Mike Finley

Mike Finley Poems

Let a thing be what we say it is,
if a donkey is eating corn
let the donkey not be an allegory
nor the corn a corn byproduct.

i hear the chime of the poem's voice
and in the notes you write
a guy who hungers for truth and tells it too
who understands that pain is the face

1. Stop talking and listen. Listen to yourself listening. Then listen to that.

2. Pile all your hats in the back yard and burn them. Especially any with feathers.

The sugar house is shutting down,

You are the winking stream,
We are all hiccup and failure.

You are love, a perfect dream.

How confusing it all is.
'Humility' suggests crouching.
But what it means is relaxing,
Allowing happiness to happen.

You were innocent, you shared
The prejudices that connected us
Like prayer, and the world held firm
Behind its insipid certainties.

Is in the breath so simple.
Breathe in, breathe out,
Then tell where one begins
And the other ends.

As the mountain hungers to be made flat
So I burn for your salvation.

Help me to forgive the airplanes


High in the hills
a man pulls fish
from a stream.

The hardest lesson of the sinner
Is that all is in you, and nothing in him.
Why are we given these garrulous minds
If the end-challenge is only to submit?


you strip like an ear of corn
gold & beautiful
silk tumbling

Where I am going, I don't know
The road ahead twists out of sight

Where it will lead no one can say

How can you kill what cannot be killed?
Why weep for those who have been taken?

Why furnish ammunition to the enemy

Stars, ignore the crimes occurring
like catfights under the windows.

Sometimes we're ashamed

You told yourself you could do this without them
If you had their help it would undo the purpose
Recused yourself from the argument at hand
And folded into quietness there

Taking down my office before the move,
I come across a picture of my daughter and me
at Disneyland, when she was little.
Frozen in the plastic elephant, our faces a riot

I was eating minestrone
when I heard something fall
outside my apartment window.
Too dark to see much

spring flows all around us or ought to
each field of corn is taut
with its arrows and bows
our hands can't contain

they clamp their bits in the riding ring
kicking the sawdust behind them
all day the children mount and pace
and when the animals rest

Mike Finley Biography

In the 1970s I was a much-published young poet. But I have since gone into hiding. http: //mfinley.com/booklist2.htm)

The Best Poem Of Mike Finley

A Prayer For Poets

Let a thing be what we say it is,
if a donkey is eating corn
let the donkey not be an allegory
nor the corn a corn byproduct.

Let us not despise readers
for not 'getting us'
when we did nothing to let them in,
and everything to keep them out.

Let every offering be a gift,
first from you and then from us.
Let 'Let this serve you well'
be both credo and apologia.

Do not let us fall down
the well of our awareness.
Neither let us feel special
Just because we hear music.

Lead us not into obscurity,
and deliver us from brilliance.
For thine is the poem
forever amen.


Mike Finley Comments

Cheryl Grussing 18 May 2018

Hats off to you for your many avenues of writing.

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Goldy Locks 25 June 2006

Finley, where have you bin?

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You are a breath of fresh air, Mike, a welcome addition to our little dysfunctional family. From the poetry of yours that I have read, I am quite impressed with you as a word artist. Your sense of humor and devil-may-care attitude about critics or self-proclaimed experts is fun to play with. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Michael Shepherd 20 May 2006

Mike, I tried to find words to express what your poems mean to me...

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***** ********* 20 May 2006

You have shamed me Mike! You have made me laugh, you have made me think more than twice. You have chastised me for many a vice, but you have also always been nice. I have been slight in my comments of your work, because there are so many of my subjects to spead myself amongst, but you are a poet of fine imagery and insight, stretching back through a long and successful career. You are a fair and fine man and an inspiration to all who read you. Is that ok? lol Grinning at you, Tai

1 1 Reply

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