Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sweet Stuff

He rocked back on his heels
As though the words I spoke
Had physical force.

I knew if I stopped speaking
He would marshal his wits
And offer a response.

I fired a second broadside
Encouraging him to go home
And act like a man.

But…he said.

I turned away
Refusing to entertain any reason
That may argue his case.

Man up!
I said
As I left him in front of the
All Day ~ All Nite Currency Exchange.

I never saw the man again.

If the ending were mine to write
It would be one of
Living happily ever after.
But I only wrote one page
In a drama of many chapters.

Glancing over my shoulder
I saw the man
Head down
Wiping his eyes
Shaking his head.

Maybe I was wrong?
Too harsh?
Should I have given him
A shoulder to cry on?

To me, the danger is
Over-thinking a matter.
I usually do what my gut
Tells me.

At that moment
My gut wanted a piece of apple pie
And a cup of coffee.

You can't get pie and coffee at
The All Day ~ All Nite Currency Exchange.
A man's gotta go home
For the sweet stuff.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Manual Man*

I’m a manual man
In a push-button life
A soft-hearted lad in days
That cut like a knife.

I don’t want to know
Everything on the news.
That's the life that I want
That's the pathway I choose.

I want to stand back
From the trouble and pain
I don’t want to know
The dead and their names.

It’s as though, if I knew
Then the burdens on me
So I’d rather stay dumb
Than stand tall and see.

* For the record, I am the exact opposite of this poem. Just so 'ya know, ya'll. I've always believed, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sorry 'bout That...

There appears to be some difficulty with this blog's server (Google). Another reader informed me he, when visiting this site, is being diverted to a variety of shopping pages. I've experienced the same problem. Google has been contacted concerning this matter, and I trust they will have a solution. If you experience the same problem, please leave a comment for me. I would much appreciate knowing. I regret the matter, and want to assure you it isn't originating with anything coming from The Dashboard Poet. Thanks for reading!
~ James

I’ve Seen It*

I’ve seen encounters
The Silver Screen’s
Depiction of lovers
Abandoned to Ethos
The gods of love
And passion.

I’ve seen their bodies
Race to keep up
With their eager hearts
And inventive minds.

I’ve seen their eyes connect
Their senses alert
To the chemistry
Fueling their coming together.

I’ve seen their lips meet
Linger and explore
The magic of midnight
In tangled sheets
Caressing fingers
Cupped behind the neck of one
The ears on the other
And the wordless
Lexicon of love.

I’ve seen the magical matrix of movies
Mingle with the urgency
Of human need.
The end is the beginning
Of Eden
The promise of Heaven.

I’ve seen it all right there
On the silver screen.

Holding my breath
Feeling the pulse beat in my temples…

I want to be kissed like that.

*Let this be my commentary on Shades of Grey. There is a universe of difference between Bonding and Bondage.


Awake, sleeping buds
And come to life
Dull winter’s blade
And sheath her knife.

Breathe, spring time winds
And sweep the world
Of the bitter ice
That upon her was hurled.

Together with the sun
Fall, clean rains
And deliver the land
From winter pains.

Arise sweet grass
And blazing flowers
Come forth green leaves
On spring time bowers.

Awake, my soul
Renew in me
The joy of life
And set me free!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Shadow Said

Life is hard.
Death is easy

Said the shadow
In the corner.

Nothing matters anyway
And your finger
Masters the trigger.

But light comes
In the morning

Said I.
It is best to wait
Until then.

Don’t be a fool
The shadow said.
Light is for the timid
And is meaningless
In the end.

The end preoccupies you
Said I.
Can you not speak
Of tomorrow?

Tomorrow is a place
Of sorrow

The shadow said.
Come sleep with me.

Sleep is for the weary
Said I.

Sleep is for the lonely
The shadow said.

Come with me
And I will show you
And wonders beyond

The shadow said.

At what cost?
Asked I.

At the cost of life
The shadow said.

I switched on a small lamp
Of low wattage
And was astonished
At how quickly
Shadows flee
At the application
Of the least bit of light.

Monday, February 23, 2015

In A Nanosecond

I asked a question about helicopters
To a man who knew them.
He said he had a buddy
In “The Nam” who was
A door gunner…

Though he had been smiling
His eyes instantly clouded.
He choked a bit.
Tears gathered at the corners
Of his eyes.
Sucking on his lower lip
A timid squeak escaped.
His hands trembled.
He shook his head slowly
Not looking at me.

I felt like shit for asking.
I could not have foreseen this.

I told him it’s alright
That I understood.

But I do not understand.

I know nothing of the life expectancy
Of helicopter door gunners
And even less about losing a friend.

We sat in a cacophony of noise.
In the commerce around us
I was hearing shoppers
And recorded sales announcements.

He was hearing
The roaring pulse of helicopter blades
The chatter of machine guns
The characteristic slow report of AK 47’s
He was smelling smoke

I was smelling mall coffee
And hearing squawking children
Restrained by mothers.

Never departs far from us
And may easily be summoned
Over coffee
In a shopping mall.

Death may return in all
Its coppery soil
Its jagged shrapnel
Its rent flesh
Its vacant gaze
In a nanosecond
Laden with all the brutality
In which it was last encumbered
Half a century ago.

My friend wept silently
While I stirred cream
Into my coffee.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Do Know

The Aurora Borealis plays
At the top of the earth
As it always had
Long before my birth.

The Hunter reigns
In the midnight sky
And he will continue to reign
Long after I die.

The Seven Sisters shine
Above the seas
With Sirius, Orion
And the Pleiades.

I know little of stars
Much less of the moon
But this I do know…
I must leave this world soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Who I Am

I never wore a helmet
And I never carried a rifle
But I am not a man to mess with
To kick around or trifle.

I am not much of a lover
And I lack confidence with girls.
I am not a great romantic
But I’ve given love a whirl.

I don’t know anything of science
And I am not an academic
But I’ve kicked the tires a little bit
Though my efforts were anemic.

I am not very good writer
And I am even less a poet
Though I’ve given prose a shot
But I doubt if my efforts show it.

I am getting older by the day
And I still don’t know who I am.
But it doesn't matter anyway
And you don’t give a damn.

Don't Wake Me

Please don’t wake me in the morning.
Please just let me sleep.
There are dreams I hope to dream
And fantasies to keep.

The morning sun is not my friend.
It’s harsh and terribly rude.
A friend does not act that way
And refrains from being crude.

I’d rather live in a dream-like world.
I can’t abide the glaring day.
I much prefer the darkness
To keep reality away.

So, please don’t wake me in the morning.
Please walk softly from the room.
Keep the drapes and curtains closed
And leave me in my gloom.