Free Verse



Joseph Farley, US




most of the volume
of an atom
is empty space

we try to focus
on small bits of matter
that spin by

but it is hard to ignore
the emptiness
that fills most
of existence


dead cat in daffodils
so much winter remains
in this would be spring



Slithy Toves


I don’t gyre and gymbol
the way I used to.
My blade no longer goes
snicker snack,
but I can still ham it up
on the porch
with the other retirees
at the Sunnyside Home,
weaving tales of great adventures
in search of the snark.

It’s all bull.
We all know that.
Well, maybe there is
a teaspoon of truth,
but we won’t let that
get in the way.
Our fading lives require lies,
and it makes our eyes twinkle
to see the nursing aides grin
as they listen in
on all that has transpired
during our sojourns
in the rabbit hole.



The Visitors


The deer were in the yard,
a dozen or more,
seldom seen, but there,
their presence evidenced
by piles of spoor
that must be shoveled
and buried or thrown
over the fence into the woods.

Untidy visitors that come by night
or while the family
is at school or work,
I cannot ban them
even if I wanted to.
I trespass more than they do,
having usurped ancestral lands
where the herd once roamed
through forest.

I shall accept this tax of droppings,
and let them nibble at flower bulbs
and lay waste to my annual garden.
I know when I find one of them in the yard
and look into those silent brown eyes
that they know as well as I do
that me and my kind
are more thief and interloper
than they will ever be.



Down But Not Out


We’re down,
but not out.
We’re out,
But not down.

Let’em in.
Let’em stay in.
Let’s lock them in.

They can have the house
and what’s inside.
We’ll take the free world



Lost and Along For the Ride


I don’t know where I am going.
I don’t know when I’ll get there.
I don’t know where I am going,
And I’m not sure I should care.

Outside the window it is raining,
Drops hit and run down the glass.
I can’t see if there are forests or houses.
I can just see the rain storming past.

The train car is empty.
I can sit in any seat,
But I’ll stay where I am in the corner
Wondering who or what I might meet

If I get off at the next station,
If I get off any time,
If the train pulls in anywhere,
Even the end of the line.

I don’t know where I’m going.
I don’t know when I’ll get there.
I don’t know where I am going,
And I don’t know if I care.



A Liar By Trade and Practice


I have no name I use for long,
So let me borrow yours,
And I will tell you of
adventures you have had,
though you might not remember
being there, or be able
to place a face with a name
I might recite in my story.
Forget and forgive.
Forgive and live,
if only vicariously,
as the fellow you might have been.



The Clowns


I admire Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan.
They have transformed their lives
Into performance art, teaching all of us
The frivolity of existence
As their bizarre daily dramas
Supplant famine and war
In the news media
And our consciousness.









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