Koan (poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

There once was a prophet who spent his life collecting his thoughts.

When he finally went to clear his throat, it came out as a death rattle.

He stormed to heaven’s gates, incredulous; he’d never said his piece.

“You said what you came to say,” said the Lord. “The message was clear.”

Double or Nothing on Pascal’s Wager (poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

[Note: This poem was first published in Altered Reality in December 2016.]

Eleanor, I think
I want to go where you are.

But I worry.
naught but negative feedback
came through the visual metaphors-

Laid out flat-lined across a gurnee in the threshold 
of an elevator, white sheet pulled over your face.
No one asked the nurse on call

“Up or down?”
All personnel know
the morgue is in the basement.

And it sounds silly,
but I’m second-guessing our decision
to forego the cremation in favor of burial-

Am I reaching too much?
Are they called undertakers
for nothing?

Eleanor, I fear the worst…
the age-old question:
heaven or hell?

I want to go where you are
( I think?)

To make matters worse,
my last look at your tombstone
through the rear-view mirror

revealed the words
“Objects in mirror
are closer than they appear.”

Eleanor, am I reaching too much?
Am I reading too much
into this?

The Slow Angel (Poem)

(Note: this poem was originally published by “Anxious Poet Society” in December 2018)

The Angel of Death
doesn’t have wings.
He’s the only angel
not in a hurry.

He’s no blood-hound
stalking my scent
with a snarl and
gnashing teeth.

He’s detached.
Almost bored.

He tails my car
as I shuttle myself
to the office, the gym,
the grocery.

I’ve caught him yawning
in my periphery, to say,
“Your middling existence
warrants no haste.

Don’t lose sleep over Death.
You’ve been dead for years.
My message is redundant;
a formality, really.”

Fevered Ream (Prose Poem)

[Note: the following poem was originally published in the Quarterly Speculative Poetry Magazine Eye to the Telescope on Oct. 15, 2016.]

(by Daniel R. Jones)

Against a heat-lightning veneer of 130-thread count you slip from your die-cast sarcophagus comatose to ghost, soul tethered to body like a dangling tooth a child is not willing to yank; 

don’t know that you’re dead so your soul lingers in room 607 of St. Vincent’s Hospital like it’s got nothing better to do, lifting out of body, settling back in, tossing and turning in a hospital-standard twin-size adjustable.

You burn blue across an Elysian nebula hung high between the star of Bethlehem and another; a faint drawn route by an aura Luna moth seeking streetlight. You’re pouring pools of amber over aircraft contrails before clattering down, down: a blip on the Hubble as you land a far-cry from Mount Moriah and a scientist on the other end of the monitor blinks twice before uttering:

I saw one.