Samples from Beatific Visions

Blunt Head

My father said,
Can you sell a poem?
And who would buy one,
What a blunt headed
He was.

Date Shake

Forgotten by the side of the hot desert road
Ignored in forlorn desolation
Like a distant relative crippled by a stroke.
The weed filled tilled earth
Between rows of bearded palms
Once a desert garden of medjools,
A stop for speeding motorists
Along the blasted highway to the Promised Land.
Still, she shuffles behind the tired Formica counter
Her face as furrowed as the weathered desert mountains
Her skin like tawny jerky
Her voice as dry as sand
Skinny and puffing on her too many cigarettes.
Still, she makes the best date shake in Dateland
Along the blasted highway to the Promised Land.


He was an ass kicker.
A fire eater.
A take no prisoners
Kind o’ guy.
They put that on his gravestone
For his bereaved widow
And children
To weep over.

No Apparent Motive

She brought me a tired silly bouquet                    
Of tangled drowsy flowers,                        
Smiling wide
Like sun on a river,
Held tight in her happy hand.
Laughing, in the morning,
Like it was natural,
Just had to be done,
Kindly, without pretense,
With no apparent motive.

Copyright© 1995, Thomas Phalen, All rights reserved.