homer shrugged

so the strongman fashioned another straw man
tilted at fabrications of discourse and taboo
pain, meanwhile, yielded to another hurricane
a hierarchy that deigns to explain away my own

i’m forever to be grateful or else don’t you know
they stranded themselves on virtue without a mountain
pontificated o’er the ears and eyes they’d shat upon
that were fatally struck dumb by the gift of tongues

but i’ll sing it from the depths don’t you know
of all i think i know, of all i think i don’t
maybe i’ll live and die like this alone
but i’ll not die on my knees in order to appease

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

dog in the manger

no one cares in this world of tyrants
of sycophants and bended knee
how deep goes the well inside of me
and if my bucket is full of holes

the finger of god daubed my soul o’er pain
and it’s making me want to dissolve again
into blest relief from his violent ways
away from nephilim and the sons of earth

i swear the day will come
when y’all will forget about me
for too long have i given life
the benefit of the doubt

the ox and horse cannot eat the hay
dead baby jesus bestrews the manger
a doggerel gospel for the hateful pious
and mongrels returning to their vomit

i swear the day will come
when y’all had better forget about me
for too long have i given life
the benefit of the doubt

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

numen mentis

there’s whale song lilting in my brain
e’er beyond a distant shore
away from the fever dreams i
had circumnavigated
to be with you

in stoic avoidance i’d
edged between foam and dune
got shipwrecked in lieu of belonging
and realised this place was ne’er home
nor bullion of promises meant for me

was it e’er only me
this resolve i had to follow you

had it e’er been the face of god
that mine hands held out to enfold

there’s waters swelling o’er that shore
nigh on the embankment of my brain
and the whale song serenade
decrying happy e’er once upons
i finally see that i was satan all along

and ‘tween these flashes of meaning i
espy twin trails o’er bleary sands
one forged with longing, the other you
anchored away from expectation
the fading proof of our story

had i e’er only been
this resolve straining for you

was it e’er truly the face of god
or mine hands beheld to the prints of darkness

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2021

eidolon (we)

and so do we all decant
all along our silent roads
incant in silent refrain:

‘when the book of breathing is closed
when the clocks are covered in the town of lazarus
when the faience of minds has declined to the last’

in that final silence that befalls us all
will the ghost of you remember me
and gather up the ghost in me
will you lovingly take the ashes and bone
and carry me home

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020