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Laurence Overmire

Gangway #30/31

Portland Poems



Sand in the Mouth

The hot Earth blisters
Opening to the unwitting tear of
Man’s insensitive hand

The glaciers crack and crumble
Centuries plunging into
Too warm waters

Fish and bird
Too soon entombed in
The rising wave

The frail creatures who
Cannot protest lie
Twitching in the gathering dust

Dry are the bones of
A million lost hopes
Broken in a desert of mind

But bland machines
Continue to grind and shake
Dollars making heroes out of

Plaster and Paris who
Fancy themselves





Those things we see in Hollywood movies
Impossible to believe
Imposed by some idiot of a producer
In the mistaken notion to improve
The Bottom Line

Money is always bigger than Truth
In the masquerade called Tinsel Town

Problem is some people think schlock is
They try to ingest it into their french-fried cheeseburger lives
Only to find it doesn’t go down
Easy, bit greasy

Leaves a bad happy-sappy aftertaste
And makes reality really hard to





Die Andere

children grow in other people’s houses
collecting bits and pieces of nuance and unrhyme

sponging feelings left in turbid air to dry
no wonder to be left alone to fend

with latch unkeyed, they wander through
blank hallways tripping over unmet

obligation, horrid disciples of impotent
gods, leftover sympathies strained by

circumstance, immobilized, till one day
the leaking of stagnant water passes through

the crevice in the center of the floor.




Pig Heart

People are getting uglier
All the time
Have you noticed?
Is it so hard to miss
The self-serving secrets in a
Deceiving eye
The jowls fat with pleasures
Sucked out of a dry well of
Insufficient solitude
The crack of our egos whipped
Into the crippled backs of
Taking the stage with flat-footed
Saber wits cutting holes in worn
Fabrics, too weak to darn
The needing sock
How foul the odor from our
Reeking tongue
The hairy shirt we wear
Laced with maggots
Throws us back in a reap of penitence
To the Darkest Ages of our once
Subliminal past.




Jobber Wocky

The Con

Walked onto the job
A smile for the ladies
A knife in the backs of his mates
Doing as little as possible
Pawning responsibility on dupes
Too dull, or incorrigibly nice
To recognize the twisting screw of his
Usury, yet always the
Exemplary employee when
The boss was near
Eager to please, willing and impeccably
Able, his promotion though
Completely undeserved, should have come as
No surprise, when those who were
Dedicated, qualified and reliable
Were unceremoniously passed over in service of

The Con.




Old Dreams Die Hard

Refusing to let go
Their fingers white and bloodless
Hanging on the edge of

One heartless thrust of
A heel without soul and

The dream falls
The cry receding into the depths of

A thud at the bottom
Barely audible
When the eyes are closed.


© 2004 by Laurence Overmire