Monday, April 15, 2013

Tim Laffey- Three Poems

Special Living

It’s not all that special
to be living. Something like
a million of those little firecrackers shot
up that tunnel looking to explode
and while true
only one hit home and true
the odds against any single one
of them are daunting and that can
make it seem like a truly big
deal, like, boing! wave
a wand.
It’s really not.

Even knowing all those other
little losers will be
reabsorbed by the system  
doesn’t make it seem all that special
that one of them will not.
If you know the game
absolutely depends on one of them
making it, that, and otherwise
we’ve got nothing
to talk about.

Which makes you wonder,
surely one hundred thousand lemmings
can’t be all wrong?

So who’s the winner here?
Now listen it’s not all that special
unless you work hard at
successfully escaping the crowds
and can avoid diving off
the same cliffs
they do.

My Apologies

An old college friend of mine had
this second story walkup
he owned in a dilapidated part
of town. His place was always trashed.
Eggshells, tinfoil, gnawed bones,
dishes piled in anaerobic stacks
overflowed the sink, filled
the counters, poured onto the floor
and moved on out from there.
He didn’t care. All he wanted
was to play guitar and read history,
work no more than necessary,
get laid on occasion, pop
a few beers and smoke cigarettes
when he drank. Good rock ‘n roll
voice and very limited
taste for bullshit.

Then along I’d come every few
months and clean the damn
place up, wash the dishes, mow
the refrigerator, throw out newspaper,
vacuum and dust. We lost
touch a few years ago and
lately I got to thinking back on it,
who the hell did I
think I was? Delilah
trimming Sampson’s hair?

My apologies.
Probably took weeks
to get everything back.

The Force

So when I got back to writing
after taking 30 some years
off, I found
I’d been beaten
to politeness by
job force, wife force, kid force,
brother, sister, mom and dad
force, government at tax time
force, tv news force,
stupid people in crowds
force, and reading too
many forced, sentimental
weepy soulful frackin’ poems

And within about 10 days
I knew I couldn’t make myself
do it that way anymore,
that the finger I stuck out the next
time I sipped tea, nibbled
a cucumber sandwich and burped
politely into a napkin
wouldn’t be my
little one.

     After many years in Texas, in the computer services industry designing mainframe systems and tuning their performance, I am now retired and back on a portion of the old family farm in west central Illinois. Early on I wrote poetry, all that formal richness waiting to be broken was just so enticing. As it will though, life veered in another direction and while following my profession, I took up painting and sculpture. I will continue to pursue them.
     But recently the urge to write has re-emerged.

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