The Necessary Delusion

a bird may soar
to 30,000 feet
but eventually
must stop to eat

this freedom we chase
is only found in delusion
imagine until you sleep
there is no other conclusion

free is a bungee jump
fleeting as you fall
until the cord reminds
you’re tethered to the wall

we are all bound
equally by physical laws
and time has no mercy
on our physical flaws

we are all bound
to consider adjacent souls
each swish of our tail
affects the shoal

maybe being free
is a life without selfishness
growing your compassion
alleviating helplessness

is it possible to find freedom
living within boundaries?
can life break the moulds
forged in nature’s foundries?

maybe we can
for a time
and find
a new kind of rhyme

the burdens
we face
so real
we scrape for escape
from this oppression we feel
and so maybe freedom
is just striking a deal

because surely if we
don’t feel free
for a few moments
and lave in the stream
of a dream
while our spirit foments
life will be drudgery
with nothing but suffering
freedom is our interface
from a reality we’re buffering

and maybe without
this ability
to self-deceive
we would never know
what we could ever achieve

My Eternity

energy and chaos churning
I blink, what is my quantum state?
no form for eyes discerning
I can do nothing but wait for weight

with muons and gluons burning
no demon full of hellish fury
or soul worth grievous spurning
knows the heat that starts my journey

in fractured temporal storming
fragile existence expanding
my protons and electrons forming
the universe is grandstanding

opposites attract, particles conforming
to find orbits in that quantum foam
the first of all elements is swarming
looking for a nebula to be my home

thick and thin gasses, uneven masses
gravity sorts out the cloud’s confusion
swept and swirled in stellar morasses
the pressure builds in cores of fusion

my life is nuclear, neutrons are made
I’m turned into carbon at six and six
a supernova ensues as energy fades
I explode into the hydrogen mix

and on and on, star to dust to star
until finally shaped in molten sphere
cooling crystals of quartz and feldspar
this is my planet I’m finally here

hard rock lies still while water flows
molecules of simple protein grow fatter
bathed in the warmth of geothermal glow
base pairs twist to form that helical ladder

then in each successive replication
a fight to survive the natural selection
copies borne with random mutations
fear to be subjects of nature’s rejection

smell, sight and sound – sharpening senses
growing complexity – evolutionary connection
avoiding predation – gaining defenses
the building of immunity to combat infection

here I stand, human, against all odds
limping to the present, eyes with dried tears
the winner of the day, no need of gods
my prize a lucky seventy or eighty years

when it’s time, Death’s touch does freeze
atop flaming pyre my body resides
my ashes blow away with the breeze
some parts of me become lithified
my carbon is breathed in by the trees
a deer eats grass, that has me inside
I glide through time with magnificent ease
I always have lived, and never have died

Nature Private Eye: The Tarp Mulligan Chronicles, Episode 4

I never should have got mixed up in the case. But when the mother came in, smelling of the gin you buy when you don’t want to look cheap but still tastes terrible, I knew she wasn’t gonna leave my office until I said yes, so I decided to save myself the waterworks. She said her son was a trucker running fruit legally from Mexico but suddenly disappeared. She says she knows something’s wrong because normally her sends a snapchat every night.

So I did some digging and got myself down to Mexico. Came across a grove of mango trees. They tell me they’ve been losing their fruit before it’s ready to fall off the tree. Picking them from their parent, hard and green, then the babies get sent up north. Sometimes even into Canada. You always hope you don’t run into child trafficking as a detective, but it looked like I was knee-deep in it now.

Sick operations like this make me want to lay waste to any bastard involved I could find. But I’m too old and I’m quite addicted to narrating my life, so I left my gun in its holster.

I was still no closer to finding that kid. I decided to hedge my bet on a border guard I knew. He was good at gathering rumors and owed me a favor ever since I helped him with a rattlesnake that was trying to ask his ankle to tango. They danced, but I got down there, sucked the poison out, and fast. That’s something you don’t forget.

Nature Private Eye: The Tarp Mulligan Chronicles – Episode 3

I had to see my informant. A dung beetle named Jake. He’d been in and out of the joint for years, but ever since I saved his life from a burrowing owl he owed me. He figured he wasn’t bein’ a rat if he was only talking to a P.I. I don’t like to judge, but it’s a dirty city and I couldn’t believe he was rolling something that small. Maybe times were tough, I don’t know. I asked if he needed help finding dung, he tells me he knows where a big stash is but it’s full male giraffes whipping each other with their necks, all over some broad. He’s afraid to get trampled. I don’t like tall tales but he had a look on his face, I knew he was scared.

I told him, I ‘d see what I could do. I knew a pretty girl over at the zoo who owed me a favor. I helped talk her brother down off a rooftop observatory one time. Thought he could come up with a new constellation. He went mad with all the choices. I calmed him, but the poor kid had stars in his eyes for a week.

He said thanks and asked me what my business was. I told him I was looking for a bower bird. One who likes shiny things. Seems this time he went too far. Took an heirloom from an heiress and she wants it back. So Jake tells me he knows the guy. Just a couple miles east of the lake. Likes to use pretty trinkets to attract the ladies. Uses it decorate his ‘love suite’. I shook my head and told him it was a shame that most of my cases come down to the stupid stuff a man do for a dame he’s into.

I know there is nothing more dangerous than a flamboyant bower bird so I turned up my collar and headed for the lake and tried not to think of the bottle of gin in my office desk drawer.

Life in Equations

time doesn’t care for me
gravity weighs on me
preys on me

degradation
loss of lubrication
wearing away of tissue
friction becomes an issue
the grinding in my groan
hysteresis in my bend
and bone

vessels weaken
thin
how long can my heart win
against endless pumping
glitches in the pattern’s
thumping

neural pathways fray
in withered grey
more and more circuits
misfire each day
approaching cognitive disarray

I am life
subject to physical law
and though I head
towards death’s maw
with weakened knees
I stand in awe
even with all our frailty
and flaws

Nature Private Eye: The Tarp Mulligan Chronicles – Episode 2

It was rainy and wet. And I was in no mood to talk to those whales. Not without a good porpoise. All I could think about was getting my feet back on to the pavement again. The streets. I knew where I stood. Not gonna lie, the GPS helped. 

I was standin’ there in wet sand. I just crawled out of that salty mess. One of those little tropical numbers, she calls me, says she’s worried about her brother gettin’ in with the wrong crowd. Says he’s been doing some bad algae with a parrotfish down by the coral. I didn’t get anything concrete, but I must have been close to something because some kelp tried to strangle me.

Fortunately a shark comes along and gives me hand. Turns out to be a Thresher named Jimmy. I helped his brother out of a fishing net last April. Gettin’ rid of the kelp squared us, in fact I might owe them. But I had no time to worry about ledgers with these whales emptying their blowholes on me. I told them they were wasting their breath. I was soaking wet, and the ocean seemed unhappy that I left and decided to rain on me. I tossed them a business card and told them to call me in the morning. I should’ve almost finished a bottle of scotch by then and might be in the mood to listen.

Nature Private Eye: The Tarp Mulligan Chronicles

Episode 1

No sooner had I sat down at my desk. Maria buzzed me. I was feelin’ shot. I just came back from staking out the moon and sun. My first all-nighter since college. Worst year of my life. The Earth had approached a couple of days ago. The broad was in a panic. I knew enough to just shut up and listen. She thought the moon and the sun were having an affair.

I never saw the moon, and around 1 pm, I see something passing in front of the sun, but never got a look at her face. All I got were burger wrappers in my car and a possible burned retina in right eye.

I told Maria to let her in. I needed the work and maybe it was a client. She walked in and even with my 1.5 eyes I could tell she was the most beautiful dame I ever laid eyes on. She said her name was Fiona, she was an astronomer and I could tell from the way she was holding her telescope she was kinky. But when you see a face this serious, you know it ain’t the right time to ask her if you can widen her aperture. She tells me, “I was just mindin’ my own business y’know, looking out my telescope here, just during my lunch break. I saw everything. The moon, the sun. She saw his corona.”

I told the dame we better go tell the Earth together. It was a lie. I could’ve told the Earth myself, but I wanted to dance slow with her, without any music, and have her keep an eye on the stars while I got some shut-eye.

A year of conversation

                        When I knew you
I was spring

Ready for rebirth
For things to begin anew

Hope penetrated my soil
You beamed at me
Love blossomed
                         When I knew you
I was summer
Days were hazy
And lazy flowing
One into the next

Love was carefree
and easy
                        When I knew you
                         I was autumn
                                       Looking back was peaceful
                                       I tried to consume
                                       And store you
Making sure I survived
Cold months ahead
                      When I knew you
I was winter
I needed warmth so badly

I was desperate
Starved in frozen land
Trying to bring some light
To dark days
                          I know you
And you know me
I am the seasons
And though seasons change
There are threads
That bind them
                         I am always
The air you breath
I am day
I am night
I am the sun
I am clouds
Shifting

I am turning
I am stargazing
I am the moon
I have phases
I am gravity
Keeping you grounded

I am wind
Blowing worries away
Love has many parts
Shapes

But I shall keep it safe
Always in you arms

*Just FYI this poem is mean to be a conversation. Bolded (or centered) lines are spoken by both people together. This is not meant to be gendered. It’s just about love.

Seven Reasons You Can’t Take It With You

Not sure
if you heard the buzz
but I’m the best
there ever was

Jeff Bezos?
I have more wealth
and surely I’m in
better health

Sturgeon caviar, white truffles
Wagyu steak
I eat as much
as my body can take

Everyone talks of Bill Gates
and his fucking NGOs!
That idiot doesn’t watch
where his money goes!

Elephant bull’s ivory tusks
over my bed
Cut the head off myself
after I shot it dead
they say it’s going extinct
I really don’t care
How ’bout I leave it to you
to say a prayer?

The hookers love being mounted
where it’s mounted
I hire so many
I can’t even count it

Look at you judging me
accuse me of greed
If people weren’t so lazy
they wouldn’t be in need

So go away, write your story
my chest feels tight
I’m annoyed by your questions
take off and goodnight


Where’s my servants?
Where is my phone?
That skank reporter left
and I need to get blown

Is that screaming outside?
Can’t the poor stop whining?
The noise is
infernal

Is the thermostat broken?
my staff is a shambles
a nuisance
eternal

Before Dark

She is not sure
if there are others of her kind
She imagines there must be

looking ahead She sees
the atmospheric window open up
the Earth is enjoying a cool evening

She strides with the
turning Earth
sometimes a little faster
sometimes a little slower
Her cape is midnight blue
it shimmers soft
in particles of light
cheating over the horizon

majestic and grim is Her face
proud, lonely
duty-bound

I walk with Her
and She tells me
I don’t owe anything
to the sky anymore
there are going to be stars
and likely a moon
but nobody is watching

it can be time for lingering looks
for dancing with bodies
loose as the wind
a time for kisses
that last too long
no reason for regrets
and then the peace of sleep

but if you don’t want that
She doesn’t judge

when I can no longer
keep pace with Her
She says
the night forgives
and Lady Dusk
pulls the dark night
like a blanket over
my head