The Chicken Farm

Even before the chickens hatch

They know that death is not negotiable

Especially a death intended for the picnic table

The sacrifice of being born unrecognized

Until the butcher frees the farm

Of yet another bird

Whose stunted life becomes a boon

For yet another senseless celluloid cartoon


Ted Goodell

April 8, 2016

Felipe Aguilar


Who was Felipe Aguilar

When he lived his last address

Was the county jail

When he died his last address

Was the county hospital


We can not classify absurdities

Anymore than we can classify certainties

To speak of Felipe Aguilar

Is almost senseless

A hopelessness inherent in language


For Felipe Aguilar

Lies somewhere between

Imagination and bewilderment

And we touch the

Mystery and miraculousness of life

For Felipe Aguilar the ceremony

Of his life is as incoherent

As a feather

Changing direction in the wind.


Ted Goodell

May 1, 2006

The Squirrel


I was startled

At the sight

Of the squirrel

Lying dead in the road

A road infrequently used

Yet frequently enough

For man and squirrel

To Come within

The target zone of death

An oblivion ill-suited

To the sunny day

And what may be

The aspirations

Of a squirrel’s play

Now neither road nor man

Can take this

Pitiful event

To where the essence

Of a single life

Is spent


Ted Goodell

May 31, 2008



Is exercise a fiction

Fraught with fear

The open grave

Of yesteryear

That never knew

Of grace or health

But gave us

Secret bones

And grinning jowls

The scowling grunts

Of ape-like men

Pushed to oblivion

Their muscles

Strained in mud and stone

No thought of Life

No joy to shelter

All their strength

From pain


Ted Goodell

July 14, 2006