What would you eat

The meal was a Green Tea Rice,
You did not like it, dirty looking,
Miso, seaweed in a broth with octopus,
Sashimi, temaki, chirashi, maki sushi,
Not something one should eat, ever,
The meal was traditional Japanese.
I thought, if this was all there was,
What would you eat before you died?

What do you know

Far from sky and earth
passing galaxies of neurons
through a vast pallium void
there is a tranquil place
shimmering with rainbow colors
feeding creations’ furnace
a place that beckons
flirting with natures’ meaning,
a place that knows no master
nor is itself a master,
it lies so distant, yet
complete a circle of being
and it is there, barely awake,
incomprehensible, tolerant,
holding within all that can be,
cerebrum volute dreams of forever,
what it knows is unknown,
there to be freely taken, if only
we would open its door.

©2013, Donald Harbour


It is its name

There is a thing in my life,
a thing I do not call by a true name.
Giving it recognition is undo cause
for it to raise its ugly head.
Admonition of its feral existence
removes the curtain of denial.
Coping with it requires refusal
a non acceptance of incisive struggle.
It has chosen the battle ground
my corpus its Flanders Fields.
I do not taste the poison of cordite
nor is the flesh torn by razor wire.
Yet it assaults me from within
a bellicose consuming conflagration.
We have this circumspect relationship
though it has definitive shape and place.
It does know its mindless meaning
but, I know what it is and – It is its name.

©2012, Donald Harbour

What you don’t eat can kill you

Darn, I got it on my hand
And I flung it on the floor,
Reached out to steady myself
And smeared it on the door.
Slipping on a piece of it
I fell and hit my head,
Had to go to the doc
And spent a day in bed.
Then, an odor so distinct
Came wafting down the hall.
Someone was surely cooking
The stuff the made me fall.
I put on my house shoes
Dressed up in a woolen robe,
Stormed out of the bed sheets
Stumbling through my dark abode.
There in the kitchen
Staring up from a frying pan,
Was the same little critter
That had stuck to my hand.
It bubbled in its juices
Among onions and garlic too,
Sliced and diced little pieces
Of white and grayish blue.
Then it occurred to me
This was an appropriate fate,
So I gathered up a knife and fork
Scooping a portion on my plate,
I sat down with a jug of wine, and
Every bite of that damn squid I ate.

©2011, Donald Harbour

A psychologist’s dream

(Ole Doc Harry Manes wrestles with his demons)

Dreams in the world of Neither Now,
Are fleeting glimpses into a place dark and foul.
Where slumber climbs a well-worn stair,
Toward light above clinical despair.
Gosh, is his companion in times of pain,
For in wakefulness or sleep he calls its name.
A sturdy steed in sparkling brace,
Knowing eyes set in a thoughtful face.
Ole Doc Manes battles upon his charge,
With imagined demons hairy, scary and large.
A nightmare joust toward dreaded meet,
On a field where minion other Docs compete.
Far out on the edge of the misty horizon,
Dark knights wait with swords tipped in poison.
Alone but for faithful Gosh astride he waits,
For Hell to open the medical paper gates.
To loose the hounds, ears laid back on matted mane,
To hear their bark with breath of insane.
To see the dark knights armor shimmer in call,
For him to gather up his mace, his pike and maul.
The air is split with battles raucous thunder,
In a start Ole Doc Manes awakes from dream filled slumber.
And sitting there in the gloom alone,
He peers into the room of his castle home.
Listening to the kingdom sounds from without,
He is comforted from the dream caused doubt.
Now the knights of that nightmare play,
Are bared of their armor in the dawning of day.
Maslow, Freud, Rorschach, even you obnoxious Beech,
“I know each of you,” he sighs with relief.
Gathering the magic keyboard from his North Carolina desk,
He smiles his knowing smile full of mirth and jest.
Out goes a message in plain English email,
A formula for success so no psychologist minion will fail.
A tale dreamed briefly for them to aspire,
By a psychologist practiced in making smoke without fire.
“If you need help battling that which you cannot see,
Get in touch with me by fax, direct call, or toll-free.”
Scribbled in characters forming the magical words,
Ole Doc Harry’s thoughts are steeped in adjectives and verbs.
So the incantations will be tested in trial,
He laces the info with Camp Henry intellect and guile.
Yes, the Doc has triumphed with Alfred Adler nosh,
Delivered for psychologists by Doc Manes and his steed “Oh my Gosh.”

©2011, Donald Harbour

Beached whales

Summer has arrived early
Its forging hammer slamming earthward
A furnace breath sears the living
Sucking the moisture from leaves
Everywhere the heat shimmers
Undulating ribbons of reflections
This parched ground is dormant
Its life tallow hardened
The grass has given up
Only some green tips show
The rest stunted straw men
The sun a white hot globe
It does not know mercy
Heating the barely breathable air
Living creatures suffer inhaling
Birds refuse to pierce the sky
The azure blue now a blistering lens
On the lake shore there are bodies
Beached and oiled human whales
They fry in the ultraviolet oven
Soaking up vitamin D morphing
Becoming desiccated melanoma vessels
Lobsters steaming in the lake water
Scorched blondes, tanned brunettes
Fat men and skinny pimpled teenage boys
No mercy, no mercy for any of them

©2011, Donald Harbour

I dream of those stumps

I have heard the vile rotten tripe,
Convoluted reasoning spewed,
Seen the decimation of humanity.
Hands do not wave above the arms,
They are only bloodied stumps,
What is left, the machetes work.
The President of Sudan speaks,
A sweaty bloated brow on TV,
He says: “There is no trouble here.”
His greed compounds the lie,
Savagery is the terrible coin paid,
His words the bitter gall of deceit.
The world watches, fascinated,
Tsk, tsk, how sad!
These people have nothing we want.
What price a human soul?
Not the drought forsaken Darfur sand,
Fleas upon the ground these humans.
Leaders debate, cajole each other,
Sell arms, machetes, live in comfort,
The devil spawn is in control.
The severed hands desiccated,
Once they held babies, each other.
The earth consumes the blood seed.
Evil faces cross the parched ground,
Invoking their god’s name,
In the name of religion,
Their proselytizing murder
Opens the great maw of hell.
As the innocent wither and die,
Creation is lessened and humanity
Moans for a redeemer, a savior,
But there is none, there never will be.
A union of greed and religious zeal
The hearts of all nations unforgiven.
They have circled their wagons against truth,
Mighty nations have forgotten responsibility
Their people have become the Godless .

© 2011, Donald Harbour

Little things can drive you crazy

The first time I saw them
they didn’t seem to be there
but, there they were. Shadows and wisps
like trails of smoke from a camp
fire. They left no impressions
just visitation. Their little tracks
hard to catch with the eye, hard to
see in the flash of a second, yet
as I write there is one now. Spirits of
age gliding at the periphery of vision.
I thought I was going crazy, being
driven mad by some unknown challenge
to my sanity. When I sat quietly, musing
about life one would jump into my
awareness startling me, snatching
at me for attention then, “bama lama
ding dong,” it was gone, disappeared.
Even when I closed my eyes they would
drift across the retina or was it
a hurried neural flight through ganglia?
One cannot know such things as fact,
not until you are subjected to their
nagging appearance. I went to my local
MD pill pusher for help. A cur dog slinking
into his office with tail tucked between
my legs. Waving me into an examination
room I saw streamers fly off his fingertips.
The fear in me said, “beware he may be
their master.” I was barely able to choke
back the urge to fall prostrate on the clinic floor
grabbing the hem of his medical smock and
adorning it with sloppy tear filled kisses.
Such is the life of a grown man fawning for
relief from mental peril. After receiving the
obligatory examination of all my orifices
doc proceeded to obliged me nodding and smiling
through my explanation of my predicament.
Why is it that my near hysterical ranting would
give him amusement? “Can ya hep me doc, hep,
hep me doc?” “Why, sure can pilgrim, floaters.”
If you are over fifty, you know about floaters.
They are those little voices you hear when you
are all alone, only they are visual voices and
they are with you all the time, for life. Docs
advice, “deal with it.” Damn there’s a whole
family of them strolling across my left eye.
“Hey guys, I can’t say your visit is welcome.
Are you staying long?”

Copyright: 2010, Donald Harbour

The Battle of Germ Alley

A tiny flu germ found me the other day,
As through the air it floated on its way.
I didn’t ask it with me to abide,
But with in hours it was at home inside.
Now I’m not rude nor am I a bore,
Though it out stayed its welcome as my throat became sore.
It seems it was a germ geologist by trade,
And being rocky ground my throat is where it stayed.
I coughed and sputtered in an effort to move it out,
It invited headache and fever to help with the bout.
They decided to start a new country, a germ colony,
Their unexploited kingdom they voted to be me.
In panic I ran to my bottled army awaiting on the shelf,
To put an end to this upstart kingdom with in myself.
I sent out Sir Aspirin – he charged through my heart,
They rusted his armor before he got a good start.
Then puny stomach showed up in the feud,
So into the fight came a potion I brewed.
“Ah ha,” cheered the germs as my brigade came to sight,
“Fresh meat, our settlement really feasts tonight.”
Down went my soldiers without even a dent,
On those unwelcome strangers, no blood could they vent.
In desperation, lest I be consumed by the germ tide,
Penicillin and teramiacin were invited inside.
They flanked my gullet, their charges were fast,
Over the foe they soon trampled in triumph at last.
Now where a colony in shiny mucus once lay,
My body has awakened to a far brighter day.
No words were spoken for the germs that were smote,
You see, the doctor on his bill the germ’s epitaph he wrote.

©1986, Donald Harbour