Another Statistic


Let us be
living intentional samples of
a random population
committing crimes
against central tendency
in the name of existence,
so many standard deviations
pushing us farther and farther
beyond alpha levels.
Let us choose
the alternative
and reject the dull,
seek variance
through our mode of transport,
perhaps today a rickshaw
to take turns with ourselves,
driving our destiny or
being by purpose pulled,
to meander us criss-cross
in both directions
ignoring the medians
of all these mean streets.
Let us have
confidence
to embrace
every interval
along the way,
the time and space
for refiguring
how to live
a loving life
without parameters.

Death Springs to Life


Thinking of dying today, more a
rhetorical game of HOW? than of
WHAT IF?
How would I live if this was my dying day?
Right now I’m reminded of how
much I miss Joe Strummer, while
he rasps out “straight to hell boy” and
the intro theme sounds just like the newly risen sun.

I am driving in a spring morning
after last night’s hard fast rain knocked
pollen from the live oaks leaving
puddles of yellow dust to swirl in the April breeze.
The world around me so alive and
I am thinking of death
and how I might wake in the mourning.

How would I look at a cow?
Perhaps see a field of individuals instead of a herd?
More souls than meat and cheese?
And the sky, washed clean of its clouds,
isn’t it the very definition of blue,
its beauty the quintessence of ancients?
A chilly crispness rode along the air behind
the storm front, but these windows
must come down.
I believe I can smell the moist fertile soil of the pastures,
and I breathe it into myself,
the very definition of living.

Surely, I would miss vehicular moments of solitude,
drink them in even more than I already do.
But then guilt creeps into my moment.
Is this how I’d really be?
Missing driving, the natural world, a song,
more than the people I love?
I pull in behind our brick ranch home and see them
planting flowers in the garden.
I kill the engine and the music,
resurrecting silence.

Walking towards them I say nothing but
they hear me coming, turn towards me and
guilt wisps away, taken by the gusts.
The rustling of my existence is validated once again.
It is them I would miss the most.
If today was the day, how I would
dwell in the sapphire sky of their eyes,
and breathe in every hint of their being
down to the dirt underneath their fingernails.

Healthy Tum, Happy We (Exodus 23:11)


Silos of grain flood out
like swollen rivers of yellow textures
to feed the many and seed aplenty,
making change at various vectors.
Gregarious beggars no longer beleaguered
by dusty moths in their cavernous stomachs.

Take, eat, drink…
avoid overindulgence and consume sparingly.
The well fed
can clean their platter plates
just beyond the border of Hungry
with light-footed travels
into the abdominal room
to find a new mania
of less.
Then watch the mountains of nourishment
mellow and soften
to ooze necessity
for every necessary
soul.

Peak body shapes take form,
and for peace’s sake
a new salubrious growth is born.
Goodness from frugal fullness,
spreading surplus amber waves at brightest morn.
Had enough, had enough for so long,
here is the time
to spill misplaced plenty all over
and not clean it up
or re-gather.

Mark W. Nettles lives with his wife and two daughters in Louisiana. His vocation is counselling and his avocations are myriad.