Three Poems by John Horvath Jr

wazoo.jpegJohn Horvath Jr is a retired professor, disabled veteran, poet and full time observer of humanity. He writes from “inside the sinner” in order to give dignity and purpose to the social “outcast” and common man. Since the 1960s. his poetry has been published in Africa, America North, Asia, Australia, and Europe.




John Horvath Jr

He Rides the Company Bus to Work and Back

I bust my butt for six-oh-five a week
and pay twice that much to stay alive.
I guess I am the Prince o’ Debt
and all my worries,
all for which I strive
is so much excess gut, a glut
of workers under management
who think we needn’t more
in order to survive.

I burn my hands and scar my cheeks
(they’re tougher, then, to chew)
and bow my head and lower eyes
to boss’s sons who enter church
to confiscate first pew
(my daughter is their try-out bag –
they think – my sons are jokes to them.
One day real soon with bills accrued

I’ll leave off work then
they’ll be screwed –
an empty house, old beat-up junk, a car
that barely moves the bank will take;
the kids, my wife will vanish too –
I’ll spray their social butts
with shotgun blasts
and sing a hymn when I am through:
Forgive me, Lord,
as sinner among sinners
I’ll go to Hell;
But, they’ go first –
my aim is true).

John Horvath Jr


Over and over in the milk white breast of time
I look forward to good-byes physical as dew
in the mountain mornings on strange rough grass
whose colors turn as the sun creeps into full day.
Over and over on the wide mothering belly of time
I look forward to good-byes small as the whisper
of beetles whose casings litter the forests of days
bent by the summer thunderheaded storms.
Over and over from the waist down toward time
without stopping ’til the moon mellows full
after beginning a small sliver in the night,
I look forward to good-byes. Good-bye to being
without time for the circumference of you;
Good-bye to wondering whether again you
and I in the ripeness of flesh will cling
as we had – rich with sweat, bodies consumed
in scents and the odors of love; you and I, again.
Again waiting for the breath that breaks water,
that orders the moments between life new
and life past, over and over, again. So you
dare ask of me, where have I been again.

John Horvath Jr


a letter! for ME – written in
His Very Own Hand –
ha! ha! ha!

In the library of old apple crates
after a career of postcards to world
leaders calling on them to cure cancer
begging them to bring peace to the world

Scrawls he leaves hidden from himself
so he can never return, read behind
the bibles, never revise nor recite
nor repeat the messages left behind.
Perhaps one day others will from hidden
places draw paper scribbled and wrinkled,
implacably indecipherable penned,
or they will into silence read
inheritance, come to understand;

and I, the last to speak his tongue, caught
between his two worlds, will come alive unsought
to speak of the dying and the dead, an afterthought
between the volumes of history and prophecy, unsought.

Each man is his own library, his pages
acid and yellow fraying at the edges;
each man will be empty and unread.
The soul of each man is a postcard
sent to a stranger who refuses –
postage due. A card? For me!
Take it back; I do not know him.


  2 comments for “Three Poems by John Horvath Jr

  1. Ralph Monday
    March 21, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I love this poem. What a metaphor that every human is his or her own library. The concluding irony is so rich.

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