My Favorite Martian

Phantasmagorical_painting_from_Pripyat_(retouched)

Detail of Phantasmagorical painting from Pripyat. Original photo by Simon Smith via Flickr, cc-sa2.0

I’d never met a boy like you
with green skin and a tender heart.
Your pain hid behind a goofy smile
My soul brother from the very start.

You were out of this world, fantastic
Above the earthling’s rough and tumble
And if you wanted to fit in
You never let us see, nor stumbled.

If fate does let us meet again
In another life or dimension
Share heart & wisdom one more time
I promise to pay better attention.

You were out of this world, fantastic
Your friendship always was sublime
My soul brother from the very start
Share heart & wisdom one more time.

( A eulogy for a friend who died unexpectedly.  Requiescat in pace, lab partner.)

Golden Age

He said he lost her in an ion storm
hard-hit on the portside in a Ceres high-orbit
a sudden flash and she vanished forever.
lost in space, out in the black, no one can hear you scream.

He said he lost her in a poker game
to a blue haired Antarean girl with a treacherous smile
a beautiful pirate queen who stole his heart
once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away.

He said: all we know is this: she’s gone.
she left us with nothing but stories of past glories
tales that fill the infinite expanses
in them, we chase the stars. We live on the edge of forever.

oldrocketship

Triple Time

If heaven’s angels flew down to dance with me
from that glorious host, I’d choose you
We could dance all night and day
pause, and start anew.

Leo_Rauth_Wiener_Walzer

Wiener Walzer by Leo Rauth, circa 1911.

 

If all of our dance were spins and sighs
because we knew not where to begin
Still, I’d hold my arms open wide
and welcome you right in.

If in the beat our steps went awry
we could count the measures anew
knowing that despite the count,
our dance will always be true.

El Jefe

web-859387_1280

image from pixabay

You always smelled of whiskey,
cheap cigarettes, and fragile male ego.
You strutted your stuff
trying to prove
that you were The Boss
even though you couldn’t
manage yourself.

And yet, there was something
sweet about you,
like a lost little boy who was
determined to find
his own way home,
afraid to ask for help
because everything was always
transactional; tit for tat.

Those who struggle
to love you despite yourself
tell tales
of your greatness,
spun from your lies and
their own battered wishes
of who you could be.
Bon voyage, Jefe. May you find Peace.

The Places I’m From

walkway

(c) T.L. Ryder

I am from that indigo moment before dawn
Boiled up from 2 parts sulfurous water
One part shining, frozen snow, and
a dash of good whiskey thrown in for flavor.

I am from the edge of the reservation,
From the side of the cliff that we didn’t fall down—much,
From the back corner of the library, where we
Read the books your mom wouldn’t let us take home.

I am from red-skinned people with black hair,
From white-skinned people with red hair,
From people who came here for a better life, and
People whose way of life was taken from them.

I am from Star Trek, Star Wars and Dune,
The Force be with You!
From the pleading of rosary beads at bedside,
From the glory of Father Sun bringing life to the world.

I am from flat bread, fry bread and sheep tail fat,
Boiled cabbage with bacon, greasy lima beans,
Sage cut from a bush in the prairie, fresh pronghorn stew,
Hamburger Helper and Tab.

(found this old thing from 2010 and decided to re-post it)

Home

THEY say “Home is where the heart is.”
I have left a piece of heart behind
blue asbestos siding
picture window
white trim
and yet
THEY say “You can’t go home again.”
I drive by and find shards of memory
the blue is gone
new bay window
unfamiliar shrubs
and yet
I say “Home sweet home.”
The ghost of once upon a time lives on
old driveway
Dad’s shed
still there
And yet. . .

 

easter67

Easter, about 1968. The picture window is gone but the house still stands.