Friday, June 26, 2009

all the while we sleep

Chew this one slowly. Taking a pause. Be back later.

all the while we sleep
dancing in dream
someone is watching

over long fields of grass
through the great forests
lonely small animals search
for food, or the way to water
for a drink

in stillness the trees
hold their arms up
protecting those beneath
without question
the center of that world
the one unobserved

news sources don’t explain
that an old oak is near death
outliving its usefulness
because a child’s swing is gone
and no one will again
climb that high to tie new ropes

or that a great rock has rolled
for eons until the flaked gram is mistaken
for another piece of sand castle

while we sleep it goes on
in the personage of the milkman and baker
i remember the horse-drawn wagon
used once in a while,
painted red, and crawling down our main street
so that half-pints of cream would be there
chilled in the morning by
crisp, nose-pinching air

a stump has given way for a babe
a green shoot, that given half a chance
could grow larger than the parent
but probably won’t because of what is now
a poor location for a tree

june bugs and fire flies
not in number that we knew
no longer are they swept from the sidewalks
grasshoppers and dragon flies
aren’t about quite as they were
and violets, unceasingly underfoot
are less frequent

the hand-crank telephone
that slept in the shed
is gone to a collector
and given a price

the one-armed man
who rolled his own cigarettes
isn’t at the gas station in the afternoons
to tell us his stories
and his son has moved to the city

two-laners are multiplied
one-laners are grown over
and the last remnants of the old street car bed
are just gone

while we sleep one truck
slows in the snow
as furious windshield-wipers battle
to clear the glass
someone is looking, looking into a blue
and motionless night

glowing red barns
sporting tobacco leafs picture
and larger than life yellow words
are dirty grey between wide gaps
from board to board
the wind uses this place now
to hum through

but the grass still grows
short, thin and tireless to trampling
amid papers bags and candy wrappers
no matter
the unknown, never mown glen
harbors a curious ant
enjoying a climb up
and around
to seemingly nowhere

and the river still flows
where my brother and i
took the great canoe in search of ducks
but just as much, in search of adventure
that went with the south river brook

all the while we sleep
someone is dancing over our dreams
with you and i where we were
or might have been
another time and altogether

one day you will do the same
forever and forever ‘til forever

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ninety degrees

ninety degrees, humid and full up on robins
plus four eggs on deck in the nest
no one sits on the them today
must be plenty warm enough

one robin in the bird bath
one waiting, looks like he’s sweating
bird family’s sharing water space
most of the time, or too hot to argue

one this side of the pond
one’s in the water falls,
one waiting
everyone’s wet, ruffled and cranky

‘cept the eggs
they’re getting
their newbie brains
cooked in the shell

went out to check the nest
a bird’s back with the eggs
took five minutes for it to sit down
must be hot on the bird’s bottom

a billion

the other day I wrote about chocolate
a pleasant thought for us,
this morning on the BBC I heard
the World Food Organization announced
the number of hungry people in the world
is now estimated to be a billion

that’s one of every six people
who don’t have enough to eat
among these are parents
needing food to feed
their hungry children

like you, i have no answers
other than doing the best we can
in this world
with each other
one person at a time

jungle fish

This is a poem i posted in April. I put it out again for no special reason;I just felt like it.

jungle fish

you and i
haven’t seen it all
don’t say you have
don’t think about it
no need to

not all the world caresses
some hurts
and dumps upon us
in papers and magazines
the news of course, they call it that
the video, the Internet that brings pieces
bam banging slapping sounds
pumping games flashing colors into children's heads
Marshall McLuhan was right the medium is the message
now i add, TV did more to destroy the world than educate
I have seen Guatemalan jungle natives in see-through straw huts
watching far away New York soap operas
on TV powered by a noisy gas generator
the soap opera had NYC folk
in nice clothes and makeup
drinks in hand and the natives,
ready to throw a spear through a monkey,
were sitting women breast naked in
a rag covering their crotches
and I’m walking by their hut and
can look right through it
and see them sitting glazed over stuck to the screen.
maybe they flashed me the peace sign
and maybe I gave them the finger
cause they were screwed

media chunks show how people dress and hold their heads
how they clothe their pet animals
while city buses so full
those at the door exit to let others on
dead fish are laid to rest in tins and wait consumption this way

passing by are the rich and famous in their rings and finery
with guards tagging alongside
lest reality get too close
best they remain cushioned
aloof from commoners and dirt poor

on the street notices are
handed by strangers to strangers
pasted across shop windows
stuffed in trash cans or
dropped they litter the streets
are stepped upon, pushed along
where the head count clashes with
the clean, pressed white shirts and latest ties
and we, hats on backwards
in over sized sacky things to cover how fat we are
that resemble sports team garments,
wrinkled sweat stained bags with a bright bold number on it
the number of a hero on the squad
named for a predatory animal
as a sweaty tourist screams at the counter waitress
give me a coke before I die

and I see them sun glassed now
all the while quick stepping alone
bumping into each other
unaware, as if stoned
talking on cell phones
while the senseless talk to themselves
and need no phone
who is changing the world?

for all the while
the sun goes up
the sun goes down

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

past eleven

past eleven we read
then went to bed
had earphone on my head
listened to jazz

seemed only a moment later
she said, “mnff enofff mnevff”
“good night”, i replied
then with one eye

i glanced at the clock
it was 4:22
one of us must have been talking
to the sand man

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


wait, don’t get up, nothing else will do,
if we don’t have any, that’s okay,
i won’t eat any, chocolate, that is

there’s more that way for the rest of the world
and others may really need it
consider it practically a good deed

I ‘ll get by just thinking about it,
not all the time of course, just now and then
like now, when I really would like some

Monday, June 22, 2009

earth angle

we’re on an angle here folks
whether you’re north or south
a peak happened yesterday - 21 June
not a moment too soon

you could tell by the moon
the slant of the sun
or a shadow on the wall
what season’s begun

which one we’ve lost
and has started to run us
all the way back
the other way
from which we’ve just come

or do you live in a cave maybe
and see in the dark
with eyes in your butt?
if so, how's your wireless?

the boys on the garbage truck

the boys on the garbage truck
specifically, on the leaves and sticks truck
yard waste they call it, somebody named it that
well, they’re out there this morning, on schedule

i walked out to retrieve our cans and heard their chatter
one lad laughed when he told me he was giving grief to the driver
having fun they were, keeping it light
while doing a ton of work for everyone in town

house to house they pick up heavy containers
and throw the stuff on the giant truck
i don’t know if the same crew switches trucks for the garbage
and return for the recyclables

but they keep going
every day another route
picking it up, throwing it on,
and on and on

are they paid well, or are they convicts on work parole?
hard to tell because of how young people dress these days,
returning every week, in all weather
we’re all mighty fortunate they do

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sunday morning at JC Penny

Sunday morning at JC Penny’s
quiet with no confusion
the stately tall elderly man in the bow tie
has come out of retirement to work a bit

he’s the cashier in the men’s department
it’s what he knows how to do well
can assist, chat if you want, and he gets contact
with people, he’s good at that

a long time ago on my first jobs
i worked Sundays
guess when you’re older and alone
that’s also a fine way to end