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Best Dead Ringer Poems | Poetry

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Dead Ringer of a Folk Singer, Humdinger of a Gunslinger by Hamner, Trey

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The one who stares at me

As i gently clear away
the steam that covers the glass
"he" appears
and for now
"he" is temptation
the very person i fear

Although we look the same
this dead-ringer is not me at all
but a false prophet
who deceives me into running
at his beckon call
"he" controls my thoughts
rents out my face
knows my weaknesses
then begins to plot my next fall from grace

The last time
"he" magically appeared 
lessons had to be taught
but nothing was learned
for once again here i stand
to begin the fight
and start the slow burn
"he" is convincing
and so very clever
i am the actor, directing myself
on the next hurtful endeavour!

It's a mystery
when "he"will check in, for a visit
i wish it was never,
but honestly, im realistic
so for today
"he" is in control
my one and only friend
but once gone
that's when the apologies start
and the sorry's never end

Copyright © Kurt Kohls | Year Posted 2010

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About the 1500's

Most people got married in June because
They took their yearly bath in May
Body odor was the reason
Of the flowers in a bouquet

A big tub of hot water was used
For a bath, so that's not complex 
The males's right was to go first
The women and children went next

Last of all was the babies turn
By then the water was real dark
"Don't throw the baby out with the wash"
Soon became a common remark

Dirt floors were all the poor could afford
The old saying "dirt poor" came from that
The wealthy's floors were slippery slate 
In wet winter you just might fall flat!

So they would spread straw on the floor
But they called it thresh way back then 
and a "Thresh Hold" was what they called
The piece of wood used to hold it in!

Stew in a big kettle over a fire
Provided their dinner for them to eat
Leftovers left to get cold at night
With vegetables but not much meat

They added to the pot every day
It could be several days I'm told
That was referred to in the old rhyme
"Peas porridge in the pot nine days old"

When they could "bring home the bacon"
They were always proud about that
They would cut a little off to share
Then sit around and "chew the fat"

Pewter plates would cause lead poison
If like, in tomatoes, the acid was high
So for the next four hundred years or so
They thought tomatoes would make you die!

Bread was split according to status. 
The burnt bottom to workers was thrust 
The family would get the middle part 
While the guests got the "upper crust" 

Sometimes they'd pass out a few days
Because with whiskey they'd use a lead cup
So they would be prepared for burial
But "hold a wake" to see if they woke up

England had to re-use their coffins
But there were scratch marks, on some inside
They thought about it and soon realized
They must have been burying people alive!

Then they were buried with a string on their wrist
A bell was attached outside as well
Someone sat on "the graveyard shift" so
a "dead ringer" could be "saved by the bell"

This is true history, you can look it up
For me history always gave me a fit
But now this history doesn't seem so boring 
Since I managed to make a poem out of it!

Copyright © PAT Adams | Year Posted 2017

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This Dirty Old Man Wrote a Poem

This dirty old man wrote a poem.
It was an ode to lovers.
He sang a song
that glorified adulterers.

And when his rhyme was done
there was a thunderous applause
from everyone.
People seemed to get
what he was talkin' 'bout
Since many in that room
had tip toed out
with someone who did not
belong to the ring
on their finger.

The poem was a dead ringer
for sin
and much to my chagrin
I realized that the majority in the room
Would never know the truth
that I held within.
The truth that can only come
from being with one.
One perfect man
and experiencing perfection.
Knowing that you are the only one that knows his secret
and he is the only one that knows yours.
Knowing that since with him you have already won the race
It wouldn't matter if you never played the game again
any more...any place

Knowing that you have a reason
to do it all again
Knowing that your memory of that moment
is enough to make sure you always live.
And feel alive
And that even if you died tonight
Your heart and soul would live forever and thrive
in that glorious moment in time.

Yes this dirty old man wrote a poem
Talking about all his experience
that he experienced when he was growing old.
And I i just shook my head
because it only took me once
to remain forever young.

Copyright © Tyshawn Knight | Year Posted 2015

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My father died prematurely while away on 
a business trip from a rogue blood clot to the heart  
I never doubted he loved me, would have liked me, 
(not the same thing), adult to adult, provided I 
was not too strong a woman for him.  He was difficult-- 
a Henry VIII of the times, two divorces, a first wife 
we never knew, one from my mother when I was six, 
then heated voices from their bedroom with a third, 
heard in darkness beyond my door, hands over my ears.  
But, he was DADDY. the god-like person who emceed 
his daughter's birthdays, planned games, gave out prizes, 
while a backstage stepmom provided cake.  Cake 
mistress, fond father.  Thus, I learned to turn to men.

Tennessee Williams wrote, "My sister was quicker
at everything than I."  I was like that, maybe not quicker 
than my brothers, but quick to fall in love with cities,
objects, water anywhere: tide pools, oceans, rivers,
mountain streams, stately geese, lake ducks in queues,
the vermillion of winter sunsets, purity of cumulus 
in a summer sky, the scarlet flash of a cardinal from tree 
to tree.  Good luck, always, but with bad luck, I always 
fell in love with impossible men, ones who left me, or I left 
them.  The husband who stayed? He was the true one.  
Then, there was Mr. K, my high school principal, a dead ringer 
for Thomas Wolfe, with whom the girl I was must have
thought she could go home again.  His costume
"de rigueur" was a rumpled white shirt, black trousers
splayed with chalk dust, coal black hair, and an imposing
presence no one took issue with, maybe not even his
British wife, teaching English in the same school.

I sent him my poems by a classmate to his office, too shy 
to deliver  them myself.  Years later, "Poetry mash notes,"
a colleague said, inciting laughter in a poetry audience with 
whom I shared my youthful infatuation, the energy lingering 
long after he signed my graduation diploma, because Yes, 
he read my poems, and Yes, I sat dazzled in his English Lit 
class to "Beowulf," "Chaucer," and the Shakespeare plays we
took turns reading aloud.  When he chose another to read
Portia instead of me, "for her gentle voice," I was devastated,
yet when a boy spoke out in class to criticize my poems:
"No one can understand what she writes," Mr. K. replied 
"On the contrary, she writes about very complex things with 
very simple language."  This praise never left me.

Years after, moving to Atlanta with my husband and small
children, our paths crossed again.  Living there 
at the same time, Mr. K. and I found each other in an 
Episcopal parish, its satisfying high-church "smells and bells" 
the only show in town, "Spiky," his wife said.  There, our
friendship deepened, until Mr. K. moved to England with his wife, 
she returning home to complete the cycle, finish out the years 
at point of origin. We do go home again, Thomas Wolfe not-
withstanding, as did I, seeking toward close of life 
the comfort and substance of birthplace.

Mr. K. returned occasionally to Atlanta for a visit with his son.
He would call me, and it was then that we met for dinner,
most often at Zazu's an intimate bar and restaurant on Peachtree.  
What did we talk about sitting across a table from each other?
I do not now remember, but once I observed him glancing at
his aging hands and comparing them to mine, younger by a few,
completely irrelevant years.  I once asked him as he entered
his later years if he ever felt "old."  He said No, he felt the same
as he always had.  This was a revelation: I imagined people 
felt as old inside as they looked.  This is not the case, as 
I was to discover in my own lifetime.

On one evening I did not know would be the last time, Mr. K.
and I sat in my car in darkness after dinner in front of his son's
house.  As he prepared to leave, he said, "I don't know how I shall
get along without you, though I've been without you all these
years.  We never touched, save in the bond of friendship, and more's 
the pity.  Some time passed.  I wrote a letter to Mr. K.and his wife.  
It was returned unopened with a message on the envelope, 
"Both deceased."  In my car, then, that last night, it was Adieu -- 
To God, not Au Revoir.  Now, with "All time, all attitudes washing 
away," as I wrote in a poem called "Fernandina," he lives 
in the room in the heart where no one enters but me.
No need for a phone call.  I hold the key.

Copyright © Nola Perez | Year Posted 2013

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Seeking Me Out

Everyone now days has access to the world wide web aka internet
To search and seek what is new or to just see on face book who they haven't met,

Some people say oh you always are seeking me out
Then everyday they do the same to see what my blogs are about,

I just laugh and think in a few minutes it will be in a blog
On the secret page that says; unspoken words and has mean pics but, not of a frog,

I don't care to repeat the ugly words or pics I seen with the one finger
Then say; it doesn't bother you but, the way you react is such a dead ringer,

That you to seek what all I do in order to know this
My advice to you is blog what you want because I am not as angry as you hit or miss.

Written By: Unique Poetry 2015

Copyright © Michelle Born | Year Posted 2015

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Perfectly Breakable

Mother buried hacked-up carp beneath 
pink rose mallow. She knew the filthy cats 
would come. A balled-up dirty rag 
and coffee tin of smelly kerosene 
were garrisoned behind a red berry twistwood. 
Mother would hide in a column of shadow 
near the porch. Ambush the cats as they dug 
for carp. Their noses spiced with fish-oiled peat. 
Tails flagged above puckered targets. 
Mother was quick with her kerosene rag — spot on! 
A hush-hush tripwire stretched taut round 
the perimeter of mother’s mortared desperation. 
The sacrosanct, lint-free, perfect world, where 
she demanded God wipe His feet at her door. 
Dear Mother, our Elizabeth Taylor dead ringer, 
who could waltz with kings, or gut them with a glare. 
Ghetto mother, who would murder to keep 
her suburbs white, the cat crap gone, and 
her prize mallow big as Frisbees. I couldn’t 
let it storm on mother. She would get crazy 
if her galvanized tin-roof mind was rattled. 
Her daughter always had to shine. I kept 
the attic window shutters well oiled. Mother 
never heard my bare feet crisscrossing 
the roof, as I ran to catch the rain.

Copyright © Claire de la Grange | Year Posted 2011

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Why Let Go

I don't want to let go
Why do have to and then try to not let it show,

The anger and sadness I feel burning my insides
What comfort is there for this whole situation to let me be denied, 

All the hurt and anguish I have to feel,
How come we can't live forever and make it real,

The cycle of life really is not long enough
Okay I am selfish about the time so what,

I know if I let go there is nothing to hang on to
The reality is I have this choice to do this and it is true,

Ill let go when I feel I am ready
So for now lets just keep it all steady,

There is a part that still wants to linger
Oh gosh I hope that this ends soon or else I am a dead ringer.

Written By: Unique Poetry 2009

Copyright © Michelle Born | Year Posted 2015

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Her cremated ashes still remain sealed in the same nondescript box
white, powdery and chalk like material
devoid of any vestigial semblance to her once living and vibrant self
that unique persona pulverized and vaporized
(housed former svelte and tall Arthur Murray ball-room dance teacher 
a half century plus prior to demise
which beauty, charm and grace quickly caught the attention of my father
who courted and eventually proposed to this young flirt and tease of a gal)
inert organic matter now represents sole residual embodiment 
reduced to dust and near nothingness
former corporeal being of blood, bone and flesh 
weighing no more than a few hatch marks on the scale
absence still bears down heavy like some millstone round the neck
per  the black hole void created by defeat with Grim Reaper
toward this woman who helped birth and nurse me into manhood
momma’s only grown son still feels ripples of grievous sadness
no matter the years of suppressed anger and rage
in addition to emotional conflicts between us 
which invariably wrought unpleasant relationship
and a legacy of discord writ large across the tapestry of my life!
Force fields from this lithe Brooklyn native
(whose pronunciation a dead ringer giveaway to any amateur and junior linguist)
lives in the guise of aural spectra
especially within the hallowed sanctity of Glen Elm domicile
and continues to emit indomitable and unfading rays of pure energy and light!

Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2006

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Dead Ringer of a Folk Singer, Humdinger of a Gunslinger

Shot from the hip fairly, squarely true
Loaded clip but, rarely, barely drew


Copyright © Trey Hamner | Year Posted 2018

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The Truth About a Mirror

The Truth About a Mirror

It's usually hanging from the wall,
It isn’t placed there just for sprawl,
It’s not an item or catchall...,
The truth about a mirror.
This wall piece will reflect an image,
The reflection may be new or vintage,
Often it can be a display of knowledge...,
The truth about a mirror.
That representation is a dead ringer,
Could it be it displays a boaster?,
Is it a replica of an author?..,
The truth about the mirror.
Most often it reflects the likeness,
Ageless, callous, cuteness, calmness, or coolness,
The reflection is but the object’s canvass,
The truth about a mirror.
That sight in the mirror is an effigy,
A mere figure of ourselves, often amply,
Most often just the truth and and our beauty,

Copyright © Marvin Lohmeyer | Year Posted 2009

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Eugene (

I am self proclaimed real swinger
My name however, for a Nerd is a dead ringer
I have perfected the War Craft game
On Micro Soft computer applications, I can put anyone to shame
I am not into testosterone things such as fuel injectors
Secretly for Christmas I want a pocket protector
For every movie my name is in, I steal the scene
It is my parents I owe for the burdensome name of Eugene
Other bad names for example one is Clarance
He said he was named after his Grandpappy, what an inheritance
As for as it goes, I should be thankful for my health
I am so grateful for not being named Ralph
When I was growing up, there was a kid I know
He hated his named Ralph so much, he insisted on being called Ditto
I always make sure my handkerchiefs are always clean
Welcome to my real world of Eugene
There was one Nerd who rivaled my Nerdy world
Did I do that? Famous words of  Erkel
Yes I do wear a wrist watch calculator
I carry a pocket sized stapler
Girls who share my interests are far and few in between
Will any female ever see the masculinity beneath the skin of Eugene

Copyright © Eugene Carmen | Year Posted 2008

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Dear Joe,

Ah, the life surreal.  Nothing like wearing the weirdness like a greatcoat as I sip bad hotel coffee and muse over where the last few years have taken me while watching ice flow around old tires stuck in the bottom of the little creek below my window, glass rattling with commuters and jake brakes.  The frustration of my truck breaking down has faded into the mild annoyance of coffee breath and ripe skivvies as I scramble for mantras of serenity. 
 At least I didn't have to fight off bezerkers for my fat tank of gas.  I am finding it interesting to go from the hoi polloi of the service to what I'll affectionately call "civilian speed" and hang out with a cast of older country folk where every service desk at the Ford dealership has some sort of anti-Obama chatchki or biblical quote.  Praise the Profit!  As for me, I guess im used to an occasional breakdown.  My problem is I'm now sans Gunny to fix for me while I'm on the radio bitchin' about those worthless scratchers up at battalion.  For now,  I'm a captive audience and that shifty-eyed parts manager lurking behind the stack of Chinese made retreads looks like the kind of oily sumbitch with a penchant for off track betting, gin rickeys and a wicked cigarillo habit, so I'll be lucky to get out of here unbloodied.  I'm surprised, after spending a cold night camped out in my truck in their parking lot, that he didn't offer me a complimentary night in his Uncle's "hostel" up in the hills where I would mysteriously disappear and locals would later claim sightings of a naked man dancing around a silo wearing my head for a hat.  Bah, maybe I'm just starting to get paranoid.  Must be from drinking all that coal slurry that passes for tap water round these parts.  Even I'm starting to ***** about "those bastards from the mining company and their cronies in the statehouse!" while sitting around the counter in my bib overalls.  Yeah, I gotta get outta here before the metamorphosis completes, 'cause Elvira with the sensible shoes and widow's pension was pouring coffee and eye raping me like I was a pair of compression nylons on sale.  Hopefully, my journey will soon take me to the land of the serpent mound and black ice, but only after I make an offering to the UMWA acolyte jangling my car keys and brandishing a rhinestone studded blackjack, whispering to that swarthy parts manager, who I swear is a dead ringer for that closet jaish al-Mahdi shawarma vendor we cussed at in Fallujah.  *sigh*

Copyright © Andrew Foreman | Year Posted 2017

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Why Do You Hide

My child you are like precious gold to me
While the impurities within you, I can see
Let them bring you to me, not keep us apart
I created you and love you, just as you are

You have always walked naked before me
What you would hide, I have always seen
As you love your child, not yet conceived
Knowing their dirt, you will have to clean

All the gold in my house is as you are now
Not better, not worse, so don’t hide or cower
If you could see their hearts as naked as I do
Satan could not separate them away from you

The refiner of his treasure does not say
Where, why or how did you get that way?
He understands that when he turns up the fire
That sin will surface, against their desire

He sits, not to separate: no, not to accuse
But so that you can see what he sees n you
That you, like the gold can be made clean
But our enemy desires it to come between

What he means for evil, I mean for good
Even when you don’t do as you should
So don’t hide yourself from your brother
I made you one flesh, to need each other

Deny your fears, disagree with satan’s lies
Where are you? The whole body cries
No longer fear judgment, the pointed finger
Or become a judge of them, a dead ringer

Where are you and why do you hide?
Be finished now with fear and lies
Come boldly, my light into the night
I have called you all beautiful in my sight

Copyright © Carol Agee | Year Posted 2008

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Bat Out Of Hell

For crying out loud you came into my life like a bat out of hell, no time to think, no time to go slow, I was all revved up with no place to go, god knows I will love you until the end of time.

I thought heaven can wait, but I was to fast to late, fireball rush, like a moth to a flame, burning wings, I was struck by the bat out of hell.

Paradise, I thought by the dashboard light, had turned to ashes as my wings burned bright, for crying out loud I’ve been struck by the bat out of hell.

I had been in love before and had thought that two out of three ain’t bad, but they turned to dust, destroyed my trust, must be with the bat out of hell.

For crying out loud you came into my life like a bat out of hell, no time to think, no time to go slow, I was all revved up with no place to go, god knows I will love you until the end of time. 

You took the words right out of my mouth, I had then felt no doubt that you were a dead ringer for love or so I thought, clearly my vision a blur, blinded by the dashboard lights, god knows I will love you until the end of time.

Petal to the metal all revved up with no place to go, musical lyrics of, god knows I will love you until the end of time.

Bat out of hell, angel smile, eyes so wild, beautiful lady of grace and style god knows I will love you until the end of time.

For crying out loud you came into my life like a bat out of hell, no time to think, no time to go slow, I was all revved up with no place to go, god knows I will love you until the end of time. 

Life of rock opera fate to be, deep and dark, no answers to see, making love by the dashboard lights only to be gone by the day’s first light, god knows I will love you until the end of time...Poetry by Dean

Copyright © Dino Clarke | Year Posted 2017

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For Whom The Bell Doesn't Toll

Joe Jingle pealed church bell with punctual skill
until the sad day he fell terribly ill
with a loathsome disease that sorely did linger.
Now alas and alack, herein lies a dead ringer.


Copyright © Carol Connell | Year Posted 2018

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Twas The Night Before Inspection

Twas The Night Before Inspection...,

Not a human creature stirred, nor seen 
through out Highland Manor, 
     property carpeted in lush green
(a deathlike stillness descended un keen
hilly quiet, October 10th, 
     deux thousand eighteen).

Vicious rumors circulate wrenching
     hammering, and drilling psyche
     where mailer demons invade,
that immediate hell fire enfilade
natural hair color made
gray follicular shocks amply pervade
     instantaneously turning
     Janus faced with Machiavellian

     mean streak inlaid
     (how word some would say)
     "stern", any previous
     housewarming aura
     experiencing welcome spiel,
     nor iota of politesse present,
     but Trumpeting her entourage,
     asper self important capering escapade

     taskmaster known to abrade
even the most stalwart macho,
     gung-ho, brave appear afraid,
     thus oft time tis most
     advantageous and optimal
     prospective mutineers betrayed
Princess Ja***n Ge***r
     harridan de jure ushering tirade

     akin to a petite mal one
     woman banshee masquerade
hoop puts on be preyed
upon switching pretentious airs
     dead ringer give
     away (immediately
     points gnarled finger
     sentenced to clinker visage),

     non verbal charade
hence unstoppable mounting
     anticipatory anxiety manifests
     as disabling, impending,
     oppressing fate
     cannot be delayed
if insubordinate tenants
     try with futility to evade

officials with truncheons flayed
doth rarely give surcease
     renters passing grade
she, the consummate
     de facto grande heiress
     of Gr***e & Qu**e
inherited plum deal,
     where lifetime employment,

     and generously paid
analogous as born
     (that way) portrayed
     maintaining poker face
     into royalty made,
now as single mother
     to biracial heir
purportedly inhabits castle

     abode with parents,
     thus no child
     care costs paid
expectant heavy foot
     falls getting louder,
( that jist
     my heart pounding
     whence approaching raid

so please inform this jade
did troubadour if privy to let
     (me and the missus) aid
i.e. a safe and sound
     place to call home
     with this hole in the poetry wall
     I would immediately
     make thee a fair trade

in lieu of living, where
     mercilessness doth parade
     expenses property upkeep,
     teaching (two 
     door ring) English,
     or even employed
     as a mister minute maid.

Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2018

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Wistful Accursed Penniless Fate God Dime Mitt

Wistful Accursed Penniless Fate...God Dime Mitt!
(neither defamation, nor blasphemy meant, sans Title)

Despite ingestion of
     anti anxiety medications
     ferocious hellish onslaught
     pummels me aback
finds resurgence of ghostly
     white implacable terror
inducing panic attack
cogs and wheels

of psyche frenetically
spinning alas and alack
swallowed in the un
avoid doubleheader maw
whale size amberjack
suctioned alive as dead ringer
     human master bait
     (feebly prate who GOD,

     somebody please HELP)
     doomed to die, "eye"
     doth entirely engulf me
     far worse than being slammed
     by malevolent forces
     loosed from hurricane
     classed as Category 5
on Saffir-Simpson Scale

     adrip with horrible gastric,
caustic, and acidic repulsive
bile alcoholic akin to applejack
and more rancid
than Q8 oily arrack
once again oft repeated phrase
     Death be not Proud, viz
     reincarnation of Moby Dick

     (gone terribly awry)
on the attack after ME
with no way back
to house at Pooh Corner
     condemned to spin
willfully intestate,
while steeped in utter black

perhaps fetid blowback
equivalent to volcanic belch, would
     spit out "burnt offerings"
     formerly Matthew Scott Harris,
     whose steaming hot pipe dream
(Ahab) in mind can not
even get "LIVE" feedback,
and definite never

my Stradivarius fiddleback
(I rue...all the money
    momma's and pappa's...
scrimped and saved 
     without giving
this sole sun any flack)...
ha...sardonic humor,
and wistful pointless flashback

equally frivolous hanker
ring for greenback,
legal tender, quid
     pro quo, et cetera,
NOW demise welcomed
     forever free from penury
small potatoes this measly mortal
even at dirt poor cheap

     expense courtesy
     Euthanasia travel agency
manned by HiJack,
where captain! My captain!

     Humungous humpback
clearly presented danger field,
     and only costs this one life
     as lil bitty chewy Whitman snack!

Copyright © matthew harris | Year Posted 2018