Hashtagging

Hashtagging

I must have been cross-eyed and unsatisfied
When I was born: an outlier, but I’ve tried
To Like the Facebook posts that fill my feed
With endless lists—ten things that I can’t miss,
A video who’s end I have to see,
Another puppy pic, go team, click this,
Click that, and Like this thing if you agree—
But selfie pictures only make me wish
That I was living in their background space:
Pastoral fields passed over for a face.

Among those meadows made of grass and muck,
I’d leave behind my high-top Converse Chucks
To feel the brush across my tender soles.
I’d pull the earbud plugs from either ear
So i could hear the wind across the knoll
Whose bushes’ foliage sings ever-clear
That leafy crackle: knowledge true, but old.
I’d pick a fruit from branch-bred chandeliers
Whose taste would be too good for one; I’d share,
But by my side, I’d find no others there.

So those discarded shoes would clasp my feet
Like black-thread mourning garb, or funeral sheet,
And I would turn back on my darkened phone
To check the texts I’d never seen, but missed,
And see the friends I’d gained while so alone.
I’d take its camera with an angled wrist,
Positioning the wold behind just so,
And capture it in picture form to list
Top ten Edenic places one must go:
Hashtag blackberrying, hashtag Thoreau.

~Michael Danger Caskey

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Kisses on the Rhine

I sometimes miss those kisses on the Rhine,
The Europe trips, our sips of corkless wine,
And penny-flips, with which you’d slap your wrist,
Hand over fist, and say “guess which it is!”

I miss those laughs you used to gasp, the croaks
I used to call them, giggles caught in chokes;
You’d flash your teeth, though not quite perfect white,
All mostly straight, save that one to the right.

I miss those nights we’d share, the sights we’d see,
But never you, yourself, dear Charity:
It seems sometime while lost on memory lane,
You slipped away, were never seen again,

But you were present there much more, before,
When reminiscent missing still felt sore,
And present-me would drag behind the past
To ask what part about it couldn’t last,

Though not so now; it’s turned periphery,
Like so much else I’ve lost to memory.
I sometimes wonder if you think of me
Those times I almost think of you.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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On Work

I work too much, I think. My nine-to-five
Seems sometimes like nine-to-infinity,
And time off-clock is eat-some-sleep-some-drive,
Then walk-in, clock-in, productivity.

I even dream of being on the job:
An endless stream of “hey do that, do this,”
Subconscious tasks impossible to solve,
Self-employment impossible to quit.

But sometimes friends invite me Friday nights
To live a bit, sit barstool for a few,
And I just might, though always to my right
I hear “what’s up”–“not much”–repeat ’til two.

Dull? Sure, but I’ve had dreams of work before
While unemployed, and woke to wish for more.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Workplace Camelot

Their hands began by brushing her behind—
Those brigand bands and lusty male minds,
Whose banes were wedding bands and maidenkind:
The fruits sans seeds, or worse yet, still with rind—

And thus they touched that firm, but lovely pear,
A pair of knuckles first, but soon she’d wear
A brace of fingers for her underwear
And sooner still, they’d steal the maiden fair.

“I will not stand for this, unhand the miss!”
The noble Errant Knight would often hiss
For justice, honor, and a courtly kiss,
But brave Sir Knight, your chivalry was missed,

For when Sir Knight would ready out to ride
With righteous indignation at his side,
Then “what was that you said!” those hands would cry,
And “nothing, sir” a gelding would reply.

~Michael Danger Caskey

The Burn

You try to clench your teeth and steel your cheek,
You’ll brace your bones and fortify your feet,
But when the tempers spark and fighting starts,
There’s no defense against the punctuation mark.

Of course, you’ll shield yourself with clever words,
Riposting well, but nothing goes unheard.
Your wit’s deferred what since has left its mark:
There’s no defense against its punctuation mark,

And just as new brands have a phantom burn,
Alone and late at night you’ll toss and turn
And squirming, find that something found your heart
With no defense against a punctuation mark.

It’s singed its symbol that you still can feel,
Since burns are scars that only time can heal,
Although it leaves a hard and calloused part
That may fend off another punctuation mark

That shares its shape, but bear this well in mind:
A brand may never show a second time,
But it still burns, a permanent remark
That there’s no pain like punctuation marks.

 

~Michael Danger Caskey

Amaryllis

How can you be so tense and serious,
Dear Amaryllis; don’t you know the only way to bloom
Is not with shoulders up, hands balled, arms trussed,
But through two far-flung arms like sunlight’s starry plumes?

Just as a flower may reveal its face
And spreads its light into a soul-lit place,
It opens in a field of blackened space
To wrap it all into a bright embrace–

All but the bud. No light can reach inside
A fist of folded arms and face cast into stone
And overcast with shade, as if to hide
The very thing that should be shown and should have shone–

Oh Amaryllis! much have you abused:
Aurora’s gift of beauty never used,
Prometheus’ sacrifice refused,
Apollo abandoned–you stand accused

Of killing off the very thing you are,
Like weeds that choke the life from their own sprouting seeds;
Some suicide, self-fratricide, bizarre
Oblivion, the price of which is paid by me,

The one who wished to witness that beauty,
The one who always dreamed what it would be,
The one who only just wanted to see
Your flower blooming, petals light and free.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Amaryllis, the Nightly Amaranth

I never knew my Amaryllis well
Until she turned full bloom to Amaranth
Beneath the moon, and underneath that spell
Her petals fell, while mine were deviant.

She once was the white of innocent eyes,
The ones well-rested still unstained by red,
And I–yes I, the devil in disguise–
Spotted her in that sacred flower bed,

But in another light, by that dark sky
Her color bled, but fed on purple stain,
She bloomed again, her face unchanging dye,
While I was left behind–her red remained.

Her love lies bleeding now, and feeding on;
But truth be told, she feasted all along.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Yours

There is a place in distant Aberdeen,
Unseen between the gravel esplanade
And golden sand; not quite a place of Dreams,
But where they visit reveling abroad.

Within this sacred seaside hideaway,
There somehow stays, imprinted in the sand,
A pair of prints around the ocean spray
That mark the steps of woman and a man,

Who, side by side then turning face to face,
Must have become reflections of the dreams
That danced, clasped hands, and reveled in this place,
But never stayed; not in fleeting Aberdeen.

I tried to stay as well, but not for long,
For there’s a different shore where I belong:

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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That Missing Song

That Missing Song

I came from the lip of the waning moon,
That snipped the night of starless, dark, and free,
And dipped me down through glowing white pontoons:
Reflections on the waves of troubled seas.

I went to where the cracks of sunbeams stray
Through seams of tree-lined dusk and dawn,
To cast their strings and play those golden rays,
But found it quiet: that old song had gone.

I came before the steadfast face of time,
That showed more rocky wrinkles than before;
I asked him when the missing sun would shine,
But that old man’s not speaking anymore.

I looked up, longing for the backlit moon,
But there was Venus–and her glowing tune.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Food in the Hand, and One from the Bush

I wonder what goes through the squirrel’s mind
When it approaches, from its hiding-spot,
Her feeding hand and boyfriend close behind,
Behind his camera, waiting for a shot.

She says beneath her breath “it’s fine, it’s fine,”
As if this madly grinning giant child
Defines how fine it is when she inclines,
Staring with wild eyes and wilder smiles,

Yet nonetheless it nears her step by step,
Each in between a cautious thoughtful pause,
Considering if altruism’s kept
In such a mousetrap-hand and open claws.

It takes the food and flees somewhere discreet;
I wonder if it thought the taste was sweet.

~Michael Danger Caskey