Category Archives: poetry

Herding

Lie back onto the grass.
Prop your back against the rock.
Do not mind the sheep,
the dogs will watch them.
The air is hot and still,
but the wind will touch your face,
sing quietly in your ears.
Feel the grass against your skin, both soft and sharp.
Feel the rock against your back, telling stories.
Feel the earth under your fingers, sustaining you.
Forget the sheep; they are only an excuse.
Forget the dogs; they know what they are doing.
You and the rock will become one.
The grass will take you to itself.
You will not be alone.

— by Lawrence W Seeley Jr.

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Dress-up Soldier

I have been a wife, twice.
and I have worn
both husbands’ clothes,
yes.

But the frayed, gray
army sweatpants, brown
T-shirts, faded
cammies & spit-
shined boots –
those are mine.

Or were. They are rags
gone to memory now.
Still …

Battle dress is different;
not like normal clothes.
It cannot be borrowed,
or assumed,
or appropriated.

Uniforms can only be earned.

Please do not wear
that outfit

if you, yourself, have
not broken in the boots.

(Camouflage isn’t comfortable,
and gods know
it isn’t cute.)

But it means something
that is not
transferable.

by Karen M. Seeley,
copyright 2014

train trestle

Hard to Find

This world is worse than cruel, and lags behind
Its men and women chasing after gold –
Today is bleak, and you are on my mind.

I dream deep forests, called from days of old
But wake to car-choked streets and news of deaths.
(This world is worse than cruel, and lags behind.)

Today is bleak, and you are on my mind.
Red lips and dark lines signal, everywhere –
Comfort and surcease are hard to find.

Noise and reason ’gainst each other grind;
Gears catch their edges, stutter, spark and bind.
This world is worse than cruel, and lags behind.

Those dreams of gold shine brightly to the blind
Populace. We run against the times –
Today is bleak, and you are on my mind.

We eat the world in nibbles, to the rind,
Then turn and pitch the skin into the trash.
This world is worse than cruel, and lags behind.
Today is bleak, and you are on my mind.

(August 2014)

Seeley: Epiphany I

Epiphany I

In the room with black windows

pieces of dust gather together

discussing their purpose

I eavesdrop straining to hear

the whispers escape into silence

the walls hold themselves up

no one can tell the color of anything

— L.W. Seeley, Jr.

Triptych [smallpox blanket]

Three little girls lined up in
A row. Their father
Towers in terrible wrath.

“Did you do it?
Or you?
Or you?”

The girls, near-mute,
Look sideways at
Each other. Who

Did it this time?

“Swear on the Bible.
Put your right hand
On the book,
And swear.”

We all swore
Our innocence
Though one of
Us was always
Lying – usually
The youngest
Difficult child.

But we all knew
What would follow
The lie. One by
One, the girls
Were ordered
Face down –
The oldest sister had her
Own room, so
Her bed was most convenient—
For their beatings.

But everyone
Was fully clothed,
So it was decent
And the neighbors
Could safely
Ignore the screams.

I always screamed loudest too.

See, he wanted
Sons, so
I became his son
And fought him back.

Yes, I broke the comb.
Yes, I was playing
With your shaving cream
In the bathroom
Where you keep
The Playboy magazines.

Of course I need a beating. And sorry,
Sisters, I’m just too scared
To confess.

by Karen M. Seeley,
copyright 2014