I’m pond scum, someone said today.
Some soup primordial, in a bay
was struck by lightning. Oh, I see
I’m wrought by electricity…
then, look! it’s a bacterium
who, in a deep delirium,
decided he would rather be
a worm that crawls out of the sea.
From there it’s just a natural flow
to Einstein, Michelangelo.

Or maybe, let’s connect the dots,
we’re spawned by ancient astronauts.
Of course, that doesn’t answer where
they come from, maybe the thin air?
It’s making perfect sense to me…
science answers perfectly.
If you don’t think so you’re a dunce.
Regain your senses now, at once!
Just climb aboard and dance the dance,
and feel the will of circumstance.

(Science is the golden calf…
and God in Heaven has to laugh.)



The Baked Bard of Avon?

Pray did our William fortify his verse
With cannabis? Did he form new world dreams?
Tune in, turn on and go from bad to worse.
Connect his works to barely conscious streams?

Perhaps he flew his beautiful balloon
Above the cares and ken of normal men,
Partaking of the latest, greatest swoon
And letting pharmacy persuade his pen.

Or maybe Indians from across the sea
Presented him a western prototype
That turned a troubled mind to ecstasy.
He understood why it was called “peace pipe”.

Of course, we each can only speculate,
I’m sure it wasn’t drugs that made him great.



Material World

And if there is no God above,
no poetry, no mystery,
and visions only dreams of love
or hoped-for future’s history.

If souls have never met before,
and hearts are only muscled mass,
and every yearning’s based on lore,
imagined stories from the past.

If blue eyes are just coloured flesh,
your lips of crimson, emptiness.
If mirrored spirits can’t enmesh,
can’t feel care or happiness.

Even then, if nothing’s true,
and every reverie is through,
and all the world’s been misconstrued…
My life and love belong to You.




Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

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13 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    What a lovely and challenging way to start a Sunday!

    Thank you, Mr. Bryant.

  2. Joe Tessitore

    P.S. I’m a retired building superintendent and worked regularly with all of the trades.
    Plumbers invariably had the best jokes.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    All three poems are lovely and well crafted, but I especially like “The Baked Bard of Avon.” The only stimulant that Shakespeare had (or needed) was a pewter tankard of good old-fashioned English ale.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        One of the further links from that piece quotes the line from Sonnet 76: “And keep invention in a noted weed…” as a hint that Shakespeare may have used marijuana. But in this line the word “weed” means “clothing” or “garment,” and does not refer at all to a plant. We still hear it used in that older sense in the phrase “widow’s weeds,” meaning the dark clothing of mourning worn by a bereaved wife.

  4. C.B. Anderson

    Mike, I liked all three poems, too, but a few things bothered me. In the first poem you wrote, “Science is the golden calf,” but you probably owe your current health to science, as most of us do. What is more true is that scientism is the golden calf, but try to make that assertion work metrically!

    In the second poem, stanza 3 line 4, you put peace pipe in quotation marks. It is inappropriate to put a noun phrase after “called” in quotation marks. “[C]alled peace pipe” is plenty good enough.

    In the third poem, stanza 1 line 3, there is a problem with number: “and visions only dream” or “and vision only dreams” would be grammatically correct. In the last stanza, it is unclear whether your life and love belong to the material world or to some heretofore unmentioned inamorata.

    These are just details, Mike — something to pay attention to, but nothing to get worried about. These poems were sound, and it’s not as though you had left exposed the proverbial plumber’s butt-crack.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      In poem three, “dreams” might be a plural noun rather than a verb. If so, then a verb of being has been ellipsed, and the explicit sense of the line is

      “and visions [are] only dreams of love…”

      It’s possible, since there is already a verb of being in the poem’s first line.

    • Mike Bryant

      C. B. Thanks. How about, “False science is the golden calf” ? Also Mr. Salemi is correct about the meaning of the line from the third poem. As for the quotation marks, I bow to your greater knowledge. Google here I come!

      • Martin Rizley

        Another way to communicate the idea of “false science” is simply to put the word “science” in quotes. Then the closing couplet would read:

        “Science” is the golden calf. . .
        And God in heaven has to laugh.

        By using quotation marks, the idea conveyed is that certain theories presented as science in the popular culture are not pure science at all, but philosophical naturalism dressed up as science.

        I enjoyed the satiric humor in this poem!

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Mike Bryant, you never fail to impress and surprise me with your poetry and its message. Faith is very topical and captures the skepticism around the subject of “Science” these days – very thought provoking. I love Material World, for the questions it poses and images it conjures. And, as for the Baked Bard of Avon, I adore Shakespeare, and welcome this grin-inducing aspect of my literary hero. Thank you for your constant inspiration!

    • Mike Bryant

      You are absolutely the best poet alive…and possibly the best poet who has ever lived. I am amazed and humbled by Your gift.


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