Panic in Times Square CBS News
 The Light's Gone Out
By David Allen

It’s getting darker in America
We have somehow lost the dawn
We move slowly as the light dims
And wonder what went wrong

Lady Liberty’s torch is out
It no longer lights the way
We choke on the wisps of smoke 
As we face darker days.

Fear and hate now rule the land
It’s the opposite of our dawn
When we welcomed the huddled mass
Escaping foreign wrongs.

But now a motorcycle backfire
Scares hundreds in Times Square
Afraid the next mass shooting
Could very well be there.

And we train children in our schools
How to hide or run or duck
When some shooter comes calling
Some crazed soul run amok.

It’s the opposite of dawn
This nightmare land of fear
And when we’ll see the sun again
Isn’t very clear. 


Shoe Pile

Posted: August 4, 2019 in Poetry
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SHOE PILE
By David Allen

I saw a pile of shoes tonight
On the TV news,
And cried the tears
I thought had dried
From crying in the early morn.

At 3 a.m. I awoke to pee
And glanced at the tv
I keep on to drown
My ear’s tinnitus roar.
I wished I had stayed
On that inner ear shore
Instead of discovering
Another mass shooting
Tore up an American town.

The bodies were blurred
And I finally slept,
My body aching,
Feeling the pain
Of the survivors.
But 13 hours later
The news did not censor
The pile of shoes left
By the dead and the fleeing.

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BRAIN 6

BRAIN MALWARE
By David Allen

The past caught up
to my second son
on a warm June day.
It lay in wait
in his old home town
until he returned
from an island life
that soured with divorce
and drunken days
that turned into weeks.
Months.

Matt had come to visit
and clean himself up,
pledging he was done
with booze and drugs;
and would start to climb
the 12 steps to sobriety.

But an old friend visited,
bringing a gift.
“Something to take the edge off,”
to ease the alkie shakes.
His past edged the present aside
and he took a hit.

It sent his blood pressure soaring.
Blood rushed into his brain,
squeezing the frontal lobes,
clotting into a cranial pool.
It knocked him out.
Fate had come a-calling.

His brother and I followed
our dog’s freaked out barking
to the backyard where
Matt lay unconscious
under the hammock,
his eyes cloudy white,
pupils rolled up in retreat.

He was in a coma
for over a week.
The seizure was caused
by what the cops called
a junkie’s “hot shot” —
a dose of drugs offered
as a friendly high
that knocks the mark out
and easy to rob.
Matt’s was a combo of meth,
opioids, and stimulants.

“It finally happened,”
was my first thought.
The horror he evaded five years ago,
when he flew back to his island
and his ex-girlfriend killed her new beau
with a heroin overdose,
had come to settle a score.

The damage done to my son
will take years to heal.
The brain is fragile.
A traumatic brain injury
is like a malware program
that scrambles a computer’s
memory; a virus that destroys
the settings that directed a life.

To fix it, sometimes,
you just have to turn it off,
wait a few seconds or weeks,
then turn it back on and
download new settings.
But you have to be patient,
it may take a while
for the new programs to sync
and life starts anew.

My new book “Type Dancing”
Is now available at:
https://www.amazon.com/David-Allen/e/B00DT6TM7Y?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

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My wife and our three Okinawan grandkids in the ICU Waiting Room hoping for good news about their Dad.

ICU WAITING ROOM
By David Allen

It’s the waiting
that gets to me.
Watching the unresponsive
body on the intensive care bed,
multiple tubes inserted
into veins, nose, mouth, and brain.
Hoping for a raised thumb
or hand clutching mine.
But he sleeps a drugged rest
and I shuffle to the waiting room.

Sitting with family and friends.
We’re running out of caring talk.
Some check smart phones
for word from the outside world.
I listen to the prayer circle
in the next family space.
A minister prays for Jesus
to intercede.

In another space, a tv plays
a hospital show. The sound is muted,
but blood clearly drenches victims of a car crash.
It makes me scratch my head.
Watch a hospital fiction while
the real drama plays out
in a dozen rooms down the hall?

There’s a lot going on
in the waiting room.
A young girl combs
her Barbie’s hair,
while her brothers
play with plastic Xmen.
Their mother is curled up
asleep in a recliner.
Behind me, a bottle of soda
is dispensed with a bang
from a drink machine.
Three middle aged men
in black biker vests
look for a seat, find none,
and walk away.

It’s the waiting that gets to you.
How long should you stay
until you feel like you paid
your respects, prayed
and delivered words of caring?
Even though you’re not sure
if they are heard?
Only to drive home to wait again
in more familiar surroundings,
until it’s time to drive back
and wait some more.

I Can’t Sleep

Posted: June 10, 2019 in Poetry
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I CAN’T SLEEP
By David Allen

I can’t sleep
while my son sleeps
this troubled sleep.

A seizure slapped his skull
with a wash of blood
that squeezed his brain
and forced the sleep
with eyes rolled up white
and shaking limbs,
a tube plunged down his throat
to help him breathe,
while one in his skull
drains the invading blood.

And we caress him
and hold his hands
and give assurances
of undying love
as he sleeps
the drug induced sleep
from which we were told
might never end.

I can’t sleep
while my son sleeps
what well might be
the final dream
about what may or
may not come next.

NOTE: My 34 year-old son, Matthew, suffered a massive seizure which flooded his brain with blood. He’s been in a coma-like state in an Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianaoplis. His condition remains critical.

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Cover art by Jenny Kalahar

T‘aint Nothin’
By David Allen

“This writing’s not all
that hard,” he said,
peering over the poet’s shoulder.
“After all, you never
even learned
to type,
and look how
well you do.”
(But he never saw the callused pads
of my type-dancing shoes.)

Buy my latest book, “Type Dancing,” now available from Amazon

ROYAL BABY

ROYALTY
By David Allen

Why do Americans
spend so much time
enraptured by British Royalty?
Baby princes and princesses
take up 5 minutes of the nightly news,
pushing some local story
out of the night’s line up.
And who cares
if the Queen Mother
had a fall and stubbed her toe?
Didn’t we fight two wars against these
born to rule and wealth assholes?
Screw them.
(Hell we have our own
entitled rich to take on.)
So, you want to defend royalty?
Put up your dukes!

JUST OUT! My new book, “Type Dancing” is now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. Check it out.

 

 

 

David Phones

Daily News
By David Allen

No news today
I’m on vacation;
slept late,
no daily work routine,
no papers to read,
no e-mail to answer,
no radio, TV or
Internet news reports
to slog through.
I’m free.

Until the cell phone rings.
An editor from a thousand
miles away says something
big happened today,
can I drop the nothing
I am doing and log-on?
Make some phone calls?
Get some reaction,
find some local color,
something new to feed
the copy beast?
Can I crank out something
for the next news cycle?

Sure, I say, what the hell,
maybe nothing will happen
tomorrow.

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My books are available on Amazon, both paperback and Kindle. If you want a signed copy, email me at david@davidallen.nu. Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

Here’s my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Allen/e/B00DT6TM7Y?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

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BAWLING FOR COLUMBINE
(Aurora, Phoenix, Oak Creek, Newtown, and Parkland)

“From my cold dead hands,”
Moses spoke, raising his gun,
the angels shuddered.

 

NOTE: This week’s gathering of the Gun Nuts — I mean the National Rifle Association — in Indianapolis sent me back to this poem I wrote after watching Charlton Heston speak at an NRA convention shortly after the Columbine High Massacre 20 years ago.

NOTRE DAME

HISTORY BURNS
By David Allen

The past went up in flames last night
lighting up the Paris sky.
A pyre birthing a billowing plume of smoke
as eight centuries of human religious
and engineering history rose to heaven
as bystanders sang sad hymns.

An accident during renovation
resulted in the devastation
and only the massive stone outer walls
with flying buttresses survived.
The gross gargoyles perched on the walls,
protecting the Gothic treasure from outside forces,
failed to scare away the danger from within.

Destruction of the famous place of prayer
preyed on the hearts of those who watched
in person or a world away glued to their TVs.
An ocean away, Americans cried and flooded
social media with their photo memories
of grander days visiting the world’s most famous church.
“Our Lady of Paris is in flames,” the French President cried.
“It’s sad to see this part of us has burned.”

The architectural wonder has seen fire and destruction in the past —
Protestant factions vandalized it several times,
smashing stained glass windows and ripping heads off statues.
And in the wake of the French Revolution, it was used
as a sanctuary and food warehouse for the poor.
But it was always rebuilt and rose in stature as a World Heritage site.
Officials shook their heads when the flames were doused,
announcing they would not know for weeks
what art treasures and religious relics were lost or
whether the cathedral would ever rise from the ashes.

How ironic the fire came during the Holy Easter week.