I think I’ll live a small life,
not too long, not too short.
I will do tiny things,
tasks not worth observing.
I will keep my head down
close to the earth,
watching seeds sprout in spring,
and thanking all for the harvest,
however big or small it might be.
As Days Go
Tomorrow needs no introduction.
It is expected and waited upon.
The sun rolls out its red carpet
and walks its way across the sky
trailing its long dress over flowers
and coloured glass broken on asphalt.
Today is fine. I’ll take it.
It’s what I have now,
a sure thing until it ends.
But, tomorrow, tomorrow…
Who knows what it will bring?
all promises fulfilled,
Dreams run wild.
Joy after joy.
Or maybe nothing
more than the same.
So much trouble
we wish it had never came.
We are being taken.
We are being shoved.
We are being beaten.
We are being loved.
We don’t know winning.
In losing we prevail.
One by one we get our medals:
six feet, board and nails.
When a neighbour is murdered
a part of you dies.
When a burglar takes you
for all you’ve got
part of the heart that was in you
goes out the door with your stuff.
Hard times. Harder for others.
Drugs flows in the streets and in veins.
Love says we can all heal this.
Love knows, but it’s not easy to explain.
Sirens. Blue lights flashing.
At night it’s hard to sleep.
Don’t watch the news on television.
Don’t listen to updates on radio.
Don’t scan headlines on your cellphone.
There’s nothing you can do but grieve,
and you’ve done so much of that
you need to take a break.
Vote when the time comes.
Write letters to the power always.
Try for something new,
Search your mind and heart.
Tell the world what you have found.
Times Like These
You shouldn’t be sorry for yourself.
You should be sorry for others.
Yet the thought of those faces
Sets you down the road to remembrance
of times and places you once were,
Horrors smaller than war.
The streets here have their own noises
Gun shots, car crashes and sirens.
The dead bloom on concrete and asphalt.
The dead stay where they fall.
Far off the damage is bigger,
But you can’t stop seeing the damage at home.
Slow Down It’s Only the End of the World
Take your time. Slow down.
It’s only the end of the world.
Weigh each word.
Write every sentence with care.
The story is your life.
It’s why you are here.
You need to get it right
before “The End” appears.
Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His poetry books/chapbooks include Suckers, Longing for the Mother Tongue, and Her Eyes. His fiction books include a novel , Labor Day (Peasantry Press), and two collections of short stories: For the Birds (Cynic Press) and Farts and Daydreams (Dumpster Fire Press). His work has appeared in Schlock, Home Planet News Online, US 1 Worksheets, Mad Swirl, Horror Sleaze Trash, Ygdrasil, Penine Platform, Understanding Magazine, and other places.