laurence overmire



Inside walls, mirrors and
Sloping windows, sorcerers in suits
Midnight shades of black and gray
Ties twisted, stretching necks
Pretty assistants chained to clocks
Trap doors closed, ghouls in glasses
Pouring numbers in burning
Cauldrons, mixed and stirred
Siphoned into tiny vials for
Mass consumption
Boxed and labeled on
Conveyor belts to no-man’s land
A poof of smoke in flash of

The meaning disappears.


The Raven

Wing of Magic, Messenger of the Void

The Great Mystery
     of blue-black feathers

Bring the night wind’s
     song for the heart
          carry the hope
               of dreams remembered

Seed of the Future
Sweep into the mindful glance of the eye
The story’s told tale




Poets map the territories of the soul
The mountain, valley, river, forest
Oceans of memory since the beginning of time

The usual, quaint, the odd and the curious
The forbidden places
Most dare never go

Rejected and shunned
For seeing what others don’t want to hear
They are the messengers

Divinely commissioned
Without them, the world has no word
To guide through the uncharted darkness

That shapes our destiny.



The farmer’s hands planted
Seeds in me
Roots sprung from the veins of Earth

Bloodwater rising

Tolled toil mixed in the crust of distant

I reap this grateful harvest
Cut the sheaves of ripened corn
A feast to make this bronzed humanity



Empty Shoes

There’s a pair of empty shoes
In the hallway
Someone wore them
Left them there

One morning I woke up
There was nothing but shoes

Empty shoes

I wish I could go back
I wish I could find a way
But once the shoes are empty
There’s nothing you can do

But remember

What it was like once
Long ago, I remember

I remember

Those shoes.


How To Start A War

Wisdom is handed down from the
Tops of mountains

Or so it is said in ancient lore.

The pilgrim climbed over many a
Jagged rock and looming precipice

Until he came
Face-to-face, the age-old question

Burning from his lips—How?

The wise old geezer sitting in
Lotus, pondered only a moment


“Any idiot can start a war,
  but it takes real leadership
  to secure a peace.”

The heavens thundered.

At that very moment
Bumper stickers flew off cars

Like clothes at the time of


One and Another

One was depressed.
A lot of things going wrong
All at the same time you
Know how it goes
One thing leads to another in the
Splitting of the mind into
Disparate atoms

Living as he did in the burning sun of an
Urban gutter-brick landscape
The bleak meeting of concrete and steel and
Plate-glass delusions of grandeur
He couldn’t cope anymore
Not that he coped well in the first place but
Enough was enough and enough just wasn’t

Enough anymore.

Another was depressed, too.
Half a world away circumstances
Much the same pressure bearing
Down on the relentless touch and go
That leads the brain in and out of
The closing fingers of happiness and

But she lived in a place where
Trees grew
Gardens bloomed, wolves howled on
The sides of mountains
Rivers emptied sorrows in buckets of
Moonlight all
She had to do was step out the door

And breathe. The Earth gave back its answer.

One and another. He(s) and she(s).
Knowing and not knowing.
Living and dying.

The stars above all the while.


Caliban in Moonlight

Seeing things as we do
Making judgments of good or bad
Right and wrong
Dismissing out-of-hand
Sans cognizance or reflection

We miss the opportunity

To experience life from a different perspective
To see virtue in a flaw of nature
To know transcendence
The leap from the norm of ordinary
To that which is gifted and truly

And in our handicapped, club-foot vision
The world is made smaller
Mortal and unworthy
A speck of dust in the eye of a


Life is the Dream

Life is the dream
Fleeting in the night
Death the enduring reality
Dream hard while you can
Sweet as a nightmare
From which you know you must
Wake up

Dream the world
The mountain, the river
The animals that feed and play
Dream the ocean’s ebb and flow
The people
Who pass in and out
Lover, acquaintance, steadfast friend

Dream them all
Dream them well
‘Neath a blanket of stars
Tucked like a kiss
To hold you till morning
The dawn bringing light
Promising light.


No Box for an Open Mind

I have no religion
And all religion

I am at once Christian

Atheist, sinner, saint

I am everything I

I have drunk from every
Each sip a revelation
And a temptation
To satisfy my
Never satisfying


You can label me
But you can’t divide me
I reject your insinuation

I am myself
My wisdom is mine own

I am one with everything
And so are you

If only you would open
The clasped lock that closes
Your heart.


When Pilate Heard

The Word
Walked through the streets openly
Without fear

A threat to the rule and order
Of the time
Better to eradicate it quickly

Before it aroused the passions of the
Stirred peasants to revolt

Upset emperors in far-off
Dictates, wary of news
Brought by impertinent messengers

Surely, this crucifixion would be
A quick end to the nuisance
And the pressing business of the

Could continue without the slightest



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