Day 109 – Nonpartisan

You don’t have to pick a side, kid-
everyone’s out to get you.
You don’t have to pledge your life,
your faith or your trust.
Just keep your healthy cynicism,
look for the ones who stand to profit,
eye them all up and down,
friend and foe alike.
Everyone has allegiances,
everyone has closets;
pick and choose but remember-
never pick a side.

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Day 106 – What Would It Be Like

A kiss for five minutes,
a book for an hour,
a cat for a week,
a car for a month,
a baby for a year

if we could buy things
with the finite time
we have left

would there be bargains
or coupons or sales
could you make a return

what would it be like
to give up your life
for something you want

what would it be like
to take someone’s life
for something you sell

Day 103 – Time to Be

I don’t notice the mountains anymore
though they’re right in front of me-

driving to work straight facing a miracle of nature.

I hear sounds but I don’t care
where they’re coming from,
I have time off but I don’t feel
much relaxed.

There are Christmas flowers, scarlet and white,
all dead in the window, still

and I wonder when it happened
that I stopped having time
to be.

Day 100 – Lifeblood

We were born in a world
that promised us love,
that preached us backyard summers,
that taught us the value of honest work

We were born in a world
that fed us cinema,
that baited us with dreams it spun,
that led us to the brink and let us go

Come to find,
love’s a scheme we can’t afford
Come to find,
our honest work is not enough
Come to find,
we don’t deserve the things
we selfishly assumed
that we had every right
to desire

And so we are a generation spoiled by
ideology that we did not approve;
now we are a congregation ruled by
technology that we did not invent

Yet we’re the ones who have to fix the system,
the honest work for which they trained us up-
and we don’t have
any lifeblood
to spare.

Day 96 – The Greater Death

I have tasted this bitter cup before,
thrown rocks in its ponds and
kicked up the muck of its waters.
I have drowned before
and I will drown again without fear;
for the greater death was always to lay
clinging to life on the grassy hill
while everyone else
jumped in.

Day 93 – Deformity

I’ve always had the feeling
I am destined for deformity
I’m just waiting
for a tragic accident-
you don’t usually see it coming
but I want to be ready
so I can’t say life is unfair
for doing such a thing
without warning.

City of Death

I live in a city of death.

I know this because I’m forced to sidestep mangled, scorched bodies peppered down the walk every day when I bring in the mail, or when I lug in the groceries. Our block is a necropolis of hundreds. Roasted alive on their incomplete journeys to a better life. Or perhaps crushed to death by giants, and then burned like a funeral pyre.

I have to wonder at the death rate in this city, why no one else seems to be bothered much by it. Loud men on TV would say we have much bigger problems than to worry about spineless immigrants burned trying to get from one piece of land to another. This is our land, they’d say. Serves them right, they’d say.

Once in a while someone comes along with a broom to sweep the bodies away, and dig a big hole to hide the evidence. I think this could be me one day. I could be the one brushing away the sins of neglect, helping society forget what it’s allowed. But more than that I could easily end up a heap in the road, a travelling casualty, burned and torn. No one would lower the flag for me.

Maybe it’s a curse of exposure; we can’t mourn as much death as we see. So we have a value system in place. And I, on my errands and afternoon walks, can’t do anything to change it.

We don’t have the time for worms. In a city of death, their bodies are not our problem.