poems by Michael T. Smith

E T R A H

 

During the moon landing I was on earth

But ever asked: how subjective is ‘here?’

At what point does famil’rity have birth?

In a dark side of the sun place a hearth.

Because a home of heart is without peer

During the moon landing I was on earth

Beg with a Styrofoam cup of such worth:

Spacemen in a fishbowl of walls not clear.

At what point does famil’rity have birth?

For space to be on a premium dearth

On a TV screen wide enough for cheer.

During the moon landing I was on earth

Hands held across a million miles in mirth

Static dances for grains of a soiled year

At what point does famil’rity have birth?

Our empty hands surround a riddling girth

A small dubloin of proximity ne’er near

During the moon landing I was on earth

At what point does famil’rity have birth?

 

 

 

Just words

 

Truth is I don’t know

if any of my experiences are real,

or if I’m only

stuck in a memory or two,

which is essentially the footer

to all I do.  But  —

can you tell me who I am

from who I tell you?

Or better to read me in the margins,

in some text sous rature,

for the truth is —

regardless of what either of us says — full stop,

I am a stranger unto reality,

when so much of it exists

outside of me.

Can you tell me how you hurt the word?

What you hate about yourself?

How to be an outlaw for a dime?

Who am I to judge what I

remember?

 

 

 

Winter Afternoon

 

I am writing a poem because it’s winter,

and I am inside.  I don’t want to

Right now, and

it shows –

“Proving” my point by showing this poor muddle —

better than the telling words,

flowery as they could be,

tattling in their own way,

 

and reveling in my own circle of complaints.

 

 

 

Ship of Fools

 

This heavy Ship of Fools so soon cast off –

The gentleman onboard, their hats they doff.

Heads t’ follow, our thoughts dear but abaft are

Stuffing that light in th’ madness of May ‘far.

 

The court is a’ jester with an inf’nite smile.

Hark! The two-headed coin of the gryllos

Finds many maps in skel’tal trees virile –

S’ they rest their many mouths on lead pillows.

 

This sea of nothing, down our throats we quaff.

O lo, we spiral down this dark Passion pit

From Madrid’s silent tower falling off

To jerk our movements into another fit.

 

Do cold showers overhead skirt this place…

For this Tree o’ Knowledge has a happy face?

 

 

 

The Perception of My Own Grave

 

The perception of my own grave

Is always a long thought.

Death becomes pictorial,

Held by the thistled frame of tall grass.

 

This mountain at a’ given distance

All the more clear becomes

When the artist’s jiggling hand

Drops the coarse brush in art’s depiction.

 

It seems a shame that anything

But weeds should form this shroud.

Yet th’ joke’s calling this plot mine

When worms form my makeshift diadem

 

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