Momentary


When the light of your life grows dim,
When the love of your life is gone,
When the music stops
And you are back again to ordinary,
How exquisite the memory,
How painful the realization
That however lucky you may be,
All of this is momentary.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Men Are Hungry


O young women be careful
How you smile at men.
You may think it common courtesy,
Or a simple act of friendliness
To be openhearted and cheerful,
But you must be careful
Because men are hungry,
Though they will try and disguise it
In a thousand different ways,
Men are hungry.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Another Temporary Visitor


I knew when he walked into the coffee shop,
When this tall black man hesitated before sitting down,
Casting a wide, smiling inspection of the dozen or so diners,
So pleased to be in our company,
So joyful to be among the living,
I knew he was back from the grave,
Now seeing the everyday world through the eyes of a child,
Entranced by the sound of talking and laughing.

What was once so ordinary was now extraordinary.
He’d crossed the line between life and death,
Then crossed back again.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he were some kind of angel,
Taking physical form for a day to see and be seen,
To marvel at the magic of human existence.

How long did he have before returning?
And to where?
I wonder.
How long do I have?

He smiled at me as I walked by on my way out,
Recognizing, acknowledging another temporary visitor.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Place


If I am humble,
I can take all insults,
All personal affronts,
In stride.

But when I believe in the illusion of myself
As an all-knowing, superior being,
Every imagined disrespect ignites my rage,
A rage which will not be calmed
Until revenge has cleansed my troubled soul.

The angels of tolerance,
The demons of anger,
Always close,
Contending,
Here on this ancient planet,
This place of good and evil
Where we struggle still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Heroes and Heroines


Cares and concerns are thrust unmercifully upon us
By life’s daily demands.
How many have a chance to supersede the drudgery
And rise above the unremarkable tasks of sustenance
To larger purpose?

Are those larger lives among us preordained,
Or merely products of chance?
Does God send heroes and heroines to dwell among us,
Or do we create them to suit our own particular prejudices?

We fill stadiums to pay homage,
Sharing moments of superhuman accomplishment and fame,
And then we are dismissed,
Exiled to the everyday world where we spend most of our lives,
Where dreams are smaller,
More easily attainable,
Closer to the heart.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Wandering Time


This time of loss,
This wandering in the desert,
This desolation.

My father never told me,
Never warned me,
Never prepared me.

Perhaps he thought this time of loss
Was a private, personal weakness.

I saw him,
Bent by the weight of it,
Barely knowing
Yet suffering,
Keeping busy,
Distracted,
Not realizing,
Not acknowledging this other rite of passage,
Coming so late in life,
This time of loss,
This wandering in the desert,
This desolation.

My father’s ghost is with me now
In this, my wandering time.
I cannot tell if he knows the way.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

You Are Not Hidden


I write these words to you who are cruel,
Who know you are cruel,
Who deny your cruelty.

These words are not for those who succumb to weakness,
Who struggle with weakness,
Who sincerely strive to overcome weakness and be kind.

We all have sinned.

These words are for you who are deliberate,
Who forged your cruelty through years of abuse,
No matter how you rationalize,
No matter how you repress,
No matter how conscious or unconscious you may be.

You are not hidden.
No matter how much control you have over us,
You are not hidden.
No matter how compliant we are forced to be,
You are not hidden.

You are condemned in our eyes,
And when you lose your power over us,
When you look in the mirror
And see the monster you have become,
When your punishment comes,
When you realize you have been punished all along,
When you realize each act of cruelty
Has destroyed a part of your soul,
When you have no soul left,
We will rejoice.

We who are kind will take no pleasure in your suffering,
We will not let the anger you placed in our hearts make us cruel,
But we will rejoice when we are free from your cruelty,
When your cruelty is stripped of all power,
When you must answer for each cruel act.
We will rejoice when justice is restored.

You are not hidden.
You pay for each act of cruelty
Whether you realize it or not,
For we know you have no real joy
Because you are not loved.
You are lower than the lowest of us
Who suffer and yet are loved.
You are lower than the lowest of us
Who have died because of your cruelty,
Because we are loved,
And this love is eternal.

You are not hidden.
The eyes of the world are upon you,
The eyes of history are upon you,
The eyes of God are upon you.

The spirit of change is upon the land,
It cannot be stopped.
Lies are temporary,
Injustice is temporary.
Truth is eternal,
Justice is eternal.

You are not hidden.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Men


Someday soon I will turn to you in anger
For no particular reason,
Because I am damaged
And often lose my tenuous hold
On the better side of my nature.

This is how I reward your loyalty,
Your perseverance,
Your love,
With the dispassionate whine
Of the stronger sex,
Still managing to keep the upper hand,
To rule my vainglorious kingdom
While my subjects weep.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Memory


I have to stop and think
To remember the date of my father’s birth,
And is this still Tuesday?
My head always in the clouds,
As they say.
So many of life’s little details
Are lost,
Lost to me.

Yet somehow I remember
The sick sarcastic look on the thin old man’s face
Thirty-two years ago
When I drove out of a parking lot
Across the sidewalk where he shuffled toward me.

I remember his tight-lipped scowl,
The scrape of his petulant, brittle voice
When forced to stop
To allow my car to pass,
When he so sharply said:
Thank you very much!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Meek


The meek may indeed inherit the Earth,
But they will not explore it.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Max


Max is back.
Saw him early this foggy morning
Limping down thirty-second street.

Did you forget where I live
Old skin bone street fighter?
You were fat when you left last April.
This is some kind of free you’re fixed on.

I took him home,
Woke up the wife and kids.

Max is back!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Man From Another Country


A man from another country says,
“I don’t understand you!”
When I try to explain
How we do things here,
How we behave.

Everywhere we go
People stare.
He walks too slow,
He talks too loud,
He laughs at my earnest everyday endeavors
As if he were watching
Some riotous vaudeville show.
He is constantly amused.

I will teach him how to fit in,
How to talk to people
In ways they expect
And understand.
“You must learn how we act here,”
I explain.

“You are afraid of life!”
He yells at me,
Waving his arms wildly
As we stumble down a crowded sidewalk.
I move away
And pretend we are strangers.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Long March


You can march to the left,
You can march to the right,
You can march down the middle
And dream of your perfect world
Where everyone knows the truth.

You can march to the left,
You can march to the right,
You can march down the middle
But as long as you believe
You are right
And all the rest are wrong
You’ll be marching long,
You’ll be marching long.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Magnificent Illusion


Your hand touches mine,
An accident,
And your electricity surges into me.

You say something ordinary
And look into my eyes,
Explaining,
And I am entranced,
Barely listening.

You laugh and smile
And do a hundred different things
You do every day,
All day long,
Without thinking.

But when I am with you,
Everything you do is illuminated,
Inspiring,
Divine.

O the magnificent illusion of love.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Madness


A madness some have described it,
Yes, it feels like madness.
I’ve never wanted anything in my life
The way I want her.

Yes, it feels like madness,
Not the absence of reason,
But the defiance of reason,
For reason is here before me,
A constant voice,
Warning me:
This is impossible.

It is reason that twists the knife,
Madness that pushes the blade in deeper.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Lucky


When I was young
I thought,
Someday I will be somebody.

But now I am nobody,
Nobody in particular.

I am one of the lucky ones.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Luck


It’s not always easy to tell
How the luck is going,
The way it works,
Not always easy to see.

Sometimes,
When the luck seems so bad,
It’s setting you up,
Getting you ready
Without your knowing
Until years later
You look back and see,
The luck was good,
Starting right on that first morn
When you had the luckiest luck of all,
You were born.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Is Hard


Love is hard.

Sadness is easy,
You can do it all by yourself.

Love is hard.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Deep Do You Go?


How deep do you go?
How far?
Where are you now?

You find a word in the dictionary
And in the definition,
Another puzzle,
Within each answer,
Another question.

How deep do you go?
How far?
Where are you now?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Lost And Found


I was upset,
I was angry,
I was afraid,
The sound of children playing was threatening,
The sunlight tired me,
The darkness worried me.

A man rang my doorbell,
A Jesus salesman,
Sent to my house by God
With the answers to my torments.

He read some Bible verses,
We got down on our knees and prayed,
I purchased a ninety-day, no obligation, trial subscription.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Loose Change


Look around the house of a wealthy person
And you will find loose change.
Thirty-seven cents under the sofa cushions.
No one who lives there really cares.

I remember the poet Charles Bukowski,
Talking about what it meant to be famous,
To have money
After living most of his life
In hunger for the extra dollar,
Then,
After all those hungry years,
Loose change in a drawer,
In his pocket,
Scattered across the kitchen counter
As if it didn’t mean anything at all.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Little Sheep


I am a little sheep
With headlights and a beep,
A horn and a job,
I am corn on the cob.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Listening


Just when I thought I was full of poetry,
Full of things to say,
Couldn’t write them down fast enough,
Just when I thought it was me, me, me,
You took the words away
And left me sitting here
With this fountain pen and white sheet of paper,
White, white, white,
With nothing,
Nothing left to say,
Unable to write a single word
Until,
Humbled,
Humiliated,
Asking for your help,
Listening once again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Listen


If you want to hear the angels speak,
You must listen.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Like Emily


She has decided to be an artist,
A sculptress of words,
A poetess.

Her tribute "To the Hungry Children of Planet Earth,”
Read in somber tones to her reluctant friends,
Such a moving expression of television-inspired grief.

But what do they know of art?
They are lost in contemplation
Of the rise and fall of her breasts,
So invitingly ripe,
While they feign appreciation of her nobler qualities.

She knows they only half listen to her words
And her thoughts are drawn back to Emily Dickinson.
She prepares herself
For the many years of indifference
That will most certainly come.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

You Think You're The Only One


Do you feel so crazy inside sometimes
You’ve gotta keep it a secret
Because your friends and family are counting on you,
Expecting you to be a normal person,
To be this person you decided to be,
This person you feel comfortable being,
This person who is not so crazy inside sometimes?

So you keep it a secret
And never let it out in public,
Never let it out with people who know who you are,
But it’s right there behind your eyes,
Buzzing in your ears,
On the tip of your tongue.

You think you’re the only one.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Lights


Without love,
Some kind,
Any kind of crazy love,
The lights are out
All over town.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Lighten Up


Finding fault,
Our national pastime.

Blame,
Judgment,
Condemnation,
Punishment.

We are good,
They are bad.

Yes, intentional evil exists
And there are saints among us
And sure,
Your brother-in-law is a jerk,
But life is short,
Give him a break.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Light Burning


My secret love comes home.
I see her from my window.
She parks her car and opens her trunk,
Unloading,
Bags of things
For her secret life.

I walk by and say hello.
She says hi and smiles,
A long smile,
Watching me slowly walk away.

My secret love leaves a light burning,
Late, late into the night.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Will Mourn, Sooner Or Later


When you die
I will mourn for you.

I may even mourn for you
Before you die,
Now and then.

But I’m more likely to judge,
Rather than mourn,
While you’re still alive,
Knowing once you are dead,
The mourning will come easier.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Cat


If I didn’t have this cat
I would be reading about the perilous state
Of geopolitical affairs,
Uninterrupted,
Pondering the decline of participatory democracies
Engineered by religious terrorists and dictators,
Too often aided and abetted by a brainwashed populace.

But because I do indeed have this cat,
I must put my reading down
And extract the rubber spider from beneath the couch.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

He Did Not Fall


As my earthly span decreases,
My past increases,
Filling my thoughts,
Haunting my days,
Replacing the illusion of eternity
With the certitude of temporality.

My life,
Fixed in time,
An immutable chronology,
Yet not without hope,
Some spectacular finale:

At age 103
He stepped out of the boat
And stood upon the water.
He did not fall.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Life Is Too Beautiful


Life is too beautiful
To be written down on paper,
Printed in books,
Read in small darkened rooms
By merciless scholars
Too eager to impose their will
On those who still believe
There is an answer.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Life After Death


You want to believe
But faith is not enough
For your rational, scholarly mind,
And so you spend your evenings
Searching through ancient texts
For the meaning of life,
Surrounded and infused
With the souls of the dead.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Corner Of Light


Certain paintings are only beautiful from a distance,
The natural tendency to criticize,
To overanalyze the smallest detail,
Tempered by diffusion.

In this subway window I look beautiful
In the dark tunneling light,
A surprise after close-mirrored inspection
Revealed so many flaws this morning.

How I look to myself at any given moment,
Something on the outside,
Something on the inside,
Has no certainty.

With something like hope,
Something like courage,
Something like acceptance,
I find solace in this corner of light.


~ Russ Allison Loar & Christopher Andrew Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Letters


I love these little letters
That so freely flow
From my big black fountain pen,
O’er the waves they go.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Length Of A Day


With each thing that you add
One thing you must subtract.
You can't add an extra hour
And keep the world intact.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Legions


At 12:18 in the smoggy afternoon air
Eating lunch in my car parked
In an abandoned parking lot
I suddenly realize:

This is the rest of my life.

Maybe in a different parking lot
On another day
With another dirty windshield sky
I will again forget
I am no one in particular,
Again dream of great honors
Awarded me for great things
I could never really do,
Not even in a hundred years.

I am out of the running.

My children are growing up poor
Without me
While I give little that matters to the world,
Working into the night,
Earning money
Which is not and never will be mine.

I am legions.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Always


How will you grow old my princess?
How long will your youthful elegance endure?

I would have you impervious,
Fearlessly facing mirrors,
Accepting the inevitable,
Fueled by grace,
By joy,
Knowing in your heart of hearts
There is one who will always see
The beautiful young woman you are,
Will always be.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

All I Know About Love I Leave


All I know about love I leave
Outside the door to your room.
Inside, raw passion will do,
The electric feel of skin touching skin,
Wanting yet waiting,
Teasing,
Playing.

Like the blind our fingers have sight
As we move in love’s rhythms,
Tossed by the sea of night.

And all that mattered a few hours before
And all that waits outside your door
Matters no more.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Infested


A middle-age man is kneeling
On his front lawn,
Carefully leveraging out every weed.
Each invader must be delicately extracted
With roots intact.

Near the end of the day
When the light is too dim
He considers how much lawn is left,
Knowing by the time he reaches the end
He must start again.

His knees ache and his back is sore.
He falls asleep on the couch
With the television on
And in his dream
He sees an infinity of lawn,
Infested.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Language


The mind says,
Listen to me, I will explain everything.

The heart says,
I understand, but my feelings are unchanged.

The mind says,
This is God and this is life,
All is explained.

The heart says,
I speak a language you do not understand,
A language without words.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Rooming House


Landlady,
I don’t hate you,
I just sort of dislike you,
Which in itself makes me feel at home.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Safe Distance


At dinnertime,
His dinnertime,
This old black cat
Comes to the back porch,
Sits calmly,
And waits,
Knowing his supper will come.

But when I bring him food
He backs away,
Keeps a safe distance,
Though he must know me well by now.

Was he born wild,
Or abandoned young?
I don’t know.
But I too was once a homeless child
And so understand.

I have sheltered many strays
And know he will not be tamed,
Though after his meal
He often sits with folded paws,
Looking through the glass-paneled door,
Wistfully it seems,
Wistfully,
At the alien world of my indoor cats,
Watching them stretch out on the sofa
In the flickering firelight,
Watching me,
Wanting to be part of something,
Wanting to be near,
But never,
Never,
Without fear.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Glimpses


Even the tangible is rooted in imagination,
Which breaks down now and then,
Revealing the artifice of ideas,
However noble they may be.

Glimpses of the face behind the mask.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Arrow Of Time


Scientists are scratching their heads
Over the arrow of time,
Why things persistently move forward,
This journey from the womb,
Where along the way
We learn what the word “forward” means,
A word we made up
To describe this perception of progression.

“Why always forward?”
The aged scientist asks,
As the repression of his regression
Slowly reverses everything.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Kitty Up A Tree


Kitty up a tree,
Glad it isn’t me,
‘Cause if it were
I’d have no fur,
And speak English.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Just Wonderin'


I was sittin’ up late last night
Wonderin’ if I was Jesus
When a black cat walked slowly through the door.

I looked at him and asked,
"Am I?"

"If you was," he replied,
"You ain’t no more."


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Just A Joke


Though I laugh outside,
I die within.

Oh what sadness a joke can bring.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Indifference


O the unclipped nose hair,
The unchecked gluttony,
The wrinkled plaid Bermuda shorts,
The black socks and penny loafers.

O the pasty white skin,
The mounting corpulence,
The open-mouthed unconscious stare,
The arrogant indifference.

O what have you surrendered?
And why?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Not Yet


Nature created us,
We human beings
Who seek exclusion from nature’s consequences,
From the balance of success and failure
Required by nature,
From which we cannot escape,
Yet.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I've Changed


Oh my darling,
I was so foolish,
Such a selfish, weak and unfeeling bastard.
Can you ever forgive me?

I’ll do anything to make it up to you.

I hope you can find it in your heart to understand.
I never meant to hurt you.

Oh my love,
I’ve made so many mistakes,
Won’t you give me another chance,
Now that I’m pretending to be apologetic, contrite and sincere?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

It Is You


O fond remembrance,
Goes here,
With wistful images of childhood,
The lingering sun of spring
Or perhaps a warm winter fire,
A blackberry bush,
A dog,
Your mother,
Brother,
Other.

Yes, you saw but did not know,
And,
Now you know and see
Through melancholy tint,
In veiled memory,
And all your days have come to this,
This enshrined vision of a time,
A day,
Or perhaps a moment,
Goes here,
Your illuminated moment.

O long unrealized realization,
Goes here,
The simple joy,
The profound regret,
Or perhaps both,
And yet,
Something remains,
Something mysterious,
Unspoken yet large,
The lump in the throat,
The wistful tear,
Goes here,
For it is you
Who has made this poem,
All these poems you hold near,
It is you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

It Grows


The silent majesty of a tree
Is at every moment a miracle
Unveiled before the world.
Without proclamation,
Without advertisement,
Without faith or despair,
It grows.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Acorn


Of all my possessions,
This acorn,
Now tawny and hard,
A tree-fallen treasure
With its tiny triangle-thatched cap intact,
Its precise patina so perfectly patterned,
One of so many millions,
This acorn,
Of all my possessions,
Here in my hand.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Is This Pain?


High expectations from uninspired egomaniacs
Encourage my apathy,
My appetite.

I will eat my way to heaven
Until at last
I am bloated in paradise.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Interstice


Somewhere between euphoria and despair
My overweight cat,
Jumping up to my chair,
Claws anchored against gravity,
Up and then on my lap,
Pushing his head against my arm
To renew and strengthen fraternal bond,
Nudged aside to a padded armrest,
My overweight cat
Sits,
Composes himself,
Luxuriates in this place he has made
For both of us,
Somewhere between euphoria and despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inhuman


A saint without selfishness,
A prophet without confusion,
God without flaw,
Inhuman.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inevitability


How deep your search for the profound,
How detailed your analysis,
How proud you are of the synthesis of theories
Rolling off the tip of your tongue.
At last you have mastered the subject matter
And everywhere you look there is clarity and form.

But big black death is still an inevitability
And you will need more than clever ideas
To sustain your soul during those last indeterminate years.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Wilderness


The plaintive cry of the jackalope
Echoes
Through my open motel window,
I cannot sleep.

Who?
Who will lube my aging motor home
Way out here where I wander
In this desolate land without movie rentals?

I wonder,
Not much.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Waiting Room


It started with a pain in the stomach,
Digestive problems,
Then a sporadic cough,
Sudden headaches,
Fatigue,
Insomnia,
Anxiety attacks,
Depression,
And here she sits in the waiting room,
Waiting for the doctor to review her test results,
When she already knows,
She knows what’s really wrong,
Just as certainly as she knows
There is no pill she can take
For not being in love.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Not My Son


I thought I saw my son
Staring out the window of a bus,
Bathed in grimy yellow light,
Vacant,
Hopeless.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Standing outside a supermarket,
Holding a ragged piece of cardboard,
Homeless
Scrawled in large black letters
As if nothing else were needed
To explain his relationship to humanity.
Tired out and expecting little,
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Angling down a crowded city sidewalk
When he should have been in school,
Too skinny,
Clothes too small and worn,
Asking me for spare change.
Tears filled his eyes
When I gave him a twenty dollar bill.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son,
Not my son.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Eyes Of A Beautiful Stranger


In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is a kind of paradise,
A release
From a life full of things
Too familiar,
Worn out from overuse,
Exhausted by constancy.

In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is another life,
Different,
Fresh,
Unknown.

Ah, to awaken one morning
And not know
What the new day will bring.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Early Morning Dark


In the early morning dark
After the last of my automatic lawn sprinklers
Sinks back beneath the lush lawn turf,
The last valve closing with a pipe-rattling thunk,
Still a few small slugs remain
Nestled in the recess of the sprinkler heads,
Plump with moisture,
While the slap of a newspaper falling on a driveway,
Again, slap, again, slap, again, slap,
Comes closer.

He drives on the wrong side of the street,
Emergency lights flashing,
And delivers the blueprints for Thursday,
This day of Thurs in which we all believe,
Which must always follow Wednesday,
Which must always presage Friday,
Always, slap, always, slap, always, slap.

He drives swiftly, almost recklessly
Beneath the burnt umber street lights,
Confident no children will be outside playing.
We are a predictable people
And need our sleep.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Spring


Something awakens in me
After the long winter slumber of my soul,
This new season
Sending waves of electricity
Through all the paths and bypaths
Of sense and sensation.

I am older now
But I will not give up Spring
As so many eventually do,
Who somehow walk undistracted
Up and down streets aflame with it,
Bathed in the glowing light of it,
Old men who hunker down and straighten their ties
And shade their eyes against the glare of it.

I will not give up Spring,
This new season,
This rapture,
Everywhere,
Life resurrecting,
Everywhere,
The soil giving birth,
Everywhere,
The cacophony of birds,
Everywhere,
Sun-inspired love and lust,
Everywhere,
Gravity unbound.

I will drink until the well is dry.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Prayer


In prayer
We become the manifestation of God,
The explanation of God,
The delineation of God,
For in prayer we bring the essence of God
Into our lives
Where it changes our purposes,
Our actions.

It is not God the Father,
The majestic, bearded image of divinity,
Who alone intercedes in our lives.
Too much tragedy in this world
To believe a merciful God would
Cover His eyes,
Shield His hearing.

We are the agents of God,
His flesh and bone,
Apostles of mercy.

In prayer,
When we are done with all our asking and apologizing,
After we finally stop talking,
When we finally begin to listen,
The instruction!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Phantom Pain


I never quite understood
The stories of amputees,
How they still felt the presence
Of a missing limb.

I never quite understood,
Until I lost you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Plans Fall Through


Torn between the soft slumber of safety
And the disturbing danger of desire
I calculate my remaining days and wonder,
Is there meaning here?

There are many who would answer for me,
Who would describe and prescribe,
Who would cleanse my confusion
With a plan.

Plans fall through.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When Do You Say?


When you start praying
When do you say:
Now I can put
All my praying away?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imagine


If you are not living the life you imagined,
Imagine the life you are living.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Can We Still Be Friends?


Please don’t misunderstand
When I say I hate you
And call you a stupid jerk
Who never should have been born.

You should know me better than that!

Just because I will not speak to you
And block your texts and emails,
Just because I never want to see you again
Doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Could Choose


Yeah,
Heaven may be swell,
For a while,
But what do you do with all you’ve experienced,
All you’ve learned?
Do you just sit around with family and friends,
Drinking wine at sunset,
Forever?

If I could choose my soul’s progression,
My soul’s destiny,
I would take all that I know,
All that I am
And be the seed of a new world.

Imagine being the initiating spirit,
The infusing spirit of a new existence,
For better or for worse,
The spirit that inspires,
The spirit that destroys,
Or something in-between,
Something complex,
Something that grows beyond its beginnings,
Something that evolves,
Kind of like planet Earth,
Which makes me wonder
Just what kind of erratic genius gave birth to this world?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imaginary


If your paradise is an illusion,
Yet you believe you are in paradise,
Feel like you are in paradise,
Who is to say this is not real?

If your love is imaginary,
Yet it keeps you alive and dreaming,
Writing long love letters late at night,
Hoping, always hoping,
Until the oxygen finally runs out,
Who is to say this is not real?

Even if your heaven is a dream,
You can still live there.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In My Dark Hours


In my dark hours,
Deserted,
Miserable,
Without hope of redemption,
In a world grown cold and colorless,
In the depth of my most personal failures,
I hear a soft voice,
Speaking calm words
With tenderness and tenacity,
Slipping through the black curtain
Of my defeat,
Pulling me back to life
From the perilous ledge
Of despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Allergic


If I could choose how death will come
I’d like it to come as a sneeze,
One really big, sudden sneeze.

It would begin with an itching sensation,
Something advancing,
Growing,
Multiplying,
A tsunami,
Then,
One massive, uncontrollable sneeze
Seizing my entire body and soul.

The lights go out.

“What happened?”
Some would ask my wife,
My witness.

“He had an allergic reaction,”
She would explain,
“To life.”


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Illumination


Early this morning,
Just a glimpse of golden light
On the peak of a nearby mountain,
Then it was gone,
Still beautiful,
But no longer illuminated.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Two Simple Words


When despair falls from lowly grace,
From mood to physical pain,
From pain to relentless torture,
From torture to final escape,
How grave the absence of hope,
The lost path to something like joy,
Something like acceptance,
The inability to say two simple words,
To say,
I will.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Aged Ones


We are the aged ones,
The last ones living off inheritances,
Consuming,
Consuming,
Nothing much left for the next generation,
Crumbling infrastructures,
Decaying,
Decaying.

We mutely observe the passing of an age,
Greedily outliving all expectations.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Little Space


A little space
Is all I need
To sit and rest
And plant a seed,
To someday root
To someday grow
So when I’m old
I’ll someday know.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If Only I Could


If only I could give you the joy in my heart,
If all I had to do was place my hand on your shoulder,
Look into your eyes and smile.

If I could give you the joy in my heart
By doing these things,
Then I would come to you now,
Interrupt everything,
Announce to the world:
You, are loved!
Saying it over and over again
Until you finally believed it,
Until you finally believe it,
Until you are filled with love,
Cleansed,
Healed,
Ready to begin again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Were A Little Badger


If I were a little badger
I tell you what I’d do
I’d help all the other badgers
Escape from the L.A. Zoo.

We’d go downtown for coffee
And chat the night away
Around the sidewalk tables
At the badger espresso cafe.

We’d have existential rages
And geopolitical despair
Then we’d sneak back to our cages
And pull out all our hair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If


If life were a metaphor
Then the incandescent epiphany
Could rise,
Bloom,
An evening cactus flower,
Jesus alone in the desert
Wrestling with demons.

I awaken,
Late for work.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Idolatry


They crowd around the dirty window
Where the faintest image of Jesus has appeared,
Standing for hours,
Praying,
Hoping to be blessed,
To be sanctified.

All around the world
The faithful are making pilgrimages,
Pressing their lips to sacred artifacts,
Expecting miraculous transformation,
As if God were in one place
And not another.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Owl


Too hot to sleep,
No one to hear my explanations,
I escape my civilized confines
Into the humid, cricket-encrusted night.

Neighbors are locked away
Within the sleepy suburban houses I pass silently by,
Enveloped by darkness.

I find the wooded trail
That snakes along fenced backyards
In the shadows of moonlit hills.

All at once he appears,
An apparition.
Atop a fence post,
A great-horned owl.

We have met before,
During other nights of solitary somnambulance.
I stop to greet him like an old friend,
To wish him luck on the evening’s hunt,
Not without sympathy for the errant mouse.

Our bond of solitude is my illusion,
For I am wandering through this cloud-shaded night
Like a dream,
Lost in thought,
In abstract contemplation,

This owl widens his eyes as I speak,
Measures my size, distance and movement,
My intentions,
Then lifts soundlessly into the air and away,
Gliding through the darkness like a prayer,
Nearly invisible,
Then,
Gone,
Almost a full working day left until dawn.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

We Suffer


At this level of incarnation
I suppose our suffering has purpose.
I have learned much from suffering,
Lessons I apparently could not have learned
Had my life been free from suffering,
Had my life been easy.
Lessons I apparently could not have learned
From joy.

Yet how can I condone suffering?
How can I countenance its merciless, random aim?
How can I find reason in the suffering of children?
In the suffering caused by villainy?
In the suffering caused by the collapse of civilization,
When whole countries suffer
From the corruption of a single man?

We are spurred to action and reform by suffering,
The best of us dreaming of a world
Where the last remnants of suffering are accidental
And soon extinguished.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

So Clearly Now


You think it’s over,
The past,
Over and done,
Those mistakes,
Weaknesses,
Errors in judgment,
Sins.

You think your treasured moments,
Your blessings,
Will erase painful memories,
In time,
But they find safe harbor in time,
Awaiting idle moments
To erupt and confront.

Someday when I’m old,
You think,
These haunts will at last subside.
But when old age comes
And all doors are closed,
Awakened from a fitful sleep,
You see so clearly now,
What could have been.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Return


Oh how you scoff at religion,
At those who embrace a merciful God,
Who have faith in the promise of heaven.

You list the sins of the righteous,
The historic holy wars,
The blindness of orthodox doctrine,
The wolves in priests’ clothing,
The sainted certainty that employs violence,
That justifies violence,
Violence against body, mind and spirit.

Your debate weighs on the sins of the religious,
As if the evil that humans do
Is an inevitable consequence of faith.

I have an aged friend,
Raised in a small town,
Believing gratitude to God is the way to give thanks,
Thanks for the blessing of another day of life.
If I convinced her of your reasoning,
If I could take all her antiquated beliefs away,
All the naïve notions of religion going back generations,
What would I give her in return?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Recently Born


So new,
So young,
So ignorant of devious motives,
So free from self-imposed orthodoxies.

So new,
So young.

We race to fill our recently born
With our individual truths,
Our tribal truths,
Our instructions and conclusions,
As if we had no need of change.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here I Sit


Here I sit at this keyboard,
Poised to type my moral condemnations
Into this computer,
A computer assembled by slave labor in China,
But first I need a bit more inspiration
And so I drink another cup of coffee,
Grown by generations of impoverished Colombians.

I pause and ponder the fate of all the world’s weary workers
Whose assembled sufferings make my life so comfortable,
As if a few empathetic thoughts and words
Could release me from responsibility.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Things


Civilization is a stubborn child,
Learning by accident
What was not inherited,
What was forgotten as generations passed.

Culture rises and falls
And that which is new,
No matter how low,
Inevitably supersedes the old,
No matter how noble.

Now we are technological
And our children barely know what to do
With paper and pen,
With a book,
These old things,
Falling, falling away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Think Of You


When I grow weary of you,
Thinking of you,
Longing for you,
Resigned to exhaustion and defeat,
I think of you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Flower


I give you this flower,
Individual,
Containing all flowers,
Containing all my love,
Which cannot be contained.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Hardest Part


The beautiful place in my heart
I never knew,
Filled with the light of you,
The blinding joy . . .

The hardest part,
When the light turned off.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Girlish


Her thoughts are girlish once more,
Though her age is beyond much hope.
Still, the life of her mind is strong.
It sings a dainty song
Not even the mute approach of death can still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Rules


To achieve an enlightened state of bliss,
How must I position my body?
Shall I sit cross-legged?
Or should I stand?
Should I close my eyes to temporal distractions?
Or should my eyes be open
So that I may learn to transcend all visual stimuli?
Should I join my hands in prayer,
Or perhaps raise a single hand
With fingers positioned to indicate some kind of divinity?

What is the best time of day, month or year
To engage in spiritual disengagement?
Should I face the rising sun
From the solitude of a verdant garden,
Or surrender my ego in a candlelit meditation hall?
Are there special words
Or spiritually empowered sounds I must make?
Must I focus on a specific kind of attainment
Or abandon all egocentric aspirations?

How long should I spend in meditation?
Or should I disregard such structures as time and space?
What should I do?
What should I not do?

Are there really rules about this kind of spiritual quest?
And what did the rule makers do before the rules were made?
When did they decide that everyday life was not enough,
And why?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Saw Her Yesterday


It’s been over long enough now,
Long enough to go through an entire day
Without the ache of memory,
The stab of loss,
Long enough.

I saw her yesterday.

I could not approach her,
Not even a passing smile,
Just a quick retreat,
Acting against every impulse of my soul,
Starting over again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

My Cat


O the quiet life of my cat,
The empty bliss of this is that.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Remove The Stone


In these later years I sometimes despair
When thought returns to unburdened times,
When moist-eyed remembrance,
Sorted from care,
Makes longing for such pleasant fiction
A stone in the heart.

Shamed by my childish discontent,
My sophisticated selfishness,
I hear my breathing,
I see this world,
I remove the stone.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

On This Planet


I am no scholar,
I have no great learning to pass on.
My job is small,
My contribution
To the advance of civilization,
Slight.
Yet I sit each morning
Sipping hot coffee with newspaper in hand
And pass stern judgment on my country,
Contemplating its sure, swift decline.

I shall soon be transported
Like a moth in a velvet cocoon
Across the freeways
To my place of employment
Where such insignificant labors
Nevertheless earn me food, shelter
And many possessions,
Such as the big-screen television
I will watch long into the night
While the less remarkable planets
Whirl by noiselessly in the dark.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Years Go By


When you are ten
A year is monumental,
Sometimes devastating,
Certainly life-altering,
Consciousness-shifting,
One-tenth of your severed-umbilical existence.

But oh how we discard the years
As we grow older,
A wasted year here,
A lost year there.

Some of us lose whole decades,
Smothered by bad luck,
Ill health,
Misguided ambitions,
Weakness,
Until in old age we look back
At the children we once were,
That long summer day
When we were truly happy
And wished for nothing.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Imagine


I imagine she is reading these words.
I imagine she loves me still.
I imagine she really did love me,
And so I forgive all mistakes,
For I too made so many.
I imagine she wants to be forgiven.

I imagine she has forgiven me.
I imagine she remembers the best part of me,
The best part of us.
I imagine she is learning to let small things
And hard feelings
Go.

I imagine I really did love her.
I imagine I love her still.

I imagined her then,
I imagine her now.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Heard A Bird


I heard a bird
On the lawn
At dawn,
Though I was asleep
A peep or two
Broke through
My slumbrous state,
So I
Did not hesitate
To imagine myself this bird
And without a word
Or a whistle,
As light as a thistle,
Took flight
And with wondrous gaze
Looked on the Earth below
Through cloud-misted haze
And thought,
How right,
How right!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

We Americans


We Americans
Speak of our founding fathers,
Our proud heritage,
As if it were all etched in stone,
Authored by God,
This young country,
This work in progress,
Fresh from ignorance and sin,
Sinning still.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Old Places


I go back to our old places,
Searching for you,
So young and silly,
Before the weight of the world dampened your laughter,
Before entanglements,
When consequences held little power over spontaneity.

So much of our lives were about beginnings,
About an imaginary future.

Well, here we are in that future,
So abstract then,
So fixed in place now,
This accumulation of time
Where remembrance overwhelms imagination.

Here we are,
You and I,
Still together,
Yet I go back to our old places,
Searching for you,
Searching for me.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Do Not Dream Of You


I do not dream of you,
For by the time I finally fall asleep
I am exhausted,
Weary of longing for you
Every waking moment.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Recipe


The two aging kittens grow rougher in their play,
Snap snagging thin sharp claws
On upholstered chairs,
Whizzing calamitous,
Up, down and at all impossible angles
Across the room’s vast terrain.
They launch, skid, tumble and they fly,
Throwing arms and eyes wide,
Fluttering papers,
Toppling stuff,
Skittering across the floor.

My two boys grow more contentious in their play,
Each accusing each of unfair and stupid things.
They shout and mock and pick away
What’s left of childhood’s blossoms,
Scattering them foolishly in aimless paths.

I watch cats and boys with equal awe and confusion,
Wondering what magic recipe stirs us all about,
A mix of chaos and serendipity,
Bolting us headlong into the future
From this too brief interlude of,
Dare I call it,
Bliss?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Measure And Weigh


We are a people
Who measure and weigh,
Measure and weigh,
While the moment itself
Slips away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Am Dead Now


On the evening of the day before I died
I knew I was doing everything for the last time.

Not too much melancholy,
Not too much regret,
Not too much anticipation,
Just getting ready for a trip.

Consider these words,
Weigh them well,
Ask yourself how I knew.

Someday, you’ll know too.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Am


I am that which casts shadows.
I am a shadow.

I am a piano,
Unaware of the one who strikes my keys.

I am the letters on this page,
This thought,
This moment.

I am your disbelief.

I am the thickness of night,
Wrinkling the skin of old dogs,
Pricking the dreams of frightened children.

I am a voice,
Calling out to itself.

I am what answers.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Human Beings


Oh such comfort we draw
From the old religions,
The old words,
So divinely inspired.
We forget they were written down
By human beings,
So divinely inspired,
Doing their best to reveal
The mind of God,
The will of God,
The judgments of God,
Written down by human beings
Who are not and never will be,
Perfect.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Soon We Let Go


How soon we let go of love
For more practical pursuits.

A discarded hobby,
Love leans against a corner
In a dark closet,
Gathering dust.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Lovely Is Thy Mexican


How lovely is thy Mexican
Who keeps your garden green,
Who plants the flowers in the spring
Yet who is seldom seen.

Your friends and neighbors never fail
To praise your bounteous bower,
With butterfly and robin’s wing,
You pay five bucks an hour.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Riding


How alive this young girl
As she tenses lithe legs
Against her strong black stallion,
Shining with the sweat of speed.

Through the windy twigs of distant trees
I watch her pull against the reins
Stiff-backed,
Long hair streaming into the wind.

Now riding faster,
This chestnut-haired girl leans in close.

Pulsing together in full gallop,
They are ecstasy.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

House Of Cards


Our cherished way of life,
So recently contrived,
Defended with such vigor,
With such zeal,
Inspired by insecurity,
Knowing it is belief,
And only belief,
That keeps this house of cards
From collapse.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

I Can’t Explain Passion


I can’t explain passion,
And if I could,
I wouldn’t.

I can’t explain passion,
And if I would,
I shouldn’t.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

How Hard It Is


How hard it is
To repair the damage
Of an unlucky childhood,
To break the mold,
To reinvent the life
When all the anger
Still echoes.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Shadowed Man


The shadowed man hides in dark places,
Hidden from scrutiny by most,
But not from me.

I often walk through this village late at night
And I see him,
See where he sleeps,
A narrow patch of grass between two brick buildings,
Hidden by overgrown bushes.

I see his dark profile as I walk down a nearby alley.
He is not young, but I cannot tell his age,
Even on this moonlit night.
He moves in determinate ways,
Like one with years of practice in living without a home.

Of all the dark corners in this village
He has chosen well.
Close enough to shuttered restaurants and discarded food,
Barely visible only to the rare midnight wanderer.

There is something deep and dark about this man,
Something like a force field that surrounds him,
Charged with misery and anger.
He is lost in a smothering fog of regret.

I keep my distance,
Pretending not to notice
As he moves purposefully in the dark,
Doing something with his few possessions.

He frightens me and I wonder if he carries a knife,
Wonder if he kidnaps little children on their way to school,
If he has been in prison,
If he’s a wanted man.

I hear the clack of punctured metal,
The opening of a can.
He steps out from the shadows,
Into the moonlight,
Into an empty parking lot
Where a gray and black tabby races to greet him,
Tail high with affection and appreciation
For this guardian angel who brings dinner each night,
This shadowed man who has ventured out,
Into the light.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

This Inauguration Day



The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
~ Robert Frost

~ For Barack Obama's first inauguration



Today we have changed,
Moved ahead
In the midst of chaos and contention.

From the nebula where heavenly bodies are born,
Another light,
Formed from the turbulence of our universe,
Accreted from ignorance and wisdom,
Failure and success,
Made whole by compromise,
Revealed by honesty,
Another light
Ascends.

All the inspiring words
And clamoring crowds,
All the dire prognostications
And disillusioned multitudes
Cannot change the fact of our nation’s hope made flesh,
The fact of this inauguration day
That can not, will not, be wished away.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Home


So many kinds of love,
And lust,
And love,
But when I first touched your hand,
I knew I was home.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here To Stay


My children who've grown older
Have moved away.

Now the children they once were
Are here to stay.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here, Now


Earth.
Heaven.
Hell.

Heaven and Hell.

Hell on Earth.
Heaven on Earth.

Heaven and Hell on Earth,

Here,
Now.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Bird Calls


These birds
Do not appreciate my impersonations,
The whistling,
The forced chirping through pursed lips.
They point their beaks at one another
And tilt their heads sarcastically
As I call:
Here birdy-birdy-birdy.

Incredulous,
They raise their eyes toward the treetops
And sigh,
Tiny puffs of air,
Ruffle a feather or two
And fly.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Enshrined


The light in her eyes when she sees her love
Illuminated beneath a streetlight,
Knowing their evening of romance has just begun,
Believing it has no end . . .

How quickly they come together,
So tightly embrace,
Looking deep into each other’s eyes,
A long kiss without caring who sees . . .

Their fingers entwine,
Their bodies stay close walking down the sidewalk
Into the enchanted night,
Arm in arm,
Heart in heart . . .

When I see them I think of you,
Of our eternal moments together,
Alive within me still,
Enshrined.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here On Earth


Here on Earth,
God sees through our eyes.
Here on Earth,
God works with our hands.
Here on Earth,
We are the conscience of God.

Yet you ask,
Why does God not see?
Why does God not act?
Where is God’s mercy?

Look within your heart.
You will find the answers there.

Each of us is called.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Defiance


I did not volunteer for this duty,
Sentinel of pain,
And in my lowest moments I protest,
Knowing such protestations do no good,
Yet anger feels appropriate,
If only to maintain some kind of balance,
Some kind of defiance.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Professorial


He may actually believe in philosophy,
That a systematic philosophical argument can prove God exists,
That the mysteries of the heart are susceptible to reason,
That he will awaken from distress by way of intellectual inquiry.

So much to consider as he continues his search,
Wandering through the labyrinth of postulation
So late into the night,
Alone and wide awake,
Missing her.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Love Is A Vibration


His pocket is vibrating,
On and off all day long
With messages of love
From his eager new girlfriend,
Vibrating with urgency
On his cell phone.

But he is at work
And cannot stop.
Besides,
The words don’t matter.
The vibration is enough.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Heidi Ho


There is a little dog I know
Her name is Heidi Ho.
She lives where the red grapes grow,
Where the gypsy boys moan low
With their squishy gypsy missies.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Heaven And Hell


Sometimes this peaceful suburban landscape
Seems like heaven.

I am momentarily reprieved
And the people in my tiny town glow,
Translucent arcs of light
Moving about their daily tasks.

We stop and talk a while.

Hell returns.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Wishing


A fountain sparkling with pennies,
A wishing well
Catches your eye
And for a moment
You consider finding a penny
And making a wish,
An impulse you quickly dismiss.

All those shiny pennies
Magnified by the rippling water,
Shimmering.
An illusion for children,
You think.
Too old for such foolishness,
You think,
No longer remembering what wishing is for.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Heart Of The World


I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

It was yours before I gave it to you,
Yours when you were lost,
Yours when you loved,
Yours when you cried.

I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

It is yours without my giving,
Yours when you are strong,
Yours when you are weak,
Yours awakening in you.

I give you my heart,
Which is the heart of the world.

Look!
Within your hearing,
Within your sight,
Within and without,
Everywhere,
It is the heart of the world,
And I give it to you.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Angelic


I used to think angels were perfect,
Unstained,
Untouched by human frailty,
Until,
In a low moment
An angel comforted me,
The kind of comfort only an angel could bring,
An angel who knows what it is to be human,
Who knows what it is to fail.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Past, Present, Future


Lust is easy to explain.
Biological,
Sociological,
Innate urges powered by repression,
By obsession.
Animal.

Yes, you awaken the stalking beast within,
But something transcends,
Filling me with your past, present, future.

I look into your eyes and see all the ages of your life,
All the ages of our lives together.

You look into my eyes and smile,
And though we’ve just met,
The past, present and future of our lives, assemble.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hate


If you are taught to hate,
If you embrace hate,
If you carry hate in your heart,
Then you will awaken each morning with hate,
Sleep each evening with hate,
Dream of hate.

Such a heavy burden,
This all-embracing anger,
This desire for violence,
This vengeance.

But when you dream of a perfect world,
When you imagine yourself in paradise,
Where is hate?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hangin’ Onto The Ozone


My feet don’t seem to stick
No more to the floor,
They don’t.

Oh sure,
I can walk down the street,
But I’m hangin’ on for dear life.

Any minute now
That street come slippin’ out from under,
Me hangin’ onto the ozone
So I don’t fall
All the way
To the moon.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Safe


First comes passion,
Then all the talking,
The explaining,
The rationalizing,
The figuring things out
While passion is silently put
Into the small golden box
With the other keepsakes,
Safe.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

After I Died


I am walking on a long, outstretched path,
Somewhere I’ve never been
Yet familiar somehow,
Past verdant bushes and trees,
New life sprouting, flashing from every direction,
Bushels of multicolored leaves,
Rainbows of sudden spring flowers,
Glistening gold and green painted hillsides,
Walking without destination
Yet toward something, large.

A promise?
A transformation?

I am walking alone
In the cool crisp air of morning,
Or is it evening?
No sense of time.
A yellow sparrow flutters down
A few steps ahead,
Deliberately attracting my attention,
Then hopping along with me,
Keeping a safe distance,
Leading me from her nesting place
Until we’ve traveled far enough away,
Then she is gone.

I am walking without destination
But something significant is happening.
I am changing in some undefinable way,
Transforming into something long wished,
A childhood dream.

Then,
Suddenly,
Without thought,
I rise and take flight.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Battlefield


It is certainty that contends
On the battlefields of just cause,
Justifying employments of war’s less noble deeds,
Accepting war’s indiscriminate consequences,
The plight of millions,
This persistence of terror.

We fight our way through centuries,
Through millennia.
We are little changed.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Guru


When my cat sits on my lap,
Forcing stillness upon me,
I hear the distant barking of a neighborhood dog,
The sudden chirping of squabbling birds,
Footsteps down the hall,
The ticking of a clock,
The whoosh of a passing car,
A door softly opened
Then closed,
An airplane,
The scratching of this pen against this paper,
The smell of ink,
The movement of my toes,
The tempo of my breathing,
The sudden absence of sound,
The weight of silence.

When my cat sits on my lap
She reminds me I am living in a world
Of sense and sensation,
My furry little guru.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Hero


I do not want my son to be a hero,
Whose name will be read among the honored dead,
Who will be forever young in the picture that is hung
On his empty bedroom wall,
O dear God don’t let him fall
In battle and attack,
Please bring him safely back.

I do not want my son to be a hero.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved