Bone scanner 2

THROUGH A SCANNER DARKLY
By David Allen

My aching bones
brought me to this
nuclear medicine lab
where a smiling nurse
filled me with a radioactive
soup that made my bones glow
for the scanner.

Lying flat on my back,
hands over my head,
the lab light darkened
as the huge metal machine
rolled over my body,
two inches above my nose,
and took pictures of my bones
as I quickly fell asleep
(it’s a talent I have).

Soon, I was in a Midwest newsroom
where I spent some eight years
as the ace crime reporter,
listening to some management geek
explain that the news staff
was to be reduced by four reporters.
A RIF, he called it, as if reduction in force
was more polite than just saying,
“Get the fuck outta here.”

I enviously eyed the computer
that sat on a small rolling table
I shared with the reporter
at the next cubicle.
I was hoping the firings would
free up some space, so I could have
the computer all to myself,
and maybe moved my pile of clips
and news releases and other paperwork
to his desk.

I was beginning to enjoy that thought
when I heard my name called.
“Allen,” the pretentious prick
of an executive editor said. “You’re lucky
we don’t kick your sorry ass outta here!
Maybe next time,” he laughed.
and the sycophants laughed along with him.

But I knew I was safe.
I knew where all the bodies were buried
and no no one else had the sources I had.

I looked around the newsroom,
smiled and wondered which one
of the faces I was gawking at
wouldn’t be there tomorrow.
I was about to start making my guesses
when I heard a faint beep
and a voice over my shoulder said,
“All right, Mr. Allen, we’re done.”
“Well, I’m not,” I thought.
But I had already opened my eyes

Man, that old newsroom was
twenty-four years in the past,
and that scene never happened.
Why’d I dream that up?

You know, you never know
why something pops up in a dream,
no matter what the dream studies say.
A car turns into a train with no
effect on the plot; sex with a beautiful woman
suddenly becomes a fight with a bear;
you lose your car in the parking lot
only to find it parked on the roof, ready to
fly you off to a new adventure.

Dreamscapes just happen.
Just like how my bones
All of a sudden, I seems,
Have just started aching with age.

 

 

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available in Kindle and paperback editions.  Order your copy today!

KINDLE:

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

PAPERBACK:

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-G-Allen/dp/1501018930/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411007090&sr=1-4&keywords=%28more%29+by+David+Allen

mailbox-package-16098367

       IN THE MAIL
       By David Allen

Fidgety,
he always found
it hard to keep still.
He had some kind of manic
adult attention deficit disorder,
racing around like some
multitasking, crazed old hipster
bebopping from one thing
to another,
unable to sit down
longer than a meal,
or slow down for the curves
life threw him.

So, when he died
his friends thought
it best to lay him to rest
by feeding him to the flames
and storing his ashes in a box
that is mailed back and forth
every month or so
between friends.

 

(more)

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available in Kindle and paperback editions.  Order your copy today!

KINDLE:

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

PAPERBACK:

http://www.amazon.com/more-David-G-Allen/dp/1501018930/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411007090&sr=1-4&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.

 

9-11 1

TYPHOON AND TERROR

At 11 p.m., abed in our Okinawa home,
my ringing phone shattered the silence.
“Turn your TV on!” a friend shouted when I answered.
“A big damn plane just hit the World Trade Center!”

Damned indeed.

As my love and I watched
CNN International over the rest
of the sleepless night,
we witnessed the second plane
plow into the towers,
ad saw reports of a third
smash into the Pentagon,
and a fourth crash into a Pennsylvania field,

Then the towers fell.

7,600 miles away, the night cloaked
our rain soaked cabin, as
Typhoon Nari sat 37 miles offshore,
threatening a third pass.
It struck once as a tropical storm
and then turned to wallop
the island with 113 mph winds
and 13 inches of rain, destroying
Okinawa’s sugar cane crop,
darkening 23,000 homes.

The next few days were a blur.
“Get reaction!” my editors
from Tokyo demanded.

I called Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors,
civilian base workers for their thoughts.
I bugged commanders for troop movements,
increases in security. What would happen
when the bases, which cover a fifth of the island,
opened after the lockdown for the storm?

We all knew there’d be no return to normal.

“I cried,” a woman from New York,
who sold cars on the air base, said.
“I used to Swing Dance there every week
on the 108th floor at Windows on the World.
I can’t believe it. New York is my home
I always thought of it as indestructible.”

“I’m overcome with grief and anger,”
said a retired Marine married to an Okinawan.
He was preparing for Nari’s third strike
when he saw a Japanese TV report of the attacks.
“This is war. This is another Pearl Harbor.”

“What’s next, World War III?”
a percussionist for the Marine Band asked.
A corporal from New York, he said he
was about to be discharged and married.
“I cancelled both,” he said. “I can’t leave, not now.
It may sound crazy, but I can’t quit my country
with something like this going on.”

A soldier’s wife said she felt safe on Okinawa.
“Or at least I did until my husband instructed
us on how we have to be careful and wary
of any terrorist attacks.”

“I won’t be saying `Have a safe flight,’
so lightly anymore,” an Airman said.
No one, it turned out, would ever be
as free as we were on September 10th.

In South Korea, the military slapped
a ban on all off post travel.
On Okinawa, cars were no longer waived
through the gates if they had base decals.
Everyone had to show their IDs
and cars were randomly searched.

In the Plaza Housing Area
children opened a lemonade stand
to raise money for the rescue workers.

The air base commander announced
his units were, “Ready to take
the battle – the war – to the terrorists.”

“ Our lives changed dramatically
on the 11th of September,” he added.
“Get used to it!”

Some Okinawans, steeped in the islands’
spiritualist native religion, believed Nari
spared them froma terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, Navy ships departed from
Japanese ports and jets took off
for undisclosed locations.

And rumors started to spread.

Islamic militants had infiltrated into countries
throughout the Western Pacific, one Japanese paper reported.
“Well before Tuesday’s assault,” another printed,
“The United States informed the Japanese government
that terrorist action was anticipated.”

Reports from Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan stated
Islamists were preparing attacks on U.S. targets.
On Sept. 8 in Manila, three men from Oman were detained
after they were seen in a hotel room videotaping
the nearby U.S. Embassy. They were released.
A later search of their room turned up traces of explosives.

There was a new feeling in the air –
Fear.
Anger.

Late one night I sat outside my cabin,
sipped a beer and gazed at the lights
of the harbor below, realizing nothing
would ever be quite the same.
I opened my journal and wrote:

      9/11

          Terrorists took
          Security away
          From Americans today.

          Now we’re as scared
          As a bus rider in Jerusalem,
          A shopkeeper in Derry,
          A banker in Basque,
          A Hindu in Kashmir,
          A Muslim in Serbia.

          Now, we’re all scared .
          Welcome to the terror-ble times.

    By David Allen

 

This is a new poem from my second book of poetry, “(more).”  

It  is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition should be available in two weeks. Order your copy today!

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

 

 

 

 

ANOTHER NIGHT

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

David's Bar 2

ANOTHER NIGHT

Woke up on the couch
Again.
Head aches,
Stomach queasy,
Bladder bulging.
Sit up,
Sends my head spinning.
Man, what happened to my thumb?
Feels sprained must’ve jammed it.
How?
And what’s this?
Front of my shirt like cardboard,
Something wet dried.
Takes me three tries to stand,
Feel dizzy,
Stumble to the head.
Ahhhh, that feels good.
You know, you just kind of rent beer.
Wash my hands, look in the mirror –
Jeezus!
Right side of my temple’s all bruised,
Throbbing,
Nerves send a ditto from my right knee.
It’s all scraped and scabbed.
Must’ve fallen somewhere,
Somehow,
Sometime.
Don’t remember.
Re awakens, comes downstairs,
Tells me I crawled into the house
At 4:30 in the morning.
Kept shouting
“Leave me alone,
I don’t want you to see me
Like this. Go ‘way.”
She says something about a guzzling tequila
Contest with the last holdouts,
Trying to eat the worm.

Hours later,
Cleaning the mess on the porch
I find the worm.
Looks like I won.

 By David Allen

 

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition should be available in two weeks. Order your copy today!

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.

 

 

I just published my new poetry book, “(more)” on Amazon Kindle. Check it out! The paperback edition is coming soon.

 

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 (6)

 

ALKIE

My love lies passed out
     On the old living room couch
            Wine bottle’s empty.

………………………………………………………………

SOMEDAY 

Someday I’ll look back
     At all this chaos and strife
          And smile and walk on.

………………………………………………………………

MORNING 

The sun rose today
     Brilliantly bright and strong
          And then so did I.

 

By David Allen

SCHOOL DAZE

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Poetry

Here’s two poems inspired by today’s Last Stanza Poetry Association challenge to write a poem about school starting.

School Daze

SCHOOL DAZE
By David Allen 

Seventh Grade was the beginning;
The change from teacher’s pet
To the underachiever.
In elementary school I was an A-plus student.
In the seventh they had me looking at pieces
Of cardboard marked with weird-looking black ink stains.
“What do you see?” the psychologists asked.
“Cards smeared with ink,” I answered.
“No, what do you SEE?” she repeated.
“What do you see?” I responded.
Today they’d probably diagnose me as
Suffering from attention deficit disorder.
They dis-enrolled me from the advanced classes –
Latin, algebra, biology –
And put me with the average kids.
And that was okay with me,
It gave me the space to
Catch up on reading Science Fiction
And writing my own future Top Forty rock hits.
The counselor had plenty to work with trying to figure
Out what went wrong over the summer;
I had started a newspaper route, hung out with
The housing project’s juvenile delinquents,
And spent two weeks at a Salvation Army summer camp.
No one knew why I had changed.
 But the “outsider” image was being molded
And it’s lasted me to this day.
 

 
SCHOOL DAYS
By David Allen

School days, school days
Good old rotten school days
Readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmatic
Faking a cold so my Mom thinks I’m sick.
You were the girl whose braids they inked.
I was the strange kid at whom you winked,
And I wrote you poems that you never got
‘cause we were just a couple of kids.

School days, school days
Those too many rule days
Faking religion to get a note
To skip class to attend the church of the pope.
You were into dance and love songs,
I was the kid they said would go wrong.
I read Sci-fi books that drew stern looks
From teachers who said they were trash.

School days, school days
A 12-year fighting rules phase
Skipping a class to hang out in the john,
Staring out windows and stifling yawns.
You were the straight A student
I was the kid who said screw this.
I already knew more than most kids know
So, I played the outsider instead.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017

bed sheets over head 1

CLEANED CONSCIENCE
       By David Allen

My conscience
is clean.
I washed it
last night,
rinsed it
with beer
and dried it
by pulling the
bed sheet
over my head.

assasination1            Princip_arrested

Gavrilo Princip assassinates Archduke Ferdinand and is promptly arrested

WRONG TURN

By David Allen

A wrong turn
A stalled engine
And a cup of coffee
Ignited the “Great War,”
The “War to End all Wars,”
That sparked the century of conflict
That left untold millions dead.
Gavrilo Princip
Leaned against the wall of a café
On Sarajevo’s Franz Josef Street
And wondered how the plot to
Start a revolution went wrong.
“It was a good plan,” he told a friend
While standing on the sidewalk in front
Of Moritz Schiller’s Café.
“Six of us of ‘Young Bosnians’
Lined the motorcade route
That damned royal son-of-a-bitch
Was taking to city hall.
We each had a bomb. Six of us!
How could it have gone wrong?”
The first Young Bosnian
Chickened out and ran from the scene.
The second threw his grenade a second too late
And it exploded under  a car following
Archduke Ferdinand’s convertible.
The heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown,
Emperor Franz Josef’s nephew, was unhurt.
The blast injured two in the second car.
The motorcade sped up , leaving
The four remaining Young Bosnians,
Trained in terror by the Serbian nationalist group,
The “Black Hand,” lost their chance for infamy.
“We were willing to die for a united Yugoslavia,”
Princip told his friend. “Serbia and Bosnia together,
Free from the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Later, across the city, Ferdinand decided to
Visit those injured in the bombing.
While en-route, the Archduke’s driver
Took a wrong turn.
To his amazement,
Princip saw the Archduke’s touring car
Swing into Franz Josef Street,
He watched in awe as the car attempted to turn
And stalled, just feet front from where he stood.
Quickly, Princip took a few step forward and fired his pistol,
Killing both Ferdinand and his wife.
And the old world died with them.
Princip attempted to turn his gun
On himself, but an onlooker slapped it from his hand.
Nearby police then beat him senseless.
He was tried, and sentenced to only twenty years,
Because he was only 19 years old.
Princip died of tuberculosis in prison
In 1918, just a few months before the war ended
And the wheels spun into motion for World War II
And the rest of the bloody century.

WRONG TURN TWO
By David Allen

“See?” the student asked
When he finished reading
His history paper.
“World War I started
Because of a succession
Of mistakes.”
“A fine piece of history,”
The teacher said, smiling.
“But don’t believe for a minute
The war could have been averted
Had Princip not stopped for coffee.
Franz Josef was looking for
An excuse to invade Serbia,
The capture of the failed Sarajevo
Bomber would have been cause enough.
Hell, a bad night’s sleep could have
Moved him to give the word.
All of Europe was itching for a fight.

These poems were  a challenge for the Last Stanza Poetry folks. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and we weretasked to write a poem about the war.  

ALL NIGHT LONG

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

DSCF0072


ALL NIGHT LONG

All night long,
I’ve been wishing on this fading star.
But my thoughts won’t go that far,
and your health, like the star, is fading.

It was the first star to come out last night,
bright against the fast darkening sky.
But now, I can barely see –
it’s gone from me.

All night long,
I’ve been worried that your strength is gone,
you’ve been fighting this for far too long.
Your health, like this star, stopped shining.

I should go back inside our room,
but I’m too afraid I’ll catch the gloom,
it’s too hard to be at ease
with this disease.

All night long,
I’ve been sitting here while you’re in bed,
wishing you were sleeping, knowing instead
that you lie awake, body hurting.

I can see no other woman as my wife
to you I pledge my all, I’d gladly give my life
If it’d mean a cure for you
That’s what I’d do.

All night long,
I’ve been putting my words to song,
singing for my love, but something’s wrong,
your health, like this song, stopped rhyming.

      By David Allen

 

Like my poetry? Then buy my book, “The Story So Far,” published by Writers Ink Press, Long Island, N.Y. You can find it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Story-So-Far-David-Allen/dp/0925062480/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397184666&sr=1-13&keywords=the+story+so+far) in paperback and Kindle formats, or by sending me $10 at:

David Allen
803 Avalon Lane
Chesterfield, IN 46017