Two poems by Marcus Bales

mid-life crisis


Suddenly the kids, the car,

the house, the spouse, the local bar,

the work, have made you what you are.

What doesn’t chill you makes you fonder.


Should you stay or should you go?

The thrill you’re looking for, you know,

could be right here at home, although

What doesn’t thrill you makes you wander.

If, avoiding common truth,

you dye your hair and act uncouth,

will you find your misplaced youth —

really, will you if you’re blonder?


It doesn’t matter if you’re strong

or if you sing a pretty song,

something, and it won’t be long,

will come to kill you, here or yonder.

You’re human in the human fray,

and choose between the shades of grey.

No matter if you go or stay


what might fulfil you makes you ponder.



Girl Reading Charles_Edward_Perugini_ak1


Of all my readers I like you the best.

You’re sexily well-read, and very smart —

Oh, you’re the one; the rest are just the rest.

Though most of them will think I speak in jest,

It’s you, you know, who’s read into my heart:

Of all my readers I like you the best.

I’m feeling better now that I’ve confessed

That it’s for you I struggle with my art.

You are the one — the rest are just the rest.

I see by your reaction you had guessed

I liked you more, and liked you from the start;

Of all my readers, I like you the best.

You get me — and I like how you’re impressed

That I know Horace comes before Descartes;

Ah, you’re the one. The rest are just the rest.

I like you very much — I’d be distressed

At anything that kept us two apart.

Of all my readers I like you the best;

Yes, you’re the one: the rest are just the rest.

Marcus Bales lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio

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