Friday 10 March 2023

Five Poems by Gale Acuff


Nobody lives forever, not even


folks who die and go to Heaven, they're still

dead but on the other hand at church and

Sunday School they say they live forever,

by they I mean the folks at Sunday School

and church and not the dead, ha ha, that's kind

of funny but anyway if you be

-lieve then there really is eternal life

maybe but to snag it you must die and

I'd rather have eternal life on Earth

than in the Afterlife where I'll be dead

but my Sunday School teacher says No, no,

Dear, you've got it all wrong, you're dead here and

now so I answered I'm damned if that's so.

Instead of punishing me she said Good.



Someday I'll die but I don't want to die


but sometimes I don't want to live and that's

life or a pretty fair definition

I told my Sunday School teacher after

class but like the Bible says it made her

weep, not just cry, I guess that weeping is

crying with a college education

or crying as if every drop means some

-thing or is somehow clearer and purer

than what you get with ordinary tears

from bawling or plain old blubbering--if

there really is a God He's well aware

or should be of the difference so when

she dried out I apologized but she

said That's okay--I feel better now. Christ.



I hate everybody--no, that's not true


but it is if I hate only a few

but then I think that's a different idea

but I'm not sure, I'm only ten years old,

I don't know enough to hate so

I'd better wait until I'm older, then

maybe I'll be more successful at it,

that's what I told my Sunday School teacher

but after class so in case she got clutched

by my strange confession she wouldn't turn

red in front of the class but I needn't

have worried, alone with me she laughed and

laughed and told me that I'll make some woman

very happy someday and maybe she

means Mother but she's dead. Who else is there?



I'll go to Hell when I die for the sin


of stashing my chewing gum under my

chair in Sunday School class, it was either

that or swallow the damn thing and they say

at regular school it takes your stomach

seven years to digest it--yuck--so in

the seventh year I'll rest, ha ha, and get

over it but then there's all the Juicy

Fruit I swallowed in the past, it's a good

thing there's an Eternity, maybe there

I can work off my debt even if it

means I lose a little of forever

from Eternity and next week to show

God and Jesus my good intentions I'll

go early and peel it off and cop it.



Everybody wants go to Heaven


when they die but sometimes the righteous go

in the other direction, that would be

Hell, and gladly suffer, so they say at

least before they leave, torment and torture

and are good with it because they show God

and Jesus and the Holy Ghost a thing

or two and meanwhile I'm ten years old, what

I don't know about life and death you could

write a book about but of course I do

that every day, just not in so many

words and if it comes to pass that I stand

before God's throne and await His judgment

then maybe I'll tell Him I've been assessing

Him. Oh, we'll see how He likes those apples.



Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in a dozen countries and have authored three books of poetry. My poems have appeared in Lothlorien Poetry Journal vol. 8 (2022), Ascent, Reed, Arkansas ReviewPoemSlantAethlonFlorida Review, South Carolina ReviewCarolina Quarterly, Roanoke Danse Macabre, Ohio Journal, Sou'wester, South Dakota ReviewNorth Dakota QuarterlyNew TexasMidwest QuarterlyPoetry MidwestAdirondack ReviewWorcester Review, Adirondack Review, Connecticut River ReviewDelmarva ReviewMaryland Poetry ReviewMaryland Literary Review, George Washington Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Ann Arbor ReviewPlainsongsChiron ReviewGeorge Washington ReviewMcNeese Review, WeberWar, Literature & the Arts, Poet LoreAble Muse, The Font, Fine Lines, Teach.Write.OracleHamilton Stone Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, Cardiff ReviewTokyo ReviewIndian Review, Muse India, Bombay ReviewWesterly, and many other journals.

Gale haa taught tertiary English courses in the US, PR China, and Palestine.










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