Why One And Not The Other?


Easier to understand when we were animals,
Savages,
Without the grace of modern civilization,
Without protection,
Easier to understand the random hand of fate,
Pulling one down,
Pushing another up.
But now,
When so many millions are safe,
When so many millions are not,
I have yet to discover,
Why one and not the other?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Friend


I saw a young man smiling yesterday.
He looked like you,
When you were young,
When you were happy,
When most of life’s deadlines were so far away,
When time itself was a mirage.

This young man ,
Filled with some kind of impermeable confidence
About the future,
His future,
A confidence you lost somewhere along the way,
So many doors closed,
Closed and locked.

I saw a young man smiling yesterday,
Reminding me of how long it’s been
Since I’ve seen you smile,
Now that the inevitable consequences of your life,
Multiply.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Knew


If I knew
This free-flowing bubble of time
In which I live
Was eternal,
A time machine that only advances
While all around me gently falls away . . .

If I knew
I was this ethereal being
Who would survive the ages,
Bear witness
To the unfolding destiny of the universe . . .

If I knew all this and more,
I would still want pancakes for breakfast.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Some Small Happy Thought


We must find joy
In this world of sorrows
Where the wounds grow deeper,
More permanent,
Every day.

We must find some small happy thought,
Each day,
Some small happy thought,
And smile.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Why Men Lie


Because she wore a spring dress
With a long open back,
Revealing the graceful arch of her spine,
The soft cut of her shoulder blades
Beneath the supple silken blanket
Of her burnished bronze skin,
Because she wanted to be admired
And so she smiled,
Because youth has not left her,
Because youth has left him
And the pleasures of aging
Have yet to reveal themselves,
Because at every turn old age is advancing
And he is not ready,
Because he does not want to die:

This is why men lie.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Whole


When you touch me,
Although we are not yet lovers,
When you touch me,
Though we have not known each other long,
When you touch me,
Although you have not said “love,”
When you touch me,
When you take my hand,
Something fits.

Something that was alone,
Wandering,
Is home,
Whole.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Whither


Cheese from a rat is like soap for a hog,
You can’t write your mother by using a log.
A nose is indifferent to all that is art,
The opera’s a good place to rip loose a fart.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Men, Old Women


Old men,
Old women,
Need to be touched,
Caressed,
Lovingly embraced.

Returning from where we came,
We are as uncertain,
Frightened,
As we were in the beginning.

No loving mother guides us
Into the place of letting go.
We are left alone to contemplate
Our journey,
And contemplation fails.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Where Is Your Quiet Place?


Where is your quiet place?
Where you get away from the busy world,
Where no one interrupts your train of thought,
Where you get off the train.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When You're In Love


When you’re in love,
Surrounded and infused by love,
When it’s all so new and electrifying,
Commanding your thoughts,
Changing your habits,
Making you forget to do all those things
You were doing just to keep busy,
Inspiring you to buy little gifts,
Write confessional messages,
Work so much harder on your appearance,
Memorize romantic quotations,
Speak personally to angels,
Forget to breathe,
Fall asleep dreaming,
And each morning the first thing you think of
Is your loved one’s name.

When you’re in love,
No one can explain it away.
No one can tell you it’s only infatuation,
For whatever name anyone may call it,
It’s a reason to live.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When You Think About It


When you think about it,
Most of our lives consist of moving our bodies
From one place to another,
Performing tasks.

All the real adventure
Takes place in the mind.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When The Lights Go Out


Every evening
When the lights go out,
When the streets are dark,
When everything you own is drained of color,
When you are ready for sleep
In the black invisibility of your room,
Now you know
How far you’ve come,
How far you have to go.

Now you know
The only thing you truly own.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When The Light Shines Down


When the light shines down
I’m gonna feel so lucky,
Gonna feel so nice,
I’m gonna be a big tipper
When the light shines down.

When the light shines down
And I got money in my pocket,
Friends callin’ on the phone,
I’m gonna get down on my knees
And say: Thank You Lord!
Thought this day would never come,
The day the light shined down.

I almost gave up the dream,
Gettin’ so darn mean,
But then the light shined down
And showed me the way,
Hallelujah!
That’s what I’m gonna say.

Say it quiet,
Say it loud,
Say it humble,
Say it proud,
Or I may not make a sound,
Just jump around,
When the light shines down.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Stepping On A Rat


It was a day full of lizards,
Then,
Early that evening,
I stepped on a rat.

The day’s warmth foreshadowed summer,
Bringing out multitudes of sunbathing lizards,
One doing push-ups as I walked by,
Signaling his claim to a particular brick atop the garden wall.

I stepped cautiously around the basking reptiles,
Intentionally scaring some from the center of the sidewalk
To warn them of the peril from passing pedestrians.

As evening came on I forgot about the lizards,
Now surely in retreat as temperatures fell.
I walked more confidently,
Free from concern for lounging lizards underfoot
When I saw a sudden shadow,
A brief glimpse of a furry young rat,
Startled by my footsteps,
Dashing errantly toward me as I put my foot down,
Ever so gently,
Feeling it underfoot.

My reaction time was acute as I quickly withdrew my step,
A day of stepping lightly around lizards
Having trained and prepared me.
The rat scurried off with no apparent harm,
Knowing now what so many lizards had learned
Just a few hours before.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Sun Will Return


The sliver of this crescent moon
In this darkening evening sky
Promises the sun will return,
But will I?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Birdsong


Even the finest words
Fall away
In early morning birdsong.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When The Dream Dies


When the dream dies,
Extinguished by reality,
Then,
Cherish the dream.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When The Demons Take Over


What do you do
When the demons take over?
Do you rant and rave,
Do you become a slave?

How clearly wrong
It all seems the next day
With your appetite sated,
Your lust abated.

What new resolutions
Do you promise to keep
As you pull yourself out
From the dark and the deep?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When She Says, I Love You


When she says,
I love you,
I awaken to the world.

I see the exquisite tracery of trees against the hills at sunset,
The rich hues of hills against the mountains,
The full measure of mountains against the sky,
The amber soaring sky against heaven.

I hear voices speak inside myself,
The voices of all who pass by,
All so kindhearted and friendly now.
I understand the language of dogs and birds,
Of babbling babies pushed along in strollers.
They smile and greet me,
Saying: Yes, yes!
It is wonderful to be loved!

I feel the edge of evening coming on now,
So cold against my cheeks.
Oh God,
The rapture!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Quiet Moments


These quiet moments
When alone I become my truer self,
My unguarded self,
Finger in nose,
Unrestrained flatulence,
Indelicate scratching,
Cursing trivial inconveniences
With profane language I would never use
In the presence of family or friends.

These quiet moments,
Beset by erratic, uncaged thoughts,
Past-life recriminations,
Indulgent, forbidden impulses.

This hidden core,
This embryo untouched by civility,
Unbound,
Disdainful of all my life’s accumulated lessons,
Disconnected from the cloak of identity I have made.
This dark beast will not die.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When My Children Are In Bed


When my children are in bed
And story time is through,
Sitting in my easy chair
A certain sadness comes.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When I Pray


When I pray,
First,
I turn off all my electronic devices,
And,
Put my list of things to do aside,
Then,
Close my eyes and ask.

After a while,
I stop asking
And listen.

It takes time.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Something Eternal


I can easily see the second hand move
But no matter how long I stare
The minute hand seems stationary,
The hour hand frozen.

In the mirror
I am the same as yesterday,
Yet the photograph is surprising.
I have aged.

Yes, I see wind-blown clouds changing shapes,
Time-lapsed flowers unfolding,
Water that comes to a boil,
Still,
There is something eternal inside,
Surprised at the passing of time.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When?


Where did you go?
What did you do?
How many voices are talking to you?

When do you stop?
When do you say:
Now I must put all these voices away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Place Is This?


A troubled sleep,
Two hours till dawn I stumble
Down dark hallway fumble
With dead bolt,
Finger keyhole like braille,
Unlock and open
The back door.

Out in moonlit yard
Away from torment of tangled dreams
I breathe in the sharp chill of night.
In,
Out.

The solace I seek is broken
By the waterfall roar
Of cars and trucks and cars
On not distant freeway,
This small place where I live encircled,
Entwined
With people in pursuit.

What place is this
Place of no rest,
No stopping,
What place is this?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Might Have Been


What might have been,
What might have been,
Such a silly game,
As if you could take the impossible
And give it a possible name.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Men Want


When I see her
I hold myself a little tighter,
A little straighter,
Appearing more attractive,
Flexing all appropriate muscles,
Contracting all inappropriate flab,
Making myself desirable,
For she is my sweetheart heartthrob
Honeybunch sex machine
And I want her,
This girlish saint whore
Athletic fashion model intellectual.

I want her.
Now.

I am enraptured by her thin boyish
Sharp-shoulder-bladed frame,
Her overexposed unashamed voluptuous fantastic flesh,
Her long short medium-length hair,
So glossy black chestnut brown honey blonde pumpkin red
Curling straight.

I am lost in her mysterious bold naive uninhibited forbidden
Eyes of swimming pool blue chocolate bar brown
Charcoal briquette black London fog gray
Emerald chameleon green banana tree hazel.

She walks toward me away not moving,
This short long-legged tall small woman girl,
So delicate and strong.
She sees me and smiles
And I am hers,
All over town.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

What Love Is Like


I am lying in a yellow field,
An endless summer day
With nothing to do,
Cradled by the gentle tugging of this earth.

I am alone,
Home is near,
A hawk soars and falls,
Someone I love
Calls.

I am running through golden stalks of wheat
As fast as I can,
My feet leave the ground,
I rise and catch the wind,
I am flying.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

You Did Not Return My Shovel


You did not return my shovel.
I really need it bad.
You left and took my shovel.
It’s made my life so sad.

It was my only shovel.
I had it all these years.
I own no other shovel.
My tool shed sheds such tears.

I can see it now,
Shining in the sun.
Glowing in the rain.
O my lost shovel,
Causes me such pain.

I am cold in the night
Cause my shovel’s not in sight.
How can I carry on
When my shovel’s lost and gone?

Someday when you’re in hell,
You’ll know the reason why.
You horked my beauty shovel,
And digging made you die.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved