Paying the Electric Bill to a Tattooed Arm

Poetry about the hodge-podge of daily life by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

Practicing Mindful Breathing

We breathe mindfully but with our lungs
This necessity of life has become a trend
Which we study in meditative books
As if our alveoli were rosary beads

Even our watches want to instruct us
In the deep mysteries of inhalations
And like masters of postulants and novices
Ring us awake for our morning breaths

“Focus on your breathing” – how very odd
If we should respirate to the glory of God

Ode on a Flintstones Tumbler
John Keats helped with this but refused to take any credit. He must be modest

Thou still unmoving car of wood and stone
Forever carrying the Flintstones and the Rubbles
Off to the movies – Rock Hudson to be shown?
And a childhood half-hour of comic troubles

Heard yabba-dabbas are sweet, but those unheard
We’ll have to speak ourselves over milk and cereal
Wilma, of course, always has the last word
But we’ll contribute to the writers’ material

Fred’s feet are truth, not beauty, – but off they go
Taking us with them – so on with the show!

Our Dreams are Lost Somewhere along the Supply Chain
On nighttime imaginings

I needed a dream but I wasn’t given one
So I had to construct it for myself
It wasn’t very good. Dreams should be left
To the professionals, but where are they?

Paying the Electric Bill to a Tattooed Arm

In the August-hot, exhaust-fumed drive-through
Summer-sun glare against the window glass
Armored against robbers and customers
Who might want to steal electricity in person

Through the glass one can see a slender arm
And a shift in the light shows it to be
All splotchy in decaying reds, greens, and blues
Seemingly covered in a foul tropical blight

The window slides open to a beautiful smile
The corpse-like arm pushes out
A receipt

Rubik’s Cubicle

When a problem is solved, another spins ‘round
When that problem is solved, two others spin back
When those problems are solved, chaos begins
Everything depends on everything else

When a date is set, another unsets
When that date is set, two others get lot
When those dates are found, chaos begins
Everyone depends on everyone else

A wise man learns that chaos begins
When the Rubik’s cube of life backspins

The Utility Pole at the End of the Rainbow

Rain, dreary rain all day, falling in sheets
(Or maybe in comforters and counterpanes)
The whole world shakes to the thunder’s wild beats
And water ponds in the green fields and lanes

But then at dusk the clouds part just right
Allowing the sun to make the sky fire-red
And in the east, a rainbow all alight
But behind a utility pole (it must be said)

The convention is gold at a rainbow’s end
But electricity too is a useful friend

The Weekly Transport of Discarded Hopes
“They didn’t let me finish!”
-attributed to Isaac Babel upon his arrest

Bumping the weekly trash along the lane
Along the lane and through the colding dusk
A sack of faith appeals and banana peels
And coffee filters with no grounds for hope

Bumping the weekly trash along the lane
Out-of-date beans and last month’s magazines
Used printer ribbons, with words left to die
And crumpled notes for projects never begun

Arrested, jailed within a plastic bin
Awaiting a lorry and some big, strong men

What Awakened You?

The bedside clock glows an hour you cannot read
Because your eyes of full of fuzzy sleep
And your mind of half-remembered dreams
Of a better time when – but it’s slipped away

Moonlight and moonshadows silver the silence
You went to sleep in a different world
And woke up in this one – is it the same?
At magic o’clock this one seems more real

What woke you up? A breath, a sigh, a song?
What woke you up? Maybe it was love

Not the Throne He Anticipated

Callow and young, a man begins his life
Thinking great thoughts of empires and of kings
Of how in a few years he will awe the world
With the achievements of his mind and strength

The books he will write must astound the age
His businesses will corner out Wall Street
His ships will sail the seas to India
His planes will fly tourists around the world –

But many years later

He writes a doubtful check upon his bank
At the hardware store for a toilet tank

When Your Friends Let You Down – Maybe That’s a Good Thing
See the Gospel of Luke 5:17-26

To free him from paralysis and sins
Sounds much like a Larry, Darryl, and Darryl goof
And maybe it is – we are blessed in our friends

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