Joker’s Wild

sorry charlie fool s

It doesn’t matter if you say
no
in fact:  why not?
go ahead

I’m taking it with a grain of salt

It’s a blessing in disguise

I may have missed the boat but
I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it

in fact:  the sky’s the limit

And if I’m not playing
with a full deck:  so what?
I’ve got an ace in the hole

I’ve got the whole nine yards

I’ve got all the time in the world

joker s

Take a wild guess–what’s in my hand?
Gobbledygook?  Only a joke?
Hullabaloo?  Mirrors and smoke?

Juggle to play–where will they land?
Diamonds and kings?  Jack and a Trump?
Ace in the hole?  Or just a hunch?

Song and a dance–strike up the band!
Monkeys are here–business to make–
Chickens are counted–won’t calculate.

Quick!  Heads or tails?  Where do you stand?
Not fair at all?  Surely you jest–
I’m just a card–take a wild guess.

Two final fools for 2020, both from 2016. I wonder what inspired me that year? Let’s hope 2021 deals us all a better hand.

recognizing the night

angels without bodies
heads with wings
gazing with dismay
upon humanity–

where indeed?
did they come from
will they go?
and who knows

who they are
who we are
and why we are
on opposite sides?

who is this?  who
petitions the heavens
surrounded by sky waves
encased in a floating shell

held by cherubs–
the sun waits
uncertain afraid
while multiple madonnas

hover above
the mission grounds–
what is the mission?
of this line drawn

over and under–
who drew it?
who was first
to deny kinship

to question the connection
between we and they–
is it just a matter
of transposing

the words the sounds?
what prayers must Our Lady
carry past the pleading priests?
over the waves

through the clouds
into the night
where the moon waits
patient and wise

For the earthweal challenge A FEAST OF EARTH FOOLS. Once again, I am uncertain if my answer fulfills the question. But I believe the moon, patroness of lunatics, deserves a seat at earth’s table.

Part of this poem came out of something I wrote about an engraving in the Hispanic Museum celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was an unhappy scene I thought–even the angels looked distressed. The sun appeared to be attempting to hide. Only the three visions of the Lady seemed to hold any real spiritual essence. It was titled “Recognizing the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe”–clearly what was needed was to recognize the night.

Talk Like Shakespeare Today

What fools, what fools, what fools these mortals be
what fools to mimic riches glitter fame
what fools to in those masks refinement see
what fools embraceth folly without shame

Where every likeness hath its own deceit
wherein it looketh match to opposite
pretended twin to answer in repeat
the shoe that forceth toes and heel to fit

With voices like to painted artifice
with jaws that stretcheth into polished teeth
with promises that proveth meaningless
duplicity a smile cached underneath

And will the masquerade yet come undone?
I fear the jester killeth us with fun.

The Earthweal challenge this week is titled A FEAST OF EARTH FOOLS. Brendan has asked us to “Mix your human essence with another living entity”, in the spirit of the ancient seasonal celebrations that invite reversals, chaos, and ghosts into the world in order to transform it.

I’ve often written about fools, and decided to repost some of them this week, while considering how to answer Brendan’s invitation. It’s not a bad idea this time of year to consider the folly of humankind.

This poem was written in April 2016 for Shakespeare’s birthday, and Talk Like Shakespeare Day (yes it really exists).