Poem: Pallbearers by Mark Tulin

the pallbearers,
so gracious
in their strength

they volunteer
to cover me
in a shroud of love
and protection

to carry me
by rail

lifting my spirits
above the ground
to the clouds

moving me forward
into the next
where there is a singular

and a white light
that shines brightly
in the peaceful universe
of adventurous souls


Poem: Bessie and Billy

A different version of this poem on Pencliff

Bessie the Cow’s son, Billy

moved out of the meadow

on Wednesday.

No longer a calf

he grew tired

of the hassle

from an overprotective


She kept harping

on where’s the best grass

and staying upright

and not being tipped over.

Now Billy grazes in peace

on a hill of his choosing

where he’s free

to make Moo-Moo and Whoopee

with a hefty and fertile

young Jersey,

a grass-fed bovine

named Daisy.


Poem: Chalupa Love

Different version of poem on Pencliff.

The taco carnitas beckons me

with mouth wide open.

It says, come do the salsa

with some jalapeño.

Cover me with chopped tomatoes,

diced onions and cilantro.

Cradle me in your

hungry jaws, and feel my

cheesy corn tortilla, soft or


Take me off the hot griddle,

a cast iron comal,

strum those mariachi guitars,

take me to places

I’ve never imagined,

and make passionate

chalupa love

now and mañana.


Poem: The Freak by Mark Tulin

Previously posted on Pencliff.

My father

bought me

an accordion

when I was a kid.

He said

it would help

my asthma,


the bellows

in and out

over again.

But I knew better,

it was only a ruse.

My old man wanted me

to play polka music

to impress his corny friends.

The Beer Barrel Polka.

The Pennsylvania Polka.

To play in a Mummers’s Day parade.

I’m really a freak,

a grungy beatnik,

I told my dad flat out.

Just get me an electric guitar

and a great big amp

so I can crank up the music

and play in a heavy metal band.


Distorted Terrain by Mark Tulin

Previously appeared on Pencliff.

held hostage in the backseat of my dysfunctional family

surrounded by borderlines
and controlling geeks

keep calm, I would say to myself
you could get through this

year after year
shattered windows, holes in the walls

they don’t know any better
but I do, I’m aware

just play their game
and let them have the wheel

let them think
I’m a part of their insanity
so they don’t call me a freak

as we travel in our metaphorical van
moody woods
and distorted terrain,
I offer to drive.