Pseudo 23

Modern-day Psalmists
plying their trade via pithy sayings
basic fonts, splashy backdrops
portmanteaus of
varying interpretation

revelations
shifting dunes rounded by
prevailing winds as arid,
accepted gospel
lacking lyricism
posted for the world by
self-anointed prophets
claiming persecution, occasionally
lapsing into lamenting angst
bitterly masquerading as wit
pleading cases to merciful
gods/laptop Pharisees
issuing agreeable protestations
eschewing grace

never to grasp ‘liking’
is not prayer
weeping ideograms do
not denote benevolence
gaped-mouth ‘wows’
cannot replicate true, godly awe

like biblical counterparts
exhortations to repent, reform
delivering thunderous,
threatening, visual praise by way of
pictorial concatenation
oblivious to concepts of mercy, conflating
holier-than-thou with holiness

Facebook is my sheep, shepherd
I shall not want for others
those who disagree are my enemies
I immerse myself in blue pastures
scrolling paths of self-righteousness
finding goodness in my followers
all through my days

Amen?

– 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

One metmorphisize fits all

Happily-ever-afterabstract4mll
mythology
prefaces every sequel
continuing
character-driven sagas
story arc only
tacking an index onto
volume one,
three, sixteen in a set

having read this scene
repeatedly
life movies
annotated script
writing, rewriting books
they were based on

playing
déjà vu-all-over-again
never more than
countless times
here-we-go-again
monotony of
changing times
changing directors

same cast of characters
different roles
replaced actors
haven’t-I-
seen-this-show-before?

Exit, stage right
enter stage left
either or,
vice versa
prefacing intermission
act one ends…

next!

time to regroup, recast
strike the set

endings are simply
ellipsis
masquerading
as comfort
to the ill-at-ease

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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