Saturday, August 15, 2009

thunder blue

thunder blue
are you true
had to write that true line cause it sounds
like a mid twentieth century torch song
in a night club with burgundy velvet drapery
the clinking of glasses, voices and laughter
and a lot of smoking going on
this table, please
i want to be close to the band stand

lets put rain beating against the windows
and Bogart and Bacall hats down walking in the rain
this is where the thunder comes in
hey, there’s Gene Kelly
he wants to dance in the downpour
holly mackerel, it’s a musical
no wonder i got up early
i didn’t want to miss anything

spare a quarter, spare a quarter
you win some and you lose a few
there’s the line by the church
they feed indigents breakfast
that looks like your mother
and it’s you she’s carrying
how’s your cards look now
little smarty pants

Friday, August 14, 2009

my son was here

now to put away in my head that my son was here
with his wife and two young daughters
children and grandchildren, ours for a week
they’ve gone back home

m. and i must reassemble,
meals once again quiet and simple
in the old house silent
where already clocks tick louder

we’ll drive fewer miles
with no one to show,
the heavy and hard to reach special chores will be undone
without assistance from the skilled, able younger man

and no one will thrill looking hard for berries, frogs or eagles
the happy calliope of the ice cream truck will pass barely noticed
soon leaves will dry crisp and golden unseen by them
as the flapping wings and honks of wild geese soar low overhead

seasons turn rolling like clouds on the wind
the lake will grow wild and thrash
then grey lie calm still, iced over
without their attention

while great joy lingers
there is also sadness in the wake
for all great moments are not all game winning seconds
the first and the fastest and the farthest and the medals

sometimes the joys are quiet
as were moments seated on the back porch
at night in low voice talking
saying nothing in particular

life is a trade of joys and sorrows
here’s a toast to them
warm toast and butter to the joys
with homemade jelly smeared all over it

Thursday, August 13, 2009

a crowd of poets

a crowd of poets
is a sad thing,
they're always holding hands
and crying

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

lincoln train

I found accounts that showed it came near the village of New London, Ohio, only a few miles from here. The year was 1865.

cool for April, spring came late that year
somber groups dispersed along the track
as far as the eye could see, neighbors in the night
reduced to profiles in the darkness

by the hour all were really tired
nervous in anticipation, wishing it’d arrive
3:25 in the morning, there about
there was a spot of wavering light in the distance

the same instant a voice cried out
then young Earl spotted it
“it’s coming” his wavering shout rang like a shot
over the now silent multitude assembled

some sobbing could be heard
as the lumbering of the locomotive slowly passed
the dark shadow of the funeral train
carrying the body of their fallen leader.

Monday, August 10, 2009

another season

i heard a frog voice last night at three
once every thirty seconds
old Herb did every fifteen
but that was a month ago

another month,
another season,
another frog?

you could spell the frog’s name Herb,
but what he said was erb
guess that’s herb with a small H

maybe frogs
have trouble
with their h’s.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


hands over apple carts
heels stomping knaves
strapped on a barrel
pearls hidden in caves

after line thimbles
knotted in haste
stumble and dribble
cookies to paste

orange, blue and pink
everything beckons
don’t even think
of askin’ for seconds

oh, i lost it
I did, more or less
t’was casting a spell,
least, that’d be my guess