Saturday, May 24, 2008

a walk to the pier

stroll north and we've reached the lake
with a chill breeze blowing in
it's a good day to have a jacket and your collar up
humidity i was born with
it is either a familiar comfort hanging in the air
or i'm just used to it

we have a long stone pier
the fishermen use it
they say it's a mile long
i don't know, it could be
in rome i told robert how long it is
and he looked very suprised
the pier is something we take for granted

part way out used to be a range light on a tower
it was torn down when they fixed the pier
added a lot of cement to it
i was just limestone blocks before
when we used to swim out there
only the seagulls are still around

it's the local custom to walk the pier
at least halfway, as far as the blockhouse
so, come on, i'll take you out there
see how the fishermen and women are doing
they're out there sitting and waiting
that looks to be the most of what they do
and hopefully catching a keeper once in a while

a guy moves around to look in his tackle box
and then check his poles
patiently sitting in the open is what they do
that's the sport, i suppose

these two have lanterns and blankets
looks like they've been here all night
hooking perch, walleye or catfish

the suns out now
the wind is lighter
and it getting warmer
we've had our walk

Friday, May 23, 2008

on the river

the river runs through town
and though it has changed
being near brings the
comfort of the familiar

no more the line of wooden fish houses
Heymann's, Kishman's and Zimmerman's
where full and weathered boats docked
to empty the catch from their nets
pack the fish in ice in wooden crates
then truck it off to market
or you could buy some right on the spot

no one knew they were leaving a memory
like a stain
that a local kid would carry away
into the future

to write it down revives their voices and laughter
fishy smells and tar-stained foul weather gear
the heavy crates and ice on dirty boards
that i can see and hear with my eyes closed

restaurants are made now that are imitations
to scenically characterize what we lived
right here
in our town on the river

Thursday, May 22, 2008


on damp mornings
in early spring
flashing color on the ground
shining through
all wet with dew
the violets

such tiny things
amid the myriad fields of green
there are many underfoot
i hardly pay attention

tireless to trampling
some may say
but i don't think so
cause nobody likes
getting stepped on

a cabin

i'm building a cabin
somewhere high
a mountain retreat
that touches the sky

and the mountain has a sound
something low that i can feel
a stillness massive, full
of the earth

counting logs, the hours pass
snowflakes melt on window glass
fire logs insides roar out red
imagination is my bed

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

foggy windows

we have some foggy glass
so i called my old schoolmate tom
to see if he was still selling windows

years before he measured
and sold us some good new ones

he's still working part-time
so i made arrangements for him to drop by
we need three replacements

"you're still a business magnet, tom" they'll say
and he'll feel good
and we'll get new windows

friends are friends
and business with friends
is always my first choice

fish sense

a great blue heron as tall as i
was around the pond today
okay, he was a little shorter than me
twice i chased it away
i haven't been able to count the fish
they' still hiding
alerted to the danger

how did they know
he would eat them?

i guess if you're a fish
it's obvious

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the trains

the train rolls through at night
as it has all my life
and the whistle goes long and hard

i was an amateur radio fellow and learned
the morse code starting with that familiar letter q
there's a plaque in roma where sam morse lived eleven years
across the alley from our favorite luncheon spot, pasquali's
for me, the sign was a touch with home and the trains

if light winds blow up from the south and the bedroom window
is open the sound of the train whistle can wake me, shake me
most of the town, i am sure, curse when they fall out of bed with
the horn blast - morse code for the letter q

i asked my friend the engineer and he knew nothing about
the morse code, said the signal was not the letter q
just two longs, a short and a long

i thought the train signal began back when the
telegrapher was the wiry old man in the funny hat
who sat out there in the lonely shack and bridged east to
the west with information

i checked the internet and found the train whistle signals
have no connectin witht the morse code
except in the one coincidence, the instance of passing a crossing

a life long belief has shattered
and the late night trains roll on
long - long - short - long

Monday, May 19, 2008

spring off

as Ohioans we are accustomed to temperature extremes
i remember my mom telling me that in 1937 it snowed on
the fourth of july
weather change is the wild goat that lurks before it charges
now this year spring is May
we can go ahead and pencil it in

after winter's farewell snow
on gusty winds entered the warmer air with a
deep blue sky as backdrop for mammoth clouds tumbling fair
unleashing lawns, trees, bushes and flowers, nesting birds and buds
fresh and underway
nature reborn
this new season has begun

you can water golf courses and keep them pristine
but it's nothing, nothing like the clean
gleam of full young spring

the ultimate in automation

here they are
there are no others
nothing like them
god bless them

you want to wear your pants loose
and keep them from dragging on the ground
you got it
the one and only
nothing tight around your waist
hold 'em up to the heavens

the very name emits dream

plase note: while the british call them braces
they also drive on the wrong side of the road
they also think suspenders
hold up womens garter belts
so be it
i like women either way
with or without

invented in 1822, thanks you Albert Thurstoon
a.k.a. galluses (not Thurston - suspenders)
galluses is a variation for gallows
let's stop there

Sunday, May 18, 2008

fixin' out of the box

oh, how you doin'?
i didn't see you slip in
i was just checkin' under the hood of this baby
it's doin' pretty well, but it's got some kinks
just keepin' and eyee eye on it tit suppose it could use a bit of attention like we all . . .
now did you see that?
that's what i mean
that spellin' thing keeps gegttin' fouled

say, when i get this all fixed up i'm goin' to measure it up
i bet you thought i was going to say i'd invite you over
but why in hell's name would i do that?
you got cher space n' y gitts mine
now the dialecter is going haywire on this thing

do you see? do you see what i'm dealin' wif here?
tricky bidness tricky
plan ahead, what i always say
well, i think about it, i'm not on the plannin' committee or nothing

baby steps, i say that too
remember that movie with that bill murray guy? hah, he cracks me up
hey, that's enough jibber jabberin'
let me get back to what i was doin' here
good seeing you