The Clown

The Clown
by Carl Josehart

Looking out from behind a grease-paint smile
Are eyes too world weary to weep and too cynical to grin
So joyfully he plays at living his life
Always pleasing the crowd – always feeling the price

Hidden behind a façade of laughter
Are ears turned deaf for want of being whispered to
So playfully he talks to each and everyone
Telling jokes – bringing laughter to those he meets

Buried beneath his silly padded clothes
Is skin grown tough – screening all the feeling out
So whimsically he tumbles as falls
Hurting less when he feels nothing at all

Locked away inside a red button nose
Are nostrils still longing for the scent of sweet perfume
While he mimics inhaling the aroma of a paper bouquet
Produced as if by magic – then given away

Lying dormant within his mouth
Is a tongue fast asleep from the banality of his daily fare
His world is cotton candy and caramel corn – all sickly sweet
Never having tasted the richness of life’s flavors, he is not nourished when he eats

Everything Has Its Place

Everything Has Its Place
by Carl Josehart

Straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words
echo in my head,
“Everything has its place,”
she’d say
and she was right
but not the way I thought back then

straightening up the apartment
I realized
the state of my apartment
mimics the state of my inner world
messy psyche
dirty pots
lack of integration
leads to lack of organization

straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words echo in my head
“Everything has its place,”
she’d say
and she was right
and I struggle to find a place for everything

too many sweaters
and I wonder what it was I
desperately was trying to cover
and I wonder about
a cold that couldn’t be warmed

so many old bills and bank statements
and I wonder about ledgers
and debts in my life
and I wonder what it was I was
urgently trying to repay
so many old debts
and I wonder about
the obligations which can’t be paid

piles of dirty dishes and dirty laundry
and I wonder about what it was I
couldn’t wash
piles of dirty dishes and stained clothes
and I wonder about
the rotting of bodies that cannot be healed
and stains that blot my soul

straightening up the apartment
my mother’s words
echo in my head
and I wonder
if I’ll find places for everything
layers of discarded sweaters
a place for warmth
boxes of cancelled checks
a place for forgiveness of old debts
shelves for old dishes and stained clothes
a place for honoring hurts that cannot be healed
and me
a place to feel, “Everything has its place”
a place to feel
at home