Interstice


Somewhere between euphoria and despair
My overweight cat,
Jumping up to my chair,
Claws anchored against gravity,
Up and then on my lap,
Pushing his head against my arm
To renew and strengthen fraternal bond,
Nudged aside to a padded armrest,
My overweight cat
Sits,
Composes himself,
Luxuriates in this place he has made
For both of us,
Somewhere between euphoria and despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inhuman


A saint without selfishness,
A prophet without confusion,
God without flaw,
Inhuman.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inevitability


How deep your search for the profound,
How detailed your analysis,
How proud you are of the synthesis of theories
Rolling off the tip of your tongue.
At last you have mastered the subject matter
And everywhere you look there is clarity and form.

But big black death is still an inevitability
And you will need more than clever ideas
To sustain your soul during those last indeterminate years.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Wilderness


The plaintive cry of the jackalope
Echoes
Through my open motel window,
I cannot sleep.

Who?
Who will lube my aging motor home
Way out here where I wander
In this desolate land without movie rentals?

I wonder,
Not much.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Waiting Room


It started with a pain in the stomach,
Digestive problems,
Then a sporadic cough,
Sudden headaches,
Fatigue,
Insomnia,
Anxiety attacks,
Depression,
And here she sits in the waiting room,
Waiting for the doctor to review her test results,
When she already knows,
She knows what’s really wrong,
Just as certainly as she knows
There is no pill she can take
For not being in love.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Not My Son


I thought I saw my son
Staring out the window of a bus,
Bathed in grimy yellow light,
Vacant,
Hopeless.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Standing outside a supermarket,
Holding a ragged piece of cardboard,
Homeless
Scrawled in large black letters
As if nothing else were needed
To explain his relationship to humanity.
Tired out and expecting little,
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Angling down a crowded city sidewalk
When he should have been in school,
Too skinny,
Clothes too small and worn,
Asking me for spare change.
Tears filled his eyes
When I gave him a twenty dollar bill.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son,
Not my son.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Eyes Of A Beautiful Stranger


In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is a kind of paradise,
A release
From a life full of things
Too familiar,
Worn out from overuse,
Exhausted by constancy.

In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is another life,
Different,
Fresh,
Unknown.

Ah, to awaken one morning
And not know
What the new day will bring.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Early Morning Dark


In the early morning dark
After the last of my automatic lawn sprinklers
Sinks back beneath the lush lawn turf,
The last valve closing with a pipe-rattling thunk,
Still a few small slugs remain
Nestled in the recess of the sprinkler heads,
Plump with moisture,
While the slap of a newspaper falling on a driveway,
Again, slap, again, slap, again, slap,
Comes closer.

He drives on the wrong side of the street,
Emergency lights flashing,
And delivers the blueprints for Thursday,
This day of Thurs in which we all believe,
Which must always follow Wednesday,
Which must always presage Friday,
Always, slap, always, slap, always, slap.

He drives swiftly, almost recklessly
Beneath the burnt umber street lights,
Confident no children will be outside playing.
We are a predictable people
And need our sleep.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Spring


Something awakens in me
After the long winter slumber of my soul,
This new season
Sending waves of electricity
Through all the paths and bypaths
Of sense and sensation.

I am older now
But I will not give up Spring
As so many eventually do,
Who somehow walk undistracted
Up and down streets aflame with it,
Bathed in the glowing light of it,
Old men who hunker down and straighten their ties
And shade their eyes against the glare of it.

I will not give up Spring,
This new season,
This rapture,
Everywhere,
Life resurrecting,
Everywhere,
The soil giving birth,
Everywhere,
The cacophony of birds,
Everywhere,
Sun-inspired love and lust,
Everywhere,
Gravity unbound.

I will drink until the well is dry.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Prayer


In prayer
We become the manifestation of God,
The explanation of God,
The delineation of God,
For in prayer we bring the essence of God
Into our lives
Where it changes our purposes,
Our actions.

It is not God the Father,
The majestic, bearded image of divinity,
Who alone intercedes in our lives.
Too much tragedy in this world
To believe a merciful God would
Cover His eyes,
Shield His hearing.

We are the agents of God,
His flesh and bone,
Apostles of mercy.

In prayer,
When we are done with all our asking and apologizing,
After we finally stop talking,
When we finally begin to listen,
The instruction!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Phantom Pain


I never quite understood
The stories of amputees,
How they still felt the presence
Of a missing limb.

I never quite understood,
Until I lost you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Plans Fall Through


Torn between the soft slumber of safety
And the disturbing danger of desire
I calculate my remaining days and wonder,
Is there meaning here?

There are many who would answer for me,
Who would describe and prescribe,
Who would cleanse my confusion
With a plan.

Plans fall through.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When Do You Say?


When you start praying
When do you say:
Now I can put
All my praying away?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imagine


If you are not living the life you imagined,
Imagine the life you are living.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Can We Still Be Friends?


Please don’t misunderstand
When I say I hate you
And call you a stupid jerk
Who never should have been born.

You should know me better than that!

Just because I will not speak to you
And block your texts and e-mails,
Just because I never want to see you again
Doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Could Choose


Yeah,
Heaven may be swell,
For a while,
But what do you do with all you’ve experienced,
All you’ve learned?
Do you just sit around with family and friends,
Drinking wine at sunset,
Forever?

If I could choose my soul’s progression,
My soul’s destiny,
I would take all that I know,
All that I am
And be the seed of a new world.

Imagine being the initiating spirit,
The infusing spirit of a new existence,
For better or for worse,
The spirit that inspires,
The spirit that destroys,
Or something in-between,
Something complex,
Something that grows beyond its beginnings,
Something that evolves,
Kind of like planet Earth,
Which makes me wonder
Just what kind of erratic genius gave birth to this world?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imaginary


If your paradise is an illusion,
Yet you believe you are in paradise,
Feel like you are in paradise,
Who is to say this is not real?

If your love is imaginary,
Yet it keeps you alive and dreaming,
Writing long love letters late at night,
Hoping, always hoping,
Until the oxygen finally runs out,
Who is to say this is not real?

Even if your heaven is a dream,
You can still live there.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In My Dark Hours


In my dark hours,
Deserted,
Miserable,
Without hope of redemption,
In a world grown cold and colorless,
In the depth of my most personal failures,
I hear a soft voice,
Speaking calm words
With tenderness and tenacity,
Slipping through the black curtain
Of my defeat,
Pulling me back to life
From the perilous ledge
Of despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Allergic


If I could choose how death will come
I’d like it to come as a sneeze,
One really big, sudden sneeze.

It would begin with an itching sensation,
Something advancing,
Growing,
Multiplying,
A tsunami,
Then,
One massive, uncontrollable sneeze
Seizing my entire body and soul.

The lights go out.

“What happened?”
Some would ask my wife,
My witness.

“He had an allergic reaction,”
She would explain,
“To life.”


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Illumination


Early this morning,
Just a glimpse of golden light
On the peak of a nearby mountain,
Then it was gone,
Still beautiful,
But no longer illuminated.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Two Simple Words


When despair falls from lowly grace,
From mood to physical pain,
From pain to relentless torture,
From torture to final escape,
How grave the absence of hope,
The lost path to something like joy,
Something like acceptance,
The inability to say two simple words,
To say,
I will.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Aged Ones


We are the aged ones,
The last ones living off inheritances,
Consuming,
Consuming,
Nothing much left for the next generation,
Crumbling infrastructures,
Decaying,
Decaying.

We mutely observe the passing of an age,
Greedily outliving all expectations.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Little Space


A little space
Is all I need
To sit and rest
And plant a seed,
To someday root
To someday grow
So when I’m old
I’ll someday know.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If Only I Could


If only I could give you the joy in my heart,
If all I had to do was place my hand on your shoulder,
Look into your eyes and smile.

If I could give you the joy in my heart
By doing these things,
Then I would come to you now,
Interrupt everything,
Announce to the world:
You, are loved!
Saying it over and over again
Until you finally believed it,
Until you finally believe it,
Until you are filled with love,
Cleansed,
Healed,
Ready to begin again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Were A Little Badger


If I were a little badger
I tell you what I’d do
I’d help all the other badgers
Escape from the L.A. Zoo.

We’d go downtown for coffee
And chat the night away
Around the sidewalk tables
At the badger espresso cafe.

We’d have existential rages
And geopolitical despair
Then we’d sneak back to our cages
And pull out all our hair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If


If life were a metaphor
Then the incandescent epiphany
Could rise,
Bloom,
An evening cactus flower,
Jesus alone in the desert
Wrestling with demons.

I awaken,
Late for work.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Idolatry


They crowd around the dirty window
Where the faintest image of Jesus has appeared,
Standing for hours,
Praying,
Hoping to be blessed,
To be sanctified.

All around the world
The faithful are making pilgrimages,
Pressing their lips to sacred artifacts,
Expecting miraculous transformation,
As if God were in one place
And not another.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Owl


Too hot to sleep,
No one to hear my explanations,
I escape my civilized confines
Into the humid, cricket-encrusted night.

Neighbors are locked away
Within the sleepy suburban houses I pass silently by,
Enveloped by darkness.

I find the wooded trail
That snakes along fenced backyards
In the shadows of moonlit hills.

All at once he appears,
An apparition.
Atop a fence post,
A great-horned owl.

We have met before,
During other nights of solitary somnambulance.
I stop to greet him like an old friend,
To wish him luck on the evening’s hunt,
Not without sympathy for the errant mouse.

Our bond of solitude is my illusion,
For I am wandering through this cloud-shaded night
Like a dream,
Lost in thought,
In abstract contemplation,

This owl widens his eyes as I speak,
Measures my size, distance and movement,
My intentions,
Then lifts soundlessly into the air and away,
Gliding through the darkness like a prayer,
Nearly invisible,
Then,
Gone,
Almost a full working day left until dawn.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

We Suffer


At this level of incarnation
I suppose our suffering has purpose.
I have learned much from suffering,
Lessons I apparently could not have learned
Had my life been free from suffering,
Had my life been easy.
Lessons I apparently could not have learned
From joy.

Yet how can I condone suffering?
How can I countenance its merciless, random aim?
How can I find reason in the suffering of children?
In the suffering caused by villainy?
In the suffering caused by the collapse of civilization,
When whole countries suffer
From the corruption of a single man?

We are spurred to action and reform by suffering,
The best of us dreaming of a world
Where the last remnants of suffering are accidental
And soon extinguished.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

So Clearly Now


You think it’s over,
The past,
Over and done,
Those mistakes,
Weaknesses,
Errors in judgment,
Sins.

You think your treasured moments,
Your blessings,
Will erase painful memories,
In time,
But they find safe harbor in time,
Awaiting idle moments
To erupt and confront.

Someday when I’m old,
You think,
These haunts will at last subside.
But when old age comes
And all doors are closed,
Awakened from a fitful sleep,
You see so clearly now,
What could have been.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Return


Oh how you scoff at religion,
At those who embrace a merciful God,
Who have faith in the promise of heaven.

You list the sins of the righteous,
The historic holy wars,
The blindness of orthodox doctrine,
The wolves in priests’ clothing,
The sainted certainty that employs violence,
That justifies violence,
Violence against body, mind and spirit.

Your debate weighs on the sins of the religious,
As if the evil that humans do
Is an inevitable consequence of faith.

I have an aged friend,
Raised in a small town,
Believing gratitude to God is the way to give thanks,
Thanks for the blessing of another day of life.
If I convinced her of your reasoning,
If I could take all her antiquated beliefs away,
All the naïve notions of religion going back generations,
What would I give her in return?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Recently Born


So new,
So young,
So ignorant of devious motives,
So free from self-imposed orthodoxies.

So new,
So young.

We race to fill our recently born
With our individual truths,
Our tribal truths,
Our instructions and conclusions,
As if we had no need of change.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here I Sit


Here I sit at this keyboard,
Poised to type my moral condemnations
Into this computer,
A computer assembled by slave labor in China,
But first I need a bit more inspiration
And so I drink another cup of coffee,
Grown by generations of impoverished Colombians.

I pause and ponder the fate of all the world’s weary workers
Whose assembled sufferings make my life so comfortable,
As if a few empathetic thoughts and words
Could release me from responsibility.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Things


Civilization is a stubborn child,
Learning by accident
What was not inherited,
What was forgotten as generations passed.

Culture rises and falls
And that which is new,
No matter how low,
Inevitably supersedes the old,
No matter how noble.

Now we are technological
And our children barely know what to do
With paper and pen,
With a book,
These old things,
Falling, falling away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Think Of You


When I grow weary of you,
Thinking of you,
Longing for you,
Resigned to exhaustion and defeat,
I think of you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Flower


I give you this flower,
Individual,
Containing all flowers,
Containing all my love,
Which cannot be contained.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Hardest Part


The beautiful place in my heart
I never knew,
Filled with the light of you,
The blinding joy . . .

The hardest part,
When the light turned off.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Girlish


Her thoughts are girlish once more,
Though her age is beyond much hope.
Still, the life of her mind is strong.
It sings a dainty song
Not even the mute approach of death can still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Rules


To achieve an enlightened state of bliss,
How must I position my body?
Shall I sit cross-legged?
Or should I stand?
Should I close my eyes to temporal distractions?
Or should my eyes be open
So that I may learn to transcend all visual stimuli?
Should I join my hands in prayer,
Or perhaps raise a single hand
With fingers positioned to indicate some kind of divinity?

What is the best time of day, month or year
To engage in spiritual disengagement?
Should I face the rising sun
From the solitude of a verdant garden,
Or surrender my ego in a candlelit meditation hall?
Are there special words
Or spiritually empowered sounds I must make?
Must I focus on a specific kind of attainment
Or abandon all egocentric aspirations?

How long should I spend in meditation?
Or should I disregard such structures as time and space?
What should I do?
What should I not do?

Are there really rules about this kind of spiritual quest?
And what did the rule makers do before the rules were made?
When did they decide that everyday life was not enough,
And why?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Saw Her Yesterday


It’s been over long enough now,
Long enough to go through an entire day
Without the ache of memory,
The stab of loss,
Long enough.

I saw her yesterday.

I could not approach her,
Not even a passing smile,
Just a quick retreat,
Acting against every impulse of my soul,
Starting over again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

My Cat


O the quiet life of my cat,
The empty bliss of this is that.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Remove The Stone


In these later years I sometimes despair
When thought returns to unburdened times,
When moist-eyed remembrance,
Sorted from care,
Makes longing for such pleasant fiction
A stone in the heart.

Shamed by my childish discontent,
My sophisticated selfishness,
I hear my breathing,
I see this world,
I remove the stone.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

On This Planet


I am no scholar,
I have no great learning to pass on.
My job is small,
My contribution
To the advance of civilization,
Slight.
Yet I sit each morning
Sipping hot coffee with newspaper in hand
And pass stern judgment on my country,
Contemplating its sure, swift decline.

I shall soon be transported
Like a moth in a velvet cocoon
Across the freeways
To my place of employment
Where such insignificant labors
Nevertheless earn me food, shelter
And many possessions,
Such as the big-screen television
I will watch long into the night
While the less remarkable planets
Whirl by noiselessly in the dark.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Years Go By


When you are ten
A year is monumental,
Sometimes devastating,
Certainly life-altering,
Consciousness-shifting,
One-tenth of your severed-umbilical existence.

But oh how we discard the years
As we grow older,
A wasted year here,
A lost year there.

Some of us lose whole decades,
Smothered by bad luck,
Ill health,
Misguided ambitions,
Weakness,
Until in old age we look back
At the children we once were,
That long summer day
When we were truly happy
And wished for nothing.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Imagine


I imagine she is reading these words.
I imagine she loves me still.
I imagine she really did love me,
And so I forgive all mistakes,
For I too made so many.
I imagine she wants to be forgiven.

I imagine she has forgiven me.
I imagine she remembers the best part of me,
The best part of us.
I imagine she is learning to let small things
And hard feelings
Go.

I imagine I really did love her.
I imagine I love her still.

I imagined her then,
I imagine her now.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Heard A Bird


I heard a bird
On the lawn
At dawn,
Though I was asleep
A peep or two
Broke through
My slumbrous state,
So I
Did not hesitate
To imagine myself this bird
And without a word
Or a whistle,
As light as a thistle,
Took flight
And with wondrous gaze
Looked on the Earth below
Through cloud-misted haze
And thought,
How right,
How right!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

We Americans


We Americans
Speak of our founding fathers,
Our proud heritage,
As if it were all etched in stone,
Authored by God,
This young country,
This work in progress,
Fresh from ignorance and sin,
Sinning still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Places


I go back to our old places,
Searching for you,
So young and silly,
Before the weight of the world dampened your laughter,
Before entanglements,
When consequences held little power over spontaneity.

So much of our lives were about beginnings,
About an imaginary future.

Well, here we are in that future,
So abstract then,
So fixed in place now,
This accumulation of time
Where remembrance overwhelms imagination.

Here we are,
You and I,
Still together,
Yet I go back to our old places,
Searching for you,
Searching for me.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Do Not Dream Of You


I do not dream of you,
For by the time I finally fall asleep
I am exhausted,
Weary of longing for you
Every waking moment.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Recipe


The two aging kittens grow rougher in their play,
Snap snagging thin sharp claws
On upholstered chairs,
Whizzing calamitous,
Up, down and at all impossible angles
Across the room’s vast terrain.
They launch, skid, tumble and they fly,
Throwing arms and eyes wide,
Fluttering papers,
Toppling stuff,
Skittering across the floor.

My two boys grow more contentious in their play,
Each accusing each of unfair and stupid things.
They shout and mock and pick away
What’s left of childhood’s blossoms,
Scattering them foolishly in aimless paths.

I watch cats and boys with equal awe and confusion,
Wondering what magic recipe stirs us all about,
A mix of chaos and serendipity,
Bolting us headlong into the future
From this too brief interlude of,
Dare I call it,
Bliss?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Measure And Weigh


We are a people
Who measure and weigh,
Measure and weigh,
While the moment itself
Slips away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Am Dead Now


On the evening of the day before I died
I knew I was doing everything for the last time.

Not too much melancholy,
Not too much regret,
Not too much anticipation,
Just getting ready for a trip.

Consider these words,
Weigh them well,
Ask yourself how I knew.

Someday, you’ll know too.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Am


I am that which casts shadows.
I am a shadow.

I am a piano,
Unaware of the one who strikes my keys.

I am the letters on this page,
This thought,
This moment.

I am your disbelief.

I am the thickness of night,
Wrinkling the skin of old dogs,
Pricking the dreams of frightened children.

I am a voice,
Calling out to itself.

I am what answers.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Human Beings


Oh such comfort we draw
From the old religions,
The old words,
So divinely inspired.
We forget they were written down
By human beings,
So divinely inspired,
Doing their best to reveal
The mind of God,
The will of God,
The judgments of God,
Written down by human beings
Who are not and never will be,
Perfect.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Soon We Let Go


How soon we let go of love
For more practical pursuits.

A discarded hobby,
Love leans against a corner
In a dark closet,
Gathering dust.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Lovely Is Thy Mexican


How lovely is thy Mexican
Who keeps your garden green,
Who plants the flowers in the spring
Yet who is seldom seen.

Your friends and neighbors never fail
To praise your bounteous bower,
With butterfly and robin’s wing,
You pay five bucks an hour.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Riding


How alive this young girl
As she tenses lithe legs
Against her strong black stallion,
Shining with the sweat of speed.

Through the windy twigs of distant trees
I watch her pull against the reins
Stiff-backed,
Long hair streaming into the wind.

Now riding faster,
This chestnut-haired girl leans in close.

Pulsing together in full gallop,
They are ecstasy.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

House Of Cards


Our cherished way of life,
So recently contrived,
Defended with such vigor,
With such zeal,
Inspired by insecurity,
Knowing it is belief,
And only belief,
That keeps this house of cards
From collapse.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Can’t Explain Passion


I can’t explain passion,
And if I could,
I wouldn’t.

I can’t explain passion,
And if I would,
I shouldn’t.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Hard It Is


How hard it is
To repair the damage
Of an unlucky childhood,
To break the mold,
To reinvent the life
When all the anger
Still echoes.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Shadowed Man


The shadowed man hides in dark places,
Hidden from scrutiny by most,
But not from me.

I often walk through this village late at night
And I see him,
See where he sleeps,
A narrow patch of grass between two brick buildings,
Hidden by overgrown bushes.

I see his dark profile as I walk down a nearby alley.
He is not young, but I cannot tell his age,
Even on this moonlit night.
He moves in determinate ways,
Like one with years of practice in living without a home.

Of all the dark corners in this village
He has chosen well.
Close enough to shuttered restaurants and discarded food,
Barely visible only to the rare midnight wanderer.

There is something deep and dark about this man,
Something like a force field that surrounds him,
Charged with misery and anger.
He is lost in a smothering fog of regret.

I keep my distance,
Pretending not to notice
As he moves purposefully in the dark,
Doing something with his few possessions.

He frightens me and I wonder if he carries a knife,
Wonder if he kidnaps little children on their way to school,
If he has been in prison,
If he’s a wanted man.

I hear the clack of punctured metal,
The opening of a can.
He steps out from the shadows,
Into the moonlight,
Into an empty parking lot
Where a gray and black tabby races to greet him,
Tail high with affection and appreciation
For this guardian angel who brings dinner each night,
This shadowed man who has ventured out,
Into the light.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Inauguration Day



The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
~ Robert Frost

~ For Barack Obama's first inauguration



Today we have changed,
Moved ahead
In the midst of chaos and contention.

From the nebula where heavenly bodies are born,
Another light,
Formed from the turbulence of our universe,
Accreted from ignorance and wisdom,
Failure and success,
Made whole by compromise,
Revealed by honesty,
Another light
Ascends.

All the inspiring words
And clamoring crowds,
All the dire prognostications
And disillusioned multitudes
Cannot change the fact of our nation’s hope made flesh,
The fact of this inauguration day
That can not, will not, be wished away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Home


So many kinds of love,
And lust,
And love,
But when I first touched your hand,
I knew I was home.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here To Stay


My children who've grown older
Have moved away.

Now the children they once were
Are here to stay.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here, Now


Earth.
Heaven.
Hell.

Heaven and Hell.

Hell on Earth.
Heaven on Earth.

Heaven and Hell on Earth,

Here,
Now.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Bird Calls


These birds
Do not appreciate my impersonations,
The whistling,
The forced chirping through pursed lips.
They point their beaks at one another
And tilt their heads sarcastically
As I call:
Here birdy-birdy-birdy.

Incredulous,
They raise their eyes toward the treetops
And sigh,
Tiny puffs of air,
Ruffle a feather or two
And fly.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Enshrined


The light in her eyes when she sees her love
Illuminated beneath a streetlight,
Knowing their evening of romance has just begun,
Believing it has no end . . .

How quickly they come together,
So tightly embrace,
Looking deep into each other’s eyes,
A long kiss without caring who sees . . .

Their fingers entwine,
Their bodies stay close walking down the sidewalk
Into the enchanted night,
Arm in arm,
Heart in heart . . .

When I see them I think of you,
Of our eternal moments together,
Alive within me still,
Enshrined.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here On Earth


Here on Earth,
God sees through our eyes.
Here on Earth,
God works with our hands.
Here on Earth,
We are the conscience of God.

Yet you ask,
Why does God not see?
Why does God not act?
Where is God’s mercy?

Look within your heart.
You will find the answers there.

Each of us is called.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Defiance


I did not volunteer for this duty,
Sentinel of pain,
And in my lowest moments I protest,
Knowing such protestations do no good,
Yet anger feels appropriate,
If only to maintain some kind of balance,
Some kind of defiance.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Professorial


He may actually believe in philosophy,
That a systematic philosophical argument can prove God exists,
That the mysteries of the heart are susceptible to reason,
That he will awaken from distress by way of intellectual inquiry.

So much to consider as he continues his search,
Wandering through the labyrinth of postulation
So late into the night,
Alone and wide awake,
Missing her.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Is A Vibration


His pocket is vibrating,
On and off all day long
With messages of love
From his eager new girlfriend,
Vibrating with urgency
On his cell phone.

But he is at work
And cannot stop.
Besides,
The words don’t matter.
The vibration is enough.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Heidi Ho


There is a little dog I know
Her name is Heidi Ho.
She lives where the red grapes grow,
Where the gypsy boys moan low
With their squishy gypsy missies.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Heaven And Hell


Sometimes this peaceful suburban landscape
Seems like heaven.

I am momentarily reprieved
And the people in my tiny town glow,
Translucent arcs of light
Moving about their daily tasks.

We stop and talk a while.

Hell returns.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Wishing


A fountain sparkling with pennies,
A wishing well
Catches your eye
And for a moment
You consider finding a penny
And making a wish,
An impulse you quickly dismiss.

All those shiny pennies
Magnified by the rippling water,
Shimmering.
An illusion for children,
You think.
Too old for such foolishness,
You think,
No longer remembering what wishing is for.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Heart Of The World


I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

It was yours before I gave it to you,
Yours when you were lost,
Yours when you loved,
Yours when you cried.

I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

It is yours without my giving,
Yours when you are strong,
Yours when you are weak,
Yours awakening in you.

I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

Look!
Within your hearing,
Within your sight,
Within and without,
Everywhere,
It is the heart of the world,
And I give it to you.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Angelic


I used to think angels were perfect,
Unstained,
Untouched by human frailty,
Until,
In a low moment
An angel comforted me,
The kind of comfort only an angel could bring,
An angel who knows what it is to be human,
Who knows what it is to fail.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Past, Present, Future


Lust is easy to explain.
Biological,
Sociological,
Innate urges powered by repression,
By obsession.
Animal.

Yes, you awaken the stalking beast within,
But something transcends,
Filling me with your past, present, future.

I look into your eyes and see all the ages of your life,
All the ages of our lives together.

You look into my eyes and smile,
And though we’ve just met,
The past, present and future of our lives, assemble.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hate


If you are taught to hate,
If you embrace hate,
If you carry hate in your heart,
Then you will awaken each morning with hate,
Sleep each evening with hate,
Dream of hate.

Such a heavy burden,
This all-embracing anger,
This desire for violence,
This vengeance.

But when you dream of a perfect world,
When you imagine yourself in paradise,
Where is hate?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hangin’ Onto The Ozone


My feet don’t seem to stick
No more to the floor,
They don’t.

Oh sure,
I can walk down the street,
But I’m hangin’ on for dear life.

Any minute now
That street come slippin’ out from under,
Me hangin’ onto the ozone
So I don’t fall
All the way
To the moon.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Safe


First comes passion,
Then all the talking,
The explaining,
The rationalizing,
The figuring things out
While passion is silently put
Into the small golden box
With the other keepsakes,
Safe.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

After I Died


I am walking on a long, outstretched path,
Somewhere I’ve never been
Yet familiar somehow,
Past verdant bushes and trees,
New life sprouting, flashing from every direction,
Bushels of multicolored leaves,
Rainbows of sudden spring flowers,
Glistening gold and green painted hillsides,
Walking without destination
Yet toward something, large.

A promise?
A transformation?

I am walking alone
In the cool crisp air of morning,
Or is it evening?
No sense of time.
A yellow sparrow flutters down
A few steps ahead,
Deliberately attracting my attention,
Then hopping along with me,
Keeping a safe distance,
Leading me from her nesting place
Until we’ve traveled far enough away,
Then she is gone.

I am walking without destination
But something significant is happening.
I am changing in some undefinable way,
Transforming into something long wished,
A childhood dream.

Then,
Suddenly,
Without thought,
I rise and take flight.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Battlefield


It is certainty that contends
On the battlefields of just cause,
Justifying employments of war’s less noble deeds,
Accepting war’s indiscriminate consequences,
The plight of millions,
This persistence of terror.

We fight our way through centuries,
Through millennia.
We are little changed.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Guru


When my cat sits on my lap,
Forcing stillness upon me,
I hear the distant barking of a neighborhood dog,
The sudden chirping of squabbling birds,
Footsteps down the hall,
The ticking of a clock,
The whoosh of a passing car,
A door softly opened
Then closed,
An airplane,
The scratching of this pen against this paper,
The smell of ink,
The movement of my toes,
The tempo of my breathing,
The sudden absence of sound,
The weight of silence.

When my cat sits on my lap
She reminds me I am living in a world
Of sense and sensation,
My furry little guru.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hero


I do not want my son to be a hero,
Whose name will be read among the honored dead,
Who will be forever young in the picture that is hung
On his empty bedroom wall,
O dear God don’t let him fall
In battle and attack,
Please bring him safely back.

I do not want my son to be a hero.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Smothered


O my love you are constant
Yet incorporeal.
You have inhabited those I’ve loved
But their wills proved too strong,
Smothering you with petty practicalities.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Got No


I ain’t got no
Ain’t got no.
I ain’t got no
Ain’t got no.

No no no.
No no no.

Got no
Got no
No no no.

No no no,
Ain’t got no,
No got no,
Grammar.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

God's Little Figures


And it was said,
Let us make God in our image,
After our likeness,
And He shall have dominion over all the Earth,
And God we created he Him,
In our image,
From our spirit,
And we so exalted God
We came to believe He created we us,
In His image,
Individual and separate,
God’s little figures,
Made out of clay.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

God Dog


Once there was a small brown dog who loved God.
He loved God so much
He decided to change his name
To God,
God Dog,
The 1st.

Then,
He began to pee on the furniture
Without restraint.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

They Fall


One by one they fall,
While you,
So busy complaining,
Don’t notice them at all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Go Gently


Go gently into that good night
For it is no darkened sleep
That comes in the passing there,
No closing of the day,
No dying of the light.

Go gently into that good night
For you have received the gift
And have no need to complain.

Life goes on
In ways we cannot imagine.
Life goes on
In ways we cannot explain.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Give Me The Passing Stranger


Friends are delicate creatures
And require delicate care.
Give me the passing stranger,
My middle finger in the air.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Happiness Has Wings


Happiness has wings
Of dust
And light,
So fragile,
Just a thought
Can tear them from the sky.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Gentleness Has Gone


The gentleness has gone from our lives,
We are too busy for it now.
Our lives are loud, brash and bold
And our children grow up without parents,
Playing on cement.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Punishment


Can you imagine living a thousand years?
Every reflective thought
Awakening hundreds of painful memories,
An avalanche of regret.

I am nowhere near a hundred years old
Yet I struggle to resolve past indiscretions
With only limited success.
Try as I might, I cannot sanitize the truth of my past.
I cannot undo the injuries I’ve caused,
No matter how fervently I try to heal the wounds.

It’s not that my life has been without joy,
Without moral achievement,
Without love,
But a more mature honesty now calls me
To unrepress the intimate knowledge of my sins,
To face them honestly,
And,
At last,
Render the long-delayed verdict of my conflicted soul.

The punishment has already begun.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Just Happy, That’s All


Here they come,
A lady and her dog,
A diminutive dog,
Galloping to keep pace with his mistress,
His little legs a blur.

Here they come,
And I swear this little fluffy dog
Has a smile upon his face,
So happy to be out in the larger world
Beyond the backyard,
So full of energy,
While his mistress strides on determinately,
Talking on her small plastic phone,
Talking about a plan that fell through
And what she plans to do,
About it.

She doesn’t see me as I walk by.
She doesn’t see the fading orange of the dusky sky
Whose wind-whipped clouds paintbrush the horizon.
She doesn’t see the hillside shadows
Or feel the sudden chill coming on.
She doesn’t hear the evening chorus of chirping, chittering birds
Or even the sound of her own footsteps.

Her life is complex,
So many decisions that must be made.
She weighs them,
While her little dog trots jubilantly along,
Panting,
Smiling,
Just happy,
That’s all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Winter


Darkness,
Too early now,
Crushing,
Unmistakably mean.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Filling


When at last the lover leaves intensive care,
All is a fragile balance on the edge of relapse.
One must re-learn the enjoyment of simple things:

The bitter spark from a cup of coffee,
The sweetness of sugar on the tip of the tongue,
The penetrating warmth of the sun
Shimmering through the crisp afternoon breeze,
The pleasure of another hour,
Another day,
Filling, filling, filling
That dark and dangerous place
Where love was.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Game


The game’s no longer fun
After the game is won.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Free Fall


You and I are not content,
We want what we do not have.

We are acquisitive by nature,
A long line of hunter-gatherers.

We want what we want.

You and I will never be happy
Until we get what we cannot have,
For desire is a free fall.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

For Schopenhauer


Show me your sun-drenched sprigs of winter,
The juniper bug as he howls,
The rise and fall of oatmeal
In the misty dawn of a burgeoning wahoo!

Show me these things,
My sweet, bare-faced darling,
And I shall inherit your property
With the gay abandon
Of love’s lost moth at eventide.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Fly


Here,
In this beautiful world,
A fly is trapped in my house.

Trapped.

It's buzzing madly against the window glass,
Certain there must be an opening,
Beckoned by the light of the outside world,
The outside world,
Just a fraction of an inch away,
An impenetrable fraction of an inch.

Here,
In this beautiful world,
Where all things are possible,
This Garden of Eden where life explodes,
Where love and hate contend,
Where joy, real joy is actually possible,
A fly is trapped in my window.

I get a clear plastic cup
Reserved for such rescues
And capture the exhausted creature,
Gently sliding a square of cardboard beneath
To prevent escape.

Here,
In this dangerous world,
Where evil survives and babies die,
A fly was trapped in my house
And I opened the door,
And I let it go.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

First Impressions


Each person I meet starts out as God,
Then they almost talk me out of it,
But I know God is in there somewhere.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Epidemic


Addicted,
So easily,
So quickly to myriad petty attractions
Beckoning from these now ubiquitous devices,
Clutched so feverishly in hand,
Transfusing.

We are entranced,
Enchained as any needle-injected addict,
Beyond choice.

What hidden addictions were ever so omnipresent
Before this age of technological obsession?
Are we uniquely infected?

Is this new epidemic an interruption,
Or a harbinger?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Sympathy


I cannot help but feel sorry
For this little bird
On a limb
In the rain,
Who cannot help but feel sorry
For this tired old man
In a house
Who can’t fly.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Final Question


Such a relief,
To get past that final question.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Will


How long is a moment?
To a baby?
To a star?

Our lives are a collection of moments,
Falling through time,
Falling even through death,
All the way into eternity.

This place is a moment,
Even the universe is a moment,
For all that is not permanent will pass,
And all that passes is momentary.

So tell me,
What is permanent?

Everywhere I look,
Everything I learn,
All that I know tells me
The most permanent thing of all,
Will.

Even after our expanding universe is pulled apart,
Stretched into a soupy, cosmic protoplasm,
Some sort of microbe will struggle to exist,
To persist,
Either in this dilapidated universe
Or in some other, younger place.

It’s what pushes a single blade of grass
Out of the ground
Toward the light of our dying star.
It’s what awakens us each morning
And sends us out into this particular world.
It’s the most eternal thing I know,
Will.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The White Deer


After years in the forest,
Walking through the woods,
One snowy morning
A white deer,
So rarely seen,
Never seen by me,
A ghost in the clearing,
Not haunting,
A messenger,
A vision of my innocence
Before I lost faith with this world,
When the future was infinite,
When all things were possible.

There,
In the forest,
A motionless visage in the snowy woods,
A white deer,
Its penetrating gaze piercing my soul,
A ghost sent to remind me,
Telling me,
It’s not too late,
Never too late for reclamation.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Reassembly


In the middle of being busy,
Did you ever stop,
Struck suddenly by the feeling of meaninglessness?

I stopped,
And for a moment of extinguished hope
Contemplated the futility of my life,
Considered the finality of death that ceases all striving.

Then I made myself another cup of coffee,
Added a spoonful of sweet cocoa powder,
And felt happy holding this warm drink in my hand,
Returning to the tasks at hand,
All the many reasons reassembling.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Falling Asleep


When thoughts blur into one another
And edges soften,
Places lose their place
And words all run with so
For understand if nothing when
You startle awake,
Surprised you were asleep,
And awake is so uncomfortable,
A confusing dream,
And asleep is just fine
At last
For now in soft clouds
Where nothing is individual:
Good-bye . . .


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Falling


I pause for a moment,
Breathe deeply,
And try to consider my infatuation for you
In the cold, clear-headed light of reason,
And at last
I begin to see you as just another person.
I watch you from a distance
And see that you are not unlike others
Who come and go within my gaze
Without stirring my emotions so.

Then you see me and say hello.

I come closer and take your hand,
Look into your eyes,
And all reason disappears.

No direction,
No gravity,
No time of day,
Falling, falling, falling.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Failure And Success


What seems so clearly to be failure
Will turn out to be only part of what happened.
What seems so clearly to be success
Will turn out to be only part of what happened.
The story of your life is so much more complex
Than the simple words:
Failure,
Success.

Leave this shorthand to the obituary writers
Who are compelled to sum up a life
In cold, calculating column inches.

Do not dwell on failure.
Do not dwell on success.
Live in the heart of each moment
And behold the terrible majesty of it all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Is Not Like


My love is not like anything,
For “like” lacks the arrow of truth
That strikes the heart,
Sending electric pain through every synapse,
Pain that is not the love.

My love is not like anything,
For “like” lacks the chemistry of truth
That spikes giddy euphoria in the brain,
Euphoria that is not the love.

My love is the cause of effect,
Love which is not like anything,
But itself.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Exposed


It’s not in the words,
All the words we say to each other.
It’s not in the obligations,
All the obligations we place on each other.
It’s not in the memories,
All the memories we keep of each other.

It’s not in the past,
Not in the future.
It’s here,
In this moment,
In this embrace,
Exposed.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Was Flying


I was flying,
Swift and sure
With the lift of a hand,
A miracle on demand.

But more than the addictive bliss
Of flight,
Or the intoxication
Of height,
I was most proud
Of my position above the crowd,
Most proud
And most alone.
I was the only one.

Out of loneliness I descended
And flew closely by,
Urging all to try.

But not one would leave the ground,
So sadly I ascended
And flew once more above them,
Unnoticed,
Without sound.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Exercise Day


There he goes,
This pasty glob of goo,
Jogging a little,
Now walking,
His shorts too tight,
His T-shirt too small,
His head bowed and dripping with sweat.

It’s early Saturday morning,
Exercise day,
And he trudges down the street
In this quiet, upper-middle-class burb
Listening to music
Through tiny earphones,
The same exact music
He listened to thirty years ago.

It’s exercise day
And by God he’s going to make it
All the way around the misshapen loop
That belts his neighborhood.
He restarts a slow jog,
His floppy white hat is damp
From his sweaty, hair-challenged head.

It’s exercise day
And he is determined to run
The rest of the way home
Where he will reward his valor
With a piece of cake
In a bowl of milk.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Giving Up


Easier to give up on love,
Forget about love,
Than to wake each morning
With an ache.

I’ll start tomorrow.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Everything I Say Is A Lie


We’re all pretty much the same
Except for those who are different,
But then most of us are different once in a while,
Which makes us all pretty much the same,
Except for those who are only sometimes the same
And mostly different,
Along with those who will be different most of the time
After years and years of being mostly the same.

Some of the others will be the same as they were
And continue to shift back and forth,
While still others among them
Will sometimes be different and the same simultaneously.

Some will think they’re different yet remain the same,
While others will think they’re the same,
Not realizing how different they truly are.

Many will hardly think about these things at all.

As for me,
I guess I’m pretty much like everybody else,
Trying in vain to be the same,
Yet not really that much different at all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Enthusiasms


When we made love
You may not have anticipated
I would write it down
And send copies out into the world.

You may have thought
It was no one else’s business.

You are right,
Of course.

But I just can’t help myself,
Love’s enthusiasms being what they are.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Enough


I saw a boy riding his bicycle
Deep in some imagination
Without any bills or job or wife
Or children or war to worry about.

He did not know he was in heaven.
He did not need to know.
Being there was enough.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Long Meeting


Rehearsed expressions of passion
Go on
And on
While whispers scatter about
Like dead leaves blowing
Across a fallow field.

A man stands up and leaves the room,
Another stands and stays.

A woman too old for her curled wig
Follows her purse out of the room.

But most of us stay
And cough
And listen to the sound
Of a small airplane
Lifting someone high into night
Above the twinkling light
That looks so charming from afar.

Here we are.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Elders


How blurred our ancient lives
In the sure, fixed gaze of youth,
Our lives filled with suffering
And precaution.

Live now!
Shout the young,
And when they die
In some orgiastic frenzy of being,
We shake our heads and click our tongues
Knowingly,
As if we were never young,
As if we had never longed for flight.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Last Day


Pretend this is the last day of your life.
Really believe it.
Then, walk around in your life.
Examine this life you have made.

Look closely at the rooms where you live,
The pictures on the walls,
The empty spaces.
Look in drawers at random, scattered objects.
Listen to what each object tells you.
See the images each possession makes in your mind.

Speak with each member of your family,
Each friend,
Knowing these will be the last words you say to them,
The last words you will hear them say,
The last time you hear their voices,
See their faces.

Take note of the finality of each action
As you travel through minutes,
Every task you will never repeat
As you travel through hours,
The end of everything as the day hurries by.

See all you will never see again
Before the sun sinks below the horizon
And darkness fills every corner.
Hear all you will never hear again
Before the moon travels across the sky
And consciousness recedes as you slip into sleep.

Breathe in the delicious air that fills you with life
As the sound of your breathing slows,
Then stops.

~ ~ ~

Awaken tomorrow,
Surprised to be alive,
Filled with joy as you move through sunlit rooms,
Hearing the outside world awaken and begin again
In hopeful imperfection.

Think of all the friends and family you love,
Who are still here,
With you,
Who is still here,
With them.

Yes, you are still alive,
In your life,
In this world.

Now, embrace the grandeur of the greatest gift of all,
Another day.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Each And Every One


Life wears on us all,
Wears us down,
Wears us out,
Makes it hard to sleep,
Hard to get up in the morning
And do it all over again.

Long after it has worn out its welcome
The familiar calls us back,
Demands our attention
To the same old things,
All those things we thought we wanted,
An immortal monotony of routine,
The daily routine we've made.

Bored and burdened we are,
Full of complaints
In this garden of prosperity,
Just beginning to understand
That prosperity is never enough,
That each and every one of us,
No matter how high
Or low,
Each and every one of us
Must struggle against the slumber of the soul.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Exceptional


Whatever your ambitions,
The Guardians will say,
You Must!

Their years of experience,
Their successes,
Their failures,
All coalesce into certainty
About what Must be done.

Our libraries are full of certainty,
Centuries of prescriptive certainty,
Countless pages full of advice and warnings
You Must accept,

As if there were only a single path to each destination,
As if anyone could confine free will,
As if life were not,
At its very core,
Exceptional.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Drowning


Drowning in love.
Worse yet,
Dry land.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Dream-Killer


Take this dream,
Go ahead,
Take it and break it.
That’s what you’re good at
Mister Real World.
You take little dreams
Before they have a chance to grow
And scare them back into dark places
With your swagger and bluster.
You flail them with reason
And bludgeon them with precedent.

Scorn,
Derision,
Intimidation,
Unleashed!
Until at last the little dream,
Stilled and silent,
Dies.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Future Past


Our past was once the future,
Many years away from the melancholy glaze of reverence,
Many years away from the hallowed ground of institutionalization,
Feared by some,
Despised by others,
A threat to sacred rituals,
The demonized specter of change.

Those comfortable now in sameness,
Defenders of static conformity,
They might be hailed as visionaries
Were they catapulted back into antiquity
With beliefs and convictions intact,
Or perhaps burned at the stake.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Door Opens, A Door Closes


A door that was open,
Closes,
It fades into the wall,
Becomes the wall,
And you realize
You will never be
On the other side
Of that wall,
The other side
Where everything is different,
In the land of What Could Have Been.

Or maybe you walked through that door,
And then it closed,
Faded into the wall,
Became the wall,
And now you realize
You can never get back
To the other side
Of that wall,
The other side
Where everything was really okay after all,
Back in the land of Leave Well Enough Alone.

A door opens,
A door closes.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Compromised


The people I am
Contend.

The adult disciplines the child,
The child disdains the adult,
One too wild and unrestrained,
The other too boring and slow.

The lover resents the married man
So predictably encased in rote and routine behaviors.
The married man rejects the lover
So impulsively surrendering reason to emotion.

So many people I’ve been,
All contesting for dominance,
Not one even slightly satisfied with the mandatory compromise
That is this single human being.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Every Damn Day


OK,
So there is no Santa Claus
And there’s no Santa Claus god,
Because even though my neighbor with the new Mercedes
Swears God personally wanted him to have that car,
There’s all these little children,
Stricken,
Suffering,
Dying in droves.

So,
God says,
“You’re on your own Earthlings!”
But still we pray for just a little advice,
A hot tip:
“Come on God, just a hint?”
And maybe you get a revelation.

Me,
I just get a headache,
And no matter how hard I try
It’s the same old me,
Every damn day,
Still trying to have a meaningful conversation
With God.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Next?


Amphibians,
No so long ago.

What next?

More than what we make,
What we own.
Something undiscovered
About what we are,
What we might be,
Without device.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Do You Remember?


~ for Plato

Before words,
Before explanations,
Before memory,
Before appearances,
Before reactions,
Before culture,
Before environment,
Before your body,
Before your parents,
Before all your generations,
Before all of us,
Before everything,
Remember?

Do you remember?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Do Not Know


Look backward,
Look forward,
Then,
Know,
Then,
Do not know.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Discarded Lovers


We are discarded lovers,
Wandering the streets,
Our heads hung down,
Too discouraged to look anyone in the eye.

We try to keep busy,
Always something to do,
Another task to complete,
To cover up the absence.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Dictionary


A word
Silently waits.

Pages are turning,
Closer.

Blazing white light,
Sweet warm breath,
Blinking blue eyes.

Finger!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Deus Ex Machina


They’ve read all the big fat important books
And they want you to know,
You ain’t nobody
Until you know what they know.

Here on planet Earth
They think there are rules about these things,
And they want you to know,
You ain’t nobody
Until you follow the rules.

I say to hell with the whole damn bunch of ‘em.
Let ‘em stew in their own pot.
After all,
We ain’t talkin’ about somethin’
You could fit inside a test tube
Anyhow.

And just who was it exactly who appointed them
To tell me what to think?

You can give ‘em all Pulitzer prizes
‘Til you’re blue in the face
But that don’t mean nothin’ to me.

I don’t have to spend my entire life in the library
To know they just made it all up.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Definitions


We believe in definitions
Of definitions
Ad nauseum,
Alas.

We must have words,
But we layer our meanings
Like a hero sandwich,
Too big to get into the brain.

We forget the essential fact,
While labeling the labels
With the contrived clichés
Of the moment.

We have all become
So incredibly clever
We no longer know
How to tie our shoes.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Decisions


All the hours of anticipation,
The preparations,
Imagining his face,
His eyes,
So close.

You will wear your special perfume,
The dress that reveals the curve of your breasts.
You will touch his cheek with the palm of your hand
And say,
And say,
And say?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved