The Madness Of

Madness…..the thing that reaches out and up and through

Blights the mind through the eyes and ears

Wrenching at the orbs washed in the darkness of deep

Introspections that went on too long.


You have propped open the gates of self-learning

So they can never close….                               ….self has no meaning now

Madness flows in and is welcomed and temperance

Of that flow is decried; with zealot fervor and narrow inquisitor glare.


Both rope-bound riddle and threadbare philosophy

Clamor in little, dying breaths that they can be solved

Through recursive mapping of impracticable ideals

Which never have suffered reality’s invections.


If the world is truly held on the broad shoulders

Of a titan, then you are the red high heel, the hemp sandal

The pristine boot of justice, stamping on his neck—

So sure, so righteous; until he drops it.


Hold fast now, as it rolls out the door….                       .… into the black;

One more orb extinguished.


Inside the Covers

Remember the old library check out cards

Inserted into their cardboard sleeves

Pasted to the inside covers

Of thick hard-bounds and dingy paper-backs alike?


The librarian’s stamp was a symbol of pride,

Ennobling each pale blue index card.

The page-turner mysteries bore many

As did the well-worn copies of literary classics


Speaking to the reader about the wisdom of their decision,

Testifying to the many satisfied patrons who came before.

“See you have made a fine choice!

All your friends will approve!”


Other books had only a few, infrequent due dates

“April 12th

“Nov 17th

Scattered memories of being needed.


Small chips and digital scanners

Have replaced the librarian’s ink and stamp

Those precious cards, each book’s own private journal

Are yet another casualty of progress.


Regardless, each book still sits

Tightly wedged between its kin

Waiting, yearning, motives unchanged

Spine creaking and pages crying dustily:

“Pick me! Oh please pick me!”


She always spins, gripping with curled fists

Sending the metal flying on a rusty creak of rotating axel

A blue wedge, then faded red, and primary yellow

The spinning wheel with glimpses of a round, laughing face.

None of the other children can catch her.


She always spins, flinging her arms out and dodging trees

As she whirlwinds a path through the broken forest.

She dervishes despite her little fears

Flinging them centrifugally away until they melt

Into the whirring buzz of noise and color.


She always spins, on pointed toe

With graceful landings, and arched poise

Sequined leotard flashing in the white pool

Of the spotlight. She spins in harmony

With others, circles within circles.


She always spins, hands shaping the rim of a thick clay bowl

Her tired foot pumping the potter’s wheel

She sits and spins and smiles at her daughter

Playing on the hardwood floor

Chubby hands grasping to reach a worn, heirloom top.