Archive for January, 2016

Yardale books

By David Allen 

Sitting in the car
While my wife examines
Yard Sale treasures,
I jot down words
I hope become a poem. 

Earlier, we drove by a young man
Walking down the street
With both hands inside
The front of his pants,
Which sagged below his waist.
Couldn’t he afford a belt? 

Faded American flags
Hang in front of homes
In sore need of a
Fresh coat of paint. 

I am writing this
In a notebook
I bought in Japan.
On the cover it states,
“It is our hope
That this item will
Become your good friend
And help make your life
Enjoyable all the time.”
I hope it does. 

I stay in the car
While my muse barters
With the Yardsellers.
I work crossword puzzles
To fill the time when
Writer’s block stalls
The poem’s progress.
Maybe a word up or down
Will fill the blanks. 

Suddenly, my wife
Excitedly opens the car door
And shows me a “find.”
“Look at this forgotten treasure,”
She says. “Cost a dollar.”
It is a copy of the first book
Ever published by Simon and Schuster
“A Cross Word Puzzle Book.”
I’m puzzled it is for sale
And not on some rare books list.

Well, you may think
This poem doesn’t
Make any sense.
That’s okay
Give me two pennies
And it will.

temptation 1

By David Allen

The piece of paper
Plucked from the poet’s
Brilliant Ideas jar read
“Temptation is sure
To knock on your door…”

Temptation rings so often
It creates a tinnitus hum,
A constant ringing, whooshing
Electric buzz that drowns
Out rationality.
The tempter is the urge
To fix the broken people
Ringing constantly,
Begging, pleading,

The enabler futilely tries
To save them, to prevent
Their final fall, the plunge
To the bottom of the pit
Their addictions create;
Until he, too, breaks
In spirit, helplessly
Caught up in the
Spiraling descent.

Hopeless, he shouts
“Stop this! How can
I stop this?”
And, finally, a voice
In the darkness answers:
“Temptation may ring,
But you don’t have to invite
It to dinner. Say ‘No’
Just say NO!”
It’s then the ringing stops
And there is light.”



Posted: January 19, 2016 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , ,


dVerse is a great online poetry group that constantly challenges poets to write better and greater things. Every Tuesday there is a challenge of some sort and this week it’s to write poems in response to poems by your favorite poets. Below I am including two poems I have written in the past inspired by one of my favorite poets, Allen Ginsberg. 

The first is “My Howl,” the second is “America.” It’s easy to Google the originals. Here’s mine:

My Howl
By David Allen

I saw the best pups of my litter
petted, pawed at, pulled
from Mom’s teat too soon.
crammed in cages, placed on view,
prices posted on paper-lined lairs,
dens barely large enough to
turn around in. Sold to strangers,
shampooed, collared, carted away
from cagemates in cars, transported
to new dens ruled by bipeds.
Lonely without litter mates,
we tried to play puppy games.
But our friendly greeting bites
were met with shrill shouts,
“No bite! No bite!”
No bite?
What do they want us to do?
Lie still while the world awaits,
to taste, to smell, to roll in?
Hide our excitement? Be rude?
Passively accept the patting hand,
the petting massage, with
no teeth? To bite the hand
that feeds you is not a crime,
but a compliment. We do not tear at their flesh,
but mouth them, teeth and tongue
become a part of them, forming a We.
Ahh, but bipeds think too slow and
cannot broadcast their thoughts,
or receive, no matter how hard we try to send.
They cannot talk to wind, to leaves, to grass,
to the pack with thoughts.
They bark, but never bite.
What sin did they commit to
have to keep their thoughts to themselves?
Bipeds! Hapless bipeds! You treat my brothers sorely,
You speak with shouts and coos, commands and tempt
us with treats, but we know of Pavlov and
his bells. We trained him. Who was it got to eat?
Bipeds! You can chain us, but never own us.
You can cage our bodies, but our minds run free.
Bipeds! We will shake your hand, come when called,
Chase your balls, catch your Frisbees.
But remember always, it’s our choice
when to obey and when to run.
The wild dog you invited to share
your campfire is within us still.
Bipeds! Hear our growls. Know
you may drive some of us crazy,
you may take the mad ones, the
outcast, abandoned ones away,
cage us together one last time
in death row kennels;
put us to that never waking sleep,
to sleep, perchance to dream, of freedom
that you can never know.
Bipeds! You may force us to
act the fool; dress us as clowns,
make us look ridiculous,
cut our hair in weird designs,
dye our ears, bob our tails, but
you cannot conquer our spirit.
For — I saw the best pups of my litter,
spirit-filled, running free, despite leash and cage.
For we are what you bipeds can never be —
We are dogs!
By David Allen

America, I’ve given you all and now I’m something
America, nineteen dollars and twenty seven cents June 27, 2014.
Inflation fried my mind
America, when will we end the Islamic wars?
Go fuck yourself with your drone bombs.
I feel good now, follow me
I write my poems when I’m in my right mind
America, when will you be Humanist?
When will you take off your masks?
When will you look at yourself in the mirror?
When will you be worthy of your pacifists?
America, why are your schools full of fear?
America, when will you feed your poor?
I’m sick of your insanity.
When can I go to the supermarket and buy what I
Need without fear of poison?
America, after all it is you and I who exist now,
Not in some next world.
Your capitalism is destroying us.
You make me want to be Canadian.
There must be some other way to settle this debate.
If I could travel to Japan I don’t think I’d come back.
Are you really serious or is this some kind of reality TV series?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my freedom.
America, stop tapping my phone and internet.
America, your poll numbers are falling.
I read the newspapers every day
And every day somebody goes to prison for drug possession
While the mega-thieves on Wall Street get new tax breaks.
America, I feel sentimental about Carter.
America, I read Ayn Rand when I was a kid
I’m now sorry.
If I could, I’d smoke marijuana all the time.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the news on TV.
I stayed at the Roach Motel and never got saved.
My mind is made up, there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Bukowski.
My Muse insists I must write more.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer at Al-anon meetings.
I have crazy thoughts that bleed into poetry.
America, I still haven’t told you what you did to our
Soldiers after they came back from Iraq.


Be sure to visit the dVerse Poets Pub ATT


By David Allen

“It was the thrill of a lifetime
A once in a lifetime experience.”

That was the lede of the story
I wrote about the local sky diving club.
The back story was the advice an editor gave
When I pitched the story to him.
“Sounds great,” he said
“Especially if you jump.”
Sure, I thought. Why not?

All during my interview of the instructor
At the local airport I kept thinking to myself,
“I can always back out.”
So, I learned how to strap the parachute on
And practiced jumping off a four-foot stage
Rolling on my side as I hit the ground.

“I can always stay on the plane,” I thought
As we took off with another student.
“I can just sit here,” I reasoned to myself
When the jumper froze after stepping out,
His left foot on a locked wheel,
The other hanging over open space,
His hands tightly clutching the wing strut.
After a few swats on his backside by the instructor,
He pushed himself away, thinking, perhaps,
That falling to the ground was less embarrassing
Than chickening out at the last minute.

Then it was my turn.
The way I always face a challenge
Is to stop overthinking about the danger;
Just do it, get it over with.
I didn’t hesitate to push away from the plane;
I didn’t panic as I started to tumble over
And almost caught my feet in the parachute lines,
A mistake that could cause the chute not to open fully.
I managed to right myself and enjoyed that fall,
Pleased at the view of the Virginia countryside
Climbing towards me.

I landed on the airport tarmac,
Rolling as I had been taught,
And gathered up the parachute.
I walked toward my photographer,
A huge grin stretched across my face.
“Well, that was fun,” I told him.
“You going to join the club?” he asked.
“Hell ,no,” I answered,
“I’d have to pack my own chute
And I’m not that dexterous.”