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