Undead Reckoning

Beneath, an ancient terror sleeps

Within a crypt of endless night

Its casket dreadful secrets keeps

Its cape a shroud to life and light

 

No breath of air escapes its throat

No heartbeat drums inside its chest

Not dead enough for Charon’s boat

But of no mortal spark possessed

 

It stirs within its Stygian tomb

Mind reaching up to taste the sky

The sunlit world falls fast to gloom

The hour of dark ascension nigh

 

It rises from its coffin bed

Unfurls great bat wings, left and right

A feast of blood served warm and red

Will sate unholy appetite

 

With awful strength and not a sound

It rushes from the ghastly vault

Through passages far underground

Intent on murderous assault

 

Erupting from the darkened heath

It wheels and pauses in the air

Surprised to see arrayed beneath

Its human prey massed everywhere

 

In knots and crowds, all eyes upturned

They peer to heaven, motionless

Yet of the fiend they’re unconcerned

Transfixed by grandeur measureless

 

Too late, the creature turns to gape

With yellowed eyes upon its doom

In vain it races for escape

To Earth’s impenetrable womb

 

A sun-bright golden beam breaks free

A shriek of rage dies on its lips

It wasn’t night, but rather the

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The Slacker’s Lament

 

On Labor Day the working Joe

Can toil and industry forego

And lounge about the bungalow

An idler by decree

 

For me, a slacker head to toe

It’s been a yearly source of woe

That shirking work is only so

For he a worker be

 

I find employment wearying,

Attached to Boss Man’s apron string

Nor would I venture anything

On pure initiative

 

In winter, summer, fall and spring

Of my own indolence I’m king

Persistently malingering

The bum definitive

 

To lift does not appeal to me

I wouldn’t tote for any fee

Indeed, to stand would disagree

Lest I should break a sweat

 

To ride a desk would seem to be

An exercise in constancy

Two things I hope to never see

Not even on a bet

 

Fact is, no useful chore do I

Have any mind to even try

The public weal to fortify

My social debt to pay

 

And so when each September’s nigh

I loaf upon my couch and sigh

And wish I had a job to shy

By right of Labor Day

Star-crossed

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A beacon from the firmament

A globe of fire in star-lit sky

An omen surely heaven-sent

To guide the wise to wonders nigh

 

“Our road leads west,” the kings agreed

“Our fortunes bound to yonder star.

With sturdy hearts and all due speed

We must away to lands afar.”

 

Assembling modest retinue

The learned three betook their quest,

Celestial pharos e’er in view

A burning purpose in each chest.

 

Across the plains of Samarkand,

And choking desert wilderness.

 O’er gasping mountains toiled the band

Through regions strange and comfortless.

 

At last, upon a night divine,

Arrived they unto Bethlehem,

To there behold no stately shrine,

But rough-hewn stable waiting them.

 

“Praise to the Lord!” the wise men cried

“That in this humble place doth bide

Philosopher, exalted guide,

The child in whom all fates reside!”

 

At calm repose a newborn lay

Serene upon a bed of straw

Its mother rested steps away

The visitors approached with awe.

 

“Accept these gifts, Madonna Fair

For this, your Son of blessed birth,

We offer gold in princely share

To He who will bestride the Earth.”

 

“Rich frankincense, a treasure rare

Befitting Heaven’s champion,

And myrrh to sanctify the air

Surrounding this, our Holy One.”

 

The mother, clearly unimpressed,

Just took another bite of hay.

The child no gratitude expressed,

But bleated in an anxious way.

 

The Magi were confounded sore

Had they displeased the newborn king?

A shepherd boy rose from the floor

And said “You see guys, here’s the thing…”

 

“That gold and stuff is great,” he winked.

“For such as them what wears a crown,

But these are sheep.  I kind of think,

You want the kid two mangers down.”

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The Meal who would be King

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Tom Turkey was a thoughtful bird, and circumspect in deed and word

Yet in his feathered breast there stirred a grand ambition long deferred.

 

“We are too dignified a race to languish in captive disgrace!

We might a wider world embrace, if farmer’s fence we could erase!”

 

And turkey emperor he’d be, Tom often reckoned secretly

Who led his flock to victory and set the persecuted free.

 

He’d stalk the scratching yard by day, his warrior’s plumage on display,

And in the feeding sheds inveigh against their cultural decay

 

“No more must turkeys here inside this chicken wire bondage bide.

With strength and righteousness allied, we’ll rise in liberating tide!”

 

Tom forged his battle plans with care to catch the farmer unaware.

No quarter would commander spare in that most desperate affair.

 

The younger Jakes arrayed before, the older Toms a solid corps,

And in reserve those maids of war, determined Jennies by the score

 

With lightning speed the army struck. The gate swung wide – a stroke of luck!

Through breached defense they surged amok straight into waiting poultry truck.

 

Capricious are the winds of fate, as Turkey Tom found out too late,

No lord of sovereign Turkey State, but king of one Thanksgiving plate.

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The Honorable Gentleman

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A dull and idle boy was he

Whom Senator would one day be

For un-remarkability

He was a perfect twit

 

Scholastically he missed the bar

In sports he functioned under par

On looks alone he’d not go far

Nor live upon his wit

 

And yet this dreary lump of clay

Had one redeeming card to play

It was a talent, some would say

Not fit for gentle folk

 

The lad could look you in the eye

And let outrageous falsehoods fly

There was no fib, nor tale, nor lie

Too brazen to invoke

 

He lied his way through public school

Professors all he made the fool

Of truth no single molecule

Did stain his bar exam

 

At law his gift won accolades

Not possible in honest trades

In time he joined the vile crusades

A mayor’s seat to scam

 

With artful infidelity

He milked the city’s treasury

Invested in publicity

and stormed the Capitol

 

Without the truth to slow him down

The wretched lad now toasts the town

And spreads his lies the Beltway ‘round

To keep his pockets full

 

That little lying boy so bland

Is now a lying Congressman

With power over all the land

And hogwash in his heart

 

But now his native gift for fraud

Strikes no one as unduly odd

He is, of all that crew, by God

A well-respected part.

 

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