Over a beer, I blithely told
a friend bemoaning a lost love
there were plenty of
“other fish in the sea”

unmoved, he was, as I noted
“there are also tires, discarded
refrigerators and sunken oil tankers”

Thus inspired he raised his glass,
made a toast; “Let’s hear it” said he
“for the girls of the flotsam.”


“This is a God-forsaken place”
she said ruefully, with a sigh

“Not forsaken” I said, shaking my
head in stubborn disagreement
“more misplaced” patting all my
pockets in mime,“like God when
He can’t find his reading glasses”.

Morning coffee

Saturday. Early, but not too.
I bring her a cup of coffee
the rich stuff, good stuff
our special Saturday blend.
She stirs gently, like the brew
I set the mug on her nightstand

Pheromones blend with
aromatic Arabica

Saturday morning alchemy
dissolves into Saturday afternoon


Memories of you
scamper through
my psyche

like ants over the
sugar cubes in
grandma’s summer
sugar bowl

Dawning for a poet

Scratchy, scraping, raw
pencil on paper
causes her to stir

she turns sleepily my way
half smiles, half sneers
rolls back the other way

she thinks I am writing
a paean to some ancient love or
other stray reminisce, hopes its
not some sappy ode to her

Sometimes it is.

Other times I am writing
of birds, pine trees, lakes, youth;
life, philosophic stuff

or I am propped up on my pillow
seeking appropriate metaphors
for the sound of graphite
eloquently grazing lined
wood pulp

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017

Not your typical first-car poem

It wasn’t a muscle car, never garnered a ‘cool’
never showed up in a Beach Boys song (though we sure
got around) friends thought me an automotive fool

At 19, I bought a ’69 Plymouth Fury    station wagon,
brand new to some unknown nuclear-family when I was only 10.

No family to haul on vacation, no suburbia to impress
a bag of groceries every week or two at best
wasn’t the car of a typical teen’s dreams, but of mine.

A modified Detroit behemoth; Chrysler custom-bored 486 
with power to spare; a friend and I pegged 120 once, on a dare.

Vinyl bucket seats, to boot. Semi-cool comfort, at least.

Back seat folded down, I had a rolling den of potential iniquity
carpeted with hemmed-edge samples from a local furniture store;
psychedelic mosaic in varying depths and shades of ‘70’s shag
my friend Jeff and I could double date, lie four abreast on the
open tailgate at the local drive-in, sometimes watching the movie.

My friend Rick drove a ’68 ‘Cuda; Kelly, a Kelly-green Camaro
Jeff drove a yellow Monza and Mike a purple-and-primer GTO
a simple revving of their engines caused girls heads to turn
smiles to entice, weekends to take immediate shape.

I had to work a little harder at all that.

Like most of my younger romances, I drove it to the very end,
leaving it dead on the shoulder of a northern Minnesota two-lane;
took the memories and the keys with me, think about it now and
then it’s a guy thing…there’s just something about that first car.

Even a ’69 Plymouth station wagon.

Campfire poem # 54

The embers of the campfire glow, fade
with the vagaries of the waning lake breeze
brilliant orange, gray, orange, silver, orange

reminding me of 1969; flashing, broken neon
small, single level roadside motels
on old black-and-white signed U.S. highways

frequented by people like those in my parents
blue Plymouth Fury; mom and dad up front,
my grandfather and I in the cavernous back seat;
Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Colorado.

Roadside neon ‘VACANCY’ signs beckoned;
scratchy carpet, the aroma of Pine Sol, two beds –
on lucky nights, the amusement-park caliber
Magic Fingers variety – thrill ride for a dime

The embers are fading… lighter orange, silver,
gray. Bright orange, a last time. luminous silver,
gray to wispily smoldering black.

Sign fire flickers out; memories burn brightly

Gated communities

Never have I been further
from my youth
then when I returned to
the scene of it

places, people, things change
time, people, lives elapse

Going home is a
metaphor smorgasbord;
abandoned cabin overgrown
with woods, withered by age

dirt roads now paved
familiar sights still sturdy
though showing some age
roadside greasy spoons now
trendily featuring salads

locals speak of ‘amenities’

Places grow up, people change
or vice versa; who can tell?

Sedentary in its change
the place you knew as home
always will be, though you
can’t live there anymore.


He lived his life with infectious, mirth-
skewed hubris, flavored with a certain
spiritual panache that inspired envy far
more than disdain, admiration over ridicule
and he never took any of it for granted.

Women and men found him equally engaging
he counted among his friends many who were
far older, considerably younger than he.

Knowing himself to be quite flawed he never
aspired to anything but polished imperfection
and therein lay the secret to the success he
thinks he never achieved.


drowning fish scream

for help while blaming their

instinctual inadequacies

also never believing in fate.