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.