Saturday, June 25, 2011

End of School

Back on the street
Where the boy played
Was the teacher of the man.

From a hard hand
And sharp tongue
Blood and fear was all he learned.

He had not asked
To be born here
Nor die in these alleyways.

Do not join the gangs, mama said.
Be a good pupil, mama said.
Learn you’re studies well, mama said.

If you don’t join us, you’ll be dead.

Back on the street
Where the body laid
Was the creature of the man

Growing with hate
And bitterness
In the gutters of his youth.

He died today,
Years later, still young,
End of school, all lessons done.

For the One Stop Poetry Saturday prompt, Bob Dylan.

Photo by the author, 1969

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Stinging Attack


Once poet T. S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month.
You know I think it is a fact.
Along comes a nasty spider, a real blighter
Called the Federal Income tax.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun! 

Cartoon by the Old Goat when he was the Young Kid.

What Lies Ahead...If

Climbing down the last steps of March
Buffeted by the ill omen breath of change.
Shaken by the earth and by the bombs,
I wonder if we’ve reached the final page?

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun! 

Illustration: Taken in Iraq, 2003, by my daughter while deployed with the Army.

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Fathers

Puffed up and powdered,
Shined up and showered,
Finally got these kids
Posed before my camera.
I couldn’t be more pleased
Except as the shutter I squeezed
 I sneezed.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun! 

When the Muse Takes vacation

The hardest part of all,
As every artist finds,
Is when the paper stares back
With a blank expression
And this Cathode Ray Tube
Of your so-called mind
Fades to black.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun!  

DELAWARE GRAFFITI by Larry Eugene Meredith

Poems of Age 2010-2011

Month Misplaced

Where did March go?
I seem to have missed it.
It didn’t come like a lion;
More like the March Hare,
Quick and darting
And certainly a bit mad.
There it goes down some hole,
I catch but a glimpse of tail
Too quick to grasp.

It came an assassin at Ides
And slashed from me my month.
It caught me unawares,
Whistled by me on its winds
And took it on the lamb.
When the weeks are like a day
And the day is but an hour
You understand the parade
You missed in the March of time.

Country Song

I’m sittin’ in the snow in my underwear;
I musta had a hoot last night.
I’d sure like to know if I had fun,
But my brain ain’t a workin’ right.

My hat’s on my head and, well, I guess that’s good,
But my boots are nowhere to find.
I think there was a gal, perhaps there was two,
I can’t seem to clear my mind.

What she gonna say when I get home,
She’s gonna black a eye,
She’s gonna break a bone.
I better have a durn good lie
This time.

My trucks still in the lot up on cinder blocks,
But I guess it don’t matter much.
I don’t have my pants and I don’t have my keys
And don’t have a clue to where they may be
And she’s gonna kill me when I get home,
Gonna blacken both eyes
And break every bone,
I better have some durn good lies,
This time.

It might have been the whiskey, might have been the beer,
Might been the men’s room tote.
Whatever it was, whatever I done
I smell like a billy goat.

It’s gettin’ mightly cold sittin’ in the snow
Without no coat, socks or a shirt.
I’m just wearing a strange tattoo.
And, man, it’s beginning to hurt.
I am freezing my rear in a snowbank here,
It musta been a howl all right.
I’m never goin drinking alone
Well, at least not again tonight.

What she gonna say when I get home,
She’s gonna black my eye,
She’s gonna break a bone.
I better have a durn good lie
This time.
This time.

Easter Hymn

World’s about to blow,
Feel it building.
It is written on the winds of age.
The sparks are in the air.
Fuse is at the ready.
The signs of the time
Fall into line.
All these days now we know,
Full of quarrels and bickering,
And rumors and rumbling of war

God has given men a chance,
A saving Grace.
But they’re blind in their own glory and pride,
Can’t see the way the wind blows
Or the coming of night.
They chose they’re idols,
Shopping malls and pleasure palaces galore.
It is the substantive ignored
That blackens the soul to its core.

But the world’s about to explode
Like a bubble on a hot stove
Flinging us like dust.
Extinguishing like fire
Man’s expectation
Of his heart’s desire.

Where are your merchant ships of great wealth,
But sunk in seas of your despairs.
Men cry out to the world
Where do we find salvation?
Have no delusion
Your sin and pollution
They won’t save you now.
Find your solution in a grave
That held a treasure, not a body

Look not to the earth but the Son.

Look not to the earth but the son.
The bruised heel stands triumphant.
He flings us from dust
And Hell’s deep quagmire.
That was his promise,
That was God’s desire.

World’s about to blow
The end could come at any moment like thunder
But you can really know
When it ends here below
You’ll be raised from this mire.

Look not to the earth but the son.
Seek the one.
Seek the one.

Illustration: "Bigone" by Noelle, 1992


Simple little word, dee-eye-gee,
Yet it sure gets a lot of work.
It’s not for me to reason why,
But dig I must.
Dig out the rhythm, dig out the rhyme,
Gonna dig those syllables till the day I die,
Gotta dig or bust

But when I hear “Dig” I’m reminded
Today I’m as old as dirt,
Which by the way
Is what gravediggers dig,
And is a little too close, if you ask me,
When I count my days.

Dig takes me back to my long lost youth,
For dig was essential to express a truth,
Do you dig it, daddy-o?
Do you dig that chick?
It was cool man, do you dig?

But coming in between then and now
We had to dig ditches; we had to lift bails,
To keep digging out of debt.
Sometimes you dug in against a storm.
Sometimes you dug a trench to fight a war.
Sometimes you just danced cause you dug the score.
No regret.
I’m digging yet..

And when I die,
You can dig my grave with a silver spade
And don’t play no stinkin’ dirges.
Play something I can dig!

Silly, But Colorful, Moose Song

I had a little moose
And he was gray.
Called him a name
And he ran away.

Had a little moose
And he was blue.
He saw the first run
And he ran too.

Had a little moose
And he was yellow.
Called after Blue,
Wait for me, fellow!

Had a little moose
And he was green.
Yeah, that’s right,
He fled the scene.

Had a little moose
And he was red.
He didn’t run away,
He just dropped dead.

Had a little moose
And he was orange.
He didn’t run away,
‘Cause I got no rhyme.

Illustration: Photo from Moo Pig Wisdom Blog

Futility of Stupid or A Government Solution

I dug a little hole
And was I ever proud.
Then I turned around
And saw this little mound.

What ever will I do now
With all this extra dust?
Then I saw the hole
And thought, “Why this must
Be the perfect size
To hold that little mound.”

And so I filled the hole,
And was I ever proud.


I was hangin’ in back, just hangin’ about,
The gang was all formin’ out front.
Not really a Small Boy’s affair.

They hustled me out, closed it all up,
Tension was taunt, stress ruled the day,
Something was in the air.

They battled it out, the battle was brief.
Then she walked out face hard as stone
Trailing behind her a world of grief,
That would cut us to the bone.
She would not leave alone.

That spring came along and mayhem began,
This one went north another went south.
And I’m just doin’ my job.
And shuttin’ my mouth.

But it’s never the same when the good ones go off,
Things go down hill pretty fast.
Then this one is cooked and that one is fried
And the future’s not like the past.

And the days went by and the months ticked away
And all seemed hopeless and lost.
Lift high your glass and sob.
But down by the cold water, down by the crick
She was learning to draw down quick.
Then out of the sky like lightning she came
Leavin’ them limping, leaving them lame.
Revenge was the game, Payback’s her name.

Now I’m moving on out of the dust
Following her trail out of this rut,
So look for me boys at the new watering hole
Sharing in all that revenge an’ how.



They come and go
Like traffic flow
Headlamps dissolving in moonlight
Moonlight dissolving with dawn
Momentary tick marks of the day
Seized upon or passed away

Barber Shop

I’ve been to the barber
Beyond the cosmos where such thing exist
In white hanging light through Witch Hazel clouds
Where lidless cylinders hold scissors at ready.
And there is in the distance of mirrors within mirrors
And bruised and battered hardwood chairs,
Tiny tables with scattered tattered magazines
And comics for the kids
Who are lifted up screaming upon the strange saddle
That balances across the arms of the glistening porcelain chair.

The man is named Tony, they all are named Tony
Except for Blackie and oddly enough Clarence
And how is a Clarence in the tonsorial trade?
He flaps off a sheet with a shake and sweeps up the hair.
Or strops a straight razor on a strap beneath the arm.
He ties a tissue about the neck of the customer
He warms up a towel
He dusts off a shoulder
He sprinkles powder from the bristles of a feathery broom.

I’ve been to a barber
In some Biblical sense when men were still men
And Delilah’s were barred from the tools of the trade.
I witnessed the pig-snouted brushes drowning in cups
When not surfing the white caps across seas of chins.
I’ve passed by the poles of dying past history
Spinning encased in glass shells to signal the trade
Of multi-talented gents.
White stripe for the shaving and cutting of hair
Red stripe for bloodleaching, the surgery, dentistry there
And all of it gone to the prissiness of the salon.

Driving Through

Driving Through

It gets whiffed in the ticking of the night clock.
There’s a For Sale sigh on the site of the Swan
But the Swan swam into the black lake of progress
Decades before.
The Swan died in the ticking of the night clock.

Some architect out of conscious inanity
Built a tower of modern mediocrity on the grave
They pretended to honor the feathers plucked
By the hands of change and profitability
Now decades later
The tower dissolves in the ticking of the night clock.

God wound the night clock eon’s ago
And set it on our mantel
Man did not wind it
Man cannot stop the spring
He can only wait out the ticking of the night clock.

The old comfortable stores are gone.
Smoke stacks no longer write their names across the sky.
Fools flocked here in the rising graphs of real estate
And now they clutter the roads and paths
And worry about
Foreclosures in the ticking of the night clock.

And that is the way
At the end of the day
The piper we pay
As we count out the ticking of the night clock.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Winter Soul Your Eclipse

It’s cold.
That is apparent from the silence.
There’s no current in an ice bound creek to make a gurgle.
Those who are fearful or perhaps they are just tired
Have left you here on your own
On this short day.

It’s dark.
That is apparent from the shadows
Of which there are none for this is deep into the movement.
The symphony of deep night takes your breath away,
Played on the sudden burst of stars
This passing day.

It creeps.
That is apparent from the crescent
Of pale illumination framing the outer edges almost delicately.
These things come and slip away with more moments from you,
Leaving behind but deception
Of longer days.

Published ”One Stop Poetry”
Pete Marshall, Brien Miller, Leslie Moon and Adam Dustus, Editors
February 2011

Published “Poets Online”
Ken Ronkowitz, Editor
Ó 2011 by L. E. Meredith

Late Talk


Words fluttered between them;
Birds perched upon stools.
It was late, few were left; none listened.

A picture ran over and over
Above the tweeting heads.
The janitor swept up the bits
Fallen to the floor
And deposited this in the trash
Where it belonged.

Someone began flicking off TVs.
The barkeep wiped off glasses with his towel
And the last customer flipped a final bill down.

Sometimes, he thought,
It is better to be a chronic drunk
Than hear the world that thinks it’s sober.

Ripple Down Dreams

I heard this song
And it sounded familiar;
It sounded so familiar
And I wondered why?

The Radio guy
Said they called it “Ripple”;
The name was “Ripple”
And Grateful Dead wrote it all.

Or so they said,
Jerry Garcia did the melody;
A sweet melody
Began to play in my head.

It played so clearly,
“Any Dream Will Do”;
“Any Dream Will Do”
Played in my head.

Not “Ripple” I heard,
But Andrew Lloyd Webber.
So who wrote what?
And it rippled on
Any dream will do.

Photos: The Grateful Dead, C. 1971 and
Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat poster.