Short Poems by Jim Chandler

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exparte

It's best to keep
some things in camera
exparte

too much dirty laundry
only begats more
swinging like lost
promises on
afternoon fences

spreading dust in
the once sweet
breeze

cloning

just think
when cloning
is perfected
we can
spread ourselves
thin as
we sometimes do
even when
it's not

noise
for RB & d.a

. all life is noise
the rattle of
things moving

motion to move
air that caresses
fleshly drums

spears waves
that ride
webs of blood
seen & heard

amidst all the clamor
it behooves one
to remember

the only sound
that counts is

the last one
heard

startling & hard
against the

silence

poison candy

If we are the
sum total of
all our deeds

then I am
poison candy
sitting in a
dirty jar

waiting for the
unsuspecting lips of
loving strangers

blind diabetics
staggering through
life by

feel

shadow people

you see the
shadow people
but never directly

no real form

just dark masses that rush
along the baseboard

in the corner
of your eye
you sometimes
glimpse one

like a flash
moving through
this world
to that

where they
dwell in
dark static
and sometimes

look at
you with
red eyes
in the

night

60 year

a million beers
too many tears
but then
not enough

time flies
when you're 
having fun
and even
when you're
not

i await
the pearly
gate
faux mother
scraped
from the
shell 


dead is
only  in
the head

the clock
stops
on the
outside

smoky past
can kiss
my ass
while i
reach for
rainbows

and smile
like the
maddog
i am

a musical
note rockin
across the
blackboard
of time

a pebble
rolling down
the big
hill

a rattle
in the 
windowpane

of forever
surviving

the trick to 
surviving
is not to 
steel the body
to beat 
the street tough
you can't 
whip

but 
to harden
the heart
to turn away 
the thrusts 
of pain
thrown by 
soft hands 
that once 
touched lightly

with love

Mexican sandals

sweltering 
heat has
brought out 
old legs 
in shorts
better left 
covered

at the 
cafeteria
observing the
movements of
humanity within
the cool 
confines

it must be 
old folks day
i think 
and then recall
that i too am
old folks

except 
that i have
judgement 
enough still
to keep my 
bird legs
free from
public view

then it
dawns on me
it doesn't
matter
we all age
become victim
to gravity

become old
men with
hairless legs
hopefully not
shining above
too-short socks

especially when
those socks
are worn 
with

mexican 
sandals
the dream

i never once
lost the dream
even if it tried
with all its might
to lose me
on those
winding
roads

i still hear
its footsteps
in some dark
corner of
my mind
shuffling now
not spy
not leaping
like youth

old and dusty
but still alive
still breathing
fighting to
survive

still holding
that last drop

of hope

Bananas

Sitting in 
the cafeteria 
this afternoon 
drinking coffee
I noticed a plain
young lady 
pushing a cart 
holding only
a bunch 
of bananas

and I wondered 
if she really 
liked bananas 
that much
or if perhaps 
she was just
 
lonesome
confluence

when it comes to
change and regret 
and faces wrapped 
in smoky color

not abstract to 
the seeking eye
nothing hidden from
the heart that sees

maybe it's time
to wonder if
rings so real
in the beginning
have spun 
around again

become gold
that lasts
 
and if what
came after 
was just a
hopeless dream

meant to fade
with time

wild horses 


silence is 
the sledge 
that drives me 
into the ground 

a human stake 
buried to 
the neck 

waiting for the 
next herd of 

wild horses
tea

She offers me
her soothing tea,
but I'd rather sip
her soul from
the fine china of
her lips

feel the porcelain
smoothness of
her perfection
radiating warmth
around my hands

more comfortable than
a hot mug of java
around a nighttime
campfire on the
low range

the stars spilling
forever glints across
endless night skies

sweet moments

I see 
watermelon
clocks ticking 
time

second by 
hour in
green 
endless fields

melodic 
sweet sugar
moments 
preserved
like candied 
fruit

spread on
toasty
days and across
still nights

lost on
lips already

sweet enough
to die for 
and so
 
surely
sweet enough
to live for

too

spring

spring explodes 
green 
outside
my window
rattles 
the universe 
with
natural magic

half a world
away
spring bursts on
bloody ground
and
the explosions 
are
a different
hue

the cry of
birds
in this spring
light 
carry little 
above
the cries
of
displaced humanity
bleeding
suffering
another spring
on Planet Earth

our own
third rock from the sun
spilling doom
into the
deep well
of
forever

Nothing is sacred

& god is 
the product 
of 
evolution

built by
minds
fearful of
things
unknown

a plastic
saint
in 
sunday 
clothes

sweatshop new
gleaming
w/the
blood of

true
believers

shadows

I see pink
folding to white
as shadows lengthen
across the pines

the angle of rays
sloping west across
my realm and to
lands further east

where shadows fall
across green eyes
leaning into
the coming evening

like magic spun
along wires clinging
to afternoon poles
and birds fly above

unknowing
rodeo

 we have all
slashed and burned
along the road
mad cowboys
and cowgirls
in pursuit of
the unrideable
ride

lucky to catch
8 seconds and
the horn

a backslap
small pay and
the chance to
bust bones
tomorrow

in another
dusty ring
in another
dusty
town

place

I like the notion
of sense of place
of roots buried in
some familiar spot

not the kind of
familiarity that 
breeds contempt but
the kind that lets
a man know
the span of his space
and the breadth
of his sky

if you want to 
know the pine tree
don't go to Basho
go to the pine tree

and if you want
to know your place
in life don't ask me
where it is but

go find it
for yourself
you'll know it by
the song it sings

heard only
by you

pawpaw

pawpaw had
a hammer

while mammaw
was hanging picture
he caved in
the back of
her head
with it

then tossed
her into
the bathtub
so her blood
would not
foul the house
he hated

he then wandered
into the
thicket behind
the house and
hanged himself
in the fork
of a young
mulberry tree

she lived and
he died
and i remember
looking at 
the coffin in
the living room
and asking

when will pawpaw
wake up

and they replied
he has gone 
to be with
jesus

move over
pawpaw
space is not
unlimited

anywhere
I don't ask for much

just 10 more
good years
sweet love
to follow

blank pages
& screens
to hold
the words

a face
a smile 
in warm
evening light

a soul
to wrap
my heart
around

a last
moment filled
with smiling
eyes

and silent
rest beneath
dark fields
of forever
new year 2001

Another trip
around the sun

& i can hear
old hank's
voice singing 
the long gone 
lonesome blues
across appalachian 
snow 

&  i wonder
at the twirl
of enveloped
ball across
the days &
miles of space

& grasp for
magic in 
cold air
reach out
more than
an arm length

bring back
a fistful
of hope
& snowflakes

pretty crystal
bridges to
icewater visions

warm tub
dreams
softly

When love 
sneaks away
sometimes
 it goes
on feet 
so soft
you hardly 
miss it

until the
silence
become
palpable

and then
you know
something
is gone

forever
dust 

sometimes 
my heart is 
tender as 
kobe beef 

other times 
it is 
a glinting 
stone flashing 
in the 
harsh light 
of doubt 

pulled in 
all directions 
by diverse 
thoughts not 
designed for 
smiles 

and i 
wonder if 
the rising dust 
i see is 
something 
leaving 

or something 
coming home

drama

sometimes only
the dramatic
will work

sometimes it
take a 
boom in
the night
to 

light up
the walls 
of reality


sometimes
it's better
to bleed
in silence
& sometimes
not

sometimes
before the
heart breaks
the last
light must
come

sometimes
it doesn't
matter
when it

does