Thursday, October 18, 2018

Nocturne


More heard than seen
leaves

like low flying bats
flutter

across the rain soaked
street

this October
night. - Jeff Barnes

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Oldest Old Fart

Don't expect to find me lying in the back of a hearse.
My goal is to be the oldest living being in the universe.

I want to see my great great great great great grandchildren's graduating class
and live long enough to need a robot servant to wipe my ass.

I'm not eager to leave this life anytime soon,
at least not until I see colonies on all of Pluto's moons.

I want to grow 98,632 miles of white hair
and see every ocean on the planet evaporate into the air.

I want to celebrate the 500 trillionth anniversary of my birth
and see the extinction of every cockroach from the Earth.

I want to see what used to be Mount Everest lying flat
and be able to call Methuselah an impertinent young brat.

When, at last, the universe is entirely destroyed,
I want be be around to live peacefully in the void. - Jeff Barnes

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Magritte Suite

This is a bit of verse inspired by the work of one of my favorite artists, the Belgian surrealist René Magritte (1898-1967).

If you are not familiar with his work, the Google image search is your friend.


Magritte Suite

Who am I? Where am I? What is this place?
I can see nothing but this apple
that hovers in front of my face.

This painting said it wasn't a pipe.
I know that was no joke,
because when I tried to light it,
it simply went up in smoke.

A castle atop a boulder
hovers in the air,
but nobody seems to know
how it stays up there.

Things look grim at the moment,
but please don't give in to despair.
A bird-shaped patch of bright blue sky
is calling to us from the air.

The sky is filled with men in bowler hats.
Nobody seems to know why.
Are they coming down like rain,
or rising into the sky?
Maybe they just hover
with no place to go.
Who are these well-dressed gents?
Nobody seems to know.


A man whose body is a cage
keeps a white dove
where his heart should be.
Another dove sits on a ledge outside,
and hopes he will soon
set his captive dove free.

She stands naked by the sea,
smiles and gently closes her eyes.
She is her own horizon,
and she slowly becomes the sky. - Jeff Barnes

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hometown

The streets look the same without me.
The trees seem just as green.
The creek runs through the middle of town,
but it never will run clean.

The people love their manicured lawns.
They love their sprinklers and their hoses.
They love to park in their three car garages,
and they love to look down their noses.

They never were my people.
I never paid them any mind.
My old house is like a corpse
that my spirit has left behind.

Everybody here looks unconscious.
They mindlessly go about the day.
The best thing about my hometown
is the road that led me away. - Jeff Barnes

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Myopic Cyclops

The myopic cyclops is on my TV
in black and white. He stares at me.
His single eye is scaring me.
He tells me what I fear to know
on his apocalyptic TV show.
He has one eye on his forehead.
He's speaking words of woe and dread.
He speaks of doom in my gloomy room,
illuminated only by the TV's glow.
He tells me things I'm afraid to know.
He has thick horn-rimmed glasses
with only one frame.
He stares at me with disdain.
I think he can look into my brain.
He has slicked back black hair.
He wears a suit and tie.
He glares at me with his menacing eye
and I can't look away.
I can't ignore what he has to say.
I'm stuck in my chair. I can't get away.
I changed the channel but he's on every station,
speaking of doom without cessation.
I can't escape his never ending narration.
I can't turn him off. My remote's gone dead.
I tried to look away but I can't turn my head
away from his image on the TV.
I have to watch him stare at me.
He is all I can hear or see. - Jeff Barnes


(This was inspired by a nightmare I had recently. I described it to my wife and she said, "Hmm, a myopic cyclops" so I took that and ran with it.

Friday, June 1, 2018

How to Make Cosmic Donuts (also in honor of National Donut Day)

Put a nebula into
a large bowl and
stir until the gases
achieve a creamy
consistency.

Roll out onto
a floured surface
to desired thickness.

Using a donut cutter,
cut into rings and
let stand for
1.5 billion years.

Fill a deep skillet
with oil and heat
to 27 million degrees.

Fry donuts in
oil until they turn
golden brown.

Drain on paper towels
and dust with stars.

Put a black hole
in the center of
each and let cool
in deep space
for 12 billion years. -- Jeff Barnes

Donut Variations (in honor of National Donut Day)

Every spring
my love and I
drive to the mountains
of Eastern Pennsylvania
to see the donut trees
in full bloom.

Legend has it
that no one who has
ever entered a donut hole
has come out.

When my grandfather,
relaxing with a cigar,
blew smoke rings,
the ghost of my grandmother
snatched them out of the air,
dunked them in coffee
and ate them.

Paleontologists digging in Montana
once found a fossilized donut
in the rib cage
of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

My most profound
childhood experience
was seeing Heaven
when I looked through the hole
of a donut shaped cloud. -- Jeff Barnes