Poetry Here (Mostly)

Archive for May, 2012

Pigeon Poetry

Hmm, if Poe had written a smidgen
on an extraordinary pigeon,
and described its tapping on his pane
with intent to drive that man insane,
would his poem still be so well known
if a pigeon had stopped by Poe’s home?

There’s praise enough for the white-winged dove,
thought holy and a symbol of love.
What about pigeon kin in cities,
flocking to their downtown committees?
With gray pant legs cuffed above pink feet,
birds look lowly and far from elite.

Urban pigeons are working class slobs,
just getting the most out of their jobs.
When they flirt, bobbing heads and cooing,
on sidewalks where they do their wooing,
fast food bosoms plump with carbo fat,
quite alluring to a passing cat.

Together, pigeons fly and then preen,
occupied while traffic light is green.
Unblinking and alert for the red,
when their whooshing wings swoop down for bread.
What if Hitchcock wanted “The Birds” scenes
portrayed by pigeons, fearsome and mean?

They act romantic in St. Mark’s Square
where they play Venetian love birds there.
Pigeons oblige for photo taking,
like movie stars they get rich faking,
fed by tourists who branch arms like trees
and act enamoured by bird feces.

“Rats with wings,” Woody Allen remarked,
he must have seen them in Central Park.
I’ve said all I can and wish to say,
cannot pigeon hole them another way,
for crazy I might possibly go
like that ravened Edgar Allen Poe.

Memorial Day 2012

Usually read the newspaper fast,

normally skim through bad news,

linger on comics and puzzles.

But  this Memorial Day,

I got caught up in flashed photos

and stories beneath the headlines.


Cemetery expanded,

Marines need more burial space.

Veteran’s wrinkled salute,

 WWII medals on his lapel.

American flags, in uniform lines,

decorate grave-white tombstones.


Counted among dead this year,

three local high school graduates:

2001, 05, 08,

futures buried in San Diego.

Two-hundred came to commemorate

latest “garden of heroes.”


Column inched down the front-page

reporting “Syria denies killing…”

108 civilians,

including 49 children.

I turned the page and saw a floor

lined white with shrouded bodies.


The Jumble today was easy,

a military-themed play on words.

Blondie served spinach to sailor

Popeye. I revived a potted tomato.

Hope I can keep it alive.  The sky looks

blue. Later Jim will fire up our barbecue.

Getting Ahead of Herself

Fearing she might miss her cue,

Kate got born before date due.

Then, for school,  job or party

Kate hated to be tardy.

She saved up and bought a farm,

bred roosters for loud alarm.

At the sound of first crowing,

right away Kate got going.

 Aged to an older girly,

still wanted to be early.

To a senior home Kate went

though somewhat young to be sent.

Kate died before predicted,

unhappily conflicted,

knowing that it was her fate

to be, ever after, late.

The Past in Paint

Back then, your art sent me away,

it displayed our differences.

Now, happenstance gave me the chance

to view your paintings on Youtube;

how strange this world that finds them there.


Formal, hard-edged labyrinths,

geometrics in prime colors,

 aisles of complicated meaning,

incomprehensible then, now;

a blank canvas when we first met.


We used to travel parallel,

long gone the place where we could meet.

Bold, linear, intense colors,

strong passion and disciplined brush,

still the big picture of your life?


You do not exhibit your face;

would I be recognizable?

I wonder if these forty years

have dimmed the blue sky in your eyes

and thinned your tousled, golden hair.

Preparing Poetry

Bees, please, you must fly out of my bonnet,
I’ve relied too much on your honeycomb.
A sugary sonnet, I don’t want it,
but can’t break habit til temptation’s gone.

Bees, too often I’ve let your syrup slip
sticky slippers on my poetic feet,
cloy-clad, they do not walk, they only sit;
swarm away bees and sting me when we meet.

Bees now flown elsewhere to do their buzzing,
poems unsweetened taste bland, without spice.
Perhaps, hot chillies so my words start cussing,
Asian, Cajun verbs enhance plain white rice.

Took off my bonnet, put on a chef’s hat,
cooked sonnet spaghetti, sauce this and that.

Getting through the Night

Beware of near invisible traps

that tie the careless in silken wraps.

Creepy arachnids, agile and spry,

each with a set of eight little eyes.


Spitting and spinning mouthfuls of bile,

crafty sticky-haired intricate style.

Attraction held in gluey ferment,

life ends in deadly entanglement.


Moon enhances gossamer shimmer

but on this night without light’s glimmer,

when eyelid clouds over twinkles close,

I lay awake, startled from repose.


Between my sleep and this unlit scene,

I feel the loss of my slipping dream.

Window opens to black reflection,

the room feels stuffy with oppression.


Shapeless, nocturnal garden, a feast

for pawed and many antennaed beast.

When I hear a shuffling rustle,

heart pounces with the outside bustle.


Nails click up, leap to roof from trunks,

I pull covers over my goosebumps.

Lions, skunks, imaginings all kinds

scurry through the burrows of my mind.

The Vase

Algebra factors bored

friends who preferred baseball

thrown and caught, high and low,

through the heart of the house

that pounded hit and miss.

Venetian hand-blown glass,

glazed warm with memories,

Modigliani necked,

graceful, fragile icon,

broke like a shattered dream.

Dad took Ben’s mitt and ball,

grounded, Ben could not play,

did homework on his own.

What lesson did he learn?

It hurts when your Mom cries.


What a mixed up mess I have brought 
on my traveling train of thought! 

Can I find any useful thing 
in the crammed suitcases I bring? 

There is no reason for the need 
of dried-up poems gone to seed; 

Lines that tried to fly with “feather” 
but fell flat when rhymed with “leather”; 

Labored paragraphs I carried, 
so unlikely they’ll get married. 

Phrases incomplete when single, 
doubt this trip drives them to mingle; 

Subject matter I should throw out 
since no one reads what it’s about; 

Sickening sweet Valentine verse 
fattens my mind and maybe worse; 

The train chugs down its mindful track, 
loaded with bags I can’t send back.


Beyond Questions

Will a spirit fly when freed or,

may it linger at death’s closed door,

listening, peeping through the keyhole?


Watch funeral, hear eulogies,

or flee from sad faces and tears,

does a spirit still have a heart?


Do the dead rush with warm welcome

when a spirit newly arrives,

are reunions always happy?


If a spirit may sleep, can dreams

transmit positive messages

to console the living who mourn?

The Need for a Quality Yarn

Words crochet
in stitches played
one line above
the other.

Twining not
much more than strings
and some knotted
random things.

No pattern
hums me along,
my brain’s lantern
lights no song.

I haven’t got
no tapestry
I’d call art.

On I go,
rough edge, I know,
wants basting.

Of what use
this crinkled scarf
but to blow loose
on mind’s wharf?

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