Best of Times…

The mood was light and airy.

All smiles seemed engrained.

They begged, “Stay in the moment.”

And yet, someone still complained.

No banquet halls were empty.

All musicians danced and played.

The bankers were all giving loans.

And the priests and wisemen prayed.

All pets were housed and fluffy.

All disease they found the cure.

The activists raised concerns.

To what? No one was sure.

I know it never happened.

I know it might sound rude.

But I have heard with mine own eyes.

People who complain about free food.

Dennis Mantin

The Hangman

I was weary almost sickly. I slept, no tears to cry. The Hangman, in my dreams soft spoke; said, “This ain’t no time to die.”

I said, “You know I fear you.” He said, “Yes, and most folks do.” Then he said, “You know I’m kinda busy.” And faded into blue.

Now I’m driving down the highway. And it’s you that’s on my mind. Is no rhyme or reason. Only hope and dreams to find.

Dennis Mantin

Taking Down

I was taking down some memories. They were old like dank decay.

A haunting hanging nostalgic romp, that had more than had her say.

There was no peace or harmony. Just a path without a sign.

We got to travel that way once. You went your way, I went mine.

There was this thing for beauty. That used to be the rule.

Not a curse I’d wish on anyone, but I used to be that fool.

There’s a virtue called forgiveness. I’ve been drinking from that glass.

There’s a dot on that horizon. Give it time. This too shall pass.

Dennis Mantin

Jesus Winters Blue’s

“Just January cold, and you know Jesus!

Can’t complain, but I still do.”

Balls on brass monkeys cold and freezes.

Although not all is frozen blue.

No one asks me for much time anymore.

Good thing because I don’t choose.

Don’t know why or how or what or for.

It’s not contagious it’s winter blues.

Dennis Mantin


Mostly distant, getting clearer.

Fading farther rearveiw mirror.

A losing hand and change the dealer.

Someone said time is a healer.

Desire lost could not be crueler.

Turn the page, her sisters cooler.

You could let loss be your ruler.

Tried your best. You couldn’t fool her.

Dennis Mantin

My Father’s Teaching

My father was very careful and thorough: Only now, I can see and appreciate the brilliance in the absence of his efforts. To not have to unlearn anything is proving to be invaluable.

To have a lifetime of trial and errors without the bothersome interference of elders teaching and paving the way can now be reflected upon in a rich tapestry of original experience.

Thanks, Dad!

Dennis Mantin

Sad But True (2015)

There is a heart shaped carve in rosewood.
There’s a line drawn in the sand.
I pray there on grace and wonder,
and there’s a baby, she’s in my hand.

There’s a virtue called forgiveness.
From a force we can’t see.
It’s how I deal with darkness.
Of how I feel when you’re with me.

I struggle now to hear you.
Seek approval in your eyes.
I hate you for your beauty.
Like I love you for your lies.

It’s a sad sad situation
Department sad but true.
You fear that they are coming
And you fear what they will do.

It’s a sad sad situation
Under heading sad but true
You fear that they are coming
No one is coming for you.

Dennis Mantin