Saturday, May 01, 2010

folly of spring

here i am, there are no geese.
must i go looking
in the usual places
where they congregate,

i don’t think so;
they can wait
and better they do,
a lesson for them all.

they know only their own reflection in the lake.
if they can recall other than their own image,
let them vent their wings and
see if they can find me.

a walk on the pier will show me many fish,
occasional mouth open bobbers and long swelling floaters,
but i don’t want to encounter any geese;
not that way, not today, not yet anyway.

wretched clean up
after a winter of winds blowing sticks,
knocking things about and new spring growing,
making a mess that we will reassemble into order;

it has to be done,
our part of the bargain
for being people living in this community.
have you noticed, the lucky nonliving don’t do shit.

they lie still in the recently frozen soil
watch the stars, wait for visitors,
or walkabout, return to favorite haunts in cover of darkness
or in thin air, thinking thoughts they didn’t know they could in life.

so i gave a kid relative of a neighbor
five bucks to cut our long front lawn.
when he finished tipped him a dollar for immediate service.
his two minutes would take forty-five from my life.

the kid is a tall, well built,long hair seventeen.
at that age i could have sliced weeds and then run the gauntlet,
now a wobbly sixty-five, can use the help
and kids always need money. good for both of us.

earlier i asked the school teacher next door how much
should i offer the lad to mow, he said five or ten.
this neighbor cuts it for us for free when we’re away.
teaches fifth grade math but not economics.

Frank the bluegill is gone from our pond
should i cast along the bottom with a net
dragging for skeletal remnants, traces
or did an invader, man or egret, go fishing.

no frogs yet, not this first of May.
they’ll come home in due time,
when it’s warm, humid, still and bugs are about.
scratch that last; there is one out there barking now.

old friend LeeH. wrote to tell me of poet Wallace Stevens;
said my stuff was reminiscent. thought he joked
until i kept reading; it's a stretch, but now with a thousand
poems down i learn something new. that’s how life goes,

especially when you tire
of your own reflection in the water
and then pick your head up and look around.
there are nearly seven billion of us in this pond.

Friday, April 30, 2010

reading sign

i need go over again,
searching carefully each clue
as to where is up
for me, for you, it keeps changing

there’s been faint trace
like a bird puff gone to wind,
aloft - the shifting of the old tree.
ground level - wind licking long strokes in lawns

stuff is old, i see it around me
don’t let me kid myself
the wind is cold by night
as day old dinner left lying on the shelf

rampant speculation leads to inaccuracies
following closely pit padding heels of worry
abandoning hurry, do softly tread,
leave no space, show nor dread.

as we race handle our duties,
scurrying about have no doubt,
in the end, as my mother said,
kid, everything always works out

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the egret has landed

more a to a less play the drums tap tap
in my head riding, some.
last time i opened the window
i didn’t know it was the last time

if people dressed better
would they treat us better?
on the other hand
they treat us like cattle, so dress for it

saw a disheveled motorcycle man attired for a sleepover
had on a t-shirt with a decal picture of a motorcycle on it
give him a country name
call him Harley Woodpecker

hug the cushion
to your chest
in the event of evacuation
i’d call that an event all right

don’t mind
much of anything
words people say
or what aggravates

out the window
looked like two fat puffy bunnies
parked on the tarmac
call them big planes in their team colors

lock tray tables down in their
full upright position, why is that?
will it rattle, fall and break on takeoff?
hug the seat cushion to your chest

in the event of an evacuation
or if in need of a cuddle, not while plane is in motion,
or they’ll want to know why you’re taking their plane apart
don’t forget, do not forget this is a non smoking flight, don’t forget

woke up at eleven pm last night your time
been flying, well, riding mostly
go ahead tell me it’s a non smoking flight
nearly forgot, thought i'd quit or something

hurry driver
take me home so i can find the Internet is down
cause a ten cent piece of plastic broke when they
thought they reconnected the stuff no problem

throw out that dot of plastic
get it in the ocean
so it floats with the rest of it
and won’t ever be lonely again

Monday, April 26, 2010

ordinary coffee 2

between time has begun in earnest,
sliding along a step at a time in this land
where coffee is not only a drug
it is the ritual, deeply set

saw Alberto a final time
had coffee, bid our goodbyes.
neither here nor beyond, i’m in prep time now,
thinking the way

then near home, woodworker Franco
tells me he’s moving from his shop,
saddened. his friends, already
thinking of his friends

twenty-five years in this place,
Franco has ripened and aged in this studio
of worn brick fabricated in the late middle ages.
he knows these ancient walls, having laughed and cried here

and we all have our paths,
the way for one is never
easy as it may appear to others.
expect and accept surprises

on the way keep your head up,
be alert through change, though fear it not.
remember - it is always easier to ride the horse
in the direction that it is going.

ordinary coffee

ordinary coffee and a roll with apple
at the bar unchanged for years
dark haired daughter works Monday
she knows our routine

M. went along this regular
laundry day for Bill and i.
now Luciano will be closing his place
moving to Thailand the end of the month

chef Bill will spend his 43rd year in Roma
then is on his way
to live with his brother in Atlanta,
we’ll return in the fall, that’s the plan

yesterday it was Chinese food
with Maria, Bruna and Luciana,
a Trastevere summery Sunday
we bid our goodbyes

quickly all happens,
so sudden to depart
our friendship. our adventure
oh, melancholy heart

Sunday, April 25, 2010

more or lessing now

this whole thing is amazing
there’s seven billion of us
mostly the same
one head and the other parts
we put words together
that’s one way it starts

then what i come up with
is not all that unique
we’re in this together
that’s what i think

my poems are like yours
when you take ‘em apart
they’re all from the brain
run by the heart

so a salute to us is okay
from one and for all
give it your best,
have a nice day