rogue planet by Herb Kauderer

rogue planet Herb Kauderer lost between stars you float along hardly noticed except in those precarious moments when needed as a stepping stone ignoring such rare & fickle company you continue to roam slowly walking a racing universe unfulfilled but also unburdened

Last Stand on Privacy by Herb Kauderer

Last Stand on Privacy Herb Kauderer I got tired of every level of government legislating sex as if ANYONE could actually control what people do together (or alone) in their bedrooms. That’s why I moved my bed into my bathroom. It’s the only place…

the poem dreams by Herb Kauderer

the poem dreams Herb Kauderer the poem dreams of going beyond to the next state of love and connection but words cannot capture magic cannot conjure moonlight or mist on the lake but perhaps those are not necessary for those are only catalysts for…

A Room on Mars by Herb Kauderer

A Room on Mars Herb Kauderer Age and radiation tell Clarkson it’s time to retire but after decades working the asteroid belt he has no interest in landing on Earth where the great outdoors is tiny compared to all of outer space and people…

Third Floor Bookstore by Herb Kauderer

Third Floor Bookstore Herb Kauderer I stood in the warm colored neon watching dusk turn black, waiting for the Dreamer’s Mall to open is lying beneath endless layers of blankets waiting in the early morning for the winter sun to rise. When at last…

Intended Purpose by Herb Kauderer

Intended Purpose Herb Kauderer I am a highly evolved machine programmed to look at the night sky. Eye, brain, arm enable starlight transmutation send it passing through my pen black ink on page recreating white light in a reader’s mind.

stranded observatory by Herb Kauderer

stranded observatory Herb Kauderer the cylinder spins green grey bathing in starlight dining on icerocks skating on radiation on one side a light dies awaiting too long an errant spark a mutation of fuel side effect of cosmic rays a renewal of heat to…

new realities by Herb Kauderer

new realities Herb Kauderer in the core of an L-5 habitat a group gathers to share fanfare inside a sensor glove a hand squeezes & somewhere tachyons respond another hand strums air the room is filled with guitar chords the band plays without strings…

career change by Herb Kauderer

career change Herb Kauderer settled dust on scattered pieces of the remains of an environment suit turn the criminal investigator into an archeologist who picks from debris the stripped bones of a unique civilization seeking how this culture of one died out

Misdirection in Oz by Herb Kauderer

Misdirection in Oz Herb Kauderer The Tin Woodsman used his newly received brain to remember all the many citizens of Oz who passed him by while he was rusted still in the fields. But the unsolved serial killings didn’t begin until his epiphany that,…

Typographical Archvillain by Herb Kauderer

Typographical Archvillain Herb Kauderer   The punctuation thief began as an apprentice in a printing shop, but sneaking in illicit edits was not enough to satisfy his urges.   He escalated his attacks — leading a movement of minimalist poetry dedicated to the simplicity…

Criminal Evolutions by Herb Kauderer

Criminal Evolutions Herb Kauderer   Looking backward she cannot trace the path of her career from college to criminal justice, to forensics, to blood-stain splatter analysis, to autopsy technician, and finally to forensic entomology, (the study of insects growing in corpses), to this terrifying…

Campaign Platform by Herb Kauderer

Campaign Platform Herb Kauderer Drunk on moonlight, they played and danced across grassy hills to the river’s banks. The night was a living painting in ten thousand shades of white. They spoke then of promises. A pact of three. One day, Mars, would be…

a recollection of dust devils by Herb Kauderer

a recollection of dust devils Herb Kauderer below Mars’ surface first colony remains are left to dream

fruit of imperfection by Herb Kauderer

fruit of imperfection Herb Kauderer imperfect clone grows different from sibs mutated gene shows shame

recognition error by Herb Kauderer

recognition error Herb Kauderer cave explorers wade strange dark puddles not seeing monster drool

Computer Vows by Herb Kauderer

Computer Vows Herb Kauderer I love you like the highest prime the finest number that has ever dwelt within me I need you like the caressing hand that plays across my keyboards silently pressing contacts faster than words could be voiced You are the…

Soft Scientist by Herb Kauderer

Soft Scientist Herb Kauderer The psychologist scours every fragment of foreign life seeking some flame to call sentience. Like some overeager foster parent she searches for a resemblance, not meant to be, looking to make this lush golden world a part of her family….

What’s Been Left Behind by Herb Kauderer

What’s Been Left Behind Herb Kauderer The hydroponics deck is as close to home as I can find. I sit there and try to remember what cloud what dream what angel told me to reach for the sky. That distant star cannot be the…

Leather Dragon by Herb Kauderer

Leather Dragon Herb Kauderer Conjured of scales and hides from creatures long since dead he is never completely alive or completely himself. The longings and desires of those whose skin he wears flicker like an uncovered candle through his brain. When he is not…

keeping peace on the ISS by Herb Kauderer

keeping peace on the ISS Herb Kauderer a locked room murder scientific detective gathers her suspects reveals surveillance footage altered to blame aliens   first published in The Detective’s Ghost & Other Little Mysteries

National Security by Herb Kauderer

National Security Herb Kauderer   state secrets vanish as new mind cleansing process redacts employee brains   first published in The Detective’s Ghost & Other Little Mysteries 

Joyriding by Herb Kauderer

Joyriding Herb Kauderer   teenaged rebels hotwire unprovisioned spaceship miss lunch, surrender in time for dinner    first published in The Detective’s Ghost & Other Little Mysteries

far from worship by Herb Kauderer

far from worship Herb Kauderer feathered serpent mired in steam rising from lush wet forest spined ferns reach twenty feet into sky daring you to land & vines clutch like the many handed tribes pull at you like ghosts of long murdered ancestors float,…

Djinn by Herb Kauderer

Djinn Herb Kauderer Control box of mystic switches unexplained lights wishful dials what sweet caress will fire your passion? What strange whispers will turn your head? I am your shepherd through the long journey between stars and when you finally wake from ancient slumber…

Stonehenge by Herb Kauderer

Stonehenge Herb Kauderer Phenomenon: An unaccountable occurrence. It was cold and sunny at Stonehenge. Herded 100 feet away by rope-bound rubber paths we shuffled with the crowd while clouds moved in and covered the sun. Rain spattered stones and wet the green lichen that…

Through the Ages by Herb Kauderer

Through the Ages Herb Kauderer The Pythia at Delphi  observed in passing that poets touch people  with their words  but do so  without understanding  what those words mean. The poets do not understand the people either, yet their touch means so much that people seek…

Dryad by Herb Kauderer

Dryad Herb Kauderer tree limbs wildly flail human eyes are distracted wood nymph sneaks away                             First appeared in 50 Haikus #9 March 2016

Phlegethon by Herb Kauderer

Phlegethon Herb Kauderer see the reflection framed in tendrils of flame and leaves of smoke then pass through the forge of Hephaestus if you can first appeared in Calliope Jan/Feb 1992

Lethe by Herb Kauderer

Lethe Herb Kauderer kneel at the banks by the ford and peer into the soft wrinkled brown-green blanket watch it undulate in random patterns calling in a voice that soaks up sound birdcall & leaf flame & wood absorbed & reformed into gently urging…

Cocytus by Herb Kauderer

Cocytus Herb Kauderer the waters reach down your throat and pull the cry of the deserted the wail of the deserter the scream that empties the soul and when every thread of emotion has snapped you may pass first appeared in Tiamat #5 June/July…

Acheron by Herb Kauderer

Acheron Herb Kauderer cry your tears into the river let your sorrows flow until this tributary owns the salty tang of ocean and you can share its endless thirsting need first appeared in Sozoryoku #8 Dec 1992

Night Shivers by Herb Kauderer

Night Shivers Herb Kauderer Herodotus said “We can never stand in the same river twice because the water of life is always moving.” that’s why ghosts are cold. Ghosts freeze life chain the past around the ankle of the future an iceberg anchor. &…

The Theft of Yesterday’s Lover by Herb Kauderer

The Theft of Yesterday’s Lover Herb Kauderer I was happy living in the past. The lover I could remember yesterday is gone now, destroyed by your certainty and your brain-tinkering machine. Was it so wrong for me to turn away from the prescribed obsession…

profiling the unknown by Herb Kauderer

profiling the unknown Herb Kauderer  creature of no identifiable species relegated to genus Monster regardless of intentions

zombie existence by Herb Kauderer

zombie existence Herb Kauderer embedded in flesh hologram verifies self pays all bills monthly presents illusion of life long after the heart has stopped

Styx by Herb Kauderer

Styx Herb Kauderer and so the gods call upon you as one by one they drink your name to seal divine contract with no pity for your station nor tear to feed your vigilance they know you feed upon yourself to heal their lies…

duration of the crossing by Herb Kauderer

duration of the crossing Herb Kauderer every renewal of faith in love & romance is paler a white marble gravestone to innocence a glowing personal Charon guiding us each across our own River Styx a river that flows with the melted bodies of fears…

Out of Hades by Herb Kauderer

Out of Hades Herb Kauderer Persephone’s cat counts the days to equinox coolness of summer.   first appeared in Stinkwaves Oct 2016

keeping company by Herb Kauderer

keeping company Herb Kauderer kokopelli figurine dances when you’re not looking rehearses flute songs while you’re vacuuming hides keys when you try to leave

bug in the system by Herb Kauderer

bug in the system Herb Kauderer   driverless car moves partiers to unscheduled & barren destination with no chance of return or recovery

Two Wrongs by Herb Kauderer

Two Wrongs Herb Kauderer Tyrannical giant-brained aliens broadcast demands for obeisance. Underground resistance feverishly builds an evil robot to disagree.

Scylla by Herb Kauderer

Scylla Herb Kauderer You did nothing but refuse the advances of Glaucus who held Circe’s eye. You were blamed anyway. As a sea nymph you must have expected it. Nymphs are always blamed by those who don’t know better & often by those who…

Priestess’ Nightmare by Herb Kauderer

Priestess’ Nightmare Herb Kauderer Asleep in her private grove the high priestess dreams: Gods & goddesses assemble to hear her rightful requests. But as she speaks they reach out & change her stretching and molding until she stands frozen into some bizarre statue. Unable…

Basilisk by Herb Kauderer

Basilisk Herb Kauderer there is no sweeter feel than hard rough rocks scraping your belly as you slowly drag yourself into some hidden crevice these humid, dark days are best for hunting farther from water prey can be lulled into a security that seems…

Depth Perception by Herb Kauderer

Depth Perception Herb Kauderer                      One-eyed Polyphemus stands, towering over men and stares into the distant seas at bright striped sails & pounding drums.   He longs to leave his island home but has no idea how far away the shore.   first appeared…

Satyr Insane by Herb Kauderer

Satyr Insane Herb Kauderer                      Kar-chon sits anchored in the stream of soulless & damned that rages through the underworld.   Crowds push at his rocky mount surging blindly sometimes even shaking the stones he stoically rests upon.   Stationed, he grinds his hooves…

Medusa by Herb Kauderer

Medusa Herb Kauderer Late at night she lies awake dreaming of her beautiful blind lover. She can see his face       through closed eyes & imagines the sweet feel      of his embrace. She pretends the caresses she feels      are not her own…

Having Touched Sky by Herb Kauderer

Having Touched Sky Herb Kauderer Pegasus should have freed Equus ferus from the tyranny of dirt and gravity, but once aloft the winds he could not force himself to settle down and breed.

look the other way by Herb Kauderer

look the other way Herb Kauderer   tidally locked moon looks down on a dead planet survivors travel settle on distant farside to keep from facing the past

what lay underfoot by Herb Kauderer

what lay underfoot Herb Kauderer in the cold of a frigid moon in the land of microscopic silicate crabs a city died late at night when red-lit hunters landed with no care for what lay underfoot & no awareness of their need for what…

Doom by Herb Kauderer

Doom Herb Kauderer Hobbled in alien chains the noble hero routine fails. Sinew cannot break this unknown metal. A strong heart cannot tumble down the stones in these prison walls. A hero’s handsomeness cannot sway non-human guards who do not look. Only a keen-edged…

listener by Herb Kauderer

listener Herb Kauderer on nights like this when lightning chases leaves down the mountain and the wind stalks the grass like a cat the eastern gods walk as long ago you can hear them calling each other in the thunder and on a distant…

sentient pushing by Herb Kauderer

sentient pushing Herb Kauderer for every secret and mystery to tumble down before sentient pushing there is a place where the winds tumble down answers like grains of sand across Martian plains                Pandora #26 1990

The Robot Insane by Herb Kauderer

The Robot Insane Herb Kauderer Once known as Maxine XY12 the robot lives nameless & alone on an asteroid easily left, if she only knew how. Deep in a crater she works augmenting with nuclear reactions power taken from glimpses of the distant sun….