The Grapes of Wrath

He must not like books,
but he thinks he likes me.
Strange fool that he is.

Or was… Really?
Is that still the reason
for all this gang stalking?

All upset after 40 years
because I refused to
wave in your parade?

Did Harry come to Megan
and say “We’re getting married.”
one day, just out of the blue?

Prince of nothing! How dare you impose
your son of a hag everyone knows
upon my life and my world!

Your right to the pursuit of happiness
is NOT actually, on any level
meant to allow your pursuit of me.

My name is Joy, yes, a word
similar to happiness…
So, did the AG say it was OK?

Does it exist in some federal policy
somewhere in the banal depths
of that haint white house?

Maybe it does. Maybe I was woven
into the pork fat of some
well fettered bill.

You people! You pests!
You infantile brats without a shred
of sanity! Just couldn’t let me be.

Gator Bait

Ooh! Is that a gator there,
waiting to be fed?
A pile of fish
to the other side
writhing like ancient snakes.

It’s a party!
On both sides of the divide.
Better hide! Better hide!

Lest you be gator bait!

Rain, Beautiful Rain!

Then, hide from the rain!
I shout to those whose job
is to keep their jobs
at all costs to we the people.

You, whose umbrella policies
invade and degrade the lives
of those who pay your way.

Hide from the rain!
It’s coming.

The Wall

This was my last dream of you and me.
A bed in a field of flowers
out of her sight, and away from him.

Just you.

Just me.

Just a bed in a field of flowers.

Just now I woke from a nap, and as usual
dreamed of you, walking past me in silence
taking my hand in stealth as she looks elsewhere.

You brushed past my shoulder, too close
in a crowded botanical, pulled me aside
for a kiss behind the geraniums.

Just you.

Just me.

Just a wall of beauty.

Any City

What city is complete without apple trees and honey?
Sweet things for the sweet among us…

Do hardened walls and concrete stalls serve life?

Yes, momentarily…. enough to get some rest in the midst
of clang and clatter.

My Precious Ones!

Days and days of joy
to kiss my baby boy
and watch him grow.

My precious baby girl
the same, with eyes
that light my heart.

Oh, babes!
Each moment with you
was a gift of happiness.

To hear your voice
To see your sweet faces!
“There comes my babies!”

Shadow Men

Out of my way, you three armless worms!
Your speech offends with lies and fables!
Manipulative oafs! All of you! Swearing
upon the falsehood of your faith.

I remember the in-between, and your
taunts to my king of kings, the one
who carried upon his back
the weight of our despair.

And now, you say “God bless…”
as if your words don’t fall to
chains and ashes amid the
governance of hell.

What is Lust

One true love I never thought I’d meet.
“Move on…” the psychic told me.
“We have many mates to our souls.
He was just one of them.”

Was he really? What color were his eyes?
I don’t recall, except for the way he felt
in my arms, and the warm glow I still feel.
Darling, I still feel you near.

I gave up long ago. I gave up
before he played his guitar.
Before he stopped at the sight of me.
Before he walked away.

Before she claimed him,
I gave up on love.

No such thing, I thought, when he tried
to say it, when I tried to say it,

when I said it in my heart and in my soul.
Lust! What is lust but longing for love?

A Witch’s Tale of Revenge

Once upon a time…

Isn’t that how these tales always begin?
Tales of fay folk, elves, and angels…
Of devils in dark suits void of briefs
for the sake of convenience.

Well, here we go…

Once upon a time
there was a little girl
living in a great big house
filled with beauty.

Mostly her beauty…

And, I speak of mother
not child. Children are more
precious than beautiful…
with a dose of precocious for spice.

But, I digress…

Every man in the kingdom
of freedom wanted the child’s
mother, not for true love, however.
There was a notion about her.

She was a fantasy…

One day, there in the dark
and narrow halls of a
haint white kingdom, a sheriff worse than
Nottingham crossed eyes with the child.

He was evil personified…

Such a sad, bad man, he was
that when the child smiled
he believed she was taunting him,
And so he swore revenge.

He swore to kill the child…

Instead, he did far worse.
Aware of the King’s disdain
for murdering children,
he had someone else do it.

To both of them…

But, like magic, or rather
with the help of the magical
universe, whose control is
absolutely perfect and in tune…

They both came back…

Mother as child, and child,
well, years later when the mother
found a young man with the
same birdthday (spelling intended).

They were all birds…

That is, in the in-between.
That part of life’s cycle where
tomorrow is yesterday, and
bygones pass away…

Eventually…

Mother, knowing her beauty
was at fault, took the beating
as any mother would take
from a monster for her child.

But, there were so many….

Many, many monsters,
both male and female,
young and old alike, aching
to beat up on the Mom.

And so it went….

So it went for 60 years,
until Mama finally got
pissed off enough to shout
“Enough already!”

Do you want to fight?!!!…

Silence. A deafening silence
fell over the land, like water
crashing down from a broken dam
where too much rain fell too soon.

And then it happened…

Her every thought of revenge
came true, because she refused
to give up and marry the
Sheriff’s disgusting son.

That was part of the deal…

Or so he thought, when he
thought he was King. He said,
“You have to marry one of these boys.”
Mama, just a child, didn’t know marry

from soda pop…

“Put a baby in here?” she pointed
to her tiny abdomen.
I think it’s too small,
after all, I’m a baby.

And babies can’t fit into babies…

They tried anyway, and tried,
and tried, and tried, having forgotten
the laws of nature and rebirth.
They tried of all ages.

They tried of all times…

So Mama got a revenge of her own.
She said, “Let him live unnaturally long,
let him live in pain and distress.
Let him beg for death.

And so mote it be.”

Meanwhile, the real baby,
far, far away in another world
grew up and met a handsome prince
who took her to France to get married

In a castle!!

The End.

My Name is Janus Joy Miller!

The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams
I was Amanda, and he missed the poignance.

There at the end we sat as in family montage.
No bows, odd applause, though we had done well.

Just a few in the audience, a small black box
theater in Miami, post 9/11, before I remembered.

He sat two feet before my face, staring a loving smile.
His child had done well, that being me, since now I know.

“He has my nose, poor guy,” I thought to myself,
then looked away. It’s impolite to stare at the audience.

A party after the show, and he so shyly approached,
I, in pure ecstatic bliss, a bit of a drunken mess – that fast.

“I’m your father,” he said to me.
“I believe you,” I laughed. “I knew my mother had an affair!”

“You didn’t have to be rude!” he said, and walked away.
He was serious. I was just kidding, not believing.

“No, wait, I must just look like her. I hope you find her.”
I implored, attempting to heal the wound I’d made.

“I already have. It’s you.” He turned, and left.
Not one more word did we speak until his death.

When I finally remembered six months later,
his words saved my life. I’m not crazy!

I am not the person on my vital statistics!
They lied! They cheated! They tried to paint me crazy,

but I am not crazy. I am his child.
And, the power he gave me in so few words,

just like a father would – he gave me peace.
Just like a father does – he saved my life.