All these little armageddons

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Planet, again – By Mark A. Harrison

This one seemed apt, given the way the world stage is set these days

All these little armageddons
that happen every day
just a taste of the apocalypse
in your own special way
When the world comes crashing down
and your friends have all left town
and the oracles have nothing left to say

Do you trip the light fantastic
before the final end?
Do you go out with a bang
or with a whimper?
Do you take them all down with you
or make the demons your best friends?

Oh, you’ll find out just how far that you can fall
and you might think that it’s not far at all
but it’s always so much farther than you think

So why not take a little drink
a little sip of strife and chaos
why not blow the status quo to smithereens?

Because deep down you still remember
a certain Sunday in September
and the way a certain hand once felt in yours

You’ll see her face on every stranger’s face
and even when you find a place
you think that you can finally be alone
you know you’re never truly on your own

Until the day there’s nothing left but skin and bone
and the shadow of a heart, like an echo, or a mark
left smoking in the wake
of a nuclear storm.

– T.H. (’08)

Flying with crows

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Oil & Light by Mark A. Harrison

flying with crows

I sometimes imagine
I’m flying with crows
over autumn fields
and deep river valleys
telephone wires catching
the last of the evening sun
shining white mercurial fire
against the slate dark sky
hills lying like a giant’s body
elbows crooked, cradling a head of stone
how long does it take
for forests to grow up and cover
this still sleeping form?

I don’t believe in miracles
or divine intervention
the universe is what it is
but if I could find the market
where they sell time
I’d find the merchant with the cold, dead eyes
the one who never smiles
and while his back was turned, I’d steal
as much as I could carry;

I hold onto each year like it’s a ledge that’s crumbling
I want to reach out and strangle time
want to steal more than I’m allowed
I have so much more I want to do
but someone cut the brake lines
and here I am, reaching out for anything
to grab onto, to stop this insane headlong rush
I’d write myself a thousand lifetimes, if I could.

– T.H.

(a shortened, edited version of a poem I wrote when I was eight years younger than I am now)

Writing the World Away

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Kiss 3 by Mark A. Harrison

Nothing like 1800 words of freshly written prose to put a spring in your step on the way home.

This is what I live for: when writing a scene is like bringing life from the void, only it’s easy, and the only thing stopping you is the low battery warning, and looking up to see that the baristas are sweeping up because the cafe is about to close for the night, and thinking that maybe you might want to let your spouse know you’re still alive before it gets pitch black outside, then walking home in the gloaming under the street lights with all the spring blossoms shining like small stars and thinking, yes, I can still do this.

Now if I can just make a habit of this, the next two years (minus a month) might seem like an ever-so-slightly smaller version of eternity.

Ancient Matters

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ancient matters

elephant cousins
creating bastions
in the damp loam
weaving shrouds
to cover their dead
slide themselves through
the ebb and flow
of the long grass
they can be silent
when they choose to be
respect for the ancestors
no misconceptions here
only history

-T.H.