Friday, May 26, 2017

Temple of Hope

Banksy Rat 2006
—Poems and Visuals by Smith


Meat rides bone.
Spirit rides meat.
Bone strides earth.

When it's pain
"It will pass."

When there's joy
"This is now."

 Night Eyes


Dark rises from dark
broods as slow rising light
becomes land and trees against sky
sliced and unsilenced by silhouette
of train on trestle
while a multitude of birds
sing up unseen sun
new spring dawn baring winter's nip
beneath its ever old promise
of renew




Cold concrete expanse
rigid with yellow lines
empty of cars
bows before big box store
filled with beads
awaiting buyers

portrait of the trail lost


Awaiting wife
in steroidal coffee shop
$4 for 50 cents of home brew
watching young women
in tight jeans
and short dresses
above boots and spike heels
laughing inner lizard
between the overweight olders
and a single soldier
in camouflage


Slow low wind dance
of white turbine blades
thrice slice the bluegrey sky

quiet temple of hope



Scrub tub
add epsom salts
fill with hot water
ease in
take a toke
lay back in hot wake
to soak away ache
and phone rings
wife saying
"Can you pick me up?"
"My eye hurts."

Four weeks ago
doctors took her eye part-way out
sewed on 21 radioactive pellets
put eye in
locked her down three days
while radiation bombarded tumor
popped eye back out
removed pellet plaque
put eye in again
sewed inner eyelid shut
and sent her home to hard since
her eye blurry from serious salve
pupil dilated due daily drops
eyeball swollen and bruised
burning from bright
tired of trauma
she works more to see less
amid multiple pains
shooting ache stab throb
burn itch pinch
and she is
... weary

"Sure, I'll pick you up"
because pain trumps pleasure
and love binds both

and baths can be refilled



Walking on egg shells
in quicksand
covering void
over nothing.

My companion faces equation
but I have no numbers
and cannot do the math.

Our quest lies in questions
that do not know answers.

As if answers exist.

I love
and am loved
yet may lose
though I've gained.

 Test Subject


According to community owned reality
you can't boil watched water
or save stitched nines in time
but clean underwear is next to giddiness
the first squeak gets both the oil
and the fast bed early rise prize
while money parts fools with ease
though not all the time
in a government of the eatable
too often beaten
by bad breath gift horses
in homes housed unholy
some Simons so simple
made to drink water
roll lone moss unstoned
in gelded gold glitter
their beauty self inflicted
skim deep disturbing
carpe per diem
in well ending wallow
back bridges burning
too many egg baskets
in forests unfallen
for sometimes the right hand’s just wrong
when tossing apples at doctors
too easy to get gone
the do down done diddled
bathwater from baby
to soft pillow the conscience
on single step journeys
where the weak shall inherit our mirth



We’re in this waiting room
waiting for the set to change
except there’s no waiting
no waiting
just a few flowers
to feel
maybe fondle
as we tip our tongue in tangle
and tango the won’t that awaits

 Orange Barrel Blues


What was is was and won't ain't will.
Some might-have-beens did not.
Could and should could still be choice
If would would dance the dance.

Maybe's lazy, focus unfound.
Might's just trust for luck.
Should's a shuck to pass the buck
So only *is* is ground.

On my way to holy heaven
Took a detour down to Hades
From that level saw the devil
With a hell of a lot of babes.

Forget equations master-mined.
Remember past told lies.
Rock remains river bound
While winnows whither wind.

Glitter hides what glimmer seeks.
Tomorrow's price is want
To blunt the burnt and bitter bier
Once spotlight darkens stage.

On my way to heaven
My spirit to inspire
I saw below in earthly show
My love of Satan's fire.

Shouldda wouldda couldda
Well they went and never came.
You need to do the doing
Till done to get the title to the deed.

Done's just destination.
It's the doing that's divine
The weight of one's intention
The spirit in your spine.

So toss off thought of heaven
I'm here for spirit's fire
Must work below on earthly show
To escape the after ire.

(To hear music by Peter Ball, word & voice by Smith, 2011, 3:56; go to


Today’s LittleNip:


Between the must and the mist
the much that we miss
funnels most of this mess


—Medusa, with thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s fine poetry and visuals!

 Coffee Eyes
—Photo by Smith

Celebrate poetry, and head over to Davis tonight, 
7:30pm, where The Other Voice presents Carol Frith 
and James Lee Jobe plus open mic. That’s at the 
Universalist Unitarian Church library, 
27074 Patwin Rd., Davis. Host: James Lee Jobe, 
who takes over from Allegra Silberstein. Free. 
Scroll down to the blue column (under the green 
column at the right) for info about this and other 
upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that 
more may be added at the last minute.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.