Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 01/16/23

Whistle and die

Get old, whistle and die
Our machines are not made
to last the test of time
Breath coarsens, lungs break
heart slow-drips like a rainstorm’s end
The night’s darkness swoops down
with vulture talons,
tightening bamboo cage,
and there are no thoughts other than
killing the bird

Get old, whistle and die
Our bodies are not made
to stand for this circus
The acrobat wears an inverted thorn-jacket
The lion tamer a blindfold
and elephants stampede the crowd

Entangled in vulture talon,
the bird patiently waits for dinner
The once illuminated azure
is swathed in brown coffee stains
The spouse is with ‘them’ and
a fellow torturer
And a walk upstairs is a
three-hour football practice
under August’s bleeding hot sun

Get old, whistle and die
What kind of opium will mitigate the pain?
Netflix’s escapist vacuums?
The priest’s sunny words on a bright tomorrow?
The family’s earthly glow of love and genetic perpetuity?
The rationalist’s defiant war with God?
Morphine’s incubating cuddle?

Get old, whistle and die
Here today.

And tomorrow

we shall see

©2023 Peter F. Crowley All rights reserved.

Peter F. Crowley

As a prolific author from the Boston area, Peter F. Crowley writes in various forms, including short fiction, op-eds, poetry and academic essays. In 2020, his poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was published by Kelsay Books and received impressive reviews by Kirkus Review, the Bangladeshi New Age and two local Boston-area newspapers. His writing can be found in Middle East Monitor, Znet, 34th Parallel, Pif Magazine, Galway Review, Digging the Fat, Adelaide’s Short Story and Poetry Award anthologies (finalist in both) and The Opiate.


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