Saturday, August 02, 2008

the conductor

opening the door at the end of the car
the conductor who came in
wore a partially buttoned, baggy blue coat
with pocket flaps, a badge, official looking cap
that had air vents and a sticker on it,
he had a white beard,
his hands full, fiddling with things
stuffing bits of paper in his pouch

coming my way slowly, talking to passengers
as we thundered by snow capped shiny peaks, lakes and forests
he leaned over trying to adjust a window shade for some folks,
it looked like he broke it,
smiled at a full-breasted pretty girl in a
tight fitting t-shirt with a sports team's logo on it
chatted with her a while
maybe he knew her

finally got to me,
asked to see my ticket,
i got up to get my bag
as a happy man pushing a metal cart
clattered through singing,
selling coffee and sandwiches
with a metal change dispenser on his waist

we went around a corner and
everyone swayed left and hung on tighter,
a guy came down the isle talking kind of loudly
to someone six rows away,
a couple of large foreign looking people carrying
several worn cardboard boxes tied with string
were squeezing down the isle

i heard a guy ask what time we get to the next stop
and before i realized i turned to see the blue jacket
slip out the back door without ever checking my ticket,
this elderly, portly, wrinkled conductor on
my private train of thought

Friday, August 01, 2008

terminal velocity

scientifically speaking,
the slowest cycle
of the entire planet earth’s water movement
is called plate tectonics
unless you count grandpa taking a piss

but then, all the water of this planet
is already made
and then recycled
so tell grandpa to quit wasting his time
he’s not helping anybody

instead, this is about the nothing particle stuff
that gets sucked and sucked
up, up, upworthy into the sky
where it gets formed together and then
is water again

okay, so,
then it comes down as rain
now do you know how far it falls?
a long, long, long, half a mile?
it falls falling, falling
at terminal velocity when
the downward force of gravity
equals the upward force of drag

one drop rocketing directly into your eyeball
as you happen to look up,
well then, no wonder it makes you blink and sputter.
think about it!
and carry a damn umbrella, you knucklehead

Ron Paul

Ron Paul
just hearing his name
gets me thinking
and that's bad
these are not thinking times
just go along

boy, i say something
that doesn't conform
with the flow
and waves
hit the fan
don't you know?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

B-Plus Morning

this fine summer morn
we stood by the pond
frog was there
waiting patiently and calm

we made his noise
i did and she did
we did it together
then frog turned toward us

he watched and puffed a bit
then began his song
we repeated when he stopped
back and forth we talked

after five minutes all had enough
and stopped at the same time,
we wondered what the neighbors thought
if they had heard us

i rated this morning B plus
it would have been an A
if at the end of the concert
we all shook hands


gradually i have seen
in my lifetime everything, including
our environment, has changed
as the great wheel turns

is it more pollution
or my time on the planet
that makes it evident?
for i am aware it is not the same

of course there is evolution,
coal and diamonds weren't created in the beginning
a half billion years and the world keeps changing
animal, mineral, vegetable
some come, some go, yet we're still here

shoving to get ahead of you
what the hell is going on?
you exhale when you push
and inhale to smell the flowers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the ultimate dilemma

the decisions of man are many
work to be done is plenty
we set off firm
and never yield
standing tall
for every cause
nothing, nothing
can give us pause

through every challenge
we'll bear the test
always upward
giving all our best

just one small thing
we'll never know
should we cut our hair
or let it grow?

template fix

hey, tom
and i know i'm talking to you
cause everyone else is on
computer unavailability

i did a devastating attack on my blog template
customized it to Lourdes and back
now the only blog hits i record are those
arriving by stagecoach or Harley

the rest refuse to take
their shoes off to gallop through
the metal detector, good thing
you still ride au natural

Bad Name

with a name repulsive enough
to cause grown men
to moan and turn away
poetry harbors grace and beauty

sometimes like tennis
there is a head nodding
back and forth
rhythmic iambic pentameter

unlike professional football or soccer
you generally won’t risk getting bruises
or breaking bones playing
poetry without a helmet

perhaps it would become more
appealing to the base masses
if only we called it
word slugging

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Clean Water

dear people of the future
how are you, how’s it going?
look, i want to say
when i brush my teeth i think about
the people of the earth that live in areas
with a shortage of clean water to drink,

i worry about the clean water availability
not overly, but i am aware
of a potential problem of supply
so i turn the tap water volume down in the sink
when i don’t immediately need it

conservation has to matter,
look what happened to the buffalo
that once were bumper to bumper on the plains
and were shot for sport from passing trains

will water shortage be a problem for everyone
in a hundred years or twenty?
and while i am brushing i wonder who else
is thinking about water

water rights are being purchased
is that a “so what?” or not?
you could tell me
slip a note into my dream or something
can you do that?

Monday, July 28, 2008

loving a woman

loving a woman
for a man of errors
not big ones
not all of them
okay, some of them
yeah, a few

as a matter of fact
she divorced me
but we got married again
now our anniversary
is the 28th and 29th of July
now, that's a love story

Hollywood Times

large and colorful enough for a million poems
Vine down the street, the world of cinema on every corner
a palm treed cake walk everyday
nice cars, crazy people - dressed to prove it
the Labrea Tar Pits, museums, the beach
the Hollywood sign above on the hill
warm, dry wind and smog

everyone has star stories
they live and shop all around
walk the streets, some to be seen
those hills hide mansions
stand up comics pump gas
studios, writers, actors, technicians
and a whole lot of fans

locals remember earlier times
my friend played where they
later built the Hollywood Freeway
from the window where i worked on Sunset
i often saw Groucho taking is 9a.m. walk

an animal trainer friend used to stop at jimmy stewart's
house on Saturday for a chat as Jimmy washed his car

an impersonator i worked with did Peter Falk as Columbo
at the Hollywood Bowl, the audience thought
it was Peter Falk, there was a slip up and
the guy's name was never mentioned

and this nothing story is a drop in that Pacific Ocean

lights, cameras and
if that's not enough
they even put them in the sidewalk
more stars than the night

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In the woods

All that time in the woods and not much was put to words. Not then. Not while we were repairing, building, creating, learning. Being survivors. We were an hour from the nearest store, isolated on a far off dirt road above the Mojave desert, beyond Jawbone Canyon, left where the Platts lived and thirty bumpy minutes up the winding dirt road to our ten acres in the woods, high on the mountain.

It took two years searching the Sunday L.A. Times classifieds until I found it, and knew that if this wasn’t it, then the guy who placed the ad knew what I wanted and where to find it. It sounded like a dream, and it was. Lonesome Al sold it to me and became our good friend.

So I sold my L. A. home and bought gold when it was less than two hundred dollars an ounce, rode it up, and then sold at nearly at eight hundred an ounce to support our new lifestyle.

We carried our water from the ranger station, used coal oil lamps and used wood to cook and heat. It makes me smile thinking about our old miner’s log and plank cabins, our creek where she bathed for our wedding, the graveyard, two fallen gold mines, the spot where the post office used to be. It was our ghost town. Maybe not the whole thing, but enough, ten pine and oak covered acres of it.

There were only four other people who lived on the mountain, so we thought of it as ours. We did have fun. Lived by the sun up and down. The moon marked time for us. One battery powered radio was our touch with the world.

All that time, two years in the woods, and the words became quiet, because above the trees the open sky was bigger than our thoughts. The stars demanded attention without words. We could keep a fire going with just the right wood at the right time. She learned to cook on a wood stove and I learned how to cut wood, as the trees talked together. In great rushes the wind stirred over there then would grow and come around and come by together in a rush. There are no words in that sound. The prevalent sound being the hum of the earth.

Perhaps if I were a better investor, and the silver market hadn’t crashed, we’d be there still. Now, she just slowly shook her head and said to me, “It was a good thing to do while we were young.” And that's how I know, life is but a dream.