Revolving Wheel

by Darryl Price


The planet looks so peaceful doesn't it? Want a

Gumball? Like a pancake with blue dye mixed into

Its bowl and carried out by a winking Victorian

Baker. Like a bowling ball with just the right

Weight for your clumsy fingers. Like a silent psychedelic

Movie playing in your head. Like an indulgent rock

Opera performed by a band of rogue angels. Like

A lost hubcap. Like a political button for a

Nonexistent green candidate. Like a drop of blue striped


Paint on an ancient drop cloth floor. Like a

Hole in your favorite sweater. Like the inside of

A circus lion's gaping mouth. Like a free balloon

Far enough away from the wires of civilization to

Make a good strong break for it. Like a

Seashell sitting on the sands of time. Like a

Telephone ringing. Like a blossom opening its shop for

Business. Like a newly silk screened tee shirt advertising

Either a band or a restaurant, maybe a bank,


Maybe a national park. Like a corroded penny found

In the grass or in your change. Like if

The road was a revolving wheel that you were

Standing on in a dream of leaving and you

Kept having a hard time keeping balance. A lost

Frisbee sitting in a garage in a little red

Wagon next to a pair of hedge clippers. Like

Something coming right at you at full speed, like

An arrow, like a tree branch, like an open


Mouthed river. Like a leaf floating around in a

Pond like a sailboat without a driver. Like a

Popping sound. Like a painted pony. Like a dangling

Bracelet. Like a pair of dancing feet wearing nothing

But painted toes. Like a lonely bike ride through

A laughing woods. Like the moon holding a sign

That says, make up your mind, choose your celestial

Tea, always pay the Gypsy before she invites you

To sit at her table. Like the lie that


You have somehow given up for good, my love

Fading in the west of your heart, I don't

Buy it now or ever, no matter how Eastern

Your lovers get. Like a poem that sounded like

A science show, but really is all about a

Certain comedic feeling one gets when the stars align.

Like a jackpot machine puking out its phony stream

Of happiness, you're still barely alive. Like a fuzzy

Note from an electrified base player, I'm just as


Bored as ever over the dirty looks from your

Mad trajectory. Like a blue whale, a stone left

Atop your grave marker by a total stranger. Like

A lesson book scribbled upon with many strange and

Wonderful faces. Like a mysterious rhinoceros, I wish I 

Had the strength. Like a tree planted by the 

Passed over clouds, counting all the cracks in the 

Sky. Like a Merriam-Webster dictionary dropped into the bath

with the bubble-making soap beads, what we're all about.  

Bonus poems:

Your Stewardship by Darryl Price


I like how you want to pretend you are above

The pettiness of others, but they are you and you

Are not alone, no matter how many times you stamp

Your feet and cry. We've seen it all before. There


Are those in real pain, with hearts that resemble nothing

More than broken cups. Maybe their emptiness upsets you, it

Should, but you cannot take it from them and replace

Their ache with good deeds. What they want is a


Total reboot of the universe, one where they get to

Place their love in the proper arms and walk away,

But even that hope brings about another crack in the

Egg. To take it all away from them is to


Reduce them to nothing. The phoenix rises from its own

Ashes, not the ones tossed upon it by Saints or

Housewives, but the ones it is consumed by in its

Own desires to be free and whole again. You want


Them to know you care. They know or they don't

know. It is not up to you to define grief

Or their healing. There can be no reward. There is

Only love in its fully blessed kindness or something sneaking


About in the dark corners of mindful giving.  You can't

Have it both ways, and they can't receive it without

It being presented freely. No strings, no applause, no acknowledgement,

No tax. Only doing, only being. You want the world


To know it can't escape your criticism, but you are

Aiming your spell finger at the wrong mirror like always,

Causing more pain to yourself than even you deserve. You

Can only save us if you save you, the rest


Will follow naturally. Do what you must, but do no

Harm first, means don't assume knowledge when it's wisdom you

Are after, when it's only the grace of mercy that

Will allow you to be fully human in your actions


Towards all beings. You want to say you are good

At your stewardship, but I tell you this, we can

Only move the rocks in our way from where we

Are, one at a time, and no one can judge


our progress like ourselves—because we alone preside over the 

Brutal trials in our heads. If you really want to

Do the right thing, do it because it's everyone's best

Right thing and not because it fits the easy definition. dp   


Two Flowers

by Darryl Price


For Emily Dickinson


Home is gone. I'm an orphan now meaning I wasn't

Always so alone. Everyone I see is running from something.

But they still sail their candles to the moon hoping

To awaken someone on the other side of this glory.

Who might send them back a kind thought or give


A smile in the form of birds. I've never received

A feather from the heavens with my name on it.

You and I are not alike in our dogs, but

I still like to think of you walking the streets

At night with yours, breathing the rain or the quiet


With an intensity unlike any other. That was your gift

More than your red hair, more than your refusal to

Give up your name or your fight with God and

The devil, believing both of them to be inadequate to

The task of being near enough to you to break


Your heart more than it already was. Instead you broke

Your own heart, and mine with it. Who knew you

Had such power that could wait centuries to explode like

A hurricane? Did the flowers know this? Did the Irish?

Perhaps the good children in the garden? All I know


Is here, we are together again, not in a dream,

But in a sense of the word, getting near the

End of something terribly unimaginable and I only wish I

Had your hand to hold. I suppose that is very

Selfish of me. You let your hand go where it


Wanted to go and nowhere else. You gave it the

Most important task of all, to put your cruel abandonment

Into a letter, without asking for forgiveness, without a twirl

Of regret. You telegraphed that pain to the stars and

Dared them to respond, all the while knowing full well


How they laughed at your back. But the dog was

Faithful, the writing desk was faithful, the flowers were never

Going to go anywhere without you again, even the rain

On the windows was a companion you could count on

To see you as you truly were, a warrior with


A sewn booklet of original coded words, meant to open

Locks, meant to join clouds of butterflies. Your home now

Is everywhere, mine is still somewhat hazy in the distance.

I don't know why it means so much to me

To speak to you in this way. I'm not looking


For an answer. As Paul said to John, you'd probably

Say that we were worlds apart, but I feel something

Different today. I would have liked to see you smile

With some teeth, or the back of your head tied

In a ponytail instead of a bun. I think you


would have breathed a sigh of relief in a pair

of old comfortable jeans. You got a message to me.

I'm not talking about all the others here. This is

As much as I can do for you, but I'm

So glad. It's an honor. Thank you, oh singing wind.  


Author's Note

"..unless we become as Rogues, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven." 

I like this astonishing impossible person so much. She is unlike anyone else. And yet her life was as full of spiders in the corners as anyone else's. But she was able to spark her poetry against the circumstances of her life and times in such a way that even today we still thrill to hear its originality. It's an amazing feat. I'm sure she had her doubts--how could she not? But her art has survived and has managed to speak to us in an urgent and tender way that resonates with even our postmodern gone-to-the-moon sensibilities. Pretty cool, Emily.