5 Short Poems

5 Short Poems

By Eric Lewin

Playing the Ponies

These new friends don’t understand

they secretly think me naive, foolish even

don’t I grasp what this friendship is?

we’re not sharing popsicles,

horsing around or chasing chicks here

there’s deals to cut

introductions to be made

favors to swap

like we’re all just sheister betters

groomed to run around an endless loop

We just band together now

the business of relationships

it’s not even questioned

as the world gets more and more global

people grow more and more insular

shrinking affection by night

and playing the ponies by day


 Over Forever

It’s often the case

that times you lived were

not the black nightmare of despair

and misery you thought they were

when looking behind your shoulder

in the rearview mirror now

there is no wreckage

all the dramas and fights

the broken up relationships, the battles

down to the smallest, most innocuos thing

that needled you back then

they’re gone

a super human cleaning crew came in the night

while you slept your way into ten or twenty years later

and they shoveled all that debris away

if you’re lucky, the crew was so diligent

that with it they carted off the nasty residue

the grudges and ground axes

for who knows how long

and the way is now smooth behind you,

like road well traveled

you can take a breath where you are

light a blue cigar and wrinkle your eyes

into an open skyline

and see deeply into

the portal of time

and touch, slightly

the heart of a moment

lived long ago

and feel it clean,

no stakes

only soft,



over forever 


Musical Chairs

Some men never come back

and some never went anywhere to come back from

but to those dropped into a nosedive

left bereft


and dismissed

the love was never constant

that is the one consolation

it will flatline

leaving crumpled newspapers

frittered memories

and half-eaten sandwich crusts


Some force soon after takes up under your legs

and helps you walk off the old hurts

nursing the wounds to a dull throb

and the front door to your inner palace opens again

out you step

back into the same cold world that threw you out


The musical chairs start up again

of which you are always a part, like it or not

the biggest surprise is this:

you were one woman’s low and she let you drop

soon there is a brand new woman you met at the park

or the hospital, or even a party you got dragged to

and where she last stopped is where you start

the burning song in you captures her ear

and speaks to it

she learns from you, where you have been

and it draws her near

you don’t wince at this, you marvel

at the infinite combinations of man and women and harmony and sex

the places we find ourselves, and who we are seated next to

at different moments

in these musical chairs


Blue ‘Trane

I listened to Coltrane today

as a reminder

that a man and his horn can

gurgle up

from a depth not spoken

in polite conversation


the bile and depravity

of inner turmoil

and without pause


face this

spasm of

rummaging, discordant states

touch it

with grace

and rise up,



notes of


in fresh, full moon air 

over virulent blue waters


shrieks of hysterical relief

die down and

settle into radiant,

belly-warm tones


rich tracks made

by pale white horse

in dark lowland

of desert night


there rides

the blue ‘Trane



It’s time to stay away

from the flash in the pan stuff

this very early morning

the sky curdles a cobalt-grey

breaks open into blue


the planets orbit in no rush

miles plays his trumpet softly

on the radio

there is the burning down

of yesterday

an invisible current

carries me ahead

the old hurts will now

have a chance to


with some distance

the merciful


has a clear space to come in

to take my hand and hold it awhile

like a sweet lover would

this is not about hope

I tell you it’s the beat

I hear it

follow it,

like warm blinking lights up ahead

beckon me


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