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

High church

baseball-1957-clevelandAwed by the spectacle
blissfully confused to meaning
wide-eyed youth
confirmed in mystical faith
spiritual pageantry
standing for opening homily,
crowd vibrant, then bowed
reverence, singing along
opening hymn of allegiance
some know the words

Opening day, paradoxically
given all the answers
yet you need to discover
unending myriad of questions
finding your own way home

you tried discernment
unsure, wavering, exasperated
still loyal; the true believernicolletpark

Then came one
still sweetly recalled summer
prayerfully answering the call,
taking final vows,
when, in seven
yours won it all.

Long ago ordained, now
consecrated regular – your
stately, charismatic garments
proudly sweat-blotched, faded
bent-brimmed woolen miter
adornment off-kilter

presiding from
sun-soaked choir box-pew,ebbets-field2
lead provocateur –
sitting, standing, exultantly
cheering ‘Hallelujah!’
(modern translation)

Plastic chalice,
ice-cold communion potable
condiment-slathered
tubular unity bread
feeds heart, soul, head

Eucharistic celebration
pipe organ crescendos
punctuate ingrained,
ever-differing liturgy
opportunisticallyvintage-baseball
engaging homily played out

congregants alternately
stand in joyful anticipation,
sit in veneration, anguish

Ritualistic, solemn,
sacramental. Reverential.

True faith comes when
exuberance, not feigned,
reverberates, message lingers
long after you exit the temple
crossing the white lines drawn
on vibrant green
lessons ingrained
personal parables formulated

allowing you to be in the world,
of the world. Baseball.

Amen.
“Play ball!”

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

Recalculating

only another turning point
crossroads of cliché and same ole
what to do which way to turn
got here without GPS will
navigate as always, following stars

gut instinct not infallible co-pilot
riding shotgun, no desire to shoot
let alone take aim even with
windows down, wind in my hair
freedom promised by open roads
just a more panoramic void
ahead or behind checking the shifter
my only clue as to direction
I can’t move it to R going fifty-seven
so I must be moving onward

hard to tell: the road nothing
but a dot in the distance
thinking back to ninth grade art,
lesson on perception and perspective
the farther you are away fromsign2
something means the brush strokes
need to be lighter, not so bold
in coloring or thickness or was
that a different lesson entirely?

I always got yelled at for never
cleaning my brushes properly
leaving them dry, stiff but I made them
starkly, erratically pliable again, using
my own technique of pushing down,
flattening bristles out, painting again
much coarser lines, less nuance

I am no impressionist
haven’t touched a canvas
in years yet time is just blots of color
I need a picture or map to
follow or grab vague directional hints
as I decide to flip a mental coin
heads left, tails right using my blinker –
always instructed to warn those
following my intentions

laughing to myself ruefullyonewayoneway

any fool who tries to follow
will be as lost as I
not knowing what I know
how not to get where I am going
and how many ways there are
to go there or not go there

pedal-to-the-metal-time
squealing rubber, leaving tracks
just drive, baby. Just drive.

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

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

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

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

Cross training

Some think we’re simply running away
not believing that what we are running to
is something, someplace that needs us
just as much as we need it

Just the act of running moves you away
from something, towards something else

life is running; not living is sitting still

We are running away; running away
from a professionally futureless present
mired in the stagnant quicksand of the
material world’s indifference to belief

running to new challenges, opportunity
for the chance to really get into the game,
to make a difference in the lives of others

running to get even healthier spiritually

Not running away from people we love
but to carry their love with us to a place
often unloved or misjudged as unlovable

their love is the baton we carry to pass to
other runners, other racers, other races.

Yes, we are running away – not to get away
but to take the lead, hoping others follow.

Not a race to the finish, but a pursuit
to new beginnings.

Accessorizing rime

The albatross swinging
from around my neck

is simply a rental

like a tux, I pick one up
just when needed

for extremely formal
occasions only

Guardian pal

Like a shadow
you know is there
but disappears when
you turn to confront it

it’s there, but he’s not

Following discreetly,
benignly nourish
part of the atmosphere
minus the trench coat

Sometimes light diffuses
instead of illuminates

My father’s memory,
legacy, aura follows me

no, I am not paranoid
just aware of the oddly
whimsical, enchanting and
sardonic, wry and witty

benevolent, quirky,
constant companion

Whether banes

You’ll never know
what might have been

you’ll never prove
what could have been

to loudly proclaim
what should have been

is the greatest of curses
self-inflicted by men