What are the Oz?

Historically considering myself
the Scarecrow
middle-age, circumstance, time
have me contemplating fates
identifying a more Tin Man persona
seeking oil for locked up joints
moving clunkily, at times
joyously graceful, others
grudgingly accepting assistance
from my companions –
friends who
humor my myriad compunctions
to stay out in the rain
eschewing consequences for
the sheer joy of rain

Unlike fictional counterparts I
discovered early, on my own,
lessons of the heart;
having, using, breaking, caring for
only to eventually discover
I missed something in
regards to care and maintenance

Needing more than wizened words:
high-tech cobalt
wielded by skilled surgeons
put in place
without benefit of
easy-open chest door; fixed.
tick-tick-tick-tick
just the way it should

I am now the Oz hybrid
repaired heart
experienced, wiser brain
enhanced courage
still traveling strange roads ready to
encounter the
sublime, absurd, good stuff, bad
with newfound
appreciation, anticipation, curiosity

knowing better than most
be it ever so humble, there is no
heart like thine own.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Gnosis laid bare

aristotleThe tone
of your discourse
public, private, anonymous
shrill, accusatory
non-sequiturs blending
reality, perception, personality
seamless, misguided pastiche
grounded in your justified
fear of being wrong

fear of not being right
fear of differences
fear of those similar, but
who say unfamiliar things
unbecoming via people that
look, seem like you,
aren’t at all, after all

Fear looks at you from your mirror
fearing your helplessness
no faith exists in the impotence of
the unknown, you stare back
through bloodshot eyes,
sneering disbelief of how, why

my country!
my ideas!
my ideals!
mine!philosophersedit
my piety!
my way of life!
my way or get out!

My goodness! You fear
so much based on so little.

Shame on you

self-loathing perpetuating
insecurities as gospel
persuading yourself, few others,
yes your fear is not fear, not hate
something more grounded
reasonable hate coming from others
not vice versa

go back to reflect
thoreauon what the mirror doesn’t show
what you don’t see may surprise you
if it doesn’t, turn out the lights
look again, more closely

refracted darkness is only
fearing what you cannot see
yet you only fear what is unseen
demons imagined; grotesque caricatures
therein lies your dilemma
a dichotomy reflexively reacting to
reflected fear of the benign known,

sinister only because you fear unknowns
leaving you looking for what is there,
in the darkness, peering in return
with skeptical, knowing eyes, staring
at you vacantly with piteous regret

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

Whereas

Never having been mrsmith2
as naive as
I should have been

exonerated for crimes
against logic
bus ticket, new suit

outside-the-box
thinking
box house, never homebogart3

recycled, repurposed
repent sinners!
repressed no longer

naiveté begat experience
I can elocute
to it all in open court

Get back, honky cats
I got this.
Flat out truth: I got this.

– 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

Pavement due

hubcaps1Rusted, mangled hubcaps
clutter road shoulder, ditches
stray, chrome castoffs
wildflowers of reckless neglect

breakneck speed
cratered highways,
pilots disdain for
flashing, yellow signspothole4

by the spadeful, I scoop
well-intentioned, tar-coated fill
into random potholes

indifferent, life is, to the
temporary, heavy nature of
mundane cavity patches

Hey, not my asphalt

the road to hell need not
lie smooth, straight, nor narrow
don’t even bother painting stripeshubcaps3
it matters not in the least

my empathy apathy
dictates you will always
always
drift across the center line,
regardless

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

Wood-post modernist

pencil2thrills are to be had

secrets need revealing
wonders beg unraveling
truths urge to be told

revelations

dark and light
constrained in the
pristine symmetry of
new, freshly sharpened
shiny-yellow pencil

just above the perfectly
honed greyish tip
peach-fuzz wisps of wood
cling gently, smell of pine
tickle fingers excitedly

anticipation

cylindrically contained
wisdom waits for dispensing
tales of life crave to regale;
ideas yearn to be rendered
philosophies chafe
to be revealed

slices of life,

snapshots in time
narrow, wooden
repository of wisdom
covenant ark of perceptions
woven tightly between
two fingers, thumb

pristine, freshly sharpened,
primal and fearless
my shiny yellow pencil

poet selfie stick.

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

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

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