A Day is not the measure
Of my living
A failure sets no standard on my worth
Moments blowing into moments
Set my drift
And threaten to gutter my candle.
I’ve managed a life
Without Rock and Roll.
No, metal, no grunge, no acid.
Beatle intrusion only by chance.
Never swayed at a rock concert.
Own nothing by the Rolling Stones.
Can’t sing lyrics of the Doors.
Don’t care if Elvis has left.
Sat at a dinner last night
Listening to collective awe
At groups I did not know
And was content.
Six unread books are stacked beside me.
folktales from a century ago.
Wordy chocolates that I will savor
Once I finish reviewing
Your tasteless offering.
Die Creatures Die
Our ancestor’s creations- trolls and elves, witches and vampires
Suited for eras of privies and kings, and light from candles,
not device screens.
Now we blend the features of creatures into movie granola and munch
But for us interconnected, Old Mr. Gruesome looks and tastes
like comic book paper.
We need new creatures to help us scream, not werewolves,
that’s just gross.
We need vicious imogees that crouch behind our screens
and frustrate gratification.
For the spoiled are never satisfied and need to personalize
There is a moment in a solitary meal
when I’m bored with my thoughts
and the waitress has deserted me.
The food is bland and the mind is hungry.
I stretch my listening like sucker vines
to close-set tables with spoken words,
and take a seat at their conversations
so I can share moods and judge lives
by what’s said over mashed potatoes.
An old couple exchange quiet insults
that they’ve repeated for decades.
no defense necessary or expected.
The software trainees talk mods and gaming,
clothing themselves in just-learned jargon,
while struggling to program their lives.
The young couple, not sure
if they’re with the right person,
awkwardly skate on slippery banalities.
I retreat to my own thoughts
More comfortable in lonely doldrum
Than in communal malaise.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had a hundred fifty stories and poems published so far. His collected fairy and folk tales, The Witch Made Me Do It was published by Gypsy Shadow Press. His novella The Witches’ Bane was published by World Castle Publishing, and his collected fantasy and horror stories, Capricious Visions was published by Gnome on Pig Press. Ed’s currently working on a paranormal/thriller novel tentatively titled The Rule of Chaos. He works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors