The Monsters within Me


The nasty thoughts pop unbidden
 into my view.
And my civilized veneer shudders.
And I fight.

Decency demands I hold
 my jab to my colleague’s jaw.
Or that I hold my decibeled shout
 in the quiet conference room.
Or that I hold my tongue
 in check mode.

In new millieu or public places
 or on the job
the veneer is usually thick enough.

But at home, relaxed,
 it’s easy for cracks and holes
 to be worn through.
Tentacles thrust out
a fight breaks out
And so my demon can catch my saint
 as I move through billions of years
 of instinctive response.

Sometimes, though, the monsters
 provide new ideas
 to try:
or a fight response
 when I need it
they may not all be bad.

Still. Tremendous effort
 must be unleased to close
 those pandoramic boxes.
The worth of doing so
 is evident if you see what is lost
if you don’t.

But carving out my place
 in society
 is a bloody business
as I dance on a knife edge
 and keep the monsters
creative and alive and ready for savagery
 but tamed to appropriate

So I keep myself
but genial
but on the team
but merciful
but complex.


Further down the road
the grass grows
and the wind sings

The signs
stork less
from the edge
but the birds
don’t think
about how lonely
it is.

The people
you find there
are quiet
on their own
as they have
foregone their

Here they
my reluctant
so still
life silts up
leaving me


Thomas and his double double
with Thor the terrier
take the air
and admire nature
from the path
tossing his disposable cup into the weeds.
Later a cigarette
carefully extinguished against a cedar trunk
is butt ended onto the path.
When Thor does his business
Thomas scoops the poop
and bags it
leaving it with the others
in his special spot under an evergreen
branch and out of sight.

Tiny things
singular things
out of mind things.

All innocent
all convenient
all accumulating
for Trina the hiker
who fills up bags with trash
she didn’t cause.


The gabar goshawk
quickly plunged down
feathers shivering
swift down the safe and narrow path
through the acacia’s hazards
and these, same, muffling the sound and its flight
from the baked earth away from the river
and the scorpion is silent
the shadow isn’t enough
for it.
It’s tiny brain
registers little other than
Gosh! Hawk!
before crushed
and gobbled down.