War is like the lover

-War is Like the Lover- revised

YSubject: Re: Poem-War is Like the Lover- revised

;Please give credit to prior publicationPhiladelphia Poets issue of April2003

The first line came to me while I wasputting up flyers for a
Delco Poets against the War Reading on a snowy Swarthmore College campus.I sat in the snow to pen the first few lines.Nowadays I would go to the coffee bar.Also, the line breaks and line seperationsare intentional.Resistance needs to be both celebrated andremembered, whether it is us or theWhite Rose, Tom Mullian or Woody Guthrie,Phil Ochs or Laurie Pollack, RW or anyof the Winter Soldiers.Bob Small

War is like the Lover

War is like the lover you
keep keep
coming coming
back back

to to
War is like the lover you keep
coming back to
believing his lies
believing he will not abuse you
this time
Like he has evdry time
in the past 2,000 years.
War is the abusive obsessive lover
you run away from
who seeks you through the trees
who follows you
in the streets and haciendas
in the bars and the huts
in the alleys and the subways-
War seeks your scent
tells you you must go with him
That you can never form the words

2)  War is the booted lover
who seduced you with his films
and impressed you with his
with his songs and guns
with his words and knives
with his tanks, bombs-
and one day
you realize that he is Juan Peron
but that is not so bad
for he calls you Evita
has it’s rewards.

3)   War is the screeching harridan
who screams so loud
that you do what she says
losing knowledge of yourself
It was way past love yesterday
now it is only obedience
war is the women who
will now give themselves to you
war is the old men in bars
who will willingly buy you drinks
war is the children at the fourth of July parade
looking up at you
and all the old men and women
who still say thank you
thank you
thank you
war tells you this
you believe
because you are a man
and as a man

you want to believe
and as a man you have to believe

you have to believe

4) War lies to you because it can

because war knows you will forget your anger

after a night of pleasure

war buys you flowers war brings you a steak and all is forgiven

war knows you are easy

war tells you that some day you will be the killer

and you will understandwhy it must be done

why war is needed

war sighs as though in regret

failing to tell you that someday

you will be the killed and you must then under stand

why it must be done

5) War will never change

war will never learn

we must change

we must learn

we must tell war no!

we must tell fight no!

when your hands yearn to rise you  must tell them no

write          paint                    sing

when your feet seek to kick

you must have them                      walk               run swim

when you feel your violence rise

you must gain victory over it

like any other ad dic tion

you fi nallysay no to

War will cry then

promise and tears promise and tears

Do not listen

Let War die

Let War die

Let War Die


Bob Small from March 2003revised 3-9-08 revised 1-27-23

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The Bathroom in Franklin Square

For a few non brief minutes

I was locked, it seemed,

in a windowless metaldoored bathroom

horrible way to leave this

one of my lives


Knocking would do no good

the rest of my troupe had gone on

maybe a homeless man would come

except he could not

the door being locked


decided this would not be last dance

found a way open

found a way open

though one forgets how

one does these things


no one noticed my absence

leading me to wonder

if my presence is noticed

that was one brief moment of my eternity

I hope to write many more

before my one final one

before the dancing stops

12-19-08 revised

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The Gallery House

The art insinuates

first floor to third

hallways to stare ways,

kitchen to studio


Two seperatenesses really

his art and his purchase

the new made old the old made new

someday, he will exhibit again


politics, family, houses, abstracts

wide and catholic with a small c

it’s not absorbed in once or twice

it may not ever be totally-


all of us work for houses of art

some in words, some in paints

some by their lives, by how they arrive

to make a noise and a difference


There are many floors in this house

many multi many layers

many visitations for the eye

many open spaces for the mind


The art takes over

the house only exists to house it

and, someday, Jeffrey says,

he will exhibit again





says Bob Small 1-4-09 revised 1-5-09

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This is the end of the Death Cart Series

This is the end of the Death Cart Series

more, other Poems to follow

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Devil Face #5

Who knows the face of the Devil

and who

has that ambition

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How and how do we know

what art remains

who is valuable

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I still see this sometimes

when eyes are closed

and dreams are my country

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Devil Face 2

Of course it’s red

the devil is always red

who knows what he thinks

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Devil Brown Devil Face


They call this Folk art now

defining it and dismissing it

same as Poetry Music and…


In the window of

T. S. Morrison’s Store

in Asheville, NC


The Church ladies

there are always Church Ladies

do not need to

belong to a Church

do not need to be Ladies


The Church Ladies

demanded it’s removal

We do not know the outcome

whether it was an outgo

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Portrait of Leslie W. Miller

Thomas Eakins 1901


Part of the time and the memory

is trying to know

where the memory belongs


at a certain age

you see other lives and memories

it can be comforting


this other life

may be seen to be more than yours

may be


this other life

may be well more remembered

than your little times


this other life

may not of meant that much

but is still remembred


this other life

does not belong to you

you did not earn it!


so you return to yours

such as it may be

even if not that important


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