Not flippancy

Endings, beginnings

reboots

declining to resolve
to do things
better?
more?
less?

just because.

Finding myself in
select company
pragmatism not
considered a virtue
when calendars flip

solemnity, tradition
of fresh twelve
invoked by most

still, I demure

idealism has its place
the reality in transition
December to January
is more
dog-earing key pages
less
putting aside the book
waiting for the movie

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

 

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Posted in Holidays, Philosophies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A toast

24102A flute of champagne
contains
one million bubbles.

Toasting a new year –
fresh starts
beginnings, endings,
transitions –
see each bubble
as a moment
each individually
tantalizing, collectively
rising rapidly,
quickly dissipating

Gone

short-lived
effervescence
sweet anticipation
swiftly departed
memorable

Savor each bubble –
the tingling of
remembrance
tickle of anticipation
moments reveled in
quickly gone

let each beguiling
moment refresh
your palate
the sweetness
of what was
flavorful temptation
of what is to come.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Introspection, Philosophies, Reflections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3:37 a.m.

There is nomonitor4
Hemingwayesque
romance 
to writing by
the artificial glow of
heart monitors
nothing poetic in
tapping out words
on a phone while
strapped to IVs
typing encumbered by
ET reminiscent
clunky, red-tipped
oxygen monitor

But, as a poet you do
what you gotta do
as instinct kicks in
fight-or-flight, primal

self-defense by an
attacked heart.
11/20/17

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

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Fading away

Small, sporadically mowedcemetery1
rural-church cemetery
familial in feel
generations grouped eternally
spontaneous, asymmetrical
layout seems unforced, movingly
casual in its nostalgia

a rainy, gray day along
narrow township gravel road
cars parked, haphazardly

We buried an old soldier.

local VFW could only muster
honor guard of three men
bent, trembling, purposeful fingers
wrinkled khaki, faces, hands
added dignified poignancy with
simple, nine-gun salute

small-town high school girl in bluecemetery3
letter jacket, fluffy, white ‘C’
over her heart, excused from class
hitting most of the notes
gets extra credit playing Taps

Told my story of the soldier
to a friend whose war-seasoned
big-city, grandfather – decorated sailor –
passed, not so long ago

two young men in
snappy dress blues came to
the grandfather’s internment
with a boom-box, and a CD

pushing a button, the
yeomen played Taps flawlessly,
left a folded flag with grandma
saluted crisply, left for good.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Holidays, In Memoriam, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Missing out

Living now in a placeautumn leaves3
where, in autumn most
leaves stay put
clinging to their branches
without pretense

never having the
decency to abandon their
vibrant green for
appropriate, earthy hues

A few adhere to my more
familiar, season-bound
tradition, true natural order
small in numbers
generally unnoticed

It takes keen effort to
scrounge enough of a
collection for
traditionally crunchy walk

Which is cheatingDSC03236

The jumpable, enjoyably
scratchy, towering orange,
brown, red, yellow leaf piles
I crave are hopeless here

my native Midwest seems
further away in fall than
during the absence of winter’s
winter’s snowy blankets,
frosty windows

for I know full well
the curative, redemptive
potential of a fall
leaf pile on a man’s soul

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Introspection, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breezes

summer comes to a close
autumnal breezes waft
rustling memories of those
days when the close of summer
had more definitive endings

sun-drenched days of youthful
frolic, innocent play, done

swimming, playing with frogs in
holes dug on sandy beaches at
grandparent’s homes; ‘the lake’
summer Xanadus of childhood
one year, scenic backdrops for
advancing adolescence the next

the summer dented pails,
bent shovels lay unused in
boathouse corner; replaced with
initials inside a heart, drawn
artfully at dusk in beach sand with
carefully chosen stick, just to be
erased by evening’s gentle waves

Previous summers we traveled
in packs along endless lakeshore
some ‘ooing’ over discovered shells
all ‘eewing!’ over dead, bloated fish
skipping rocks to show machismo

But our duo walks became more
intimate strolls through the woods
privacy trumping pinecone collection,
coy separation from the collective
group not as subtle as we hoped

Each summer indelible as the
next; parts of many years blending
seamlessly together, a montage of
youthful Julys, childhood vacations

But the starkness of one summer
that is viewed not with the gauziness
of looking back fondly, but with clarity
of time, place, purpose…firsts.

One brilliant, Kodacolor snapshot
that never made it into any scrapbook
yet still remains the clearest picture

especially when summer ends
and the breezes of fall swirl

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Growing up me, The Lake, Uncategorized, Young love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pseudo 23

Modern-day Psalmists
plying their trade via pithy sayings
basic fonts, splashy backdrops
portmanteaus of
varying interpretation

revelations
shifting dunes rounded by
prevailing winds as arid,
accepted gospel
lacking lyricism
posted for the world by
self-anointed prophets
claiming persecution, occasionally
lapsing into lamenting angst
bitterly masquerading as wit
pleading cases to merciful
gods/laptop Pharisees
issuing agreeable protestations
eschewing grace

never to grasp ‘liking’
is not prayer
weeping ideograms do
not denote benevolence
gaped-mouth ‘wows’
cannot replicate true, godly awe

like biblical counterparts
exhortations to repent, reform
delivering thunderous,
threatening, visual praise by way of
pictorial concatenation
oblivious to concepts of mercy, conflating
holier-than-thou with holiness

Facebook is my sheep, shepherd
I shall not want for others
those who disagree are my enemies
I immerse myself in blue pastures
scrolling paths of self-righteousness
finding goodness in my followers
all through my days

Amen?

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

 

Posted in Contemporary Life, Philosophies, Politics and Social Commentary, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not in the least

Claims made by
fishermen
politicians
guys on a prom date

can be taken
at their word

if the words are
unspoken
first-hand
supported by three
corroborating
witnesses

backed up by video
duly notarized

void
where prohibited
or English is spoken
and understood

words to the wise
from
folks in the know

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Philosophies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Poems my father left me

There is reason, even some rhyme
who, what, why he was,
what he did and why he didn’t
why he maybe should’ve

Sometimes.

poems1His groove was far more
scat than stanza
he could always carry a
jaunty life’s tune
singing it with gusto

Nearly thirty years
since his last oration

I can still recite
his poetic forms

many are the tests

I often refer to
his weathered,
hand-me-down crib notes
mental index cards:
life lessons, guidelines,
direction and insights

Cantos of appreciation
for good food garnished with
lively conversation, the need
for tolerance, the futility
of anger, borne of frustration

To value people by the
who not the what;
that words are weapons,
how deeply they can cut

His iambic passion
for baseball,
for Laurel & Hardy,
how to properly be
the life of any party

poems3That hard work doesn’t hurt
a broken heart surely does
that family is what it is,
not what it should be or was

haikus on
How to laugh.
How to love.
And why the hell
you should

at every available
opportunity

it’s O.K. to cry
even at a movie, that age
is no impediment to being
hip, cool. Even groovy.

He left couplets of
deli pastrami on
crusty-soft Jewish rye

cottage cheese mixed
with sour cream, real
New York cheesecake
made with ricotta

steak, medium rare
bourbon and sour
Glenn Miller’s music
better in a good chair

Madrigals for all
to try new things,
continually dream

life is good, strive
to make it even better

poems2Friends will come,
friends will go

Sometimes.

That a few will
stick around
all will leave you
something of value

His odes to a son
if you like
something it’s good
critics be damned

remember there will
always be more
questions than answers

Not to sweat it
never regret it

To laugh often,
love well –
and vice-versa

To smell the roses
and to give them
in bouquets, and
one at a time

These are the poems
my father left me

I recite them at will.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Fathers and Sons, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Call me, Ishmael. Leave a message.

We all have within us
some Captain Ahab

obsessively pursuing
something, someone

unattainable

physically or mentally
we quest something lost
never obtained
hadn’t the courage
or stomach for

a diem you could
never carpe

uselessly we quest
a time we came close
nagging should haves
gnawing what ifs

crimes of passion
not worth prosecuting

each an intensely personal
no-two-alike fingerprint
‘one that got away’

we imagine our prey
sporting our broken-off
harpoons

festering wounds
unbeknownst to us have
scarred over
healed entirely

never went deep enough
scabs quickly fell away

still we pursue
irrationally with purpose
a creature from
the depths of then

only breaking the calm
surface of now
when it suits us to
be on the hunt

“…to the last
I grapple with thee…”

parting words uttered
in reply to no one,

the one

the one that got away
cannot let you go
if you don’t
reciprocate

hunter, hunted,
haunted.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Posted in Philosophies, Teaching and Learning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment