images (17)

WHERE ARE THE POEMS
by David Allen

Where are the poems?
I looked in all the familiar
Places and failed to find
A line that I could use.
I wanted to ask my muse,
For a shot of inspiration,
But she slept the sleep
Of the jet lagged
And I feared waking her
Would result in words too tart.
I looked in the bathroom
And behind the bar
But found no Bukowski hidden there.
The fridge offered no Ferlinghetti.
So I went out back, but Jack
Must’ve been somewhere on the road
No words, no poems.
No Ginsberg in my ginseng tea
No Billy Collins cropped
Up in my cup
And Cummings apparently
Must’ve come and went
Before my feet hit the
Bedroom floor
An unpoetic day, I thought
That’s what this is
And so, I left for work
Where the news is my muse.
The words always come easy there,
Like the snippets I write when a trial drags
And I readily reach
Into the recess of my
Addled mind and find
The thoughts to kick start
The poetic engine of my being.

writers-block

 

Cop Reporter 1977

DAMMIT DAVID
By David Allen

“Got a comment?”
I asked the Public Affairs Officer.
“When’s your deadline?” he asked.
“Three hours,” I said.
“Dammit,” he replied.
“How do you spell that?” I asked.
“D-A-V-I-D.”

Tropical Xmas

News item: The military community on Okinawa once was short of live Christmas trees because a bug-infested shipment from Washington state had to be destroyed. Supplies of artificial trees on island bases were woefully inadequate and trees in Japanese stores were outrageously expensive.

 So naturally, Ruth Ellen and I made up this carol while on our quest for a Christmas Pine in Paradise:

NO CHRISTMAS TREE
By David Allen

No Christmas trees, no Christmas tree
The bugs destroyed your branches.
Shipped here by sea for you and me
You never got your chances.
No blinking lights, no angel’s heights
No shiny star atop your spar
No Christmas tree, No Christmas tree
The bugs destroyed your branches.

 
No Christmas tree, no Christmas tree
Cut in the great Northwest.
The Customs men had you condemned
You couldn’t pass the test.
No falling needles everywhere
No Christmas tinsel in our hair
No Christmas tree, no Christmas tree
Cut in the great Northwest.

 No Christmas tree, no Christmas tree,
Your plastic was so tempting.
But your high price turned veins to ice
We can’t afford that yen thing.
And so we’ll go sing “ho, ho, ho,”
To a beach that’s out of reach
We’ll watch the stars for Santa Claus,
And buy a Christmas wreath.”

 

 

 

Happy-Saturnalia

CHRISTMAS 2014
By David Allen

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
Hanukah, too, this is my Holiday poem
For the Last Stanza Crew.

Let’s remember this December
Other reasons exist
To wish a Festivus for the rest of us,
No matter your bliss.

And, speaking of bliss,
This season marks when
Buddha found his.
Now, isn’t that Zen?

And shouldn’t we add Saturnalia
To this season’s list?
After all, that old Roman holiday
Was the start of all this.

For, one week in December
The Romans gave a big bash
Where everything was permitted,
Like “The Purge,” with thousands cast,
To get drunk, damage property,
Injure strangers and friends
Historians someday will tell us
That’s where “Black Friday” begins.

The holiday was so popular
Early Catholics stole the date
To lure pagans to their churches
So they could seal their fate.

“But the War on Christmas is upon us,”
The Faux News anchors scream,
But look not only to Humanists
For raising their spleen
Hardcore Christians, the Puritans
Once took up the torch
To ban Christmas hokum
No day for their church.

The reason for the season
To me is just this –
Another year’s over
And we are still here
That’s a reason to party
To throw off our fears
To count all our blessings,
Whatever that’s worth,
Because we haven’t yet
Killed our Mother Earth.

images (40)

BEHIND THE HEADLINES
By David Allen

“Okinawa in Turmoil
In Airman Rape Case”

That’s the headline
The reality?
Twenty protesters gather
At the air base’s front gate
Shout slogans,
Shake fists,
Then hop the bus and stop
For burgers at McDonald’s.
Politicians in Naha
Do the dance of the outraged
And make plans for more
Gomen money from Tokyo.
Maybe they’ll use it
To pave another road to nowhere.
My neighbor, Eizo,
Descended from kings,
Walks into Paul’s pad
Outraged.
Outraged the gaijins
Who rent his cabins
Don’t appreciate his favorite beer.
“Budweiser number one!
Budweiser ichiban!”
He shouts.
Paul, an Irishman from London, laughs,
“Bud number ten!” he shouts
And offers the King of Iha,
Standing there barefoot in a white tee-shirt
and blue work pants,
His glass of Guinness.
“Slante,’” Paul toasts. “Drink this.”
“No, no,” Eizo laughs. “No good.”
They compromise with glasses
Of Okinawa awamori over ice
Another international dispute settled.

Cabin Serendip, Okinawa
Summer 2001

 

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is also available. If you want a signed copy, email me at david@davidallen.nu. Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N6W3DP8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-2&keywords=%28more%29+by+David+Allen

A Memory 1

A MEMORY
By David Allen

JFK is being buried
And we have a day off from high school.
Hanging around Jim’s house
Watching the funeral procession on the tube.
Thirsty, we raid Jim’s fridge against his wishes;
Someone forgets to close the door.
Upset, Jim pushes the door closed.
I move away, but the door’s ajar;
So he pushes harder. Resistance. Angry,
Jim shoves his body against the door.
The kitten’s head is crushed,
All she wanted was the milk
She smelled as I rummaged for a Coke.

(Perhaps curiosity Killed this cat.)

The cat’s half dead,
Jim tries to put her to sleep
With his truck’s exhaust.
She mews meekly and clings to life,
Her head cocked at an unnatural angle.
So, Jim digs a hole for his sister’s cat,
Her precious, and gently places her in it
And presses down hard on her neck
With the shovel blade in one last act of mercy,
As JFK’s body is laid to rest.

We go back inside and watch
John John give that brave salute
As his dad’s flag-draped casket passes by.

TIME

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

time4

TIME
By David Allen

Tic tock, tic tock
People live by the clock
There’s a time for this
And a time for that
A time to cry
A time to laugh
Appointments to make
Deadlines to beat
Errands to run
People to meet
24/7 and 365
A time to be born
And a time to die
Crawling hands
On grandfather clocks
Mark the minutes
Taking stock
But we only remember
Moments in time
Days feeling helpless
Moments sublime
For every season
The old song goes
There is a reason
But for what, I don’t know
There are too many choices
And too little time
Should I switch to prose
Or stick with rhyme?
The truth about time
Is we’d better not wait
To get down to living
On too late a date
Tic tock, tick tock
Tic tock
Tic.

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is also available. If you want a signed copy, email me at david@davidallen.nu. Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N6W3DP8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-2&keywords=%28more%29+by+David+Allen

SNOW

ON THE ROAD IN INDIANA IN NOVEMBER
By David Allen

Goddamn it’s cold!

Bone fucking chilling
cold!
Oh God, please don’t let me
have to live in this yourforsaken
place again!
It’s too goddamn cold!
I just saw my motherfugging breath!
This is proof that we should
embrace global warming,
not fear it.
Warm me up Scotty!

Called my love, teeth chattering,
across the continent and over the ocean
to our subtropical paradise.
It warmed my evening.
I’ll call again tomorrow
from some Pennsylvania motel
attempting to warm myself up.
JESUS it’s cold!

Breakfast at a Cracker Barrel
In My-God-It’s-Freezing Fort Wayne.
Who the hell ever thought
grits was an acceptable breakfast food?
But the coffee refills were free
and the two eggs over easy
and biscuits and gravy
and turkey sausages assuaged
my cold- numbed soul.

“A month of this?”
my innervoice asked.
“I know,” I answered.
“Hell has just frozen over.”

                                             Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nov. 2007

Battle of Okinawa 4

TWO GOOD LEGS

By David Allen

The American veteran
stood on the stage
tearful and trembling
as he talked, reliving
the hell that was Okinawa
five decades ago,
when he fought a relentless foe
and lost such young, good friends.

He tottered at the lectern
on his one good leg
and, as he tearfully
finished and turned to leave,
he dropped his cane.

As he stumbled
and began to fall,
a hand reached out
from behind and
grabbed his arm
and he turned to look
at his helper.

One of the Japanese veterans
had hobbled to his side
and, throwing down the crutch
that aided his one-legged stride,
said, in heavily accented English,
“Here, friend, let me be your other leg.”

And they walked away
arm in arm off the stage,
comrades in survival. 

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is also available. If you want a signed copy, email me at david@davidallen.nu. Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N6W3DP8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-2&keywords=%28more%29+by+David+Allen

Here’s a review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Wanting (more), September 2, 2014
By Jenny A. Kalahar “the_story_shop” (Elwood, IN USA)
Here are wonderful, literate poems of longing, wit, wisdom and resistance; justice, injustice, the absurdities of life and of growing older. There are lines full of sensuality at every stage of our existence, and of the waste and usefulness around us. Tinged with the atmosphere of the Orient, they are as luxurious as legs that go all the way up. Mr. Allen’s years as a newspaper man stain his poems with a rougher ink that sticks to your fingers long after you’ve turned his pages. There are losses – parents, loved ones, friends – but there are poems of finding and creating. Children, grandchildren, lovers, partners in crime and art all swirl throughout this collection, humming like a secret humming song. But unlike most hummed songs, these words do matter. They do. So read them now and sing along.

images (4)

A WRITER AFRAID OF HIS PEN
By David Allen

Look at him sitting there
contemplating rhyme,
stretching the time, feeling
there’s another change
left in his repertoire of life.
He doesn’t realize the fears
which force the doubt upon
his tortured mind, again
and again, making him
abandon plotted paths
for the impulse trail,
dropping the pen in favor
of reading a book,
raiding the fridge,
or going for a long drive,
is insecurity, a shadowy
stranger who seeks to make
new friends with the neurotic
at the short end of the stick.
He calls it writer’s block,
but who is he trying to fool?
He is afraid of the one tool,
the one gift, which could
make it all worthwhile,
choosing, instead, to run away
never testing the tool to
see if it works.

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is also available. If you want a signed copy, email me at david@davidallen.nu. Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-Allen-ebook/dp/B00N6W3DP8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-2&keywords=%28more%29+by+David+Allen