Sunday, October 30, 2011


On Our Snow Storm Of October 29, 2011

Howling wind, falling leaf,
Chilling draft as motif;
Ghostly sheets the only white
To haunt day and night.
Not sleet and snow that fell,
Like a Winter Witch’s spell.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Friendship, Akin-ship,
There’s been a lot of been-ship.
A lot of shipmates sailing together
Until the waves broke vessels down
And carried us through different sounds.

How many wrecks upon the shoals
Of opportunity and goals?
Once anchor-bound by a tether
Until this wave crashed, that one rose.
Ah, the different seas we chose.

Ahoy there, mate, crossing the bar,
We parted in the ports flung far;
At many harbors and much bad weather,
Washed ashore by ambition or pride,
It’s on such rocks old friendships died.

Now this old sailor home from the sea
Is grounded by age and apathy
Without a gull of matching feather.
We were too focused on our fishing trips
And missed the lighthouse to true friendships

Photo: “Crossing the Bar” by the author, 1969

Monday, October 3, 2011

Late that morning...

…she picked up the tray and carried it
(Breakfast time now well gone)
To the kitchen from the bed.
She scraped the plate with the clean fork
And left all in the sink
While she made a brief, brief call.

Walking down her lovely garden path,
She sat in the dirt in dressing gown,
To snip some flowers growing there.
In the distance the phone had rung,
But this task was enough for now.
They would too soon be here.

She heard them come, she heard them go,
She didn’t know just where she stood,
Dizzy in the whirl of the last day.
Holding Gladiolas in her hand,
Thinking she should make lunch perhaps;
But at the stroke of one the tears broke.

Something of a History of English Poetry from the Dark Ages to Today

We think of poetry as rhyme,
Similarity ending every line,
As if this was the will of God.
Yes, it’s true I see you nod.

But no it is not in the history of our talk.
Early erudite scribers did not end English
Verse with varied vocabulary
Of sounds of similarity

It probably was not from purity.
Spelling Old English was enough a task.
At some point some poet arrived
Who took a stab and rhyming tried,
But like here resulted in feeble rime
And left it ‘til Chaucer shuffled by.

Yes, similar syllables he did not eschew
Ah, Chaucer knew his way around a rime or two,
Perhaps his forms were his own and new,
As he spread his rhymes through and through
In complex patterns that ring true
To ears raised on the Romantic lines
From Byron, Keats and Shelley’s times.

Though I came to poetry through the proclivities of Poe,
Embracing the spacing of rhythm and rhyme
I’ve watched the full circle back to non-ringing ends,
Probably owing some knowing of Walt Whitman
And the blue-collar
Bellow and blast of Sandburg,
the dropping of propriety proper by cummings
Or the Howls of the Beats, Bukowski and such,
And a love of it all. In my life I have gathered,
If it communicated, rhyme or not hasn’t mattered.

World is Disconnected

Shakespeare said it first, but what the heck,
‘Tis commonly remembered from Steinbeck.
Still our very own winter of discontent
Has fell cold on our world of disconnect.
Yet under the ice this lava seethes,
Across the fields, across the heaths,
And I fear this hidden broiling froth
Will surely burst forth like boiling broth
And when it does we’ll all be burned.
For one thing certain man has never learned
To temper his greed or undeserved pride,
And on that fact many truths have died.