Saturday, December 6, 2008
its better days, even the trusses sag.
Don't let the moss that's growing in between
the shingles fool you with its charm. The swag
of roses on the door, tied with a bow,
are hung preserved and bundled near the bell.
And when the bell is rung we’ll have to go
to find something to buy – something to sell.
This house is tired of spinning round and round.
The window panes are covered with a haze
of dust and in the garden there's a sound
of tanks and bombs where little Johnny plays.
Through many trying years this house has stood
with hope and fear and nail prints in its wood.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Why should I want to know you if it’s true
that even love is temporary? I
could find no joy if love could only glue
together earthly bodies. Would the sky
exist if there were no one who could see
the glories of the heavens? Science knows
the Sun won’t last forever. Yet 'to be',
it seems requires that there be One 'we'
that permeates through spirit all that glows,
and all things beautiful – each lovely rose
can bloom eternally in the sublime.
Each seed produces after its own kind.
Could love and hope and peace and joy abide
if 'nothingness' composed our formless side?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
it’s written that the good Lord said
in that deep garden where the flower
dropped sleepy poppy seeds.. The bread
had made the Lord’s disciples full –
too full to suffer till the last,.
their eyelids heavy, felt the pull,
earth’s gravity was very vast.
Yet Jesus knew that all are weak,
but still, it broke his human heart
to be abandoned – sold for sleep
by those he’d chosen from the start.
The same is so for each of us
down in the valley of the skull
where every thought is ominous,
a cup of trembling – till a lull
shall lift us from the anguished floor
of threshing where the angels swarm
to separate the chaff before
the wheat is garnered from the storm.
Monday, October 20, 2008
White moths are feeding on chrysanthemums
as squirrels are rolling acorns through the roots
of red oak trees. Gray elephants eat tons
of hay. "Snakeskins Should Never Cover Boots!",
a sign read as we left the reptile home,
(the place where eggs of gilamonsters lay).
Gazelles, so delicate, are free to roam;
orangutans seem happy as they play.
Cream stripes are lovely on brown bongos' backs.
"The Zebras Will Return To Us This Fall",
was posted near a far-out field of yaks.
"Hey, look! Great turtles just beyond that wall!"
"It took two trains to get us to the Zoo!",
exclaimed delighted, three-year-old, Andrew.
"Summer In Washington"
Sunday, October 19, 2008
some children went unfed,
and bankers kept on reaping
their useless, leavened bread.
Poets were keeping
their records of the dead.
Autumn was sweeping
spent leaves of gold and red.
And dreams were steeping
like tea leaves in my head
while I was sleeping,
and resting on my bed.
I was not weeping
nor filled with cares or dread
of darkness creeping
or evil rumors spread.
While I was sleeping
sweet slumber wove a thread
of visions leaping –
as joy and peace were wed.
Friday, October 17, 2008
scribere ad nauseum necessa est
Two poet ghosts cling to these hallowed walls,
from Oedipus and Chiron by & by.
Some ghosts prefer to haunt old shopping malls.
But these ones, no! They light here on the fly
making themselves at home like gypsy thieves
disguised with party favors and spider webs
and pumpkins garlanded with autumn leaves,
their silent presence is hidden as music ebbs
its magic through the guests this Halloween,
slow-dancing in our dim-lit sitting room.
These ghosts stand watch and hear us in between
the laughter gliding on a witch’s broom.
The moral of this story is like a spell:
a secret riddle – so sorry, I cannot tell!
~._.~._.~scribbled here on 10.17.08~._.~._.~
Monday, October 13, 2008
Among stalactites, deep in molten caves,
La femme Batilda hangs out as she waits
for green hors d'oeuvres Some patrons barely leave
a trace of hemoglobin on their plates.
The only blood Batilda will consume
is chlorophyll, slow-cooked in leafy veins.
She craves the heads and necks of raw legumes
and fan-shaped radish tops on rose red flames,
(ummmm.... spicy balls of fire topped with sage).
Her taste for tofu waxes – then it wanes –
she’d much prefer to dine on cabbage rows.
‘To-die-for’: pumpkin seeds at Halloween,
ambrosia of bean-sprouts and plump mushrooms.
Make love! Make love, not war beneath the moon!
Batilda hopes the whole world soon turns green.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
but if not, may we drink eternal sleep.
Oblivion might be the thing to save
us from a world too terrible and steep.
But if not, may we find that death can keep
the evil from our eyes – far from our sight;
a respite from the tears we’ve had to weep.
Let nothingness become a wingless flight.
Unending sleep may cauterize the fright
that haunts us as the years unwind and blend
themselves in search of joy and love and light
as we await the stillness of the wind.
Oblivion might just as thoroughly save
should death outweigh love’s power in the grave.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
a game of hide-and-seek with all his sons
and daughters. Darkness keeps his face at bay --
the goodness of his glory. We're the ones
who form his shadow. Perhaps he dims the light
so not to slay too soon with zephyrous sun.
How bright the Day when God must break the night!
In love he knew we'd need a place to run -
a rock to hide in - lest we be exposed
before the whole world. The naked have no clay!
All hearts shall faint when all has been revealed
and we shall fall as dead. Yet we'll be healed
as sin and death and hell must flee away
and every tear is evermore transposed.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
like fine woven glass
low on a pine bough
in a cradle of green
a tiny perfection,
unique as each man,
a crystalline symmetry
formed by the hand
of a masterful artist
whose invisible brush
had seemingly swept
with a mystical gust
and a magical breath
clear across the blue lake
whose mellifluous heart
formed each lonesome snowflake.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The pine wood boards were washed in egg-shell white.
Soon they would rise to brighten bedroom walls
of lavender. Green ferns would nestle tight
in faded terra-cottas bought in malls
from Barcelona's RAMBLA. Old World clay
we bought ten years before melds with our home,
small tokens fashioned for these shelves. "The way
that life should be", I say. A taste of Rome
or wisps of Spain now spread themselves around
our place in Florida. They comfort me
with memories I would never wish to trade
or chase away. That is the way I've found
to measure a thing's value worthily,
and know to keep or toss back in the sea.
first published in the Chimaera - Summer '08
Monday, August 25, 2008
I'm tethered in the moment to a mood,
its shadow cast beyond penumbral light,
a bract of purple-green on blackish blue.
Some guy made rings that measured things with hues
around the time that Armstrong swept the moon
collecting rocks into his gunnysack.
With outstretched hands he gazed toward the earth
now tiny as a marble in its form,
its night lights splaying psychedelic blooms
reminiscent of the time when Hendrix played
his strange guitar strings. Flower-children swayed
and turned in round-a-bouts of scattered gloom.
It's all about escape, each trip we make;
a search for love in war’s long interlude.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Imagine that He is
but has no father or mother,
no one to whom He must answer,
yet no one to whom He may inquire.
Imagine that He is spirit
with power to create bodies,
both terrestrial and celestial,
yet cannot be reduced to a body
because He gives life to every body.
Imagine that He is Agape-Love
bound by the essence of ultimate purity,
yet He is opposed
by all sentient beings
who cannot comprehend Him
or understand His true intentions,
nor can His creatures help their lack of understanding
without His help, His love, His grace,
His granting of wisdom
to those who seek wisdom.
Imagine being God
and desiring fellowship with sentient beings
made in His likeness.
We were taught that God needs nothing and no one,
but perhaps He needed us
in order that His joy be made full.
God WAS, and IS
yet did not and does not want to BE alone!
Imagine creating such beings
without creating robots
who can only comprehend their own god-like-ness
by being made subject to sorrow and death.
Imagine that those He subjected to death,
(in order that He could convey the glory of life and righteousness and goodness),
were mostly confused by His dilemma,
or unresponsive, uninterested, unappreciative of the glory of His being
or even worse - thought him cruel or non-existent.
Imagine God wanting to be loved and understood
to the same degree that you and I want
to be loved and understood.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Moths drink the tears from eyes of sleeping birds.
The same is true of certain butterflies.
Sometimes the facts sound much like pretty lies
that poet's choose for loveliness of words.
I've wondered if the strangest things in life
exist just for the sake of poetry,
as if God knew that surely we would be
in desperate need of things that take a knife
to all the sorrow in this veil of death.
Without such wonders we might not endure
this world of pain. In beauty there is grace.
Perhaps for every sadness there's a breath
of love - and in the end all things are pure
as virtues etched in Christ's angelic face.
***"Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds"
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Their absence shows the path where I have mown.
And as I turn to cut another pass,
it feels as though I've hemmed the season's gown.
The golden-brown confetti on my lawn,
kaleidoscopic through the summer haze
is like a printed fabric soon withdrawn
reminiscent of my passing youthful phase.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Open wide as a market umbrella,
a white crape myrtle shades my front lawn
newly pebbled with patches of yellow
knots of dandelions. Just after dawn
I wake to the sound of glad singing
breaking forth in a song without words.
There’s no need for a language, the meaning
resonates from the joy of the birds.
To their open air concert I’m bringing
only bare feet and sleepy, green eyes,
and my coffee, of course, while I’m flinging
on a tee-shirt and blue jeans. I rise
up sky-lighted on many-a-morning
to the beauty of nature’s adorning.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
This very well be the only sestina I ever write, so I thought I'd post it.
- The Watering Gate -
I saw them as I left today from work
as soon as I had closed the wooden gate
behind me and had drunk a cup of water.
There was no place I really had to go,
and so I took my time. I didn’t run
the way I sometimes do – I often run
as if life were a race. There on that hill,
the silhouetted couple stood. I go
and come the same way every day from work,
taking for granted earth and sun and water.
Familiar things get lost. Sometimes a gate
will make me pause and think; a creaking gate
especially so, and sounds of things that run
like trickling brooks - the peaceful voice of water,
its liquid echo circling down a hill
from clouds that have released their burdensome work,
and like me, found the peace of letting go.
The lie of time says moments come and go
as fast as little lambs run toward a gate
in search of freedom. There is always work
enough to keep us feeling ‘on-the-run’.
The move toward pleasure seems to be up hill,
against the laws that govern moving water.
But nothing is alive where there’s no water
that’s stirring. Living things must ebb and go.
Stagnation lies beneath a silent hill
of graves - behind the locking of a gate
of wrought iron coldness. Living things must run.
An idle body has no means to work
to keep the spirit flowing. Life needs work –
and workers need a living well of water
to keep the heart from fainting as they run.
Recycling is the only way to go.
Our life’s a circle and each of us a gate
that God has set upon his lovely hill.
I bike to work near waterfalls that run.
They’re brisk and full of life and through the gate
I drink the sun-rise lilting on the hill.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
- Maybe there's a moral hidden inside this poem that was waiting till now to be revealed~
L A D Y B U G
(A Wee Morsel Of Nonsense)
- with homage to Edward Lear -
Lady bug dangles her delicate feet,
hanging on edge by the tips of her toes,
dancing her digits to Beethoven's beat
while gorging herself on the leaf of a rose.
Over and under, the aphids they go,
just for a peek at her red petticoat,
towing and rowing through chlorophyll's glow
on the miniature stern of their pea green boat.
Lady bug blushes to see such a sight,
this parading of morsel-sized, tiny, green men
watching her feast on the garden's delight,
so she hides underneath a wild rose-petal's stem.
"Lady bug, lady bug, feminine one,
come out and stroll in the beautiful sun."
shouted Sir Edward, the aphid's fine king,
"Come through the garden, there to you I'll sing."
"Lady bug, lady bug, why do you hide?,
hop on my raft and I''ll give you a ride,
climb up onto my wee vessel of love,
I'll take you sailing on oceans made of
all of the liquid I've pressed from the leaves
of finest wine roses. I've rolled up my sleeves!
Lady bug turned, gave a smile and a sigh,
doubting that she could resist such a guy!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
a passion from the heat is spun.
An unexpected beauty buys
the wonderment that lights our eyes
where flowers bloom.
When cactus-yellow and pink adorn
the sand, dead-dry from lack of storms,
I'll find my faith, though paper thin,
renewed as life springs up again
where flowers bloom.
And when the day is finally gone,
now put to bed, the flowers dawn
in dreams as we retain the prize,
a comfort for our lazing eyes
where flowers bloom.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Abe sketches trees in charcoal
as he rides the train to London,
makes sure they're true-to-season
without the luxury of color.
He pauses now and then,
the same as when
the rain rests intermittently
beneath the underpasses.
Abe moves his pencil once again,
rakes smudges into fruits,
then curves his thoughts
to what stays in the main:
a day in March two springs before
when all was new
and leaded lines of Oxford's trees
had not turned lavender
to shades of mourning blue.
©1999 - first Published in 2RiverView
Monday, April 21, 2008
He makes love to me in the mornings.
We are a sun rays striking a tree.
I am a leafy Queen. He is a Monarch.
He lights upon my branch,
then with a sudden hush
I turn pale green.
I might have fainted
had he not given pause,
a softly measured reprieve.
Once, then twice again
he flutters up and down.
to waken every vein.
First published in Lucid Rhythms - Winter '07
Friday, April 11, 2008
I wish he could have seen the fields of Spain,
the massive blocks of sunflowers,
their pug-nosed faces upturned toward the sunset;
more than enough to paint past thirty-seven's gate.
Have you seen yellow ochre past a tender age,
its vintage kept by shaded, airtight glass
beyond the pale of early learning years,
still wet enough to draw the latter rains?
In Holland there are colors known to few
where pails of silver poured the milk and lime.
I saw them once and never left behind the taste
of umber's golden sunburn on my tongue.
I wonder if he listened to his peers,
which paintings that we'll never chance to view,
forever buried under yellowed graves,
and if, perhaps, the best were left undone?
- first published in Fall/99 2Riverview
****There are other versions I've written of this poem. I can't seem
to settle on just one. So I keep them all scattered about.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Remember how the chuckling water fell
on marbled stones and horses galloping,
and coins we tossed behind us in a spell
of wonderment like pearls thrown from a string?
Recall the ripples that we made that day
the drops that swirled together, circling out – - -
and out forever. People stopped to pray
at Trevi Fountain as children ran about.
I saw your eyes; they pooled with joy and fear,
and in them shone the sunny hills of Rome
reflected from a half-reluctant tear,
our journey nearly ended. Traveling home,
we saw three roads and took the highest one
that rises towards the all-consuming sun.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
A weathered boardwalk circles through these Glades
for hikers trekking surly woodland scenes.
Bemusing chipmunks furrow rye-grass blades
and sparrows search for worms. The mountain greens
weave offerings of freshness through the air.
The West Virginia sun splays mellow beams
as rolling hills betray a harsher glare.
Cool river water fills our small canteens.
Monongahela is the forest's name
from natives who traversed this rugged land;
their spirit that moved here seems to revive
when cardinals light up cedars with their flame
and dulcimers and banjos carved by hand
rise up and “Almost Heaven” comes alive.
- for William R. Bryant -
You say my name, yet I don't know from where
you learned to curl the vowels like whispered twine
or silken breath of gossamer. With care
you say my name.
You speak and once again – your words are wine
and California poppies, grapes and air
as thin as in some northern mountain clime.
Your voice of elegance makes my name rare;
it takes me to a deeper place and time
where I forget my troubles. In a prayer
you say my name.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
and breath can still be drawn to feed our lips
with sacred words. As we approach our flight
to the beyond and join the ancient ships –
those vessels that endured the wrath and winds
blowing below the heavens. How we’ll sing
for joy of recognition, like lost friends
who know a celebration is the thing
we've come for. Even in the midst of war
let us remind each other of the day
we're navigating toward – it’s not too far,
our journey to the light. Let’s keep at bay
the passing darkness – and not let this night
obscure our upward visions of delight.
Our orange-cream calico is quite polite.
She comes to visit very patiently,
does not meow or paw me with a slight
concupiscence for petting. Silently,
she seems to know the power and the pull
of meekness – how its beauty draws me in.
Her peace commands attention. Now a full
but tempered purring brings my face a grin
as I contrast her personality
with Blacky's – how he nibbles at my feet,
not sparing my own flesh his tooth or claw.
I love them both, what's better, they love me.
And if they really had nine lives – how sweet;
our home would be a feline Taj Mahal.