Dutiful

phone1Following my calling
and the call
dropped

I call back
nobody picks up
nobody calls back

I have left the messages

trying to reconnect
number no longer
in service
‘your recipient hasn’t
set up voice mailphone2
for this account’

Am I being ignored
via caller I.D.
spurned due to
embarrassed discomfort

Following my calling
and the call
dropped

inexplicably

not in a dead zone
I have plenty of bars
battery fully charged

I followed my calling
now nobody calls
nobody writes
no text, FaceTime,
stone tablet
pronouncementphone

Following my calling
when the call
dropped

Trying to reconnect.

Leave your name
and number
I’ll get back to you

– Mark Lucker

Estrange

Regret and I100_5071
have a tenuous
relationship

flirtations ebb, wane
pop up again
precariously at odd
moments, clumsily

the standoffish one
in this tepid
relationship is me

running hot-and-cold
I can be a
frustrating companion100_5067

lackluster lover

there is no love lost
between me
and regret

never love
at first sight
never a commitment

convenient
one-night stand
whenever I
happen to
be in town

regrets
I’ve had a few,
so sayeth Sinatra

regret is a derisive
impotent lover
scorned

cold shoulder
all mine

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

Call me, Ishmael. Leave a message.

We all have within usmobydick1
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 couldcarpeidemgermanpostcard
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 preyantiqueharpoons
sporting our broken-off
harpoons

festering wounds
unbeknownst to us have
scarred over
healed entirely
never went deep enough
and 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 lastmobydick2
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

Lamenting angst

If one can grieve
what never was

if unfulfilled
wistfulness is
worthy of sorrow

If could’ve should’ve
maybe regretfulness
can be mourned

I will go to the wake
pay my respects
sing praises lifting
an anthem of toasts
to the dearly departed

Then I’ll tip my hat
leave my money on the
bar and the mourners
behind their veils

to pick up the
dirty glasses and lock
the barroom door

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

Recycle

tartarsauce“Love is like tartar sauce; it looks like hell, you have no
idea what’ in it, but you always seem to find it tasty”.
Me, circa 1990

Witticisms, coined phrases of my
younger years linger around me
trailing like stray dogs followingcoining
me home from the butcher shop

‘scat! go away! don’t follow me’!

But I am not that stern in rebukebassethounds
and what amused others in the
ubiquitous then often stagger
occasionally into the now

which I oftentimes take asmicrophoneonstand
permission to trot out my
verbal dog-and-pony show
sans pony, awash in dogs

blank stares quizzical looks
remind me that as times change
so do my own sensibilities
though at times logic succumbs
to temptation falling off the
cleverness wagon with a thud

accordion2“life is an accordion” I have oft
noted “the harder you squeeze it,
the more discordant the music”

offending more than a few
aficionados of squeeze box music
puzzling others of a musical ilk2204773492_a3171a1168
tone-deaf to my whimsical bent

With age comes fresh insight new
opportunities, chances to start overaudience
with new audiences who have yet
to hear my-one-about-the…

everything old becomes new againSO001038
keeping me in the spirit of going green
salvaging scraps for one more turn

instead of leaving them on a pie panil_fullxfull_404646133_qnon
outside my backdoor for the stray
benign dogs they are to come nosh

– Mark Lucker

Resolute residues

footprints-in-sand1Sometimes I ponder my legacy

picturesque footprints in beach sand
casually, photogenically left behind,
impulsively signed with flotsam sticketchasketchvintagemodel
left to the whim of waves, rising tides?

Existence as an Etch-A-Sketch

frozen in time via cataclysmic event
footoprintfossilfossilization rendering me ancient
to a distant archeological future?

I cannot say

Hearts, initials clandestinely written
whimsically defacing still curing walkwaysidewalk
enduringly placed with smiling subterfuge
to the chagrin of morning-returning mason
unrepaired, left for future viewers to puzzle
over chunky, puzzling, neo-hieroglyphics
quirky, horizontal Stonehengevikingrunestones

neither pictogram,
though oddly considered spontaneous
suffice as monument,
each being ironically composed of thecement
same base material
one lacking only the binding agent

Either trod upon, unnoticed pathway rune33724_5
or eventually unearthed as a curious relic
I’ll have left something to be found
even though not truly lost

Mark Lucker

Three for the New Year

Resolutions NYcharge (2)

less revolution,
more ‘what am I fighting for?
and who will yell ‘Charrrrge’?!

PledgesNYdustychampagnebottles

calendar decrees!
resolutely resolving!
inability

RealityNYcalendarpages

good intentions, all
calendrical mandates change?
calendar pages

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

Playing on

Faded are July’s warmth, summer’s cheers. Supplanted now by the encroaching hints of cooler days, forgotten expectations, procrastinated chores shelved, he can only now muse without dwelling on what won’t be. Could-have-beens and maybes aren’t statistically meaningful; they never really were, except to others in relation to their expectations and dreams for him. Regret is not something that taints him. He does not feel a talent wasted. He recalls every crucial moment as it was, for what it was.

Unburdened by excuses, unwilling to pass blame. A trait truly a gift not wasted.

It was what it was and is, he did what he had done, and it has all come down to this: seasons of joy, of youth, of expectations – have dwindled, and he savors their uncertainty of numbers. Youth cannot serve that master. He revels in coming autumn and finds it no burden as winter creeps in to bury and renew. Spring will be welcome, but no more or less than its brethren.

Memories are not subsistence. This he knows for fact. Cheers he once accepted have faded. Others have taken his place on stage. As many have forgotten him as remember him. The field of honor which he once ruled by force and triumphant jousting he now benevolently presides over. The thought occurs that maybe his soul is the autumn grass; wearily vibrant, going dormant. In need of a respite. The patriarch emeritus smiles in triumph.

Zipping up his coat, its collar turned upward against the gathering winds of fall, he leans into the breeze, stiffening his resolve. The air is quiet, save the wind, and he is at peace with the simple knowledge that spring will, someday, sometime, for whatever reason, return. But for now, time is in his comfortable grasp, for he now understands its tenuous and uncontrollable nature; he can tuck it safely away like a pocket watch in vest pocket, and stroll through the lovely, dark and deep woods without fear of reprisal from promises not kept.

Mark Lucker

Freshness

cardboard Tupperware
crowds my attic
keeping my soul
preserved if not fresh

rows, stacks of
oddly square bowls
repositories of then;
lost loves, past successes
other leftovers

sometimes leftovers
trump a fresh lunch
filling rejuvenation found
amidst the smell
musty brown wood pulp

Mark Lucker