Canvases are flying

Into the wind they sail
like paper airplanes,
afloat on the molecules of moisture,
and then they come soaring down
into puddles of mud
and stained with grass.

They doted on the child
who was born with golden hair,
eyes of innocence,
red apples at lunch and a banquet –
a table set for dinner-
he was dressed, the fitting image
of his father and mother
betraying the ways of kings.
He was learned in words, within words
quoted in memorandums stored within
the vastness of his brain cells.

From the wind they return
like boomerangs,
darting across the atoms of life
they come soaring down
in front of my feet.

1970s

Advertisements

While you were sleeping

My mother sits beside me,
I warm her hands with mine,
her eyelids close in sleep –
her memory is lost
in better times.

The 1930’s were dark –
but from this darkness came
a deal for the ages.
The farmhouse of her youth
was reached by the REA*.

The mother of my youth,
knows nothing of this
awful year. Her memory
is lost –
in the times I sorely miss.

Money breeds contempt of
all who move and breathe.
And bureaucrats abet,
King Midas’ slack.
The people doomed – cry out:
Give it back! Give it back!

My mother sleeps so soundly,
with a whistle –
barely audible.
I rest my hand upon her head,
and let this sigh
float by.

My paycheck FICA is
misconstrued,
a benefit it now is claimed.
Honest words made evil,
the conman’s constant game.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine
I miss your humor, your wisdom,
I want to weep upon your breast.
This introverted daughter of yours
has learned to rabble rouse.
When King Midas roams the land
there is no time to pause.

There are predators in nature,
they keep the balance,
they eat with need.
But the predator of
office – shop
he has no qualms –
the creep he is.

Oh mother Mary, mother mine,
I want to sleep as you do,
I am weary and despairing,
when the humble and the poor
become humbler, and even crumbs
are denied them, oh,

when all that’s good
seems forsaken
and I sink forever more,
Mother Mary whispers
sweet Anne behold the shore!

Behold the shore my daughter
introverted and rebellious –
I dream her speaking!
I know she’s with me!
Whisper, whisper –
sweet Anne behold the shore!

11-12/2017

* The Rural Electrification Administration was a New Deal agency that brought electricity to rural communities in the 1930s that lacked electricity.

Mind fog

There is a tickle
brushing cells downstream; gist
of a fickle throat.

Chide me not it is
not vanity; my words,
my words let me hide.

Shady is the song of
mime; silence warbles at
a fate no longer sure.

Songs that need no words,
refuge of inner ear,
not the world of kings.

Must be mighty fine
when sycophants echo
all the lines you speak.

The mark of Cain is
using private sorrow;
all public gain sold.

Wanton one the tears
you cry of blight and gone-
I have sighed your sigh.

Dying not yet dead,
living not yet alive,
refinement subsides.

Alas,

The superficial that I know
rivals Newton’s ghost
while expertise is under siege.

Ski schuss, ski schuss, ski schuss.
And breathe, breathe, breathe.

11/2017

The gentle earth is hidden

The gentle earth is hidden
when neurons run around; the
junco and the goldfinch have
disputed Niger’s perch; no
hunger is abated when
instinct makes a push, and then
the Cheshire smile awaiting
brings paw to claw and so we
watch as dirt meets bone alas,
forever more. The cats who
owned me stayed inside my door;
the neighbor feeds the feral
and on it goes and goes and

friendly dog would romp across
this yard spread wide; any
squirrel who dared to cross his
line would let necrology
rip anew – no soothing can
be expected as legal minds
construe another meaning
to the constitution; oh
yes, we bow and pray, but does
it take a fence to keep the
monsters from entering our
conscience? We battle with no
one so much as resist a
plea from child’s mother – can

no heart be kept from breaking
where narrow river ambles?
How long will the nearsighted
ranger anchor us in plain
sight? The noose reminds Aunt Anne
the old is new again; sad
daughter shot by brother – he
didn’t mean to do this, no,
but nimble rules apply in
this nation of the wild west.
Does ancestry govern how
we behave? Naysayer rates
angst – not one of us is saved,
when dollars outbid Sandy Hook
graves.

11/8-9/2017

A never ebbing sea

He waits upon an empty bench-
the man who does not see.

He calls in toneless syllables-
the man who will not hear.

He shudders at the changing youth-
the man who cannot learn.

He leaves the fair before it begins-
the man who will not try.

What of these men who live yet die?
Shall they have a lamp?

I will be the kindler,
who in the forest fire

Shall draw the igniting breath that spreads
from man to man to man.

Love will grow within their souls,
a fierce and living flame.

I the eternal kindler know love
remains, remains, remains.

old poem

Loons

This Michigan migrant
sets up house in
the most remote of
places – no longer
common in
the land of a developer’s
dream.

A pair will stake
their territory,
warding off interlopers
with yodels and tremolos.
The eerie call of nature
is necessary if they are
to ensure enough food
and security for
the young they raise –
usually one,
sometimes two
and of the two,
the fittest might
endure.

The interloper comes again,
each attempt
a swat at
the chick’s ability
to survive.

Go back, I want to say,
let the baby live,
or who will you
mate with in the future?

Alas, Michigan’s loon with
centuries of existence
preceding Europe’s gaze
is at a loss now.
Receding habitat
drafts a wind
of change –
adapt or die,
and how do you
adapt in a minute
when millennia
rules your genes?

If human greed
does the species in,
can we use the excuse
crazy as a loon?

10-2017

Reflections of the optimist

The optimist in me aspires to
forgetting my doctor’s name,
with the words that I remember
repeat on end and are
the same from Monday through
Saturday, and Sunday
comes and goes with
no difference in my mind.

Year begetting year
each day will be the same
as the day before. Never-ending
repetition will whisper
each word you hear from
my mouth, – the ritual in
repeating, the only constant
I will know.

I look forward to the time
when the muscles in my
thighs fail to hold me up.
When I fall and fall and
fall – nevermore to walk,
a wheelchair becomes my home,
my independence gone – alas
I hope this happens someday.
I want this future
for my final years.

I want all this to happen,
simply put it means
that Enola Gay has vanished
And Fat Man has never been.

I hope I live to see the day
when all these good things
happen to me since
a world without dementia is
a world where all life is spent

10-2017

The poet ponders

I keep looking for the switch
that will turn the dark to light,
a desperate flight of common
sense has left me desolate.
You kneel in silence, and
I will kneel in prayer –
let racism jet off
somewhere else.
Perhaps to a mountain’s cliff,
icy and cold where it will
shiver and fold like
the poker man’s hand.
Or shall we just bury it –
deep in the earth’s floor no
air seeping through.
An angel’s lark shall
not see it off oh but
the boys in blue will
work for us all –
their protection and service,
has always been our due.
Me and you – we
stake our claim in
humanity’s choir,
the rainbow surrounded
by a free at last verse floating
higher and higher.

September 30, 2017

Two children

There was a child
hair of golden sun,
eyes with the crystals
of the deep dark sea,
whose face rose
to all that is new.
This child lived to smile.

There was a child
with skin of glass,
empty of stomach,
swollen of cheek and flesh-
routine marked by want.
This child lived to die.

1980s

Little ditty

The unbridled capitalist sits
upon his horse named Scam,
while millions go without,
Hippocrates be damned.

He stokes his ego
and he sips the air,
the deaths he sows
aren’t his affair.
 
The Black Marias haul
the peons away,
The ship of state rams
into the cay
of liberty.
9/5/2017