Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The Last Leaf

Posted: January 5, 2020 in Poetry
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Photo by D.H.Allen

THE LAST LEAF
By David Allen 

I am the last leaf, 
the last on the bough.
Brown and brittle,
I’ve taken a vow
to mourn for my more 
colorful friends
who took the plunge
to drift to the ground.
I saw them settle
into piles on the lawn, 
where they were raked or rotted, 
no matter, they’re gone. 
And as the days drift by,
I keep watch on a few
other lonely leaves, 
wondering who
will be the last to fall.

My New Pen

Posted: December 28, 2019 in Poetry
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MY NEW PEN
By David Allen 

Is there a difference 
between writing a poem
with a fountain pen
instead of a ballpoint?
Will the words 
be more polished?
More elegant?
Or will I have to
shake it up more
to get the lines to flow?
The pen demanding 
more ink, like opening a vein?
Is a ballpoint pen
simply more mundane?
If so, what about poems
born from platens
or electronic bytes?
Are they too mechanical?
Too removed from emotion?
I wonder as I write. 

 

BASTOGNE

Posted: December 18, 2019 in Poetry
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David Leroy Allen WWIIBASTOGNE
By David Allen

Seventy-five years ago
The Germans made their last
offensive move during World War II,
attacking American lines
near the city of Bastogne.
It marked the turning point
of my father’s young life.

My dad and a few other soldiers
found shelter in the basement
of a mansion outside the city
waiting for the German shelling to stop.
But one shell zeroed in on them.
The building collapsed,
killing all except my dad
who was sitting beneath an arch.

When he was dug out
his saviors didn’t know
what to do with him.
As a scout, he wore no
identification which could
give the enemy information
on troop movements.
Also, during the battle many Germans
wore American uniforms in order
to sneak through American lines.

My father, badly wounded,
was taken to a hospital and placed
in a German POW ward.
A sign around his neck said
“This man is not responsible
For his actions.”

Later identified, transferred, and discharged
that sign defined the rest of his life.
Suffering physically and from PTSD,
booze and pills helped
him deal with a broken family
of seven kids and too many lost jobs
and moves for the next 48 years.

Finally, his bedroom became his tomb
for several years before he died.
Sometimes it takes decades to die.

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THANKSGIVING’S STAIN
By David Allen

Like many holidays,
Thanksgiving has a dark side.
Much like Columbus Day.
Don’t get me wrong,
I love the idea of getting family 
and friends together for an Autumnal feast 
to celebrate surviving another year.
That was the reason for the gathering
of Indians and pilgrims that day
some 398 years ago.
The Pilgrims had survived a horrendous year.

Of the 102 who survived the Mayflower’s trip,
only 51 survived the first winter — 
22 men, 25 children, and 4 women. 
75 percent of the women had died.
The local Indian tribe, the Wampanoag,
helped that first year, showing the Pilgrims
how to farm the New World and 90 of them joined
in the English tradition of celebrating the Fall harvest. 

The tribe was repaid over the next 50 years
With murders and massacres.
In 1675, their situation was so dire,
many of them joined in an uprising
called King Philip’s War
The Colonists were too strong by then
And another 40 percent of the tribe were killed.
Many of the Male Indian survivors
were sold into slavery in the Caribbean,
their women and children became farm 
and house slaves in New England.

I doubt many of their descendants
Think of this holiday as very thankful.

 

THANKS, NO THANKS

Posted: November 22, 2019 in Poetry
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THANKS, NO THANKS
By David Allen

It’s late November again
Thanksgiving’s at hand
A time to feast with family and friends;
Time to reflect and to give thanks.

I’m giving thanks that my spine
Survived another knifeless year,
Though my back, racked by rods
And pins, bent my back a bit
and stole inches from my height. 

I am thankful for my muse, my wife,
We’ve survived another year –
Twenty-nine more than the two she promised
When we first exchanged our vows.

“I’ll give you two years, Allen, “she said
The day she agreed to marry me.
“So you better straighten up!” she warned.”
I never did and yet, she still stands by my side.

And let’s not forget to thank
My Hoosier poet friends
For giving me an outlet for 
My observations on life. 
Open mics and scribe gatherings 
Fill my nights, hopefully
Encouraging new poets 
To follow this path.

But this season also leaves me
Thinking of things I am not thankful for.
Mass deaths in shootings in schools and churches,
The rise of White Nationalism.
And attacks on our rights
In “The Land of the Free.”
Children torn from their parents
And thrown in cages because
They were born in some other country.
Soldiers and sailors discharged 
And flown to exile in countries
Even though they served us honorably.
A presidential liar whose graft knows no limits
Who daily commits crimes
His followers just brush away.

But I’m hopeful next year
Will overflow with thanks
To new faces who erase
Trump and his thugs from our ranks.

House of Lies

Old Age

Posted: October 12, 2019 in Poetry
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OLD AGE
By David Allen

Bent posture
Grouchy nature
Prescription pill bottles
Wild walking waddles.

Memory lapses
Cheap reading glasses
Hair shedding
Tummy spreading.

Cane walking
Unsteady talking
Teeth in a glass
Passing much gas.

Spinal hardware
Keys are not there
Midnight pee calls
Numbing pratfalls.

Artery stents
Obscene vents
Diner discounts
Joint bank accounts.

Skin splotches
Year’s end notches
TV bingeing
X-ray cringing.

Children have grown
Remortgaged home
Much makes me enraged
This must be old age. 

Words Gone

Posted: October 11, 2019 in Poetry
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Words Gone
By David Allen

The words were gone.
The poet sulked at his desk,
staring at the blank computer screen.
His Muse stood beside him,
sobbing while she stroked his neck.
“I don’t know what’s happening,” she said.
“I want to help you, but the words won’t come.
This is more than a simple writer’s block.
It’s more like the words absconded with the images,
the ideas are idle, blurry concepts just beyond reach.
I have failed you.”

“Don’t say that,” the Poet said, 
turning to face his Muse.
“It’s not your fault.”
“It is,” she said. 
“There’s too much darkness.
Too many things are piling up.
The words are suffocating under 
the heap of today’s failures
and tomorrow’s fears.
I’m just not good for you.”
She turned and ran from the room.

The Poet muttered a few “damns” under his breath.
He wondered awhile whether to follow her.
Should he scrap the play
or go on to Act 2? 
After a painfully slow minute,
he shook his head, then rose and left the room.

He climbed the stairs to their bedroom.
She sat cross-legged on the bed, 
a pen in her right hand and a notepad on her lap.

“Look, I’m so…” he started.
But she cut him off, looking up,
Sadness and defeat contorted her face.
“So, did you come upstairs 
To edit my suicide note?” she asked.

He walked to her side and kissed her cheek.
“No, just checking to make sure 
you have no knives or pills up here,” he said.
His Muse’s frown turned into a slight smile.
“I just wish I was better at this,” she said.
“You are,” the Poet said as he left the room.

A few minutes later, he was back at the computer
typing slowly as a poem formed on the screen. 

 

Bird Nest

Posted: October 3, 2019 in Poetry
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BIRD NEST
By David Allen

I gave my love a bird’s nest
that I found while mowing
and she marveled and cooed,
“It must have been built
by a mourning dove.”
She examined it carefully,
noting that embedded
in the twigs and grass
was a toothpick.
I wondered where it came from
and how long it lain abandoned?
And why did the bird choose
to use it when more pliable twigs
would be better suited
for her construction project?

Woody

Posted: October 1, 2019 in Poetry
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WOODY
By David Allen

Woody’s been sitting there
for quite some time now.
Centuries have passed.
He’s rooted to a spot
at the edge of the woods,
where he observes the progress
and, sadly, the eventual regress
of the humans in the valley below.
“Why don’t they find their roots
and settle down?” he muses.
“They never stay long enough
to get into the sync of the living earth.”

 

Clothespins

Posted: September 14, 2019 in Poetry
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Clothespins Oil

CLOTHESPINS
By David Allen

They are lonely now
Attached to the line
In the back yard.
Some machine
Inside the house
Now acts like the sun,
Drying the wash
And giving it a perfumed
Scent with no wrinkles.
The wooden pegs
Now point to the blue sky
Wondering why
They were abandoned.

If you like this poem, you’ll love my latest book, “Type Dancing,” now available from Amazon. Or, for a signed copy, send $15 to David Allen, 803 Avalon Lane, Chesterfield, IN 46017.