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Best Poems Written by Thomas Wells

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Reflections on My Seventieth Birthday


                           Marked by seven decades on land and sea,
                           my asymmetrical soul always out of place.
                            Trying on attire like subtextual pedigree,
                             My fake jewels mimic a state of grace.
                          Ignore the Homeric, Shakespearian legacy.
                                     Forget the poet as prophet.
                 Now, most poets are stupid beasts jotting every lunacy.
                   Now I know my haven. For this, I am another misfit.

                  Lopsided is my consciousness, deformed is my thought.
         Seven decades of faltering certitude, years of faltering competence.
             I am forgiven to write poetry, excused for being overwrought.
                  These are my coarse unauthorized edges in coexistence. 

                 Always in motion, animation distracts broken reflection.
                         So many blunders and ill-conceived opinions.
            My metamorphosis into Aidos, sick with shame and dejection.
                 No, I never belonged, just a squatter in all dominions.
          There were meager victories even in the freezing midnight rain,
                  more like random good luck, I had no faith in them.
                  Poetry grants license to accept what I can’t explain.
                Seven decades casting about the rubble ad hominem.


          I am stable now. These back-brain wounds play only for me
                    as unavoidable torment probing my limits. 
  It isn’t exactly old I feel. It’s more like experience ladling fresh ways to see.
   The best lives are extended childhoods confident in attaining new summits.

       Any universal architect surely granted us supple wonder to adapt.
           Our galaxy alone presents at least 480 billion alternatives.
     But from other monkeys, we branched, with imaginations we tapped.
   As our cortex grew, our pictographs became the language of narratives.

                  I am lucky to be among the privileged wondering.
          Seven decades have nearly reduced most of my conceit.
      My wisest word to travelers is to ask questions and start wandering.
     Above all, believe your purpose in the journey and roam without deceit.

Published: PS: It's Still Poetry, January 2022       
Published: Caesura, September 2021

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2021

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I never told anyone how my ears reverberate in a silent room.
The whirring drone ever present, a conquistador of my private spaces.
This is my cohabitation with an industrial generator.
But I’ve graduated from the torment. 
My attitude detours trance-like into pockets of thought.
It is either that or delirium.

I never told anyone,
despite incessant resounding Cochlea,
despite a wanting of tactile tenderness,
despite the moments of exhausted weariness,
I better decrypt my indwelling meanings alone.

I never told anyone how solitude is my comfortable companion.
Seclusion proffers reverie’s cloak.
Privacy presents composure’s cerebration. 
But I’m no Anthony of Egypt or Henry David Thoreau.
Maybe it’s more like autism. 
I just seek seclusion’s familiar order.

Of course this mandated separation perturbs some.
I too endure this screen time remoteness, 
this appearance of presence, this boundary to
proximity. I never told anyone.

More cataclysmic, the untold millions.
The gnawing stomachs of jobless workers.
Cretins and charlatans forecast economic happy talk.
But more menacing yet, the insidious microbe. 
the roving ghostly affliction.
No, I never told anyone.

Wave upon wave of the necessitous sea
washes up on forbidding shores.
This is not a time for poems of 
scented candles and sweetened tea.

I never told anyone
how in dead reckoning I reckon with death.
Paroxysms assault my sullen sleep.
Dirge  beckoning summons my figment depths,
where I contrive dying, a rehearsal assuaging angst.

I never told anyone.
There is a hubris among pretentious egomaniacs.
They are snarling libertarians in romantic defiance. 
Their lethal infections kill anyone.
Yet, words of warning evaporate on the breeze,
Their narcissistic America forgot goodwill.

But how do I thank Asclepius? 
All his careful nervy heroes on the frontlines, 
all his alleviating exemplars of the pestilence,
a masked army of social sanity asking nothing,
while risking their élan vital daily. 
Yes, they too measure our specie’s advancement.
I never told anyone. 

I listen again to the requiem.
Death robs so thoughtlessly. 
Somber inflections intone as coffins of mothers,
sons and sisters file past. 
They were once neonates leaping and laughing.
They were once wise grandmothers full of humanity.
They were once fathers working two jobs to survive.
I never told anyone.

I never told anyone
how effusive morning sunlight floods my windows.
Now we have passed into the season of sowing.
Our confinement lets animals claim our cities.
Our shutdown cleans air better than regulation.
I live another allergic seedtime, hankering to wring out wet eyes.
Now, my years are shorter while each day gets longer.
I lose myself in the in the pages of richer more studious minds. 

My head severed between sequestered meanderings 
and resonating inescapable ears,
my whirring drone a conquistador of my private spaces.
This is my cohabitation with an industrial generator.
I know now, my modest life is but a diversion.
My acuity is held hostage as COVID-19 smokes us out. 
No, I never told anyone.   

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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Grace and Solitude

Emerging from sleep dream temerity,
his remote aurora  spectral prisms
from which his wakefulness gives legerity,
from which surfaces new burgeoning aphorisms.

Truth’s contours arrayed in fluid fluency,
his morning ataraxia in the still water lake
from where his senses lose their truancy,
from where ideation sheds the opaque. 

He finds repose in a moment's seclusion,
his lucid cortex in reflective possibility,
but he learns his real confirmation in inclusion,
and learns our fellowship best protects our fragility.

So quickly we imbrute each other with walls,
he knows how militarization is summoned by anxiety,
he weeps at the endless requiem protocols,
he grieves at history’s long cruel impropriety.

But he detects his promise in human need,
our struggle against forces of dehumanization,
our commission in communitarian creed,
our hope in human family realization.

Awarded second place in Poetrysoup "Grace and Solitude" rhyming poetry contest sponsored by John Hamilton.


Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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Tree of Oranges

A day’s routine so easily holds me captive.
I confess to mindless, museless departures,
Brainless unpoetic habits so unreflective,
That I cannot dwell in momentary textures. 

But January ripens oranges on my neighbor’s tree,
Marking spring’s beginning in California.
Midwestern groomed; such play awakens me.
Fat, lush oranges tumble all over the area.

Bold bright balls, they must be painted,
Landing in my drive, my car mashes them.
With this mortal crush, I breach life sacred.
Yet, once I eat one, it’s no longer a problem.

Tree of oranges brings fruit reviving passion.
Luscious harvest renewal of vibrant conception. 

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2022

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Lincoln never imagined
today’s white victim zeitgeist,
pouting persecuted supremacists, 
their clenched jaws and fists.

Civil war rages in limbic memory.
Encoded somewhere,
the panic attacks and mirages.

Nobody is qualified because everybody is responsible.
So many whites have graduated from the struggle,
showcasing their diploma from the mill.

 Lincoln never imagined
modern virtual vitriol,
merciless memes lashing out at specters,
infusing, inciting depravity among the sleep deprived.
These words are battleships aimed at the reviled.

The unshielded summon civility.
They beckon familiar principles.
But rabid cougars wait in hiding, eager to pounce.

All the feeble markets for platitudes have failed,
as subliminal cavities endure each generation.
Mental lynch mobs, rebel flags, supremacy’s utopia.      
Lincoln never imagined
a 21st century cartoon president,
a white nationalist clicking social network epithets, 
a whining overgrown tormenter 
with a cult of Stalinist believers.

Where are the intelligible?
How is all this animated fury converted?
What is the lesson plan?
Who will bury the code?
How long this agonizing  journey into normality? 
Lincoln never imagined.					

Published Tuck Magazine 0/4/ 2019

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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Baltimore Heat

In heat
the pulse of your streets.

I've heard the crack
of hard political whips
that pinch the air.

Cores of human topography,
your aging neighborhoods.

Your people kick cans
counting gravel like jewels,

while chiselers roast dogs
in the courthouse.

Swine flu kills
the papers.

And already the sky is

In your train tunnels
a violinist plays pianissimo. 
I've seen
railroad men search for him
along your tracks.*

But you are always
the sweltering sore
of the Atlantic.

A rusty mouth
for dark ships.

A blind brick town
of boarded storefronts
and porno flicks,

you are buried.

Brown bag your way
to the last alley.

The tenants throw
rocks at your windows.

The rain has stopped
washing your sewers. 

*From an old legend of
railroad workers on the east coast of the United States. 

Published Black Buzzard Press - 1982

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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Summer Solstice

Cloudless sky, naked shades of azure.
Oh, summer vibrant, resplendent sun,
We thank Lugh for his longest luster,
Grateful for the bounty he gives everyone.

Sun lights awareness in every entity.
Oh, boldest, brightest waking day,
Season of growth, splendor, and fertility.
Abundant Earth is teeming with DNA.

We plant the new seeds in our souls.
Oh, wondrous, endless fire regenerative,
May we sip from love and passion’s bowls.
May we always pause, reflect and be appreciative.

Each summer we must willingly shed our tropes,
And rediscover each other with newfound hopes.  

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2022

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The Rockies

                             Craggy snow-capped crowns,

                             Skirting skyline’s golden hue.

                           Windswept clouds, your gowns. 

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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This Page Is Intentionally Left Blank

This page is intentionally left blank.
It is intentional, 
a deliberate attempt act of obscurity.
These are the words you are not reading.
These words do not exist.
Their appearance exists nowhere,
They are ghostly and untouchable.
They are empty invisible vessels,
Voids, absent content.

Your brain is intentionally left blank.
You only think you are thinking.
You are not thinking.
Your thoughts cannot be traced.
The mind on which you rely
cannot be found.

Your passions are intentionally left blank.
You cling to incorporeal beliefs
 and judgements.
Your hopes and dreams,
Your loves and hates have no essence. 
They are disembodied and intangible.

You create your own meaning
and order.
You impose it on all your blank pages.

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2020

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Cult of Personality

They believed a Capitol riot could make a loser a winner,
After failing, they cling to changing facts by terror and thunder.

Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2021