Goodwill Fires

© Copyright Steve Shultz

“How will your words give grace today?”

between lines, same sign says
we act different way

how do we save face today
keep pace today
embrace today
erase the way
in which we face today

embers looking inward
never sparking goodwill fires

at times
we could all use a sign
but the kid in me
wants to rearrange
the letters
to spell something

like ol’ Holden Caulfield said
“When you’re not looking
somebody’ll sneak up and
write ‘Fuck you’ right under
your nose.”

*End quote from “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger, used without permission (obviously). Linked up for dVerse Poets Pub’s 9/11 Open Link Night.



Misery loves
a fuck buddy
eager to put out
not ready to commit

fickle in our fantasies
so subtle in our symphony

hear that?
complain of the pain
like no one else
can feel it

masturbating messiahs
in our own right

in a sea of sorrow
longing for
flotation device

comparing vices on the upstroke
bitching with our last dying breath

© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.


Working Still by Borg de Nobel ( Used with permission.

It’s breakfast
but we don’t awake
for coffee
or sweet cakes
eyes open only
to the sound
of blackened spoons
in this
hollow sphere
we are neighbors
but we
don’t go by names
beauty in mud
dirt grains
the pain the sun
declines to shine

© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.

Poem inspired by the above painting, “Working Still” by Borg de Nobel. Linked up for dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt.

Dandruff of a Butterfly’s Wings

A stick of butter in the fire
Melting down in discarded time
Butterfly wings—dandruff, desire
Head aches waiting for final chime
No reason, transcendental rhyme
Inside halo’s blast radius
No footholds in treacherous climb
On high, a laugh rings hideous


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.

Restrictive Definition

Everyone is a god
damn critic
knifing outsiders’
complicated lives
into sliced bread
white or burnt toast

it is not so simple
to change a word
you have faith in
when you don’t believe
in restrictive

come on
edit my physique
look for double meanings
when the message is
not clear
as polished glass

cut from
a different class
yet so quick
to drop the hammer
wearing suit & tie
civilized flies
fighting over
shit piles

we can’t all be Gandhi
so we
cut our fingers off

but we forgot the ice
and we bleed
such beautiful shades of red
to death.


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.

Death Letters

death letters
by firelight

want to tell my
friend how I
wronged him

but past scars
should not surface
on leathered skin

want to tell
the strong man
my fears

I am not
a hardened

I am not
a chiseled cheekbone
or gravestone

I want a

the clearing

I was always
afraid of

but now I’m ready
for you to
read my cards

it’s time
to cast
my stones

and be read
before all
that I’ve enclosed


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.