Thursday, December 31, 2009

blue moon end of december

out late morning walking
to Trastevere in sleeveless vest, no jacket
warm yellow weather carressing my shoulders
why has winter gone hiding in wait?

light clouds, turning, whirling
in bright sky blue
i squint toward the sun
gull on wing over the river

crossed my favorite old stone bridge
exchanged hi and smiles to the Sunday accordionist
on Ponte Sisto working early this week
in preparation for the holiday

at the corner by the gray church
Giacomo calls down from his balcony
went up to his place for coffee
his son James there but for a minute
always in motion planning

returning toward home
along Lungo Tevere
blurring traffic running in tandem
ten thousand destinations
patiently moving in saunter
no blasting crush today
folks on foot in good number
treading in passing
a hurry about them with no commotion
chatting in flocks
some solo on cell phones
clutching it to their ears
children on holiday drag along, skipping

the cannon at noon
thumps once on windows a mile away
a piece of pizza bread from the forno
to carry home, enjoy slowly
with greens and cheese
where from window open
over slow sipping coffee
church bells call the quarter hour

in the clangs i hear the undertone
telling all it is new years eve tonight
make good plans with friends ,
do it well now
the new year begins,
be ready,
stay alert
to celebrate departure of the old
and to welcome into being
the formidable, erratic circle of the new

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

mid week

cloudy dark rainy cool mid week
our lane up and down
more than a hundred yards end to end
and thousands of years back to the beginning

our building rooted five hundred years ago
yet there are far older for sure
nearby is a building from the twelfth century
painted, cracked and redone countless times
the old salt road of pre time is nearby
how far have the old ones gone?

tonight night lights are few along the way
all is still, even breeze so light
buses are resting
cabbies are reading, waiting, near sleeping

no one out this moment,
no one walking
no dog, no cat
through narrow alleys
silent dark walls, cobblestones
still puddles barely reflecting dark gray
can’t begin to imagine a part of
what has taken place
on this brief length of Roma

home to so many over the centuries
in fights, in love,
birth and death
chickens, cows, carts, pigs and horses
dogs and cats birds, bugs, and rats
soldiers, drunks, candles, thieves and beggars
papas, mamas, priests and nuns
singers, poets, police, officials, the dandies
and nobodies
most of all
plenty of no bodies at all

a treasure of life
that endures

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

enough jack

there was jack london
and jack kennedy
course it started with
jack the baptist

i know they called him that
oh, yeah, i almost forgot where
i was gong with this
i’m changing my name

you can call me nabisco
it was either that or shell oil
i didn’t want to work to make my name famous
thought I’d start known and work down from there

my choice of name was made carefully
more than my parents did when they named me
late comer, number three
they already used their favorite boy name and the girl name

i was nine years later
lucky they didn’t call me the first thing out of their mouth
“You’re What?” or
“Holy Shit”

Monday, December 28, 2009

bused up

bused up
on the little bus
to the hill over Rome
where the noon cannon is fired

ever since the pope back in 1847
wanted his churches to
all know what time it was,
at least once a day

a crowd gathered to hear it
the cannon is loud
wasn’t precisely noon
should have covered my ears

then walked warm weather down
to old Trastevere
where our new favorite restaurant
was tried and confirmed

while walking back traffic was stopped
a helicopter hovered overhead
we waited to watch
something was about to happen

one cop called it a VIP cortege coming by
his word not mine
some Italian cops are literate
glad to hear it, anytime

fifteen cars and as many motorcycle police
and more police afoot every corner
all the way home they go to the Vatican
because the pope king went out for lunch

event over, we walked home
didn’t stop traffic
and didn’t cause any trouble either
as we shuffled along, all the way home

my cell phone has a clock on it
i could have told anyone the time
but no one asked
they must have heard the cannon

Sunday, December 27, 2009


if you’ve seen
no bumps
you’ve no time
on the road

Saturday, December 26, 2009

if i could

if i could write each poem
as a precious drop
warm sparkling clear
i surely would

instead, with my back to the rock
surrounded, i reload ready to run
like Butch and Sundance
into freeze frame

as the great theme grows under
the credits roll on the screen
lights come on, people go home
with proud steps and good memories

hey, when you’re in the game
you take the pieces you have
and create with them
as best you can

Friday, December 25, 2009

vigilia, the night before christmas

rode with Roberto from the center
cross town to Parioli for Vigilia
eight thirty in the evening, no traffic
surreal tranquility in the city

more parking spaces than usual
many Romans are out of town
it seems even birds had flown
home to see the family

we wore light open jackets
on the evening of soft rain
unseasonably warm for Christmas
it was different to drive the city
without stop and go
no pressure from too many out there
a rare lazy meander across town
while at the Vatican the Pope was knocked down
some one was making a fuss

after dinner with Paola and Sandro
it was well after midnight
when outside the Vatican
workers had slipped the infant into the Nativity scene
as we departed our dinner with friends

in the same quiet we returned home
even buses had stopped running at nine p.m.
adding to city silence by the noise they left out
silent night, holy night

no snow, clouds over fields
no blue light from the Christmas star
drunks counting sugar plums asleep in doorways
even gypsies have taken holiday

Thursday, December 24, 2009

electric bus

hopped on a whirring electric bus
that soon turned down an alley
then suddenly stopped stuck there
cause it couldn’t get by

a car was parked in that alley
protruding out into the lane
our way forward was finished
while cars packed us in from behind

a quarter hour later the guy showed up
that got in that blue car, and then
like taking the lid off a pressure cooker
we sighed off our steam and all drove away

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Natale is Christmas in Italian

preparations for Natale
now the day before
a good day to begin

bought a desert pie for the night before festa, Vigilia
with a physicist and two professors
who all love pi and pie and their wives

at Feltrinelli’s bought books for gifts
called Giacomo to compare notes
my Roman pal who is quick, alert and ready

his son Alex’s group is leaving now
to play for cash outside the bookstore
in the hum of street activity

said hi to Franco outside the store
his motor bike was stolen last week
didn't ask how he got there

closer to home
sat down for coffee at a table
outside Angelo’s coffee bar

intense people traffic
here they come
there they pass

a pigeon just got by an electric buses wheel
as I sipped coffee to a, look around,
a persistent subtle whining sound

it’s the dog under the next table
saying his piece without
moving his lips

and art show tonight, got ta go
crowds shopping now
all on alert, hurray the day

a woman comes buy
dressed like Pinocchio’s mother
Christmas is on the way

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Alberto's car

his worn vintage car quit again
on the cold rainy road into Roma
no one in traffic stopped to assist
Alberto pushed it two hundred yards

then opened the hood
tapped the engine with a hammer
tried the motor again
this time it worked

proving that as with some people
now and then it’s a matter
of getting a machine’s
full attention

Monday, December 21, 2009

campo dei fiori

i know this campo
of flowers and markets
a circus in progress
many new faces in groups
slow walking and talking
some carrying sandwiches
now tourists Italian
all caps and dark warm jackets
slow passing non stop
through the piazza of Bruno
sun going down, lights coming on
many regulars out for the season
even beggars have rotated
near over the line, yet still in order
with just above freezing
no tickets or towing
cars, motorinos and bicycles
visible police and undercover
overflowing action no on can follow
too cold for mime or musicians
in season’s chill December
four days before Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009


stepped out this morning
suddenly a guy yelling for help
limping on fire to the knee
flames leaping waist high

i put him on the ground
put out flames with my hands
windows opened above, shouting
soon an ambulance came

i calmed him, said he was Leonardo
a street person with a small fire
keeping warm under the arch
next time he’ll remember me

the ambulance took him
put lotion on my hands
i had stepped out for a smoke
not to burn merry Christmas

I have repeatedly posted this as Leonardo, then changed it to Leonardo Burning, four or five times in the last 24 hours. I like the title Leonardo Burning, but don’t want to offend the worth of this street person Leonardo by seemingly trivializing the event; and the poem ends with a burning reference and I didn’t want to lessen the effectiveness of the poem. To burn merry Christmas is a swirling mystic somewhat ambiguous reference and I wanted it left like that, unrestrained.

Maybe I’ll have to stand back and let time pass before I can make final cuts.

As it is, the energy in there. It happened, I came upstairs and wrote it. At this point the poet is too close to the event to judge what has effectively transpired in the writing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

tre marias

late morning coffee
near Santa Maria in Trastevere
mainly Italian tourists about
quietly milling this tranquil day

then beyond the fountain in the Piazza
for Chinese food with our friend Maria,
where yet another Maria
operates that restaurant

though not a true Maria
she was made in China with another name
but found it easier to be a Maria and go along
swiftly as the river flows though Roma

Friday, December 18, 2009

make a list

passed Monica
said high a little
she was gone

see her twenty-three times a year about
talk more or less a minute each time
and of all the people i know
she is a good one

dresses neat, stands up straight, cheery
how are you i am fine that’s it
she gets a gold star in my memory

so if i made a list of everyone i know
she’d make the good list
once, years ago when i was sad
i made a list

why not try it
make a list of everyone you can think of
everyone you know

see who’s there
the list is privileged information
and you have a right to know

Thursday, December 17, 2009

going about

going about in Roma
we have a car
and use it to get out
traffic clogged and lost

there is a slowing way down down
a large van is holding everyone up,
as we pass we see her reading a book
while texting on a cell phone

in circles by catacombs on Via Appia
old high stone walls so we can’t see
where we wander, which way we're headed
cloudy, so can’t tell north from south

then stopping for coffee, always a good idea
somewhere out of the center
where people get human again
we asked directions

sempre dritto, keep going straight ahead
that’s the best and favorite response
you’ll ever hear, no complications
they must teach it to children

strange, yet it works
for as all roads lead to Rome
inversely, when you are there
all roads will lead out of Rome

so no one is ever
really lost
only slowed
by traffic congestion

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i've had it with you, Roma

i’ve had it with you, Roma
and refuse to be your fool any longer
two decades of chaos is enough
pushing, shoving, and oblivious pretentious aggravation

i’d rather pull my puppy’s ears
drag him out of the tiny box
from under the leaky sink
where i’d make him sleep if i were you

but to leave you, Roma
would be most difficult
to compensate for the loss
of aggravation

should i run stumbling against bulls in Spain
take lunging rapids in a leaky wooden boat
or walk in traffic blind folded
do please allow me to suffer longer

i know you lie and cheat to get your way
but loaded with art everywhere
you are noble, though distant and aloof
leave me unattended to wander in awe

scorch and boil me in summer’s cauldron
winters cast me out chilled into cold
treat me hard all seasons
if you must

but to turn away and leave you
as if you didn’t know me
would be more than i could bear
your tears would heap more agony on my anguished soul

allow perpetual suffering to continue
perhaps near the end you’ll cradle me
giving peace at last in knowing
that once you cared

for certain,
at the moment of torment’s end
my beloved,
i’d rather die in your arms

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

stolen horse

in light late afternoon chill rain
M. went to Standa to pick up things for diner
she’ll make pasta carbonara
carried a shoulder bag and an umbrella

bused up a few blocks
temperatures were dropping
she wore a hat pulled low
in gusts i started out to Alberto’s studio

along the way a couple called out
asked directions to Via Corso
i told them, pointed, down that way it begins
by the large monument at Piazza Venezia

then i walked out into heavy traffic
i was waiting for the light to change
must have forgotten, was distracted
from both directions cars were honking

made it calmly without incident,
and some embarrassment i digested
at that time
M. was carrying her loaded shopping bag

walking back across the bridge of angels
in front of the old castle San Angelo
there was an art show this weekend
Alberto told me his wife couldn’t go

because their five year old son
had homework to do
he said always there is too much homework
on the way home i saw Franco, age 67,

an Italian born in Libya
a persistent worker who lives miles away,
we crossed paths at the same corner in piazza Campo dei Fiori
near where he does inlay and waxing

fine detail in centuries old wood work
bought him coffee at the corner bar
he said a week ago gypsies stole
the cover for his motor bike

the evening before it disappeared
he saw the father and son checking it out
this weekend his motor bike,
his ride to work, was stolen

devastated, though tried not to show it
thievery is an invasion that strikes at the heart
i said it was like someone stealing his horse
he agreed, sadly, he agreed

we parted, i wished him well
by the time M. made it safely home
i did also, under city lights
and yes, her carbonara was outstanding

Monday, December 14, 2009

just say no to shopping

women don’t really want
hubby along slopping
always in the way
forever incompetent

to say they’ll take him
is only a scare tactic
a threat meant to show man
how brave they are

fighting fatties on electric isle-crowding carts
while finding the real bargains
checking what’s the latest
ahh, my queen of hearts, i know you’re da greatest

Sunday, December 13, 2009

making a list

making a list
or soon will be
nothing serious yet
in my head at first

have to get things in order
i’ll jot notes in a minute
when i get a few ideas going
i’ve just gotten started

right now, i’m looking out the window
and there, she is in the yard
head down, pulling weeds
doesn’t stop, ‘cept to wipe her brow

black birds and robins fight in the bird bath
nothing overly untoward, only showing who’s tougher
and there she keeps going, pulling’ weeds
i wonder what she’s thinking now

she had better wrap it up soon
come in and clean up
you know she ought to be
making a list

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the best

Zachariah makes the best pizza
he’s why we go there
house red amid pre crowd quiet
that’s a friday evening meal

Zachariah, two things i’ll recall
at the end of my life
one is your pizza
a pause as he reflected

Zachariah then asked,
and what is the second?
silently i tight-lip grinned
then we both laughed

Friday, December 11, 2009

i am a writer

i am a writer
alive in these words
breathe in the spaces

my pores
absorb periods
that’s why you see none

a flicked bit of ash from
every time i smoked
like food over a fire

with a line into water
waiting the next one
to donate himself to feed me

phish swimmings
what he does he says
feels so good

i write for no one that pays me,
feeds or gives me shelter
am happy at this moment

writing especially for you
it’s practically i am
like speaking to you.

oh, see that
a period
quick - digest it

Thursday, December 10, 2009

the balance

a leaning fence in a fallow field
pile all parts in a heap
the good over here
bad on that side

so when standing back
way far back to see
the resulting evaluation indicates
an evident perception

worrying excessively
over minutia
or insufficiently about
everything else

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

pasquali's for the holiday

M. thought like an artichoke
i mean she thought she’d like one
a fond memory
I knew what she was talking about

without family in Roma
holidays are our time to eat out
we walked to a popular locale in the ghetto
forty minutes before the usual lunch time

already a crowd outside was buzzing
all had made reservations the day before
the head man said they were fully booked
the doors hadn’t opened yet we were turned away

bused up the Corso through holiday crowds
then around the corner to Pasquali’s
a familiar favored haunt,
one we had found a decade ago

he and his wife work the counter,
daughter cooks, the son waits tables
they smiled when they saw us
as we smiled at them

we took our table again
one we had known and tested
ate pasta amtriciana
drank red house wine with our meal

all was as it should be
we ate among friends
it was like home again
for the holiday

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

not comets


(you have to click on it
and i have to tell you
cause the colors aren't right.
like, i messed up the way i picked them)

what you are clicking on is a poem from april '08 called "i feel like you"
i read it again and thought you'd like it if it put it out again.

days off

a moderate, quiet tuesday
a catholic holy day
also a state holiday
they work together

monday was the ponte
the bridge between sunday
and the official state holiday
italians know how to take time off

walked to the ghetto
for an eleven a.m. coffee
plus a slice of thin crust pizza with
sweet red peppers and a light tomato sauce

walked back by the turtle fountain
built from 1581 - 1589
a beautiful, calming sight
for a light rain tuesday

Monday, December 07, 2009

sifting over time

couldn’t say
for sure
don’t know
if i was sleeping

it seemed
my brain remained awake last night
working, sifting, sorting
rather like that

thusly night went by
a least that’s the impression
i held tight
when i got up this morning

Sunday, December 06, 2009

the magnitude of life

who could have imagined
dealing with the like
largesse peppered with surprises
some in joy, some in crisis

waking early with morning coffee
to find life going already, rolling steady
by warm golden window light
you know life’s a sweet package

variety you could not have conceived
and while not visible at first glance
something is going on, darling
perchance not always what it seems

growing day by day
born of dreams
hear the joy of life in bird voices
and in the patter of the rain

Saturday, December 05, 2009


here on a third floor
can’t see the sky, unless
i stick my head out the window
and look straight up

still they zip by this narrow space,
fifteen feet to the building opposite
a blur by my window
thirty miles an hour

seems fast enough
they’re been clocked at 59
and often they zip by
with a partner

good old computer
tells me how fast pigeons fly
when what i see is a streaking blur
outside going by

Friday, December 04, 2009


when i slip through
a stream in the
wings of time

and don’t return
leaving nary a trace
fear not for me

i’m off somewhere
having an adventure

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the table

with three guys at the table
didn’t know who they were
in discussion most interesting
don’t recall what was said

some time had passed when i looked to the clock
it was difficult to read the red glowing numbers
had to lean forward
to a sitting position

i was lying in bed, there was no table
there were not three others
so who did i speak with
in this vivid dream

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

the wash

over there
pulled up a chair
talking to the laundry
the washer then the dryer
Obama sending thirty thousand more troops
to Afghanistan
the left is yelling
why’s he doing that?

well he is a politician that got elected
what do you expect
Ron Paul was laughed at like ufos
he wanted to bring them all home
from all around the world
no more policemen for the world
why guard our borders in peace
money, money money can be made with war

play the game you get elected
you want to bring troops home
you’re not making dough for the money people
makes the world go round you know

grease those wheels
pull the strings
you want to play
you’ve got to pay

it’s flowing in now
someone makes guns
buys the bullets
fantastic tanks
nice boots
sends turkeys to the troops for the holidays
pass me the haliburton, will ya?

back and forth, costs a lot
tax payers pay the money players
talking to the spinning dryer
who else will listen?

wave the flag
want a medal don’t you?
a picture of your boy in uniform
that’s him on the mantel
rate me fifty on foldin’ clothes
I’m just saying
heaven knows

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

ciao ciao

spoke to an italian friend on the phone
he was born in Tunisia
we speak mostly in English
says he has to practice
he’s my friend, that’s okay with me

when you close a phone call
you always say ciao ciao
it is a commonly used form of bye-bye,
or talk to you later, always used on the phone
as i closed the phone call i said choo- choo

i didn’t mean to
it just came out
i’ll pretend he didn’t hear it
and he’ll think he imagined it
choo -choo?

Monday, November 30, 2009


held up stopped at a red light
by a red light for nearly a breathalyzer,
til he decided coffee in a dark glass jug
is not always moonshine

they are doing a jig saw jig
on the square, guys holding steel poles
where a bob cat’s running
tearing sidewalk

was called Mud Brook Creek there
now it’s just Mud Brook
when they put in a golf course
they removed the redundancy

pretty fancy
what a few bucks
and a bob cat
can do

not giving you the eye
i’m in line behind you, nightingale
you see, the light is green
that’s why I’m honking

Sunday, November 29, 2009

national health care

i heard American Indians
have national health care
out there

it is said to be lousy
does that surprise?
this is a poor example
for the system

isn’t lousy
the way
we’ve always
treated Indians?

if it were for the wife
of a politician
you know the same system
would work well

Saturday, November 28, 2009

noon late november

sky blue noon late November, jacket open
as i crossed the new Ponte Sisto
a replacement for Pons Aurelius. 300 A.D.
renamed for Pope Sixtus IV , 772 A.D.
this new stone foot bridge was built 1473-‘79

on the middle of the span
a guy sleeping on one side
three guys begging on the other
haphazard semi -skilled professionals,
raggity lousy beggars really, too intimidating
real poor people don’t often enter Roma’s heart

saw Alex when i crossed to Piazza Trilussa
out posting flyers for his music school,
footwork keeping his dream a reality
one well- placed notice at a time

then, sat outside at San Callisto coffee car
near the main piazza, Santa Maria in Trestevere
had a latte and cornetto with James,
off booze five years ago
he’s planning to open a school for children

bought a vegetable sandwich for 1.60 euro
pizza bread, tomatoes, cheese, some greens,
costs 4 euro on the other side of the river

back across the bridge, flashing blue lights
on an emergency van
they took away that sleeping man
didn’t run the siren when they left
the blue flashing lights were off
a some body that won’t need rushing

Friday, November 27, 2009


i missed fusion the first time
like missing an exploding dinosaur
unless you were kin,
in the kitchen with it when it happened,
or it owed you money
it’s nothing to regret

outside the apple of the witch
with castle lights across the river
amid heavy traffic and exhaust
under flying clouds and half moon
running, as from a dog
Giacomo picked me up, took me to the Auditorium,
Rome’s fantastic new home of concerts

to hear his nephew with five others doing fusion
music on speed and steroids
melted glass frozen and shattered
then dark and mysterious
growing into a tyrannosaurus spitting bits of pterodactyl
morphing into a runaway locomotive
a turbulent nightmare
expect a giant Schwarzenegger Terminator to rip
through the walls
have a nice day
oh, and look both ways

Thursday, November 26, 2009

armed and to the point

so elderly neighbor lady
sees M. outside
leaves house of disease
and saunters over

fumbling with her hands,
asks sotto voce
after checking both ways
if we’ll be leaving soon for Italy

then nods as if helping
with the anticipated answer.
M. says The Man has left
while she’ll go in another week

neighbor lady sagely nods again,
considers, and says
uh, call if there’s any problem
a long pause

M. leans on the rake,
waiting her out
under long blue November skies

until at last neighbor lady,
fearing for M’s safety
clears her throat ,
quite serious now, glances askance
then looks earthward
to humbly explain

that if M. calls
uh, her husband,
the grumpy mid-octogenarian
will run right over
in the middle of the night (chuckle)
as he’s licensed to carry a loaded weapon. (OMG!)

this is the groundskeeper who mows
three times a day
with various loud riding mowers
because six of our vagrant leaves
have carried deftly his way
on the prevailing
autumn light winds

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the field of flowers

Campo dei Fiori means field of flowers
that was yesterdays vision of the area
today in 2009 i had to stop and look both ways
to cross through the center of the field of flowers

i wore my heavy jacket
others had on t-shirts
from our third floor dungeon window
i have to lean far out only to see the sky

the market is jumping in full flavor and scents
traffic, food stalls, fruits and vegetables, pots and pans
musicians, tourists, workers and locals of every venue
and yes, three stands that sell flowers

living nearby i woke out of dream to a persistent car alarm
and thought of the keystone cops in silent movies
running, clamoring, bumping into each other in comic confusion
in silent films the words flash on the screen. this says - alarm

only no one ran today, nothing unusual happened
no one laughed
for an hour the persistent, clear-voiced, changing squeal sang,
echoed along stone buildings and cobblestone streets

i awoke after twelve hours sleep
now a week has passed since i flew here
groggy yet, my body’s clock
is wound but not set

the cannon on the hill fired the noon shot as i left our apartment
to rid myself of the alarm
better to enter the field of flowers
and look both ways

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

now and tomorrow

met up with an old friend on the street
said he was working with a friend who yesterday
was sitting in a chair calmly talking with his wife
and then died quite unexpectedly

i continued on my way to the Laundromat
the door was wide open when i got there
the fire department chopped it open
to get to the flames the night before

walking back home i stopped to see a friend
of my friend who last year had a stroke
on a cruise ship to Italy
was robbed when he got here

had planned to visit his cousin in Switzerland
she died the day before he boarded the train
not the family visit he expected
he arrived in time for a funeral

but i stopped to see a friend of that friend
i pass that store on my way home
they said she didn’t work there anymore
her last day was yesterday

it’s true for all of us
the last day we had was yesterday
generally we don’t think of it that way
what’s our concern is now and tomorrow

Monday, November 23, 2009

dusk on the way home

dusk on the way home
saw Alberto at Porta Blu
afternoon classes underway
seekers of art ability
drawing circles, mixing color
perusing modern ways

walking back in evening’s cool air
on a narrow way into Piazza Navona
i pass the minister of the interior
a glint of recognition in his eye
in dusk darkness and alley shadow
i see him only when we are face to face
he lives around the corner from me
usually his guards are in formation
and then it is easier to see him coming

leaving the piazza i was distracted
and forgot to look again at the beauty
passing earlier today i paused a while
in the sight and scent of that grand piazza
to admire Bernini’s work again
the two smaller fountains with mythical characters
the larger splashing waters in the center
tribute to four great rivers
topped by an Egyptian obelisk
reaching above all
tomorrow i may look again

now it’s to home
too cool without a jacket anyway
a few paces before Campo dei Fiori
the tune Autumn Leaves from the familiar sax
of a group urging coins from tourists
floats in the air, ricochets off cold stone
where, as years pass changes are small steps taken
seems that autumns are reluctant to come and go

Sunday, November 22, 2009

your call

your call
will be answered
in the order
in which it was received

i called once
how much order is one call?
was I out of order before I called
or as soon as?

why can’t it be said in English
like, wait your turn on hold
until a human is available
or, is that like difficult?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the mail man

the mail man is gone
don’t mean he left his truck
hasn’t walked away
tossed his hat in the bushes

but he is gone, way gone
into a thousand points of light
unlike the evaporated pony express rider
this one still has a job, delivering advertisements

now he or she has become
21st Century’s - Postal Worker
look around, who’s next for renaming
Christmas Person?

ho ho ho
wash you mouth

Friday, November 20, 2009

jet laggg

rushed out of the airport
jumped in a cab
went seventy-five feet
the guy slammed on the brakes

wasn’t a taxi, picked up his mother
made me get out
i know mama liked me
as he squealed off, she waved goodbye

at forty thousand feet

at forty thousand feet
the cabin is warm beyond comfort

four people on this flight
are earning negative karma

aggression 2009 is growing
healthier than financial systems

two hours to Roma
i’m lighter than air

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the leader

followed by his dad
a kid waddled by,
young enough
that you’d still tell his age in months

ask him anything
but don’t expect an answer
for although he talks incessantly
what he says is indecipherable

if encouraged to develop this skill,
smiles well and stands tall
this child could grow to be
a formidable leader of inestimable value

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

particles in space

i pay to put you in charge over me


after i got my shoes back on
walked from terminal A
the long way down to C
then checked my ticket

C-5 was my seat,
my terminal is A
A terminal

error made walking
did the same last year

so i had a long trek back
the other way,
from where i came
this journey has begun


Kevin runs the magazine stand
near gate 7 and 8
terminal A
Cleveland Hopkins airport

is fifty, looks thirty
bald, black, comfortable with life
we talked some, he’s been to Africa
says he likes his job

been there a month
mentioned five other careers
next year we’ll see
if he is there

who will remember
that we spoke?
i have my ways
i have my notes


small plane seats are C,A,F &D
part of the new world order?
i notice they took out the rhymers B,C & E
why’d D remain?
please explain


small plane
seems large enough

two guys talking
two rows back

in lieu of listening to loud babbles
i changed my seat during takeoff


so high open flat
hills and clouds and the haze
way out into the curvature of the earth

a black meandering
all the way down
must be river

looking down for crop circles and pictographs
wavy planting that follows the hills
the dark creeks look like cracks

a maze of houses
village forever to the horizons
we were following a river

now a highway
over ball fields
now a quarry, more houses and trees

the pilot just said,
“good morning, we’re starting our descent
and it’s a beautiful November day”

corkscrew down
we’re coming to Philadelphia
at the airport could have ridden a train
into the city see Independence Hall

i’ll wait instead
as once a day is enough airport security


from outside i see
a large woman would-be - girl
packed snuggly in pedal pushers,
up to her knees in tattoos,

weaved through the tables at a terminal restaurant
a bull circling for the kill
her hair long blond thin and frizzed
resembles someone jumping out of a plane

who has not opened the parachute
or similar to someone being electrocuted in cartoon animation
she must do that to herself
because she thinks it makes her beautiful

she’s has enough volume
and swagger
friends wouldn’t
contradict her


they call to board
will fly all night
over the cold north Atlantic
on auto pilot
so those called Pilot
can sleep

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

bid peppers in Belize

in a clearing
on a corner
outside the jungle
in the sunshine
a large local woman
in a blue dress with flower prints
sells donuts and sandwiches
from a tall brightly painted wooden wheeled cart
and a few things to drink
like beer, like coke, like water

i’ll have a taco
bid o’ bidow peppers? she says
are the bidow peppers hot? i ask
she looks at me, shakes her head
does not answer
and repeats, bid o’ bidow peppers?
and i asked f they are hot
or are they sweet
she slowly repeats her question
wan bid or bidow peppers?
the brain wave light turned green and I got on
oh, bid, i’ll have it bid peppers

Monday, November 16, 2009

weather in

weather in Ohio’s
not nigh on to winter
without a jacket
mid November

known winter severe
have seen how it goes
driving with chains
doing battle with snows

changes come slowly
hereabouts, no doubt
take how it happens
great snows or without

Sunday, November 15, 2009

play serious

when M. was kids
and the like
her gang of play partners
were blood brothers

cut their fingers to do it
somebody had a knife
is what she said
guess they were believers

hey,we went to movies too
but cowboys and Indians
and blood brother stuff
for us pretending was good enough

when they were cutting fingers
we were making mud pies
and never
tried to eat ‘em

i wonder, when they did
one potato two potato
how deep did they
plant the loser?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

i like dogs

i like dogs
well, have liked
there were times

i’m sitting with coffee
how they can stand there
looking around

as if they have something
on their mind,
mind singular
how many dog minds are there?

one for each?
seems insufficient
they need more or bigger
or what they have to be greased

all in all, there are enough dog brains around
i prefer not to see them any smarter
waiting in line at the bank, lifting a leg
then asking to borrow a pen

this is the end
of this dog poem

Friday, November 13, 2009

call waiting

your call
will be answered
in the order
in which it was received

ok, i called once
so how much order is one call?
was i out of order before i called
or as soon as?

why can’t it be said
in like English
or, is that
like difficult?

like – we’re taking ‘em as we get ‘em
or, you have to wait your turn
or, we’re putting you on hold for a while
until we have a human like free - oh, that works!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


gone are dark nights
when thieves
creep sneaky in
to steal the silverware

cause cheap metal,
they practically
give that junk away
at rummage sales

if grandma had
anything decent
she must have
taken it with her

i know before
it got trashed
we should have checked
in her mattress

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

involuntary aposiopesis

aposiopesis - breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)

a poem a day is all it takes
enough to fill my coffers, sakes alive
a drip at a time does accumulate
one a day for three years is one thousand ninety-five

so many thoughts
my how they occur
now take the time to note them
you’ve noticed them, for sure

we each have our own
why would we need more
unless to appropriate new ideas, a broadening
tantamount to an education

and you are certainly right
when you say
a book is more fun to read from
than a computer

besides, I’m afraid
to sit reading holding something plugged in
with 200 feet of extension cord
under a tree by a brook with my feet in the water

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

lime plant

ten years ago the boss said anytime
i want to white wash come on down,
the new boss wouldn’t face me
sent his gal to say it is too da-da- dangerous

then come scrape the bad dust
off my house, off my car
out of our garden, out of my eyes
and out of my pores while i breath and sleep

don’t forget every neighbor in town
tell Tom Sawyer’s dad
he needs an attorney
or has he and the EPA been paid already?

have a nice day

remembered Kegley

remembered Kegley
the tall happy farmer
as i drove past his farm
out in the country on Mason road

picked peaches and apples for him
in my youth
when an hour was a dollar
in the heat of the sun

he took off that day
for fishing and drinking
had hip boots on
when he backed his pickup

down the boat ramp
right into the river
the truck stalled
rolled back

filled with water
he waited too long
wasn’t thinking to give up
and get out

his best friend my dad was with him
and yelled warning
oh how they both yelled
and screamed and cursed
but Kegley was not a quitter,
never, damn it

tried hard to save the old truck
had it started then
he lost it
there in the brown moving water
along with his life
dad cried when he told me
had to tell his best friend’s wife
tears filled his eyes
only time I’d seen him cry

when a page turns like that
you can hardly look back
close the book on it
going over it
is pointless
as staring at the sun

Sunday, November 08, 2009

get out of nature's way

don’t fight
let it
pile on

it just occurred to me after
filling another bag for collection
that maybe God didn’t want
us to rake leaves

let them be
under the trees
on the ground
blow around

make piles and jump on
roll around in them
like kids will do
if we let 'em

away with sterile spots
without an itsy bitsy piece of leaf,
little baby trees are working to grow
you know, let them go

see what nature has in mind
for one thing golf would be another game
with a much larger ball, cabbage size
so you could find it


darkness is not ugly
evil or unholy
don’t be afraid
when god rested the seventh day
he turned down the light
to bring the respite of night

Saturday, November 07, 2009

to the child

life is a sleeping bear
for which you must prepare
asleep on his belly
your head in fur
don’t pull his hair
be ready for when he moves
he may laugh or eat you
don’t push
it’ll get there
just be ready to react
on your toes

Friday, November 06, 2009

poetry identification

a woman i am closely associated with
call her my wife for sake of argument
wanted to know why
what i write is poetry

i responded with the old adage
that by comparison if it looks like a duck,
waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck
then it’s poetry

frog winter

scooping leaves from the pond
where the sugar maple deposits them
there is a plunk in the water
it’s forty degrees this afternoon

who did I disturb but a frog
how can they live like that
sleeping in a plastic flower pot
submerged in the bottom of the pond

making a home for the winter
be solid as the ice through the snow
then come back chirping in the spring
well, rent is free, that I know

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Keyman made two keys for me
I looked him in the eye
guaranteed they are, he said
however, they didn’t work

not the guarantee I expected
but it would have been easier
i drove back with my receipt
laid it on the counter

looked him in the eye again
2.53 is what I paid
he also worked the cash register
after checking my receipt very carefully

he gave me back 2.83
i made thirty cents for my efforts
then knew that’s why neither key worked
Keyman needs a glasses tune up

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the pool

we found a house to make into our home
near the local swimming pool
a year round facility
so far, so good

at the pool i spoke to the boss
who explained the moderate fees
his open smiling face content
as I gazed at my reflection

in over sized fogged windows
enclosing the grandiose pool
where water temperature is constant
at 88 degrees Fahrenheit

so much for that, i was hoping
to use the pool for swimming
i’ll place a kettle on the stove
if i want to make chicken soup

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

sweet dreams baby

sweet dreams baby
i’m on your side
hang on tight
for the nighttime ride
close your eyes
and you’re on the way
good night now
tomorrow’s another day

Monday, November 02, 2009

fortune cookie

all decisions you make today will be fortunate
my fortune cookie said that to me
that’s good, I’m up to here with gloomy
right now

this cookie’s a clear sign for me to put on my shoes
I’m leaving to buy my ticket for the lottery
pitching hard luck like old cracked pottery
right now

so, you been reading my poems, you see my style
then go ahead, write stanza four
there’s my other shoe, I’m out the door
right now

Sunday, November 01, 2009

the horseback preacher

now and then in the backyard
i’ve found some things
worked up out of the soil
remnants, rusted tools,
fragments of bones, tarnished spoons

rubbing a piece of an old porcelain cup
i wonder was it Sam’s?
did they drink from this?
was it on their table?
a keepsake, a wedding gift?
to Sam and Emiline

our house was home
more than a century ago
to that horseback preacher
who lived into his eighties

when upon a time he rode
to country towns around
in all seasons
including beautiful falls like this one

sometimes in a buggy she went with
to see her family at the next town
making visits, they had little money
but, oh, friends were plenty, all knew him

he’d chat with them, stop at farms
inquire of families new animals
offer what consolation a preacher can
making the rounds

on the way in fall he and Em
would share a special apple, talk together
about the passing years, what they’d seen
their joys, heartaches, their fears

the great events, old times
and mention how seasons so quickly pass
he'd rein up, look off, then turn to her to say
my dear, it seems like only yesterday

until one day he closed his eyes the final time
and they came from miles around
to tuck him under
what is now the tallest monument in the old cemetery

next to his friends, town founders
just across the train tracks
into the shadows of the great trees
at the north border of our town
above the river

by the edge of the woods
and the end of the Indians
for his remains to spend new seasons
at his quiet spot
marking another bygone era

though even now, somewhere out there
with sweet fragrant light wind at his back
and golden sun on his smiling face
rides the spirit of the horseback preacher

Saturday, October 31, 2009

some cloudy black moonless

some cloudy black moonless,
don’t be walking bumping
into trees or buildings,
wait, cities have streetlights

the electric companies
lay the wires, put up the poles, put in the bulbs
not 70 watts for illumination
1,000 watts every 200 feet, you pay for it

hey, they have a board of directors
and CEO’s and fine houses and servants and staff
and obligations and golden parachutes and
country clubs aren’t cheap, you know

even freeways toll booths are lit like a circus
forget that cars have headlights to find the way
there could be a crook walking around
hit one, go to jail and then get sued

someday they may light up the remaining forests
so bears don’t bump into trees
don’t worry, the complacent public will pay
anyway, more light gives confidence to drive faster

Friday, October 30, 2009

an explosion of color

an explosion of color
leaves to the ground
woke up this morning
that’s what I found

wet or dry red, yellow and orange
have your pick
this month only
take it quick

in farm Ohio
seasons explode
flowers, fruit and vegetables
patches loved, cared and hoed

and the sun goes round
makes light to dark
hear it, see it, taste it in nature’s park
so I’ve found

and I can read a book
eat a peaceful meal
sit back and praise existence
love is what I feel

Thursday, October 29, 2009


like a dog in a car
riding face first
hanging halfway out the window
what a highway we’re zipping

on a ball sailing through space
throttle to the floor
don’t need a pedigree
any mutt can do it

this is big fun
i wanna do it often
my cheeks are flapping
hey, is anybody steering?

the beginning

In response to a comment to my post/poem from a few days ago called “began writing poetry” I thought - and thought is always such a good beginning - I thought to say more. The aforementioned little poem alluded to my start of writing poetry. Contrary to what was said in the blogged poem, I was not taking notes while watching a movie. It sounds good, and that's what poetry is about.

I began writing poetry exactly fifty years ago. Incredible.
Boom, boom, time passes.

A half century ago at this time of year I wrote a little booklet of 33 poems that I scribbled into a one edition volume and folded and stapled together. It seems a grandiose delusion to name that bit of hard paper cover and folded typing paper a volume. My friend Roy saw it and liked it, probably encouraged me. I had better quit my reminiscence before I bind the volume in my head in deer hide and put a brand on it with an iron I forged myself in shop class.

The sole surviving poem in my volume is the opening verse that served as explanation and introduction.

words with rhyme
that go
or not
which is to be
of course
the other way

That piece in the renown beat poetry style was the beginning from which I have not drifted too far, more or less.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

worked in cleveland

two and a half years
worked in Cleveland on the lake
rode a gray commuter train
with season bundled sneezing strangers

looking out windows saw steeples
houses, factories or reading mostly
no one usually saw each other
or an overload of graffiti, i made notes

until train stopped under Macy’s
everyone crush-rushed bulb lit darkness
hung on, up the bouncing escalator
clamored into shopping central

passed the popcorn wagon, could smell it
waited a minute or two, snatches of conversation
caught a bus, the rapid, from the corner
got off on 30th, every day

big city
for this former small town guy
stone, steel, crowds and pretty
oh my

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


a researcher/author
approached an x- military man
who reportedly helped pick up ufo wreckage
at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947
the former officer wouldn’t talk

gave a tight-lipped grin
and shook his head
kept his mouth shut
he had taken an oath of secrecy

fifteen years later
when the former military man
was near death
he talked to the researcher

what he said
if taken to be true
exhibits how far ahead
the future may be

the man said find out how it flew
the crashed ufo
that they examined
had no moving parts

Monday, October 26, 2009

drive around

driving around late in the night
with nothing inside me
alone on the highway
headlights blind me

planning all the things i can do
with no one beside me
alone on the highway
the radio finds me

late at night i'm looking into space
with nothing inside
i still see your face
i cannot hide

as i ride around
in my worn out
beaten down
late model van

it was green and tan
i painted it blue
to match the sky
i don't know why
it reminds me of you

began writing poetry

at the local theater
when i was a kid
saw an old nineteen thirties movie
black and white, not great quality,
who knows where it was stored
an epic production, all so new then

filmed at dusk
the golden hour
with hundred of extras
and catering trucks

as the villagers, the Vandals
and an invading army
fought inside, over and along ancient castle walls
of course there were towers

no animals were hurt during the making of this
memory of when i began writing poetry
popcorn on the floor, i had fourteen years
before that i wasn’t at all serious

Sunday, October 25, 2009

googlebot me

the googlebot has my number
i can practically look out through the blinds and see ‘em
flashing lights, sirens, scweaching tires
that’s the worst kind of tires, incidentally

but they can mail order a fix for
your home computer, only twenty-nine
ninety-five, this week only
cod, member f.d.i.c., r.s.v.p.

but they’re too sophisticated for that . . .
blam, blam
scuse me, someone is beating down my front door
with what sounds like a telephone poll

“come out with your hands bup.” it roboticized
oh, pshaw, do get your google butt out’a here, i screamed,
learn to depend on your Spell Check,
was that me or the robot talking?

Bad Poetry

Writing bad poetry is good conditioning.
You wonder if I feel bad when my poetry is lousy, no way.

If Tiger Woods put the ball in the hole every time he took a shot
they wouldn’t let him play any more.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


a favorite page on the calendar is open
snaps, skips
clink trinkling down the street
see them skidding,

lifting, twisting, flying
hear changed colors run in ripples
an invisible toreador's cape brushes
bursting particles,

sound rushes golden on yellow
and reds,
green subdued or gone already
blue sky sunning, melting over

bursting particles
sticking in fences
sailors swept from the deck
rushing brushes like tossing seas

old tree witch silhouettes clawing to the clouds
shiver on winter’s cusp
cold cries warning
as October scatters on the wind

Friday, October 23, 2009

raking early

each year i plan the good plan
to wait until they all fall
let ‘em bleed red and orange,
rolling yellow and gold on the wind

it has only begun, any fool knows
there's more to come but i start early
clean every crackling thing
stay ahead of the game

until worn finished, sweating
then look back to see
every thing is a total mess
i scratch my chin

it’s a test, can’t let it be
the rake’s in my hand
the joke’s on me
i'll start again

Thursday, October 22, 2009

make you pay

here’s your punishment
for failing to get your car registration renewed
and driving with an expired license.
perhaps you will learn your lesson

we have you now, you’re going to jail
for three months, three meals a day,
we provide a uniform, everything you’ll need,
and there is a store that we run

thank the tax payers, they provide everything
we make them pay, so tell me
who is learning the lesson
and who is making the money?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

modern telephone

at my table in the living room in Ohio
amid marvels of the 21st Century
that are easily digested, taken for granted
when the computer sounded the old fashioned ring

it was Massimo in his car on a back road
calling on the Internet phone Skype
we chatted briefly, just for the lark
he had an appointment with his barber

and was using his cell phone
for a no cost call to Ohio
from his small village under the same shining sun
thirty miles north of Roma, Italy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cole Porter

a fine composer
come and gone
before our time
lasting beyond

if he were a painter
there could be a wall
to pass everyday
with an image

why not display
an audio fragment
of great works
in public places

to hear a phrase
be reminded of the gift
to all of us

every time we say
i cry
a little

beloved artists
to light the way
for the world ahead

i’d rather my tax dollars
bought art
instead of
arms and prisons

Monday, October 19, 2009

Song o' Little Balloon Boy

oh, gather round for the song
o' Little Balloon Boy
that sailed a fantastic flight
in a basket

as the world watched
but he was really hiding at home in the attic
and i must have been
eating dinner at the time

didn’t pay attention
until it made a big fuss
on the Net i read some
course you knew about it

maybe watched
and prayed for him
oh, long live the ploy
o' Little Balloon Boy

neil armstrong

i heard Neil Armstrong
and someone didn’t hear it right
for a quarter century they said it wrong
that july in ’69 i was 23 at 137 D in Coronado,Ca.

on the floor in front of the TV
when the 1.7 seconds delayed broadcast
coming 400,000 km from the moon
resonated around the globe

glowed black and white
the only light in our room
a he wobble hopped a bit down the ladder
and i heard one small step for man

one giant leap for mankind
and they said “for a man”
for years they did
but he said “for man”

a more generous oration
that included everyone
and i wonder, you can too, how accurate
other particulars of our world’s history are reported

Sunday, October 18, 2009

monkey cap

my monkey cap
definitely the type
a chimp begging coins
along side an organ grinder
standing on the corner in 1930
or in the circus would wear

if he had a red cap on
and always did
with a string under the chin to hold it on
or if the animal was really clever
he’d pull it off, show his teeth and take a bow

not the sort of gear the stylish fellow’d wear
on a first date, an inauguration
or your wedding day
no one would be impressed
unless you weren’t totally in love and knew
it was heading for disaster anyway

but at home on cold mornings
with no points deducted for lack of charm
when insufficient warming sun rays come in the windows
a silly cap keeps my head warm while writing
and coincidently, i am ashamed to say,
sitting here eating peanuts

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the comforter

the worn comforter on my bed
my mom’s mother made
during blue winter nights
before flicking evening’s fire

on her lap it kept her warm
working patiently with grandpa there
rocking quietly next to her
in his favorite wooden rocking chair

an era when a glimpse
from outside on the back porch brought
stillness, star sparkle and shimmering brilliance
not yet dimmed by city lights

even radio was a novelty
funny voices, laughter, soft music and stories
for cold nights near the stove
with a capped kettle of warm drink atop

amber glow heated drifting vapors
sweet odors filled their home
and didn’t whistle, it wasn’t necessary
the kettle on the stove gave humidity

they were home in comfort, telling tales, wishing
recalling friends , family and holidays
at peace, and not going anywhere,
they knew they were already there

From a time when a comforter wasn't a forty-five
but could have been called a peacemaker.

Friday, October 16, 2009

words and music by jack s.

part decorative wood from Lincoln’s time
half recently constructed stone storage space
all overlooks the economically withering small town and an ugly
car wash across the street with a coke machine that lights up

i have obtained a three thousand square foot
industrial building to write and play in
i like obtained because that
is more gentile than bought

and i didn’t buy anything,
i have embraced this space
it’s mine in my head, without papers
by word of mouth, mine

cause i’ve been in it
have photos and dreams of being there
producing massive amounts of gems
piles horded and distributed to the urchins

that look like overweight immature vandals
short people not developed in any sense
running in wild packs, probably to and from
that elementary school around the block

and the legends will be created
by slouching legions carrying torches in the night
mobs of immigrants cutting vegetables for soup
blocks away from any used car dealership and

churches with a monument for the poor aborted fetuses
and the saints of another culture, generations ago
that are told in prayers and whispers about
salt on the wound, would you do that

to yourself or animals unless for cooking?
i can get a caldron
it sounds more dramatic than a big pot
i’ll have to check if open fires are legal

but they won’t stop me from
dreaming about it
for all the belching smoke and the stench
i can produce in my dream caldrathon

Thursday, October 15, 2009

zero to

clean slate, zero to ten
open your eyes, smarty pants
wet drawers, feed me
little dickens

ten to twenty ain’t i neat
i can dance and go so fast, glug glug
pledge allegiance, watch me now
got it all, i am the one, what’s to eat?

twenty to thirty, the pink
on the ball, in the game
standing tall, so proud, i know that
watch me now, overdrive

thirty to forty, classic steps
massive energy, step aside,
no problem, i’m so fine
so fine, so fine, watch the line

forty to fifty golden dreams
in the pocket, earned my way
pretty nifty, what’s to forget
obsessive solid rocket booster

fifty to sixty, formidable style
i believe in god again, on the safe side
proof in the pudding, justified
lord of the rings

sixty to seventy, did i tell you
stop and think, time is faster, i remember
count my blessing, give it away, did you know,
didn’t use it much anyway

seventy to eighty, thrifty
still count for something, we always used to,
mark my words, I forget
what i know is slower

eighty to ninety, overtime
still can some, count me, don’t recall exactly
hold tight, what i mean to say
what’s to eat?

it seems so very long ago
go ahead, clean the slate
when will they ever learn? return to dust,
such is fate, and taketh away

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

here's how

the Lakota/Dakota Sioux word
“hau” means “hello”
still is used today
varients are in the native speech
of many plains indians
the Tetons said “howo” or “ho”
Omahas said “hau”

and when the eastern Americans
saw the iridescent colors
shimmering, turning, twisting in the wind
and cascading from trees in the fall
they all said
as we do today

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

number recorder

there was a guy in our town
had the job to write down the numbers
of every train car in and out of the mill
somewhere, someone might recall his name

a co-worker at that mill told me this years ago
witnesses at the time swore it was true
twelve or fifteen digits on every train car
how many I’m not sure, just say there were quite a few

the man’d watch twenty, fifty, or a hundred train cars pass
look at the numbers until the final car rolled on
then half his job was complete, he'd make a dash
into the office and write all the numbers down

Monday, October 12, 2009

the couple

after years together
it’s good you and i don’t dress identically
wear hair and shoes like one another
prefer to eat exactly alike

enjoy indistinguishable hobbies
have equivalent talents
read only the same books
think and talk as duplicates

because it has occurred to me
now that I’ve noticed in the mirror especially
visible proof, others see it too
for one – you’re shorter than i,

you see, we are different people
it's what makes the world go round
vive la difference
now how about a hug

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i love you

i love you more than poetry,
summer days, hot dogs, warm sand, and baseball,
sweet corn, cross walks, my favorite books at the library.
green lights and Broadway musicals are nice,
so are pizza and spaghetti.

you are the sun and moon and stars for me
the clouds, the shining waves on the sea
practically, but not completely
not everything, i mean, sure, i love you
but i’m not ridiculous

Saturday, October 10, 2009


awakened from dream
blink a few times
begin to function anew
somewhere beyond the swirling cosmic mystic
pull on my shoe
as into the drudgery i return
yes, did the socks already
it all comes back to me
looking out the window
while shoes, i lace ‘em
measure the weather
hasten out the door
and think of you

Friday, October 09, 2009

dark horses

loud as thunder charging dark horses
snorting, pushing, sweat, hoofs beats
just a thought
never met one, don’t plan on it

only an image, sound and the works
i’ll leave it on the way-back shelf in my head
may not mention it again
but you can never tell about things like that

just when you think you’re done with a thought
it pop reappears
well, i guess i don’t need a TV
giddyup… let’s get some oats

now is this a poem
or should i mark it down
as a dilation of my subconscious?
i’ll make a note to look into it

Thursday, October 08, 2009

snow birds

while what i write of frogs, robins
eagles, egrets and blue jays is true,
these small dark birds are unknown to me
they may be what some call snow birds

thirty or forth going fast, no pattern
landing everywhere in the yard
on the lawn, bushes, lily pads
the plank over the pond

completely scattered and quick,
when i stepped out on the porch
they departed, in many directions
not together, but nearly at the same time

the weather is chill now
already growing late fall
they may be what some call snow birds
for sure, can’t say, i’ve no idea at all

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Nobel Prize Poem

heads up, electorate,
hold it right there
keeps your hands where we can see ‘em
wagons in a circle, easy now, easy

at last they’ve given up
the attempt was never wise
there will be no Nobel Prize
for the discovery of curly fries

young lady in the short skirt in the first row
nice disguise, my eyes advise
you close your thighs (sighs)
there's no fries prize

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


took a drive out to the country
tree green's already changing
another month for full color
then leaves'll get crispy and blow

on the way back bought some sweet corn
at a well honored local farm
the kids are working today
another generation learning the way

briefly stopped at a farm sale and auction
saw the accumulation of years
another old timer is selling out
moving to town to be closer to hospital

you know, every line here is a story
every sight we saw is a poem
all we had to do was take a drive into discovery
and not so very far from home

Monday, October 05, 2009

dream vs. think

she swirls in dream
sees people milling about
both big name stars
and unknown faces

has a fear of heights
but loves high places
when soaring like a bird
while she does that, i’m thinking

orderly in the dark
planning tomorrow
making mental notes
forever wide awake

as she dreams wonderful
night after night, it’s true,
I stay awake thinking, i think
or it’s what i dream i do

Sunday, October 04, 2009

one day

one day you will
walk in their shoes
technology will enable you, more than
holographically, to be anyone, anytime

replay historical events
with you in the leading role
costume, makeup, sound, lights, music
action – the real thing

make the discovery, explore new lands
ride the wild horse in the wind, be the hero
wear the crown, sail the space ship spinning
through crack flashing bright lights of time

accept the award in front of the masses
take the bow, receive the honor
it’s the winning ticket
ladies and gentlemen, some day

right now splash cold water on your face
wake up, get ready, eat a half-ass breakfast
it’s morning, get moving
later you will fold back into dream

Saturday, October 03, 2009

early october

early October
Friday evening comfortable
i slip out to the back porch
sit on the old white wicker settee

drifts of light air on prevailing winds
bring the urgent tap, tap tap of snare drums
fractured crowd noise barely audible
dribble in with fragments of the field announcer
at the high school football game a mile away

in mostly quiet i see the trees, white houses,
all the way down a block to the church steeple
the pond falls ripples near me in the backyard
swirling clouds above
block out the moon and the stars

i think of Rome and California
places in between
once or twice,
faces from the years
parade by unseen
as memories not precise
and i remember you

Friday, October 02, 2009

over my shoulder

of course i recognize my inspiration
when i see it reflected back
no surprise, i put it out
to be enjoyed and used

as when releasing butterflies
expect them to flutter and breed
while always a few you'll find
dead on the sidewalk

Thursday, October 01, 2009

safe keeping

three cop cars and a canine unit
popped fast in front of our house
suddenly neighbors were about
to wonder, confer and yap things out

seems a next door neighbor lady
hopped the fence slick as a goose
has a gun, is suicidal,
now she’s out there on the loose

an acquaintance drove by our group of talkers
reported, one street over
by the river, cops did the dance
and put the lady in an ambulance

one cop car in front of my house
was left keys, motor running
I thought to get in, can you believe it?
drive it around the block, and leave it

there was more than one witness
thank god I’m not witless
no one ever thought enough
to pay me to think, ‘cept funny stuff

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

blue jays

blue jays like peanuts
in the shell
but we crack them
to makes it easier for them

they take one away
up in a tree
hold it down with a foot
and crack it with their beak

here’s the system
he squawks when he’s around
we squawk back and
we come out with peanuts

throw two peanuts
the bird will fly down
picks up each, one at a time
and always leave with the largest

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

chill gusty wind

done’s summer calm
balmy nights gone
October wind crackles
closed up, heater’s on

branches in motion
snap sticks cascade
blue jay flew in
for a peanut i threw

fierce out there
no easy street
they goin’a make do
bird’s gotta eat

Monday, September 28, 2009

each night

Chicago radio news
some early morning
a quarter hour recap of
weather, traffic and murders

woman caught a stray bullet in the neck
two cousins 17 and 19 both in college
no known reason why it should happen
fifteen youths killed a fine student

and on, and on, dog’s blood
so sorry, brutal cruel, shame
as it goes on, many weep
a nation turns it’s head to sleep

Sunday, September 27, 2009

robins return

from an earlier account i see
the final day of august they left
all together now they’re back
bluejays, cardinals winter stay

alert robins all, use the same calendar
returned this final September weekend
to eat, grow strong, then fly south
when it’s red, while leaves fall

Saturday, September 26, 2009

love test - completely accurate short version

question one
has he ever told you
that he’s finished watching
either live or televised sports
and would rather be
shoe shopping at the mall
with you?

question two
if the answer to question one is yes -
did you know he was lying?

question three
what’s for dinner?

Friday, September 25, 2009

rock o' my soul

on the piano did a vamp
thought of old tunes
school choir did one
rock my soul, oh rock o’ my

clap your hands, let the thing go on
so wide you can’t it around it
after a while the pulse lifts you,
over an over, hypnotic

picks you up, take you down the street
remembered a long ago city kid
mister, i know where you got ya shoes -
you got ‘cha shoes on you feet

repeat the last line until
you're blue in the face

Thursday, September 24, 2009

i am Wicks, i'll be your server tonight

well, Wicks, hi, i’d shake hands but
obviously, you’re moving too fast
i’m jack, but i’d prefer you call me grandpa
no one else does

well they do once in a while
but they live a half a planet away
grandpa jack is what they say, but
plain grandpa is more enduring don’t you think

my grandparents lived thirty minutes away
but people didn’t drive as much back then
a half century ago, one i’d see one once a year
the other i’d see Christmas and Easter

anyway, doesn’t matter to anyone now does it.
say, my sister Nita taught me to drive
when i was eleven in her old Oldsmobile on Rye Beach Road
i’ll have to ask her if she was married then

parts of the story are unraveling
and half the cast have gone away
i’ll look into that, gone away stuff,
someday, won’t we all

listen, Wax, you don’t mind if
i keep talking to you, do you?
not out loud, in my head, think talk like
blink if you can hear me

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

key variations

musical keys themselves sound differently
this is something i learned
from my excellent classically trained teacher
who studied with a student of Franz Liszt

d was strong, military marches or something
i don’t remember any more,
except to say keys
have different affects and uses

i Googled and found emotions relating to keys
this age has lost sense of the variations of the keys,
volume and electronic reproduction
has diminished that nuance in their shadow

beyond poetry

or maybe this is real poetry.
This is a thirteen year old
who has blogged for two years
and has four million followers.

At the rate I'm going
I could easily have four million followers . . .
in less then two million years. Wait - let me work on that math and get back to you.

(on the link: I love the photo of the designer and the blogger.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

cold blooded

she was looking for them in the pond
on an early fall crisp morning
thought they’d be in the water where it’s warmer
hey, she wants everyone cozy

they've come home for the winter
there could be more shuffling
now we’ve two large black bull frogs, two tiny small
and two medium leopard type frogs

it’s cool this mornng, but wait
until winter when the pond is frozen
the frogs’ll be on the bottom
sleeping in the mud, nighty-night

Monday, September 21, 2009

to the heights

to the Heights, a country small town
nearby, yet aloof from modern ways
where farmers and country survive
and some of their kids go away to school in the cities
take jobs, live afar and return now and then
for holidays, alternate years

their folks stay on
in touch with the soil
clean, neat and country casual for a Sunday
standing tall as they can
walking leaning, a bit slower

these remaining have been small town friendly for years
know the families, names from long ago
and can recall some of the faces
now under the headstones
on the treed lofty knoll

there is a chicken barbeque today
at this conservation club
no telling what they are conserving
kindness and good will for sure

the building is set back on a large area in an otherwise field
the road in waggers as if the guys who dragged it out
changed their minds two or three times before
they settled on how to get from here to there

and the twenty or thirty cars already there
were parked in the field over a few acres
like dominoes thrown out of a box
and where they landed is where they sat
independent parkers they are

this yearly event we’ve been waiting for
three hundred tickets were sold they say
the money raised will keep the group going
about thirty folks there at the start when we were
maybe fifty
half again that number just neighborly helping out
i didn't try to count, they were spread out nicely

rear double doors were open to the beginning
of the green and rust colored stick crackling woods
in mild temperatures and near idle breeze
on the cusp of another change
summer to fall

had covered long tables, sturdy folding chairs
set with plenty space between to walk
and clean silverware, no plastic for
these folk of dirt, cast iron, seed and steel

the building’s maintained in good repair
someday they’ll pave straighten that winding road in
or sell the whole damn chuck to a developer, if and when

barbequed chicken was the draw today
and these hens were as large as small dogs
and twicet as tasty as you could ever imagine

spoke with old Reece, one of the volunteers
heard he deeded his downtown brick building
the decorative grey century one on Main
resplendent with curiosities and used books
to the local historical society

our common friend dick, who visited us in Rome
will be coming soon, here’s where he was raised
with a smile on his face and mud in his toes

today's group was quiet well mannered
stayed on the business of eating
and getting to the desert table
in no rush orderly fashion

i had a slice of crispy near warm apple pie
made from experience by Aldean
as she stood alone by her kitchen window
taking care and good intentions
thinking of her family while using well hewn skill
that would’a made her mother proud

after we did the deed on the chicken
during which time we made new acquaintances
and refreshed old ones
we waved goodbyes and moved on
out the door and beyond
into our own tomorrow

Sunday, September 20, 2009

free time

why knock yourself out on the internet
connecting with the world
when half the folks are not bright, half
scratch those – i’ll make this easy for you

that leaves three billion people
so you want them over for lunch or what?
make everybody a sandwich and what you spend
on mustard alone would run Norway for twenty-five years

keep it simple, you’ve heard that, right?
how about a few, maybe three or four friends
either that’ll be enough for you, or
you need to reevaluate your free time

Saturday, September 19, 2009


In Anatolia, around the land that is now Turkey
mirrors of polished obsidian were used 8,000 years ago.

catches the eye
flashes the light
better than a still pond
you can touch it

pick one up
carry it around
hold one up to look where you’ve been
hold it down to see the sky

put your face in one
it won’t talk back
won’t make a sound
what is left appears on the right

repeats colors
specularly reflective
practical magic
safe to do at home

Friday, September 18, 2009

weather whether

tv weather
showing maps and arrows
in red and blue is weather
you can see

radio weather
talks how it goes
though for tomorrow i doubt whether
anyone knows

Thursday, September 17, 2009

i'm not afaid

i’m not afraid
to go outside the box
though rather get paid*
an cure chicken pox

filling our time now
an eye to the weather
i mean, holy cow,
we’re sticking together

i’ll rub your back
you sip my cheap wine
give me your heartache
and i’ll show you mine

the world is our sea
i am your oyster
they get us surrounded
white flags we’ll hoister

we drifts and we hops
as poets we'll cruise
dance till we drops
or the ship’s out of booze

*laid, strayed, made, spaid,weighed, swayed

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

for every minute you're talking
someone gives up 60 seconds
of peace and quiet

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

every year that passes

as i ladle up a smoking silvery spoon of time, though I don’t write or call
every year that duck squeak slip passes greased
finds me wonder why, and how you’re doing
in the golden yellow white days of summer, and another adobe fall

there is will be a small flower
something wild half hidden amid somewhere green
anywhere, i find one, anywhere at all, in between
no matter, it changes how I’m feeling that hour

taking up a petal, one will do
in vibrant color, texture, pattern, scent, then recall i will
from afar, time spent, and power from soft warm eyes
i think of you

every year that passes

as i ladle up a smoking silvery
spoon of time
though I don’t write or call
every year that duck squeak slip passes

finds me wonder
why, and how you’re doing
in blistering golden yellow white summer
leaning to another adobe fall

there is will be a small flower
something, wild half hidden
amid somewhere sometime green
anywhere i find one, anywhere at all,

in between, no matter
it changes
how I’m feeling
that hour

taking up a petal,
one will do
vibrant in color, texture,
pattern, scent

then recall i will, from afar,
time spent, and power
from soft warm eyes
i think of you

when old clothes were new

archeologists say
first clothes were made
seventy thousand years ago
more or less

before that? you tell me
what’d the cave man wear
sticks and clam shells?
maybe dinosaur skins

now in a cave in the Republic of Georgia
archaeologists have found colored fibers
that indicate the cave that may have been a factory
engaged in producing colorful textiles

found were strings and ropes
dyed fabric yellow, gray and turquoise
and one in pink, twisted together
carbon dated to thirty-four thousand years ago

scientists, not prone to speculation,
estimate that even then the fashion styles
changed every six months
and runway models were skinny

Scientists credited with the above discovery are
Ofer Bar Yosef, George Grant MacCurdy
and Janet G. B. MacCurdy of Prehistoric Archaeology
in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
Bar Yosef and colleagues have been working in this cave since 1996.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Digging into my archive, to save you the trouble, I brought this out from February 2008.

writing’s a bit
like digging a pit
you have to know
how deep to go

what to do
when that work is through?
You cover that lover
and start on another

Sunday, September 13, 2009

curtis mayfield

around somewhere, maybe in a box
i have his business card
should be framed like a trophy now
here' the story

saw him perform
in those early times, 1963
when i was young and had the stuff
to get backstage, no problem

i was writing, wanted to see
if he would do a tune or two of mine
he was very friendly, kind
but wrote all his own

rolled em out, played em on
it’s all right, people get ready,
anyway, it was nice talking with Curtis
i really liked his style

animals revisited

the house of the rising sun was sung
by Appalachian artists Clarence "Tom" Ashley
and Gwen Foster in 1933
Tom learned it from his grandfather

Alan Lomax recorded his granddaughter singing it in ‘37
Roy Acuff in ’38, Woody Guthrie in ‘41
Led Belly in ‘48,
‘61 Bob Dylan did it

and according to punk archeology
in the British invasion of 64 the animals did it
many others have since recorded it
many other artists

2009 the dentist’s office
heard it on the radio, and kid next to me says
wow. the animals, oh, yeah!
animals lead singer Eric Burton 68 years old

lets dig up Mozart, blow some air in him
and see if he can open for the animals
just keep pumping air until
we get a beat out of him

Saturday, September 12, 2009

i can turn it on

a low level technician i am, i know
rank me where I ought to be
somewhere low
because a lot really blows way by me
dust puffs on light wind to vapor

it’s the way I see it
what I expect
don’t you feel it?
examining from the back porch
under moving tree shadow and moon light

watching lightning bugs while
making thoughts, stringing them together
that could be necessary, stringing
to adjust things not quite right in my reasoning
we’ll see, I’m not sure, no regret

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


fractional Cherokee blood coursing
she stood the ladder
painting on high
four and a half feet
beyond fear

off to the side with pride in my eye
envious of her heritage advantage
i watched from my perspective
as a humble full blood

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

not the hanging judge

the frog tunes stopped
got real quiet hereabouts
don’t want to rush
to irrational judgment

but it looks like Herb stayed
and the nervous girlfriend
the one with the big eyes
might have split in the cover of darkness

this morning Herb is there
sitting on the same bar stool lily pad
like someone told him to freeze
he didn’t move a muscle (can't say hair,doesn’t have any)

we’ll move slow around, easy like
take our time, not make a sound
and count ‘em up later
to see who’s still in pond town

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

a frogs worth

summer now gone
September cool arrived
a few days of rain brought
warm damp last night

opened the window
imagined heard familiar
this morning M. saw him
called me to the pond

yes, after a summer scamper
to spend time with the girls
fall season approaches
(Errrb) Herb‘s home again

An hour later we see there are two large frogs in the pond. Maybe Herb brought his girlfriend with him.

Monday, September 07, 2009

days are like eggs

days are like eggs
some sunny side up
they’re hard, or scrambled
and, thank god,
always a few go
over easy

Sunday, September 06, 2009


of fish, birds, squirrels and frogs
there’s all kinds, good and bad,
each exhibiting different personalities
with examples for each
i told my brother what i had observed

he listened to my explanation
then told me i had too much free time.
in defense i maintain
it is better to observe nature
than watch television

Saturday, September 05, 2009

old clock

old clock man was here
brought the metal guts
didn’t have to take
the heavy wooden case

just the grandmother works,
we talked of factories and parts
in America and Europe
how things have changed

of old cars, collectors, estate sales
and the time he opened
someone’s old dead clock
to find an equally dead

rattlesnake wound inside,
when he tried to get it out
it went back to nature
returned to dust

Friday, September 04, 2009

future talks

two more automakers are thinking
of launching an electric car
that was the promotional word – launching
it must be better if it sounds like a boat

and from here, a few days into the centu…
okay, actually a nine years into the
next thousand years
electric cars are the future

how’s that if you’re looking back?
and yes, I’ll take questions, go ahead
you there, the little one with the uh, . . .go ahead . . . -
why, no, I never knew the Earp brothers

was that kid kidding
or is the future that far ahead
that you forget
exactly where the past is?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

apple cake

from a peg on the wall she took up
her worn canvas bag by the shoulder strap
said come on, we’re going to pick apples
near the corner across the street in the empty lot

there’s a neglected, half dragging to the ground,
poorly shaped, unremarkable old tree
not worth a glance,
and loaded with apples

we ate one to sample
half red, half yellow, a little strange to look at
but fresh off the tree
it was some old variety

forgotten, unattended and delicious apples
she filled the sack with a dozen or so
when she said she had enough,
we walked home

late that afternoon, after other tasks
by September sun streaming into the kitchen
she made an apple upside down
augmenting a vintage recipe found on the Internet

an hour after dinner
we each had a piece
of the best apple cake
i ever had tasted in my life

It would be too easy for M. and I to eat the whole thing, so I took the rest to my brother’s family. For us, there is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

look around

look around, you’ll see
old rock musicians
like politicians,
have taught us

if you stick around
long enough
you can always
make a comeback

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

an afternoon out

taking a slow walking pace
a few hours into the hills
easy now, said to the horse
reined up content
took a look around
into the advent of fall

the weather is kind
warm another time
leaves are dry
the autumn sun rounds the hills
at a lower angle in the sky
now winter’s just ahead

another change underway
trees will turn
geese will fly
come on boy
that’s enough, say goodbye,
we’re going home now

orderly salad order

Memorize this important catchy little salad poem and teach it to your children.

Ohhh, America eats it first
Europe eats it last
to lose weight fast
they say, then hey

vinegar, as in salad,
curbs desire for sugar,
as in desert
don’t you know?

eat salad last some say
can you believe it? don’t rush me now,
salad after main course aids digestion
it also blocks digestion when eaten first

but eat it first and it’s a palette cleaner
salad first curbs appetite to eat less overall
The contents of the stomach are released slowly
into the upper intestine, 1 or 2 teaspoons per minute

in summation: eat salad in the middle
or avoid it altogether, then again,
when they first came to America
the boat ride made everybody sick and confused anyway

final tip for orderly salad eating
use a fork and not you fingers
unless you’re a monkey, then no problem
you won’t eat salad anyway except bananas

Monday, August 31, 2009

robins gone

it's the last day of august
change is building in the air
worms are safe, robins gone
new bird children learned well enough
to wing away with the adults

in a few weeks they’ll return
to hop and peck around
for a few days of substanance
before the family flies south for the winter
free as a bird, means no luggage, to pack or carry

Sunday, August 30, 2009


get a thought
take it with you
ride away on it
you won’t fall off

a soft puffy cloud
that will evaporate
before you do

Saturday, August 29, 2009

when they were young

in the mid 60’s my buddy bill got
tickets to Mershon Auditorium
in Columbus, Ohio, a night
twenty-five hundred people packed in

we were the two white guys in the crowd
to see Gary U.S. Bond, Major Lance, the Drifters
the Temptations, The Ronettes, The Supremes
and Ray Charles

one after another
these great performers
huffed and puffed
and blew the house away

i remember when Ray was going into the falsetto
turnaround on Georgia on My Mind
there is a tiny pause at that point
the audience was silent in anticipation
a woman screamed out – Oh, sing it Ray, baby
Ray chuckled, the audience smiled and he did it

they all did it
knocked ‘em down
one after another
for everybody
all together
this night of music and love

Friday, August 28, 2009

back to the dentist

back to the dentist
maybe i should rent a bed there
find some second hand equipment
and do it myself, then again

the government checking itself for corruption
is like me checking myself for a bad tooth
cause even if i find one
i’m not going to do an extraction

today the dentist was doing my back upper
and used a little mirror to see
seemed rather tricky to me
he had to pause for a few seconds for something to dry

both he and his assistant did a habitual freeze, waiting
playing statues, like a comedy routine,
i laughed, my mouth was full of equipment,
so i couldn’t explain to them what was so funny

and they looked at me
like what is wrong with this guy?
and I’m the one in the chair with my mouth open
with their equipment and hands in my mouth

drove to the college town

a half hour drive away
we had coffee and a scone
where young students were about
more life than we usually see

there was traffic and people walking
as we passed several houses for sale
nothing in particular for us
though we tried to like what was there

the town wasn't special today
it was fine, but didn’t have our names on it
up and down the streets looking
then a while later we drove back home

when you see it you’ll know it
that’s what we hear all the time
and although we desire a change
so far its gone out of its way to avoid us

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

to enlighten mankind

open your eyes
close your mouth
go on a diet
start with yourself

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

middle of the night

middle of the night
had an idea for a poem
didn’t turn on the light
didn’t write it down

i got up and walked around
didn’t smoke, didn’t drank
just thank, like thinking
cause it was last night
it’s all past tense
in the darkness

and i wasn’t tense
i rested well, i can tell
makes sense, i’m just saying
the idea escaped me

came in, went by
leaving nothing to hang it on
got away completely
like clothes on the line in high wind
that first flaps, then blows
whap - took wing and flew away

another case of talking in my dream
about some poem, to some people
it’s what they said, or so i thought
and then they all got up and left at once

the whole flock thought took to the air transparent
gone, before i wrote something down
it got by me and went away
past tense

Monday, August 24, 2009

a dark figure

from the front step i saw
in the stillness of heavy dusk
a lone dark figure
amble my way down the street

perhaps it’s that bushy headed cute girl
with the cheery hello, who lives next door
that always sings walking her kitty
and has a happy word for everyone

i waited a moment
as the figure drew near i saw it was Rollo
the waddling ancient groundskeeper
from the local cemetery, tugging his little dog

and who rides the loudest riding mower in creation
always yells in your face, is irritating and grumpy,
with a chill in my spine i slipped into silent shadows,
maybe next time i'll say hi