Pantoum for the Fifty Percent

tom and viv
The dinner détente dies, the candles fade,
The tension mounts, a cat that climbs the stairs.
Like clowns out of step in a sad parade,
The wind and rain repeat, but no one cares.

The tension mounts. A cat that climbs the stairs
Connotes the awkward moment’s masquerade
The wind and rain repeat. But no one cares
When love grows still and breathes contagious airs.

Cannot the awkward moment’s masquerade
Expend emotion’s capital like tares
Our love still grows? To breathe contagious airs
We hum the minor chords of Scheherazade.

We spent emotion’s capital. Like tares,
The dinner détente dies. The candles fade.
We hum the minor chords of Scheherazade
Like clowns out of step in a sad parade.


  1. Wow. This is a great poem, Papa! It would make an amazing song if it were put to music by Over the Rhine. Just sayin’.

    • Well…get cracking, then! You have your gitter and mandylynne, don’tcha?

      Get to it!


      • Matthew Lickona says

        Yeah, who needs Over the Rhine when you’ve got Wadin’ Thru the Kickapoo?

        • “Pantoum for the Fifty Percent” the first single from the up and coming “Wadin’ Thru the Kickapoo” (Babbsy O’Brien on vocals and Mandylynne) from their first album “Kickapoo Duckweed.”




    Geez, that’s a cheerful love story. Recalls the best of Sid and Nancy.

    Good poem.

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