Thursday, March 23, 2023


by bofa xesjum

i dreamed i murdered
the swedish ambassador
- the dirty rat!

because he wanted
to look at my pictures
of duchesses in flowered hats

especially the picture of big flossie
which had belonged
to my father

and grandfather
and great grandfather
before me

get back, mr ambassador!
the deed done
i ran down the winding staircase

past the dim lamps
and darkened portraits
of forgotten princes and statesmen -

the police were sympathetic
taking my exalted station
into due consideration

but an international incident
brewed on the horizon -
what a curious phrase

under the circumstances
- “brewing” -
but i had no time

to consider its etymology -
o etymology!

and cavalry horses

Monday, March 20, 2023

on the other side

by bofa xesjum

on the other side of the hill they take the money right out of your shoes

they waited for it under a cloudy sky

excuse me, but nobody knows you

clowns are sad, because you never know

boys will be boys, because george washington could not tell a lie

ducks float in the water, because many are called

elephants remember, but how did it come to this?

right you are, it is all a big joke

it is too bad that you are quite the comedian

nobody knows you, so quit while you are ahead

i told you so - america is the greatest country in the world

just you wait - your number will be called

there are no excuses for how this turned out

we have zero tolerance for the very well

flowers bloom in the spring forever and ever

right you are and right you are forever

love conquers all when the flowers blow away

clowns are sad because they are always right

elephants remember what george washington really did

america was the greatest country in the world when it was sold down the river

just you wait, you will all get the joke

boys will be boys, for as long as it takes

just you wait, it will all disappear in a flash

ducks float in the water, because you never know

i told you so, because love conquers all

wait for it, and watch the skies over the hills

they were sold down the river under a bad sign

and that is when it all started to come apart

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

2 poems

by walter w johnson iii


sometimes i feel so all alone
i want to get on the telephone
and call everybody i ever knew
and tell them i am feeling blue

but i do not know their number
or whether they are in endless slumber
or if they would answer my call
or remember me at all

this is how it ends
with my phone my only friend
it answers every question i ask
and never tells me to take off my mask


i try to write happy poems
not just moans and groans
but somehow they write themselves
in increasingly mournful tones

why is the universe so sad
is it because it is fading away?
maybe i will try to write my happy poem
some other day

Thursday, March 9, 2023

in a mist

by dog e relaford

i love to lie in bed on rainy days
and dream of long ago heroic ways
when knights and yeomen battled for the prize
of a limpid glance from a maiden’s flashing eyes

when golden banners above castles flew
and fleecy clouds emblazoned skies of blue
when clashing lances garnered loud applause
and love and honor were nature’s only laws

the four winds filled the sails
of explorers who brought tales
of glory beyond price
for those who dared to throw the dice

sadly things have changed
and the world been rearranged
by bankers, bureaucrats, and clerks
beneath gray skies behold their works

now shipless sinbads roam alone
through caverns of steel on streets of stone
helpless vassals far from home
clutching cups of styrofoam

with brains benumbed by tumbling numbers
can they awaken from their slumbers
the sun has set, the boat’s adrift
and no light beckons through the mist

Monday, March 6, 2023


by dog e relaford

adam found a zebra
hiding in a tree
he took it to the county fair
because it wanted to be free

eve was at the gallery
shooting ducks in a row
adam bought an ice cream cone
and let the zebra go

the zebra wandered down the rows
examining the booths
and you may see him wandering yet
searching for the truth

adam caught the rattler
eve caught the express
adam wore an old straw hat
eve wore a purple dress

Friday, March 3, 2023

a tale

by horace p sternwall

the queen looked out the window.

what she saw horrified her.

eventually she made her way back to the safety of the room.

a rooster crowed.

it was time for breakfast.

yolanda, her loyal maid, brought her a cup of tea and a piece of toast.

the undersecretary of war brought her a memorandum as she was slowly chewing the piece of toast.

i am afraid i bring bad news, the undersecretary , whose name was isidore and whom the queen did not care for, intoned.

leave the piece of paper on the table, please, and you may go, the queen informed him.

if it please your majesty, i would be happy to answer any questions, isodore began.

that will not be at all necessary, the queen assured him, and he departed.

the queen sipped her tea and finished her piece of toast.

doom hung over the kingdom like a great dark cloud.

there is a fine line between indifference and despair.

the kingdom had known great days.

however… you know the rest.

[[ jumpy, the jester, appeared at his regular time, as the sun rose in the sky.

the king was wheeled in a little later.

he seemed in rare good humor, and produced a letter tom the depths of his royal robe.

but the queen had no interest in anything he had to say, and told him so in no uncertain terms.

the king had expected no less, and lapsed into bemused silence.

cosmic the clown entered and punched jumpy the jester in the head.

on the border of the kingdom, the invading army is winning a great victory, jumpy announced.

but we already knew that, the king assured him.

nothing more was said.

the clown spread marmalade on the toast he had helped himself to.

the queen excused herself, and left the room.

the undersecretary of war was standing at the head of the grand staircase that led down to the courtyard.

would your majesty care to accompany me to the southern border, the undersecretary of war enquired politely.

the queen hesitated, and saw, through the glass door at the bottom of the stairs, a slender tree waving in the breeze in the courtyard.

thank you, she replied, that is very kind of you.

i am here to serve you, the undersecretary replied.

yolanda, the queen’s maid, watched as the carriage containing the undersecretary and the queen rolled away down the graveled drive and headed south.

now only yolanda, the jester, the clown ,and the king were left to greet the advancing barbarians.

yolanda turned into a white bird and flew north.

jumpy the jester turned into a blue dog and headed east.

cosmic the clown, after finishing off the toast and marmalade, turned into a turtle and began crawling west.

only the king was left to welcome the leader of the barbarians, which he did with all the courtesy and good breeding which had been taught him since his early youth.

Thursday, March 2, 2023


by dog e relaford

i planted a flower
but it did not grow
i begged my love to stay
but she said she had to go

i went down to the city
to ask the man for a job
but he declined to give me one
because my name was bob

if my name was bill or joe
i would have been all set
i sat upon a bench and tried
my troubles to forget

a pigeon came along the street
with eyes like bright black beads
o rulers of the earth and sky
help a poor man in his need

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

the serpent

by horace p sternwall

on their 33rd wedding anniversary, gus and sarah endicott decided to take a trip to the garden of eden.

to their surprise, they could not find any listings for such trips on the internet.

they did find a couple of travel agencies still doing business, but when they phoned and e-mailed them, they were told they had no trips to the garden of eden available, nor did they know of any other agencies that did.

do you know why that is? sarah asked the polite woman she talked to, at the last agency they called.

no demand, i suppose, the woman said. i guess the garden of eden just is not what it used to be.

my mom and dad went there about thirty years ago, edith said. i remember it well because our cat snuffy died when they were gone, and i had to give it a funeral and bury it all by myself. it was so sad.

well, thirty years is a long time, the polite woman replied. time goes by and things change.

sarah relayed the polite woman’s messages to gus when she got off her phone.

i guess we will just have to go someplace else, gus sighed.

no, sarah replied, i do not think we should give up so easy as all that. just because we can not find an agency does not mean we can not go. did christopher columbus need a travel agency? or daniel boone?

i guess not, gus replied, with a hopeful smile.

the next morning sarah went to the library, where her best friend jenny rogers was the librarian, and took out a world atlas and the latest edition of the world almanac, in order to find out where exactly the garden of eden was.

after checking the two books out, sarah spent a couple of hours chatting with jenny rogers, and when she got home gus was gone.

that is strange, sarah thought, he must have met someone at the donut shop and gotten into a long conversation with them.

unbeknownst to sarah, gus had for many months been corresponding by e-mail with zena bradley, an old high school girl friend of his who lived in the other side of the rocky mountains.

when sarah had gone to the library, gus had packed a suitcase and called a cab to the bus station where he bought a ticket to zena bradley’s town of residence. he did not call or text zena to tell her he was coming, hoping to surprise her.

gus was never seen or heard from again, by zena bradley or by anybody else.

in no way deterred, sarah made her plans to visit the garden of eden by herself.

according to the world almanac, the garden of eden had been relocated from southern turkmenistan, where it had existed peacefully for six thousand years, to a small island halfway between the tip of chile and the coast of antarctica.

i don’t think there was anything in the news about that, sarah observed to jenny rogers.

that is the mainstream media for you, jenny replied enigmatically.

although it cost half her life savings, sarah managed to get to the island where the garden of eden was now supposed to be located, without being kidnapped by terrorists, or shipwrecked.

sarah was dropped off at the island late at night (and it was night, and dark) by a small boat which picked up and delivered passengers every four months. she was the only passenger getting off.

there was no sign of the garden of eden in the darkness, only three one story barrack like buildings.

one of the buildings had a light in the window and sarah approached it and entered it after knocking.

inside it looked like a bus station, and a man stood behind what looked like a ticket counter, although there were no signs indication destinations or ticket prices. the man wore a sport jacket and string tie, and had a pencil mustache.

he looks familiar, sarah thought, and he dresses neat, not like the slobby men you see these days.

began explaining herself and the object of her trip, beginning with her childhood.

the man smiled when she paused for breath.

but i know all about you, sarah, he said.

you do?

my name is sam smith, and some people call me the serpent although i am not really such a bad fellow. in a previous life i was snuffy, the cat you were so fond of. i hope that we can be friends again.

i thought i recognized you, sarah exclained.

look here, sam smith continued, in a few days i am due to go back to my own galaxy. how would you like to go with me, see a bit of the universe?

that sounds good to me, sarah replied promptly. she had always wanted to see more of the universe.

and she did.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

a wasted life

by nick nelson

joe bixby, tom brown, sid johnson, and bill brady hung out on the corner together for many years.

one day tom brown died.

the other three got together on the corner later that night.

poor tom, joe said. he wasted his life, and never amounted to anything.

what do you mean?, sid replied indignantly. how did he waste his life?

he never amounted to anything, joe repeated. he never even got his name in the paper.

it will be in the paper tomorrow, bill said. in the death notices. his wife told me so.

that doesn’t count, sid said. everybody gets their name in the paper once, when they die. he was never famous like michael jordan or hitler or taylor swift or some real famous person.

what is a real famous person? bill asked. a real person who is famous, or a person who is really famous?

bill was always asking dumb questions like that because he thought he knew everything, but joe and sid ignored him.

i bet , sid continued, tom never said one original thing in his whole life, or thought one either. not that it made him a bad person.

look here, bill said, according to wikipedia 117,000,000,000 humans have lived on earth since the beginning of time.

assume an average life span of each person of 33 years, or about 12,000 days.

suppose each of the 117 billion produced at least one original or witty thought - just one - every day.

this would result in a total of 1,404,000,000,000,000 witty and original thoughts.

suppose a book was to be produced recording these thoughts.

let us assume 3 or 4 of the thoughts would fit on one page.

the book would be about 400,000,000,000,000 (400 trillion) pages long.

it would take one person reading 400 pages a day a trillion days, or about 2.7 billion years, to read the book.

that is really interesting, bill, sid said.

joe nodded. he had not listened to a word bill said.

a police car swung by, catching joe, sid, and bill in its headlights, and moved on without stopping.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

same dog bit me

by genghis gilgamesh

all i wanted was to be free
because all i wanted was to be me
clouds roll across the sky
to tell me i am going to die

everybody hates me - it’s sad
forget the friends i never had
gargoyles leer from every door
with hands out in clutching implore

i awake in my little room
just in time for final doom
the king of spades slips me a note
the last ship out is now afloat

the magician shines his rabbit
the nun sews patches on her habit
the octopus lights a cigar
the platypus puts gas in the getaway car

quickly the scene changes
the lone ranger rearranges
the snake in the jewel box
the three wise men begin to talk

under the winding stair
victory is in the air
who dares to say otherwise
may expect a terrible surprise

youth must be served
zoom - my blue soul swerves
all around me angels and saints observe
how strangely the demons wings are curved

Friday, February 17, 2023


by genghis gilgamesh

albert had an einstein
billy had a kid
captain kidd had a map of the world
that showed where the treasure was hid

confucius sat upon a bench
and listened to the birds
daniel boone in the forest
was a man of few words

darius was a mighty king
and was called the great
he had an elephant made of gold
but it was not worth its weight

jonah fell into the sea
and was rescued by the whale
sinbad met them on the beach
and lived to.tell their tale

st anthony was a hermit
and saw demons in the skies
st francis talked with dogs and cows
and it made him very wise

columbus sailed the ocean blue
and was much admired at the time
montezuma asked him for a nickel
and he threw him a lousy dime

ben franklin tamed the lightning
and wore spectacles on his nose
george washington cut down the cherry tree
and struck a noble pose

abe lincoln wore a crown of gold
and hid it in his hat
crazy horse had a big black dog
custer had a calico cat

jeese james was an outlaw
and only wanted to be free
he was shot in the back by his own best friend
a lot like you and me

i could go on like this forever
like a barker at a fair
but if you want true wisdom
you must look elsewhere

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

culture war blues

by timothy t jones

i don’t want to bake cookies like a woman
i don’t want to hunt moose like a man
i don’t want to catch fish like a polar bear
i just want to be who i am

i don’t want to make billions on wall street
or live in a commune in a tree
i don’t want to be a squid or an octopus
i just want to be me

i don’t want to go on tik tok
and convert the world to my views
don’t want to hold a sign at a rally
i don’t want to watch the news

i don’t want to wear a suit and tie
or a uniform of blue
i just want to collect my welfare check
and do what i have to do

if i can’t be brad pitt or tom brady
i would settle for being bill gates
or just an ordinary billionaire
but such is not my fate

i don’t want to get up in the morning
though the system tells me i must
i would rather sit by the side of the road
and talk to the bugs in the dust

they ask me all these stupid questions
that don’’t do me any good
i can’t fly away on a rocket to the moon
but every day i wish i could