Sunday, August 20, 2017

Keep Going

Rush, push, rest, review…
Rush, return, then rush some more. 
Quick completion of each quota, 
Questful queries coincide with 
Sequences of synergy to 
Forcefully facilitate the 
Fateful flow of each endeavor. 
Never stop until it’s done.

Baseless basking 
                         Barters little. 
Tasteless tasking 
                         Garners less. 
Graceless grasping 
                         Suffers reason
Leading to a 
                         Muddled mess. 
Sleep becomes unnecessary. 
If it threatens, take a pill.
Just keep going til it takes you. 
Someone else can pay the bill.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Get Started

Sitting here with pen in hand
Wondering where to start,

               Killing time before I go, 
               Whittling on a stick.

Blocking out the blocking in,
Try to clear my mind. 

               Thoughtful in my reverie of 
               Peaceful days gone by.

Will the pages fill with ease
With muses from the heart?

               Spill the ink onto the page. 
               Give a little kick.

Does the bastard steal my thoughts 
And leave me far behind? 

                Blown away by winsome words, 
                Left to wonder why.

Getting started is the key. 
       All the rest is flow.
How it gets onto the page 
       We may never know.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Arrest My Soul

When all of the pleading and kneading is over, 
After the bleeding is finally stopped, 
Will we be feeding on fodder from yesteryear? 
Will we be heeding the soothsayer’s song?

Who will be leading and lighting the torches? 
Seeding our thoughts through the torturous times?
Reading the headlines in horrible hopelessness? 
Weeding out suspects who stand in the way?

I stand in horror watching the spectacle. 
I stand in fear as it touches my walk.
I stand defiant, defending my doorstep from 
Goose-stepping Cretins who crash through the night.

Arrest, if you must, this pitiful visage. 
Arrest, if you dare, this intolerable toad. 
Arrest if you think me a threat to your manhood, 
But you will never arrest my soul.

There will be judgment. 
There will be justice. 
There will be reckonings all have to face. 
Patience be teacher, 
Watchdog to freedom, 
Standing in front at the end of the race.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Another Fine Mess

Oh, if we could only go back in time, 
A day, a week or even a year,
Know all the pitfalls,
               The potholes, 
               The pratfalls, 
See all the bumps in the road up ahead. 
But vision is weak, impaired if not blinded by
Heart-felt passion’s irrational rush, 
And we keep making the same mistakes 
That leave us to sleep in an empty bed.

Wellsprings of happiness don’t merely happen. 
They must be constructed of labor and love. 
Truth is the shovel, compassion the pick so that 
When mistakes happen there’s room to confess.

You could have…
I could have… 
We could have been more 
               Deductive,
               Seductive, 
               Productive at best
In our effortless efforts to find resolution. 
Instead we are left with another fine mess.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pintos, Okra and Fried Green Tomatoes

Some harbor favor for gourmet cuisine:
Caviar, pheasant or filet mignon. 
Trendy like crepe suzettes, crème brulee, sushi, 
Mildly to wildly exotic in theme.

Others, like me, have a simpler palette: 
Meatloaf, potatoes, hot apple pie, 
Pintos, okra and fried green tomatoes, 
Coffee, no sugar, and light on the cream.

Buttermilk cornbread to crumble like sugar, 
Biscuits with jelly, a savory sweet, 
Mother’s fried chicken, a finger-food favorite 
Served up on Sunday, a family buffet.

I would not argue or offer a protest 
To anyone’s favor for fanciful foods, but 
Pintos, okra and fried green tomatoes are 
More than enough to get me through the day.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sanctuary

Run to cover, shelter from 
The fire-belching dragon who 
Would have your face for breakfast and 
Consume your flesh at dinnertime.

Holding faith with vigilance 
In stalwart measure, self-assured, 
Tasting of adrenaline rushing, 
Pumping to the bone.

No one knows where courage musters, 
Cannot guess the origins of 
Fight or flight, wrong or right. 
Still it finds us in the dark.

Let me be your sanctuary. 
Let me still your angry skies, 
Be your comfort and protector
When the monster storms your gate.

We will face the beast together, 
Sword and lance held to the sky. 
Two as one, invincible, 
Striding out to find our fate.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Obnoxious Willie

Willie is a worry-wart who 
Whines and wiles away his day
Making matters miserable in  
Messy, muddled, mocking ways.

Carry on, you cranky critter,
Gripe and groan and bellyache
Until you make the masses moan 
Bleeding green for distant shores.

Must you be so damned contrary? 
Moving in concentric counter-clockwise 
Circles, opposite of 
Every other point of view.

Who made you the center of 
The universe? The oracle? 
The last, the first, the only word 
Authoring authority.

No one wants to hear your humor. 
No one dotes your droll display. 
If we’d only seen your smoke 
We would have run the other way.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Death Kills

Highly inappropriate to 
Speak of death when 
Sunlight dances playfully 
Upon the hillside casting 
Very little shadow on
The meadow, if at all.

Cannot, must not kill 
The dream, cry the scream of 
Dreadful mourn, 
Place a burden to be 
Born on shoulders 
Fully unprepared.

Open-eyed, yet unaware of 
Danger lurking in the trees, 
Tiger-quick, apache fearless,
Ready to spring forth with ease.

So involved, preoccupied, 
Dreams of conquest to fulfill. 
Defiant to the bitter end, 
Scratching, crawling up the hill.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blisters on Your Backside

Riding along in your broad barcalounger,
Bucking recliner, couched in a crouch.
Waiting for nothing to silently happen, 
Hoping that something will make you worthwhile.

Parked on the sidelines of life’s little gambit, 
Chewing-tobacco stuffed in your pouch, 
Shifting but little to reach for your spit-cup, 
Grossing out children with vices so vile.

You used to run with the quickness of foxes 
So far ahead of the hunt-hungry hounds. 
Never a doubt or a question of capture. 
Smarter and faster, you lived for the chase.

Lately it seems you’re not up for the contest,
Don’t even touch your feet to the ground. 
Did you grow old or just get lazy? 
Hanging your head in defeat and disgrace.

You can just sit there petting your pride 
Trying to hide your unspeakable stunt, 
Rubbing the blisters on your backside, 
Or you can climb back into the hunt.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Don’t Forget Your Hat


You say you’re leaving;
You can’t take it anymore. 
Put your coat on 
As you’re walking out the door.

Turn to lash out 
One more time before you go. 
Hateful trash-talk; 
Something I don’t want to know.

Changes found you, 
Can’t say why or how or where. 
When it happened? 
I don’t know and I don’t care.

I won’t stop you 
If you’re so dead set to leave. 
Won’t come running, 
Pulling frantic on your sleeve.

Only one thing 
I can truly say to that. 
Give your keys up 
And don’t forget your hat.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Blasted Cell Phones

They’re everywhere you go these days; those 
Loud, obnoxious, boorish louts,
Land-line shirkers, hand to ear 
Talking just below a shout.

Outside office, on the street, crowded 
Restaurants, cars and bars, 
Trains and planes and subway stations, 
Doctor’s office, super mart.

What could be so urgent that 
It truly couldn’t bide? 
Are we so self-important that
We lose all sense of pride.

And what’s become of privacy,
Courtesy and grace? 
And as for common sense, they’ve 
Launched it into outer space.

Time and place is everything,
Or so it use to be. 
Except for cell phone addicts
Who reject civility.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Poker Face

Reaching deep into the void for 
Traces of humanity 
I come away with nothing, 
No display, no commonality.

Emotion shriveled like a week-long 
Petal fallen from a rose 
Crumbling beneath my step, 
Nothing real to be exposed.

Where does one acquire the skill 
To hide behind such steely mask? 
Is it learned or is it gift? 
Is knowing far too much to ask?

Can a heart learn to suppress the 
Smallest twitch, the slightest glint? 
Muscles under such control they 
Fail to give a single hint.

I could reach out, offering a
Helping hand, a warm embrace,
If I could only know your thoughts, 
If I could read your poker face.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Thrust Upward

We had it all, begging no pardon, 
Accepting no quarter from frequent distracters, 
Keeping a light over our pretty bedclothes, 
Feeding the meter with coinage aplenty.

Happily, snappily, jauntily singing, 
Running through sprinklers in childlike joy, 
Bracing for nothing, braking for less, 
Flying full-throttle through oceans of air.

We never thought the world could come crumbling, 
Never imagined us coming to end. 
Tolls left unpaid coming due with a vengeance, 
Sipping the bile of indifference and change.

I ran with blinders; did not see it coming 
Til you stopped me hard, dagger in hand. 
Stabbing me deep to the pit of my stomach 
You thrust upward straight to my heart.

I can’t imagine my world without you. 
You can’t imagine the damage you’ve done. 
Heart soundings mutes to eternal silence 
Joined with the undead in their zombie walk.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Take a Tissue

Sitting in silence, head bowed, eyes lowered, 
Awaiting the tribute that sorrow bestows. 
Most stalwart patrons are stoic, unmoving 
Except for a jostle to reset position. 

Dressed up in finery, scrubbed and bejeweled, 
Ladies in hats, overdone in perfume. 
Men pulling ties from the back of the closet, 
Hoping that no one will notice the stain.

Laughter of children noticeably absent. 
Dare not expose. Would not understand. 
Craving a cigarette, fighting the urge. 
Will anyone notice if I sneak away?

Somewhere a whimper, a sniffle or cough 
Reminds the gathered that life still exists, 
Moving with surety sunrise to sunset, then 
Resting a bit to start over again.

After the weeping and wailing is over, 
After the tissues are all thrown away, 
After the sorrow evolves to remembrance, 
Let there be laughter;
Let there be food.

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Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Lesson of Walden

One great lesson 
         To be learned,
All that’s needed 
         To get by.
When the burden 
         Gets too heavy, 
Take a step back…
         Simplify.

Sometimes seems to 
         Overwhelm,
Logic lost on 
         Asking why. 
Only one sure 
         Way around it,
Break the pieces…
         Simplify.

When “the world is 
         Too much with us”,
Troubles seem to 
         Multiply, 
Find a single 
         Word of wisdom 
Waiting for you… 
         Simplify.

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Setback

‘Must keep moving forward,’ says the boss,
‘Must outpace competition.’
Cannot pause to rest the weary. 
Barely time to dress their wounds.

Fix this, patch that, leap a hurdle, 
Quick step, side step if you dare. 
Zero tolerance for stooges. 
Even less for Looney Toons.

Deadlines loom as thunderheads. 
Setbacks threatening to drench a 
Fateful plan, to wash away all hint 
Of progress, kill the dream.

Deadpan faces dressed as zombies 
As they goosestep in close ranks. 
Worker bees surround the hive
Dead set to protect their queen.

Can’t afford one more delay. 
One more setback does us in. 
Too much pressure, 
Little pleasure, 
So much hassle just to win.

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Friday, August 04, 2017

Freelance Forgiveness

It’s so hard to be your friend. 
I know. I’ve tried for years.
Time and time and yet again 
We’ve languished over bitter tears.

Times of sore frustration 
I could clock you to the ground. Then 
Considered situation of 
Not having you around.

Times of panic when it seemed
The whole world was our foe. 
Simple odd-lot soul mates teamed 
To weather out the flow. 

Often times in anger 
Muted conversation reigned. 
But never was there danger 
That we wouldn’t speak again.

Whether others share our cares 
Is simply not our business. 
We are multi-millionaires in 
This freelance forgiveness.

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Stepping in Dog Poop

Climbing in behind the wheel,
A day like any other.
Everybody buckle up before
The gears engage. 
Calm and steady, 
Racked and ready, 
Primed to face the day. 
Not a thought of malcontent, 
Not a hint of rage. 

Then from out of nowhere comes 
A frightful affectation, a 
Cruciferous, odoriferous,
Cankerous projection 
Stepping onto senses like 
A giant squashing bugs, 
Quick to recognize the smell,
My mind keys the connection.

Find a curb, a patch of grass to 
Dance the stench away. 
Kiss my happy mood goodbye… 
Another ruined day.

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Did I Do That?

Leaves me wondering…
Leaves me wandering…
Leaves me worrying, 
Could it be true?
Could I have been so 
Completely distracted? 
Uniquely detached from 
Reality’s realm.

Caught in the maelstrom of 
Everyday wishes, 
Tedium’s puppet just 
Waiting to dance. 
Sightless to change 
Bouncing off of my forehead, 
Stilled til my senses 
Become overwhelmed.

Sudden, my sight becomes 
Keen as a cat. 
Leaves me to wonder… 
Did I do that?

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Forgotten

No one wants to be forgotten,
Vanishing into the foggish 
Memory of misbegottens, 
Tapering to miniscule 
Fragments of frenetic thought
Oxidizing into rust.

Large in life, behemoth that you are 
In lavish local lore, 
Can’t imagine that your memory could 
Fade into the night to 
Nothing but a radar blip 
Scarcely noticed to trained eyes.

Much more frightening than dying, 
So much angst to toss about, 
Think about, 
Talk about, 
Howl and whine and shout about. 
Will history and legacy be filled with fact 
Or lined with lies?

Though the thought be bittersweet, 
Kind, unkind, unjust. 
Someone please remember when my 
Aging bones return to dust.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Fried

Chicken, mushrooms, green tomatoes, 
Ice cream, mozzarella sticks.
Deep fried, refried, home fried 
With pride. Momma! Cook it quick. 
Fried zucchini, fried potatoes, 
Pork chops in a pan. 
Shortening, lard or olive oil, 
I’m your biggest fan. 
So, my blood gets sticky platelets. 
I’ll just take a pill; 
Eat a drumstick or a wing 
Until I have my fill. 
Grandma cooked with love and lard; 
Lived to ninety-two. 
Cholesterol and hypertension?
Words she never knew. 
Okay. So, they did a study. 
And my doctor says, “Take care. 
Live in moderation and 
Make yourself aware.” 
Still, I have suspicions, thinking 
Someone must have lied. 
God’s cruel joke to make it bad 
Just because it’s fried.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Part Two

How you trickle silently, 
Thoughtless of the grains already 
Falling prey to gravity, 
Filling up her bottom half.

Early on the hourglass was 
So top-heavy, slow to empty, 
Moving with the speed of trees 
Left growing on the mountainside.

Then somewhere along the way 
Your flow increased eleven-fold, 
Smothering the future in an arid, 
Acrid storm of dust.

Memories belittle any distant dream 
Of wealth or fame, 
Settling instead for hope of 
Reinstated afterlife.

Let there be no sad regret. 
Let there be no sorrow. 
Part two isn’t over yet. 
I wait to meet tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Coming in Spring 2018, a new book of poetry, 101 Virtues.


Half Way To…

Stuck here in the middle of 
The muddle as we 
Huddle just to cuddle in the 
Puddle with the subtlety of fish.

Kiss the weary wanderers who 
Happen by to ponder their 
Decision, growing fonder of 
A never-ending wish.

Look back over yesterday, 
The freakish fracas of dismay, 
The trifle trophies on display up 
High upon a shelf.

Welcoming the changing tide. 
Climb aboard the golden ride to 
Sail tomorrow’s other side 
Without a thought for self.

Come to center. 
Brave the winter months 
That lie in certainty. 
Join the throng in blissful song. 
Take me where I want to be.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Afraid of Nothing / Everything

The Nothing comes knocking on
My bedroom door, 
Leads me to worry, to wonder and fret. 
Will there be anything, 
Anyone standing behind that portal 
Of sad regret?

It swings open 
And light filters in and the Nothing is 
Suddenly opened to everything. 
My mind filters out what my 
Eyes would allow until 
There is no song left to sing.

Lord, give me strength, give me 
Wisdom to cope when 
The Nothing looms over my tortured soul. 
Teach me to look over 
Everything’s shoulder 
Where hope is the prize, 
The ultimate goal.

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Perfect Pitch

Outside corner, low, away, 
Paint the black. Strike three. 
Hometown crowd erupts with joy, 
Fanatics roar with glee.

Mezzo soprano sharpens. Ends 
Her aria with ease. 
Audience is mesmerized,
Mezzo soprano pleased.

Salesman standing, foot in door to 
Satisfy my itch, 
Amaze me with your talent for
Illusion, bait and switch.

Braced for failure, seeking out 
Perpetual perfection. 
Seldom finding sweet success 
Advancing my direction.

Goes to show, one never knows
The what, how, where or which, 
The subtle canvas that we paint 
In finding perfect pitch.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

On the Other Side

Magic misty gray horizon 
Shadowing the rising sun, 
Secreting the land of plenty 
Waiting on the other side.

Filling minds with wide conjecture, 
Mysteries in cloak and veil 
Seldom fail to mystify. 
Questions only, if you please.

Not a soul has ever bought a 
Round trip ticket to your shore with 
Beaches that go on forever, 
Never crowded, never full.

Never-ending holiday of 
Voices lifted high in praise,
Leaving joy and happiness the
Only order to fulfill.

Let my heart be fanciful. 
Let my mind be open to the 
Widest spectrum of belief 
Where grand imagination rules.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sold Into Bondage

Once with a dream sailing off into daybreak
Probed to excitement by bold wistfulness, 
Prodding the notion that nothing else mattered, 
Dancing on razor’s edge. No second guess.

No fear of falling. No vain malcontent. 
Challenging challengers. Beckoning more 
With youthful exuberance, sad inexperience 
Setting the stage for the heartbreak in store.

Out on the treadmill the dream becomes whitewashed, 
Stripped of its colors, robbed of its gold. 
Traded and peddled in markets of plenty.
Altered by robbers; finally sold.

Who are these heartless merchants of cunning 
Selling off souls for a guilder or less? 
Killing off dreams like assassins for hire. 
Bloodless desires that never confess.

Waiting for rescue will not lift these shackles. 
Cut off an arm if it helps to go free. 
Back to the marketplace, into the fray. 
Banner a dream for the whole world to see.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Private I

Come around some other time. 
There’s no joy to share this moment. 
Laughter just a distant mem’ry. 
Smiles lost to unseeing eyes.

Unaccustomed as I have become to 
Fits of melancholy, 
These are strange emotions swarming 
Over me like hungry flies.

Must need time to sort it all
In simple logical progression. 
Must find reason, must make 
Season follow season to conclusion.

Every cause must make effect.
Cannot let the sequence vary.
Cannot let deception carry off 
My thoughts with vague illusion.

Focus! 
Focus. Find the answer. 
Scout the glen from mountainside. 
Loose the falcon. Set him free. 
Revel his unfettered glide.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Get a Grip

What is this fantasy I’m in? 
Could it be much more inane? 
To dicker here and dawdle there, 
To walk the boundaries of insane.

Must be in a sleepwalk state 
Mesmerized by candlelight 
Flickering. Bickering, 
Trying to decide what’s right.

Can’t be any tried and true 
Imaginings to lead the way. 
Left to falter, left to flounder, 
Left for yet another day.

Somewhere in this canyon deep
A river must flow out to sea.
Oh, to craft a simple raft to
Take me where I need to be.

Stripping out the colors until 
Flesh is bared in subtle tone. 
Reaching out to grab a limb…
Pulled into the safety zone.

Lulu Storefront: http://www.lulu.com/dsmartin
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Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-S-Martin/e/B004SXY4LG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394055582&sr=1-2-ent

Monday, July 24, 2017

Big Fat Liar

Bogus lips who wave and waddle in
A wind of fabrication. 
Bastardized capitulation to the 
Terms of simple reason, 
Killing any last good hope that 
Principal might will and win.
Withering on sun-dried porches, 
Wallow in your dismal dregs.

When did it become such labor? 
Such a ruesome journey just to 
Find a fact and lay it out in
Rhythmic sweet simplicity.

When did stealth subversiveness 
Become the ruling master plan? 
Is it greed? Is it mead to 
Grace the face of conversation?

Am I ill to be pragmatic? 
Wanting fact in place of ilk.
Cast your fate with yellow dogs 
When truth subverts to holiday.

Lulu Storefront: http://www.lulu.com/dsmartin
Plays: http://sites.google.com/site/playsbydennissmartin/
Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-S-Martin/e/B004SXY4LG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394055582&sr=1-2-ent

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Together for Never

We can’t seem to get together
In this helter-skelter mix.
Pathways never quite converge in 
Forest green or meadow bright. 
Often time it’s hill or mountain 
Blocking view, come between. 
Even when we find a tunnel 
Funneled miles without the light.

Seeking grand and righteous virtues 
You fly high above my brow, 
Teasing me to grab your wing, to 
Fly beside you on your quest.
But flying high above the crowd, 
Beyond the clouds, is not my cup. 
Grounded here on common soil,
I seek only happiness.

No doubt somewhere eons hence
Our kindred souls shall meet again. 
But for now we close our blissful eyes and
Dream what might have been.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Heartbreaker

Hail to the heartbreaker, 
Standing tall. 
May you get all you consider your due. 
May the puppy you thrashed 
Bounce back biting you 
In the ass as you sit high on your wall 
Looking down, sad, smug smile on your face. 
Never imagining you’re the hard case. 
Never considering you’re a disgrace 
To your gender, 
Pumped as you are with such gall.

Truce and truth… 
Let the moment subside. 
Pry yourself from the crack 
Where you hide. 
Sample humility… swallow some pride… 
See what your stifled mem’ry recalls of 
A time you sat in opposing chairs, 
Totally baffled, unaware of 
The lead ball headed straight for your heart,
Leaving you desolate… 
         Lost… 
                 And small.


Lulu Storefront: http://www.lulu.com/dsmartin
Plays: http://sites.google.com/site/playsbydennissmartin/
Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-S-Martin/e/B004SXY4LG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1394055582&sr=1-2-ent