Two Poems By JB Mulligan

               ghost story

The cry of gulls and children across
the hot white end of summer.
Waves unfurling secret scrolls.
Above the asphalt, shimmer
of heat, and from a passing car
a steady thump of bass.
The mind, too steeped in honey to move
too quickly in this place,
will turn from a window, years from now,
with weakened eyes and a grip,
less strong than youth, and finger the past,
unable to summon up
the laughing ghost, the turning girl,
except in an echo faint
and brittle as moonlight on the water,
a shadow dim and distant
who’d walk, perhaps, some other room,
lost in some other life
with an aging husband married to
a different aging wife.
               guerrilla clock repair

Life more often imitates life, not art.
They both have doorways hidden in plain sight.
But among the many wounds to mind and heart,
joy insinuates, and comes to light.

A year they labored, fixing the antique clock,
then they bore, freely and well, the charge of the state;
by the time it learned that art had run amok,
what could authority do?  It was too late:

whatever the crime might be, time had been served.
But when has that ever stopped power?  The charge
was pressed.   Did the culprits get what they deserved:
set free to repair again?  They're still at large.

JB Mulligan has published more than 1100 poems and stories in various magazines over the past 45 years, and has had two chapbooks: The Stations of the Cross and THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS, as well as 2 e-books: The City of Now and Then, and A Book of Psalms (a loose translation). He has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies, and was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize anthology.

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