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TWO POEMS: ‘Syria’ and ‘Grocery List’

Two poems by John K. Lawson, commenting on war and complacency.

dangling like a wire coat hanger

silence fidgets in a borrowed room

the composition of headlights refract

across checkered pastel walls


rows of empty bottles and duct tape

cast shadows resembling cracked angels

painted over a Modigliani masterpiece


time gnaws within


a few hours before

these tourists arrived to escape

the compulsion of semi-precious convictions

now bound and speechless

with all imagination lost

they crouch like painted paper dolls

blood lacking painted smiles


time gnaws within


fleeting moments build

as masked hoods flip through the channels

to stare in oblivion at their lack of news

sunk in contemplation

out of borrowing more time

with sweaty brows stumbling along unlit corridors


on a phone

fingernails rap in tweeting annoyance

a slow and deliberate anger exposed

ready to explode in a strange dusty world

unable to understand negative vibrations

create turbulence within itching bones


time gnaws within

gunshots to the head

moribund reminders to confuse

crossword puzzles and scratch offs


debates wither into self-absorbed likes

as dignity dangles like a wire coat hanger

lodged between innocent eyes

missing the return ticket

on an empty coat rack


*     *     *


Grocery List

Can a poem reach out and help save a life?

Can broke verse make for a healthier place?

For example what if i list food companies using Monsanto toxic chemicals

does writing such a tome represent quasi radical?

Either way I am going to make a list before cows become castles

before another pig eats its own brains

before another child is poisoned

— Note to the reader

this list is rather mundane

unfit for any refrigerator

be aware if the rhythms seem apathetically corny

it is a cheap trick i learned in school—

So here we have Aunt Jemima and Quaker

Betty Crocker and Bisquick mixed in with General Mills and Duncan Hines,

Jiffy and Ms. Butterworths mold with Pepperidge Farms and Campbells,

Post Cereals blend in with Phillip Morris tobacco who now owns Kraft foods.

Hershey’s Nestle is now selling you water with Carnation and Holsum

Interstate Bakeries stir fries with Best Foods and Knorr.

Nabisco and Nature Valley are alongside Kelloggs and Pillsbury

Heinz and Hellmans chasing with Hunts.

KC Masterpiece joins Frito-Lay and Pepsi,

Delicious Brand Cookies swirls with Famous Amos Keebler/Flowers Industries

Banquet and Green Giant Somehow join Healthy Choice

ConAgra and Kid Cuisine are laced with Stouffers Lean Cuisine

Marie Callenders runs with Smart Ones and Power Bar Brands

Chef Boyardee and Hormel Loma Linda and Morning Star blend with Lipton Unilever

Uncle Ben’s Rice-a-roni Pasta-roni Tombstone Pizza and Totinos

Contain the same amount of poison as Pringles and Pop Secret.

Orville Redenbacher Proctar and Gamble and V-8

Work well together with Coca Cola and Cool-aid

Minute Maid Cadbury/Schweppes throw up the rear

All mixed together with Prego Pasta and Ragu sauce

Leaving me with little else to say

except perhaps we are what we eat

and god knows we eat a lot.


The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.