diametrically different from the twelve days of christmas…

rise now the spirits
thirteen ghosts’ words of darkness
sleep well if you can

ghost # 1…

i am quite near you
look into the bathroom mirror
just behind your eyes

cause of uncoordinated movements…

cause of uncoordinated movements.

ancient bones
beneath
your feet
step
carefully
for
i am
told
some spirits
resent
your intrusions
and
have been known
to reach up
and
grasp
the heel
of a soul
and
drag it down
just
far enough
to make one
lose
their balance
for
no reason
it would seem
but
it is
for this
reason

once there were cowboys…

copyright cwmartin 2011

those lights
once lit up
the night sky
for miles
a small corral
became an arena
where western gladiators
marshaled the strength
to bring down
bulls to the ground
while wide-eyed children
memorized each move
to practice on family pets
no need to ask for
some foreign beer
it was budweiser
or nothing at all
except for
the occasional
miller lite
smuggled in
by some tourist
and
those fancy
filtered cigarettes
not only raised eyebrows
but smiles
but land developers
and county officials
eager for progress
as measured by profit
have turned off the lights
only the lingering scent
of wet leather
can be found
this place now holds
only the ghost
of christmas past

war remnants…

his matted graying dreadlocks
stream from his pitted memories of war
flowing over shoulders once adorned
with stars and stripes
now hosting only the ghost of yesterday’s meal
served by some holy roller kitchen
where would-be-saints
dish out equal servings of pious gruel
with side dishes of soul cooking
trying to save a soul
that has long vacated the premises
evicted by the good citizens of oz
for failing to whistle a happy tune
while scavenging the streets for dignity
or just some remnant of self