Wednesday, December 31, 2008

pure air

pure air today, aria pura oggi
depth of perception from a bus window
possible on a clean air day,
after long rains, winds off the Med,
no car traffic for several days of holiday
is atmosphere sharpened that turns back time
to an earlier era, creating a 3-D world again

at Piazza della Repubblica I looked to the roof of the
church built over the ancient baths of Diocletian
the form atop resembled a giant cartoon white duck
what the hell is going on? modern art?
as the bus turned again near the train terminal
i looked back, facing directly the front of the church,
at the pinnacle i could see the duck was now a large white cross,

the bus was clean rolling, smooth stopping
with no hitch, other than the under one skin head,
aka a child under one, who bellowed resistance,
also aboard, a plethora of raggazzi, many youth,
one sat next to M. and chewed his nails non-stop, as if famished,

now i thought of a cute young blonde girl who used to walk her
pet duck around the block every day,
why she thought the duck needed good legs, i never asked
having no interest in her duck,
maybe it was good for the ducks mind,
it certainly was good for mine

hey, let’s pack up ’08 like fish in a newspaper
take on 09, already lined up and waiting

addendum:

In Italian scarpe means shoe. The day after the guy threw the shoes I saw a newspaper headline that read “scarpe diem.” Hey, I’m done and I probably won’t write again, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

prehensile union

now forming , and you can be a member
of the greatest union on earth
to coalesce all of mankind for the first time,
completely without prejudice
men , women and children, any race, creed and bank account
are welcome to the prehensile union,

come on, take a breather
sorry: no dogs or cats and no monkeys either

and if everyone on earth will send me a penny i’ll serve
as Honorary Fabricator and token Rich Human
that means i won’t have to take my shoes off
or spread my toes to board an airplane.
and if i see you somewhere i’ll buy you an ice cream

. . . addendum:
i like monkeys myself,
at least i think i do, although
i’ve never met one
except that one who lives on the top floor
and he’s more of an ass than a monkey

Monday, December 29, 2008

keeps going

she would throw her stuff in the car and go to her sister’s
how much abuse did he think she’d take
driving a damn bus this size in city traffic wasn’t easy
didn’t the bitch ever think about that

did she think i was having fun all day?
with difficulty the old woman boarded
and a young woman offered her a seat
of course she still was of sound mind,

would pay more attention this time and not miss her stop
it’s so inconvenient, not to mention how
difficult to find her way back
the kid was examining three dress shirts he had grabbed

hopefully no one saw him get on this bus
they’re not his size, so his might just
dump them on the floor and split
the guy in the back wouldn’t have been so drunk

if he had money to eat
finding a start isn’t easy when you don’t know where to go
at least he can sleep and ride where it’s warm
until they throw him off

when i got on the bus i was immediately uncomfortable
had to move forward to get away from the stench of that bum
does he deliberately run over pot holes and
slam the brakes so hard

bouncing around,
a scraping sound, we just side swiped a double-parked car
i’m sure of it, i heard it and he didn’t stop,
still going, everything keeps going

Sunday, December 28, 2008

options

often i’ll take the option
to recall some of the days
and i’ll imagine how your doing
so far away

maybe there is no answer
there’s so little to say
there’s just a feeling that we live with
even that is going to go someday

going through the paces
very empty spaces with new people around me
we’ll both pick up, find new luck
it’s all meant to be

maybe there is no answer
but i’ll recall your words of fire,
i’ll imagine the nights I held you
and played in strong desire

how easy it would be to pick up the phone
when i have you on mind
we’d just remember then, and say the same old things again
so, babe, maybe some other time

later there will be another,
i‘ll ask her to stay
but I’ll imagine how you’re doing,
oh, so far away, so very far away

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the 116

took the 116 electric,
the little bus,
didn’t really take it,
just rode on it actually,
it already had a driver

went to the bank,
not the river this time,
the one with the money,
had dealings to do
alas, not high finance
just paying the rent

Antonio at his desk
in striped open collar shirt and stylish wide
tie with a dash of color, two phones going
tiny beads of sweat on his forehead,
kept answering calls, wanted a smoke
secretaries dashed in and out
saying words, passing papers
as he assisted me, now pointing where to sign,
and as we talked I had the feeling
he’d rather be off somewhere on vacation
perhaps fishing, but even the thought was out of the question
where I sat opposite him, watching him perspire lightly
the women coming in and out speaking rapid abbreviated Italian
It flashes to me that I was long ago Ohio born,
grew up with trees near the wandering river
and bushes and dusty paths through light woods that skirted town
a milk man that delivered to our porch and TV in it’s black
and white small round screen infancy
he pointed, I signed again, we shook hands when I left

later, while looking for poems
I saw a few on the bus,
poets themselves,
walking upright, for the most part
leaning, some of them
just hanging on,
searching for words,
storybook creatures,
ready for animation,
they need only the words,
and probably deserve a few

passed by San Silvestro,
where we took Tom and Jul in the Spring
to see John the Baptist’s head,
and other things including graffiti
from two thousand years ago,
preserved by the church
because it was carved in stone,
so remember that,
if you want your graffiti to last

Friday, December 26, 2008

from our window

let me put you in our window
in the old center of Roma, not on display,
just looking out where there’s action by day,
revelers by night, absolute quiet near dawn

under that arch and through the alley,
stands the Cancelleria, built upon fourth century ruins,
a grand church office, the first to be built in the new renaissance style,
fifteen years in the building, finished in 1495

when they were assembling that ivory travertine edifice,
the workers lived here, on this street,
an historical architect explained to me
they didn’t plan all of these old buildings

in the beginning these buildings where we live now.
were shacks, hastily built and covered with a tarp
then a roof was added later, and when they needed more,
they build a second floor, then a third, and yet it stands

look there, that guy with red pants passing now,
unkempt shoulder length and matted, thinning hair,
a beige sports coat over a tattered blue plaid sweater,
faded jeans, in unlashed dirty, scuffed work boots,

with a heavy gate he swaggers down our street,
oh my, oh my, a bohemian lifestyle prerequisite
to being someone, who wants to be
an important artist, or look like one

the guy is no Giancarlino
now he’s our local nutball artist,
come back in a hundred years and
you can read about him

Thursday, December 25, 2008

sleigh dumped

I woke up with toys all over
knee deep in toys, Santa’s sled turned over
and dumped a mess of them all over
toys, toys all over

those lazy reindeer just stood around
didn’t pick up anything, no thumbs. ah, come on,
I’ve heard that one before, so I had to help pick up toys
so Santa could get on his way and fly all over of the world

I was going to ask him if he goes
to China and communist countries
but forgot and he was gone already
by the time I woke up

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

happy holidays

the world is kinder
people are happier
holidays have begun
welcome to ‘em, Kimosabe

now follow that star
stay light in the wind
and the loved ones you rode in with
happy holidays

Holiday Meal

the extended family around a grand table
awaited the feast to begin
in joy, much drinking and laughter

a chorus of oohs and aahhs while grandma
placed the golden plattered turkey
in the center of our festive throng

fine spirit abounded, then all lights went out
there was a scrambling, some shouts,
until a cry of pain did command

when the lights came on,
grandpa had tears in his eyes, a turkey leg
and seven forks in his hand



(This poem appeared on Twelve Days of Poetry
on the site Poets Who Blog.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

dream ride

the image of the name
flashed like a flame
now it’s a shame
not to recall

where, how, who it is,
what was happening and why,
I should have awakened and made a note
and written it upon the sky

debris on Wild Sleep River moved on,
floated tumbling, passed while I dreamed,
whatever so concerned me then
is not so important now, as it had seemed

Monday, December 22, 2008

festive weekend

in an old stone church one street over
an eighteen voice choir sang
hymns for the Holiday Season
from various countries, languages and centuries,
singers trained and well led

then to our local restaurant to get well fed,
pasta and wine amid crowded tables,
a final stop for a glass of wine at Juliano’s
the homey bar on our street
this was Saturday's evening treat

Sunday we went to Rome’s music auditorium
to hear the youth orchestra, near one hundred fifty in their unity
that played like the young masters they will be,
we applauded encouragement, they bowed joyful acceptance
an afternoon well spent for all

Sunday, December 21, 2008

coffee to go

Juliano, I’ll have another Coffee Wombley, please
yeah, I don’t know either, just made it up
sounds Presidential, doesn’t it?
oh, and here's today's poem


after a night of solid slumber
roaming velvet treasure swirls
it’s a pleasure to emerge to exchange my
fogged over dream form
for this dogged down worn wrapping that I use everyday,
with substance enough to function,
to get another calendar page torn,
as back to the strife of life in this world I’m reborn



What’s that Juliano? Oh, thanks, you really think so?
but I didn’t spend hours on my hair,
it does it by itself,
I sleep spinning on my head

turn down the music
both hands on the wheel
take your time, remember to smile
you know that I know how you feel

if you want to know more
then buy the book
if you have to ask where
it's not worth the price,
one may question your judgment
and throw away twice
the dream cocoon you crawled out of
soggy, yet still crispy on the edges
have a nice day, Earthling
you too, Juliano

Saturday, December 20, 2008

old

now I know why
old guys wear suspenders

cause there comes a time in life
when a man has no ass,

and that’s about the time
you finally realize
that you see more old drunks
than you do
old doctors

Friday, December 19, 2008

time to be wasting

awakened by the thunder boom
to start to another brutal rainy day,
below now, from the window i see
squatty dogs in sporty plaid slickers
out for a float and a crap
then home for a nap
while hard strung owners, with plastic bags,
chase down the street
before it gets away, faraway
before crap gets away,
a somber melody
in the key of life
for the eternal city

PWB Poetry for the Holidays

Happy I am to participate in Poets Who Blog Twelve Days of Poetry. Check them out, please. Say hello for me.

Happy Holidays,
Jack

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the poor crazy lady

for her,
wherever she may be,
not like Heidi the locally known,
quite often drunken
homeless woman of Borgo Pio
who every week fell off the wagon
drank too much and then according to the news
finally died of complications relating to exposure
one extremely cold winter's night
in the doorway of Vatican Radio

this is another thing, something else
although she too was homeless
the poor crazy lady at Campo Dei Fiori,
gone now just a few months
I forget her name already,
stayed around the piazza for years,
maybe five, maybe six years,
moved from outside coffee bar table
to table to doorstep, with pen and paper
writing long notes, sewing, repairing her clothes
crocheted once in a while, or just sitting,
looking off, through and beyond

dressed inconspicuously, well enough,
sometimes had a crazy hat
didn’t drink to excess, an occasional beer

only once in a while she flipped out,
just a yell to hear herself,
for all to hear
a long wailing call, nothing more,
some said she yelled when she ran out of medicine
I don’t know if this is true, I think sometimes she yelled
because she felt like it

most always she was fine,
stayed around, a stray from another world,
observed others sometimes, but generally
didn’t see us, minded her own business
tourists didn’t notice her,
didn’t make a mess, kept to herself

when I inquired I heard they took her to hospital
I tried to find out more
no more of her story is known or spoken about
did she suddenly get worse in her behavior,
or did a chic store owner tire of her hanging around,
think it was bad for business?

they do come and they go
on the ever slow tide,
one day they appear,
stiff wooden ghost ships out of the mist,
greyed sails torn, half raised flag
from no discernable country
even in this aged piazza
of calls, vegetable stands, residents, and churches,
of restaurants, stores, shutters, cobblestone and old lamps
heat and damp, cold winds and early morning stillness
once in a while even fixtures are changed

a tear for what’s her name

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

like flying

they’re still talking about it and well we should
i didn’t vote for a prisoner of war
who doesn’t know he owns seven houses,
a hero is something else,

and i didn’t vote for cute skirt, dim light,
i’m an independent, always have been
and voted for youth and intelligence
we could use some of each

by the way,
now at presidential news conferences
reporters will be required to remove their shoes
and leave them at the door
think of it like flying,
it’s like flying

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

how to do economy

economy is like break fast cereal
you need about a hundred of them
lined up in big boxes, the bigger the better
wild animated characters, some animals
in bright primary colors, drawn with thick, sloppy lines,
large eyes, big teeth and grins
out of control, fearless, taking a chance
if they dance and play an instrument - that’s good

then a dull leader you can make fun of
funny looking, one who tries to be serious
names like healthy, lean and natural are good
as a rule - bears are better than elephants
add money and stir
if speech is necessary “create terms”
now you’re doing economy,
then get out before you’re caught

Monday, December 15, 2008

the old days

in the old days, say 1850,
when the barber shaved someone
did the local blacksmith make the razor
from the steel of wagon wheels?

Sheffield, England produced
straight steel razors, popular then,
they were often honed and stropped
you’ve seen it in the movies

here’s why it’s called the old days,
in 1850 the population of the
Unites States was 23 million
today urban Tokyo has 28 million

Sunday, December 14, 2008

indians

indians lived where i lived
many years before
they taught their kids to hunt and fish
and painting passed their lore

when roads were only twigs bent
in winters severe
and fathers left for day, with sons,
to follow the wounded deer

indians lived where i lived
only many years before
when morning sun was sacred,
according to their lore

fires burned by the river in
cold nights, long and clear
strong in nature and in will
they stalked for food, the deer

i'd like to sleep under a tree
you and me
i'd like to sleep under a tree
just you and me

(yes my daughter, Catherine, when you were very young I wrote this song for your entertainment.)

so many, so much

many web sites
much information
to read and digest,
i keep it quick so
you can look and nod
then get on
with life

go read a book
write a book
eat a cookie,
this time of year
a four syllable word i like is
hibernation - something constructive:
eat a lot then sleep all winter

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Renee Fleming

click on this to hear Renee Flemming sing O Mio Babbino Caro

The RiverTevere

through many days of rain,
thousands watched from bridges,
disaster flooded many
along the long river Tevere

now, at last, blue sky,
cold waters will recede,
for those unscathed
normality returns

Friday, December 12, 2008

At the Corner of 63rd and Life

what i am doing
with this blog of poetry
is the best i can

at the corner of 63rd and life,
my objectives are too easily clouded by
hyperbole and dense intense delusion,
my favorite being that i need one
hundred thousand blog hits a week,

why? so I can go on Oprah? when?
will they pick me up? do I have to wear makeup?
the next day will Oprah invite me to lunch?
will she still know me? can she cook?
will she send me a holiday card via email?
tell her i don’t open any attachments

this afternoon i got a cell phone text message saying
for only 1.2 euro (that’s how they wrote it) i could get
a chance to win a new Fiat,
what kind of chance they didn’t say,
but if i don’t spend 1.2 euro
it implies my slim chance bypasses all at high speed
and zips directly to Hell’s Inferno

great. if you want to give a new Fiat away
do it, park it outside and leave the keys in the mailbox
i’d ask for a driver, but M. can do that, she likes to drive,
that’s settled then, i’ll wait to hear the keys drop in the box

until then i have stuff to read and things to write,
i’ll walk to the store when i have to,
to help M. carry the groceries,
and continue to do the best i can,

i know we won’t be going in a new Fiat

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Giacomo picked me up

coming out of Standa grocery store
walking in the sun toward the Tram Otto
I see a smiling face looking at me
It’s Mirella

there, at an outside coffee bar amid traffic on Vialle Trastevere,
we sat at a table and reunited with Mirella and Aldo
now four years retired from the outdoor market,
she’s had each leg operated on and is walking again,
I had painted her many times when they worked
in the Piazza Campo Dei Fiori

later Giacomo picked me up near the bar of the witch
at the corner of Lungo Tevere and Vittorio Emanualle
we went to Donetella’ restaurant for lunch,
she was in Copenhagen, but the staff was there
the lad from Romania called me by name,
the parmigiana di melanzane that looked like taquitos
and tasted like heaven
lucca looked older, walked with a crutch,
he had an accident on his motorino,
Sunday he goes to his sailboat in Barbados
to take tourists around for a month

heavy rain again this afternoon in Roma
after lunch Giacomo dropped me off
in front of Santo Spirito Hospital, one of the
oldest continuous running hospitals in the world,
I’ve spent some nights there before the renuvation,
when the church part was a large open ward for the men,
this afternoon I caught a bus from there

on the way home I stopped to inquire
about an old friend, a gentle man,
we used to see quite often dining at the Oassi,
he taught at catholic college, used to play piano duets
with Pope Ratzinger in private rooms at the Vatican,
last year he was doing better, his voice returned,
the lady at the coffee bar said
he became weak again this summer,
after forty years in Roma
Father Lawrence went home to London to die

the sky has darkened,
it’s only four p.m.,
the street lights are on already,
it's colder now,
how quickly days tumble by
as we reach December

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

laid felt ye same sanome

“laid felt ye same sanome”
i wrote these words,
for years they were on a piece of paper
on the side of my refrigerator
i don’t know what it means
the words sound like something to me
the sounds are the poetry
it’s a chant, a mantra

more words are for my hurt
when i put it out there where it won’t go
i gave to someone who couldn’t give back
saw it coming
knew it all along
fell again
hurt again
should have ducked

that’s enough, for now, for then
in a while i may do it again
that’s what we do
always the ones we can’t have that we go for
the ones that want us, we don’t want

it’s in the past now
yet I recall
this foolish way of youth
felt ye same?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

the masterpiece of kin

the masterpiece of kin is cunning
in similarities quick to begin
at times they think the same
grip the same,
gripe the same
walk and talk, dress
and look the same

i remember a family of five brothers
all looked like their father
half again like their mother
a year parted each birth
a revolution of the sun
between each of their worth
enough to get another
one practically
same as the other

not in the name
but in the soul
lies cold truth told
deep somewhere in the whole
where a lonely star hovers
the person slips through
to be their own self
apart from the others

not in the name
but in the soul
lies the whole
deep somewhere

Arrotino

arro rhymes with borrow
arro teen, oh
arro tin o

call it out, sing it out
let it wail in the air
and hang there for all
so they can hear you coming

sing it everyday for thirty years and more
like your father and his,
while pushing your bicycle
with a grinding wheel mounted on top
up and down cobblestone streets of old Roma
then you’ll have the voice of the caller
the sharpener, the arrotino

let them bring their knives down to you
to sharpen on your wheel
call them
the call will richocet off stone walls
echo and carry the cry
into every doorway, every window
they will come
as they have for centuries
arrotino

our times

after food and shelter are satisfied
seek beauty in your life
keep order in your space
everything in it’s place

appreciate the out of doors
complete your chores,
stay within the lines
do your best, enjoy the times

Monday, December 08, 2008

after coffee sunday

after coffee at Isa’s in Trastevere we
had lunch at Giacomo’s and Virginia’s
wonderful mezzo rigatoni pasta in tomato sauce,
I cleaned up her pc while they all cooked

last night Virginia's brother won best
cinematographer at the European film awards,
his son won best Director for the same movie,
the film swept the top five awards

two months ago they won at Cannes
we saw this latest award on the TV news today,
that’s why when we went to Donatella’s Friday
she and Marco and Mateo were in Copenhagan

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Every Viewer

sitting in front
of a plastic box
smiling, usefully as a carrot
God bless us Every Viewer

oh, humanity you sure as Hester
got suck-ed-up in a good one this time,
careful now, don’t use up your brain,
you may need it for something later

Saturday, December 06, 2008

nxt!

giraffes have the same number of neck bones as humans
nxt, yr nxt
sorry, machine I was just reading . . .
nxt!
make your selection and insert coins in slot
nxt!
give me a minute, i was reading the instructions
out of order!
wait, I put my money in
nxt!
you took my money
nxt!
what is the disturbance here?
oh, nothing, officer, but this machine just took my money
machines don’t make mistakes, come with me, civilian
don’t handcuff me, is that a taser?
pick him up and drag him to the wagon
nxt

Friday, December 05, 2008

bags

nineteen years of collecting, saving,
stashing, borrowing and not returning,
quite a load hidden in a field
plastic bags enough to build
a small water proof home with
attached two car garage

eight thousand year shelf life
stores well without refrigeration
completely inflatable home, need only
figure how to keep it from blowing around
and getting stuck on trees and fences
or perhaps melting in the sun

Thursday, December 04, 2008

notes on heaven

cobblestones are laid smooth
with grass growing between,
all rivers shall run clear,
here i noticed the Tevere yesterday
golden brown, like a shiny pie crust,

back to heaven,
if you have to park, the meters will
give you money, all birds and animals
and people speak the same language,
sounds like Chinese but isn’t

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

i can hold you

down by the river
little children
see us walking
holding hands now
like we’re lovers
we’re just friends though
there’s another
i’m just hoping
when you’re older
you’ll discover
i can hold you
i won’t let you go
i will love you so

time is passing
hear us laughing
all together
we’ll deliver,
love and kindness
will remind us
like the river
we keep rolling
i can hold you
i won’t let you go
i will love you so

and we won’t stop loving

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Buttons Up and Dancing

walking around
i found myself
looking for buttons on the ground
that’s her thing
she’ll be here soon

on the bus, next to me stood three,
a guy in the middle of two women,
head back, pontificated endlessly
they should’ve left him on the bus
and followed me

walking to the corner, a rash of vivid electric
green grew between the cobblestones
made it harder to see the buttons
she’ll be here tomorrow, and find them
just wait, you’ll see

M and i

M and i get much done,
she does much, i do some
much some, some much
i think i’ll make a sandwich

Monday, December 01, 2008

Din River

he was walking, selling
mediocre prints of nature
we had stopped face to face
near the fountain

he, with the solid cheerful
light of a star about him,
though you wouldn’t suspect from his manner
surely his road had not been easy

when i asked where he was from, he replied Africa
i added “Senegal” as he said it in the same instant,
he put in my hand a porcelain thumb size
elephant, trunk up for luck, a gift, he said

recognizing my nature, he didn’t try to sell me anything
i put some change in his hand for the gift,
because I knew it would help reciprocate
for his time away from his labors

we each parted content, and perhaps in some way
changed for the better, a result of
our brief connection that took us farther along
the din river of humanity

Sunday, November 30, 2008

thunder

I woke to thunder,
one powerful, ominous, natural disruption
produced by this planet
and I love it

even when it scares me
makes me shake,
or nearly brings me to tears,
giant bears are wary and they ought to be

no one’s going to blame them
not for fear of thunder
of course, distant fuzzy rumbles are best
and the farther away the better

Saturday, November 29, 2008

druthers

reaching for it
not following a prescribed order.
that’s how I like my things,
usually

in Thomas Kincade paintings
little storybook candles glow fuzzy inside,
while in the rest of the picture
it’s the middle of the afternoon.

some love it and some hate it,
that’s why we all have our druthers,
i’d druther do it,
i’d druther not.

like mixed vegetables,
a little of everything,
You takes your picks,
and you takes your chances.

Friday, November 28, 2008

points of order

my winter pockets laden
in good order, or nearly so
to be able to find things
when i want them, in a hurry

learned a new word, wrote it
on a note for my pocket
a shoulder pouch is beyond the pale
for i have tried, but will have nothing more to carry, please

i want it all strapped tightly to my body
hidden behind zippers
never in the back pockets
don’t want to sit on it
must be free as leaping deer through the brush

i make notes as dad did
while he used cigar box lids, among other things,
i stick with folded scraps of paper
yet, do retain some of his old cigar boxes
with scribbled notes as indecipherable as mine
or visa versa, because his were first
i made note of this and put it in my pocket
to extricate later and put to use

wild geese and eagles envy me
for they have no pockets

Thursday, November 27, 2008

life's song

what am I doing with life?
there is so much going on,
I know this morning I enjoyed
frying a little breakfast

and hummed a little song
just like I wasn’t on fire inside missing you,
in my life everything was worth it,
it just didn’t last, or take that darn long

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

hoese warming poem

someone found my blog by misspelling house
which reminded me, my wife was putting
the garden hose away for the winter
and put it into the shower first to . . .

well, I don’t know why she had to do it
but if you knew her you’d know
there’s a reasonable explanation,
it must be a gardener thing

moonlight

moonlight on my hand
woke me up,
this is good
if you must be woken in the night

better moonlight through the window
than waking from
the distant squeaking of
truck brakes

though being near the lake
i could always pretend
the squeaks
are the calls of mating seagulls

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

change

as it took a while for nature,
changing morning, noon and night,
mistakes while growing happen
before one can get it right

Monday, November 24, 2008

ahead in the distance

thanks Tom
hey, i needed some input, that's why i asked
i'm not making ten cents a word here,
just cranking it out

last night when i wrote to you
it was about ten p.m. i was going to bed
got up now for a second
and right away got on line,
it's four a.m. here in Italy

i think it's seven at night,
last night where you are.
well, it's still Sunday for you in California,
that's last night for me

say, i'll tell you if anything interesting
happens as long as i'm
living in the future anyway
you tell me if you see any
former distant cousins riding wild horses

Sunday, November 23, 2008

mousetrap

when the perfect mouse catcher
is complete, here's what i think,
they’ll find another lecher
and all mice declared extinct

Saturday, November 22, 2008

when chips are down

on a whim i brought you home,
laughed, devoured you and made a mess,
how silly of me
today, on impulse i retuned to find a new one,
that old bag tickled my fancy,
but clearly is empty

sitting quietly, I see you there looking good
in your eye-catching luminous wrapper,
although, desire now has left me, i realize
i was searching for the old zing, like the first time,
I’m sorry it turned out that way, don’t think bad of me,
let potato chips fall where they may

Friday, November 21, 2008

the key to bored

went to buy a keyboard, maybe,
so far so good, i had a plan,
got lost three times on the metro
right way, wrong way, back again

when i rose up from out of the dark i was lost,
no problem, stay on target, nearly there, found it
nice store, looked around, must be fifty keyboards,
priced about the same, now what?

they all function you would think,
i walked around them, until i got tired,
keyboards all look a like, i’ll think about it,
so why does my wife think shopping’s fun?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cancelleria in Roma

near the center of old Roma is the
Cancelleria, a tall three story building
owned by the Catholic Church, that
still owns much property in Roma

through most of history they
controlled most all of Rome, the large
building is ivory colored travertine
scavenged from nearby Theater of Pompey

seemingly erected recently, it is the
first building in Renaissance style,
completed three years after Columbus
sailed to the new world, 1495

my friend Cesare used to do furniture
restoration for the building, and got me
in for a peek in the basement, on one
side is a field of scattered human bones

on the far right corner is a large pond,
about modern swimming pool size, a worker
told me they are now have begun restoring
a pre-Christian church found down there

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

roma metro

like Paris morning rush
didn’t have to hold on
couldn’t move my arms
all could breathe, just not at the same time

canned fish tipped on the side,
stood well, our feet were down and touching
saw Bruce Willis wearing a baseball cap
not tall, but does a good subtle self-satisfied smirk

filing up the stairs with every step in unison
a retreating Sci Fi army,
was lost, and stayed that way
until the crowd and i popped out of the metro

Roma Comathon

twenty-five hundred years
of gladiators, spectators, venders, pilgrims, rovers, jugglers,
flounders, gypsies, immigrants, conquerors, thieves, winos,
the knowing learned, the curious, proper citizens,

the head count
parts of them are all on this bus
plus that imbecile about four rows ahead of me,
traffic jam, don’t worry

Giganticus plows through all
make a hole, I stamped my ticket,
so put the pedal down, i will hang on
can't take it? want to bail out, that's okay

streets under construction,
we detour, but we’ll get to the spot
where the driver takes his break
come hell or high water

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

new poets

i read the new poets
to see what they say
mine is like ancient
but, i wrote it today

don’t follow new patterns
don’t always use rhymes
I’ve got this thing going
of doing four lines

don’t run with a group
It’s all give and take
i patch and recoup
so give me a break

Monday, November 17, 2008

To Stand In The Way

at the grocery store one clerk and two women
stand around a cart, talking in the doorway,
either Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changing
was not translated into Italian, or they didn’t care

“don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall” - they do,
they make a habit of it, when tired, they look for doorways.
there is a busy street, heavy traffic, buses, a church
steps in front leading to a two foot wide sidewalk, then traffic.

there, directly in front of the church,
in the center of the tiny walkway
a mature woman stops to dig, dig and dig for
something deep, deep in the bottom of her purse

if i said anything she’d be surprised she blocked the way.
so either i wait and prey in front of the house of God
that she finishes and moves on,
or i can just go to hell and wait there

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spanish Steps Out of Time

Bob is four years older , he had a little jump in time
i bought a fourteen dollar Stella guitar
what’s left is in the trash somewhere, don’t know what kind
of guitar he had, it’s probably in a museum

i listened to classical, Bob listened to Woody Guthrie
a vacationing professor from the Oberlin Conservator of Music
gave me weekly summer voice lessons
Bob may have developed his voice cursing at winos

while i was still singing in the echo of my bathroom
bob was auditioning clubs and walking the streets of new York
my first time on TV was at six a.m., broadcast locally,
Bob’s was prime time nationally on Ed Sullivan

years later in a hot tub in Malibu, our host pointed
out the house below, closer to the ocean - Bob’s house
again later i sold one of my first paintings called Spanish Steps,
the guy said he bought it because Bob wrote a song about them

i sang one of my new songs in a club,
a guy came up and said it was very good but
leave off the long explanation that it was about the Civil War
so you win some, lose some, that’s how life goes, no regrets

now Bob and i are equally on short time,
my songs made some cents, and while i changed my socks,
Bob changed his name, made millions of dollars,
touched billions of people and changed history

i'm happy to salute him. hats off to Bob, Bob Dylan

Saturday, November 15, 2008

gondola of dream

a light golden raft
my gondola of dream
lapping on calm ripples
beneath clouded silver moon
where muted colors scream delight
in soundless melody
i sleep at peace most every night
as floating along
i hold you tight

Friday, November 14, 2008

demonstration

students from around Italy came to Roma to demonstrate
i had slept poorly but had to go to the bank anyway
before i left i lost my bank card, frantically i
searched every where, three times, for an hour

then lost another card, another Italian one
difficult to replace, but i saw one card this morning
kept searching, sweating, worrying, then found
both of them, in my jacket pocket during the third search

bused to the bank and did business with Antonio
i asked to see Antonino, but he left
and was replaced by Antonio
Antonino mean little Antonio

they aren't related, but look the same
then caught a cab to the other side of Roma
realized i left an important receipt at the bank
did business and talk in Parioli

had to call the bank anyway
Antonio said Monday I’d get the receipt
traffic would be bad today
the demonstration will be immense

left at noon and the mess began
buses were doing improvisational routes
my bus had young Paul McCartney on it
same mouth, hair and eyes

he got off into the crowd at the next stop
i looked out to see a young woman driver in
a small car, she had an earphone in each ear
was talking forcefully as she smoked

Paul was mysteriously back on our bus
i got off when the bus quit my direction
walked in confused crowds,came to Pasquali’s
how fortunate, it was lunch time

had spicy pasta maccinata and it was good
when i left i wondered if i had called him Luigi?
two streets later a police barricade blocked my way
a police commander sent me down another street

the crowd marched toward me
i wasn’t carrying a banner and
was headed into the throng
helicopters overhead nearly made as much noise

as music blared from speakers on the back of a truck
nothing changes, Italians like demonstrations
i made the long walk home, where
the hall light was still out, doing the key was difficult

Thursday, November 13, 2008

additive walk

on narrow cobblestone ways
a November dark day
under my feeble umbrella
held against strong gusts

bought sugar, salt and virgin oil
they gave me change and a plastic bag
forgot to bring my own, and was lucky,
some stores charge for plastic bags

then homeward, i glanced into well lit shop interiors
where waiting well dressed workers looked out,
chaos seemed subdued
by wet afternoon darkness

a drenched shrieking girl passed on a bicycle
moving too fast in heavy rain
though she tried she didn’t fall, i didn’t look,
i was busy taking a step at a time, she shrieked again

do you get less wet moving quickly
or by going slowly in a downpour?
this I considered while avoiding puddles
and the missing cobblestones on my way home

i didn’t forget my keys, so I got in easily
but the light was out in the hall,
made it to the store and back,
overall, i must have had a ball.

forgot butter

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

in the realm

often reflections are from light in the rain,
developing traits are reactions
some things are to be worked on
others, left alone, unfold in time

worry is for amateurs who make messes
while concern is kin to concentration
read, talk and listen, calmly evaluate
tend your affairs like a garden, as best you can

the media provides answers always later, not sooner
they report the news, not make it
life has ebb and flow
like water, finds the way in time

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

wheels turning

take off your shoes and belt,
walk through the big magnet thing,
can’t bring my own water, buy theirs?
wheels turning, spinning, line up again?
like a mill, an engine
it’s me thinking, or feeling like
I’m flying
could be doing nothing
eat and sleep, wait and see
change planes, what happens,
read and sleep,
I should get there,
tomorrow

chronicle of the leaves

wear a cap as they come,
bud, shoot out, green,
unfold, form, stretch, flex,
hang tight in rain’s glory

limber, develop, mature, flutter,
toss your cap high as they change,
turn, yellow, expire, dry, orange, surrender,
spill. tumble, repel, watch them go,

bow you head, as they depart,
cascade, drop, coast, float, descend
say a word for all as they lie there,
wither, roll around, crumble and rot

Monday, November 10, 2008

Paradox - some places have poetry on or coming out of them

some places have poetry on or coming out of them
i’ve found them by carefully examining small beach stones,
under trees and near water, on forgotten notes in the pockets
of jackets i haven’t worn for a while,

on city streets, especially at corners,
in crowded stores when the music’s not too loud
or on buses, on hot days or in rain or snow.
when gears shift and someone is directing traffic,

i feel it when i’m there, later, or passing by
no telling why it is so, a fireplace helps,
the coffee shop when the dream starts, or birds fly
a cloud tilts a certain way, how the waitress
places the menu down and walks
already a block away in her mind,

the touch of polished old hand rail
while taking a soft carpeted stair
and the colors like a painting,
a landscape i once saw in a book,
that reminds me of
some place i want to be

Sunday, November 09, 2008

hello bob

hello old bob evans without music
we’re back in style
did you miss us? we just put in our order
how much oatmeal can i eat
before i turn into one myself?

i’m a day behind on louis l’amour
no, i finished him, i forgot
i’m in china now, literally, that’s right
living with a mother and daughter in a detention camp
and enjoying the cultural revolution
well, i am enjoying the story that is.
breakfast i’ll enjoy when it gets here

tuesday i fly to Roma
it’s than time again, so soon
later that usual, how quickly it arrives
the faster it goes, the slower we get
Roma is old, and I’m getting there myself
well, I’m not flying, the plane is

dead fish

a fish died in our pond today
the first to go in eight years or so
not a floater, lying on the bottom
on his side, all alone

i scooped him out
laid him in the garden
and said words of goodbye,
he was white, formerly orange

i call it him
instead of it or she
don’t know why
surely doesn’t matter

the next day he was gone
don’t think he resurrected
something recycled him for dinner
so some good came out of it

Saturday, November 08, 2008

last night

last night i slept floating
in a powdered soup mixture
of dream and train whistles
stirred once or twice
by wind in the trees
a creaking somewhere in the house
and a neighbor's running-barking dog

as last all became quiet
and very, very still
until grey cracked open by dawn
panned out as morning

Friday, November 07, 2008

leaves end

the fall colored foliage
fluttered then fell today
in a breeze
and all together
a veritable blizzard of gold

leaves that swirled around
blowing with a crinkling sound
fell in as thieves thick on the ground
now to rake the gold, clean the eaves,
but this gets old, by then it’s cold, geeze

Thursday, November 06, 2008

brushing teeth

I am surprised how many times someone discovers this site by searching the Internet to find a poem about brushing teeth. This is a link to one of mine. One of mine? Who am I kidding? It's not as if I have six more stuffed under the mattress. It's one poem. A little one and it just happens to be about brushing teeth.

i'd love

i’d love to love you
a few weeks would do
to give my heart
but hold some back

could upset you, i suppose
can make you laugh, fix things
and will eat anything
we’d be happy, have fun

of course nothing would get done
soft touches, cold lunches
and warm smiles,
time simply divine

although, instead, if you’ll be my friend
no hearts will be broken
no wrongs need we mend
i’ll dream of the ocean

you go read a book
do your own thing
we’ll talk like sister and brother
although if you have time

call when you feel like
and i’ll come do you
up one side the block
and down the other

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

soft night train

no screeching last night in quiet light wind
the train was someone in grandma’s slippers
sliding along the linoleum kitchen floor
hardly going anywhere in particular

and the whistle was not a blaster
instead it gave soft abbreviated puffs
like puh, with a long breath between the next muh,
mah, ma, as if needed to be picked up and cuddled

barack

a world class, educated man with loving family,
a cultural reflection of the JFKennedy era
Barack for all the people,
calling in truth and reason

he is spark to ignite hope
lain dormant long years,
to turn us away from hate and fear,
toward renewal of the glory days of America

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

American Dollar Pie

gas over four, now nearing two
I mean say wait - until election day
they’re not through, it’s gu gu candy, sudden death,
how fast can you chew? rots your teeth, hold your breath
dollar pie, can you sling it, do you have the move?
they’ll tap your phone, wait for what’s next,
can you say charge it? you’re the wrong sex, fair enough?

friends line up
get a little spillover of 700 bill
new car, new house up, up on the hill,
or a simple five star month hanging out
on rich man’s island in the tropics,
unlimited mai tais, hula girls included,
plus other unnamed topics
disclosure deluded
member f.d.i.c.

Monday, November 03, 2008

big three bailout

older, thinner and wiser now?
my new jeans have an ass but I don’t
and i can't get my belt tight enough
our thirteen year old Geo squeaked
until we tightened the belt and still
get forty-five miles to the gallon-city,
more than belts, sometime
tightening hurts, leaves welts
there are 50,000 automotive jobs
in the state of Alabama alone,
the Southern belt is squeaking
how many times did America indicate
it wanted more economical vehicles?
we didn’t buy in North or South Korea
I guess Ford had a better idea

Sunday, November 02, 2008

in the end

writer Studs Turkel , age 96
champion of the little guy
worked in Chicago where over forty rounds
from an assault rifle went off in an apartment
a boy aged two was shot in the head
both are dead

learning curves

in schools they teach more, earlier
today's kids take after their mothers
and is it from drinking too much milk
that makes some dumber than udders?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

lost time

we drove through the city
on a long, slow straight line
where traffic lights were timed
so we had to stop every block

testing brakes, trying raggedy nerves
I cruised on cigarette time, an estimate
of the number I could have smoked,
enough lost time it may have been a ufo abduction

Friday, October 31, 2008

phone book racket

do they think we wait for the new ones to arrive?
is a forest a year cut for paper?
hey, buddy, need a phonebook?
i have twelve already, thanks

most people use phone books once
to see if their name is in there
the bored or forgetful may check often
you know someone is making money on this.

major web site

at major company web sites
often a pop-up ad fills the screen
there is always an option to skip the ad
how many people watch the ad?

who pays for the pop-up ad?
and how stupid do we really think they are?
even if researchers say one of every seven watches the ad
that one who watches - they don’t want

Thursday, October 30, 2008

fix it

fix the house
look around
there’s more to do
when you have it tight
you’re thinking what’s next

buy another house
you’ll fix that too
they fix everything but the great pyramid
probably fix that too, She said,
they just don’t tell anybody

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IMPORTANT

this is important, computer stuff – the wireless is out
when I told her She departed the room
to do less boring and more meaningful
things with her life

re-did everything, wireless is way gone
computer friend says get an new external card
no waiting factory to send internal card, bought card,
didn’t fit, rewrapped very crushed box and returned it

computer friend says remove plastic drawer out then card fits
back to store, bought card second time - install disc no run
Koko thought cd driver g- g-g-gone
found tape g-g-g-glue on cd disc, cleaned it with alcohol

threw away plastic drawer, card fit
reinstalled card, let’s have a beer
kickback and listen to the radio, mate
on the wireless Internet

fall in my eyes

I was reading on the title on my blog
hah, everyday life indeed, you tell me
is there any such thing?

another thing - fall mornings start slower
don’t know why the sun keeps away like that
but let me tell you something, this Internet goes to the Southern Hemisphere
Australia, New Zealand, etc, I don’t have to name them
so they’re getting into summer - incredible

And, hey, we saw snow last night, just bits, and some sleet
i couldn't think of that word in English,sleet, it's that time of year
my Italian brain opens for business

window to the rains

through the large maple tree
I nearly ride on clouds flying in the moonlight
where they ought to be

and thinking the Captain is taking Isadora for
a nice freighter ride to southern Spain
and I didn’t go along, I was bumbling around
while their plans were in the air
and now they’re going to Barcelona
from there I could have taken an overnight ferry to Civitavecchia – neigh on to Roma, only fifty kilometers by train

it is so clear in retrospect, but it wasn’t that way before
and I didn’t want to leave Her at home alone for two months
although it would have been a vacation for both of us
it’s like looking into a mirror and right is turned to left
only I didn’t know what was right
and I never left

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

number you are calling . . .

I left a comment on Tom's blog about voting. A minute later the phone rang.

"Relax Sweetheart," I sweetly sang to her, "I'll get it. Do have some chocolate, Dearheart." I want to make this dialogue as true to life as possible in case this report is picked up by a major news service and circulated around the globe, uh . . . and the call could be something very important, maybe it's Tom thanking me for . . .uh, something ...

"Hello, Jack residence, Jack speaking. May I be of some assistance to you in your endeavors?"
No Tom on the line, shit. It is an Ohio official, I forget which one, calling in support of issue five. He was a recording anyway and was already speaking as I was still answering, that's how I knew it was a recording - so I couldn't tell him I voted yesterday.

I hung up, relieved I suppose, one less thing to do. Day complete, I can read now. Three seconds later the phone rings again. Phone defect? Should I answer? I pick it up because this could be very important. I don't say anything, I listen because he's already talking. I don't recognize the voice. It's a certain presidential candidate calling, another recording. Uh, I didn't vote for him anyway. I voted for change. I prefer the younger man. We have enough old farts in Washington.

Monday, October 27, 2008

days from November

near icy fast rain came cold on the wind
stirring then tossing tree’s colored leaves
beating yards, houses, fields and the road
so cold, it’s that time again

welcoming change seemed good reason
jacket tight and hood up I stood back to the blow,
for the first time this mid-fall season
we’re now just minutes from snow

times driftin'

times driftin' by the river
running dirty in the winter
hiding out from a January rain
backed up to the window again

two drifters by the water
lonely son and no one’s daughter
couple of days to set them at ease
couple of friends who just do as they please

times driftin', driftin'
could have worn the red wood deck out
waiting there for the time to check out
times driftin', driftin'

Sunday, October 26, 2008

it's in the telling

She is telling me
of a talk show host
who doesn’t own a TV
while I speak about
digital data link layer protocol;
and that is why
even lovers box ears
and poems are not written everyday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brevity and Levity

brevity and levity
walked
hand in hand

brevity started to say
something...

levity just
laughed

Friday, October 24, 2008

i'd do it for you

through a mishmash of horrid dream I hear chains dragging
and a haunting of slippers shuffling the hall,
from under the covers I pop up to think of breakfast
and feel icy cold fright, hear scratching on the wall
is there bread for toast, are there eggs for two?
yes, it’s only four a.m., but, start the coffee, will you?

beware slimy ghost drippings on the stair
don’t get bitten
heading for the kitchen, don’t say I didn’t warn you,
keep your eyes closed until the lights are on
you can feel for the button,
i hope nothing grabs you
don’t be long
you know I’d come along
but I’m a little sleepy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

About You

songs about you
someone should write some
songs about you,
you know I do, babe
this one’s for you

there was a time n April meant good fortune
that’s the time we met and started courtin’

now April comes it brings to me a sadness
wrapped around memories of madness

when kissing you was gasoline on fire
arcing like a hot electric wire

songs about you, someone should write some
songs about you, cause you know I’m through, babe
although this one’s for you, babe,
it’s the last one for you

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

away

welcome back, old friend
or have you never been here?
oh well, if it isn't said
it doesn't matter
and as for mattering silently
you are able to figure that one out
silently

i'd like to bring you up to date
then again, i like most things anyway
oh well, what's new for you?
why don't you write it down
and read it in two years

so it is a matter of priority, is it?
who's?
why not write that down too
take a look at what's happening for you
don't lie - that doesn't work
and don't waste your time reading this
i don't know anymore than you don't
know anymore
don't know

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

wind blows

wind blows soft
on the plains
everyday
soft as velvet
quiet and smooth
like a lovers touch
a comfort to men on the way
toward the storm

then wind blows hard as it tears away
at the hopes of each man
in it's way

wind blows hard leaving ruin to lay
after the storm

wind blows cold over the barren plain
stiff and bold to steal it's way
cross the endless road
leaving hopes as cold as the men
left behind

work again

standing up and wiping my brow
the sun hangs low
it’s quitting time
enough for today
time to put stuff away
i’ll wash up now
there’s more to do, of course
there always is
save some for tomorrow

with luck at all
some food and rest
i’ll be back
to do my best
to work again
to do my work again
it's what i do, how i live
knowing I’m taking care of you
makes it all good work

Monday, October 20, 2008

cards

I’ve looked at cards in the game
bet them hard, lost the same
seven in, several fold
kings up, jacks I hold
he has a pair and I have three
this one here belongs to me

another hour tables change
spades and heart rearrange
voices rise, drinks go down
one is sober, one is clown
friends together, time we pass
another game, another glass

Sunday, October 19, 2008

seventh day

working on the seventh day
is Sunday in it's sobriquet
well away from Saturday
no such thing as holiday
looks well on the resume
but on Sunday i stay away

what's what

seeing what’s what around the house
while she’s picking up and straightening
did i make this mess?
well, seems good weather’s in the air
quiet as a mouse i stop on the stair

run fingers through my hair
can feel her stare
turn and smile to see her there
alas, two different people
but we make a fine pair

Saturday, October 18, 2008

compatability

be done with fear and anger
there’s too much of it
half the people sleep with the light on
the other half throw a shoe at it to turn it off

go with beauty, and finer things
to hell with killing,
we die soon enough anyway
enough angry voices on the radio

we need poets and musicians cooks and bakers
these are our real movers and shakers
let’s say it again like we said it before
take it easy, babe, make love not war

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cowhand Lance

Cowhand Lance
Cowhand Lance
you gots a chance
to see him prance
he goin’a puts you in a trance
when he give dat slo-eyed glance
you gots ta sees him do'at dance
da way he shake dem fancy pants
goin’a wrap you in a fine romance
dey say he from duh South of France

27aug77

i haven’t seen a sparrow for
what seems like years
last night i sat on my bench in the back corner of the yard
and looked at the moon
full that night
quite a sight
racing as it does
for years that come too soon
for years that passed entire civilizations
coming, going in phases of the moon

and we have all sat there
looking at the moon
somewhere
between things to do

i went back into the house
and made some tea
i don’t know
what you did

Thursday, October 16, 2008

autumn

raindrops are grace on the wind
amid pumpkins, honking geese and apple cider

fresh rain pelting in autumn’s rolling colored blowing leaves
ride soft pink cheek taps of breeze
and whisk over my collar with a shiver
in gusting chill October

this night’s clouds will
damn near catch fire
as whispy black and white goblins
zoom by the moon

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

at times i wonder

at times i wonder how the old boys are doing
and the ladies i met along the way
we had our moments and our pleasures
seems like it was just the other day

there were some good times that i thought were never ending
sometimes i think just like a child
they say the nights are colder when you’re older
i guess we’ll find out in just a while

take good care of your self you’re a lot like me
take good care of yourself you’ve been good company
and when i thought it wouldn’t end
there’s nothing now like there was then

once in a while when a cold wind is blowing
i’ll ride off on some memory
i may visit you when you're sleeping
don’t mind it’s just a fantasy

the gears of time are always shifting
there’s nights i wake in dreams so real
like the tide i keep on drifting
just telling you now so you know how i feel

take good care of yourself you’re a lot like me
take good care of yourself you’ve been like family
if my life was a book too torn to mend
i’d flip back to see how it would end
and if i never see your face again
here’s wishing you only good luck until the end
“This morning this was sleeping all snuggly in the ground in our back yard,” she said with a comforting look. I had to give her my annoying chilled stare for that one. Although, yes, it was true, this evening we were eating the root as horseradish sauce. She made it, after watching a Youtube video for tips on the fine points of the execution of horseradish sauce; which is something not spoken of everyday - the proper execution of horseradish sauce.
Also this morning we saw Herb in the pond, our favorite frog of this summer past. And he might have a new friend living with him already.
My these are big reports of big doings. (big deal)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hershey Mine

we heard it was there and were looking for it
after a drive and long hike in the dark pine covered
Piute Mountains of the California Sierras
from a rocky ledge above we finally came upon
the remains of the old Hersey Mine
visible far below

because the rock strewn road was so steep, so bad
we could never have driven down
and expect to drive back up again
so, descending carefully on foot
we passed along the way a few abandoned
old trucks and a car that had started the
perilous ascent in the 1930’s and remained,
never to make the return

at the mine site we found mining equipment,
leaning wooden buildings, part of a locomotive,
rusty solid steel, great metal pieces laying about
everything, as if in the middle of their labors
they took a meal break and kept walking

about fifty years after they shut down
we entered the mouth of the gold mine
it was a dark hole, we were ill equiped,
and so we quickly turned around
the mine shack had tools, old dynamite boxes,
no dynamite, of course
.
the few small cabins were in shambles
we checked out those living quarters for the workers
here and there a tattered decoration,
a stained torn curtain
as in the large main building,
most furnishings were missing or destroyed
they must have carried out what they could
when they closed the place

only a few stragglers like us had
wandered there previously
it was too far back in the thick woods to easily discover
at that time we lived in a cabin in those woods,
casual day trippers wouldn’t have had
the time or the information to find the place

the dilapidated remains now sleep dust covered by time
somewhere deep in a rocky valley
up there in the Piute Mountains
after an hour of looking around we
climbed back up, that was it
and although we have spoken about
the old Hersey Mine, we never returned

Monday, October 13, 2008

special love song

let me sing you a song of how it can be
a special love song for you and me
soft lights and flowers
we’ll spend the hours as you’d like them to be
just a little bit for you and me

here comes my tune to fill up your head
the sun and the moon flies over our bed
since time beyond ages the wisest of sages
sees life like you’d like it to be, just a little for you and me

carry on to Eldorado
by pyramids and golden bars
fly the Phoenix from the ashes
beyond the stars,
just a little for you and me

Sunday, October 12, 2008

house moving

when i was five i saw my friends house
moved from down the street
to the lot behind our house,
there it sat for a lifetime

then five years ago i happened to be driving by
the day they put that house on wheels again
and moved it miles away to the next town,
saw that house come, go out

my old home was torn down years ago,
house, lawn, garage
garden, trees, bushes, everything is gone
the whole thing is an asphalt drive way

stuff comes and it goes
sun goes up, sun goes down

Saturday, October 11, 2008

flew in fast

a bird flew in fast,
landed on a wire
and wiggled to perch there,
as the wire bounced a lot

didn’t look easy, looked dangerous
considering how high up, how far the fall
how embarrassing it would be,
I’d say that bird was skillful

and you’d say,
aw, that’s nothing.
oh, really?
well, you try it


Addendum & Errata -

Why me worry?
So, I spend time worrying if I should use three stanzas in four lines, or three stanzas in three lines. This sort of thing can use two or three hours of my time, maybe several days. Not all at once, of course. I have to worry a while, then walk around and do something else, then come back and nothing has changed so I worry some more. Hey, I do my best, take my time, and worry when it doesn't feel right. For me feeling is what it's all about.

Friday, October 10, 2008

bury me deep

bury me deep in your heart
draw me faintly without a face
make soft lines far apart
keep me hidden without trace

use colors bright as autumn
in lighting right, no doubt
when you near completion smile easy
leave some space to sign me out

Thursday, October 09, 2008

have i told you

have i told you
you make me smile
in oh so many ways,
dear silly thing

from morning’s dew,
each long day through
you are the dream
of my heart

i can hold you
let me enfold you,
please, be the one,
dear love of mine

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

poetry au jus

sample poetry au jus
whipped up fast and free
add a dash of rhyme
simmer all slowly

pitter-pattering like the rain
keep from dribbling down your chin
add a spoonful for your brain
remember, use your napkin

you may have to use a straw
if it starts to run too loose
above all, don’t get any on you, it makes a tasty stain
you silly goose

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

call to the past

In an out of the way small town restaurant I noticed a fellow at another table having breakfast and when he stood up something about his long face and old jacket reminded me of Kit Carson. I’d recently seen a picture of Carson on the Internet.

Doc Holiday, then Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill, the Earps, the James, the Clantons, a whole string of names began to run through my head. I sipped coffee and looked through the window toward a field and wooded area beyond as my mind skipped along like a blowing tumbleweed.

listen to the roar of their guns
on the plains
in my head
something i know about
from something i’ve read
of the Sackets, then Gus and Cal

and the real heroes of their time
when cowboys roamed the plains,
trains ran new on the long way west,
Indians had freedom, straight arrows and power,
Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Geronimo

slow rolling wagons carried settlers over ruts
as buffalo roamed through clouds of dust,
bound by rawhide, rope and dime novels,
bittersweet on a tough line
camp fires to build, meals to fix
new trails opened, then road upon
to wherever the river or next mountain valley leads

their lonely song - a mournful lullaby
song by cowpokes, scouts and others,
names like Bowie, Boone and Crocket, Williams,
Stevens, Whitman, Tabor, Bonneville,
Sacajawea, Carson, Pike, Fremont,
Smith, Clark, Lewis, Colter, Hickok
Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane

legends
one and all
live on in memory and yarns
thanks to fine story tellers like Louis L’amour
and Larry McMurtry

along with other names on those trails,
carved in trees, scratched on stone,
spinners of the tales,
told over open fires on starry nights
weavers of the dreams
that keep them
rolling on in our minds and along through the old west

Monday, October 06, 2008

Z. and caring

Captain Z. was in town
we left his freighter in Cleveland
and brought the Polish Captain home with us
that night we Skyped Poland,
a visual conference call with his wife and son
as we sat around the table and talked
oh, technology

first thing in the morning
October crisp day began
She’s working in the garden already, Z. said
no, I replied, this is not work for her
though it appears so and She does it everyday
it is caring, She is caring for the plants.
if there is justice in the heavens,
the plants appreciate and are loving her as well

why didn't i notice?

why is major media
biased, controlled, blind and out of mind with us?
they speak so hard,
what happened to education? what happened?

should I get a tattoo, and pierced,
wear hats backwards,
then yell kick butt,
cause we’re number one?

did i grow up around such fear,
violence hatred, stupidity and complacency?
was it because i was young and busy
that i didn’t notice us crumble?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

luck runs

luck runs with you or against
it follows in life’s clatter
how you take it or leave it
really doesn’t matter

at times you seem to hear it
or it comes silent on the wind
when good arrives we’re happy
the other we’d rescind

since good and bad both happen
try not to let it matter,
for it often turns to good, you see
or perhaps the latter

Friday, October 03, 2008

diamonds in her hair

one at a time,
each step she takes,
diamonds in her hair
there ought’a be

her gracious swings
for all the would-be kings,
moon light talkers on the sideline
you know there’d be

it’s sweet beings like her
that comfort dreams
for many men like me, every time
or so it seems

delicious lips
unveiled in smiles
somewhere
I want to be

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Canadian Geese

black and white on the field of cut corn
amid apparent disorder
they walk in circles, rest and feed a bit
some chatter among them
until well after dawn they at once rise off the ground

swiftly crossing cold morning sky, sailing strong and fine
onward flapping in V-formation,
hear their calls when they pass
overhead as large wings beat
Canadian geese on flight so grand

bailout 3

You can't convince me that Congress really knows what they are voting on.

Individuals are getting a quick explanation from someone they trust and hope it's the right thing to do.

Why can't they take more time to figure this out? Hundreds of billions is a lot of money.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

bailout 2nd try

Congressman Ron Paul is against the bailout.
I believe in Congressman Ron Paul.
When has anything been thought out well
in a week? Even my crappy little poetry
usually takes longer than that.

protect and serve

in little towns they hide
and wait to trap
oncoming cars may flash their lights
to alert you

i thought my friend was paranoid
when he told me about it
beads of sweat on his forehead
he seemed nervous

they sit secluded day after day
in different spots
on corners, behind tall bushes
hiding low in their squad cars

you can see the top of their heads
they sit with sun glasses on
watching for you to slip up
so they can nail your ass

and maybe they ought to
you probably deserve it
and, anyway
they need the money

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

not a dry well

it’s not a dry well.
they gathered around the hole
there was nothing much to see
so they stood around

five or six guys chatting anxiously
the women on the porch talkin’ over tea
what do you mean, not dry?, one asked
we’re only down sixty-five feet, it’s moist

it’s going to take a while
i think eighty at least before we hit water
we have to check the bit and see if it’s okay
that’s some hard rock we’re going through

the rains are gone for now
he turned his collar against the chill wind,
the dog lifted it’s chin a sniffed the air
as the drill started up again

Monday, September 29, 2008

before October

here, two days before October
dark green frog Herb sits
under the board that crosses the pond,
he’s quiet, but okay
collecting thoughts

haven’t seen him for a month
although I’ve looked every day
must be the season to lie low,
has another month before hibernation
so I think, but I don’t know

seconds before sundown

river gulls soared toward the lake,
crossing low overhead as last low rays
flashed white bellies and orange beaks golden
in the final light of setting sun

the picture in these words nabbed the blink and sheen
of that few seconds, gliding brilliant light,
a glint like polished steel, fencers thrusting
before the background, sorrowful gray autumn sky

Sunday, September 28, 2008

through every season

this morning i went out in a light jacket when M. called to me
she found a dead frog lying outside the pond,
probably an inexperienced cat got it,
tried to eat it, then left it,
though tasty cooked, in the wild they’re notoriously bad cuisine

the victim was either Herb's girl friend, or a light rain traveling stranger,
our frogs have been out of sight for a month.
and so, in sadness, begins the advent of fall in Ohio,
with Roma around the next corner
and spring – a long winter away


(the Lord giveth
and a cat taketh away)

a quick call

just before cell phones i was
by the wharf in san Francisco,
ten in the morning, had to make a quick call to my agent,
as i was getting out of the phone booth
a guy appeared out ‘a nowhere, average looking guy

he wasn’t waiting for the phone
but came right up, crowded by the door so i couldn’t exit,
inches from my face, and said rather hard
“if I had a gun i could ‘a shot you.”
then he walked quickly away

i was stunned by the threat,
yelled, “Hey!” at him, he kept going,
now, years later i remember that
nut and wonder if he
ever got a gun

Saturday, September 27, 2008

bailout

Bush tells us in a serious urgent tone he needs
seven hundred billion by this weekend . . . right . . .
let me get my checkbook
how will this help the regular people?

was that war money or loaning money you need this time?
what kind of parachute is that? explain a bit
if i run my business into the ground,
who's going to bail me out?

I know this is beyond my usual lines of poetry but anytime nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars is on the table, i get a little out of sorts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

modern times

who would have imagined
we'd have to line up and
take off our shoes
before we board an airplane?

it sounds like something
someone's grandmother came up with,
she should have kept to knitting
they don’t frisk our socks, as yet,

we’ll see how it goes,
it may be next, wanna bet?
then you’ll have to spread your toes
and shake out the rug
to get a glass of milk and a cookie,
how's that sound?
or maybe get on a scale naked
and buy your ticket by the pound

Thursday, September 25, 2008

speed limit

anachronisms are dialing a phone or rolling up a window
a misnomer is the “speed limit”, not the end at all,
not the fastest you can, only how fast you will go
and not almost, exactly

I propose the term should be simply “speed” so signs read,
for example, “speed 65 mph”. It will bring more opportunity
for the police to bring in revenue. Then they can also arrest you
for going above or below the posted speed. a two-for.

Extra money they make using less paint
and gaining fines they can send to me and
I will put it back into circulation, to the best of my ability,
no questions asked, glad to help.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the seat belt light came on

the seat belt light came on
the Captain came on the speaker
told us to remain seated
and buckle our belts.


it's an hour and a half into the flight
he reminds us it's a no smoking flight
also,  we shouldn’t disable the
smoke detectors in the restrooms,


it's time they write new scripts.
i looked out the window
we were over Casper, Wyoming

why didn’t he mention that?


.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Utah

ideal passengers we
flew west and saw

antelope island at great salt lake
claims two million tons of salt, how’d they figure?
now there are four hundred bison
on this barren, treeless island, more or less

the island named by explorer John Fremont,
Kit Carson and others, who said they shot two antelope for food to eat
and named the island in tribute and thanks to the animals

Sundance in the mountains, as you’d expect,
wonderful, beautiful, tastefully done
excellent brunch
Rob Redford was a no show

a good
time had
by all ,
by-by all

Monday, September 22, 2008

To Read

to read stories in this world
is to travel there, everywhere
mountain, sea, desert, city
trains, planes, on horseback, farms, so pretty

taste the dust, the cold, frost,
rust, ice, craters and gators,
soft waves on warm beaches
it thrills and teaches

set sail alone, all near
all here, all there
as you wander the globe
from your favorite chair

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Poetry I Hate

i hate using that word hate
i hate it, haven’t you learned anything?
it’s silly to hate
unless you're talking beheadings
or sitcom reruns

give me a break
i hate that too, break what?
bally wallys?
how about it? i think i could develop
a long term, serious
ballsup and retching
dislike for that too

hey, "ballsup"
that’s mine
i made that up
stick your happy face on it, vandal,
if you’d be ever so kind
soon as you withdraw your head out of your . . .
oh, never mind

Saturday, September 20, 2008

sweet dreams, my little ones

hey, be calm, relax
no need to kick and hold on tight
you probably won’t die of fright
tonight

when the time is right
you’ll softly elevate to the light
absolu-way-lutely out of sight
no kidding, now, nightie night

so without another peep
start countin’ sheep
shut your mouth
and go to sleep

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our collective intelligence
can be strengthened by individuality
not conformity.

answer

to resolve the troubles of the world
religion, money, government, greed, fear, hate, all of it
don’t unify against it,
although that seems the way, it isn’t,
act independently
not unified
that is it

start by slowing the programming
turn off the TV, the media
you’ll get plenty of media seeping in, don’t worry,
the internet can spread the ideas, that is good
but not the same thought and ideas
we’ll have 6.7 billion people walking around
thinking for themselves

David Icke has a lot of it right
but the answer is not a unified response against the evil
break the chains
by not thinking the same way
think independently
use your head

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a change in the weather

yesterday In the final hour of afternoon
beyond, and just over the long road west
a giant red sun, larger than I’d ever seen her
waiting, hanging like a swollen planet Jupiter
poised for going down

i paused my car in the parking lot to see her
like a girl set for glamour, she wanted to be seen,
and now I know I’ve seen one of the best
a Goliath, placid and serene

then this morning
what surprise do i log
but a blanket, the complete cover
thick and heavy, dawn’s pearly fog

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ohio Sweet Corn

way back
a’ fore's born
Ohioans crowed
‘bout their corn

folk’s different,
albeit dull to bright,
but Ohio sweet corn
they got that right



that damn sweet corn, clap your hands
damn sweet corn, damn sweet corn
sweet corn, sweet corn
oh, man, they got that right
(repeat and fade)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

town in my head

the old town’s in my head
or so my wife said
and looking around
i tend to believe her

cause it isn’t all here
like the market that was there
where is it now?
gone, i can’t see it

the pressed tin ceiling, wide wood floors,
tall shelves, the old doors,
a large revolving fan,
the man wiping his hands on his apron?

there locals gathered
to talk while they shopped
amid the chatter
stories were swapped

over the years changes were made,
so where did they go
the kids and the folks
that i can hardly remember?

now, even the lot’s vacant
but that was the corner
that had the store
that is no more, except what’s in my head

Monday, September 15, 2008

generations have said the same

enough, I’ve had enough
generations have said the same
more than likely it is true,
before you slap yourself on the back
look around

greed and war
the world has dummied down
we’re not alone
I know it is so , I remember
so do you

running the hundred faster
doesn’t raise the bar for intelligence
listen to our athletes speak,
watch TV with attention if you have no strength to turn it off,

how long before you are
text messaging before the accident
everybody’s talking
who will listen?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

USS PROVIDENCE

In 1969 while serving as a Navy Journalist on the staff of Admiral Bernard F. Roeder Commander First Fleet aboard his Flagship USS PROVIDENCE out of San Diego I wrote a US Navy published book of poetry complete with wonderful photographs taken by Photographer Lt. Marc Schuman. Although I have copies of the poetry, I carelessly lost my only copy of the book. The following is one bit of poetry that brings to mind memories of that time.

rolling
in all
weather

seas
go on
forever

Saturday, September 13, 2008

my niece had a baby

my niece had a baby
well she still has it
it was born today
that’s how she got it,
the conventional way

now you know everything,
that’s as much as i know
except that she’s a girl.
now, will she smile
when she says great uncle?

Friday, September 12, 2008

village evening report

checking from our front step I feel a slight breeze out of the South,
in the East an oval, vertical-egg moon hangs, with blurry Mars to the right,
a few houses away at the corner an occasional car passes,
slightly left of the moon, two hundred yards from my door, a barge dredges the river
with constant engine hum and a soft horn blast every few minutes
and that woeful musical note echoes along the river.
sixty-six degrees at nine this Thursday evening
with ten thousand crickets, then a distant passing train horn,
while inside our home the sound of clocks ticking
accompanys the muffled turning of the barge engine,
and we’ll read until bedtime.
that’s this evening’s small village report

Thursday, September 11, 2008

piano heartbreak

eighty-eight years
well alert and knowledgeable
she studied in Europe for over twenty with a student
of a student
of Franz Liszt
first a pianist in concert
now in lesson
as i sat
performing a bit of flourish i added
to “constellation” by Mendelssohn
“jack,” she smiled touching my hand
and causing it to pause,
“you cannot improve upon the masters”

and what a heartbreak that must have been
for her to leave the lights and the continent
to end up in our lame little town
instructing second rate kids like me,
young and reaching to change and grow,
leaning forward into the newness of the future

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

military scientists

to evaluate their possible use in defense applications
military scientists launched a battery of tests on the intelligence
of elephants, because everyone knows they are smart.

a final group of twelve animals selected from around the world
were flown to an undisclosed military base
for complete mental exams.

the elite dozen pachyderms were ushered into a classroom
where it took four days to get them seated at their desks
before testing could begin.

expenditures for the nearly month long project
were in excess of eleven million dollars
and a whole train load of peanuts.

the end result was, yes they were smart,
but could not shoot rifles
as they have no thumbs.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

heaven's command

the crunching of empty freight train cars
backing into each other,
with no metal tearing, just boom, boom, ka-boom
was thirty-five liters of leftover August thunder
poised to tumble, then poured out at dawn,
over my head onto the bed,
in gusts of twisting dry wind without rain
drenching with
just noise this time
for all it shouted,
bidding wake up,
get going,
a slap across the cheek
good morning

Monday, September 08, 2008

long ago old faces

old faces in the echo bar
wept and laughed
all worn, wrinkled and tainted
looking into quarter beers on tap
or blended whiskey and water
sons and daughters
making visions for each other
about where they used to be
their living is courageous
their strokes are bold
paint them with thick lines
and somber colors
or what have you
they won’t mind

Sunday, September 07, 2008

writers beware, you hear!

no email submissions accepted
don’t even try, Fancy Pants
cause if we get one from you
a guy will drive slowly around and round where you live
sunk way down in the vehicle
only the top of his head visible
wearing dark glasses and a hat pulled low
yeah, kind ‘a like the Blues Brothers
only not funny and extremely ugly,
then we’ll think poorly of you all day and night

so forget about making email submissions
we’d rather chop a tree, use paper, stamps and mail carriers,
we’ll get into the Twenty-First Century
when you can wipe your butt digitally,
when we damn well feel like it
and not a year before

bring back the pony express!
and use glue often!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

witnesses

we saw two birds
driving down the road
well, we were driving
they were flying,
I said two crows, she said one
and a spotted red tail hawk,

witnesses
see what they can ,
see what they did
say what they see
but don’t always see as it was

Friday, September 05, 2008

a child of less than two

a child of less than two
and so attentive
that i gave his hand a pencil
to observe how inventive
the golden boy really was

kneeling on the chair
at our table
he pulled the paper under hand
and make it stable

looking me deep
in the eye
i sensed his mind unable
to say the thoughts
i knew he was thinking

then with a swift stroke
he made a mark at random
just a line
not definite or clear

without so much as looking
it seemed to me he knew
that there was no need
to continue the line he drew

and then we both were
somehow together in our way
he knew, and i too, that he
would learn to draw some other day

Thursday, September 04, 2008

on the tracks

it’s not easy to tell, but it happened
when I was growing up in our village
there was a most likable kid everyone admired
his dad was a well liked preacher, and passed away,
one night on the kids birthday
the town was shocked to learn
the boy’s mom knelt down on the railroad tracks
before a train, and let it take her life
the tragedy deeply saddened all

now many years later i had returned to the town
never saw him around, but heard he was still was there
leaving in his same family home,
our house now was right around the corner,
he was a well liked kid when i knew him
though i never looked him up, i thought of him
and hoped to see him around

then one day i heard that the night before
the eve of his birthday
fifty years later to the day
when he knelt down
on the same spot on the tracks
where his mother died
and let a train take his life,
we don’t see on the outside
what one bares on the inside

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

green & alone or hard over stone

of two places I live
both places give
light, and to paint
oh, it is the light

Ohio, place of one home
same latitude north as Rome
so the light is the same
every day, every season

I choose light with green,
secluded and serene
or life crowded and quick
over stone and old brick

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

poetry al fresco

plant the seed
when weather’s fair
for poetry al fresco
under shade trees in nature,
taking inspiration
with someone dear

on a soft summer blanket
a wine glass to your lip
as sweetly you drank it,
slowly you sip
softly you touch
again, slowly you sip
and share warm embrace,
now, don’t drink too much

the wild scent of an apple
as sweetly you nibble
from the hand of the one who is dear
from the dear one at hand
from the one headed deer
deer?
hey, that’s a deer!
There’s a whole flock of ‘em!
grab the basket, let’s get out of here!

Monday, September 01, 2008

my garden

my garden today was weed crowded,
a task undone far too long
so that work today, was my purpose
the labor in sun was my song

begin where it needs it the most
do all that you possible can
after a rest on completion,
move forward, and do it again

each part of life is in motion
moving ahead in the flow
your thoughts are merely a notion,
love doing, and not what you know

Saturday, August 30, 2008

wooden ship sailors

wooden ship sailors
worked with creak and mast
on yawning, stretching hulls
amid thump and mallets

if only these men could spend
but a brief anachronistic moment
with today’s steel fleet
in dry dock

the sanding, poundings
would be cutting agony
leaving men begging to tend
the quiet luff of any canvas

spider

oh my god
i heard her cry
what is it, call i
coming to the screen door

do you want to see
the biggest spider in the world?
i said yes dubiously
and cautiously went near

i looked and nodded it was true
yes, I saw it, large, fat and ugly,
as she used her shoe
to smear it to smithereens

believe me, you didn’t
want to be there,
this poem, like the spider
has a smashing ending

Friday, August 29, 2008

Master Waterer

i swear
i shall
uncoil the hose
the extreme length
tote it to place

for when the dainty little misses is away
it is I the Master in charge
splashing, near drowning
the greenery at large

no lollygagging laggers or blithering blunders
are tolerated when Master Waterer
has absolute command
all hands keep clear, stand aside
out of the way or the outrage you’ll dread

my charge is this garden
now water on full, full i tell you
on that i insist,
do as i say

i guess that means me
for i am the crew,
clearing my head
coming out of the mist,
whew

i’ll just do as she said
so she doesn’t get pissed

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a lengthy swift sloop

a lengthy swift sloop at sail at sea
with half a breeze and half a sun as you man her
nowhere to go and no call to go
just time to set far back
look up to the tall sturdy mast
as nylon sails snap
to the occasional wind’s lick

the ocean spits bits of water
back and forth over the bow
with a gentle lift the shore is visible
then a recline and the shore is gone
another lift and the long, low line of land is there again

no need for a shirt with warm air rushing over you
and your hair twisted and thrown and dampened by spray
a red neck feels good and a tan face
makes it better to have lived this way

strong hands hold the ship to a meandering course
from nowhere
in particular
and back again

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

i have no need to worry

I have no need to worry
my fortunes all behind me
this is what I have
and I’m sharing it with you

I wrote the Magna Carta
the sky I painted blue
you’ll always be another,
god sleeps at night with you

steel hauled on rail
sent from man to man
the California grey on sail
to southern waters under sun

water cycles from air to sea through me
one night I made it rain
you are written in nature’s melodies,
do you know that you remind me?

I hear the distant running dogs bark
and choose not to run again,
by this means I remain this person
and you are able to run the way you do

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the sun is running

after full summer running high
the ecliptic meridian of the sun winds lower
you can see by lengthening shadows
nature knows the hour

fewer kids are heard calling
on bikes to the beach at break neck speed
school is upon ‘em, they won't get away,
they're not fast enough, to outrun the calendar

now animals are changing habits
they know the change of seasons
though many young have never experienced
what’s bred in them

when beyond the summer arch
the sun creeps on toward fall
even we take notice
cause it’s all familiar

and with luck we’ll see more
just keep riding the big blue sphere,
do note how quickly summer flashes, dances,
running, passing with another year

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flooded In India

one million people
to get their feet out of water,
families, women and children
need clean water to drink
eat some food
have dry clothes

this morning i got up early
and after a swim
went out for breakfast
had pancakes, eggs and coffee
my friend drove
we talked of the Olympics
our pals and old times
he spoke of fall football
how well his favorite team would do
then home on the Internet
i cracked into the news and the mail
weather is pleasant, the august sun
falls kindly on me
while deep i felt again
pangs of the world
and paused in thought

6.7 billion people
the Internet linking us
what can we do?
stay on high ground
hope for the best
be kind to others
we’re in for the test
survival of our ways
isn’t easy
it's all of us,
in this
sea of troubles

one million people
flooded in India
more than a headline

village

having moved away, I’m now back
in the town pokey to change,
when a guy i grew up with
i meet up with again just today

we were kids together,
never ran in the same crowd,
he’s two years older,
but, of course, knew each other

he volunteered to catch a troublesome groundhog
came over immediately,
wouldn’t take money for the job well done,
there were smiles and a handshake

not a lot of words, not a lot of questions,
nothing to prove, no points to be made,
we get along just fine,
i know him, he knows me, always have

sure time has passed,
we've lived our years apart,
but life, you see, just goes like that,
in this pokey little village where we got our start

Sunday, August 24, 2008

listening to the plant roar

listening to the plant roar
not a green one with flowers
this giant grinds limestone
everyday, twenty-four hours

and a lady wrote to the newspaper
how she enjoys the smoke beacon
to guide her way home
what’s she been drinking?

she must live upwind and far,
doesn’t sleep with windows open
or care about white dust on her car
that’s how she’s copin’

so i learn she’s the PR person
paid to do the speaking,
grease for the opinion wheels
quells common sense squeaking

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Old Words

old words
once spoken
lie in a box
unbroken by the years
they have slept

when in a while
ever seldom
i peer inside to
gather up a sheet

the random ink again
forms recognizable thoughts
that long time past were
a part of me

they now awake a sleeping spot
inside, and as i am looking
it returns to fill me

i feel the warmth
and hear the laughter
and lightly drift
away...

but just as quickly
i close the lid
recover the box and
the sheets i’ve hid

for time has past me
in layers deep
and thoughts in the box
will once again sleep

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mojave

beyond city walls
ancient and still
a low desert calls
“dare come, if you will

i’m old and i kill
i rot with dry heat
my winds can chill
my winds can beat”

on small tracks from near
leading to nowhere
the endless is here
timeless, i stare

yet this wonder grows
stretching on scorched white sand,
at dusk the winds blow
to torment the land

sun rays cannot keep
amber yields to blue
and as the blue goes deep
evening again lives new

with wind softly faded
a hush rises thick
the desert is shaded
darkness runs quick

cacti and joshua trees
scorpion and lizard
dry without breeze
stars are a blizzard

the moon becomes lamp
probing its light
moving over the camp
watching eyes in the night

all silence broke
in one animal shout
then spirits awoke
to wander about

the mystic dark hours
are hiding a treasure
secrets and powers
in sands beyond measure

a sky jewel gleamed
across the desert floor
the morning, it seemed,
had bolted the door

“i’m secret to the ancients,
i’m caretaker to the ages,
beauty and patience
are words for my pages”