Friday, December 31, 2010

Morning Repast

The breakfast that she makes,
The one I like the most,
Is not the healthy bran flakes,
But hot creamed-beef on-toast.

2011

The Tiger year has loped away
The Rabbit year is here to stay
New calendar and diary and hangover
Otherwise, it's just another day.

Move, Baby, Move!

Life is movement, sometimes fun,
Sometimes a chaotic mess...
So I flap my arms to remind
Me I'm alive, relieve the stress,
And burn my pleasure candle
Brightly, musically, until I find
the happiness, all I can handle...

Sports Shorts

Soccer is really "foot ball",
Mostly it's pin-balling foreplay,
Climaxing with goal-catharsis.
- - - - - - - - - -
The World Series is played in America,
But the World's Best baseball,
Is played in Japan.
- - - - - - - - - -
Men who can't go out and fight,
Become out-of-sorts,
So, instead, they watch sports.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On A Blustery Christmas Day

The seahawk wind-plays,
Wafting and swooping,
Soaring a hundred ways...
And grounded below,
Skyward I gaze,
Bound to the dirt, I'm
Both jealous and amazed...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter Sunrise

You look so down and bedraggled,
My old best friend, but why?
Just pause for a winter moment,
And look up at the morning sky!

(Photo by Geoffery M. Hamilton, 1955-2011)

Floating Ash

Sent from a heart's volcano, into the sky,
Dust blown from its embers, long gone cold,
Feelings fret and float, without knowing why,
From a spot in the mountains, quiet and high,
A story whose ending has yet to be told.

(For my wonderful niece.)

The World Is Not Fair

Early morning coffee
Saturday lies ahead, half-planned,
In front of me,
With opportunity, and
The freedom to choose
A thousand ways,
To live and use
Another of my days.

A gift of freedom
I hold by chance
Of birthplace
And national happenstance,
The product of blood
And power and race...

Simple Saturday freedom,
Not always there
For the unlucky others
Slogging-away, elsewhere...

- - - - - - - - - -

Revised version:  https://commonpoemsandrhymes.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-world-is-not-fair/

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Birds Do In The Tree-Tops

(Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer)
Under a distant, different sun,
The Crow decides to have some fun
And tell his jokes to the Seagulls…
So he asks them why they live by the sea,
“Well, if you lived by the Bay, you’d be Bagels”
Caw, Caw, Caw…
No… Haw, Haw, Haw…

“Now, why do birds fly south for the winter?”
“Because it’s too far to walk!” he says with a squawk!
Caw, Caw, Caw…
No… Haw, Haw Haw….

“If you’ve lost your tail, and you’re feeling sore…”
“It’s time to go to the retail store!”
Caw, Caw, Caw…
No… Haw, Haw, Haw…

“What figure is a lost Parrot?” asks the Crow,
Well, that would be the Polygon, don’t ya know…
Caw, Caw, Caw…
No… Haw, Haw, Haw…

And so the Birds pass their time in the trees,
They joke and laugh and poop as they please.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vaguely-Remembered From 1990

The hot Euro-women swoon and scream,
As the pretty boys swing their hips,
They are so sexy-cool, a dream,
Below the boys burns an estrogen fire,
Tingling with sweat and rutting desire,
And all is good till the recording skips,
Then nothing moves, but their lips...

The pretty boys' deception displayed,
In a gasping embarrassing moment,
The lathered women are left tricked and betrayed...

And falling faster than Icarus in flames,
The pretty boys vanish, along with their names...

Evening Monster

Thunderstorm in December,
Out of season: rumbles and growls,
Causes me to stop and remember
Summer's hungry heat --
Then away it prowls...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Waiting For The Final Score To Be Announced

It's like a tightening
Of some sort, tingling
Not painful or frightening
But can't be ignored
An aching highness
Twisting behind the lungs
Up the trachea to the sinus
And it won't go away
Until the result is known
Ruining or making my day...

Japanese Imperial Army Reconnaissance Pilot

My job was to go out and find them,
The American carrier strike groups
Which circled like sharks and raptors
Around my battered mother-land
And they attacked and bombed
Almost unopposed, and at will,
The targets of their choice...

So I was pulled out of school
And taught how to fly,
At an airfield in China,
First at day, then at night...
And was then given a plane,
Twin-engined and sleek
Designed like a German
To fly patrols like an avenging eagle...

But it all ended,
Soon after -- too soon,
Before I could locate someone
To be killed.

Upon Hearing The Who In A Supermarket

In the bountiful aisle of a food store
Wide-space-suburban sublime,
Shopping for something good in a can
The overhead speakers, normally tame,
Play a hard-rock song from a time
I was a younger, wilder man...
Caught-up, brought-back, I push the cart
And my tread has a Keith Moon spring,
As I join in the chorus, past the cereals
Where a woman hears me sing,
She says: "I'm glad it wasn't just me"
So I wink at her and smile
At our shared 1970's thing...

Up From The Dismal Funk

Hope grows back --
A green sprout,
Which pops out
Fresh and whole,
From the earthen black
Of the weed-whacked
Corner lot
Of my soul...

It Started With Sony Walkman

Life is better when accompanied by music,
It gives me a rythmn, and boredom flies past,
Adversity bows to my favorite song
As long as my ear-phones and batteries last...

What I Did At Work Today, 20 December 2010

Waiting all day
In front of a computer screen
Ready to send the warning
Of Koreans attacking unseen
From an ocean fog, deathly white
On a cold December morning...
A fog so thick, that peace,
Has become a forgotten sight.

Insomnia

Sitting at my desk
Wishing I could sleep
Clock ticking...
- - - - - - - - - -
Hello, time-piece!
Your lined-face greets me
As I fight myself awake
For a middle-aged pee,
Taking a break from a dream
Which knows me the best --
As strange as that may seem --
And orders toilet-time, vice rest.

7, 5, 3

The daughters, in kimonos, go at three and seven,
And the sons, in hakatas, go at five,
To the shrine -- gate to gods and heaven,
To give thanks for being alive.

Damned Sooners

How can my heart
Feel so sore
Over a losing
Football score...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche HAIKU

If you gaze for long into an abyss,
The abyss also gazes
Back into you.
- - - - - - - - - -
Faith is not wanting
To know
What is true.
- - - - - - - - - -
Sleeping is no mean art:
For its sake one must
Stay awake all day.
- - - - - - - - - -
I would believe only
In a God that knows
How to Dance.
- - - - - - - - - -
Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth
As a raven, which is inspired
By the smell of carrion?
- - - - - - - - - -
Fanatics are picturesque,
We would rather see gestures
Than listen to reasons.
- - - - - - - - - -
In heaven,
All the interesting people
Are missing.
- - - - - - - - - -
It is not a lack of love,
But a lack of friendship
That makes unhappy marriages.
- - - - - - - - - -
The things which
Do not kill us
Make us stronger.
- - - - - - - - - -
There is more wisdom
In your body
Than in your deepest philosophy.

Post Harvest Feast

After Thanksgiving vacation,
It's a light travel day
In the airport rail station.
I land hard on the platform, huffing,
And pause over my baggage,
After too much draggage,
Remembering all the turkey and stuffing,
... Alas, it has all flowed by,
A gastronomic wet-dream,
Football games, and pumpkin pie
By now morphed into fat cells,
As the new cold week beckons
With its work-office hells --
Time to adjust my attitude,
Put back on the "game face",
Following the Harvest interlude...
The train pulls up to take me back
To the city and the winter and my treadmill place.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Admoniton From A Little Old Lady

I ascend the platform to make a speech
Confident, puffed and pumped-full of pride
But upon facing the audience found
I could not remember by words, nowhere to hide...
So I stumble-through, somehow to the end,
And much quieter, chastened, and humbled
From the speaker's stage, descend...
Soon after, a little old lady grabbed my sleve and said:
"If you went up, lookin like when you came down;
You would have come down, lookin like when you went up"
I looked at her with surprise, and mumbled
"Thanks", but remembered her words completely, in the end.

My Grandpa's Cap

The morning wind whooshes, fresh and cold,
In the late-November back yard, just after sunrise,
And my head is warmed by my Grandpa's cap,
Red-plaid wool, found in the closet, 100 years old
At least --- And as the sun shines in my eyes,
The gold-brown oak leaves scatter across the grass,
I consider roots and prairie turf and days gone by,
And shiver at the image of forlorn frigid days
Spent in homes built of true grit and sod,
The Scandinavian pioneers praying to God
That the land they bought to be free of kings
Would, someday, lead to warmer better ways
To live --- And things, they did get better,
For sweat and luck brought abundance for all,
And Grandpa bought his cap to hunt for deer,
In the happier orange-colored Fall...
This same cap sits on my balding brow,
Reminding me of my ancestors' journey,
Through the cold grass, with hope, until now...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stand-Off At Bedtime

Big house cat, lying on
The sweet-spot of my bed,
Looks up at me, unmoving...

Thanksgiving

Over turkey, stuffing, and sauce,
The distance-challenged kin,
And friends-who-have-no-other,
Talk at a well-set table, within
A house, which is a home,
Also a debate hall, a looney bin...

Important rule: Leave quickly, politely,
After the feast has been devoured,
Before the coffee has cooled,
And the conversation has soured.

The Kid And The Veteran

"Which war did you like the best?"
Asked the young one,
And I thought to myself
"Afghanistan, or the one further west?"
Both a desert-deadly bloody bore,
But the rush and the thrill
Made me go back for more,
Otherwise I'm pushing boxes
In a suburb mega-store...

So I look the kid right in the eye,
"Neither one, both sucked", I lie...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Upon Listening To Chesnokov

The voices of Russians singing,
Twenty men and twenty women,
Join and blend and soar
In a sonic-rainbow harmony so
Beautiful and ethereal,
So haunting, that it
Aches behind my eyes
And wrings something inside, hinting
That there's a momentary place
Beyond, where all is well,
And peaceful-delightful,
Like the precious minutes
Of an orange-purple sunset,
Or lovers' embrace...
The music ends,
And I die a little...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last Laugh For The Hare

Mist-frost morning...
Late for a meeting and unaware,
I burst out of the door,
And onto the sidewalk, where
Without any warning,
I'm on ice, and slip-slide and wiggle...

And all of this happens,
In front of a rabbit,
Who surely stifles a rodent giggle.

"What We're Told" In Blank Verse

Compelled to fill an empty space within,
That part of us we're told is like a god,
Which left unfed will gnaw us from inside,
And leave the soul anemic and in sin...
So, thus enjoined, we scramble off to church,
And temple, convent, shrine, or gilded mosque,
Where we retreat from monsters we have made,
Because we're told there's nowhere else to hide.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celestial Candle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Do you notice from afar,
Your kin, we humans call the sun,
Which burns, like you, until it's done,
Then grows and shrivels, in a dark
Return to the state where things begun...
Twinkle, twinkle, little light,
Burning-out in an empty night.

Tree Deity

Two-hundred-year-old Bonsai tree --
A god on an island of moss,
In a small earthware bowl.

How many hands have tended thee...?

Defiance In Yellow

The late-autumn ginko tree
Gloriously golden
Its leaves like pieces of the sun
Flash a yellow farewell
Before the approach of winter.

No Cure

He rolls back and forth on the bed,
In anger and pain, groaning
To me, to God, and the cruel fate
Which deemed he must lie,
While eaten from the inside,
Full of morphine, moaning,
And I, his young son, sit beside,
Bewildered, watching my love die.

East Of The Westroads

It feels funny-strange,
When -- and where -- it hits me...
A sense of being home, in a place
So familiar, yet distant, misty
Memories of a life which used to be...
Sensed vice pictured, a vapor trace
Of happiness, while walking on the side
Of a street without a sidewalk,
Clean, gray concrete, straight and wide,
Built to last on a former field
Of corn, a suburban pathway to the mall,
On which the Midwest mini-vans glide,
Toward all the happiness they can buy...
I am one of them, impossible to deny,
Scuffing the kerb under an empty sky.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Matrimonial Blues

Compliant and demure and everything,
Gentle object of romantic fantasy;
Once wedded and wearing my ring,
Now orders and chores and rants at me...

View From Healing Center

Lying, bored, on the hospital bed,
Other oldsters in the room, close to being dead,
I wait for the results of a clinical test,
Stuck with a catheter, hoping for the best...
How can it be that a place of healing
At the same time spurs such a torpid feeling,
A paradox-hotel of pain and ills --
And a stone-sexy nurse who delivers pills,
Which send me off to a happier place
Where despair disappears, without a trace,
Into a mind-maze only dreams can make,
Until the cold-hard moment when I awake.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making Snake Liquor

First you have to find & catch
The Mamushi viper
A brave-quick snatch
Hold it by the head
Don't get dead...
Then comes the hard part
Of getting the angry snake
Into an "issho-bin" large sake bottle
Gotta be smart
With nimble fingers take
The head, and jam it down
Into the glass mouth
And as the serpent jumps & uncoils
Belows, you add the water
Which will be changed
Several times over the next few weeks
Removing the snake spoils
Until it's time to add
The "Sho-Chu" liquor up to the brim
Thereafter letting it age
In a cool dark place for a year
Or so, and then it's ready to drink
The original liquid Viagra...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hacker

Cocooned in a digital uterus,
In a basement with his computerus,
He clicks away to the world's ends
With no one to love, no friends
But himself, and his need to go viral,
Which takes his mind
Off his downward spiral...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Business Meeting Haiku

Lights do down, PowerPoint's on,
Everyone starts fingering Blackberrys...
Afterwards, remembering nothing.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Theories and opinions fly back & forth
The discussion starts to heat up
But the coffee just gets cold.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Challenges for paying attention
Are the cut & color of her blouse
And the fact I have to pee.

The Raptor

The unmanned aerial vehicle
Soars silent like a bird of prey,
Over a blood-filled obliteration
Of some poor sucker's wedding day...
Shreds of innocents' flesh and shit,
Fall, like morbid precipitation,
Around the spot where the missile hit,
Coloring the bull's eye red...
And the reason for all the dead
Was an intelligence mistake,
Made at an air base the previous day,
But as they say, "War is hell", and sometimes
Collateral damge is the price you pay...

Dangerous Small Family Pub

Relaxed ambience at the restaurant bar
Where we sit at the counter,
Guests from afar,
Complimenting mama-san's cooking skill,
We feel welcome and wanted,
Peacefully contented, until
We look at the size of the bill...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

At Last, Revenge!

So long ago, in 1978, I was 23 and remember still
The way the Missouri Tigers, those ruin-ers
Of our best happiness, from beating the Sooners,
Sent us into a bleak dark funk
And Cups of pain and bile were drunk
As we were forced into an evil replay
Against Oklahoma land-thieves
Against our will,
On a new year's day...
Well, those Black & Gold eaters of roadkill,
Hung-over from their big win
Over the dirt-burglars in Columbia,
Came to Lincoln prideful, in sin,
And got their butts kicked instead
By the good guys in red,
Who got the final laugh today

Mandarin Cocktail Lounge

Walk into the bar, and there they wait
For me, and I have this
Queasy feeling, caused by a realization
Perhaps a beat too late
When I see the beer
On the table, surrounded by "old boys"
Who make money from information
But I put aside the fear
And think "Great"...
"I'll just play this by ear"
Which I do, and leave 45 minutes later
With a lager buzz and
Emotional dehydration.

Fall Takes A Sudden Fall

From somewhere north
Siberia-way,
The winter wind, cold and mean,
Like a frigid leaf-blower,
Sweeps the park lanes clean...
And the benches
Where lovers sat together,
Are emptied by
The ice-cruel weather

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nonchalance (Another Word For...)

I've looked it up,
But keep forgetting what it meant,
That wondrous word:
Insouciant.

One of those that's best
Left for the SAT test.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Volunteers



I try to make plans --- I really do,
Eat breakfast, get ready,
Embark on actions, follow-through,
Pursue what I yearn,
Achieve results, slow and steady,
And put in the bank,
What small money I earn…

But there’s times when I hit
A wall, and stop,
Hard to describe, it
Is like strength and energy
Weaken and drop,
Into lethargy
So numbing, that
While perfectly able,
I can’t even clean-up my table…

Maybe it’s depression
From knowing,
That my best-laid plans can fail,
A nagging suspicion,
The seeds I planted aren’t growing….

But wait!
What’s with those sunflowers?
Golden, glorious,
Growing along the fence,
Tall and straight…
Volunteers, not planted intentionally,
Random gifts from life’s powers,
Which uplift, steadily,
That hopeful, fragile part of me,
Gently and happily,
Away from the dull-dark hours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

From "The Economist", 20 March 2010

"Modern poetry seems all too often to be associated with coy, small-minded ironists; teasing, finicky word players who often write in disappointingly short lines and seem to lack the ambition, the emotional force, the rhetorical reach, and even the range of subject matter of great poets of the past. Where to go these days to find the real thing?"

Yes, indeed...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Advantage Of Being Covert

Bedbugs are making a comeback.
From their box-spring bases,
They rise and attack,
Biting the sleepers in various places...
Bedbugs bloodthirsty, on-track
To becoming famous,
After being considered dead,
And subjugated,
They will become targets, instead,
Relegated
To being chemically eliminated.

But cockroaches have always been here,
Hiding under someplace near,
Waiting for the lights to go out,
Then conduct their forage roundabout,
Hurrying, scurrying, they don't fight,
They don't bite,
And are sure to outlast,
The giants above, as days turn to night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Commuter Noodles

At a rush-hour train-stop,
Bending over a bowl of udon
In the stand-up noddle shop,
With 20-odd men in suits,
Slurping in unison.
- - - - - - - - - -

Similarity

The cold front passes through
Sun,wind, rain -- suddenly changing,
Like her moods.

Solving World Hunger

Politicians and diplomats
Exchanging words over tea,
Trying to divert the flow
Of hate into lethal reality...
Fear of those we do not know,
Like a self-fulfilling prophecy,
Festers and spreads, a noxious cloud,
Smothering tolerance -- An atmosphere
Where compromise is not allowed.

Politicians and diplomats
Wringing their hands in worry,
As the world they think they lead,
Heads to chaos in a hurry.

Pavement Encounter

After the rains
Jogging,
Hoping for cleaner veins,
I sudden-stop -- hard heart-beat!
There's a snake at my feet!
Instinctively I freeze,
Surprised...
Then I start running, thinking,
As the snake slithers in retreat,
It's not always so harmless,
When reptiles and mammals meet.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Handheld Forest Fossil

Freshly sharpened
I can smell the tree
In the pencil I hold...

I wonder
What hillside or glade
Welcomed its roots,
Until it was cut,
Felled before it got old,
Cancelling its shade...

It offered
No screams or fighting,
Thereafter sawed, planed, and made
Into a Mitsubishi 9800 * B *,
Tool for General Writing.

Tuesday After A Three-Day Weekend

Some mornings I get up roaring,
Feet already running as they hit the floor;
Other ones, I keep on snoring,
Until the monster walks through the door.
It always strikes me as strange,
How energy levels wag and change,
In the wake-up moments after daylight breaks,
Before I have my breakfast flakes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In Memorium: Happy Mondays

In your youth,
Did you Rave?
Disco-trance,
Feeding the crave...
Marching fearless
To the pounding late-80's beat,
Fun-frantic, peerless,
Chemicals, body-heat,
In the smoky haze
Of darkness and flashing lights,
Music-bending nights & days,
Stinky fingers, drunken fights,
Getting-off 1,000 ways...
Did you Rave while young?
Or will it be the
Only song you've sung?
Age is no excuse
Not to cut-loose,
DIVE into the
Techno-funky tunes!
Why not?
All that's ahead are ruins.

Seasonal Sales Decoration

The giant Jack-O-Lantern, suspended
Above their heads --- Inflated
To a super-spherical size,
Supernatural and splendid...
Looming Orange, evil-black eyes,
Which see the ghosts and curses rise...
Its laughing mouth serrated
Into a jagged smile,
Looking over shoppers flowing
Below, full of cash, not knowing
Why the pumpkin spirit floats, while
Mobbing towards a harvest sale,
Jack-O-Lantern beckons, to no avail.

Ode To Bill Gates

How much of my life
Will pass,
Looking at the
Microsoft hourglass...

Monday, October 4, 2010

The 3 Cool Heads



Look up! Look up! What do we see?
Millions of stars in the nighttime sky
And a notion of cosmic reality
Peering through the space-junk orbiting by
Inspecting our lives and wondering why
Humanity is messing-up history
Crapping in Eden, or so it seems
To the 3 Cool heads, who, in their dreams
Pursue metaphysical mystery.

Look up! Look up! Can't you hear the voice?
Proclaiming, from the gods of our choice,
To follow their edicts and copy their ways
Give homage and requisite outlays,
In preparation for the end of days...
The 3 Cool Heads behold and appraise
The natural state of chaos and chance
The dissonant, dispassionate galactic dance
Which rules, un-believed, both men and ants
Who strive to build order on happenstance.

Look up! Look up!
And what do you see?
Nothing, my friend,
But you and me.

Memory Dregs

The bar empties into midnight,
An empty, quiet street...
A drunk screams at the silence

Washing the bed sheet,
A faded wine stain spurs
A memory of forgotten love.

A gut-deep bonzo-belch,
Spreads like a chemical bomb
Last night's jalapeno special.

Paper Has Not Died

They tell me to download,
Be connected and wired...
But I'll stick to old books,
No batteries required.

Seen On A bathroom Wall

Like toast that got burnt,
Our "would" was changed to "weren't",
A tough lesson I have learnt.

Earthly Habits

Dozens, maybe hundreds, of options,
Are always there for the choosing,
But I always cut-down their number,
To a manageable minimum, using
Those left, in a way less confusing:
Freedom channeled into habit,
Chaos reduced to a comfort zone,
Providing the feeling of keeping, not losing,
Shielding the fact I am all alone.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

To An Old Trucker



The trucker has a lot of time to think
Driving from coast-to-cost in his rig,
He's hungry and really needs a drink,
But distance to be travelled is yet too big...
So he dreams of gals he could have had,
And fancier Peterbuilts he coulda rode,
Dredges up memories, more happy than sad,
Recalls adventures, more good than bad,
Sometimes sheds a tear on a moonlight road,
But won't stop on rolling, to deliver the load,
He keeps on trucking, to pass on the load.

(Dedicated to GMH)

Short Ones For The End Of Summer 2010

The sudden rain causes
An unexpected intimacy --
Sharing an umbrella.

Cool fall showers,
After a long heat spell,
Quench, but can't heal.

Jogging under trees,
Sweet evergreen scent
Makes me forget the pain.

In the park at night,
Benches facing the sea,
Couples quietly fondling.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Western Pacific Geopolitics

To the Chinese,
Europeans were considered
Dangerous & barbaric.

To the Japanese,
Europeans were considered
Curiousities and exotic.

To the Europeans,
Asians were considered
Backward and despotic.

Then there's Hey Diddle-Diddle
Okinawa & The Ryukyus
Caught in the middle...

Mix this all together,
And what do you get?
An intractible mess
Which we haven't solved yet...

The Art Of Conversation

Animated chatter at the Embassy event
Words exchanged: Political, empty, arty,
Sometimes cleavage predominates,
Subliminal messages sent...
A typical cocktail party.

If asked, I would guess that
The gentle art of coversation
Has ancient roots, as old as the fire
Which warmed the hunter's narration,
Poking the embers, chewing the fat,
Our ancestors in furry attire
Finding ways to categorize
The grunts and feral exclamations
To match the passion in their eyes
To recall the fear, blood, and grit,
Which put that night's meat on the spit.

So, on and on the jawing went,
Sqatting and describing animal kills,
Until someone evolved to be eloquent,
Acquring the requisite verbal skills,
To be used & displayed at the Embassy event.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Food Wars

In the endless battle over dietary sins,
It's usually the stomach that wins...
The case that brain and conscience make,
Falls flat in the face of chocolate cake.


Bilateral Cooperation

Important senior officials
From Washington D.C.,
Fly thousands of miles,
To drink green tea,
Review important files,
And make proposals using
Their negotiating wiles,
With Japanese senior officials
Who say "No" with smiles...

A Hard-To-Get-Up Morning

Horizontal, paralyzed
In a twilight headache haze,
Faintly receiving a message sent
From the brain behind my eyes...
Time to challenge this day of days,
But my get-up-and-go
Just got-up-and-went,
And what's left, inertly lies,
Potential not kinetic,
As Newton's Law applies.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

While Doing A Household Chore

Folding her work clothes
I pause, touching the tag,
Still affixed, showing her name...
There's more in the laundry bag,
But I can't go on, just the same,
Because I choke-up,
Something inside me quavering,
When I look at the stains
On the shirt collar,
And think of her laboring
Sweat, stresses, and pains,
All at 8 minutes per dollar...

Atmospheric Disturbance

The typhoon passed
South of us today,
And vortex-pushed away
The hot high pressure air,
Then sucked in the cool
From up north somewhere...

Gone are the summer's
Heat alerts,
And sweaty shirts...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Hunters



The hunters lie purring, at rest…
Warm balls of fur, on lap or chair
The family room, their lair…

The one named Margaret was the best
A country cat with special skills
She always made a point to talk
To the people in the house,
Then go into a backyard stalk,
Returning later with rabbit kills,
Or un-quick bird, unlucky mouse…

Afterwards, licking her paws,
A cat-yawn stretching her jaws,
Contented, she dozes and dreams
Of places to hide and feline schemes
For getting food, and back strokes
Given by the human folks

Margaret always touching, asking
With her sing-song cat-voice
“Where’s my food?”, “Let me out,
You have no choice...”
“I must obey my hunter tasking.”

Later, on sun-lit spot she basks,
Looking so peaceful as she lies
Old Margaret the cat, gentle and relaxed…
But look closer and you see and realize
The hunter’s gleam remains in her eyes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kashiwa-gi-da

Uptown, Yokosuka...
Unusual, a wide street, straight
Among the curved and narrow lanes,
It's now so quiet, somewhat sedate,
Showing few signs of
What it was before...
A neon painted place of joy and sin,
In the years right after the war...

I pause and listen for the ghosts:
Shore Patrol sirens, and riffs
Of jazz, the chatter of touts,
And bar-girl tiffs...

The street, built different,
Absorbed the thrust,
Of carnal appetites & energies,
Pouring beer, sating the lust,
Of an occupying army, now gone away,
As are the bars, returned to dust...

But the street remains, an empty site,
Where a circus once performed,
And the memories aren't quite
Remembered, in the modern morning's light.

The Gentle-Fierce Ones Who Lead

There should be a sign:
"Beware All Ye Who Enter"
Posted on the doors,
Of the shopping center.

Here, too many husbands
Waste much of their lives,
Bored into oblivion,
Trailing their wives...

The Gatherers have prevailed,
The Hunters cowed and tame,
Testosterone's shame,
They wander like zombies,
Thinking of the football game...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Long Talk In The Park

A man an a woman
Stand in the park,
Talking for the longest time,
Well after dark,
Intensely, as only lovers can,
Mutely screaming, accusing,
But hoping they aren't losing
The special thing
Which brought them together...
An act of their choosing,
A decision made with feeling,
Long ago, in a different weather...
But now it hurts too deep,
In the dark in the park,
Way beyond healing,
They part, to go home, but not to sleep.

Ode To Subway

God bless the Spaniards
And their wonderful hams,

The English,
Their jellies and jams,

Bow down if you please,
To the Dutch and their cheese,

3 Cheers for Italy's salami,
And whoever invented pastrami,

Hail Earl of Sandwich,
Long since dead,
Who first put these things
Between slices of bread.

Riding The Ship Of State

Politicians pontificate,
And fight for the wheel,
On the bridge of a ship
With a broken keel...

They strive but don't think
All blind to the fate
That the ship will only sink,
Despite their will to navigate.

September Sound

Dusk dissolving into sultry evening,
Autumn's slow beginning,
Bell crickets singing...


Saturday, September 11, 2010

ElzoHarm Art (No. 14)


Monkey man and his macaw
Remember everything they saw
In the jungle, deep and green
Acts of joy and things obscene,
Played-out between the men
Clad in steel, looking for gold,
And forest tribes, from times when
The trees were not so old...

The strangers came from afar,
Guided by moon and star,
Seeking distant truth,
The fountain of youth...?
Only to get tangled and stuck,
In vine-traps and tropic muck,
Left screaming, and bereft of luck...
They started to rust, and lose direction,
Succumbing to madness & infection,
Losing their spirits and getting much thinner,
Looking at each other as dinner.

The few left alive, got down on their knees,
And prayed for a way to return to the seas,
Then the naked ones came and showed them the way,
To the river, which flowed down to the bay,
So, they made some rafts and floated away,
Never to return, even until this day.

Upon Hearing "Things We Said Today"

Youthful simple & happiness,
Has it been gone that long?
Brought back by the notes
Of a Beatles song.

Change Of Command In Yokosuka Harbor

Sitting on a box of 50-calibre ammunition,
Admiring a Japanese sunset which glows
On a ceremony, full of Naval tradition...

The seagulls land on the water nearby,
Making cat noises, unlike the crows
Black, bomber-like, cutting across the sky...

It's a restful moment on a ship whose mission,
If necessary, is to destroy and make things die...

But there's nothing kinetic about right now,
Where, in waning light, ends a ceremony to greet,
And officially confer,
A new commander to the fleet,
Who shoulders his fate, looking beyond the bow,
To lead his awful-deadly ships, strong & sure,
Not necessarily to fight, but first to deter.

Chain of command unbroken,
Warships and crews will continue
To work night and day,
Allowing millions to rest unwoken,
Maintaining the peace, for a sailor's pay...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The War Of A Red Neck Pastor In Florida

Burning Holy Books,
Is not as easy as it looks.

What is even worse,
It may bring upon your head,
A long and painful curse,
Which lasts until you're dead.

Burning Holy Books,
Will publicize your name,
Draw lots of cameras and looks,
But leads only to dust and shame.

A radical red-neck preacher
Stands-tall for all to see
Destroying the words of a different teacher
And by doing so, unwittingly
Joins the ranks of the those
Radicals, we all so strongly oppose.

Thoughts After Hell Week

Busy times, the week flew by,
Saturday morning, I
Catch my breath, trying
To remember: where, when, and why,
Sitting back, healing, sighing...

I wonder if the time invested
Is deposited in a bank-like place,
Where it's measured and weighed
Methodically, case-by-case,
And after I'm re-charged and rested,
The interest returns are paid,
Then gathered and compounded
Into a supplement, untested
But ready for use, to face an unbounded
Future, which has yet to be made.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One Day

I know that billions of stories were made
Or enacted or told today... so many
So varied, innumerable dramas played
Out in front of audiences, without any
Rehearsal or script or accolade...
Birth and death, in an endless trade,
Cycling, repeating, in every nation
In 24 hours of Earthly rotation,
Songs & screams, a blood vibration,
A complex human reverberation...
And the blur and beat of billions of hearts,
Will continue to buzz, as a new day starts.

Hot, Early September

Restless, unable to stay still,
Winds swirling and humming...
Typhoon coming.

A lone cicada cries,
The others gone,
Before it dies.

The quest to stay cool
In the summer's heat,
Isn't helped by the fact
We are made of meat.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Groucho Marx Senryu

Those are my principles,
And if you don't like them...
Well I have others.

I'm not crazy about reality,
But it's still the only place
To get a decent meal.

Only one man in a thousand,
Is a leader of men --
The other 999 follow women.

Marriage is a wonderful institution,
But who wants to live
In an institution?

If a black cat crosses your path,
It signifies that
The animal is going somewhere.

Suzu-mushi (Bell Crickets)

I like to work with words... But sometimes it's a real challenge to find the right ones to describe something as simple, soothing, and beautiful as the late-summer evening songs of the "Suzu-Mushi" (Bell Crickets). Here in Japan, Suzu-Mushi become active towards the end of summer and continue into the early autumn -- They make a cricket-like sound, but it's milder, and smoother, like: "cheep-cheep-cheep ... or ... ling-ling-ling" -- Thousands of little insects making soft-ringing, tiny-bell-like sounds --- Suzu-mushi sing and vibrate in the September nights, which slowly get cooler as the Equinox approaches.

Suzu-Mushi  = 鈴虫

3-Legged Cat

Out on a walk in the morning,
A cat appears, as cats tend to do,
Quietly, without much warning...
A hunter, with a hind-leg missing,
Inscrutable, no yowl, no hissing,
Then, glares at me like: "Who are you!"
I try to make a face to say:
"Don't mind me, just passing through"
The cat replies: "O.K., I let you by"
Then curls-around to head away,
With a 3-legged feline sway...
And I am left to wonder why,
The cat let me go, that day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ElzoHarm Art (No. 13)



I stop, in surprise...
Forget what I was thinking,
Blood pressure starts to rise,
Scanned by those unblinking
Green-Medusa eyes.

She's of the verdant hills,
Where the magic mists arise
To paint ghosts in the skies,
And ancient art distills
The mystery which fills
Those Green-Medusa eyes.

What doesn't quickly kill you,
Makes you stronger, it is said,
But the woman simply looks right through
To find a room inside your head,
And try as you might, you can't undo
Her leafy spell, her spider thread...

So, final surrender is no surprise,
To hungry Green-Medusa eyes.

Sayonara, 2 September

2 September, of 2-thousand ten
Is headed into its final hours
Never to pass this way again...

Did I stop to smell the flowers?

What was "to be", is now "has been",
Time moves, immune to human powers,
To the tune of a lullaby, unheard by men,
Not asking why, not telling when...

And I cannot stop what it devours.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Work Day Haiku

Tired, moving slow in the morning,
Like water splashed on face, it wakes me,
The smell of strong coffee...

Up and at-'em, face the new day,
March out, freshly showered,
Deodorized arm-pits...

Few better feelings than escaping the heat
Into an ice-cool room & start evaporation
Of full-body sweat precipitation.

Ruled By Estrogen

It's a truth, but a bit of a mystery,
That amidst all the man-made pain and strife,
Since the dawn of time and prehistory,
Women have maintained the power of life...
And as I deal with my daughters and lovely wife,
It's a fact which is never missed to me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fighting On Prime Time

I got my invite to the Jerry Springer show.
They giving me a chance to go blow-to-blow
With my faithless friend, who crossed the line,
And got down and dirty with that woman of mine.

Jerry Springer, my hero, my only salvation,
Paying me to biatch-slap, in front of the nation,
And even if you don't think it's proper or right,
You be on the sofa watching, come 9 o'clock tonight!

I'm setting things straight on the Jerry Springer show,
And afterwards, I'll pound-down cold beers, don't-cha know,
It ain't about revenge or putting out the trash,
It's all about my 500 bucks, and I'll take it in cash.

(Inspired by a random comment from my daughter based on watching a lot of "My Name Is Earl")

Saturday, August 28, 2010

En-Daka 円高 (Strong Yen Exchange Rate)  

Strong yen is an oddity
Good for Japanese tourists
And Tokyo's buying commodities

But listen to the expatriates' hollers
Living in Japan,
With salaries paid in dollars.

Unteachable In School

The part of the brain which memorizes things,
Is different from the one where thoughts occur,
Both co-exist in the same skull, lurking,
Awaiting, the chance to create, or refer
To a filed-away answer to a standardized test,
Which separates the average ones from the best...

It's good to know that the brain will provide,
A list of rules, and resources to use,
But how will it help one to pick and decide,
Someone to love, or which neck-tie to choose.

Saturday English Senryu

(More inspiration from the Cloud)

Always remember,
You are unique...
Just like everyone else.

There are three kinds of people,
Those who can count,
And those who can't.

Chastised, bureaucrats promise
To cut red tape
...Lengthwise.

I tried to daydream,
But my mind,
Kept wandering.

Quit Buying The Arabs' Oil

Luxury and pleasure
Are available, for a price,
Paid from our treasure
Sating desire, honoring vice,
To the last measure,
Without thinking twice,
No looking back...
We spend the coins of our mortal purse,
Running circles, in the cul-de-sac
Of our thirst-full lives -- our curse.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Avian Drama Viewed From Train Platform

A sparrow climbs a tall thin weed,
Like a tiny monkey
On a tiny palm tree,
Grasping the stalk & eating the seeds.

As it gets near the top,
Then the weed starts to bend,
In a graceful arc,
Dropping the bird on the dirt,
Gently, in the end.

Mosho 猛暑 (Part 2)

Yet another sweat-hot August day,
I'm soaked-through, and heat-stressed,
Out on the streets, earning my pay,
But something is different,
And it causes me to rest,
Close my eyes, and listen through my skin,
To feel the small shift
From the season I'm in...
The breeze has changed to sultry, from steamy,
The Sun's angle lower, reflections less gleamy,
All caused by the tilt of the planet's spin...
Summer is slowing -- Burning itself out,
Until all that's left is the glowing embers
Called September.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The (Invisible) Elephant In The Room

It's there, but I can't see
It straight-on, rather feel
It, peripherally, avoiding me
As if to remain unreal
And unconfirmed, resembling
The hint of a shadow gone 'round
The corner, the air still trembling,
From where it ran, without a sound,
Before I could get there,
Hoping to catch, and hold it close
To my heart -- And I swear
I won't get nauseous or morose,
No, I'll be relieved, relaxed, jocose...

It's the Leprechaun of living-on,
It's the Imp of knowing my existence,
Which I cannot help but chase,
In response to an insistence,
That there has to be a trace
Of meaning and adventure
In the neutral comfy-cozy place
That is my life, sans-vesture...

Predictable, repetitive, the hours and days extend,
And the slippery Imp is disinclined
To show the Rainbow's End,
So, I keep on trucking, growing old, no pot-of-gold,
Yet strive to buy what can't be sold,
A grim-faced hiker on the karmic wold.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ElzoHarm Art (No. 12)



I am hurt, and I need to heal,
Where can I go, where can I rest?
The pain is spiritual, but real,
And it keeps me from sleeping, lest
My dopamine dreams conceal,
The answer, the cure, the blue-green vale
Of pine trees, and grass, and peaceful air,
A portion of nature, pure but frail...
And I lay me down on the pine needles, where
The shade of the branches cover me,
To protect from the rains of mystery...
And I relax amidst magic blue-green trees,
Arboreal peace, an enchanted breeze,
Cooling, calming, curing the disease...
The trees are like gods, so I pray, on my knees,
To the quiet of the hollow, its being to cherish,
Every day, every month, every year, 'till I perish.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gray Mist Of The Soul

A fog flowing in the woods,
Softly suggests of vagueness
Uncertain directions and
Intentions headed to dust...

Like drivers, we can't see too far
Past the headlights, and trust
We’ll arrive, wherever we’re bound,
Babbling-away on the phone in the car,
For drive into the fog we must...

So, we find comfort on familiar ground,
Flow-on with cycles of holy events,
Keep habits, gadgets, and lovers around, 
Which give illusion of order, peace of mind,
A rhythm to carry us forward,
Groping, hoping, cozy, and blind,
Through our one-time only,
Remorseless, earthly grind…

A fog in the woods, touches everywhere,
It still can caution, it still can scare,
And can hide what's not really there...

(Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer)

Origins

Where did the word come from?
That appeared upon this screen...

From a mental memorandum
That exists unheard, unseen?

Expelled from synapse and cell
Perhaps, like an idea-sperm
Which swam through mental jell,
And psychic isotherm,
Down my arm and to my hand,
Then in my consciousness to land...

I type the word in consummation.

A minor miracle of creation,
Completed in a magical way,
I can't understand to this day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Women's Progress With Cosmetics

As a teen, her make-up is for the dance,
In her 20's, it's for a man to find,
By 30's, it's when she has a chance,
In the 40's, it's for her own kind.

Bird Steals Sandwich From Man

Seahawk, Seahawk,
What do you see?
Soaring above,
And looking at me.

Seahawk, Seahawk,
Dives for the land...
Aims for the burger,
I hold in my hand.

Seahawk, Seahawk,
Does a mid-air munch,
Flying away
With my former lunch.

MOSHO 猛暑

MOSHO is Japanese for heat-wave hot,
As in humid-sticky August air,
Which cooks things in a summer rot,
And beckons sweat-springs in my hair,
Which then drip-down around my ears,
To soak my shirt with sodden smears...
Each day, until the Autumn nears.

Monday, August 16, 2010

How Men Got Learned

To run out and hunt for something to eat,
Was considered a blood-skill and mannish thing,
Men killed and gorged on mammoths' meat,
Which thereafter caused their vanishing.
Then women stepped-up with nuts, roots, & wheat,
To save humankind from famishing…

Which is how men came to turn in their spears,
In return for shovels and garden shears.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Senryu For A Sunday

(Derived from nuggets discovered on the Internet cloud)

If, after the first time,
You don't succeed,
Redefine success.

Good health is merely,
The slowest possible rate,
At which one can die

While confession is good,
For your conscience & soul,
It's bad for your career.

Is reading in the bathroom,
Considered a form of
Multi-tasking?

Seen it all.
Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

A conscience is what hurts,
When all your other parts,
Feel so good.

Radioactive cats,
Are thought to have,
18 half-lives.

Consciousness is:
That annoying time
Between naps.

Give me ambiguity,
Or give me,
Something else.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Eat Your Vegetables

I want to eat sirloin, as much as I can,
But I'm stuck with a serving of yogurt & bran.

I'd love to eat pizza, 'til dusk, from the dawn,
But I can't shirk the sensible diet I'm on.

The things I could do to a tray-full of pies,
Would make you turn red, and roll-back your eyes.

Instead I've got cabbage and beans vinnagrette,
Which have NO chance of making my stomach upset.

Neurotic attentive to calorie detail,
I chew at the bars of my vegetable jail,
Dreaming of meatloaf, to no avail.

After An August Rain

Pasted to wet pavement,
A late-summer thing,
Cicada wing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

High Waters

A handful of men stroll through their lives,
Well-meaning, with jobs & children & wives...
But oblivious to sartorial taste,
Wear their pants too high on their waist.

Fishing Fool

A crow dived into the ocean
To catch a fish like a cormorant,
A risky action and notion,
Which bordered on abnormarant.

A cormorant, watching the folly below,
Cried: "CAW CAW" ("Hey stupid" in Crow)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

2010 College Football --- Bring It On!




Nebraska ranked in pre-season Top-10
Where it's supposed to be, again...
Block & tackle the Big-12 goodbye,
Then, let the future begin...

Rural Reality

Run-jumping from the
Tired, city-stained car
I burst-out with a joy-cry
Into the spectacular green
Of the farmland meadow

Ahhhh!!
The air is so clear and clean
That it almost hurts!

"Squish" goes my polished shoe...

Cow-pie.

Message Received At Edge Of Next Galaxy

I am Voyager, and
I bring a message to you
From a worn-out planet
Colored mostly blue
Populated by beings
Called man...

Run, while you still can.

Freedom Of Movement

Stuck on a traffic jammed road
I look up at the clouds
And wish I could
Travel in a wind-blown mode...

Why Travel?

The allure of the road,
Is not where you go,
But how you get there.

Mahalo For Blissful Ignorance

Welcome to Island Time and Aloha land,
Where things slow down to a sun-tanned view
Of rainbows and waves and fish, from the sand,
Where you might try to run, if that's what you do,
Back in the east, where the time-clock is king,
And progress and stress vein-through every thing,
But not here, Bra, watch the Hula and chill,
Forget all the deadlines, and go where you will...
{As the sharks circle-in for the kill.}

Downtown Dinner Drag

I found out, later on, we went there because
Of her memory of love-long-lost, it was
A locally-famous 4-Star grill,
Where the view was ocean & tropical-nice,
And the food was fancy, but basically swill,
Dished-out at a cheeky exorbitant price...

Once seated, I gaped at the stilted menu,
Then wished for a chance to escape from the venue,
But, deflated, defeated, and trapped in-place,
I grinned at the waiter, and tried not to think
Of the bill, and our girl with the pretty face,
Who snapped photos of her blue-colored drink...

Resigned to my fate and degraded digestion,
I toyed with the artichokes, fennel, and bisque,
And waited for a chance to make a suggestion,
That we finish our entres and flee, lest we risk
An assault by dessert, at the hands of Steven,
Who'd been bringing our food since the evening's inception,
And now pushed sweet-pies, as if to get even
For some sin unnoticed, or fiscal deception
By previous guests, who ate but excluded
The tip, assuming "gratuity included"...

And how could the uncle, who brought us along,
Be at once both so happy and utterly wrong,
Heaping praise on the restaurant, service, and fare,
While ordering cream-cake, and insisting we share
Over coffee, which signaled the end was in-sight,
And the torture was stopping, but try as I might,
I could not feel better the rest of the night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Benny Decker's Statue, Yokosuka Chuo-Koen



The bust of a former Captain from the Navy
Famous back in occupation days
Is placed and postured so his stoney gaze,
Looks over the edge of a bluff, where maybe
If he could still see, he could watch the waves,
Of Tokyo Bay, which lap against the landfills
Which have long since buried
Yokosuka's beaches... But the verdant hills,
Remain, with an ageless message, carried
By spiders and kudzu vines, who attach
To the Captain's statue, in a slow embrace,
A small signal from nature, which somehow I catch
As I pause to wipe the sweat from my face.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time's Relativity

It bothered me that the city park's clock
Was wrong -- 10-minutes fast, "What's up with that!?"
I spat, and continued my morning walk...
Yet more proof that bureaucratic fat,
Fed by my taxes, can not manage a task
As simple as keeping correct time
Yet yearly it comes, efficiently, to ask
For more money, down to nickel & dime...

Just then, the morning siren blew,
At 8 o'clock sharp, as it's programmed to do,
That's when I looked down at my watch to see
The one with the wrong time, actually was me.

(Comment: I'm just glad I didn't go ahead and start a Tea Party movement about it. I could have been refudiated.)

In The Days Before SUVs

I remember all of us crowded in
The stationwagon-back-end space,
Like monkeys in a padded bin,
As we drove to a distant scenic place

Playing games with cards, and spying
License-plates, and singing songs
About beer bottles on the wall,
The time flew by without even trying...
Driving the country roads: two-laned, long-
Stretching concrete strips, westward lying,
And leading to nothing at all
But the promise of mountains and swimming and fun
Under a summer vacation sun.

And no I-Pods or cell phones or DVDs,
We did quite well without any of these...

(Thanks to G.H./"Imager" for the inspiration. Check out his Blog at: http://ofratsandmen.blogspot.com/)

Footfalls With Pisces

Morning health-ramble, middle-aged motion,
Calories to burn, scale to be faced,
Along a quiet seawall siding...
I glance down to the ocean,
To see I'm being paced,
By a sting-ray, quiet & gliding...

We jog together, fish and man,
It in the water, and me on land,
Opposite ends of evolutionary span...
For a momentary Zen,
Which may never happen again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ten Quotes From Napoleon Bonaparte

A leader is a dealer in hope.

A revolution is an idea which has found its bayonets.

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.

A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.

Ability is nothing without opportunity.

An army marches on its stomach.

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.

He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.

History is a set of lies agreed upon.

I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.

Old Edo Trail In Shioiri, Yokosuka

I walk up the 400-year-old road,
Which climbs, narrowly, through the green
Overgrown slope, rising above the quiet homes,
Still asleep, on a humid summer morning...
I imagine what it must have been,
The road, in the days before cars,
Where business, routine or urgent,
Was conducted on foot...
And boy, how they must have sweated,
On a morning like this,
Walking, with purpose, through the crow calls,
And walls of bamboo, to reach their
Goals and destinations and assignations...
I think they would have remembered
This small stretch of road, only
As something best completed, not repeated.

Survivor

The last hydrangea, shaded, blue, protected,
By the large-leaf of an unknowing savior-plant,
Displays its improbable, beautiful, bloom,
In an isolated place, where the hot sun can't,
Dry and destroy the last thing connected
To spring, before the coming solstice doom.

Look Up!

Newspaper, spread & anchored by 4 rocks,
On the ground, next to the house entrance...
Swallow's nest in the eaves above.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From The Back Of The Conference Room

To enable the miracle,
Of sleeping while seating,
The good lord invented,
The daily staff meeting.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Drowsy at the morning meeting,
Eyelids' weight unsupportable...
Second can of Red Bull.

Insomnia

There is something I should do,
Not that it's crucial or imperative...
But I'm suspended, I can't see it through,
Stuck in existential goo...
Deciding not to decide,
I fiddle with my fingers, and hide,
While the accounting draws near...
Eek! I'm fate's dangled marionette,
Slow-spinning in a neutral gear,
A protagonist in a lost narrative
Which no one will ever hear.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Morning Exercise

Out for a walk, sometimes slow-jog, on a pre-hot July morning,
The park is populated with roses, mostly wishing it was back in May,
And dazed-looking, pajama-clad denizens, who jerk-stop with scant warning,
Because the dogs, who drag them along, like to do it for play...
And the cars whoosh-by, too-urgent, metallic and swarming,
Past the army of cicadas who've waited beneath, 7 years, for this day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ghosts Inside My Head

Looking at the spot, there,
Where it happened long ago,
People pass who do not know...

I conjure-up a memory-ghost,
From inside my head somewhere --
That place which aches the most.

Sunday Morning Quasi-Haiku

Blurred memories of last night,
Blend-bounce in my hurting head...
Empty aspirin bottle.

- - - - - - - - - -

Summer! Bold-sunny and green,
Vibrant cicada songs...
But the heat is obscene.

- - - - - - - - - -

When women rule the world,
It will be a better place;
And men, relieved of burdens,
Will attend to the NASCAR race.

6 Quotes From Sir Laurence Olivier

(1) I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it.

(2) Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.

(3) Surely we have always acted; it is an instinct inherent in all of us. Some of us are better at it than others, but we all do it.

(4) The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions. The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass.

(5) We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act.

(6) When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part.

Potential Evil In A Hardware Store

The twin-edged stiletto dagger,
Blue-steeled and razor-sharp,
Displayed, on-sale, for $24.95,
Waits for its hand,
And the sad chance which will plunge it,
To taste muscle, fat, and blood.

Seated Dream

The arm chair is so comfortable
But, unaffordable,
In the furniture store.

Middle Aged Appetites

A man has many appetites,
Which line-up to be filled,
Feed the need, 'till sated,
Or petered out... Or thrilled...
But, by middle-age there's something,
Which leaves one drooling-dreamy,
An Italian meatball sandwich,
Beats a girl in a bikini.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Missing At The Westroads Mall

How can it be that the spot
Where a disgrunteled kid
Used a semi-automatic rifle,
While in the women's clothes section
Of Von Maur's,
To shoot and kill some people,
And then, himself,
Adding a punctuation mark to a crime,
Done with a gun,
Which we have the right to bear...
Well, how can it be,
That there's no memorial;
Nothing to remind us of the victims...
Are they better off forgotten?
Removed impediments
To Von Maur's sales.

Heavy Deja Vu

I drive down the same road
On which I cruised as a youth
And the radio plays a 70's song
Unheard for ages,
Fogotten so long...
But now it hits me,
With the sting of truth...
The melody takes me back to the day
And a younger, simpler way.

ElzoHarm Art (No. 11)



We are the Bug Boys, come knocking on your door
Don't be surprised we're standing here
Instead of crawling on the floor
Or buzzing near your ear
Like in our normal biosphere...

If you give us all your fruit and sweets
We won't come-round no more
Until sometime later, when we've won the war
Occupy the playgrounds and streets
Establish our insect elites
And run things from the Walmart Store

We are the Bug Boys, we bring good news
No need to fear or fret
With insect wisdom we know how to use
The planet you humans abuse
It's not too late, we'll save things yet...

But meanwhile you need to stay inside
Stay off the radios, swallow your pride,
Sit back and enjoy, the entomological ride...

July Moment In Omaha

I step up to the porch
Glance into the shrubbery...
Dancing, glowing, fireflies.

College Mom

She lays on the bed
Motionless, childless,
Asleep, akin to dead,
Because the nest
Now empty, instead
Of the active stress
Of parental worries,
Emotional flurries...
They're all gone today,
Or at least,
A phone-call away.

Summer Storm

The summer storm comes a rumbling
At 45 miles-per-hour landspeed...

A flat-land thrill indeed.

We hear it before we see it,
Sitting on lawn chairs,
Baked in the latent late-afternoon heat
From cemented driveway squares...

And when it comes,
It's a monster wall of gray-white cloud
Rolling towards us, with intent,
That would do a tsunami proud...

And then it HITS,
A cold-air slap of wind-shower,
That BLOWS-AWAY the heat
And humidity, with convective power,
Rain lashing the street!
Rumbles and lightning blasts!

So we sit and watch,
With shock and awe,
While it lasts.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thank You Mick & Company

In Nineteen Hundred and Seventy One,
The Rolling Stones released
An album called "Sticky Fingers",
With a jacket image that lingers,
Its impact un-decreased…
Based on a Wharhol shot:
Too-tight jeans, with zipper undone,
Naughty, visceral, and hot --
A waist-level snap of nasty-fun…
Primo stuff for a young man’s wood,
And, yes, the songs were also good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It Came From Above

When you think about it, I guess,
We mammals emerged from the mess,
Following the massive impact-void
Left by an errant asteroid.

So put your faith in gods, if you must,
But remember our debt to cosmic dust.

A Bit Of Bird Wisdom

The sparrow, sweet-singing
On the green-leafy berm,
Looks fearsome & fierce
From the viewpoint of the worm.

Perspective On The Rat Race

Viewed from afar, at distance,
With separation... The blurry mix
Of actions, calls, and meetings,
Management's whims & insistence,
To follow the consultant's latest fix,
Thereby saving our corporate existence,
Ensuring we're up and competing,
Down-sized, restructured, and lean...
Well... It sucks, if you know what I mean.

10 Proverbs From Japan

*
1. A good husband is healthy and absent.

2. Fall seven times, stand up eight.

3. After victory, tighten your helmet strap.

4. Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse.

5. A good sword is the one left in its scabbard.

6. First round, the man takes a drink; second round, the drink takes a drink; third round, the drink takes the man.

7. Getting money is like digging with a needle. Spending it is like water soaking into the sand.

8. If you believe everything you read, better not read.

9. If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

10. Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sport Utility Vehicle

It's big and fast, and eats up gas...
A metallic cocoon on wheels,
Spawned from suburban rubber rooms,
Built on sedated squares of grass,
Where one lives, but never feels.

Loyal Soccer Fan

I love my team with heart and soul,
I yell for them, and paint my face...
But then the others score a goal,
And joy is gone without a trace.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Magic Moment In A Park

I trudge around an ancient baseball ground,
For the fifth time, stepping over weeds,
Near the end of a day, when fireflies abound...
I pause in my circling to swat at a fly,
Then look-up, and am stunned to see what's around...
And above -- a priceless painting on high,
A cloudless cobalt sky, which the sunset leads
To a twilight glow-conclusion, devoid of sound,
Crisscrossed by golden shining vapor trails
The gifts of jets' propulsion needs...
Oblivious to the miracle I have found,
My daughters kick a ball and cry
To join them, but their urging fails
To dispel the magical moment in time,
When a heavenly light-show was briefly mine.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sending Her Away To College

Farewells made by the bus,
It's finally time to leave,
Depart from being one of us,
With tearful hugs we grieve...
The moment's heavy, sadly-sweet,
Yet, dare we hope that fate will weave,
Another chance for us to meet.

Look To The Ant


Hard work, with technical vision...
Human rationality presides,
Business rules, followed with precision,
In accordance with corporate decisions...
To make things we don't know we need,
To feed what can't be filled inside...
Led by appetite, we proceed,
Like ants developing insecticide.

(Thanks to John D. MacDonald for the inspiration)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slow Train


I decide against the express...
"Slow the pace, delay the stress"
I think to myself, as I step on board
The slow train to the southern place
Where work awaits -- My office space,
Where ennui, angst, and pens are stored.

Lover's Real Moment


I gaze at her closely,

She looks back at me intimately,

So who farted?

54 & Topped Off


There comes a time, where you know,
(And you don't let it ruin your day)
That you've reached your professional plateau,
And maxed-out your annual pay...

It's no use to get depressed,
Rather, turn the thought on its head,
And toast those things
For which you're blessed,
Then pay your taxes 'till you're dead...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kingyo No Fun (Goldfish Poop)


Following the famous and powerful
We trail,
Like the poop
Behind the goldfish tail...

Hollowing-out our dreams
and desire,
Just carry the briefcase
And don't dare tire...

Oh joyous is the powerful man,
Who does what he does, because he can.

And woe to us who follow his wake,
Meek-loyally, for a paycheck's sake.

Couples' Fate


Marriage isn't all it seems,
Sleep in the same bed,
But with different dreams.

You hope you reach,
Before love ends,
A place where
Both of you are friends.

And if you don't, of course,
Push the button
Marked "divorce"...