War and Peace

by Darryl Price



The once shining lake was busy draining itself. All the better cared for boats were looking like disjointed discarded single shoes in a messed up paint

 chipped closet. No one was thinking well okay a leaky sole is better than a wounded heel. You get the picture, it was pure roadkill. Turns out war causes

 everyone to turn into their favorite cartoon animals. That part they got right. They were right to draw it on all the crumbling buildings and more than right

 to reward it with its own special day with masks and everything, but you couldn't convince the public. Nothing convinces the public. All they want out

 of this particular post life is to bite down into something warmish and finish the whole argumentative night off with a great big slice of Fall TV shows.

 Hey they voted for it on both sides of the Atlantic. Only some of us chose to listen to some new music, not the kind you have to dress up for, but the kind

 you have to show up for inside of yourself, to wake up to. Well perhaps that's too sarcastic if you care what other people think, it's not meant to be, it's only

 a tiny pebble rolling down an ancient hill after all. The real mudslide began a long time ago when the dinosaurs decided to evaporate and the hordes of

 walking fish decided to investigate the mountains of trash left over from that startling exit to see if they might have an appetite for monumental change,

 too. Then we came charging along with our viciously trained tanks rolling over everything and flattening the script. If we had found a way to also roll up

 the sky it would have been done, to hang on some guy's wall while he masturbates to Wagner. Again, too cruel or too polite? The war brought us

 together. It forced us into a hole. It washed us out again and again. We gathered our things and told our feet to not look back, but some did any way.


They brought their own sorcerer to the table to try to cheat the truth out of seeing its own reflection, but the good guys are always relaxed enough to know when to

 get the shotguns down from above the fireplace. They can smell the deceit like it is burning right under their noses, even if its planned in an office on Wall Street

 months in advance. They make the necessary sounds of joy and offer that incense to the Great Spirit rather than wait to be ambushed by unscrupulous con men who

 like to collect power jolts like vintage automobiles. All of your stuff will be divided and sold when you are dead, it will lose its resemblance to you and

 become nothing more than petrified veins to be mined by workers who would rather kill sacred trees than starve. They're not the problem. Snakes are not the

 problem. Sharks are not the problem. Guns are not the problem. You have to be able to walk right up to them and smile and mean it, even when they turn into

 hideous monsters without any pity in their pale watery eyes. You have to know the truth, even when they offer you everything for nothing. You have to see the

 beautiful horizon inside them, the same sun, the impossible light, then you may have a chance to actually sit down and talk. You might even make bees move

 out of the way so you can taste the honey without getting stung, and more importantly without harming the bees. Then everybody goes back to their

 business with renewed interest. Because nothing was chosen over someone else's home. Nothing was invaded. Nothing was destroyed. The only thing that

 was done was a story was told that included everybody in their own skins. It proves it can be done. But not if you come to the table already armed with

 hatred. You will be caught in the nose hairs of the chief and disqualified of your power like a child. Yet like a child you may begin again in wonder and be glad.

Bonus poem:

Paris Is Alive ( a draft)


We are all living cities of light, only some of us are turned off. When

We get there, we get there. We find we fit in the shape we were

All along. They can blacken the skies with their poisoned cups of spilled over anger.

They can disrupt the freedom of music of the spheres with their own rain of


Out of tune hate filled bullets. But they can't see in the mirror that is

Each and every face. They can't hear the human pain more unbearable than their own

Perceived punishment for living. The master they serve is eating them alive. The master they

Store in a scowl is rewriting the pages backwards in the hopes of reaching total


Annihilation, not Paradise, but hell. And still ordinary laughter will crack the spackle of doom.

It starts anywhere with a smile. It travels with a kiss, a hand holding a

Hand. This is what the people know. It's not a religion. It's not a military

Quest for power. It's a poem, a song, a feeling.  And it has no boundaries.


When we get there, we light up. We are all amazing cities of light. It's

Dancing. It's laughing and crying. It's dreaming. It's being together inside our hearts. They can

Chop off as many flowers as there are blades of grass. It only takes one of us,

Even one of their own, to start a new garden. Just ask the moon and stars.

The Gut

The gut knows when

you are with the

right person. You are

the guts of the pumpkin in the field

or in the street, in the car, or

in your own head.

Why do you believe

what others spout when

your guts tell you

something different? The gut knows you better than

you know yourself.  It reaches from the bottom

to the top. The

gut is a moralist,

but most of the

best comedians are. Don't

make the gut angry--write that down--because

you won't like what it does to your

nervous system. The gut

never loses its way.

My guts named you

as the sole benefactor

to my love then

promptly kicked me stranded by the side of the road when it

came time to tell

you this news.Oh

the gut knows you

probably won't listen to

its new sensation any more than you once

listened to its old, but that's not my

conundrum. Don't worry.

I'm on my way

out of here. If

only things could have

been different. Maybe our guts would have been

enough to see it all through, but something's

telling me, dream on.