Thursday, April 25, 2019

Battle Cry...

Battle Cry... 

It used to shriek and ding,
Now it softly groans om,
The drumbeat of sleepy feet,
Never truly rested,
Off again to be tested.

Pet the cats,
Slip on slippers,
Start the coffee,
Set out clean clothes,
Brush and shower,
Master the comb.

Dress and button,
Zip and tie,
Pour the pot,
Kiss on the fly,
Hop in the truck,
Turn the key.

Flip on the radio,
Start up Maps,
She reads me directions,
Where the traffic is at.

I'm racing away,
I won't slow down,
Not 'til the end of the day.

Every which way,
My attention is split,
In fours and threes,
There's never enough of me,
Slap and dash,
Fire of the moment,
A job truly well-done,
That's way back in history.

Produce with the least,
That's the new American battle cry!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/24/2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Wistful Thinking - Columbia...

Wistful Thinking - Columbia...

The people's goddess,
Part caricature,
Lady Liberty's elder sister,
Protector in spirit of the Underdog,
She is wrapped in an archaic and tattered flag,
Threadbare and mud-stained,
With blood at her feet.

What happens when goddesses are all but forgotten?

Withered trunk,
Yellowed laurel leaves,
Yet with life under the soil,
Roots precariously alive.

She walks limping with a cane,
Sleeping under bridges,
A thousand purple hearts jangling her tattered pockets,
Thousands more littering ditches and landfills.

All for a lack of unity,
A missing depth of compassion,
The carnival barkers' auctioning of the great society.

Ghostly tears wash through tracks of concrete dust,
The bridges and railroads crumbling about her head,
A cloudy wreath for a dull halo.

The empty towns her feet have trudged,
Lifeless soil and vanished insects,
Frankencrops tended by robotic tractors,
Flaming faucets in delapidated farm houses,
The empty backyard swings rusting to nothing.

There used to be promise and honesty in a plow,
Eggs on tables and fish in creeks,
A land of an abundant future.

Columbia is humbled by the seashore,
Microplastic tatters falling from her dishevelled raiments,
Waiting for us all to look up from our screens,
Actually see our neighbors and our world.

Long ago it was said all that glitters is not gold,
But I think everyone has forgotten.

United we stand,
Out of many are one,
So it was said.

We were all once American,
And Columbia was our darling.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/14/2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Melodic Nostalgia...

Melodic Nostalgia... 

Sometimes they come to me,
An ear-worm in a box frame of faded memory,
Playing over and over in my head,
Bringing me to the haunting days of youth,
An iridescent shimmer tinged with yellowed age,
Seen through misty rose-colored glasses.

I wonder who will sing these songs in ages to come,
As snippets slip from my lips in moments of early-morning reverie.

I thought many were forgotten,
Now I know there are hidden corners in my head,
Treasure boxes faded with time,
Priceless and ephemeral.

There are rose gardens tucked away in Southwestern ghost towns,
Rose rustlers occasionally visit for lost treasures,
Forgotten flowers from long ago.

Are we all the rose rustlers of musical history?

Break the burning silence of sunrise,
Perhaps you'll know,
Especially if the tune is light and easy to carry.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/12/2019

Monday, April 08, 2019

Old Songs And Karaoke...

Old Songs And Karaoke...

I was told as an early teenager that I sang like a frog,
Of course that crack made me jump back in the pond,
Not so much as a croak for decades,
Young egos are like silly putty,
Soft and pliable,
Unless I was alone in the car.

As a young child I loved Elvis movies,
So did my brother and sister,
Pretty melodies,
Pretty girls,
Pretty cars and boats,
Wide-eyed poet child with open ears.

My childhood hero faded,
We moved,
Other music was everywhere,
So were books,
Along with pre-teen angst,
That longing to fit in,

Decades passed,
A chance vacation with my pretty wife,
An Elvis CD in a rack,
And the King sang to us all the way home.

It all flooded back,
That simple joy.

Soon the King rode with me to work,
And back,
My new voice coach,
My old childhood friend.

A wayward karaoke party,
Elvis in the list,
So the frog hopped back out,
Maybe not a prince,
Maybe more than a croak,
But I still love it,
An old secret passion,
Some right-brain splash on a left-brain world.

Those rusty old pipes still work a little,
Who knew?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/08/2019

Tuesday, April 02, 2019



How I long for the internet of yesteryear,

The simplicity and easy read,

The uncomplicated pages and sweet graphics,

The possibility of depth,

Of unbroken concentration.

Today's American web,

It's like NASCAR on methamphetamine,


Likely to crash into the crowd,

So highly unstable.

In the UK they remember the better age,

The worth of a long read,

A slow afternoon and a good story.

I think the Ferenghi have invaded Earth,

Flash boom bah,

Boing boing bang,

Click-bait poison,

And I have to ask now,

Do I still have your attention?


By: Daniel A. Stafford

(C) 02/08/2019