Poetry, Flash Fiction, Songs

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Thank you Grim Reaper: A Villanelle by Dan

One of my favorite poetry forms is the villanelle. A villanelle is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. I welcome any comments and constructive criticism. Dan


Thank you Grim Reaper  grimreaper

Without you I’d be a lazy thing,
I would keep putting off today,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

I wouldn’t care what tomorrow brings
because what’s the hurry anyway?
Without you I’d be a lazy thing.

Today would be just a carefree fling
if I stayed around and never went away,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

But it is you, Death, that is king.
Let me repeat again if I may
without you I’d be a lazy thing.

I’d never know tears or mourning,
I would be a clueless child at play
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.

Instead of blaming, your praises I sing.
Before you take me I want to say
that without you I’d be a lazy thing,
unafraid of what tomorrow brings.


Haiku Poems by Dan Campbell, June 2014

I hope you enjoy these haiku. It was a haiku that first got me interested in writing poetry and the first poem I ever had published was:

Opening the door
Little one’s laughter I hear –
A father’s reward

Haiku Poems by Dan Campbell, June 2014

I listen
I really listen –
Rattlesnake territory

Six graceful swans
Slowly glide by –
Ballet school window

Today I carried
More of life’s essentials
To the landfill

ICU remedy for sleep
Counting dripping IV drops
Instead of sheep

35 years
Together today, our love,
Same melody, slower tempo


The Afterlife – published in VISIONS Magazine

I wrote this just to give a different thought about what life after death may look like. The images came from memories of a bus station in El Salvador. This poem was published in VISIONS Magazine. Dan el_salvador-buses

The Afterlife

It’s a hundred degrees in the shade;
walls are splattered with grafitti
in a foreign tongue, a trio of blind
angels tap their crooked sticks
down the dirt road, gaunt saints
roast mangy corn on an open
fire in tin roof shacks and silent,
scowling cherubs juggle cinders
and cobs. Then finally, above us,
the blare of trumpets, we think
at first, but it’s the horn from
a rust-coated bus stacked with
chickens and iguanas in cages
driving us forward into a cloud
of dust.

Avian Mid-life Crisis

Avian Mid-life Crisis canary

I don’t need much room to sing
said the bird in search of a cage.
This world is just too large for wings.

I’m tired of flying from Winter to Spring,
who needs this mindless pilgrimage?
I don’t need much room to sing.

And all those hours spent scavenging
for worms are too much in middle-age.
This world is just too large for wings.

Don’t you preach that I’m forfeiting
my bird heritage; I’m sick of your outrage.
I don’t need much room to sing.

I’ve sown my bird seed, had my fling.
Clipped feathers serve as lovely foliage.
This world is just too large for wings.

Behind bars, I can chirp all evening.
A cage is not a prison, but a stage.
I don’t need much room to sing.
This world is just too large for wings.


(This poem is a villanelle. The villanelle has been around for about 300 years, and has origins in Italian and French poetry. It has a complex rhymed pattern, which makes it challenging by rewarding to write. What makes a villanelle unique is the repetition of rhymes, and the order in which they fall. The pattern is five triplets followed by a quatrain, and the first line of the first stanza is repeated in its entirety three more times in the poem, in Line 6, Line 12, and Line 18. The third line of the first stanza is repeated in Line 9, Line 15, and Line 19.)

American side of Heaven

I have family and friends that enjoy going to yard sales so I wrote this poem about Heaven being a Yard Sale. Dan

American side of Heaven yardsale

At death, the mind’s a frozen lake but then the ice melts,
giant lilies pop up, and you walk on them,
your sandals scattering shiny green angels.

On the other side, they’re all calling you,
Telling you to hurry from underneath
a Big Top labeled “Yard Sale.”

There’s Saint Peter in huge stripes
shouting about a sale on mirrors.
Then you spend hours, or is it eons,
walking by tables of padlocks, fly swatters,
shirts good as new, and look!

Clouds are wrapped in bright yellow ribbons and hurry,
the fireworks start at closing time.

My last magic trick

I wrote this poem as kind of a message about polluting the oceans! Dan WanderingAlbatross

My last magic trick

To become an albatross
had always seemed important.
There was only one choice,
the Wandering albatross
with the gift to soar above
the ships’ radar,
fly past the miles of net
and cross the littered oceans.

I felt called to a mission
to save someone
or to bring back a message,
some reason to be an albatross
other than just gliding for days.

I remember dropping the wand,
my wings couldn’t pick it up,
there was no changing back.

So now I circle the oceans
watching the ships below
patrolling the waves like robots.

They make such noise,
they belch and vomit.
It is no place for an albatross.
It is no place for one with royal wings
who knows how to ride the wind

Preferences – a poem


I prefer plays to movies.
I prefer cypresses in Monterey.
I prefer parrots to dogs and
I prefer nights to sunny days.

I prefer myself helping people
to myself saving mankind.
I prefer books to computers
to learn and improve my mind.

I prefer the exceptions to the rules,
I prefer leaving early to working late.
I prefer avoiding doctors and dentists
and I much prefer love over hate.

I prefer the foolishness of poetry
to a world without verse.
I much prefer driving sports cars
to riding in a hearse.

I prefer the wisdom of winos
to the lies of televangelists.
I prefer the shaking of hands
to the shaking of fists.

I prefer having some doubts over certainty.
I prefer countries that dance and don’t invade.
I prefer the recipe for chaos instead of order
and I prefer flowers that thrive in the shade.

I prefer brown eyes since mine are blue.
I prefer green traffic lights over red.
I prefer many things not said here
to many things also left unsaid.

I prefer not to know the number of days left
or to know where and how.
But I do prefer a bit of notice
so that I can practice my final bow.