Moo Grass Is Green (Draft 1)

Moo Grass Is Green (Draft 1)

The meadow is green with esteem,
the shepherds sheepish to laugh although
the grazing sheep, the cows, and
the stampede of children in the fields
is a deep moo guffaw in the giggle grass
where lovers’ ruminations are wise but wild
and they take their hugs indoors where embraces
make warm days fruitful enough for an after prayer

Oh yes indeed, all is well when
the cows come to walk beyond the pews
to stand tall in the chorus under the stained glass
singing, “Praise the giggle grass and the long chew.
hallelujah we have churned the corner to
times of butter, cream, and honey

The landscape of the shepherd is gentle;
amen and pass the ice cream:
cherry please

— Douglas Gilbert

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Wrecking Waves (draft 1)

Wrecking Waves

Melancholy waves I
endure for the current state, but

a past can not sigh on static shores
because the wrecking throb is
pumping sorrow blood
that feeds lachrymal eyes

Sorrow ocean is too vast to carry my breath upon your cheek
across the breadth and depth of shipwrecking currents

In the current state I do not know
where you are floating
if your ship is patched with love
that seals every leak

I imagine if you cry for me
it will not sink your ship
because you will drip those drops
overboard with a prayer the seagulls will hear
and they will tell me where you are

Truly I speak to them
and we are coming

— Douglas Gilbert

Cleaning (Draft 1)

Cleaning (Draft 1)

So you’ve nagged about cleaning
as if there’d be an honorable response

As I read through past papers
rejections slips, collection notices
more emptiness opens
between the torn shreds, and
I realize there is no honor in tidiness

Yes, you are happy I’ve
thrown out more bags
and put boxes in the closet

You praise and celebrate neatness
cocky that nagging has paid off
and I suppose that after I’m gone
the room will be beautiful

Yes, I am slow to unpack, read
and throw out unneeded papers

But I don’t suppose you realize
that when every bit of worthlessness,
every document of failure, every
silly piece of rejected script is
torn and thrown away after re-reading,
that the room will be neat and beautiful
as you would have it be for
the appearance of success, but that
the former occupant would be dead.

Yes, sure, tell me to unpack
throw away hope
put more things in the closet
let you be tidy and proud

Your house will be beautiful
when an accidental suicide is tidy
and neatly done, if the number
attending the funeral is sufficient;
you will be happy for the prestige

Maybe if the death is notorious enough
I can get more press to attend, and
boost the numbers

But really I will be so sorry
if a secret love comes because
I could never really be anywhere for her,
and maybe if she could cry at my funeral
she could have been my dearest stranger friend

— Douglas Gilbert

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 3)

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 3)

Far off and oddly near,
deformity inheres a storm, where
the sanguine slosh of war reigns

a bellicose rain with thunder claps
applause in one-sided prayer cheers,
a dear victory one day at least apt

Power on
power off
power who

Some fishy things are left standing
a shard of a city, a hope façade

Too long the fish have watched
the decrepit peeling walls
from their tank barely maintained, but

the turret tanks have left in retreat
and the rebels have won a day
with a song, a prayer, and a slog

Time to paint the walls for now cheery
those celebration colors on the cheeky walls
where the fishys don’t mind if I move them
now that the power is back on for a slosh

Though soaked in fish water and paint
I can brush victory colors on the wall, and
now finally take my long hot shower, soapy
in soothing melodrama upon the
skin of fantasy and the caress of peace, but

fish can not go back to the tropics
anymore than I could go to the North Pole
to mourn the memories frozen in agony

— Douglas Gilbert

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 2)

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 2)

Far off and oddly near
the sanguine slosh of war storms

a bellicose rain with thunder claps
applause in one-sided prayer cheers
victory one day at least

Power on
power off
power who

Some fishy things are left standing
a shard of a city, a hope façade

Too long the fish have watched
the decrepit peeling walls
from their tank barely maintained, but

the turret tanks have left in retreat
and the rebels have won
with a song, a prayer, and a slog

Time to paint the walls to
celebrate color in the cheeky walls
where the fishys don’t mind if I move them
now that the power is back on for a slosh

Though soaked in fish water and paint
I can brush victory colors on the wall, and
now finally take my long hot shower, soapy
in soothing melodrama upon the
skin of fantasy and the caress of peace, but

fish can not go back to the tropics
anymore than I could go to the North Pole
to mourn the memories frozen in agony

— Douglas Gilbert

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 1)

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 1)

Too long the fish have watched
the decrepit peeling walls
from their tank barely maintained, but

the turret tanks have left in retreat
and the rebels have won

Time to paint the walls to
celebrate color in the cheeky walls
where the fishys don’t mind if I move them
now that the power is back on

Though soaked in fish water and paint
I can brush victory colors on the wall, and
now finally take my long hot shower, soapy
in soothing melodrama upon the
skin of fantasy and the caress of peace, but

they can not go back to the tropics
anymore than I could go to the North Pole
to mourn the memories frozen in agony

— Douglas Gilbert