
A tradition from times past
It’s part of us, and sure to last
See, in the days of knights and kings
The boss kept a guy, his exploits to sing
Now, before Mr. Gutenberg’s press
Passing on these lines needed to be addressed
And wanting his bosses lives to live through time
The early bard would write his words to rhyme

Without fail
He wrote a good tale
Beowulf’s the oldest we got
About some Vikings and the monster they fought
Hung-over warriors fighting the Grendel
Straight up battling without tricks or swindles

For centuries folks were regaled
By this and other, similarly heroic tales
But then came the Catholic Church
Brought art and such to a terrible lurch
The Pope gave poets a doctrine
To write your own way could be a sin

Some smart cats would twist the Pope’s story
Some medieval works have some mad allegory
You know that one called the “Faerie Queen?”
That one is all about words behind the scenes
And Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
Actually talks about when Cromwell was boss
Dante showed Mr. Pope the hell that he had created
But the church couldn’t argue with logic so poetically stated
Then there were the romantics
Buncha scrawny white boys playing with semantics

For hundreds of years poets followed a set of rules
If you couldn’t conform you were labeled a fool
Browning, Coleridge, Burns, and Keats
These fools filled some worthy sheets
So did many others
Too many to list, I won’t bother

Forward some
Our lesson comes
To a fat boy named Walt
Said all these rhymes, they gotta halt
See Whitman felt poems need not be confined
To a pattern of preset rhythms and rhymes
And let’s not forget Emerson walking in God’s temple
Saying language is sacred so let’s keep it simple

Time passed, kids got the hint
Tried new stuff, learned to experiment
1950s come; some cool cats take the heat
It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, and the Beats
After poets like Dylan and Lennon and Morrison went pop
There were some collusions and fusions, and then came the hip-hop

The ‘80s opened with a mighty, mighty bang
With some folks by name of the Sugar Hill Gang
And the mighty, mighty Grand Master Flash
First him then NWA printed some mad cash
Three white-boys tried out this new hip-hop toy
Took the shit to MTV called it Da Beastie Boyz

Let’s take a moment
So as I can be the proponent
Of Mr. Chuck D and The Public Enemy
Telling us how it was, it is, and it shall be
And the Northwest’s Balladeer of angst and hurt
An enlightenment junkie who went by the name of Kurt
Kids adored Mr. Kobain
As he splattered their walls with his brain

Then Dre at last
Having shed his old cast
With a new Dogg to trick, ole Dre went supersonic
They worked up a schtick, then showed up with The Chronic

Then we started to hear bootlegs of one of the great bluesmen of our age
Another junked-up white boy, this one using Long Beach as his stage
But just before his shit blew up big
Brother was called for the heavenly gig
When said right his name Sublimely rolls
The brother, the man, Bradley Knowles
Then, finally, in a case of East meets West
With Biggie and Tupac we lost a couple of the best

Today we mostly get posers
Guys who think we’re all punk-ass hosers
Kids who sound like Eminem
Fiddy Cent or a thousand more like them
I try to model my shit on olde time bards
I never knew I picked the path that’s hard
But, I’m lucky because I can look back and see
Old poets and their works through history
So, no matter how rough this life gets
I know I haven’t written my last lines yet

Baby’s Book, by Stephen Handlin copyright, printed with permission.