June 10, 2017

Three Poems by Joseph Buehler: "The Fox King," "They Don't Want Them," and "The Macbeths In Fulton, Michigan"

Joseph Buehler has published poetry in "Indiana Voice Journal," "The Tower Journal," "ArLiJo," "Nine Mile Magazine," "Ottawa Arts Review," "River Poets Journal," "Sentinel Literary Quarterly" in the U. K., "Wordrunner eChapbook," "The Stray Branch," "Mad Swirl," "Bumble Jacket Miscellany," and elsewhere. He is retired and lives with his wife Trish in Georgia

The Fox King

He wears his multicolored crown
(muted red, light yellow, light green)
atop his oval head. Abstractions or
symbols (of what?) are on either side
of his protruding nose. His eyes are
mismatched---one is in the shape of a
fortune cookie; the other is slanted down;
they are made up of the same colors as
his crown and head. A jagged white
border surrounds them. His mouth, in a
v shape, is almost hidden by the long
drooping nose.

Who does he rule over? Perhaps no one.
Yet he wears his abstract crown with some
swagger and pride.

He had no original design. He became the
fox king almost by accident, by a few strokes
that caused surprise and delight:
mixed media.

They Don’t Want Them

They don’t want them.
They came over in overcrowded boats.
They barely made it.
If the boats had tipped over they would have all drowned.
But they don’t want them.
See the people run!
Men women and children.
Women carrying babies.
See the police in riot gear.
See the police with large metal shields.
See them shoot tear gas into the crowds.
You can’t cross this border!
Go back where you came from!
We don’t want you.
We can’t keep you.
Go back, go back!
But the refugees keep running with their heads bowed down determinedly.

Another story is about
how gas has become cheaper
here in America.

The Macbeths In Fulton, Michigan

What are they doing here anyway?

They keep watching those farmers over there
in half clean bib overalls who are sitting
on a metal shelf that is attached to the gas
station, spitting tobacco juice onto the
burned out greasy grass and gossiping
hurtful things against their neighbors, really
vicious things.

“Murder somebody!,” Lady Macbeth yells at her
husband, her eyes wild.

“Why should I murder these hicks?” Macbeth
protests, making violent stabs into the air with
his broadsword. “How is that going to gain me
the throne? Tell me that, sweet face, you know
all the answers?”

“Our throne!” Lady Macbeth snarls. “You always
forget about me! All right then! Let’s move on
to Kalamazoo or Lansing or Detroit! Put your
sword back into its sheath!”

“Quit telling me what to do all the time, you old
hag!” Macbeth grumbles. “Just get back on your
lousy stinking horse and I”ll get back on mine.
It’s starting to rain! Where’d you put my umbrella?”

© Joseph Buehler

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