Comments Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas

Displaying 1 To 30 Of 359 Comments

The word: Transient

Thank you, Jolene. I guess everyone has figured out that the one line should read “We’ve turned on a switch.” No matter how many times I re-read a piece before submitting, errors somehow slip through. Must have been the drugs.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 24, 2017 @ 12:36 am

Transient Bliss

Messing with the chemistry
In that thing you call a brain
May have some short term benefits
That you think that you might gain.
So many neural pathways
To lead you off the course
From transient wonderment
To deplorable remorse.
When you’re standing on the mountain,
You think you’ll never fall
But the gravity of moment
Will sooner cast its pall.
Amphetamines will take you soaring,
Opioids for warm cocooning,
Hallucinogens and ecstasy
Will soon have you swooning.
Alcohol is ubiquitous
As a social lubricant
It tells you you can do
That which you know you can’t.
Many more temptations,
Some not even drugs,
Like sex, adventure, gambling
Will lure with their tugs.
Many are willing passengers
To transiental bliss
Only to find the destination
Is something better missed.
Too bad that in our psyches
We’ve on a switch.
We remember the fun ride
Not the crash into the ditch.
This is the way of things
For those in their addiction.
I speak from my experience
That this is not a fiction.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 21, 2017 @ 5:07 pm

So many Texas herors. Thanks.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 21, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

The word: Aplomb

Mother’s Advice

I like to think that I was raised
With good lessons from my Mom
And that she raised a son
Who comports with aplomb.
Poise, assurance, dignity
Self-assurance, savoir-faire
If you’re looking for a toady—
You can kiss my derriere.
Part of this means listening
And entertaining new ideas
Mom said it was important–
How other people think and feel.
“Son, don’t be stuck in the mud.
Be open and receptive.
You can learn allot in life
From differing perspective.
Keep eyes and ears wide open
But be firm in your resolve
To keep your code of honor
As it continues to evolve.
Be alert and be a skeptic
But not a cynic be.
Constantly be checking
For true reality.
Be a person with your passions.
Be aplomb with your sangfroid.
You will earn respect
And love as your reward.”
I sure miss my Mom.
And her sage advice
Her wisdom has rescued me
More than once or twice.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 20, 2017 @ 1:22 pm

The word: Conundrum

Thirst for Knowledge

It’s kind of a conundrum,
The question that is asked,
And revealing are the answers
Depending on the task.
“Is the glass half empty
Or is the glass half full?”
Interviewers always ask us.
It’s in their box of tools.
One might ask back,
“What is it, the kind of drink,
Contained within the glass?
It might help me think.
Could it be tomato juice
Or, perhaps, some beer?
It would be of help to know
If it’s something I hold dear.
Are there ice cubes in it?
Or is at room temp?
I need more information.
Is it refreshment that would tempt?
Buttermilk would leave some squiggly lines
If some swallows had been taken
Where the same might not appear
If the sips had been forsaken.
Are we at a soirée
Where cocktails are being served
And someone acts the fool
Telling jokes, absurd?
Perhaps it is hot chocolate
And it’s in a steaming cup
With some floating marshmallows
Upon which I might sup.
But the most important info
That I think I need to know
Is the way you make your query –
Answer, then I’ll go.
I think that you should ask me
‘Is the glass half-filled’
If not, then I’ll acknowledge
That some of it was spilled.
So, do I get the job?
I need to know that first
It’s important that I leave soon.
It’s time to slake my thirst.”

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 8, 2017 @ 3:11 pm

The word: Warrior

War is Swell

War is not all bad
Say the politicians.
It is very good for us
The ones who make decisions.
For children and other living things
War is not a thing that’s healthy
But that message is not told
By those getting wealthy.
There is good remuneration.
Fortunes can be made
In the making of munitions
As other’s lives are paid.
That’s why it’s called waging war
By those who stay at home
With the waving of the flag while
Dogs of War gnaw their bones.
Warriors fight for the right
(So goes the metaphor)
And our sacred freedoms.
Mongers among us are selling what’s in store.
Cruise missiles in the silo
Really aren’t much fun
But when launched off a warship
We worship what’s been done.
Why do we keep on buying, as
They keep doing what they please
Selling us their lies again-
Gulf of Tonkin provocations and those WOMDs.
No. We keep on buying
And we do it with a shrug
As the bodies are zipped in bags
Or rolled up in a rug.
War- what is it good for?
Or so the question begs.
It is very good for arms dealers
And makers of prosthetic legs.
War is “L,” romanticized.
It turns the gory into glory
And, as Hollywood will tell us,
It makes a damned good story.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On June 5, 2017 @ 11:43 am


I guess I was a worrier
Back when I was distraught
But I became a warrior
As I stood up and fought.
Death to all my foes or,
At least, a world of pain
‘Cause they would see my loss
As something they might gain.
To me, I am a hero
Fighting for the right.
I shall not be left behind
Or fade to out of sight.
You, too, can be a warrior.
You just need two things-
A shield to protect yourself
And a sword that sings.
Slash with opportunity,
Attack, then block and parry.
Wear your opponent down and
Sack him when he’s wary.
Some clad themselves in armor
But they can’t move so fast
They’re depending on defenses
To help them to the last.
It is best to armor lightly.
Move quick. Avoid the blow.
Strike when they are vulnerable.
Hit before they know.
Being your own hero,
One of the self-assured,
Means you can speak to truth
And be taken at your word.
You will savor victory,
May suffer some defeat,
But can hold your head up high,
Know life is bittersweet.
There are other fighters,
Some with mal intent,
Meet them with a vanquishing
Your life will be well spent.
Just don’t be a bully.
With needless use of force.
Violating codes of honor
Is going off the course.
Also, please, remember this:
With the power you have got,
That which does not kill you
Can still surely hurt allot.
Some of us are warriors-
Wielding words as swords,
Defenders of our values,
Virtue is our ward.
“I’ll have to be a warrior.
A slave I couldn’t be.
A soldier and a conqueror
Fighting to be free.” *

*from “Warrior” by Wishbone Ash, 1972

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 31, 2017 @ 10:10 am

The word: Aroma

Arrivederci, Aroma!

They say the nose gets used to
Mostly any smell.
I wonder if that holds true for
Brimstone sulphurs found in Hell.
Olfactory overload.
Receptors overwhelmed.
The nose knows when it’s time to say
There is nothing new here left to tell.
Some might think it makes no sense,
This yielding to habituation,
To not savor is our savior,
Sometimes our loss is best sensation.
There is no need to suffer long
When she wears her cheap perfume
Or when “Bob” is fraught with flatulence-
Cubicle neighbors share fume doom.
Save me from miasma.
Does it pass the smell test?
I’ll take that rhinal reset.
Out of odor says it best.
So, arrivederci, aroma!
Goodbye, farewell, so long!
Save your smeller for fresh air and flowers
You know your nose won’t steer you wrong.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 30, 2017 @ 10:11 am

The word: Transition

Malice in Wonderland, Part One

Malice sat her down
Underneath a tree
She thought that she might nap
Or engage in reverie-
“Some people run amok,” she thought
But first they have to crawl?
Do they ever walk amok
Or sit amok, at all?”
Suddenly she awakened
In a peculiar time and space
It seems she had transitioned
To somewhere out of place.
“Maybe I should find myself
And take that amok walk.
Maybe I can find someone
And we can have a talk.”
Malice found the caterpillar
Sitting on a ‘shroom
“Take a bite from each side
But be sure to leave me room.”
“You don’t need to worry,” replied Malice,
“Cause soon you will transform.
What you have been doing
Will no longer be the norm.
You will feel like cocooning,
Then take a little snooze,
Soon you will awaken
To a life you did not choose.
But it’s going to be okay
It’ll be a life that sings
Cause you can go aloft
Riding on your wings.”
“Harrumph,” said the worm
“I don’t like the sound of that.
I’m used to be here eating.
Eating… getting fat.”
“Let me tell you something,” said Malice
It is going to sound quite strange.
But the only thing that’s static
Is the constancy of change.”
“I’m not going to listen
To any of your ilk,”
Said the hip-cat upon his pillar
As he wrapped himself in silk.
“At least I’ve got my ‘shroom snacks,” thought Malice,
“One is labeled ‘fantasy’
And then the one on the other hand
Is titled ‘reality.’
I wonder which tastes better
I’ll give each one a munch
It’s a good thing that I have these
‘Cause I think I have missed lunch.”
Transition, metamorphosis
Can you spare some change?
How is one to prepare for
A life that’s rearranged?

Stay tuned for more of Malice in Wonderland

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 18, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

If we had those little hand symbols here, I would click on the one that says “like.”

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 17, 2017 @ 10:32 am

The word: Circuitous

Your poem has gravity.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 15, 2017 @ 10:24 am

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” -Edgar Allan Poe, poet and short-story writer (1809-1849)

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 10, 2017 @ 8:24 pm

Dark Foreshadows

Rolling thunder in the distance.
The pealing of a bell.
I can hear a wolf howl.
I don’t think its boding well.
Then, a shadow falls
Abruptly with a thud.
Rats scurry for some shelter.
Worms squirming in the mud.
Just then a dog is barking
And the crying of a hawk.
People talk in whispers-
They’re too afraid to talk.
Suddenly its silent
Followed by the shrieking of a cat.
Outside the wind is gusting.
What will follow that?
On the door an urgent knock.
A rusty hinge is squealing.
Upstairs a shutter bangs.
I don’t think I like this feeling.
Clouds are dropping rain
Over tombstones in a field
Then a piercing moonbeam
Shows what’s to be revealed.
There’s an open door
Leading into a blackest dark.
Underground catacombs
Ain’t no walk around a park.
A raven calls.
I hear Gregorian chanting.
I think there might be torture,
And, possibly, recanting.
In a distant room,
The fanning of a flame.
Irons are a’heating. You hear,
“You must accept your blame.”
You can hear a creaking
As someone’s getting taller
He is stretching on the rack
Soon you’ll hear him holler.
You can smell the dank and filth, then
Oh, my God, someone is screaming!
Won’t you wake me up and
Tell me I am dreaming?
All these harbingers of doom
Have led this circuitous route
Where our abject terror
Is what it’s all about.
Take my hand! Let’s run!
We must escape our fright!
The eternal damnation of
The maria of Night.
Run, run run!
Run! We must run so fast!
I think I see some light.
Salvation come at last?
Yes, ahead a glimmer.
We have no time to rest.
Making good our get away
And survival of our test.
We push the door open
Emerge into sunshine
We bask in Sol’s gift of glory
The warmth of it, sublime!
Lepidoptera flutter,
Dragonflies are on the wing,
Honeybees are buzzing,
We hear the songbirds sing.
Flowers are in bloom,
Clouds are aloft in the blue sky,
A breeze spreads dandelion seed,
We heave a happy “sigh.”
We are in a loving paradise.
Our thanks for heaven’s sake.
But, below a bush’s blossoms
The hissing of a snake…

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 10, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

The word: Energy

Ad Nauseam

Does it seems your get-up-and-go
Has gotten-up-and-went?
And your vital energy
Is all but over-spent?
You have nothing left?
No fuel to build a fire?
Winter is a’comin’ and
The situation’s dire?
The jalopy of your life
Has run all out of gasoline.
Anyway, its tires are flat.
You know just what I mean.
“At least the ashtray still works,”
You think upon reflection,
“But this is not the time for me
To give in to dejection.
Too bad I gave up smoking.
The tray is something I could use
But I gave into those jerks
When they took away my booze.”
It seems that I am stymied.
I’m stuck here in this place.
How can I get out of ennui?
Escape from my malaise ?
Just then from your car’s radio
You hear a strident voice-
“Are you feeling way, way down?
Think you’ve run out of all choice?
It’s not your fault, you know,
That you’re feeling kind of carsick,
Rundown, stuck-in- rut,
Essentially lethargic.
We have what you need.
We have the grand solution
To all of your problems, big or small-
Bring them resolution!
It is an ancient Chinese remedy
Captured in two pills
Made by youth in Asia-
They will fill the bill.
Just take two with water
Or any other drink.
Your nightmare will be over
Quicker than you think.
Yes Folks! Take Damitol®!
Send no money now
Just fill the blanks in the form
Thy will be done and how.”

Damitol®, patent pending,
Is not actually with intention meant
To prevent or treat any disease,
It’s a dietary supplement.
You must know it’s been approved
By a handsome guy with a stethoscope,
Standing in front of a bookcase,
And wearing a white laboratory coat.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On May 3, 2017 @ 4:10 pm

The word: Prodigious

I came upon this quote by Plato while doing research for my poem. I thought it might be fun to share it.

“He who without the Muse’s madness in his soul comes knocking at the door of poesy and thinks that art will make him anything fit to be called a poet, finds that the poetry which he indites in his sober senses is beaten hollow by the poetry of madmen.” – Plato

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 27, 2017 @ 8:03 pm


I am the Paladin of Poetry.
It says here on my card-
“Have Reasons, Will Rhyme”
I travel as a Bard
Perhaps you’ve never heard of me
Though my work is most prodigious
With portents of the past
And auspices suspicious.
In my Mustang, Hi-Ho Silver,
I might roll into your town
Looking for a slam to spew-
A lyrical throwing down.
I am blessed by Muses
To be quicker on the drawing
Of euphonic imagery
As a flicker of the dawning.
I’m a versatile pun fighter.
I deftly turn a phrase.
I’m a deadly proficient prosidist
Deserving of your praise.
Tell me what you need
Do you want to play a game?
I’m the Rambo of crambo.
To me ‘tis all the same.
A jingle, limerick or ditty,
A couplet, chime or tink.
Perhaps you need a cynghanedd-
Tell me what you think.
Maybe something epic
Tell me what you’re ode
Are you dying for a threnody?
It can be bestowed.
Assonance and consonance,
Alliteration, harmony,
Dactylic or Iambic pentameter-
What is to be will be.
I am the Paladin of Poetry.
I travel as a Bard.
“Have Reasons, Will Rhyme”
It says here on my card.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 27, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

The word: Crepuscular

When I Grow Up…

I want to be a Barbarian,
One amongst the horde,
And overrun the villagers-
Put them to the sword.
We will plan our attacks
As the light becomes crepuscular
With fire and our axes,
We’ll show them we are muscular.
I will eat meat with my fingers
As we drink ale around the fire
I will boast of my brutality-
What I do is always dire.
Our booty will be counted-
The treasure that we seized
From those stupid farmers-
The Chief will be so pleased.
I will stay up late.
No one will make me go to bed
Or tell me to brush my teeth.
That is never said.
I’ll have no need for manners,
Rarely will I bathe,
Will keep my dagger razor-sharp,
But never will I shave.
When I hear the call of nature,
I’ll do just as the bears
Do it in the woods
When they come out from their lairs.
We’ll never go to church or
Have a need for school.
We’ll just practice our beheadings
Of those, the lesser fools.
Never will I have to listen
To my mom or to my dad.
I’ll never have to make them proud.
I’ll be happy when they’re sad.
They will never, again, nag me to
Clean my room or mow the lawn
We’ll just see how they will like it
When time comes that I am gone.
Yes. It’s going to be so great
When I become a Barbarian.
I can live my life without rules.
I’ll never have to care, again.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 21, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

The word: Lobster | Book Announcement: PFS Vol II

It could have been an iridescent lobster lunch.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 15, 2017 @ 5:43 pm


It wandered on the ocean floor
Doing what it ought
Searching for worms and mollusks until
The moment it was caught.
A lobsterman named Nickerson
Was tending to his pots
In August, two thousand sixteen,
Was surprised at what he’d got.
Among the crustaceans of his catch
One looked quite out of place
That was because it had
A cerulean carapace.
There it lay upon the pile.
He muttered “Oh, my god.
I’ve caught a thing very rare…”
A blue lobster arthropod.
Of course this was momentous
It attracted some attention
And, little could they then know,
Some moments of contention.
TV and newspapers
Were eager for the tale
As the Nickerson’s announced
That “Bleu” was not for sale.
They did not intend for Bleu
To end up in a stewing
But were a bit surprised
As controversy began brewing.
A national group of advocates
Demanded some surcease.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Said Bleu must be released.
It is always their contention
That mankind is most unstable
When any kind of animal
Ends up on the table.
And then as things might happen,
An opposition faction
People for the Edible Treatment of Animals (also PETA)
Demanded a different course of action.
It is their considered argument
That mankind must not be beaten.
They say that God has intended that
Tasty creatures must be eaten.
What is one to do
With demands in opposition?
Find a better third way-
A change in their position.
And then, so it was chosen-
A stroll of much lesser risk
Bleu got a starring role in an aquarium
And not as lobster bisque.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 15, 2017 @ 9:10 am

Good Advice

Seize life with both claws
But try not to be too tasty
Even if you are ugly.
You could find yourself in
Hot Water
Or drawn butter
Turning RED
Like a
Rock Lobster on a Roll.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 12, 2017 @ 8:16 am

The word: Tertiary

Rocks of Ages

It goes with the Tertiary.
I’m talkin’ fossils, rocks, and strata.
Geologists get sedimental
When analyzing data.
You’ll find them at rock faces,
In canyons, and at bluffs
Chipping with their hammers.
They cannot get enough.
In their minds they strata-gize.
Over accretions of the past.
They’re a kind of ancient CD-ROM-
Accessible at last.
That which grew up as mountains
Oft’ began beneath the sea.
It’s all recorded here-
It’s Gaia’s history.
These are the Rocks of Ages
And when they’re cleft for thee
No longer do they hide
Their eternity from me.
We used to call it Tertiary,
The Third Geologic Age
A time when walking dinosaurs
Were marching off the page.
Then little creatures scurried,
The ones with fur and warmer blood,
It became their time
To rise above the mud.
Paleogene and Neogene-
These periods of time
Rocked us to this present state
We like to think sublime.
Is it our selfish arrogance
We think ourselves as God’s
Crowning pinnacle of creation
When bad children need the rod?
Man and Womankind
Are less than a sentence on a page
In the Volumes of All Time
And yet we’re left to rage.
Perhaps it’s in the plan
That we snuff our fire out
Leave our evidence in the strata
As we put ourselves to rout.
And, as for Gaia?
She will exist beyond our strife
Still conducting her experiments
On this thing that we call life.
We think that we are stewards
But we’re failing at that task.
For a time we rocked the ages.
Soon we’ll be the past.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 8, 2017 @ 5:13 am

The word: Happy

…staccato in the sky. I love that.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 22, 2017 @ 6:14 pm

What about Stinky?

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On April 2, 2017 @ 5:47 am

AHF Annual Drive

We, here, at the Abandon Hope Foundation
Are requesting your support
It seems too many folks are Happy
According to report.
Our CEO says that we can’t have this-
These constant outbursts of Mirth-
People are laughing in the streets
While Misery is at dearth.
Smiles are on the upturn
Our extensive studies say.
Meanwhile, frowns are down.
There must be Hell to pay.
So, open up your wallet.
A fat check would be quite swell
Or you can use your credit card.
Just make it out to “Hell.”
We are going to sponsor Pestilence
Including new Diseases
There will be some Wars
And Famine, if He pleases.
You must know that
We are as serious as cancer.
You must pay the piper
Or fall down as the dancer.
Won’t you do the wrong thing?
Favor us with a reply and give.
There will be some address labels.
We know just where you live.
Don’t make us come to your door.
Don’t make us come a’ knockin’.
Death is walking right behind you.
You know that He is stalking.
We are taking out the “fun”
That you might find in fun-drive.
Make a contribution, do or die…
We will not be denied.
We know that you have loved-ones
Or, perhaps, a favorite pet…
If you must be penurious
You will see what you will get.
For just “pennies a day”
You can bear the cost
To rid us all of Happiness
Assuring Paradise is Lost.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 31, 2017 @ 10:49 am

The word: Solitaire

Thanks for posting, Carol. Carol and Lexa Crane are members of our Austin writers’ group, BeMused Literati.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 29, 2017 @ 5:56 am

Solitaire Confinement

It was in his hovel that the
Hermit played his high stakes game
Placing bets with shining bijous but,
Winning, losing- it’s all the same.
Displaying all his cards in
Solitaire assignment
The suits and numbers matter naught-
Even in alignment.
There’s little joy in victory
When one is all alone
Also, no shame in losing
To throw one’s self a bone.
“I suppose I ought to get out
And spend some time in town.”
He muttered to no one in particular,
“I need to get around.”
And so he grabbed his walking stick
And donned his favorite cap.
“You’re in charge while I am gone,”
He mentioned to the cat.
In the City, it was Festival with
Entertainment and vendors, galore
He looked to see if he could find
The Comestibles and Delectables tent store.
He bought himself a turkey leg
And a horn of foaming ale
Meaty juices ran into his beard,
Wiped with a sleeve to no avail.
There flew a hanging poster flag,
A schedule of events.
Should he see the “Brave Jousting Knights”
Or enjoy a “Dancing Wench?”
Both seemed to him exciting
But propriety made its call-
Perhaps a Poetry Reading
Made from a bannered stall.
He sat down on a bench
At “Reasons for Some Rhyme”
A comely lass waxed lyrical
With tales most sublime.
The crowd was most appreciative.
He added his applause
To shouts of their approval
Mixed with some guffaws.
Then the hermit got to thinking,
“Here I am amongst the throngs
And yet I’m still forsaken.
I guess that things might be different
If other paths were taken.”
Then it came, the gloaming.
He grabbed a honeyed scone
To savor on his journey
To his home, alone.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 24, 2017 @ 12:34 am

The word: Travelers

Wonderful whimsy from the Crane sisters with different mothers. Very nice. Thank you.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 21, 2017 @ 10:02 pm

Children of the Yonder Star

First, there came the miners
To the iron asteroid.
They hollowed out its center
To live within the void.
Then, came the manufacturers.
Iron ore was smelted.
They collected water as
Surface ice was melted.
Then they made the steel
With which they made constructions
Their plan began to reveal
According to instructions.
Scientists and engineers
Met with social masterminds
Here, they designed for the future-
Salvation for Mankind.
Next, came a wave of persons,
Techs skilled in crafts and arts.
Soon they would wave goodbye
As wayfarers to the stars.
On the outside solar sails
Unfurl to Sun’s fire.
Now, it is time to be leaving.
It is zero hour.
The travelers are excited.
They are on a quest
To spread the seeds of humanity
And make it for the best.
The first generations were so happy
Among the stars to roam
But their children said, “Are we there yet?”
They wanted to go home.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 16, 2017 @ 7:05 pm

The word: Dignity

Wow! The New Yorker is ambitious. That is a real audience. With AIPF, we spend an evening reading our poems to each other and anyone we bring along. The book probably never gets read after that. Still, it is fun to have my play read and selected by professional poets.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 10, 2017 @ 6:53 pm

Re: Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back!
My poem for the word “Friendship,” posted toward the end of December, was accepted for publication in the Austin International Poetry Festival Contest anthology. This is my second year to receive this honor.

» Posted By Martin Mayland, Austin, Texas On March 10, 2017 @ 5:02 am

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