This Acorn


Of all my possessions,
This acorn,
Now tawny and hard,
A tree-fallen treasure
With its tiny triangle-thatched cap intact,
Its precise patina so perfectly patterned,
One of so many millions,
This acorn,
Of all my possessions,
Here in my hand.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Is This Pain?


High expectations from uninspired egomaniacs
Encourage my apathy,
My appetite.

I will eat my way to heaven
Until at last
I am bloated in paradise.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Interstice


Somewhere between euphoria and despair
My overweight cat,
Jumping up to my chair,
Claws anchored against gravity,
Up and then on my lap,
Pushing his head against my arm
To renew and strengthen fraternal bond,
Nudged aside to a padded armrest,
My overweight cat
Sits,
Composes himself,
Luxuriates in this place he has made
For both of us,
Somewhere between euphoria and despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inhuman


A saint without selfishness,
A prophet without confusion,
God without flaw,
Inhuman.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Inevitability


How deep your search for the profound,
How detailed your analysis,
How proud you are of the synthesis of theories
Rolling off the tip of your tongue.
At last you have mastered the subject matter
And everywhere you look there is clarity and form.

But big black death is still an inevitability
And you will need more than clever ideas
To sustain your soul during those last indeterminate years.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Wilderness


The plaintive cry of the jackalope
Echoes
Through my open motel window,
I cannot sleep.

Who?
Who will lube my aging motor home
Way out here where I wander
In this desolate land without movie rentals?

I wonder,
Not much.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Waiting Room


It started with a pain in the stomach,
Digestive problems,
Then a sporadic cough,
Sudden headaches,
Fatigue,
Insomnia,
Anxiety attacks,
Depression,
And here she sits in the waiting room,
Waiting for the doctor to review her test results,
When she already knows,
She knows what’s really wrong,
Just as certainly as she knows
There is no pill she can take
For not being in love.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Not My Son


I thought I saw my son
Staring out the window of a bus,
Bathed in grimy yellow light,
Vacant,
Hopeless.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Standing outside a supermarket,
Holding a ragged piece of cardboard,
Homeless
Scrawled in large black letters
As if nothing else were needed
To explain his relationship to humanity.
Tired out and expecting little,
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son.

I thought I saw my son
Angling down a crowded city sidewalk
When he should have been in school,
Too skinny,
Clothes too small and worn,
Asking me for spare change.
Tears filled his eyes
When I gave him a twenty dollar bill.
He looked so much like my son
But this could not be,
Not my son,
Not my son.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Eyes Of A Beautiful Stranger


In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is a kind of paradise,
A release
From a life full of things
Too familiar,
Worn out from overuse,
Exhausted by constancy.

In the eyes of a beautiful stranger
There is another life,
Different,
Fresh,
Unknown.

Ah, to awaken one morning
And not know
What the new day will bring.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In The Early Morning Dark


In the early morning dark
After the last of my automatic lawn sprinklers
Sinks back beneath the lush lawn turf,
The last valve closing with a pipe-rattling thunk,
Still a few small slugs remain
Nestled in the recess of the sprinkler heads,
Plump with moisture,
While the slap of a newspaper falling on a driveway,
Again, slap, again, slap, again, slap,
Comes closer.

He drives on the wrong side of the street,
Emergency lights flashing,
And delivers the blueprints for Thursday,
This day of Thurs in which we all believe,
Which must always follow Wednesday,
Which must always presage Friday,
Always, slap, always, slap, always, slap.

He drives swiftly, almost recklessly
Beneath the burnt umber street lights,
Confident no children will be outside playing.
We are a predictable people
And need our sleep.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Spring


Something awakens in me
After the long winter slumber of my soul,
This new season
Sending waves of electricity
Through all the paths and bypaths
Of sense and sensation.

I am older now
But I will not give up Spring
As so many eventually do,
Who somehow walk undistracted
Up and down streets aflame with it,
Bathed in the glowing light of it,
Old men who hunker down and straighten their ties
And shade their eyes against the glare of it.

I will not give up Spring,
This new season,
This rapture,
Everywhere,
Life resurrecting,
Everywhere,
The soil giving birth,
Everywhere,
The cacophony of birds,
Everywhere,
Sun-inspired love and lust,
Everywhere,
Gravity unbound.

I will drink until the well is dry.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In Prayer


In prayer
We become the manifestation of God,
The explanation of God,
The delineation of God,
For in prayer we bring the essence of God
Into our lives
Where it changes our purposes,
Our actions.

It is not God the Father,
The majestic, bearded image of divinity,
Who alone intercedes in our lives.
Too much tragedy in this world
To believe a merciful God would
Cover His eyes,
Shield His hearing.

We are the agents of God,
His flesh and bone,
Apostles of mercy.

In prayer,
When we are done with all our asking and apologizing,
After we finally stop talking,
When we finally begin to listen,
The instruction!


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Phantom Pain


I never quite understood
The stories of amputees,
How they still felt the presence
Of a missing limb.

I never quite understood,
Until I lost you.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Plans Fall Through


Torn between the soft slumber of safety
And the disturbing danger of desire
I calculate my remaining days and wonder,
Is there meaning here?

There are many who would answer for me,
Who would describe and prescribe,
Who would cleanse my confusion
With a plan.

Plans fall through.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

When Do You Say?


When you start praying
When do you say:
Now I can put
All my praying away?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imagine


If you are not living the life you imagined,
Imagine the life you are living.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Can We Still Be Friends?


Please don’t misunderstand
When I say I hate you
And call you a stupid jerk
Who never should have been born.

You should know me better than that!

Just because I will not speak to you
And block your texts and e-mails,
Just because I never want to see you again
Doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Imaginary


If your paradise is an illusion,
Yet you believe you are in paradise,
Feel like you are in paradise,
Who is to say this is not real?

If your love is imaginary,
Yet it keeps you alive and dreaming,
Writing long love letters late at night,
Hoping, always hoping,
Until the oxygen finally runs out,
Who is to say this is not real?

Even if your heaven is a dream,
You can still live there.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

In My Dark Hours


In my dark hours,
Deserted,
Miserable,
Without hope of redemption,
In a world grown cold and colorless,
In the depth of my most personal failures,
I hear a soft voice,
Speaking calm words
With tenderness and tenacity,
Slipping through the black curtain
Of my defeat,
Pulling me back to life
From the perilous ledge
Of despair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Allergic


If I could choose how death will come
I’d like it to come as a sneeze,
One really big, sudden sneeze.

It would begin with an itching sensation,
Something advancing,
Growing,
Multiplying,
A tsunami,
Then,
One massive, uncontrollable sneeze
Seizing my entire body and soul.

The lights go out.

“What happened?”
Some would ask my wife,
My witness.

“He had an allergic reaction,”
She would explain,
“To life.”


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Illumination


Early this morning,
Just a glimpse of golden light
On the peak of a nearby mountain,
Then it was gone,
Still beautiful,
But no longer illuminated.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Two Simple Words


When despair falls from lowly grace,
From mood to physical pain,
From pain to relentless torture,
From torture to final escape,
How grave the absence of hope,
The lost path to something like joy,
Something like acceptance,
The inability to say two simple words,
To say,
I will.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

The Aged Ones


We are the aged ones,
The last ones living off inheritances,
Consuming,
Consuming,
Nothing much left for the next generation,
Crumbling infrastructures,
Decaying,
Decaying.

We mutely observe the passing of an age,
Greedily outliving all expectations.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

A Little Space


A little space
Is all I need
To sit and rest
And plant a seed,
To someday root
To someday grow
So when I’m old
I’ll someday know.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If Only I Could


If only I could give you the joy in my heart,
If all I had to do was place my hand on your shoulder,
Look into your eyes and smile.

If I could give you the joy in my heart
By doing these things,
Then I would come to you now,
Interrupt everything,
Announce to the world:
You, are loved!
Saying it over and over again
Until you finally believed it,
Until you finally believe it,
Until you are filled with love,
Cleansed,
Healed,
Ready to begin again.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If I Were A Little Badger


If I were a little badger
I tell you what I’d do
I’d help all the other badgers
Escape from the L.A. Zoo.

We’d go downtown for coffee
And chat the night away
Around the sidewalk tables
At the badger espresso cafe.

We’d have existential rages
And geopolitical despair
Then we’d sneak back to our cages
And pull out all our hair.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

If


If life were a metaphor
Then the incandescent epiphany
Could rise,
Bloom,
An evening cactus flower,
Jesus alone in the desert
Wrestling with demons.

I awaken,
Late for work.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Idolatry


They crowd around the dirty window
Where the faintest image of Jesus has appeared,
Standing for hours,
Praying,
Hoping to be blessed,
To be sanctified.

All around the world
The faithful are making pilgrimages,
Pressing their lips to sacred artifacts,
Expecting miraculous transformation,
As if God were in one place
And not another.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved