Poetry Drawer: On the Edge: The Gospel of the Delivery Man: Not Your Stooge: The Hare’s Lament: Zen Procrastination: That Ego Of Yours: Shadow People by Joseph Farley

On the Edge

I am not the one
To lead the herd,
The one that chooses the path
That leads to the cliff
And the necessary fall
And slaughter.

I would rather be the one
Who stays
At the edge of the herd
Watching and worrying
About the wolves,
And the men dressed in hides
That set fires, and fan the smoke.
No. I am not the one to lead.
I am the one to start to fight,
Or try to change the direction
Of the wind.

The Gospel of the Delivery Man

Pizza I give you,
And cash you give me,
Hopefully more
Than the price of the bill.

There has to be
A tip in there somewhere.
My wages are low
And barely cover
The cost of gas.

Someday with luck
And lottery tickets,
I will have a nice house,
Like you do,
And be able to send out
For food as well.

Until then, I shall dine
On oatmeal for breakfast,
A free hoagie
For lunch,
And the cheese fries
I forgot to give you
And you failed
To mention.

Not Your Stooge

No. I will not be
Your stooge.
I will be
My own buffoon,

Without need
Of eye pokes
Or theatre
Or television

The pratfalls
Will be real,
Known only
By those
Who chance
To be around.

The laughter,
If any,
Will be gathered
And kept in a can
To be served later
Along with
Cold duck soup.

The Hare’s Lament

No. I can not do it,
Fulfill the expectations
Required of me
To exist.

All this breathing
In and out,
Foraging on all fours,
The fear of things
With sharper teeth or beaks
And claws.

There has to be
A better way,
A life one could
Truly live.

I sense it out there,
A different incarnation
Worth living
Or dying for.

Zen Procrastination

Poetry is one of the ways
I delay dealing
With reality,
All those duties
And responsibilities.

Who needs them
And their
Anxiety ridden

The poet revels
In the now.
In the moment
All is glorious.

Let’s not talk
About later.
Later will be
A mess,

But possibly
Another opportunity
For poems
if we’re both lucky.

That Ego Of Yours

It is an ugly monster,
larger than your shadow.
It won’t stay behind you.
It wants to walk up front.
It obscures your vision
and the path you travel.

You wish you could
get rid of it.
You have tried.
You can’t.

Exorcised, it returns.
It only takes
a single compliment
to grow from nothing
to a looming mass
taller than
the Statue of Liberty.

When will you learn?
Never it seems.

“You could be so nice
if you weren’t
such an asshole.”

Shadow People

I do not fear the shadows.
That is where I hide best.
I watch the world of sunlight
And know it is not mine.
I dwell where the others are,
Vacant but not alone.
Where we are is where we must be
For our faces seem
Too horrible
For those who walk in the light,
But, as for ourselves,
We know we have value
And beauty of a kind.
Maybe the many
Cannot appreciate
Who or what we are,
But the strange
Will know the strange,
And recognize them
As kin,
No matter where they are
Or what their particular sin.

Joseph Farley has had over 1350 poems and 140 short stories published. His 11 poetry collections include Suckers, Her Eyes, Longing For The Mother Tongue, and Yellow Brick Pilgrim. His fiction books include Labor Day, Once Upon A Time In Whitechapel, Farts and Daydreams, and For The Birds.

You can find more of Joseph’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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