Dogs Are Not Silly Putty

Dogs are not Silly Putty.
You can’t mash a dog into a plastic pancake
With the palm of your hand
And press it to the Sunday comics
And make a copy of The Phantom on a jungle path.
Your can’t squeeze a dog
Into a tight, smooth orb of kinetic mischief
And bounce it insanely off the kitchen cabinets
Risking breakage.
You can’t put a dog in your pocket —
Well, not most dogs and most pockets —
And take it to school,
Secret from the teachers,
A balm to see you through
An hour of multiplication tables.
Still, I’d rather have a dog than Silly Putty.

I’m Good With It

Revelation ain’t happenin’ here, pilgrim. Santa ain’t pullin’ up alongside the gurney to hand-deliver the Truth of the Universe as I lie at the lip of whatever’s next. And what if he did? Santa, I mean. What if he did bring the Answer down from some North-Pole-Certified unimpeachable source, a Nepalese burning bush or some guy at Cal Tech who’s stumbled across the Algorithm of Ultimate Insight. What the hell do I even do with it? If I’m right about the other side, I’ll have an elf-wrapped epiphany and promptly go poof, not taking Revelation or anything else, including most importantly, myself, to the nothingness. So I’m good with the Cosmic hide-the-ball. Really. I’m good with it.

from 2018 Passager Poetry Contest (honorable mention)

Touch the Moon

We seem enthralled in Newtonian tethers,
Indentured to mass and distance and time.
Those we love sometimes perish alone,
Only because they are there and we are here.
And yet, in the stillness of my study on a May morning,
I do almost sense the quantum possibility
That I am both here and there —
That I could touch the moon.