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by Dan Adler (1999-2001)

Perishing Petals

Dusky days and nights alone,
Lonely hours faintly drone.
Through the bleak pane children play,
Sprightly leaping morns away.
Lost in dreams of its fond feel,
Summer's warmth alone may heal.

Swaying in the moist spring breeze,
Pleading "pick me, pick me please."
Leaves of mine have tales to tell,
Clouds of ash my feelings quell.
Glances miss my pearly gleam,
Showers vanquish shallow dreams.

Why keep fighting fate so clear,
Winter's wrath-my chilling fear.
Autumn whirls away all hope,
Wretched souls but sob and mope.
Left enduring frigid grey
Withered petals fly away.


The escort through life who always stayed true;
Easing burns with rain when time was young,
He extended us love and answered our tongues
When skies were heavy or aflame with blue.
How may we thank so brilliant a soul:
The artist who lent us the will to live,
Generous when we had nothing to give;
And one with power to cure and console.

To one who shall hold an enduring place
Laments are hollow and will not suffice;
Mourning is shallow and does not show grace,
For a friend was he who served sacrifice.
Do not adorn him, of it none he demands;
He implores in turn, bestow your own hand.

Drifting Vessels

The tides whisk countless friendships to and fro,
Where side by side they waft in sunset's glow.
Those lined with riches of the orient seas
Are riddled too with ancient mysteries;
A massive fleet endures the harshest winds,
All passive ones succumb to tearful ends.
Though height hoists journeys safely over gales,
Their sights alone prove not which will set sail;
Hulls raised from trees that once stood statuesque
Ne'er fazed by larger crafts along the quest.
To cast the anchor under churning waves
Lets last the bark afloat for endless days.
We file unto one's decks to flee life's mist,
The while moon's pull above sets some adrift.

But Was It Ever Worth It!

Like a horse he worked for days on end,
Tending to his garden with utmost care.
Each morning he'd wake and begin to stare,
Awaiting the arrival of his wee tiny friends.

Millennia passed, there was no trace,
But he didn't fret and watered along,
Watching while whistling an old folk song.
Yet nothing appeared... calm was now haste.

"Some more water here. A teensy bit there,"
He ran around—a chicken—no head—more bird than man.
Searing heat; he blew his back, but it was worth the tan!
"Oh why?" he begged, "It's just not fair!"

He gave it his all, but nothing did the trick.
Gallons of water, bushels of soil,
Even some old petrol oil.
After the manure he thought he'd get sick!

Just hold on a second, Mister Trump.
What's that there, to the right?
Could it be? Oh, what a sight!
Don't just gawk, go pick it up!

With glee came loose a stinging scream,
All those hours busting his hump,
All that water sure made it plump!
More delicious than even ice cream.

King Hamlet
(Gertrude about her late husband)

He dwelled a life in rigid black and white:
His days, like soldiers taut for war, obeyed
Commands of canon law. And as the light
Was coaxed away, so did our passion fade.
My maiden love was lost inside th'abyss,
He was no more the knightly prince I wed;
A statue's stone mine tender lips did kiss,
Eternal vows unseamed by feeble thread.
Contrivèd aires to me he always spoke,
Th'ardour lulled by laboured tongue and rate;
Though æons dead ere drowned in Orcus' yolk,
May soon his spirit soar beyond the gates.

My dreary lord, thy death I cannot mourn,
For sorrow's all I've left to keep me warm.

'Things Too Bare In Mind' - Hamlet's Take on Women
(Hamlet to Ophelia; 3.2.129)

HAMLET, [Making eye-contact.]
The fruits so bare of drab's skin-deep replies [Sinks his head.]
Doth bear the head to hollows 'neath her eyes
And pregnate minds to depths where bare resides.

OPHELIA, [Blushing.] What are you saying, my lord?

HAMLET, Oh, that we are bound, my Ophelia, in a world of
Things too bare in mind. [Turns to Queen; discomposed.]

King Claudius
(Hamlet to All; 5.2.359) [With rage.]

Exaggeration is a tasteless art,
Its frauds sculpt doves of hawks and hounds of pups.
A feline who knew well to play his part,
Sprawled drunk on pride and served from gilded cups.
Great veils of pink and blood obscured his eyes;
He trod with paws immune to muck of war.
Unfounded trust, the tool of fools' demise, [To fallen Queen and Laertes.]
Embraced by barren words, you grip the floor.
Though powerless to snare a wing alone,
His prosperous belly roared at ours so bare.
King Claudius pounced on what was never thrown,
Each purr of thanks--a vacuous affair.
Expel these rumors of a gallant king,
To them I foist a ninth and final sting! [He thrusts at dead King.]

Mount Hamlet
(Hamlet to Horatio; 5.1.67) [Pointing into distance.]

'Round yonder knoll a river gently flowed,
Its pastel waves carved smooth the jagged rock
That God unto a barren land bestowed.
Its cast imposed from dawn till midnight's clock
A stately watch o'er treasured soils of green;
While gusting winds nor Earth herself could cleave
The mountain's stones, a serpent swam unseen.
Meand'ring through the cracks it did deceive
Each fish with venomed tales of promised wealth;
Came winter's frost, it swelled a void in Zeus.
Above the slith'ring snake of so great stealth
Olympus fell, and so was Earth seduced.
Boil lurid plagues the depths at surface still,
O'erflowing banks they flood their people ill! [Pause.]

Acid Fate
(The plight of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth)

O Master ours, we meant no harm,
Please bid us mercy, set us free,
Forgive these tears that shed for thee.
And let our wails drown out alarm;
O hear our war to win back calm.

The crimes befoul our trembling limbs,
To them our blood no longer flows,
For with them red we painted foes.
Remorse we feel strong for our sins,
The terror set upon our kin.

If clocks could chime the hours gone,
Unleash us in the coal of night
Before the dormant hellish sight,
Combust still would a faceless pawn,
Beneath the heat of darkness' claw.

Within our flesh there waltzed a flame,
Seduced us forward to the task,
Concealing anguish with a mask.
Determination sealed off pain,
In Satan's book we signed our names.

Reflections scald our velvet eyes,
Forever dulled by murky smoke.
At scent of roses these lungs choke,
Reminders that we forced them die,
Now beauty lost 'neath shackled skies.

Empowered once by acid fate,
Our souls corroded by the blaze,
T'were we the damned of thy foul maze!
Contorted frail by hollow hate,
Repent not ills of thine estate.

Obedience, dares he mock his slaves?
And Master, now forget thy trust?
The orders thou hast weighed on us,
Fulfilled with blood straight to the grave,
Eternally bear down the brave!

King Duncan
(Spoken by his eldest son, Malcolm)

With strands of finespun silver hair above
To boots unseen by mud atop the ground,
King Duncan waves to me with wings of doves
And rests his wounds on tender healing clouds.
He drowned out war with each exquisite word,
Rekindled flares of love with gracious praise;
His memories, soft feathers of a bird
Whose emerald eyes lent not but peaceful gaze.
As gentle blessings ring within the church
So stirring were his polished notes of grace;
Untimely hushed by one who stole his perch
And vainly washes bloodstains from his face.
I will awake thy sleep, my soaring Lord,
May soon again proud colours fly adored!

Hamlet's Journey Through Revenge

Act I
He flirted with death
And mounted a show.
The wine in his breath
Shall send him below.

Act II
Though vengeance delayed
Dishonours the dead,
All doubt must first fade,
Then blood shall be shed.

In dreams he did turn,
Enacting his deeds.
Repentance he'll earn
The day I concede.

Act IV
The scroll was his soul,
Its ink was his blood.
He'll now play no role
In hell's blazing mud!

Act V
If anguish was felt,
He played a cool part.
The fires will not melt
The ice in his heart.

A cowardly dunce,
I prolonged the game.
Death, take me at once,
I'm Hamlet, the Dane!