steerage

August 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

there are those days
when, 20 min. in you begin

to believe the evidence

that suggests a mistake, but
the ship has already left the slip 

with you on it

               so there it is
maybe along the way

some stratification will occur 

heavier emotion

settling out across the seabed 

of your day
the current of all the rest

swirling above

barely keeping

the rusting bulk afloat 
down in steerage 

             pressed against the throng

you have only 

fresh air and solitude

on your mind
as the ship

quite unapologetically 

steams ahead
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

a blocking

August 3, 2016 § 2 Comments

 
    it is

as if Jupiter sticks his finger

into my frontal lobe

               to just past

               the first knuckle
   the way

a keeper of houseplants does

when determining

proper moisture content 
   and the

act of differentiating

between hum of June bugs
   and the

drum line in my skull

is becoming bothersome
trying to squint through 
   the

gauze over

my narrative

   the muslin

over the

       window of thought 
(c) Fred Whitehead 

to those unheeding 

July 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

I could not control my lament

            heaving 

as sun

burrowed crowned head

into feverish horizon
leaving me

stunned at how

how badly we had

fucked it all up
dubbed by the record as

incompetent stewards

undeserving of this gift
when over my shoulder 

I heard the wind whisper 

     don’t worry so much
       the dead will surely sigh

       and 

       council the unborn
some it is hoped

                        will listen
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

 

unfencing

July 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

I stopped to talk to James

         leaning

on the last rail of

          fence

   ((once a boundary for kids

             who wave

                  now from worlds edge
he went on about

        a place no longer

               being a home

as much as a spot

hollowed out to wait

while 

wheezing ones way to a conclusion

     

       it is

       he said

just a place to fold

a faded map of nowhere

and to un-dogear pages

that will never be returned to
I picked a slat from the pile

                        contemplated

                  the weight of it

wondering about his expression

which was not unlike 

that of a fish
       mouthing 

       something 

       I could not hear
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 
 

having abandoned the search 

July 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

I employed the church key

his sister gave to me
she removed it from

the key ring 

after they found his Oldsmobile

abandoned

and idling

near the river

 

sending a bottle cap

off the bridge

I watched it’s arc 
satisfied that

we looked

longer I suppose

than most would have
what is still unknown is

whether he offed himself 

or simply walked off

              to find unfamiliar

              arrangements

              in the stars
he was often heard to say

that his soul

          whatever that entailed

wasn’t packed properly 

loose in the corners

bunched uncomfortably

in strange places
I like to think 

he went to get a refit
to just once 

stride through the blight of his 

streets and alleys

like a banker on Savile Row
some I reckon are looking yet

me?

I’m just hoping for a chance encounter
a question at the ready

about what 

he has seen
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

Untitled 7/9/2016

July 11, 2016 § 2 Comments

Untitled 7/9/2016
there are not too many

things left to be said she said

and

that

         was saying something
so while sitting there

they wandered from each other

       shoulders and knees

       still touching
he was old at a loss for structure

so he ran through every blue he ever encountered

                               trying to

                match that

    of the sky
she

                 was at a loss for reason 

so she tried to suss out meanings 

in the lyrics

of songs

she was convinced  

she should have long ago

forgotten
as the day spread thin 

a procession of regrets

came over the rise

each stopping to get reacquainted

before moving on
she dabbed her eyes he

steadied himself to help her up neither one noticing 

a crowd gathering 
as it got closer

faces came into focus 

faces of happinesses        

                of accomplishments

those of celebration 

       elation joy
as the circle closed in around them

she leaned harder

there are so many things left to be said

she said

and that

                was saying 

                 everything  
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

we will all be on that platform 

May 29, 2016 § 4 Comments

we will all be on that platform 
hailing  

the last train out of town

            the question

            of whether it is
pulling out of tranquility 

or steaming toward it will 

most likely be the one

leaning on the doorpost of memory 
memories 

of your run
of the world spinning toward you
the glory of each sunrise

glinting on

the sickle that was

        always mere inches

from the back of your neck
how you knew 

even at full sprint 

  you would 

             like all before you

                      finish second 
fading

into the crowd

as the victor 

collected

    another bouquet
(c) 2016 Fred Whitehead 

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