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Peril is Nigh

Make quick work of this life, child
As it passes before the seething of your ever-darkening eyes
Deep, like the steaming abyss of strong morning coffee
And the hopelessness of even stronger whiskey at dusk

Eschewing the things of childhood
Your innocence, so foolish and fleeting
With hands taut and time ticking
Thoughts racing, cherry bombs and bottle rockets ricochet inside your head

Soft, delicate fingers tap the cylinder’s circular array
Disappointment and delusions carry the barrel toward an apparition
Temporary stillness and the redolence of gunpowder, electricity, and sweat
How can this lissome creature initiate such a grave consequence?

In the confluence of rivers
A derecho is crushing the bow
And the murky waters that will never fill your eyes,
Flood those who frantically scoop the sinking vessel

Suffering cannot be contained
And peril is never foretold
The fate of inequity and madness taps us upon our naked shoulders
And one hairpin turn capsizes us into a trap set forth by this world

© 2023 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved


I can’t keep up with the noise

Photograph ©2023 Linda C Kish-All Rights Reserved
The noise is killing me
A cochlear hornet’s nest
Squeezing my head through a sieve
Dogs bark
Woodchippers chip
Leaf blowers blow
Tow truck chains
Migraine pain
I can’t keep up with the noise
This inbox, that outbox
Buzz. Buzz, Google, Bing
TikTok, Twitter, Twatter, fodder, tweet
Network news
Binge drop
Couch queen
IRS Fraud, oh my lord

Disaster deaths
Climate change
Peddle to the metal, e-bikes
Pilling up plastic cups
I can’t keep up with the noise
Pm Me
Fly a text
Ding dong
Ring’s on
Porch pirates
Case the joint
Dine and ditch
Catfish switch
Smash and grab

Street takeovers
Hit, run
Flip off, fuck you
Road rage
Don’t engage
I can’t keep up with the noise
Black hate
Jewish hate
Asian hate
Muslim hate
Hate, hate, hate, hate

Duck, duck, goose
Dose, dose, overdose
Middle school Narcan
Meth, Smack
Fentanyl heart attack
I can’t keep up with the noise
Mental illness
Tented streets
The police?
War vets
Soup kitchen hair nets
Battered wives
Broken bones
Kids in tow
All alone

Human rights
Danger, danger
Rape, incest
Right to choose
More to lose
Stomped and stifled
I can’t keep up with the noise
You and me
They, them, their
Genderqueer, genderfluid

Money, money
Will work for food
Heat, gas, clothes
Financial woes
Water shortage
Fuel shortage
I can’t keep up with the noise
Heart disease
An epidemic
Dying, abused
Exploited kids

2023 so far
14,000 graves
578 child-sized
School shootings
Nightclub shootings
Office shootings
Mall shootings
Theater shootings
I can’t keep up with the noise
Supermarket shootings
Freeway shootings
Synagogue shootings
Church shootings
Mass shootings
Guns, guns
Shootings, shootings, shootings
The noise is killing me
It’s killing you
It’s killing us
And a buried head won’t make it end

© 2023 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved

Your House

©2023 Mona S Gable Photography All rights reserved

The old lady took me to your house
Silent, afraid, and clinging, I went
I went to your house
The somber cavernous echoes rose
Glower of perfidious followers
Vexed me
By the candles in your house

The strange lady took me to your house
Mysterious and calm it was
It was inside your house
The thunderous clap of a thousand floods
A vessel for your flesh and blood
Strangely soothed me
In the nave of your house

The old lady took me to your house
These catacombs, bells droning in D
Like Lourdes, more exotic than here
The elixir pulled from her coat
The holy vial filled and capped with hope
Filled me with tears
In the grotto by your house

The old lady took me to your house
Rosaries, placed upon Mary’s feet
Genuflecting, then requesting I take a seat
“Place hands together and make a wish”
I mimed patty cake as she murmured broken English,
“This for your grandma and the cancer that spread.”
Not knowing back at my house, Grandma was already dead

©2023 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved

The Analyst

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

She probably never thought she meant much to me
Some lonely girl on a couch who’d lost everything;
A mom
A dad

A home
A job
A marriage
An identity

Converged at once into a singular obliterating ordeal
A life thought of one way, now resigned to another
A dizzying dust devil that sweeps across the road not taken
Blinding and whisking me from its reach

I am propelled into a whirlwind, one of folklore and legends
The incubus twisting, controlling my body and soul
Directing me toward the filthy shortcut of self-annihilation
The one that seeks release from pain

An artificial lightness of air
Produced by sweltering asphalt and sterile deserts
I look for an anchor, the extrication of the demon’s grip
Fiercely smashing through the electrically charged blockade

Then dear mother’s words, deafening me, like one hundred thirty decibels of static
Eternal fables of holy matrimony between life and hope; is it so?
And just as a sorcerer will do, vanishing like a coward in the wake of its own havoc
Surrendering me into an alien world, unexplored, four beige walls and this couch

© 2023 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved

What Is This Thing in My Salad?

—An Unfortunate Poem

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

What is this thing in my salad?
Sans texture and fiber and crunch
I thought you’d be the perfect choice
For a healthy autumn lunch

I know you’re not radicchio,
Arugula, endive, or beets
Not pumpkin seeds or crispy peas
Sun-ripened fruit or other treats

I expected some glazed pecans
To allay all of my worst fears
Even baby corn, a newborn
To eat whole without any ears

What is this thing in my salad?
I would say its more of a wisp
Like celery strings, it tends to cling
To dressing, more flaccid than crisp

What was that thing in my salad?
A bit sick from this whole affair
Done with my lunch, thanks a whole bunch
For a salad, replete with your hair

©2022 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved

When I Was Dead

And You Were Happy

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

You lift me to your shoulders
So that I may see
But only tendrils of blackness are webbed between trees
The sighted have gone blind
An unmistakable stench
The distorted melted acetate
Incineration never quenched

You lift me to your shoulders
So that they may see
Your equivocating actions, only to appease
Boils defile the unwinding
Rolling backward in reverse
The fiery erasure
To a time before my birth

You lift me to your shoulders
So that I can see
How happy this world made you before I came to be
From an untethered void
Pre-dead, at peace, unaware
A screaming life sprung forward
An innocent nightmare

You lift me to your shoulders
So that I will see
The celluloid facade that ensnares and strangles me
A wand in soapy water
Creates a transitory task
Like a cremation of memories
Before the hero is unmasked

©2022 Mona S Gable All Rights Reserved


“Spring in Carlsbad” By Mona S Gable

The garden of life, boundless possibilities
Chance, combinations
Light, dark, the spectrum of a rainbow
Birth, death, the perils of survival
Things we waste, trample underfoot
Unencouraged, unnurtured
The surety of what was, as is no longer
A bright opening, wanting flower
Bending toward the sun, bathing in light
Thirsty for rain, quaffing until soothed

Along the way, seeking light
There, you stand
Sheer beauty,
Encouraged and nurtured
The surety of what is to come, excitement of the unknown
The flower, opening-up
Petal by petal
Each day
More magnificent than the former

I gently reach out to feel the smooth delicacy
The petals fall to my open palm
Like your soft hair falling across your naked shoulders, spilling onto mine
Your scent fills the garden
Like a warm desert breeze, embracing the air
It fills the senses,
A dizzying splendor
Your lips so gently upon mine, endless dewdrops
Melted winter snowflakes falling on my tongue
Sweet lavender, freesia, peonies

My heart is sure you are my garden
To survive, grow, be nourished, fostered
The sun will always rise for you, the rain will always come
Detractors, like weeds, be banished
Grow, grow
As tall as mountains and as enduring as nature itself
Grow with me, beside me, through me, into me
When our time becomes short, and colors begin to fade
Stems will bend
Petals fall and dry

I will remember it all
The garden of my life
I will press you between the linen of my book
My every sense
My heart
My soul

©2022 Mona S Gable All rights reserved

Golfo Dulce

A poem lovingly dedicated to my dear friend Dr. F Lynn Carpenter

“Of the Peaceful Earth” By Mona S Gable

Nestled newborns lie shyly, poking their heads through the warm soil
As the gringa who birthed them inspects their vigor
She wants them to join the other six thousand of her babies, already to her thigh,
Rise up
Build a forest among the ruins

The blistered, muddied hands groping a walking stick, slip-sliding
Trudging the shrouded, misty mountains of Golfo Dulce, waltzing up the Cortez Amarillo
Scatting away wild parakeets as they beat their sturdy wings in front of her eyes
Look down
Build a forest among the ruins

Hawks once soared over La Tierra Triste, a raped and devoured land
Ugliness. Massacred and poisoned, scorched and flooded
Her tired and worn heart, broken by barren land and empty bellies
In need
Build a forest among the ruins

Hawaiian Honeycreepers 5,000 miles away must await her gentle return
As she initiates into this congregation of wildness
Her earthly possessions, now a lingering vigil over Coto Brus, draining resources
For more heavenly pursuits, cattle pastures, coffee fields, the promise of renewal
Rise up
Build a forest among the ruins

Now beauty exists where there once was none
A legacy of love and conscience, a generosity of human spirit to behold
Others, hands in pocket, clucked their tongues as she stood in exhaustion, fulfilled
Overlooking a paradise created while she was slowly dying
Build a forest among the ruins

Vanished from the mortal realm, a world surpassing the one she had found
Her essence diffuses upon the trees, hawks, Honeycreepers, and misty mountains
A God that so fiercely held her faith joins the overwatch of Golfo Dulce
At His side, pleased with the panoramic landscape and hazy thoughts of worldly things
She lived and built a forest among the ruins

©2022 Mona S Gable All rights reserved

A Certain Shadow

“I Now Pronounce You” By Mona Gable

A certain shadow
Is feeding off the paint on a stark white wall
And breathing a slow and steady death
Night after night

A certain shadow
Is not black, but grey
Like dirty milk and sour spirit

A certain shadow
Is a quiet cancer
Breeding in a shriveled and willing soul

I damn the moonlight
And curse these walls

Desire is not need
Need is not love
Love is not faith

I want you out of my bed

©2022 Mona S Gable All rights reserved

The Glass Heart

“Empty Girl” By Mona Gable

The girl made of glass walks down your street
Confounded and hollow, relentless and hopeful
She is invisible to you
Appraising eyes for a spark
As you glare past her
With vision obscured
And longing distorted

The girl made of glass walks down your street
With each new step, more arteries form
Spider web cracks along the pavement
Up through roots, splintering her glass heart
One by one, shards fall and freeze in place
Like diamonds falling at your feet
A prismatic rainbow of tears

The girl made of glass, cureless, destroyed
Never seen inside, only through
The last glint, demolition
Pouring into sharpened waves on the tarmac
Never to reach out, never to touch you
The diaphanous hand shattered
Turning to powder, trickling the hourglass
The sand that fills your summers

©2022 Mona S Gable All rights reserved