Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ayla!

         for Ayla Huguenot

Ayla! You are now 13!
Ask yourself—what does that mean?
Hear that noise, half-scream half-shout?
That’s your mom! She’s freaking out!

So what’s 13? It’s a trip!
Trust me—I served on that ship.
I was 13 once too. (Damn.
That was during Vietnam.)

I know—that’s ancient history.
But ancient is what YOU will be.
You’ll think your life is all but done—
Y’know—when you turn 21.

But until then—and even after—
Fill up your days with songs and laughter.
This is your time to take the wheel
And aim yourself at an ideal

And take off like a thunderclap
Down roads that only you can map
Full of great sights and cool rest stops
(And hopefully free of traffic cops).

And so, from one whose teens were mad—
I was protesting war! And fighting with Dad!—
Who’s lived till (drum roll) 64—
Here are some rules you will ignore:

Hold and hug, but never clutch.
Don’t be someone else’s crutch.
Make the time to write and play.
Live the now, not yesterday.

When you don’t feel, don’t pretend it.
When your heart breaks, Time will mend it.
When in doubt, be like Joe Strummer.
Never—ever—date a drummer.

Daring is your magic wand.
Always reach for what’s beyond.
When you see a challenge? Do it!
Trust your gut!—just don’t add to it.

Don’t do more than two encores.
Remember—looks will open doors
But they don’t furnish the room.
Always prepare; never assume.

Be a troubadour at heart.
Finish everything you start.
When your life’s attacked by schmucks,
Please give zero rhymes-with-ducks.

Grow a garden. Fill a hole.
Risk rejection. Feed your soul.
Stroll when others push and shove.
The heart has no sex—let it love.

Listen closely. Use your voice.
Guard your freedoms—speech and choice.
Never fail to right a wrong.
Tell your story. Be a song.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clever To Wise

              for Bri Getterman

To change the world, I have to change the eyes
   That see it, and the hands I use to fashion
It like clay, and the heart that deifies
   My demons; till I view all with dispassion,
And learn to see the face behind my face,
   The spirit in the shell, the me behind
The I, the garden that my walls encase,
   The stillness underneath my busy mind—
And live a truth that shames the lies I wear
   Like labels, leaving me sincere and clean
And helpless—bravely helpless—with soul bare,
   Eyes clear, hands steady, and a heart serene
      To shun the ego underneath my name
      And be a spark that sets the world aflame.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Month of Couplets

From The Daily Couplet:


Refusing help when tough times have you floored
Is like putting on armor when you fall overboard.


My need to help will never be exceeded—
Except by my desire to be needed.


Tomorrow’s dream wakes to this morning’s need.
Life is a treadmill that keeps changing speed.


It takes a slave to haughty Twitter fights
To mock a man who fought for civil rights.


When double-dealing cheats are told they’ve lied,
It doesn’t tarnish them—it feeds their pride.


The insecure invent their victories
By yelling “LOSER!” at their enemies.


All doors men lock open with this one key:
Well-behaved women don’t make history.


         Women and experience

If you don't have it, then it doesn't count.
And when you do, it's not the right amount.


             Misogyny’s Motto

“We don’t despise you girls—we love you all
When you’re submissive as a blow-up doll.”


Reason, advice and brains are for the birds
When POTUS only has 300 words.


When speech is silenced till it learns to please,
Freedom will die like frogs—boiled by degrees.


NIXON: “Freedom’s a trust  I won’t betray.”
MITCHELL: “Watch what we do, not what we say.”


        How Trump Defines
         American Carnage

If crime is blood, then skin is the stiletto.
If it has more than two blacks, it’s a ghetto.


What's easy: knowing I’m a work of art.
What's hard: not taking bad reviews to heart.


Affection’s pleasure and rejection’s pain—
That’s what comes of my heart being my brain


The rule of law’s been thrown under a bus.
What once was justice has become “Just us.”


When History is taught by subjugators,
Even the dead become collaborators.


In countries where the honest live in fear
The truth’s whatever tyrants want to hear.


When two hearts speak, love grows through compromise.
When one heart’s silent, then the other dies.


Abuse of power tempts till you’re okay with it:
It’s not abuse till you don’t get away with it.


                Two Ideas Of Love

He calls it stunning hype, and makes her swill it.
She calls it emptiness, so he can fill it.


                     Two Ideas Of Love

She hates it when he helps—it undermines her.
He offers help because that hate defines her.


Those who think Islam is a vicious cancer
Swear that a Christian jihad is the answer.


A West Bank war would be the Right’s white weddin’.
Pro-Israel? No—just pro-Armageddon.


Pence wants one trade to cure our culture’s blights:
The Ten Commandments for The Bill of Rights.


The Right is too divine for genuflections—
Except to those with money and connections.


The kind of men who like their women quiet
Think that equality will cause a riot.


This truth is hard, and hardly ever spoken:
Hearts can’t forgive till after they’ve been broken.


Empathy’s great, but problematical:
If I were you, we’d both be miserable.


        My Bloody Valentines 1

I know you’re superficial. I don’t care.
I love the underneath that isn’t there.


        My Bloody Valentines 2

The only crimes hearts should be victims of
Are hope, and falling helplessly in love.


        My Bloody Valentines 3

It’s subjugation that he finds appealing.
He wants the satisfaction—not the feeling.


        My Bloody Valentines 4

It’s always lust when reason is excluded
And never love unless it’s half-deluded.


        My Bloody Valentines 5

Love is like fruit—whether it’s cold or hot,
It always spoils from the softest spot.


               My Bloody Valentines 6

Steer clear of playwrights who propose romance—
They want to get into your actor pants.


            My Bloody Valentines 7

Because there’s selfishness behind my eyes,
Loving me is a hand-job in disguise.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life In 14 Lines - 20

I’m never happy in a single place.
The quiet life is one I’ll never master.
If I stop moving, then I'll have to face
My loneliness—so I start running faster.

I’m drawn to women who drive me insane.
I give my soul to those who could care less.
Because I’m only whole when I’m in pain,
Passion’s not pleasure—it’s an SOS.

I’d give my heart, but it’s under embargo
Because it’s so susceptible to lies.
Where Love’s concerned, I am my own Iago
Except he isn’t caught and never dies

But sends me down a road I never stray from
That feeds the hollowness I run away from.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Special Garden: Two Valentine's Day Sonnets

                 What Makes You So Special?

What makes you so special? What makes a heart
So big it bursts with joy? What makes a soul
So strong that it can laugh at every dart
Life hurls at it? What makes you whole

If not your separate pieces, each of which
Is like a diamond on the necklace of
Your public self—bright jewels that enrich
Your every move and word? What else but love

Lies behind all you give, and deserves just
As much, if not more, in return? You show
Strangers what caring means, your friends what trust
Can do, and all your lovers that to know

You is like knowing heaven star by star.
What makes you special? Everything you are.

                 The Garden of Your Soul

The garden of your soul is green and cool.
It’s landscaped so the ones you trust can see
Its flower beds of love, the nursery
Where all your wishes blossom, and the pool

Of tranquil peace where you can float at ease.
An ever-greenhouse to support and please you,
It’s why the sere world feels a fragrant breeze
And thinks of roses every time it sees you.

And when you’re in the weeds, and every petal
Cries out for your attention and your care,
Water them one by one, and never settle
For anything that withers you—but dare

To own each blossom like it was your child—
And keep that garden soothing, safe and wild.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Silence says more than speech. A minute’s pause
   Can hold a Bible’s worth of love and wrath
And say both yes and no at once, because—
   Thought stillness always moves—we choose its path.
Silence means more than speech. Words pin things down
   Till they explain away the mystified,
While silence grins like a demented clown
   At definitions, till they run and hide.
Silence hurts more than speech. The longer it
   Goes on, the more it wounds, like a long knife
Driven up from your belly bit by bit
   Until it finds your heart and takes your life,
      Sickens your faith till it's a worthless cheat,
      And poisons love until it's rotten meat.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells