The pragmatist, ambivalent

Although I suffer fromprag1 (2)
a strong faith
it allows me the privilege to
not fear death
or its obligatory attachments

no desire exists within me
to see just exactly
what lurks in
other-side-a-topia

I don’t ruminate on
who I know that
will be
won’t be there

they are dead
they are gone
they may/may not be
hanging out someplace
metaphysical or spiritual

bus stop
malt shop
corner bar
beyond

I don’t think of departed
souls as how they were
when they left
I imagine them as they
would be, now

Twenty turning sixty?
Skipped the middle-man
life
accumulated nothingprag3
physical, otherwise
pro-and-con scenarios

My father would be 102
a more jovial version than
the 67-year-old dude
who left,
mid-cancer

Grandparents
I never met
girlfriends
I never dated
childhood friends
high school classmates
friends, enemies, cliques

a bunch of people

I can’t possibly
have remembered to
have forgotten

the older I get
the older they get
the older I get
the longer the list of

people I hope to meet
people I will need to avoid
those who might want to
catch up, admonish,
welcome me
aboard
to the clubprag4

might just want to
mingle there
in

heaven
hell
purgatory
Des Moines’
Greyhound bus depot,
circa 1975

No hurry on my end to
find out if I am
right
wrong
misled or if
I just followed poorly

When I get wherever, if my
name is not on the
bouncer’s clipboard

no biggie

I’ll go find myself
in bold, underlined, on
someone else’s
list

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2019
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Mercy, me

‘There but for
the grace of God…’

deity quantification is
risky pragmatism

‘There but for…’

God’s grace, graceful
mine, clunkily
cacophonous in raw
implementation

two-left feet,
I always want to lead

God is gracefully
mindful of my gaucherie
bemused by my
attempts at making
things more complicated

fraught with false starts

learned skill
accepting grace in
ordinary guy way
making the simply profound
unpretentious

easy
now that I understand

forsaken, I have
making the elegantly simple
intricately complicated
ever need be

there but for…
there for, but
therefore?

affected by so many
retrospectively
recognizing
God’s grace in the
graceful natures,
well-timed nurturing
of others

finally grasping
the thrill of speed
training wheels, off

there with
the Grace of God
go I

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

This

seeking forgiveness
for actions
not takenedit
words
not spoken
regrets
not unwarranted

youthful ignorance
gave way to
stilted maturation
not me
not my responsibility
not now
maybe later

later
oftentimes a no-show
later
may have passed
later
never was acknowledged

now
is the later you put off
now
is the time to right wrongs
now
is the time to say ‘I’m sorry’
now
is not to say ‘I’ll do better’
now
you relinquish the ignorance
now
you embrace knowledge
now
you recognize your injustices
now
you take charge
now
you stand up

Now.
You.

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

Broadsides

I once asked Godimg_20161113_082229
for a sign

needing more
than spiritual
Burma-Shave

cardboard
placards stapled
to raw, rough
pine sticks

Ah, but I am
not advertising

my tag-board
always blankly
devoid of
political hateimg_20161113_084228
hackneyed slogans

five-ninety-nine
pizza specials!
buy your
gold for more!

I am not here
to direct others
to event parking
or partake in
girls! girls! girls!

nobody here is
going out of businessimg_20161113_082233
due to low prophets
the guy misspelled
the end is ‘neer

spiritual conclusion

God wants me
to protest
something
all of it, perhaps

there is no profit
to prophesying or
downsizing

I am I!

Less recalcitrant,img_20161113_084229
spat-up Noah –
pine-splinter
infused hands
to wave

my finely honed
ability to ignore
disdainful glances,
head shaking
avoidance

causes me to smile

I wear styish,
spat-out invective
from passerby
curmudgeonlyimg_20161113_084248
badge of honor,

hold my sign higher

I once asked God
for a sign
and he told me,
point-blank,
helpfully

“First, you’ll
need
better shoes.”

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Don Yoda

Quixotic exploits
in multiple life-genres
satisfied, I am

lacking though, in
satisfactory resolutionsquixote1
ambiguity suits me

beguiling, am I, in my
befuddlement of others
confounding doubters

mirror voyeurism
minus Dorian Gray ego,
Carly Simon panache

sing anyway, I cannot
dapper enough, I am
charm, it is, carries me

sophisticated enough
I know lost causes from
heroic potential

onward I trudge, in
lightness of step, spirit
ever vigilant

ready for action
sublime or fool’s errand
poised to charge on

never possessing
the courage to
believe in nothing

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Thanksgiving

Gratitudethanksgivingpoem2

the appreciation of
gratefulness
an understanding
that you stand not alone

mindful of abundance
not dependent on it

honest thanks is given
freely, sincerely, often

with malice toward none,thanksgivingpoem5
charity for all

true

thankfulness is no
appreciation of
personal abundance

never simply

a pre-feast prayer of
appreciation for
a bountiful table

Truethanksgivingpoem3

giving of thanks
is acknowledgement
of your indebtedness

God, family, friends
countless life paths
crossed by forgottenthanksgivingpoem4
foes, friends, folks

authentic gratitude
begets awareness

appreciation of purpose
gratefulness of life
thankfulness to others

True
giving of thanks is
honest giving of self

Mark Lucker

Q-and-A

I am aging gracefullyroadlesstraveled
as is my faith

like the gray replacing
the brown in my beard
pesky questions
have been quietly
replaced not with
answers

but the earned ease
that comes with
the confidence of blithely
ignored uncertainty,

There is grace in abandoned100_1782
worry, freedom in letting go
the folly of life mastery
comfort with embracing
the mystery

there are products I could
buy to subdue hirsute hues
but I am not that vain

I could say I have found
my questions answered
but the need for that lie
has long since waned

The older I get the morsnowypinese
confident I am the
only thing ‘truth’ truly
means is that today is today
tomorrow will probably still
be tomorrow and that
whether I think I get it or not

the questions don’t matter
nearly as much as knowing
the unanswered uncertainty
has gone away forever
and I never miss it

Mark Lucker

Distance

The expanse is self-inflicted
a self-exiled expatriate;
I am here, not there

answered a calling, have since done my
best at least pretty well considering
restraints with which I had to work

sometimes I feel
my work here done
my time here over
needed elsewhere,
so I try to believe

but the work here is far from finished
though I would prefer it be for me

there are times I think someone else
needs to take their turn at this thing
as I have been here, done that

God has yet to agree.

Life off the playground is not about
taking turns everybody does not get into
the game (their choice) so I keep working
at all of it, trying hard, doing what I can,
attempting to practice the patience I
once employed abundantly in tougher
times and situations

Awaiting God’s answers
to questions I am not sure
I know how to even ask
is my symbol to bear

In seeking clarity to a calling maybe I
need to be more specific in expressing
my tepidly unique, evolving, reservations

Mark Lucker

Adieu redux

Final good-byes rarely are

I have buried many a soul
precious to me
solemnly, sorrowfully
humorously

some with great relief
many a complete surprise

I have uttered public words of
farewell, regret, remembrance

tossed flowers, clods of earth,
remorse and thank-yous
atop bronze cocoons

said farewell never meaning or
believing it; til-we-meet-agains
with more doubt than certainty

Death is the rude party guest
who blithely interrupts then
monopolizes every conversation

the caller you never invite
again but who always shows up
anyway because there is always
one in every crowd

Passing fancy

I have passed many things in life;
tests, gas, out, deals-of-a-lifetime,
cars on the freeway, footballs –
been given a free pass,
let other go past

I have passed forty and now fifty;
been passed over at work, while
women have passed me by as
has apparently ‘my time.’
I have passed the buck.

I have passed the gravy and on
the opportunity; been caught
without a hall pass, had my
past catch up to me, though
most have let that pass

I have frequently passed muster
often said ‘Thanks but I’ll pass’
made quite a few passes at girls
with and without glasses – often
past the point-of-no-return

Someday they will say of me,
“Oh, he has passed on” though in
my own mind I will just be dead,
simply in the past-tense of others

It’s all semantics, anyway, once
you get past the diction, phrasing –
the awkwardly quirky bad spelling
has all passed someones inspection