& there were howls

August 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

sandwiched between

hypothetically loaded

lectures on pyramid construction 

and a chapter, perhaps,

concerning the greed and

paranoia of Domitian

there is taught 

the temper of Vesuvius
although a brief reference to

Herculaneum may be made

none of us here in Stabiae

will get

even a breath of a mention
sure, the other towns,

a few miles away,

have for the world

their couples

in eternal embrace,

their loyal hounds forever

guarding decimated doorways

and servants


hauling crockery

there is just an old guy

at the end of the bar

frozen in mid lament –

what once was

a lead goblet

and a smattering 

of coins in front of him
a few children dotting the alleyways, their arms

locked in extension for alms

and other’s

       more or less


       in their demise
but dogs?

we have no dogs, no
our dogs were smarter

than their dogs

smarter than we
enough so

to get out before

the lid blew clean off
& there were howls

other than their own
first ignored

then extinguished
(c) 2015 Fred Whitehead

watch perpetualĀ 

August 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

having  marshaled the facts

of the event that had

such a deleterious effect

on your psyche
you wish for disorder
         the found equation

         too cleanly

         leading to

         a revealed future,       

            (presented by

             another amber     


,as hardtack

to wash down

with the

brackish dregs

of aspiration


push the prow

toward that

illusion of redemption
one hinted at

on all the charts

– as abstract symbology 

  or cryptic phrases

scratched in faded

India alongside 

depictions of

the Kraken

or sirens
confounded by shifting stars

you follow the song

along inaccurate shorelines

and toward horizons that rise

endlessly before you

from never being relieved

          from your shift

              standing watch
(c) 2015 Fred Whitehead 


August 19, 2015 § 2 Comments

at every

midnight awakening 

you find

it has 

conquered new territory 

this dark coral of neurosis 

this expanding reef

for peace to flounder on
what is it in people’s eyes

when they nudge

you to give testimony 

to triggers?

some would say


some, a trying to

perhaps it is neither 
& what is it,

in the undergrowth 

of society, that


for you to falter in step

or drop a defense

so a medallion can be placed 

around your fallen shoulders 
declared to be

a recognition of a battle

not yet won
another weight added

another thing

to be

caretaker of
(c) 2015 Fred Whitehead 

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