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PoetryPause Blog - Matthew Ashbrook Posts

Nature’s Highway

All my wooly neighbors live
Within the woods around;
The otters and the porcupines,
Those burrowed in the ground.

Assorted rodents, cottontails
The bobcats and the fox;
The beavers and the ‘coons and bears
And squirrels who chatterbox.

Through the winter months are scarce,
It’s chilly in the snow;
They build a home and shelter there
Except the buck and doe.

Spring has sprung and they’ve returned
To live among their kind,
Forage in the forest fields,
Their lives with mine entwined.

A peaceful coexistence born
Within this land we share;
Respectful of each other’s lane
On nature’s thoroughfare.

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I drink my share of liquor,
Mostly by the shot;
Restaurants the exception
Or sometimes on a yacht,
Where cocktails are in order,
In glassware stemmed and chilled
To nurse through dinner entrées
Of steaks both seared and grilled.

But here among the shrubbery
Within which life is lived,
It’s shots of ethyl liquid
With a kick that won’t forgive.
Tequila, Scotch or Vodka,
Irrelevant the name,
Wending through the bloodstream,
The impact’ all the same.
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New Day

Slathered in butter
And syrup so sweet
Blueberry pancakes
At breakfast to eat.

With patties of sausage
To dredge and consume
Through condiments spread
On the plate to exhume.

A bottomless vessel
Of coffee that’s filled
From the Matron of Aprons
That pancake had grilled.

A spectacular start
To a Monday’s debut -
A dawning of promise
And a day born anew.
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Bull Riding

I remember a day
When it was a sport
For the reckless or brave
Or some other sort,
But now they’re protected
With flak jacket vests
A helmet and teeth guard
And all of the rest.

No longer the spirit
Of bulls that they ride,
But a Disney attraction
Like the Twister or slide.
No way to be hurt
The protection so great
That children could mount,
Be secure in their fate.

Not falling off
Of an eight second trip
Around a sandbox
Without losing your grip.
That is the essence
Of the bull riding game
A sport now evolved
To something quite lame.
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Alien Visit

There’s something going on down here,
It doesn’t make much sense;
Their screwing up the give and take
And thing are getting tense.

A light year and half we’ve come
To see how others thrive
Within the universe at large;
I’m shocked now we’ve arrived.

Expected that the other forms
Of lives within our realm
Would have learned to live and grow -
I’d say I’m underwhelmed.

The oceans filled with plastic reefs
To suffocate the sea
Pollutants fill the atmosphere,
To stifle what could be.

Beside the oceans deep and blue
The lands with weapons filled,
While skirmishes erupt around
Destroy all that they build.

They’re hell bent on destruction,
Their species multiplied
They’ve sated selfish cravings
While other species died. 

Let’s turn this ship around right now,
Return to our home base
Where we’ve evolved to understand
Our purpose and our place.
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Moon Dance

They’re sending the boys back to the moon,
Exploring the surface and gathering dust;
It’s fifty-four years since Neil arrived,
In a capsule atop of a rocket ship’s thrust.

So much has changed in the years that ensued,
iPhones and web sites and Internet sleuths;
ISIS and Putin and our own Donald Trump,
And some good things as well, if you’re searchin’ for truths.

So changes are comin’ to the trip that is planned
To assure that the travelers are synchronic with time.
A trip to the Milky Way’s Fashion Boutique
To assure their new suits will shine like a dime.

With updated helmets and a palette motif
More festive and current and a little bit chic;
So the man on the moon can dance without weight
Without inhibition on a surface so bleak.
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Glass Houses

Twenty years they say it’s been
Since we took down Iraq;
Took their leader from a hole,
Destroyed with Awe and Shock.

Five thousand U.S. soldiers died
In search of weapons mass;
Many more Iraqis died,
No weapons found, alas.

We’re quick to point the finger at
Some others ‘round the orb,
Who find misguided reasons to
Attack and then absorb.

Throwing stones from windows glass,
An adage tried and true,
Ignored through time and history
While bombs and bullets flew.

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One P.M.
That was when
They’d notify
The citizens;
Of stormy skies
That might appear,
A test it was
Of danger near.

But one o’clock,
It came and went;
No message came,
No message sent.
Perhaps we of 
This little town
Don’t rate to save
Should storms come ‘round.

Slighted, sure,
But not surprised;
The government’s
Collect a check
And then go home.
Their only care?
You’ll reelect.
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Spring 2023

Slowly they are trickling back
From where each year they go;
Burrowed in or in a tree
Or somewhere free of snow.

But now the sun’s been poppin’ out,
The temperature has climbed,
And somewhere hidden in their genes
The season spring is primed.

The honking geese and feathered ducks
Are circlin’ in the sky;
Exhausted by the long flight back
They look to fortify.

Some return to homes they’ve left
While others build anew;
And with their mates have come to nest
In nature’s dejavu.

Through centuries they’ve come and gone,
Perpetuate their kind;
The season’s spring renewal
In every creature find.
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The verdant bottle popped its cork
Like champagne that’s provoked,
Distributed an aural fizz
That hops and grain evoked.

A bottle from the Netherlands
Where Amsterdam is found;
An urban sprawl of sex and drugs
And global laws resound.

Art museums and canals,
It’s where you’ll find Van Gogh
Not alive but in his art
But where he’d live and grow.

But best of all is Heineken,
Grolsch and herb cafes;
Intoxicating influence
In case you pass this way.
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