My childhood years
take me back to remembrances
like grabbing lemon drops
from the forbidden living room.
Suicide rides down steep hills
on skateboards that
took all day to make
were worth every scrape.
Mischief was the grist of tall tales,
like putting Grandpa’s hat
under the neighbor’s bed.
Memories chiseled in stone.
Grandpa’s black lunch box
waited daily on the landing
for the morning whistle.
He’d later return raw to the bone.
Grandma was our savior.
She alone could get Grandpa
to gather mountain greens
for smothering in oil.
Evenings were full of laughter,
as we sat round
the pot-bellied coal stove,
catching up on events.
All of us together,
healthy with bills paid,
let everyone feel good
and enjoy life.
Generations after us
will never know
these simpler days.
Ah, to just step back in time.
poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:066
The Ballastonian Inn
The Inn is that rare place where
stunning décor subtly portrays
an eerie otherworldliness.
As I enter, the winter gray melts away.
Marble pilasters flank stone fireplaces.
Bronze mirrors reflect lit chandeliers.
All present when
Grant purloined Ballastonian.
I contemplate Grant’s musings at the Inn.
When really fortunate,
I feel an intangible shift in the musty air,
a tingle all the way down to my bones.
In a far corner, I discern a
figure sitting stoically
I shudder, murmuring –
Could it be?
It’s as if I walked in on Grant,
who’s just waiting for my conviviality
to raise his spirits.
He laughs, joking about death.
I posit -
What’s death unveiled,
on the meaning of life?
Grant somberly responds -
Oh, you’ll see hatred and war, though
we’ve been promised no more. Enough “huzzas.”
Nations, like individuals, are punishable
for their transgressions.
There is always a time
when some other way can be found
to prevent the drawing of the sword,
a choice requiring more resolve than offense.
poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:066
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MARC LIVANOS’ poems have appeared in Straylight Magazine, Poet’s Espresso Review, Stray Branch Magazine, Old Red Kimono, Ship of Fools, Song of the San Joaquin Quarterly, Emerald Coast Review, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, The Sunday Poet and others.