save the date…

on your birthday

dedicated, as this is,
from afar without any hands-
on expectations, there
is no way to reach out; instead
lemme tell this story burning a
hole in my tongue.

i now mark the end
of winter & summer
with equal precision; damn
bookends on some sorry
late-arrival of a card
or flowers or whatever
it is people do for each
other these days.

if it seems a cruel gift
from the past accompaniment
of a ghost pacing inside of you,
i assure you it’s not. standing
ready to rearrange an entire scene
in vain hope of impressment;
at least for an hour,
maybe more, is not easy.
crowds are too thick;
just too loud here
for real talk; & that’s what i do,
& why you want me.

i’ve tied off my ponytail
almost 3000 times by my
inaccurate count. how many
birthdays have come-and-gone
in that time? nosebleed
seats & dust-off turned into
gold and diamonds. not
a bad trick for magician;
impossible for a poet.

having dispensed with fear,
flags of trust free-fly at half-staff,
a preliminary gesture. remarkable;
yet only a token relic of
what i really have to give. when
the day ends & you find
yourself one day older instead
of a year you’ll know
that i only play with magic
as an amateur; results are
never guaranteed.

on the early evening
they dethroned summer,
my people celebrated briefly
in your place. you weren’t there;
how could you be? no
invitations were sent; you’ll
never even know how my sly-
smile (that one you hate when you
get mad) showed up again & again
throughout the night.

rest assured; i’m laughing at
me, as always. you don’t join in
any more; too grown-up now.
it’s your birthday darlin’;
& all the okay i could get
you at the last minute.


Dedicated to calendar days and always being a step late to remember which ones are which. If it’s true that it’s the thought that counts, at least someone knows I was thinking. Laugh goddammit, that was a fuckin’ joke! (in so many ways.)

29 Responses to “save the date…”

  1. ha. i really need to get over here more often…glad you hooked up at oneshot and gave me an excuse…your pen has a quick tongue….take that as a compliment…happy birthday, no matter the date…smiles.

    • Well, I usually don’t take compliments after my first of the night, but for you I will make an exception. Not quite my birthday either, let’s just say it’s someone’s birthday that is neither yours nor mine. Peruse away at your leisure; that’s really all we do here at TFBP.

  2. In the grand scheme of things it is sad when people do not see the forest for the trees.

    • Who is missing what? Does that mean too specific? I don’t really celebrate birthdays or holidays, always found it too ceremonial. However, in this case, a birthday was the perfect wheel to spin this on. I’m trying to puzzle out your comment, but are you referring to me or the protagonist in the poem? Just not sure dude.

      • That many people make other people’s lives (the ones they are supposed to care about) miserable over things that are really not important.

      • I am still puzzled. Am I making you miserable? If so, my apologies, it ain’t where all this goes, I can assure you. This is tragi-comedy, not comi-tragedy. Thx as always for reading, please feel free to rip me a new as needed.


      • No…my goodness. To me this seemed to be about how people’s expectations of one another differ in realtionships. This poem could almost be an apology from a father to a grown daughter for any perceived shortcomings. However, I’ve seen people take such moments and hold them against their parent’s, spouse’s, etc. – and I think it is unfortunate that they waste the time they have in life being upset over things that are not that important.

      • Makes mores sense. No kids that I know of (at least I hope) but I tried to make it about not knowing why people do what they do, as you wrote. I love that it has inspired so many different readings. Craziness.

  3. Interesting read…
    Thanks for sharing…
    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Connect with me on Twitter at @VerseEveryDay to read one verse everyday on life, love and longing…

  4. Reminds me that the best present is to engage in quality conversation. Also, enjoy your wit.

  5. Nice one shot here.”Yet only a token relic…” fabulous… Love and Light, Sender

  6. I liked the reflective way of the poem..

    ode to un-punctuated verses

  7. lovely and reflective,
    beautiful job!

  8. Thanks for the kind words y’all. Always appreciate the ego boost & the support. Not much better than getting read. Anyhow, thanks from all of me here at TFBP.

  9. ..mark the end
    of winter & summer
    with equal precision…
    intense writing and a kind of weird birthday celebration with the guest not showing up or showing up in the end…?

    • The guest can’t show.

      “you weren’t there;
      how could you be? no
      invitations were sent;”

      Now, why the guest can’t show is for the reader to imagine. There are many possible reasons. The narrator sets up a fond remembrance of someone but is unable to really celebrate the person while also thinking those exact words… you ain’t here and you ain’t coming… what happened? Sometimes, we just don’t know.

      Does that make more sense? Thx for the comment,


  10. “results are never guaranteed” – Perhaps, but you got results this time. Nice One Shot!

  11. I really should show this to my father. This is truly him minus the ponytail. But we’ve learned to accept his flaw of numeric forgetfulness. Appreciate the wit and gritty flare. Poetry encompasses all things including forgotten days, enjoyed immensely. I love uniqueness. Thanks for stopping by~

  12. Now I’m wondering how many times I’ve tied my pony tail, hehe!

  13. Wish I could send this for the many birthdays in my life, but having eleven grandchildren doubt it would suffice; the kids might like it but lack of 3d gift might cause strife with children and their spouses. I liked the whole tongue in cheek word play. Kudos. Gay (@beachanny)

  14. i tied off my ponytail almost 3000 times….yeah and i cut it only the once….a really good write..thanks for sharing with one shot..cheers pete

    • Funny you should mention that part about cutting it off… I cut mine off for a girl about 7 or so years back and regretted it instantly. She took off, and I had short hair (it grew back!) Thanks for the compliment, and I look forward to working with 1SP again in the future. (Oh yeah, I dig your poetry too… should have mentioned that straight off.


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