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Diffusing the Tick-Tock

By Samantha Terrell


Springtime Isn’t Always Optimistic


Green of spring,


Tree frogs have come


Outside looks


Inside, worry.

An empty gas tank,

Errands to run,

Sweating from the already too hot sun,

And they’re raffling off an assault rifle at the bank

Do Horror Movies Ever Have Happy Endings?

Reality has been subjected to theatrical fantasy

For too long now.

The zombies and vampires are eating our brains out,

Sucking every drop of sanity.

There is no shared humanity,

No common cause left at our uttermost core.

Every reasonable idea becomes the next victim through which the monsters and villains bore

Their pointless holes, or take aim and blast away integrity

With nonsensical violent

Words and actions of unprecedented proportions,

Paining the paying customers.

The display is reminiscent

Of shallow, over-acting. We sit in the audience,

Ashamed to know we can’t

Simply close our eyes, and wait

For this box-office flop to end

Weep Now for Future Losses

We're told

It's premature

To weep for it; the

Unwelcome gains, the unjust losses

Brought upon us

By reprehensible

Acts of irresponsible



Publicity wars

And plunder for more

Have robbed the future

Of our weeping,

Our living and our breathing.

So we must work harder,

Adapt faster,

Plan for then,



American History's Future

Will we come home

To you, and walk our American, bootstrapped-feet

Down your steadfast Main Street?

The one with sidewalks resembling those

From our childhood memories.

May we take refuge under your awnings,

Take comfort in camaraderie, as we

Explore the companies you keep?

Would it be too much to ask,

To unfurl our burdened hearts,

And bask

In the simple Americana

Your shop-fronts offer,

To participate for a while in a place

Free from this world's scoffers,

And lend our little ones to you, in exchange for the opportunity

To test out future feet, on your historical streets?

30-Year Fixed

Elderly, understandably, lament

Passing on all they've achieved.

The nation has “matured” into

A wasteland of greed.

Material things and manmade systems

Assume we'll outlive the means to their end.

With sympathy over these losses, and their lies,

Our withered society must regroup, transcend

Time To Give Up

When we give up

'Chasing the dream'

It's hard

Not to scream

At the other participants

In the charade.

They don't know

Their shortcomings

Are on parade

For everyone who sees.

And it's not ours to gloat

As they hook up their

Gaudy floats,


They've finally got it all,


"Pride cometh

Before the fall..."

But we've got bigger problems.

It may be noble refusing to give chase

To the frivolity and fuss, and nobler still

Allowing others to make their own mistakes,

But the spectator's spots aren't suitable now, and

Silence will never work for long.

Making our only worthy ally,

Our greatest enemy: time


Who stole the time right off the clock face

And took the numbers too?

Where did they put them?

And why is it, without them, I can't find you?

Or me either, for that matter.

But there's a nefarious reason, I'm sure,

For the missing purpose, and

Hands, that normally stir

Round and round

In constant circular motion,

Creating my dependence on their mirage

Of a time-structured foundation.

Maybe it's not so

Far-fetched to fear, what will be next to go?

Here We Are, But Why?

The only question left,

Sometimes, is Where?

Where will we do those things

We will, regardless of place and time, do?

Not, By Whom? or even, When?

Because we, and time, are at once urgent and irrelevant.

And, when Where begins to beg us

To find it, like What, it is pushy.

It wants for an answer

To Why.

But, if Here were right,

Would Where invite us elsewhere?

Peering Into the Modern Looking Glass

Have you ever gone searching

For someone else,

And inadvertently

Found yourself?

Have you ever gone looking

At profile pictures and search engines,

And found out who you are

To the outside world?

Have you ever gone searching

For yourself,

And wondered

Why we search?

'Stop the Clock'


And listen.

Wait for the old clock

To start again,

Or the new one to slow down.

The time

Continues creeping

Forward but the heart

Keeps sleeping

When it should wake.


When the waking

Happens, it's bitter and sluggish;

Same as the agonizing

Lingering over options,

Plans, details that

Turn out to be moot.

Time is always an opportunity.

Though to wait,

Is very different than to placate

The Benefit of Foresight

When there’s not much time

Before the storm, and

We all rush out

To buy

Our milk and bread,

Predictions have become reality, and

The period of prophecy is dead.

So who is the fool?

The one who waits, and only ever

Acts upon the apparent?

Or, one who

Knows the forecast

But fails

To act?

For now we ponder

And wait, late into

This tumultuous night. but

Will we one day wonder

Why we didn’t embrace

The burden of foresight, as

A benefit of faith?

Of Alchemy and Irony

Is there still time

To make something

From the impending dread?

When every combination

Produces yet another

Form of lead,

Slowing progress further with its predictable weight,

While the true value of currency is

Forced to sit and stagnate;

Knowing it can work for good,

Knowing it’s been misunderstood,

Hoping for systemic change, before it’s finally too late

Time for a Change

Can’t find the time

To find the item

I’m looking for.

And, what’s more,

I don’t know what

The timeframe is

For the thing

I’m supposed to be planning

Not to mention,

There’s an enemy

Knocking on my door,

Pushing me to the floor

Calling me names,

Making strange

Accusations and spouting lies

Despite my willingness to try

Just about anything

To make this work,

To help the situation.

What may look like procrastination,

Sometimes. is really

Quiet determination

To plan and execute,

Life’s great pursuits


The torso

Is forced

Forward unnaturally,

In an arched position,

A cartoon character depicted,

Stretching its whole body-length

And more. from feet in

Their present field,

To open hands,

Palms down, at the end

Of outstretched,


Arms reaching for an unknown future,

On an unpredictable plain,

For fear of what might lie in-between


I’ve rushed

Too much,


There was

No rush left,

No ratcheting up,

No more pushing myself.


I’ve pushed

Too hard,

Until there was

No impetus for action,

No remaining

Ambition, no rightful motivation;

Since my

Motives, though

Previously clear, and

Relevant and entirely


Transformed into a different scene

On the other side of life’s window pane,

In which the window itself became

The lens of an

Ever-changing kaleidoscope

Viewed through a glass-less frame;

Filled with less-distinct objectives,

But happily

Lacking pretensions

Rising Above the Cacophony

Quiet, listening ears

Are numbed

By harsh din

And discord.

Until, barely audible

Above the ringing,


Tinnitus-producing dissonance

Which, relentlessly, attempts to transform the gentle

With varying states of raucous

And unrestful

Conduct, a stubbornly-restrained voice

Emerges, signifying change with its different kind of noise


Great symphonies and songs start with a promise,

To aid in unravelling

The soul’s

Mysteries and follies,

And spectators anticipate (whether wittingly or not)

The notes as they’re played,

Altering each temperament.

But instead of attending a theatre for its sound,

Modern audiences are live-

Wires searching unceasingly

For a ground;

And fingers and minds

Tickle keyboards

Of a different kind,

Searching computer code in its various manifestations;

Itself, not an outlet

But an exercise in patience--

Offering mostly empty, instant gratification,

Since worshipping at the shrine

Of social media provides little harmony,

Whilst stealing the heart’s time

In Praise of Seconds


Is where my mind

Lets down its

Awkward, disorganized


And bows before your heart,

In praise of each second

Until we part


An orange drops

From the cabinet top.

And I’m wondering,

Is this the beginning?

Since I question momentarily,

Why the oranges I put there yesterday,

Are on the cabinet at all. And I have to admit,

Maybe this is it;

The beginning of the inability to keep and find

Order, in an otherwise reckless mind;

Causing me to wonder

If this is the beginning of disorder?



And associations

Momentarily snapped,

The heart’s pursuits are diverted,

As the mind (though efforts are concerted)

Ceases to be effective at its typically effortless tasks

Find Me

If I die tomorrow,

Know I loved you today.

If I cry tomorrow,

Know I’ll laugh the next day.

If you lose yourself,

Know I’ll wait for you to find you.

If I lose myself,

Know, I know you’ll find me

Pursuing the Hammock

We pored over

Web pages, and

Customer reviews of

Three, four, five stars; selecting colors,

Reading descriptions..."weight-bearing…"

"Budget friendly…" soon our treasure

Arrived by mail. but

Once installed, climbing

Into its comfort proved

A challenge. so the thing we wanted most, which

Promised to withstand life’s burdensome weight,

Now, itself, waits, for its ‘someday’ use

Weather Patterns

Sunshiny rain

Feels cleansing,

Seems like

Deep breathing

Warm and wet


Of dirty and clean,

Sick and health,

Life and death

Sunny rain is Reality,

Embodied in passing

Weather patterns

Splitting the Earth in Two

We split the earth

In two

Last night,

No less than

Seventy-five times

Before the storm.

Digging, breaking,

Fertilizing, placing

Fragile seedlings

Purchased in haste

While conditions permitted;

With our earned dimes,

On humanity’s borrowed time


Walking solid earthbound steps,

Only to feel plates persistently shift,

And staying still,

Only to find movement exists

Both without, and within,

Proves displacement can be more

Than migration

Necessitated by famine or war.

Lacking definitive characteristics,

Circumstantial coherency

Is undermined

By sixth-sense subjectivity

Do You Follow Me?

A glance, eyes meet

A look,

Though brief,

Is odd to me;

Explained away

By you not wanting me to see.

And I feel sure, as you go,

Of what we both

Already know

Seeking Impunity

I don't wish

To hitch

A ride with Elon Musk,

But I would be remiss

If not to admit

There are, presumably,

Many days between now and eternity,

So the prospect of

Living them out in fear and trepidation

Because of the failings of our nations,

Versus pursuing a chance

To look upon this era as a passing glance,

Seems hardly a choice at all.

While only the naive


A perfect life is possible, to acquiesce

To certain "minor" injustices

Only when, and because

They're being done

Against oneself, is dabbling in martyrdom.

It doesn't suit me.

So I will, instead, persist in seeking impunity.

I declare it the God-given right

Of the healthy-minded

To, unabashedly, upwardly strive

Why The Prophets Wait

Elijah, and Muhammad

Found their own fates.

But today's prophets are quiet.

Where do they wait?

Where are they expending

Our precious hours of need?

Do they squander grace

In exchange for greed?

The prophets are quiet.

Why do they wait?

No, they haven't abandoned

Our wretched state.

A prophet's work involves

Counsel and preparation.

Ours is thus a demanding job,

Rendering them prostrate in desperation

Biding Time

If life

Were as

It’s meant to be,

I would live

As far as I can see,

I could move

With the rhythm

Of the ocean's murmur,

And have a faith that’s,

Somehow, always sure.

But life is hard,

And slow,

And bleak,

And I confess my faith

Is sometimes weak.


I must rely

On others to relay

A message to live

Beyond this day,

To remind

That we are not

The hate we fear,

And we are more

Than just a day or year.

With consciousness

Of our own actions,

But reliance

Upon a more

Divine essence,

We can represent

A better future

Of an unimagined kind,

And all we must do

Is with gentleness, bide our time

Diffusing the Tick-Tock


Looks a lot like ignorance,

But what if the

Only way to reduce fallout

From the bombshell,

Is to endure?

Diffusing the Tick-Tock

By Samantha Terrell


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