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Best Poems Written by Jerrell Jones

Below are the all-time best Jerrell Jones poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Ties That Bind

I never saw a tie that had a practical use;
And I never knew why a man would want to wear a noose.

There are as many good reasons for wearing ties
As there is for cultivating mosquitos and  flies.

To cover up buttons is a  use that's named;
I never saw a button of which I'm ashamed. 

They're a social tradition, so the in folks swear it.
So is syphilis, but I wouldn't want to wear it.

They are manly attire say the folks straight and narrow;
But my manhood doesn't need designated by an arrow.

So while I am living and after I die
Save me from being strangled by a  god damned tie.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Forget It

I wrote you a love song;
But I forgot it.
It wasn't very long; 
But I forgot it.
It was written in a day.
It said all I had to say
But it didn't go your way--
For I forgot it. 

I bought you a cool ring;
But then I lost it. 
It was an awesome thing;
But then I lost it.
It was meant to be a gift
That could give our love a lift;
But it did not close the rift
Because I lost it. 

I called you on the phone; 
But then I hung up.
I had gotten you alone:
But then I hung up,
There's a love song you can't burn.
There's a ring you can't return.
There's a call of no concern--
Because I hung up.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2016

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Bear Creek '98

_ a symphonic, folk rock, blues song
I'm an old man looking
For the lost, best parts of me.
I'm an old man looking
For the lost, best parts of me.
I'm looking in the places
Where the people say love is free.

I went to the fest.
It was ninety eight.
I was hoping that I wasn't
Thirty years too late.

Hippie bands played
Through the burning weed;
And my mind went back;
And my soul was freed.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
The drums beat in my chest
When my body met the rhythms
Of the Bear Creek, Jerry, Fest.

I remember by seeing,
By being around
A dropout generation
Of the lost and found. 
They were working through the catalogue
Of different ways
To stop a mind from running
The material maze,

There were trips to the East;
There were trips to the West.
There was inside, outside
Chemical quest.
There were uppers and downers
And places in between
When the California Coast
Caught the most of the scene.

Drop out! Turn on! Tune in!
Make love, not war, my friend.
Stoned past silly
With Leary and Lilly
Showed just how far
A mind can bend. 

But Nam got hotter
And unfortunate sons
Who couldn't legally drink
Got drunk from guns;
And the massacres shared
In their misery
All got to be aired 
On primetime T.V.

Viet Nam!
Hup two three four--
Veterans against the war.
Five six seven eight--
What did we defoliate?
Agent Orange won't go away.
Burn your draftcard.
Take a hike. 
Canada's just up the pike. 

Fonda on a tank with poses.
Fonda on a tank with poses.
Oh! Oh! Oh.

There was a time
With unlimited hours,
With shoulders for panchos,
With long hair for flowers,
With no need for make-up
On friendly young faces,
With strangers for lovers,
With Shambala places,
With tie dye and trucking,
With teeny bop tripping,
With Jesus and gurus,
With cool skinny dipping, 
With beads and bell bottoms 
With bare feet or sandals,
With sprouts on the menu,
With incense and candles,
With commune for family, 
With people in motion, 
With songs of ideals-
Sometimes a great notion.

There was a time 
of Hoffman and Rubin,
Of happening, love in
And doobie doing,
Of Pigpen and Keysey.
Hells Angels and their mammas
Were just riding easy.
There was media circus
For the Pentagon hex;
There was Hog Farm, Native charm.
Surreal sex.

There was a time
Of rhythm over rhyme,
Of Woodstock, acid rock,
Morrison, Slick,
Strobe light, black light, 
Toke smoke thick,
Of Wavy Gravy grooving
To a merriment beat,
Of Seven in Chicago
Overcome by the heat,
Of SDS and minidress
And Doors of Perception,
Of Altamont, the death knell
Of the Bethel conception.

There were Berrigan brothers;
There were Smothers to see;
There were Donovan and Dylan
And the Manson family--
Ta da da da, click click.
Ta da da da, click click. 

"Bums"! said the president.
Hate grew fat.
Agnew and the Mitchells
Told us where it is at. 
Love or leave America
Was their cry;
And many sweet souls
Simply said goodbye.

There were cities in riot
With smoke on the water.
There was tear gas breathing
For the son and the daughter.
There was Bobby shot down.
There was Martin put under.
There were Jackson State, Kent State,
And Cambodian thunder.

Nixon and Daly and Rhodes--
Oh my!
Nixon and Daly and Rhodes--
Oh my! 

Oh no! Oh no!
Where did life affirmation go?
The people who said we ought to get high
Were beaten into saying let it be. Get by. 

Well the Weathermen went underground
When music was the only sound
That still survived the changing of the tide;
And the weekend hippies came and went
For the summer of love was already spent;
And I knew that time would not relent--
The day the innocence died. 

You can't get what you want anymore
At Alice's greasy spoon.
You can't get where you've been before
Since everyone's gone to the moon.

Now the best way to stop a revolution
Is to put it up for sale.
The market place solution
Is that fad will never fail
To bring in the customers daily
Who buy what they cannot do,
While the video voyeur security
Sucks the life right out of you. 

Oh Mary Jane, say it isn't true;
Oh Mary Jane, say it wasn't you.
They said you killed the children
By the things you made them do.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a good working brain.
Mine dims from losses, revive it again.
It rushes past pleasure. It lingers on pain.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a good working brain.

Did the magic in the mushroom
Blow up the prankster Bus?
Jimi, Jim and Janice--
Did you die for us?
Did the   juice from the bud,
Did the sugar-coated bead,
Did the pale white horse
In the poppy seed
All mingle and mix
In living breath
Just to prove that the only freedom is death?

Well, I went down to Bear Creek
To see what I could see.
Well, I went down to Bear Creek
To see what I could be;
And I came home happy
With whatever's left of me. 

It may be a phase,
A nostalgic craze.
Frisco is gone;
And gone are the days;
But I'm glad I went to Bear Creek
To remember how to play
Where an old man's music
Will not fade away.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Work Sucks

Well, I woke up this morning
For my own prime time,
Hoping swarming senses
Might light into rhyme,
With caffeine and nicotine
My morning jump start
I was searching for the union
Of my head and my heart.
But time won't linger
For a groggy old muse.
I had to get ready for my daily abuse.
  Work sucks!  Work sucks!
  You sell your  soul 
  For a couple of bucks.
  In the place where they call me
  A human resource
  I'm nothing but another
  Common work horse.

So I left my apartment
With a somber sigh.
The beergnats were kissing
All my empties goodbye. 
I put on my mandatory
Worker's disguise
And abandoned my oasis
For the fluorescent skies.
I greeted my boss,
But what I wanted to say.
Was "Beat me with a hammer
And we'll call it a day."
  Work sucks!  Work sucks!
  You sell your soul
  For a couple of bucks.
  If I didn't have habits
  Such as hunger and thirst,
  I wouldn't lift a finger
  But the one by the first. 

Up from rags to riches
By your own bootstrap
Only works for the folks
Who are the cream of the crap.
So, you self made  believers
Of your own ballyhoo
Would you please refrain from telling me
I ought to be you.
I don't need money
Just to prove who I am;
And the prizes you would die for--
Well they ain't worth a damn.
  Work sucks!  Work sucks 
  You sell your soul 
  For a couple of bucks.
  If my back can still hold up
  While  my boss gains success
  I can still be rewarded
  With a heart attack from stress. 

We fought a great battle,
So our fearless leaders said,
To stop fascism
Before it could spread.
We fought another battle
Over equality--
Which never quite trickles
Down to you or me.
We fought our first battle 
Over royalty's reign;
But everything we fought against
We fought to retain.
  Work sucks! Work sucks!
  You sell your soul 
  For a couple of bucks.
  Now the fascists run our businesses
  For royalty's gain;
  And they call me a commie
  If I dare to complain.

Now Paul, when interpreted
To sound like a jerk,
Said we shouldn't eat
If we didn't work;
But if Paul were present
In our present day,
He might change his opinion,
Seeing greed out  for prey.
He might just remember 
How  work was a curse;
And I could finish my poem 
Just ahead of the hearse. 
  Work sucks!  Work sucks.
  You trade your soul
  For a couple of bucks.
  If I make it up to heaven
  And find Adam up there.
  I'll hang him by his balls
  And seek eternity elsewhere.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Alligators bleed a passing style.
Shot birds freeze in a look of disbelief.
Leopards fall in wraps and cooling guts.
Snap and clack of traps grind mental teeth
In living bone. Flash and zing of wire
Scald ruts in moving flesh.
Whoosh of nets and sudden crack of guns
Hold down the gelatin that was an eye--
And heaps of trinket feathers and trunkless hides
Are lain on altars for a current god.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Alley dog who models matted coat,
Incensing clothiers at Fifth and Main--
You have no proof you are a legal dog.

One day you knew the power that you are.
Beneath a stack of cast off tires you saw,
You felt, you tasted in a dumpster's steam. 

So now you strut through uptown parking lots.
Dog, in a paved field sniffing, please beware
Of skies with signs that hide your ritual moon.

The warden comes to rid the streets of strays,
Incarcerates you, pending no appeal
And executes you for the common good.

Someone has to own you, otherwise
You get the gas.  Your crime is being born
Where being does not count, but owning does. 

And when they catch you--be assured they will--
And bind your miracle with lethal law,
Bite  them for this mongrel poet, too.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Spider Plant

Green mother,
Pregnant with tiny flowers,
Spews her fertile core
Through living tubes
Into her infant sprouts.

Green babies
Rise and grow to flaunt
That certainty she bled
Through them for
Their final separation.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Purple Martin

We raised gourd houses for the Purple Martin
Atop a pole, against a fluid sky
Where late jet thunder spews
A raid cloud--ambitious wonder.
Intense, our Southern sky, like old dreams
Harbors a night's Aeolian pine,
A day's jonquil in oxblood sod
And simmering heat enchanting jejune asphalt.

But room lies yet in sanctuary swamps
For thinning fox grape, hawk and mockingbird..
One idea away from a maze of pipe and brick
On hunger's soulless map.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Once a Leopard

Blackbirds and undulate bush
Trapped in time's tapestry--
The fluid hide of the big leopard
Who leapt on cushioned feet
Once to race the swiftest
Scents in the wind-- A proud
And muscular beauty, the leopard,
Left alone now  does not stalk
But paces on bare concrete
Where chunks of prey fall cold
By his dung, by his hidden claws.
He walks in rhythms of gone sound--
Chuckles and howls, hooves in sprints,
Shrieks of struggles in his teeth.
He does not stalk; he paces now
Behind the bars of our amusement--
Another of God's profound ideas
Revised by men.

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015

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Sunday Looks

In stuffy days when I would dress to please
And barter for belonging with a look,
In fussy days when I would don a  thought
To hide a naked need and make it prim--
I could have healed myself from expectations,
Remembering how God left Sunday school
With me when I was five, and how we both
Played in the mud and soiled our special clothes. 

Copyright © Jerrell Jones | Year Posted 2015