Poems by Jack Henry

into the abyss

we are all orphans
now
lost in the desert
alone in a crowd
clichés all
but still
buried in deafening truth –

we used to walk
together
in times of conflict and chaos
in times of celebration and survival
but those days
i fear
are gone
those days
but a memory

we are split
divided
a thousand tribes
balancing on a thin
wooden beam
a beam that crosses
a chasm between yesterday
and tomorrow

we struggle with balance
maybe the beam will widen
into two or four or
enough for us
all to cross

without falling deep
into the abyss

blur

i sit at a desk
in an office
behind a door without lock or key
people come and go
ask me questions –

i stare out my window
a damning sun
bounces
on fat beams of translucent smog –

jesus cleans
his fingernails with a switchblade
his smile fat and wide
his two front teeth missing –

our eyes catch, he nods,
i smile, sigh, and turn away –
i failed as a poet and suffer
a similar fate
with jobs and offices
and windows –

indifferent past, present, future
crumbling worlds do not stir me
echoes of revolution do not provoke
fascist wannabe dictators do not incite me

i wait on darkness
on echoes
on a comfortable space
where each act has a price tag

and every sigh makes sense

a demon in my pocket

there’s a
demon
in my pocket.

sometimes
he talks
to me,
whispers
bad ideas
into my head.

this demon
has ideas and
when i say
yes
to his ideas
all the other
demons
come out
to play.

sometimes
my demon
and her demon,
the woman at the bar,
(or man, depends on the bar)
talk.

suddenly there are
too many demons
but, for the moment,

i’m not alone.

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