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!