Four Poems

by Patrick Theron Erickson


halfway in and halfway out

Thus exposed
would you stick your neck out
like that?

If a bird swoops down
and bites the worm in half

so that half the worm
is in the apple

and the other half
is in the bird

which is the better half?
which is better off?

If the worm crawls out of the worm hole
what’s the point of that?

If the worm crawls out of the worm
and then crawls back in

is that an out-of-body experience

or only the light
at the end of the tunnel

and sudden death?


Leave the humble bumble bee
bumbling, bumbling along

Leave the bumbling people
with their stingers out

Leave them be
leave well enough alone

There is no use
stirring up a hornet’s nest

unless you intend to exterminate the hornets
or move out and move on

A little honey from the honey bee
may sweeten the bitter truth

but it won’t make it any more palatable
or any less stinging

You’ve stirred up the hornet’s nest

It’s high time to move out and move on

and henceforth
leave well enough alone.


Our minds grow dull

Our fingers grow nimble too
trying to finger the dull gray matter

and pry it open
and pry it loose

and not fumble the convoluted mass
flicking off the detritus
that always grows on the dull gray matter
faster than the convoluted mass
without so much as flickering

and that before our minds snap shut
like dull gray clams

and our fingers and hands grow numb

too numb to finger or handle anything
this convoluted

or pry it open
and pry it loose.


and the root of acid reflux

as it etches the tongue’s taste
on the taste buds

It is grounded
in the floor of the mouth
as is the tongue

and separates the oral cavity
from the nasal cavity

The palate is divided into two parts

the anterior bony hard palate
and the posterior fleshy soft palate

The soft palate is on its own
like soft money

The hard palate is formed before birth

If the fusion is incomplete
it results in a cleft palate

A similar anatomical feature
is to be observed in crocodilians

minus the cleft palate
and the soft money

And they have better taste

and no acid reflux.

Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas, a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek, is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Former People, Grey Sparrow Journal, Cobalt Review, and Burningword Literary Journal, among other publications, and more recently in The Main Street Rag, Tipton Poetry Journal, Right Hand Pointing, and Danse Macabre.

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