Conundrum’s Child | Poem by Ron Olsen

conundrums child

Conundrum’s Child
By Ron Olsen

What purpose then
Do the poet’s words serve?
Might as well ask
Why we stick around at all
Absent the courage to be
Or not
The Bard nailed it
Many times over
Moderation
Consideration
Determination
Words tempt the soul
To surrender
Without a fight
Your choice
Is no choice at all
Breathing in hope
Sputtering out damnation
Leaving you
Battered
Bruised
Deathlike
Not caring
For common needs
The poet bleeds
Without cause
Glory
Passes to stardust
The cosmic laughter
Of children
Finding their way home
Casts light
On the void
Another step
In the search
For one true thing
Guiding the poet’s pen
With a gift of grace

© 2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

 

malibu

Ron Olsen is an LA-based retired journalist who writes essays and an occasional poem.  More of his poetry can be found here.

 

 

 

 

“Poet” by Ron Olsen

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Poet
by Ron Olsen

Of all the people in the world
How many are there do you suppose
Who dare call themselves “poets?”

Who are drawn
To say more with less
Daring critics
To deny their voice
In a world that so badly needs
Imagination

A calling?
Or ego revealed?
Either way
The result is the same
An irresistible draw

For the poet
There is no alternative
But to create

To hope that
Someone listens

 
©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

“Alone” – A Poem by Ron Olsen

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Alone
by Ron Olsen

The Ship was rolling
Unnoticed
Except that the sailors stood in two rows
To catch you if you fell
As you jumped off the chopper
After hitting the deck
Before you got your sea legs
It didn’t hit us until we were in the mess
And they set the plates of donuts out
That we were in no mood to eat anything
Much less donuts
I pushed the plate toward Steve
He pushed it back
Looking less than settled
We made it back to shore
Without betraying our manhood
Stomachs intact
Stopped for a beer on the way home
“A mood adjuster” he called it
Handing me a Corona
I felt better
Then
Suddenly
With no warning
Bitch slapped in the face by time
We were putting him in the ground
Before his time
Up at Forest Lawn
And Mark said
“I can’t believe our friend is in that box over there”
I had no reply
What could I say
About death?
It was the same place they buried another friend
With the same name
Two Steves
Within days of one another
It seemed
Although it was actually several years
Time plays games
Hours are days
Days are years
Your friends are gone
They told us it would happen
But you really don’t know
Until it does
As the ship keeps rolling
Leaving you there
Alone

©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

 

Ron Olsen is a Los Angeles-based writer.  More of his work can be found here.

Poem: I Had A Friend, A Sniper

sniper
photo: U.S. Marine Corps (public domain)

I Had A Friend
by Ron Olsen

I had a friend
A sniper
Not a movie
A sniper
Who came back unable to live with us

When we went shooting
He never missed

He was in the jungle
Tied to a tree
Until he nearly died from
Some vile amoebic rot
Put him in a hospital in Japan

He came back
Married a woman
Kept a big spider
And a snake
Kept them in aquariums on shelves
With a giant hookah in the middle of the room

He’d let the spider out
Let it crawl around
And the snake
Inside your shirt
If you weren’t careful
He still needed some hazard
Some threat
Some kind of edge

We smoked
And then his young wife
Would coax him into bed
Where he slept with a 45
And the dreams
Of what had passed

Still uncomfortable without his back to the wall
He’d seen too much
I guess
Felt too much
Perhaps
Done too much
The marriage did not last
So he left to build sailboats

He was my friend
But I let him go
Threw him away like so much trash
I was unsure
Afraid of what he might do
You can’t be too careful
Around people who play with spiders

I had a friend
He was a sniper
He came back from the war
And died young
I could have done more
But maybe not
I’m sorry

I no longer knew who you were

Reality
Or a story
To make money
For some Hollywood producer
To glorify war
And reassure ourselves of who we are
How strong we are
How deadly we are
How right we are
How decent we are
That killing can be justified

I had a friend
He was a sniper
Now he’s dead
Died young from jungle rot
There’s no movie about his life
Just reality

I’m so damn sorry

© Ron Olsen – All rights reserved

So We Dance | Poem By Ron Olsen

we dance
So We Dance by Ron Olsen

So We Dance
…………….By Ron Olsen

I danced on his grave
The dance of the living death

So little time left
For any of us
Left behind
No cause
No purpose
So I danced

It seemed like the thing to do
It felt right

Go away
Just leave
From under the ground
Deep below
In a wooden box
The protest came
I called out to myself
As I danced

It seemed like the thing to do

I felt no pain
No guilt
Just the ongoing
Fullness of revenge running out
Pointless revenge
Spiritual self-immolation

Not a part of the whole
An observer
Separate from the rest
Outside of myself
Watching me as I danced
Unfulfilled
A witness to futility

Interaction, contraction, reaction
Shooting craps again and again
Until it ends
And the Reaper grins
At our naïve failure to live for something
Other than ourselves
Other than to be
And to be satisfied with being

So we dance
Pretending we have meaning
Giving us the courage to believe we have something
Beyond one another

Suddenly it’s 69 again
At some grungy bar in Minneapolis
CS&N are screaming
Rejoice!
We have no choice
But to carry on

Now it is sampling
Then it was stealing
Either way, the truth still works

So we dance

Better to dance
Than to lie down and die

© Ron Olsen – all rights revert to author following publication

 

 

Ron Olsen

Ron Olsen is a veteran cross-platform journalist based in Los Angeles, California, United States.……Ron Olsen at Wiki
He writes, “I’m a semi-retired Peabody Award winning journalist who now writes
essays and an occasional poem.”

Ron’s  Site is The Working Reporter News, opinion and resources for journalists

Ron’s blog web news & commentary

 

  

  

  

 

………….art by david michael jackson….”The Dancers”