You.

Yes, you of
posted pictorials
stonecoldironydystopian bon mots
your naiveté trumps
your angst

ironically
you are playing
solitaire

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

Sips

I am a wine cellar
unto myself
occasionally decanted
aged-to-perfection
vintage

at times acting
the vinegar

sweet, pungent
varietal undertones
serious melancholy
drunk to forget
remembering

quite dry
an acquired taste
not for all

people label me
state certainly
what I best
accompany
pairing me with
prescribed ideals
things I would
never associate

knowing me
snobbishly stubborn
they really don’t
I am not the
caliber they pay

wrapped in
brown paper sack
neither of us would

true friends
partake
simply because
I am what
they like

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

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

Making note

A cheap flash drive
containing one document;
PDF file of a note – my
message of hopeful wonder,
Robinson Crusoe-like whim

I seal the technological
romanticism tightly in a
Mason Jar, throw it into the
ocean at night as the tide
predictably recedes

Sitting on the beach I
ponder as only a man with
youthful hindsight, waning
sense of adventure, should

where, how far, how long
my modern take on
ancient currents will carry

I confidently wonder if its
eventual discovery
will prompt the curiosity of
its finder to seek out its
by-then-obsolete technologytext_message
decipher it with anticipation

or if, by then, will time have
erased the need or desire
for wonder and excitement
I question all this as the jar
slowly bobs its way out
into the darkness
that is the unknown

Mark Lucker

From Here to Less Certainty

A day at the beach
we have been here before;

I am trying to be
Burt Lancaster
as you hesitate to play
Deborah Kerr with
self-conscious protestations
I have heard many times

But today the kids are
not with us, the friends who
we accompany sit engrossed
in their sun-worshipping,
paperbacks, inflatable-floating

oblivious to us and not
burning with our middle-aged
or any other sort of passion

my long smoldering fantasy
plays a recurring loop in
my mind’s eye always,
not oddly, in pristine
black-and-white

admittedly I have never had
Burt’s shoulders, jaw line,
hair, stature
I have tried vainly to
master his presence,
make it my own, yet
sadly cannot stand
and drip water on you
with marquee panache

you lay on your towel
my attempts to entice you
to join me once, just one
time, in a sandy embrace
while the gentle surf
plops meekly upon the shore
are warily deflected

It then occurs to me your
reticence might be overcome
by bigger, bolder surf
or more unique idea

but I am what I am

as I sit on the warm sand
I wonder if crashing waves
really would set your heart
pounding or if I should
just let the tide go out

Mark Lucker

Muse bemuse

Erato

She has been a muse
nothing more and
everything less
since we met as teens

inspiration still flows
from a fleeting reminder;
hearing her name
(commonly used by others
out of parental laziness)
the searing stubbed-toe
pain of an emotional owie
only she could’ve kissed
and made better

longing springs from trying
to remember just why
pinpoint specifics of how;
pixellated memories
vaguely distinguishable
from imagination

I was never her destiny
not even on the periphery
of being a fallback option
as I don’t believe she ever
wrote a single word of me,
save long-ago-stopped-
exchanging Christmas cards

Thalia

as my muse she has become
more verb than noun
a contemplative touchstone
to a time when faux
inspired creativity passed
for honest insight

confirming my relief that
I am neither sculptor or
painter…but a simple poet
– prone to and forgiven for –
hyperbole and other creative
transgressions, writing with
suspended creative license,
failing to not yield
to the pedestrian

Not a deep sleep

I used to have a dream where
I had won first prize in a
church raffle: lunch with God

where, over, thin-crust pizza,
I could ask him three questions.
I always lead with an inquiry
about why he made humans

“The hyenas” sayeth God,
as the waitress pours more wine,
“said I didn’t a sense of humor.”
“Guess you showed them, huh?”
replyeth I, with a nod

In my dream, God then laughs
uproariously – looking, for just a
moment like my late uncle Paul
(without salad stuck in his teeth)

This is where the dream always
ends, leaving me to ponder; was
it just a lame dollar-a-ticket raffle,
or am I not much of a dreamer?

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.

But is it art?

Large, bold strokes
spray painted symbols, words
innocent and sinister hieroglyphs
and slogans in black and blue
on pulsating, animated canvas

Names, times, events, places
feelings and forgotten emotions

weathered, all

Some are ancient, indecipherable
some still hurt some never did
some are funny a few not at all

Many names are legible, a.k.a’s
various wry nom de plumes abound

gratuitous entries outnumbered by
the meaningful but misinterpreted
by others, Rosetta stones be damned

Emotional vandals. Heart graffiti.

Esoterically

“Et tu, Brute?” exudes more
raw panache than
“Eebbeda, eebbeda, eebeda –
that’s all, folks!”

Abject profundity, treasured
ironic historical declarations
notwithstanding, as a poet
and teacher of English
language arts and crafts
I am more keenly aware than
most; when departing premises,
punctuation trumps all.