2013 Poems January thru April
Doctrine Doc Print this poem only
I need not the Roman Curia
or a religious Manchuria
all I need to really rock
is one Divine-Doctrine-Doc.
Dreampresent Print this poem only
I hear people on the talent shows
speak ardently of living out their dreams
as if their dreams are some projected future.
I cannot know their minds,
but in my dreams I am always in the now
on a ship at sea,
hiding from an approaching menace,
lying next to my lover,
flying above the lumber yard
and cyclone fences
cannon storming my senses
pedestrians in intersections.
I am lost with no connections
desperately seeing directions.
Or visiting donut shops
and buying apple fritters
sprinkly chocolate covereds,
things I cannot taste
in my waking life.
of growing old and frail
not being able to get out of bed to pee
of arguments with policemen
fleeing tax men clutching forms
slogging through surging surf
unable to make progress
towards the shore.
In all of this however
I am in the pressing present of my dreams
not in the future.
The future only germinal
under the cloudy ground
of the dreampresent.
Embarrassment Print this poem only
The red face and squishy insides
tumble through the hole in my house
my house so solid with bricks
and well-nailed wood.
I've worked it well
hammered every waking moment
troweled and fitted a veneer
so acceptable and kind
it would make Frank Lloyd Wright proud.
But even the coat of paint
applied only last year is pealing ,
aged by wind and rain
and incessant heat.
My apparel, so well-suited
for a glowing impression
is tight with my excess
a shade lighter
from agitation in the detergent
of my conscience.
I praise the pain of embarrassment
for its lesson:
That the me I knew I knew
is never really there
within and without.
I praise this lesson
that makes me a little less full
of my self.
Godsmile :*) Print this poem only
Look up in the sky
it is a bird, it is a plane
it is the sweet fresh rain
it is the clouds that fly.
Look down at the ground
it is a caterpillar, it is an ant
it is a green springing plant
and creepy crawlies all around.
Look inside of you
it is enthusiasm and hope
it is the broader deeper scope
the rousing breakthrough.
It is a : an * and an arc
It is a Godsmile with a spark :*)
Hal Strikes Out Print this poem only
When Hal was twelve years old
wanting to become a man brave and bold
he went to play baseball in the field
but when there it was revealed
as hard as he tried he couldn't hit that ball
and right there in public he began to bawl.
When he told his daddy, sternly Dad said
Hal was a sissy and sent him to bed
where Hal sobbed and sobbed in shame
cursing that horrible baseball game
and determined then and there
he'd find something he'd do with flair.
And from that moment on
he worked hard until he had won
a speech-making contest.
He was finally the best
at something he could do well
and rose from that shameful baseball hell.
But he'd never lose that inner doubt
and knew deep down he'd finally strike out
and would never meet the measure
or give his daddy the pleasure
of being proud of his son
and what he'd done.
Spare us asparagus Print this poem only
They say this poetic prompt is dumb
to write about a vegetable or fruit
but just think about the little plum
it's not bright but it's sort of cute.
Or the carrot so orange and slender -
for the eyes it has vitamin A
for the body's cells it's a mender
and it'll make you regular they say.
Celery is the one I really don't like
for its flavor makes me frown
and want to take a hike
on the nearest road out of town.
Cauliflower stinks to high heaven
when I smell it I leave the room
hold my breath for a count of seven
not to take in that horrible fume.
Spinach was taboo to me as a kid
till I saw Popeye get real strong
watched all the heroics he did
and learned that sailor man song.
I haven't mentioned pears or lemons
bananas, mangoes, grapes or peaches
broccoli, green beans, persimmons
or coconuts from tropical beaches.
So don't think it is a curse
to write about oranges and greens
or say there is no verse
in citrus or apples or beans.
Author's note: Recently one of the poets who posts here told me that I would never get anyone to respond to a poetic prompt on my former website: Write a poem about a fruit and/or vegetable. So I took up her challenge and the above little ditty is the result.
The Maids Print this poem only
One of us will be here
to open the door
for those lovely ladies
let them swoosh in
to do their magic
of dust and grime removal
all the while with a smile
pleasant giggly conversation with each other
as they remove sheets of nightmares past
and replace them with the linens of dreams
yet to form in our heads,
heads soon to rest on pillows
fluffed and arranged by quick quiet hands
of women who at end of day
will return home
to cook and create a space that is
The Slipup Print this poem only
I slip up into your arms
and ask you to cradle me there
and you say,
"I have had you here all along,
you just wouldn't let me have you."
I slip up into your arms.
Now you have me, Papa.
Take me with you.
Help me stay here in your care.
Help me let go each moment
and feel your Power within me
the power of pure Love.
Be my power source -
not solar power, or wind power, or coal power, or nuclear power -
just pure clean Papapower.
I slip up into your arms
away from my illusory world of control.
You make it easy when I let go of the puppet strings connected to my separated self.
I encounter my preciousness in your arms,
my true self,
my deeper self
the self that is always changing
always in the wind,
always in the atmosphere beyond my breath.
I slip up into your arms.
I do not have to keep my balance in your presence.
You hold me up when I lean to the wrong side.
You gently push me upright.
It is easy to be upright
when I feel your hands on my shoulders.
Upright in your sight,
you see me at every moment.
I am in your sight.
And there, everything is alright.
My prayer is that when I start to falter
this day, this day only
you will tear me from my delusion
rip me up out of it
and hold me in your arms.
I know that all I have to do
is just for a moment- that moment of weakness -
smile and fall into your arms -
no - slip up into your arms.
This is the kind of slip up I can dig.
March 6, 2013
Tumbleweed Print this poem only
Fooled by the honor of gray
gathered in the trenches
and settled in your hair,
some were surprised
by the twinkling light
in your rugged aspect.
Wafted from the plains of your pain
crossing open range,
on the floor of our desert
you wrote in sand-script
and happily we caught your words
language gathered from laughter and listening.
You fellow traveler,
you furnace of wisdom,
the twists of your intellect,
as sure as a divine lantern,
lead us past our fear and comfort
to a new adventure.
The wispy lightness
of your humor gusted
across our blue gravity
leaving our sadness
whirling in the summer breeze.
your poems were made to tumble
with the winds of Mars.
They roam distant planets
in search of more words
and new ears.
Ignoring the barbed wire
we strung across our lives,
you snagged and churned our minds
you challenged and changed us
transformed our inertia.
Sometimes we wondered
how you got here.
What route or path
led you to plant yourself
in the convolutions
and walls of our worlds?
What Spirit inhabited
the cells of this unlikely brush,
that scratched into the grain of our days?
We remain curious and full of questions,
about this unlikely mortal,
but smiling, humble, and grateful,
we now bow to your tenacious soul.
Dedicated to Charlie Morgan, poet, novelist, writer, humorist, thinker, husband, father, and friend. Charlie passed away April 2, 2013 at the age of 67.
Author's Note: The original of this poem was written and posted on http://www.pathetic.org 02/16/2005 It is still in my “Friends and Loves” folder in original form.
Revised 4-2-13 Original written 2-16-05
Two Feet, One Heart Print this poem only
We weep and moan
and remember the day -
in your fine linen tunic and sandals -
you turned away from him,
his face as desolate as desert.
You took us far away
into dens of destruction
dissipating your money and mind
ending up a hog slop
starving for even a morsel of their food.
After you woke up you decided to return.
And now down the road from your father’s house,
there he is
arms open wide.
You yearn to run to him
but cannot -
sandals half gone ,
bruised and bloody
we can barely walk.
All we feel is hurt.
You think your presumptions
and profligate consumption
have left you bereft,
but there he is
waiting for you
tears of joy streaming down his weathered face
for his son
who was dead
is alive again.
And now here you are,
two feet, one heart,
kneeling before him
his hands pulling you to his chest.
You sob and quake
with remorse and joy
into the abyss of love
for the first time.
Author's Note: The image is "The Return of the Prodigal Son" painted by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn which is housed in The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Weeping Quietly Print this poem only
As I turn the corner and look into the room
there before a great sun-filled window
he is seated on the floor
his figure clothed in white
by his fetal posture.
He weeps quietly.
Empty of things
the room is white and bright
no shadows but the one cast by the small mound
of his quaking body.
He weeps quietly.
He has lost something precious
But even in his grief
he is wrapped in gentleness
with a knowing
as peaceful as a windless lake
that mirrors the heavens
He weeps quietly.
I enter the room
breathe the shallow breath
of an untroubled heart.
My lungs expand softly
with the air of compassion
and then release the remnants of shadow
from the tiny tears
in my soul.
I weep quietly
Author's Note: This is from a dream. As I woke up I had a feeling of sadness for the weeping figure and then realized he was at peace and that peaceful place is where I went, misty-eyed.
When kids played marbles Print this poem only
I look into Sweetpea's eyes
as we languish sleepy in bed
I stroke her soft coat
think about cats eyes marbles.
You have to be a certain age
to know about marbles
how to knuckle down
and flip your thumb just right
on the small glass globe or steely
to hit the marblemade X
in the middle of the circle
scratched in the dirt.
I don't know if kids can find dirt any more.
Everything's St. Augustine, Burmuda, or concrete
or table tops or laps
with electronic gismos
interacting with a screen.
Oh! how I loved playing in the dirt
making roads and tunnels
in the pile of sandy loam
behind Buddy's house.
That was heaven.
Even now I breathe a peaceful sigh
thinking about those afternoons constructing cities together
laying in the dirt looking up
spotting rabbits and buffalo in the clouds .
What a joy