“Late Night Recitation” Dark Poetry by Thomas Piekarski

"Late Night Recitation" Dark Poetry by Thomas Piekarski: freight depot

Late night after the freight train has rumbled
along case-hardened tracks, where the well-lit
overhead walkway leads to a light rail terminal,
some unseen, unhinged lunatic’s F bombs echo. 

He is no grifter, not guilty despite his rage,
mere victim of the all-inclusive media age
in a world where 3000 gods have thus far
been worshiped, products of indoctrination.

The crisis in belief means no one is immune
to trafficking of bogus mottos, myopic blab,
incredulous religions, absurd gesticulations,
and rhetoric that restrains one’s sovereignty.

Shall we grant the clerics of maniacal sects
enforcement of standards ruining the planet,
deny men simple pleasures Aphrodite gifts 
when she slips between the sheets in dream?


Half past midnight some crickets strike up
a cacophony of unintelligible chatter which
inspires a racoon to squeeze under the gate
and gallop across our building’s parking lot.

Tropes are hidden from the eye. Oh so scary
our flesh crying out hysterically for release,
bizarre visions like sex in the grave typical
now that cyber automatons are ubiquitous. 

Artificial intelligence has programmed us for
telepathic communication. Whether we accept 
or toss it willy-nilly into into a big black hole
is a decision distinguishing wise from naive.

Sweet charity in the sensible robin’s twitters 
pierces inky blackness with a fine symphony.
No stars visible, but the crescent moon dozes
in a sky filled with billions of invisible sprites.


A little blinking red light drifts overhead,
airplane on its way to a hole in the ozone.
Seas are born anew, species come and go 
as rifle shots reverberate around the hood.

Even itty-bitty inferences will elicit
violence when charged with hatred,
taking very little to set off a nut case
who may spread bullets in his wake. 

King Alfred unified England though
the Scots and Irish resisted intrusion
into their virgin lands encompassing
histories wholly sacred to the tribes.

Ideologically speaking, what’s mystical
is not an illusion nor possibly accessible
to other than finely-tuned senses zeroed 
in on extermination of tyranny’s brood.


Dawn could be centuries off for all anyone 
cares. Yosemite once more aflame tonight,
July bringing the full force of hideous heat
to bear down upon its most illustrious host.

Ladybugs, roaches, spiders, wingless moths
crawl across the hot asphalt at about 2 AM.
The still summer air is pregnant with
countless hours of suppressed daylight. 

While specious conspiracies go viral
collecting likes by the thousands, flash
the gyres of corruption, animus and pain
in this nation lacking bona fide identity.

No one ever learned better than Romans
switched to Christianity by Constantine,
you will never fell the genuine barbarian
with dull sword and twisted prophecies.

Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry Quarterly, Literature Today, The Journal, Poetry Salzburg, Modern Literature, South African Literary Journal, and Home Planet News. His books of poetry are Ballad of Billy the Kid, Monterey Bay Adventures, Mercurial World, and Aurora California.

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