Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mike Finley

THREE POEMS

Toothbrush

My brother and I peed into the toilet,
our streams dueling one another,
the amazing hydraulics of a 7 and 9 year old.

Then we brushed our teeth and Pat bumped me
and my toothbrush sprang into the unflushed water.

If we flushed away the evidence it might
break our grandparents' pipes.
If they came upon it they would surely be annoyed,
and I had made up my mind
I was not going in after it.

Grandpa Lawrence, thin and diabetic,
stood in the doorway and without a word
knelt and retrieved the dripping toothbrush.

We'll get you a new one, he said quietly,
and rinsed his hands.
We didn't know he was a farmer and lived his life in piss.

But we gaped at each other, the way kids do,
realizing someone was wholly on our side.


Kansas & Arkansas

Spring flows all around us or ought to
each field of corn is taut
with arrows and bows
Our hands can't contain
the gifts we are given

We subsisted on shucks
and gathered in sheaves

Blind as corn and armed
to the eyes
Stethoscopes hang from every ear
Everyone craves
the combination

In all this flatness we
keep needing to jump


Dukkha
in Buddhism, the inevitability of suffering

Some folks have to live in shit
Others live next door to it

No escape and if there is
The 'suffering of no suffering' is his

The pain of unfeeling, not being at all
A cavity that swallows the soul

So do not envy the next guy's grass
Everyone gets it up the ass


© Mike Finley 2012

Mike Finley is a Pushcart winner -- not a nominee! And he lives in St. Paul, where he operates a small foundation helping Mpls punks in trouble

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