Vision Problems Print this poem only
The old woman couldn’t see her meal
due to her vision problems
with a smile of delight
how each meal was a surprise.
Oh, that’s corn but it’s not quite salty enough!
She was grateful for the unexpected,
even at age 98.
Isn’t it great even at 98
even with problems of the eye
still to be able to fly
from difficulties and muck
and give thanks for the good luck
and blessings of the moment.
I hope I will never have vision problems
so bad I cannot give thanks
for tasty corn, or a bright sunny morn,
or even for person gone away
for the joy in the park that day
for the bore
who makes me grateful and wanting more
of the people who inspired me
and lifted me to be more than I thought I could be.
I hope I never have vision problems
so bad I can’t feel gratitude
for all the wonders I’ve tasted
for all the hours I’ve wasted
just being with children and lovers
lingering under the covers
cuddling and giggling and feeling the soft touch
of the someone I love so much.
Sun-rise Print this poem only
“Dazzling and tremendous, how quick the sun-rise
would kill me,
If I could not now and always send
sun-rise out of me.”
- Walt Whitman
Oh how bright he shines
so bright - the light fades me
into the salty sea
until I stop and breathe
and fill my chest with his wide luxurious girth
his oversoul blanketing me;
I lay awake at night thinking of him
and all his leaves
and cannot sleep until I up,
grab his book
and open it to read him, amusing my tired old limbs,
and take the striking photos
into my eyes
like Lantana joyfully seducing butterflies.
Oh how deeply refreshing
these journeys with Walt,
imagining him first toeing the surf
then floating in the sea
where he gloats about how much they have to give each other.
Oh poet of tremendous heart
and mind that caresses earth
like Neruda passing his fingers over the hip
of his lover languid from the fervor of their union.
These two passionate men
my true forefathers
pierce me with their pens
when my mind is laden with routine
and in need of infusion
soaking and fertilizing
to regain my greenness.
My gratitude for their volumes
spills over onto these lines
all the while humbled by their greatness.
Author’s Note: A cherished and magnificent volume was given to us by a friend decades ago: The Illustrated Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. It is a joy and always an inspiration opening it to any page and finding this great poet overflowing there. Another volume by my beloved Pablo Neruda, Odes to Common Things, has a similar effect.
Go Long Print this poem only
My buddy the quarterback said to go long
music to my ears the chorus of my song
I could easily outrun all the puny secondary –
the guys from one block over on wealthy Dewberry.
We were all better at football on Lillian Street
beating the crap out of those guys was oh so sweet.
Now mulling my interests, passions and such
I wonder why I love football so much
what with a life of writing, thinking and teaching
my football mania seems a tad overreaching
but still my arm flexes watching that heaver
connect in a perfect arch with his swift receiver.
Being Cajun in Texas where sports are king
probably explains something of why I’m so keen
and my pulse quickens as I remember
the neighbor boys’ shouts and calls in September
to meet them in our favorite autumn spot
down the street in that vacant lot.
Most of my life I’ve gone for short passes
connected with ideas and English classes
no novel for me, I fell for poetry
nor did I brave the rigor of a PhD.
Now finally, with my scores of years its not so wrong
to watch, leave it alone, wait a while, and go long.
Author’s Note: I couldn't go to sleep last night after watching the Bengals beat the Ravens (recording), so here I sit at 4:15 am just finished this poem. It became almost biographical I suppose, but as I tried to sleep I got this image of me racing to catch the long ball as a teenager and that vision would not let go until I wrote the poem. I'm tired now, ready for sleep. I hope it was worth the effort and you enjoy it half as much as I liked writing it.
small cup Print this poem only
a small cup’s inside a vat
drip by drip
I've been working
on filling up
when it is full
then I am done
for then the vat and I
God in a Bag Print this poem only
Several college students stood around
arguing about the meaning of God.
Nearby sat an old Indian woman.
They asked her what she thought.
With a wan smile
she took a small blue bowl
from a plastic shopping bag
laid the crinkly bag on her lap
and pointing to it she said
“This is the universe.”
Then she pointed inside the bag’s opening
“This is God.”
Moored in Darkness Print this poem only
This day is so bright
and all seems so right
I wonder if I can stand it
I had not planned it
the clouds and rain
gnawed so unrestrained.
Early morn’s nightmare
still lingers somewhere
moored to the dark
where it won’t disembark
still clutching me in slimy grip
I’m on its derelict ship.
How can a dream be so strong
and make me feel so wrong
just a wispy demon in the night
by now should have taken flight
but here I sit in light of day
still hoping the malefic will away.