Poetry: Selections from H.L. Dowless

What a Fortunate Man

He sailed across the ocean
To a land afar,
To an island of mystery
Neath the falling star.
He dwelt in a granite castle
High up on a hill
By the surging sea,
In the warm Poseidon winds 
And away from the chill.
He was surrounded 
by glitter and gold,
And all of this aside from his many travels
To kingdoms untold.
Often he hung his head
Longing for more,
While he continued to dream
About what might lay hidden in-store.
What a wealthy men
You really are!
We gather here tonight
Round this beach bonfire,
Singing your song to a
Dobro guitar. 
What an adventurous man
You certainly are,
Surrounded by the good captains gold
And eastern silk by the yard!
The polynesian girls are dancing,
Can't you see them all around?
Their voices all chime
To the strum in my sound!
They wear roses in their linen robes
And carnations in their hair.
The most beautiful one in the center
Is certainly smiling and grinning.
I swear the likes of you
Simply can’t keep from winning!
What a fortunate one
You really are!
I swear
I can see your name written
In the midnight stars!

Mysterious Words of a Hamadryad Girl

Soon there is coming a great big whirl,
Oh now,
There’s nowhere to run and hide.
I was told this tale in town the other day 
By a hamadryad girl,
Living life and yearning to thrive.
She said 
The fierce winds would soon blow
And the unyielding rains would come-a-hammerin’ down.
The floods would even reach the king’s palace
You know;
Even the nobles accompanied by their complete allying congress 
Would then wash away 
And drown!
I told her
Many among the proletariat 
Had long prayed for such,
Although I never intended for anybody
To experience harm.
Then she said her her ethereally assigned job
Was only to spread the word,
And sound the sacred warning alarm.
She said
Way back down in the cypress swamp,
Over near the old Widow Moore’s Creek,
She gazed for almost half a day 
Into a natural pool of dew water born from a huge 
Huntsman's Cup
And tulip poplar nectar;
Since pictures of the impending disaster
And the metaphysical certainty in it 
She did seek.
Later that night she was possessed by a dream
Where she witnessed a horrible thing.
An asteroid tumbled into the ocean
The size of a mountain,
Where massive tidal waves washed entire cities of man
Perfectly clean;
It created many a toxic fountain
And it scattered the stars of heaven down upon earth,
Wiping away the lives of one third!
She wept 
When she said
The kings of The East shall unite
And arise;
Despite any efforts of The West,
The coming times shall be all anybody can do
To survive,
Though the earth’s greatest,
Most righteous armies,
Shall perform 
At their very best.
This woods nymph told me
When the travesty finally ended
There would be mite-nigh five billion dead!
Her disturbing words rattled around in my brain for a week,
I failed to sleep 
Since I couldn't shake them 
From my weary head.
When I couldn’t plaster these words up
On a roadside billboard poster
Where they really belong,
I thought I would make them up into a poem,
And later write them into a song.
I say
All of mankind needs to recollect these words,
And make the most value from each passing day,
Because she warned me it would all occur at once,
Since two thirds dead shall be the terrible redeeming sacrifice
Mankind shall be compelled to pay.

I Can’t Stand Losing in Life

I go far and wide on wild journeys,
All the way to the ends of the earth,
In search of the glory and wealth I’ve been yearning
Ever since the day of my birth.
Every time I venture out,
Six months later I drift back in.
I have to find my predestined clout,
I don’t know when I’ll ever win.
I can’t,
I can’t,
I can’t stand losing!
I cain’t,
I can’t, 
I can’t stand losing in life!
I can’t,
I can’t,
I can’t stand losing in life,
No matter what the price.
Wild ideas race around inside my head,
From the time I awake 
Until I lay down in bed.
I keep playing the next gig,
Taking the next chance,
While silently  longing to strike it big!
I drift around from town to town,
Choosing unique places with soul and personality,
Seeking areas where golden opportunity might be found,
Desperately searching for my winning reality.
I can’t,
I can’t,
I can’t stand losing in life.
I can’t,
I can’t,
I can’t stand losing in life.
I can’t,
I can’t,
I can’t stand losing in life.
One day I have to win,
Cause I’m tired of beginning all over again.
I can’t stand losing in life,
No matter what the price.
If soon I don’t play a winning hand,
I fear I might waste away
In debauchery and vice.

And I Wonder

Sitting around hoping to get a job,
I’d rather be writing on my computer
Or trying to catch a frog.
No matter how hard I try,
Nothing really happens, 
And I wonder..
I walk around outside,
I stop to tie my shoe.
I don’t know why,
But there’s not much to do.
I look about and even small birds fly,
Yet there is not anything for me 
If the story stays true.
Sometimes I feel as though I’m going to die,
‘Cause nothing really happens,
And I wonder..
I gaze around,
I take a deep sigh,
I listen to the spring sounds,
I think I’m going to cry;
But ahead all I can see 
Is an empty beach.
The earth is quaking,
The bricks are crumbling,
Deep inside my poor heart is breaking.
Beneath me now I hear a mighty rumbling.
I walk across town to change my point of view,
The old ladies are grumbling
‘Cause the silver rounds be few;
And ahead of me
All that I can see
Is a perfectly empty beach.
I don’t know what I’m going to do,
The rain is falling,
The opportunities are few.
A distant voice on the wind is calling,
I need to find me a place and stick like glue;
But around me everywhere I go,
All that I can see
Is an empty beach.
There’s not a dune to climb,
Nor a man to fight,
Or even a conch shell for me to find.
I swear there’s not a good whore in sight,
Even when out in the middle of the day when there’s brilliant sunshine.
All that I can see 
Is this empty beach!
I ventured up the mountain
To slay a ram goat,
I washed in an elegant natural fountain,
I rowed for the day in an old jon boat;
Yet when I gaze around me,
Still all that I can see
Is an empty beach.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?
Does my pinky stink?
Do you whisper  around  town
That I’m a heel?
In the end does anything really matter?
Might we get struck by lightning
In the rattle of rolling thunder?
Will it do any good if we shed a tear?
I’ll stop right here...,
And I wonder…

I Wanna Be Rich

I dream of finding treasure in a cave,
An iron box filled to overflowing with golden coin,
Gem laden necklaces, and glittering chalice 
One day.
If one can reap when he does the sowing,
I never want to make a downward switch,
I wanna be rich!
I want a room filled with gold I can wallow in like a hog,
Diving into,
Tossing handfuls up allowing them to drop,
Like it's such a sin to do.
I am telling all of you I have a great big itch,
Hell man, I wanna be rich!
I despise being average.
I hate being poor!
I deserve splendid leverage,
Since those are the ones 
All the good people really adore!
I don’t want any duty to society, 
Or to the pagan’s rudimentary environment,
Don’t need no belaboring community call.
All I want is a gold-laden notoriety,
Where I swing a rock hard 24
And stand damn near twelve feet tall!
I wanna be rich!,
Slobber mouthed, 
Walking around with a squeaking, 
Golden threaded stitch.
All you dirty rotten dogs,
I wanna be rich!
I wanna be able to freely attend every hedonistic call.
When I walk down main street,
All the women lay lusting weeping eyes on me, 
And before my elegant strut 
They fall!
Every man crawls up to me who I chance to meet,
Swearing I am the greatest thing him 
Or anyone ever saw!
I tell them to get it boys even if you have to cheat!
All ambitious people really must concern themselves 
With is the law.
Those who don’t have it 
Ain’t got no secular hitch.
Hell man, I wanna be rich!
When time arrives where I finally die,
For many miles around they’ll all come.
Every lady present will hang her head and cry,
Speaking of all the good I’ve done.
There’ll not be any type of soul taint,
Oh Lord, 
The elaborate pictures they’ll surely paint!
Preachers shall stand before a vast murmuring crowd, 
Declaring me a true born saint,
Saying look at all of the magnificent things he’s done,
Regardless of the grandeur glittering in my debauched fun,
or the grandiose degree of my soul’s dark taint. 
I’ll write here as I stand and yell it all again 
So damn loud,
Out of everything underneath the noonday sun,
If the spirits can hear me when my declaration is spoken,
With my vow to myself never to be broken,
And I could make only a single wish;
I don’t mean to bitch,
But hell man,
I wanna be rich!

H.L. Dowless is a national & international academic/ ESL Instructor. He has been a writer for over thirty years. His latest publications have been two books of nonfiction with Algora Publishing, a fictional novel by Atmosphere Press, and fictional publications with combo e-zines and print magazines; Leaves Of Ink, CC&D Magazine, Short Story Lovers, The Fear Of Monkeys, and Frontier Tales. He recently signed three contracts with Pen it Publications.