Sleep deprived, depraved, deneeded

Awake for over twenty-four hours
at work on a project
pulling an all-nighter
far easier when I was far younger

My clock got sluggish at three A.M.
and all I hear in my
head is Cat Stevens
singing ‘Morning has Broken…’

I need to add
‘… and there aint enough
Gorilla Glue in Minnesota to fix it.’

so while I wholeheartedly agree
with Mister Stevens
maybe I’ll just stay awake.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

Learning to Fly

I once read a book by a guy who
turned fifty, went to circus camp
trained to be a trapeze artist
most difficult lesson to learn
was to let go of the bar
simple concept; if
you don’t let go
you don’t fly

the metaphor
was obviously
all about the times
in life that we should
let go of whatever but can’t
hard to discern difference
fly/fall – can’t let go
a fascinating read
he told how
difficulties in learning to
let go holds most of us
back in some way
tightened grip
no flight

While I have never been on trapeze
I have certainly struggled many times
with letting go and hanging on
two very different
concepts and
while I’ll probably
never learn trapeze
I have in large
part learned to losen my grip –
with purpose and promise

there comes a time when
you just need to
let it go
if nothing else
give your arms
a little bit of a rest

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022


Preaching tenderness
he smiled at her, steaks on grill
now picnic for one

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

Morning repast

Hobbits famously tell of their
dietary habits
especially mornings
most definitely
second breakfast

Not living in a cozy shire
nor having large
fairly hairy feet
I can still speak to the
efficacy of breakfast two

For second breakfast
simply put
is actually fifth coffee
or sixth coffee
depending on cup size

second breakfast/fifth coffee
depending on day
also serves as
placeholder between
wake-up and first nap or

first nap and second nap
or even couch nap
and porch nap
not to be confused with
porch coffee and

deck coffee, a decidedly
enhanced fresh
take on additional
morning sustenance and
just pass the damn sugar

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022


“Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm..”
– Bob Dylan

I have never had much use
for umbrellas
keeping rain at bay
as antithetical
to a poet as
sunscreen to a snowman
I need no portable canopy
except for thoughts
let it rain, pour
in my words you’ll find
from your storm

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

Mr. Beethoven, I ode you one

“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” – Yogi Berra

O friends, please more of these sounds!
Let us shout more joyful cheers,
More cheers full of joy!
Joy, bright spark of these nine innings
Denizens of the baseball field!
Team-inspired we tread
Within thy white-lined diamond.
Baseball’s power re-unites
All that losing has divided,
All fans become brothers,
Under the sway of thy gentle swings.
Whoever has created
An abiding friendship
Or has won
An afternoon alone at a baseball game

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

City life

If you listen closely late at night
the sounds of the city
become ever more clear
traffic noise, road hum
sirens distant –
and not so distant
squealing tires –
cars racing
too-fast trucks
pitter-patter of raccoon claws
on alley concrete
squeal of train wheels
screeching hawks
occasional owls
unsteady footsteps of a
neighbor, returning
from some sort of revelry
a kaleidoscope of
aural enlightenment

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

Beyond scared

I have never really feared monsters
boogeymen in closets
demented clowns
things from other dimensions


I grew up in the 1960s watching
50s B movies
Karloff, Lugosi epics saw
Godzilla as cute, not menacing


Now in my sixth decade I do
believe in monsters
they wear suits
don’t like us very much, they lie


The real monsters slop from TV
like the blob
grotesque, like
the radiation scarred mad doctor


The monsters – the real threats –
walk among us
not as zombies – those would
just be us, who made the monsters

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022


My neighbor’s dachshund
bulky hamburger costume;
why not? Dogs’ German

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022


Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed
had agreed to mediation
their relationship as iconic legends
frayed, upsetting their fans

“I plant trees and you chop them down!”
“I do nothing of the sort, Johnny!
I harvest timber! Apple wood is no good!”
thundered Paul, while Johnny eyed him

“Then who is cutting down my apple trees?”
Johnny was inquisitive, not accusatory.
“I don’t know” said Paul, softly ‘Not us.”
The mediator watched each of them

“You are known for felling large forests”
said Johnny, softly. “I heard you cut it all.”
Paul leaned in toward Johnny. “That is not true.
I cut timber…and I love to eat fresh apples!”

Johnny Appleseed started to chuckle
“I guess that makes sense. Apple trees are
scrawny – but the fruit is tasty!”
He stuck out his hand, Paul accepted.

The two men stood, shook hands
started for the door. “You know, John –
If some apple trees come down in a storm
I hear they make great bacon smoke!”

The mediator opened their file, simply
writing “Satisfactory conclusion”
before throwing the folder onto his desk
before heading for the door himself.

Remembering words his grandma said
‘Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb.
That’s where the fruit is.”

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2022

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