Counting the Stars

by Darryl Price

Everybody's trying to just not get killed. Cut flowers. It's 
an illusion. The grand smell of our deathly beauty. They 
were so afraid of the ghost dance once upon a 
burning time that they decided on murder to get it 
to stop. Those were the days. That's how these folks 
think to react, but it goes to show you the 
people power of small simple things to effect change. Everything 
has some power in its being. Sometimes it's a lot 
or enough. Use it wisely. Shooting people simply because you 
might want their land or their resources is murder. Those 

were the days. A young John Lennon pissed on the 
unsuspecting head of an old German nun walking just below 
his window. He would later change the world with his 
wondrous rock songs. Those were the days. We make mistakes. Everybody's 
trying to just not get run over by civilization. The 
allotted days and nights fly by. We fade because new 
people do not see us clearly anymore. They are close 
to the fire. We look like smoke to them. Everybody's 
trying to just not get God mad at us again. 
The garden was a great place to live. Now that 

we've got the whole planet to ourselves it feels kind 
of cold and lonely out here. Why do you think 
we keep looking for something in the sky besides clouds 
and stars? We need someone to talk to besides ourselves. 
The cave walls said as much. Stonehenge was an early 
morning telephone call that kept on ringing throughout the centuries 
with nobody answering. And now we're spirits trapped in a 
completely pixelated screen dream of our own device. Machines would 
laugh if they knew how, deeply and deliberately. Still there 
is such a thing as ice cream. That's the rub. 

For every stupid and petty crime there is a kind 
person who saves another with a hug. There is someone 
who makes you laugh in spite of your serious demeanor 
telling you to do otherwise. You know you want to 
play frisbee, tell the evening news to go eff itself. 
After all, everybody's still just trying to find out how 
to love and be loved. And that's pretty cool stuff
I suppose. Someone's writing you a poem just because they 
can and they want to. These are the days. Everybody's
got a tattoo of a soul just below their heart.

Bonus Poem:

Crossed Fingers

When I get there--wherever it is, this 
hidden secret place that I've been going 
to all my life--I hope it wasn't just 
for a stupid cosmic joke. Gray Angels 
slapping each other on their feathery 
backs and grabbing their honey knees in fits 
of holy laughter. When they tell you the 
journey is the main thing that seems just as 
unlikely to make you feel anything 
like better as the rest. I mean if there 

is no point except the point of motion 
forward what are we doing with all this 
awful pain filling up our hearts? Aren't the words 
I was hoping to speak to you but they 
are the words that spoke to me. Maybe yours 
can say it in a much different way-- 
that will actually matter to a 
special someone. I hope so. I don't want 
you to be misunderstood. When I get 
there I hope you're there too, but I'm betting 

you probably won't be. More likely be 
dining with Saints in sandals who are all 
regaling you with wondrous tales of time 
travel and adventure, all in hopes of 
seeing you crack a small genuine smile 
without meaning to, because, after all, 
loneliness is the most universal 
of universal languages. When I 
do get there I hope to see great gobs of 
free and wild butterflies again and the 

joyfully trumpeting elephants and 
lots and lots of people mingling around 
the sun-drenched streets together and to hear 
many loud choruses of laughter and 
good-hearted play, not the sound of one hand 
clapping. You don't understand. When I go 
there I want to be glad I made the hard 
sad journey through the poem and over 
the crying hills. I want to see the blue 
ocean again returning as a friend.