A little guy scurried in the patched grass

to climb a mountain as tall as his will.

His stomach steered him up the damned pass                     

to heights that greedily starve the air thin         

so that the heat could not follow his chasse.            


In the tight grasp of the Year of the Rat,               

this clumsy refuge bounced himself along.                 

Its effort shan’t make the sojourn done,                  

but will turn “down” to “up” by short furlongs 

(for pebbles can be planets to some one).                     


But Helter Skelter’s nature’s architect,

whose blueprint is reflected in the sky:

as the sun hula-hoops round this speck,                  

planting little kisses upon its face                       

so the meek rotate this tight pass’ neck              


And upwards towards the mountain’s frail point,                                 

so this bit fellow has risen to paw:                               

hopping outside of oneself — “aroint!”                      

This passion is a fundamental law,                                     

even to furry, scuttling rodents.                            


Its coat shimmers like a polished garnet —                          

like the sore moon imitating the sun,                     

even when it falls clumsily down.                                                            

So it likewise hops, jumps, and falls anon —                         

an allegory of life, incarnate.     




The earth revolved like a’ unbent hula-hoop,

Their dialogue a’ bag of found-words had scooped:

T’was two lovers twixt a phone and such things;

Two mindsets drawn from the image of rings.


Ver’ly, she could have palled; she could have called:

Her’s was a voice kept close on a tied string,

A little tot o’ dirtied knees n’ broken wing

(The wind spoke more in a’ lazy chair lolled).


With winking raise the mast in an armed hoist

So that this bard can catch a’ poor man’s wind free

To sail so lost in a’ land of mimicry

While deafened towards some limed inner voice.


The picture was: he loved her; she loved he,

But neither o’ them too solidly drawn be.



(A Sonnet)


On a diamond of dirt, midfield of earth, 

So rich in nostalgia but cheap of worth.

The heavy crowd had all tipped their brimmed hats, 

(While being served ambrosia on buns flat) 


We were sold but a ticket for the game

A show of sportsmanship and athl’tic fame,

But bought a slice of Americana,

A memory of what I want to — 


pretend, that the past was a simple bliss 

(one that still somehow led to all of this).

So father and son sat up ramrod straight,

watching from hard bleachers behind home plate.


The homerun may have gone over the fence, 

But from our seats, we had ever gone hence.





Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses.  He has published over 100 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 50 different journals.  He loves to travel.

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