Saturday, December 31, 2011

The 108 Sins (Defilements)

abuse; aggression; ambition; anger; arrogance; baseness; blasphemy; calculation; callousness; capriciousness (unaccountable changes of mood or behavior); censoriousness (being severely critical of others); conceitedness; contempt; cruelty; cursing; debasement; deceit; deception; delusion; derision; desire for fame; dipsomania (alcoholism characterized by intermittent bouts of craving); discord; disrespect; disrespectfulness; dissatisfaction; dogmatism; dominance; eagerness for power; effrontery (insolent or impertinent behavior); egoism; enviousness; envy; excessiveness; faithlessness; falseness; furtiveness; gambling; garrulity (tediously talking about trivial matters); gluttony; greed; greed for money; grudge; hard-heartedness; hatred; haughtiness; high-handedness; hostility; humiliation; hurt; hypocrisy; ignorance; imperiousness (assuming power or authority without justification); imposture (pretending to be someone else in order to deceive); impudence; inattentiveness; indifference; ingratitude; insatiability; insidiousness; intolerance; intransigence (unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something); irresponsibility; jealousy; know-it-all; lack of comprehension; lecherousness; lying; malignancy; manipulation; masochism; mercilessness; negativity; obsession; obstinacy; obstinacy; oppression; ostentatiousness; pessimism; prejudice; presumption; pretence; pride; prodigality (spending money or using resources freely and recklessly); quarrelsomeness; rage; rapacity (being aggressively greedy or grasping); ridicule; sadism; sarcasm; seducement; self-denial; self-hatred; sexual lust; shamelessness; stinginess; stubbornness; torment; tyranny; unkindness; unruliness; unyielding; vanity; vindictiveness; violence; violent temper; voluptuousness; wrath

Post Festival/Fireworks

This, in between the midnight crush,
And what will be a much more quiet moment
At the shrine two hours from now -- no rush,
While the crowds flow, thin, and drift
Away, so I take this moment to gather
The thoughts that come to mind, and shift
Them into the words that now appear
On screen, and lead to thanks for the gift
Of another hour, another day, another year.

Ring For Hope

This Buddhist bell was temporarily set-up at Joganji Temple in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture (one of the places badly damaged by 3/11). Starting this afternoon, visitors were allowed to ring/gong the bell for good luck in 2012. No limit was set on the number of times the bell could be rung ---- Usually, the priests ring the bell 108 times, during New Year's Eve ceremonies... To wash away the previous year's "108 sins" identified by the Buddhist faith...


March is one I'd like to have back,
Things seemed simpler, better,
Before the tsunami's attack...

Omisoka Night

The countdown has started in the park,
I know, because I can hear the sound
Of the singer's voice, loud and urgent, in stark
Contrast to the peaceable gloom in my room,
Where I sit and contemplate the year almost done...
The countdown contiues on toward its scripted
Ending, goodbye to the old year, hello the new one!
The drunks will yell in the cold, and kisses
By lovers with chapped lips, all of which misses
The reality, amidst the fireworks and heated wine,
That nothing has changed, this night is just another
Night, which will tick-away until the sunshine
Of just another day, casts its clear piercing light
Onto the abandoned park, where much is still fine
And mostly unchanged -- Time to put the right
Foot in front of the left, amble into a new year's day...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

3 Days Before New Year's

The usually busy office
Is quiet, empty, maybe distracted
From the normal buzz and
Business, the drama enacted
Which I call my working life,
Now paused, goals refracted
Into a softer coloring of rest
At the end of the year, when
The trigger is released lest
The tension takes over again...

Listening To The Beatles

How can it be that a melody
From so long ago can bring
Back a memory, a monent
Forgotten, and everything
Else along with it, to where
I can taste the sweet air
Of youth, and those dreams
Which burnt out brightly
Yesterday, or so it seems...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weird American Custom

Groundhog day is coming soon,
And the gathered crowd will
Look for a rodent's shadow
To predict whether winter still
Would remain too long, or depart
In time for an early spring to start;
How the hairy tunnel rat gained
Such power, is a mystery unexplained...

Midnight Fling

It's not what I planned on...
Sleep deferred in honor
Of Moet & Chandon
Champagne's fizz,
And subsequent epiphany
That it is, what it is...

Consensus Building

For a decision on a tough divisive
Issue, the tendency is to balk,
And avoid making enemies, or
Unhappiness, so we just talk, talk, talk...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

26 December Scene

The morning after the feast,
Leftovers on the stove top,
And the new day's sun from the east...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nike "Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord" Sale

It was after we pushed the doors
Open, springing their hinges, we
Charge-trampled across the floors
Recklessly, triumphantly...
And I finally got my hands
On the shoes, when some bitch sprayed
Red pepper, and punches started
To fly, but I pushed, kicked, and made
My way out of the mob, and departed
Teary-eyed, but unrepentant, unafraid...

Before The Banquet

On the eve of a Yule feast,
Which I am due to make
In the afternoon, tomorrow,
I lie back on the bed to take
Some time to relax and rest,
And I gaze at the tree
All color and sparkle, best
Displayed this Solstice night,
The eve of a feast, I doze away
In the dim festive light...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter Solstice -- 冬至

Quotes from the web:

"There are several Japanese traditions connected with the Winter Solstice, mainly connected with warding off disease. The most popular one is taking a hot yuzu bath. Yuzu is a small yellow or green citrus fruit grown in East Asian. With a flavor somewhat between that of a grapefruit and an orange, its peel and juice are used to garnish Japanese cuisine.

The yuzu bath tradition holds that if done, it will help prevent colds for the coming year. A report from the Mainichi Shimbun indicated that origins of this practice are unclear. However, one word in Japanese referring to visiting a bath has the same pronunciation as Winter Solstice, Toji. The Mainichi speculates that tradition likely gained popularity after being promoted by public baths as a way to draw in visitors. Even this year a number of reports of public bath and hot springs throwing in hundreds of the fruit have been written over the last the week.

A similar tradition to the yuzu bath is called “azukigayu,” and involves putting azuki red beans into a bath, again to ward off colds for the year.

A third, slightly different, tradition is eating pumpkin on the solstice to help prevent paralysis. The Mainichi again claims that this origin is shrouded in mystery, particularly since pumpkins were imported into Japan sometime around the 16th century."
- - - - - - - - - -
"Winter Solstice marks the time of the year when the light returns as the sun shifts and starts to move northward again. In Europe, the tradition of the yule log is celebrated on Winter Solstice. A special log is brought in and placed on the hearth where it glows for the twelve nights of the holiday season. After that, it is kept in the house all year to protect the home and its inhabitants from illness and any adverse condition. The yule log is the counterpart of the midsummer bondfires, which are held outdoors on Summer Solstice to celebrate the shortest night of the year. It is also customary to place mistletoe around the fire, which is the plant that grew on the oak tree, sacred to the Druids, the priests of the old Celts. Among other uses, mistletoe is thought to help women conceive. The Christmas tree also dates from old European or pagan rituals. It was the time to celebrate the renewal of the earth, and greens were used as the symbol. Branches of pine, cedar, and juniper commonly used brings wonderful fragrance into the home. Red candles are used to symbolize the fire and heat of the returning sun as the days begin to lengthen."
- - - - - - - - - -
"In pre-historic times, winter was a very difficult time for Aboriginal people in the northern latitudes. The growing season had ended and the tribe had to live off of stored food and whatever animals they could catch. The people would become troubled as the life-giving sun sank lower in the sky each noon. They feared that it would eventually disappear and leave them in permanent darkness and extreme cold. After the passage of the winter solstice, they would have reason to celebrate and regain hope in the future as they saw the sun rising and strengthening once more. Although many months of cold weather remained before spring, they took heart that the return of the warm season was inevitable. The concept of birth and or death/rebirth became associated with the winter solstice. The Aboriginal people had no elaborate instruments to detect the solstice. But they were able to notice a slight elevation of the sun's path within a few days after the solstice -- perhaps by DEC-25. Celebrations were often timed for about the 25th."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In Her Hands

In her opened hands, light
Feathered carriers of hope
Perch tentatively, as she sits
In a verdant garden bright
With color, where it's
Possible, it's even right,
For beauty and whimsy to coincide,
Leaving a gentle happy sight,
A magic moment, to abide...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From "Humbolt's Gift"

"On esthetic grounds, if on no others, I cannot accept the view of death taken by most of us, and taken by me during most of my life -- on esthetic grounds therefore I am obliged to deny that so extraordinary a thing as a human soul can be wiped out forever. No, the dead are about us, shut out by our metaphysical denial of them. As we lie nightly in our hemispheres asleep by the billions, our dead approach us. Our ideas should be their nourishment. We are their grain fields. But we are barren and we starve them. Don't kid yourself, though, we are watched by the dead, watched on this earth, which is our school of freedom. In the next realm, where things are clearer, clarity eats into freedom. We are free on earth because of cloudiness, because of error, because of marvelous limitation, and as much because of beauty as of blindness and evil. These always go with the blessing of freedom." (Saul Bellow)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Exit The Rabbit, Enter The Dragon

Headed for 2012, leaving 2011,
Hoping for better things,
Less hell, and more heaven...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finance Banker

Morning's blurred arrival, java wired,
The world is calling, money to be made!
Too scared to feel, too busy to be tired...
Start the screen-suck in my beige cubicle,
Kiss-up endlessly, try not to get fired,
Resigned to the sad fact I'll never
Again be the innocent they hired,
Promote to Associate, big annual bonus,
No family, niceness, or inspiration required.

Learn By Example

RED is really into it with the kids, in the groove, living the dream.
BLUE is trying hard to follow, but needs to do something tighter with his pants.
YELLOW, a slightly overweight, last-minute substitute, is about ready to fall over.
PINK and GREEN are trying to warn about the monster getting ready to eat everyone.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Small Splendor Below Your Shoes

The busy walker is disappointed with
The bare branches of the winter trees,
Yet the colors, scattered on the ground,
He treads on, but never really sees...
Beauty, small miracles, spread all around,
Only discerned by chance, by degrees...

(Imagery Art by Mark harm Niemeyer)


For all of us who get there
In the end, take a deep breath
And consider not the when and where,
But how you walked the walk,
Sometimes slowly, but always with flair...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gastric Interlude

The aftermath of Thanksgiving
Stares up at me, accusatory,
From the scales... But it's too cold
To exercise, yes, that's my story,
And I'm sticking to it, despite
The realization that another big
Eating day, with presents, is right
Around the corner...
Amen, and silent night.

Black Friday, 25 November 2011

Background Christmas music insinuating
"It's time to shop", and thereby messing
Up what would otherwise be a cold
Clean day, which now is depressing
And vitiated, as are we ourselves,
Grasping credit cards, and pressing
Into crowds of slaves of Santa's elves.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

The difference about what will happen soon

Is that though we watch, and hope for the light,

The shadow, inexorable, will cover the moon,

Turn its silver to orange-brown in the night

Sky, under which we mingle, ogle, and swoon,

Trusting time, in the end, to put things right…

Which it does, and we move on to the next thing

To fill the hungry chasm of our empty hearts,

While the moon, renewed, softly shining,

Beams ghostly blessing, as our next act starts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eat Like A Man (In Osaka)

Burger King Japan's 2011 Christmas special ... is an innovative one: the "Pizza-Sized Burger," featuring four Whopper patties cut into triangular "slices," which was all over the Internet when it was announced, to no one's surprise.

So I decided to give a closer look and try one out (it just premiered this week).

Half of the hulking sandwich gets done up like a regular Whopper; for the other half, customers can select a "fresh avocado" or "cheese nacho" variation.

Burger King is also selling a "party set," which adds an order of French fries, onion rings, chicken wings, and four sodas to the mix and retails for around $35 (the Pizza-Sized Burger alone can be purchased for around $22).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Out Of Our Heads

Instead of voices with sound
The antenna boys send out waves
To others like them, around
The planet, and it saves
On the stress and wear and tear,
Silent joy waves going everywhere...
Positive vibrations,
Beamed to all the nations...
No headaches, no noise,
Free your head with the antenna boys.

(Art by Mark Niemeyer)

Walk On By

Clop, clop, clop, clop,
The high heels hit the boardwalk
All style and fashion, trailing
Perfume and echoes of small talk...

December Blues

The wind that hits my
Face is a frigid reminder
Of another year gone by,
The snow, a messenger
Quiet, white, of how
The end is a cold place,
Not unlike now:
Shivering alone beneath
An empty gray sky,
It's silent and unavoidable,
As hard as we may try...

Words For A Country-Western Song...

Bartender please pour me another
Shot, lest I forget, lose track,
Or deem it not worth the bother
Of calling her to come back,
She who is the reason I drink
After drink after drink,
She, who sank me with the smile
Unoffered, all I can think
Is to get shit-faced while
Hope disolves with a nod and wink.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Glimpse Of Hope

Reassurance and some peace of mind,
To see the white-feathered guests
Return, yet again, in late autumn,
From the frigid northwest.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Post-Thanksgiving feasting
On big-bird leftovers, and more,
Which taste mo-better than on
The more famous day before...
Gobbling down a tasty mess,
Without the guests and family stress...

Japanese Stage Art

In Japan they perform
A play called "Kabuki",
A high form of art,
But the make-up is spooky.

A Few Haiku From Issa Kobayashi

nodokeshi ya ugo no nawabari niwa suzume

spring peace--
after rain, a gang war
garden sparrows

* * * * * * * * * *

uguisu ni damatte iranu suzume kana

not hushing up
for the nightingale...

* * * * * * * * * *

manzai ya kado ni inarabu hato suzume

begging actors at the gate--
pigeons and sparrows
in a row

* * * * * * * * * *

oki yo oki yo suzume wo odoru chô wa mau

wake up! wake up!
sparrows, butterflies
are dancing

New Art From Mark Harm Niemeyer

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunk In Anger

Upon seeing Cheonan...
How could a gas bubble
From below, cause
Such deadly trouble...
A bubble? You may
Snort a disbelieving laugh,
But, the fact is that
It cut the ship in half.

Paternal Issue

A father's love for his teen-age son,
Deep and real, but under-expressed,
A pat on the shoulder, and then it's done,
An awkward hug cut-short, lest
Feelings are released, which are best
Left quiet, discouraged to fly or run...

On and on...

What tomorrow will bring,
No one really knows,
Best laid plans meet chance
And fate -- So it goes...

International Conference

A three-way mental truce
Declared after painful
Negotiations in a cultural-
Linguistic thicket; while gainful
Employment will be conferred
On those who follow, to
Correct where we have erred.

White Night

Drive-gliding, quiet and smooth,
On and through the new-falling snow,
The snow a gift from an arctic
North, to places way below,
Like where I am driving now,
In a rented Nissan, rolling slow
And careful on the cold white-
Carpeted street, so peaceful, although
I'm also afraid and straining
To remember long-unused winter
Navigation skills to finish the remaining
Miles safely to my warm empty room...


The secret that my mother knows,
Of how to provide peace through food:
Meatloaf, gravy, beans, and potatoes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Lost Scot

Must of taken a real wrong turn, somewhere south of Dundee...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November's Gift

Lay me down on the fallen leaves,
Under an autumn sky so blue,
It almost hurts my eyes to see
The beauty, which cuts through
The dullness of a nameless day...
Blue, orange, and gold undo
The blindfold, and open a way
To slowdown, stop, then lie
Down on the leaves, orange and gold,
Like I used to do, before I got
Too busy, too cultured, too old...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ancient Peace -- 諏訪大神社

Up a hill from the busy road,
And the bustling sound
Of peoples' commerce and sin,
Is a quiet place with no one around,
Made 600 years before the moment I'm in,
Where I sit alone, on holy ground...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ancestors' Forgotten Warning

On a bluff, above the utter devastation
Wrought by the giant ocean surge
Of an awful earthquake’s creation,
Stands a small and ancient stone
Monument, which, once weeds were
Cleared, its message was shown…
Anxious words, carved long ago into
Its weathered face, trying to mitigate
From centuries ago, the awful fate
And future pain and watery death for
Those who now arrived, and read too late,
For those, now homeless or alone:
“Don’t build your homes below this stone.”

Christmas Decorations Already Up

Japanese businesses, retailers, and local governments WASTE NO TIME getting Holiday decorations on display -- The day after Halloween, bam!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Better Than X-Box

Hunting, in the rugged hills
And valleys of a dusty
Distant land, which kills
The careless -- Searching
For the men hunting for me,
Brutal blood sport thrills
Pursued kinetically, relentlessly,
By high-school graduates,
Valley-to-valley, door-to-door,
What more excitement
Could a young man ask for…

Occupy Someting

Occupy Wall Street was fraying
With mind-game squabbles,
Frustrated cops, faction versus faction,
But it all came together when,
During a quiet pause in the action,
A dude stands-up and hollers
“Hey Mr. Rich Man, what the hell
do you do with a billion dollars?!
Do you finger it, count it, roll in it,
Make love to it -- you can’t spend
It all before your lifetime’s end!
Hey Mr. Rich Man it’s time to repent,
Give your gold to the 99 percent!”

Near The Refugee Camp Gate

Coming out of their place,
On the United Nations bus,
I see such a scared and pretty face,
Her beauty penetrates to my bones;
But she’s one of them, not one us…
And we start throwing stones.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alien Vapors

The spacemen arrived in a mysterious way
Around sunset, descending silently,
Coming from a planet far, far, away...
And once aground, dispersed on the winds,
To someplace hidden they remain to this day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Day Off

Finally a day off!
But instinctively I reach
For the Blackberry

= = = = = = = = = =

At my desk, Tele-working,
Trying to show
I can write clear syntax,
Despite the Merlot.

= = = = = = = = = =

The small delicious pleasure
Of sitting on a week-day
Watching others go to work...

Tool In The Shed

As I get older, I am becoming more a of "flourescent light" -- i.e., there tends to be a bit of flickering before my light comes on -- so, in the spirit of poking fun at those of us who now, more often than not, experience some "Senior Moments", here are some great & pithy descriptions of "dumb"...

1. A few peas short of a casserole.

2. Fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

3. Driveway doesn't quite reach the road.

4. As smart as bait.

5. Doesn't have all his dogs on one leash.

6. Forgot to pay his brain bill.

7. The logs are ablaze but the chimney is clogged.

8. The hard drive is spinning but the OS hasn't been installed.

9. If you stand close enough to them you can hear the sea.

10. Has a full six-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy that holds them all together.

11. Any slower and he'd need to be watered once a week.

12. His cornbread isn't done in the middle.

Re-Inventing The Wheel

To me it's a mystery,
Why humans keep repeating
The screw-ups of history,
Ignoring what was earned
Through hard-knocks and pain,
Forgetting lessons-learned
Till they're re-taught again,
This is not just about nations,
But the family, the office --
Us idiots of all stations...

6 Maxims From Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

1. All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: (1) What can I know? (2) What ought I to do? (3) What may I hope?

2. Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.

3. If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.

4. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one's intelligence without the guidance of another.

5. Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

6. Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.

Warm Room With A Special Friend

Oh, how I love to sit beside her,
Good conversation,
With hard pumpkin cider...

The Neverending Story

The sixth lap is where the peace
Kicks in, and the pain in my legs
Seems to lift, misgivings cease,
As I push-on to burn-off the
Sugar, salt, and pizza grease,
Pavement pounding, pay for the sin,
Runner versus stomach -- lose or win?

All Is Not As Seems

Morning walk in cloud-filtered light
Which softens sights on the city street,
Grays and bronzes vice the bright
Colors, dampened noises of busy
Tense bodies -- something isn’t right,
Or maybe it is? … for a moment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

If They Only Knew...

Stuck with the unlucky few
Who didn’t make it out
Of Dunkirk, all we knew
Was that our war was over,
And we’d have years to stew
About it, far from the cliffs of Dover
In a camp run by Germans, who
At the time thought they would
Win, but they didn’t have a clue
Of what was to come, falling
From the skies to blow apart
Their cities into dust, the appalling
Destruction and death, as the art
Of war would be played to conclusion
Ripping to painful bloody shreds
The temple of Teutonic delusion.

Chemistry Lesson

I wake up to face a bright new day,
Happy-hopeful with the state I’m in,
And all will work-out positive and cool,
As long as I mind to take my medicine...

Naval Station Great Lakes

You stand the watch, hour after hour,
Tired and bored, but alert
Making decisions, wielding power,
Over mostly trivial things -- your feet hurt
Along with your back, while time
Ticks away, never to be retrieved,
Until your watch is properly relieved…
Afterwards, burden gone, you
Go outside to have a smoke,
Marlboro menthol in your hand,
And feel like the punch line of a joke…
At least you get to sit, instead of stand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nimitz Highway, Oahu, 25 August 2011

The homeless man
Stands on a median,
Guarding nowhere
From no one,
Like those nobodies
Who barely notice
Anything, driving by…
He stands in the sun-
Baked street
And defends his piece
Of concrete,
Because he can.

寒露 KAN RO  (Cold Dew)

A thick wet blanket of normality
Covers and threatens to suffocate
All creativity, leaving banality
Or, yet worse, a dried-up celibate
Soul, incapable of stepping off
The treadmill -- stuck in a state
Of impending check-mate,
The bright lights never getting
A chance to beat the betting.

The Climber

I climb up a rock, with my hands
And muscles, no ropes, no cleats,
I am unstoppable, defying gravity…
And limpet-like, my grip defeats
The force that would fling
Me down onto the safety mat,
Placed carefully, intending
To break a fall from the boulder,
Mitigating an otherwise ugly ending…
I climb for the challenge, the thrill
Of ascending vertically on an
Unforgiving granite face, until
The top is reached, the goal achieved,
My tendons and fingers relieved,
And the feeling which follows
Is beyond normal pleasure:
Minutes of dopamine's treasure...

Navy Wife

Learning to wait,
Lonely as hell,
She goes through her days
Resigned to her fate,
But it's all right,
She's saved by his smell
On the pillow,
She hugs at night...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Temporary Enjoyment

Happiness happens for an instant,
To be enjoyed in its existence,
However fleeting or transient,
It gives pleasure, then off it goes,
Disappearing without a trace,
Wafting away to someplace no one knows...

Cosmic Heads Bump, Galaxy's Edge

In space’s outer reaches
Where astro-mysteries hide,
Is a strange phenomenon:
Two cosmic heads collide
And crash, releasing
Energy and light in massive
Heroic amounts, and ceasing
To exist thereafter… passive
Remnants speeding away,
In awesome colorful display...

The Power Of Song

So logical, strong, and serious,
He still wonders why,
There are some songs which
Make him float and cry.

Now I Lay Me Down...

Chamomile and Valerian
Soothing into drowsiness,
To fade-forget, where I am
To the edge of being awake,
Beyond which lies darkness,
The wonderland dreams make,
And as hard as a day may be,
It ends in surrender
To sleep, unconditionally...

Lunchtime Visitor

The crow approaches, step-by-step, slow,
On reptilian feet, its eyes deepest black,
Waiting for me to finish and throw
A scrap or bone from a different bird
I’m eating in my car -- What does it know?

A Word From The Wealthy

Going through life
With lots of money
And a trophy wife

Taxes are no worry
Which my lawyers
Fix in a hurry

I give to the poor
Just enough to keep
Them away from my door

Take as much profit
As I can get
Then fly off to spend it
In a corporate jet

Of course I have more
Than I ever will need
An endless surplus
To feed my power
Nurture my greed

Going through life
As one of the rich
I don’t look behind
Or below, which
Would only remind
That life’s a bitch
For those with less
Who can’t buy happiness

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Man's Best Friend

A dog always watches with careful eyes,
Not understanding words, but oh so
Sensitive to movement, smell, and size,
And signals about the pack, of which
It is a member, so the dog tries
To see past the sounds the human makes
And grasp who follows and who leads,
Who needs protecting, and it takes
The time it needs, always watching
Signals and events that transpire
With careful ancient eyes, like
The first time it approached man's fire...

White Memory Bird

What used to be a watery space
Where egrets fed on loaches
And frogs, is now a different place
Growing cabbage and leeks,
And only gods know where
The egret flies and seeks,
Elegant-white in the air,
Looking for the rice paddies
No longer there...

I wish I could explain,
About man's-made change,
Why things don't always remain...

I wish I could still see the egrets,
That things stay the same...

Too High To Use The Stairs

Awkward, in the elevator, with a stranger,
An apartment neighbor I suppose,
We both stare at the number changer
Display, wordless and so still, we wait
Lowering, in confined space -- and tension
Marks the seconds of our slow declension,
In a pulley box, which controls our fate,
Suspended and dangling-down a shaft,
As we silently refuse to contemplate
Possibilities to awful to mention...

Post Tempest

The ginko nuts lie randomly where they dropped
Onto the ground, softening under the sun
Now shining strong, after the typhoon stopped,
And through their sour-butter smell I run,
Slowly, so as not to over-heat,
And nearly trip on the broken bird-wing
Skeleton of an umbrella on the street,
Twisted and bent, it’s bereft of utility,
Spindly aluminum proof of a cyclone’s wrath,
Of nature’s strength, and man’s futility,
Revealed in small bits, in the aftermath…

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome Home Lisa

God bless the beaches in Thailand
Which host our indiscretions
And drinks on sparkling sand
Amid the exotic color and noise,
Jungle-bird-like expressions
Of hawkers and katoys…
Summer vacation in Phuket
As long as the money lasts
The most fun you can get
Continues unimpeded
Till medical help is needed.

Mid-September PT Thoughts

One yellow leaf peeking out
From the green of the cherry
Tree, gives a whisper, not a shout,
Under a pale blue sky, still very
Humid, this day it’s about,
The puffy clouds are a vapor trail
Signifying, like the bell crickets’
Arrival that summer is stale,
And headed towards a cold
Denouement -- like ships put to sail
Carrying cargo, already sold,
To merchants who have bought us
Long ago, sight unseen, untold...

Eternal Conflict

The war between
Women and Men
Starts off as peace,
And sexual Zen,
But rust settles in,
Magic times decrease
Never to return again,
And the battles begin
Which do not cease,
Which can't be won
Unless damage is done...

The war between
Women and Men,
Kinetic or unseen,
Can be halted
Before love dies,
Before things get too mean,
Through compromise,
Or the look in her eyes...

A Flicker In Darkness

Darkness instantly retreats
Into outposts of shadows,
Into corners, where it meets
The dust that has gathered
In my room, where the light
Of the screen shines blue,
A square-ish beacon which might,
Like a window opened
Out onto a troubled night,
Allow some fresh air in,
Allow creation to begin...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Side Not Green

One side, facing the sun,
Of the old fir tree, is bare,
A reminder of the other
Tree, no longer there...

But grow on it does, while
The fallen is a table somewhere.

Monday, September 5, 2011

America's Team

The story of the flag can be traced to Nebraka's preseason camp when Jack Riggins, a Fremont native and U.S. Navy SEAL, spoke to the team for about an hour. The speech left an impression on the players. "He gave us probably one of the best speeches I've heard," Cassidy said. "He really got everybody fired up and just talked about having the guts to try, and not be afraid of failure." Riggins gave his American flag to the Nebraska Football Team Unity Council, and told the players they could do what they wished with it, as long as they took care of it. The team chose to have the flag be part of the Tunnel Walk. The flag was placed in a stand near the bench during the game, and it may continue to be part of the Tunnel Walk this season. The flag has been on several missions, and it was an honor to be next to the flag for the Tunnel Walk, Cassidy said. "He said they bagged a lot of bad guys under that flag and gave it to our team as a Nebraska guy and fan," he said. "That flag was in Afghanistan. The game we play is of little importance in comparison to what they're doing over there. It keeps things in perspective." (From the Lincoln Journal Star)


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Light, Sunbeams, & Healing

There is a special moment, around dawn,
A magic instant, when anything goes,
And problems and pain and sorrow are gone,
Then it leaves for some place no one knows.

In His Dream

"We meet again", he remarks, unspoken,
Standing at the counter at Tully's
Ordering caffeine product, to be awoken
From a fantasy, it would seem,
Involving the sweet barrista before him
Who appeared in the past night's dream...
She proffers the coffee, with a smile,
Unaware, offering sugar and cream,
He says "just black", all the while
Wondering how she got inside his head...
Wondering if she'll reappear,
The next time he's in bed.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Great American Divide

Left or right, red or blue?
I have to choose, goes the rant,
From lawyers and reporters and
Camera-preening egos who can't
Stop their non-stop D.C. gabbing,
Push me to take sides -- but I shant.


Washington D.C.
Importance supposed,
Washington Monument
Cracked and closed,
Washington politics
Ugliness exposed...

The hubris-buffet of power
Is irresistable to those
Least capabily of humility --
It's just how it goes.

A sense of awe-entitlement,
Derived from the devil-deal
They chose.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tumbleweed (Part 1)

In motion is when things
Go better, it seems,
On skates or wheels or wings
Moving excitedly through the air,
But not necessarily
Headed for anywhere...
Randomly speeding scarily,
Just as fun as a circus ride,
So much better than being still,
Or static-bored, nowhere to hide
From the toad who will
Squat on your soul, and otherwise
Smother the light you could shine
For all to see, driving
Down the country median line,
Away from the cloying, cleaving
Ones who drag and deaccelerate,
Unable to forgive your leaving.
In motion you can feel and see...
In motion is when you're finally free.

(Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)

Cause Of Insomnia

Watching the T.V. program
Awake, middle of the night,
Can't get to sleep,
Something's not right...
Maybe it's knowing
That as hard as I try to keep
From thinking of impossibility
And the way things end,
There will be no bestowing
Of slumber tonight...
Maybe it's a feeling deep
Inside, over the loss of a friend,
Realizing he'll never see again
The programs the T.V.s send...

Morning In Makalapa Hotel

"Jet Fuel" coffee and pills
For a breakfast,
My jet-lagged head fills
With "Aloha Friday"...

The lobby is full of tension,
Tansience and flux
And noise, not to mention
The java-smell of I've-got-work-to-do...

Bad Flight Into Paradise

Flying the red-eye into Aloha-land,
Got the much-treasured aisle seat,
But it won't recline
And the movie screen's busted,
Then there's my maladjusted spine,
But the rest is just fine...

How To Live Longer

Those who can neither
Forget nor forgive,
Face a long and bitter
Time through which to live...

Cattle Car Senryu

Economy class Seat 43F
Seat seems roomy until
The tray table comes down...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Just some pretty clouds passing by
On a day somewhat better than others,
Time spent idly under a summer sky,
The "gift of now" comsumed, assuming
More will surely be supplied
On schedule, in full measure,
Each and every day until we die.

Seven From Across The River

1. Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. (George Eliot)

2. Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men. (Quintus Ennius)

3. Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

4. A friend who dies, it's something of you who dies. (Gustave Flaubert)

5. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. (Elie Wiesel)

6. Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it. (W. Somerset Maugham)

7. Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order. (David Gerrold)

Friday, August 19, 2011


Happy time slips by under a beach's Sun,
Its flow can't be slowed -- Bummer!
Smokes and cocktails and mindless fun,
The Lost burning-out the remnants of Summer...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cloud Cover

What a glorious feeling!
...I'm walking under a
Brilliant insistent summer sky,
Filled with mobile clouds,
Under a merciless hot
August Sun...
I'm walking across a parking lot,
Headed back to nothing special:
Another day at work...
And the parking lot is is hot!
You could fry a dozen eggs
On the Hellish asphalt...
Well, the clouds are mobile,
And they're moving along with me,
Casting their shadows ahead
Of my walking direction,
Providing, in effect,
And almost miraculously,
An angelic umbrella of shade
From way up on high...
What a glorious feeling!
To see the clouds' shadows
Marching-on before me,
As if I were the recipient
Of some sort of Heavenly UV-escort...
But, they won't believe me,
Back in the office...

Japanese River Festival

Floats of flickering hope
Launched, gently, by hands
Of those who abide and cope --
They watch the summer river's
Current urge-away the floats,
The candle's flame shivers,
Flickers, but burns its flame,
A testament to expectations
That happiness will stay the same...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

David Hume, 1711-1776 --- Seven Quotes

1. Avarice, the spur of industry.

2. Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

3. Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.

4. Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.

5. Truth springs from argument amongst friends.

6. What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call "thought".

7. That the sun will not rise tomorrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction, than the affirmation, that it will rise.

Golden Eye

When thought is cancelled out
By emotions, what will remain
But the shadow of a fizzled brain
When logic overrides the heart shout
Muffling screams and strain
Dialectics win, without a doubt.

Insect Transition

Dead cicadas on the ground
Are signs that summer
May soon no longer
Be around
The cool will grow stronger
And heroes of Fall
Will newly be found.

Dinner For Phillip Marlow

One could do worse
Than eating a meal
A private eye would make,
Bourbon on the rocks with a
Medium rare steak --
Good fuel for snooping
Criminals' layer-cake.

Daily Routine

Life is full of features...
Change, opportunity -- grab it!
But most of us don't,
We're creatures of habit.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Love And Memory

Sprint, if you will, 'cross
The heartful grounds,
There is no escape
From love's sight hounds...
Nothing is stronger,
Or runs deeper-longer.

Papa's SENRYU (Batch Number 3)

The afternoon heat
Feels worse, after the
News says it's "so hot"...
- - - - - - - - - -
Mowing the lawn,
Even after 20 years,
Is unchanged -- still a pain.
- - - - - - - - - -
The border between fantasy,
And science fiction,
Is where, exactly?
- - - - - - - - - -
Despite best-intentioned
Attempted rescue
The transplanted flower wilts.
- - - - - - - - - -
Suburban matrons' happiness:
Stretch yoga pants and
Boxes of diet brownies.

Holden Caufield

J.D. Sallinger's
"Catcher In The Rye"
Meant so much to me,
But I can't describe why...

It just tasted good,
Like a good book should.

Convectional Healing

He and she have a fight,
Emotions, no kinetics,
Won't end soon, try as they might,
Feelings swirl around the pair,
A typhoon passes between them
Which, later, leaves the air
Clearer, cooler-bright,
A counter-clockwise mixer,
In the end, like a fixer.

Need To Know

The secrets clerk asks if
I have a "need to know"...
I wonder which "need"
Is referred to, though:
The hungry one, which has to feed,
Or, required for working, apropos(?)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Avian Dedication

The sparrow hops, on tiny legs,
Bouncing near, it pauses, and begs,
I suppose, it must serve its eggs.

Under Our Feet

Who is more important,
Ants or men, respectively?
It's not that obvious,
When looked at, perspectively...
And hard to believe,
Though it may seem,
Ants are better organized
Under their queen,
Man proclaims that he is best,
But formidable ants carry-on unseen.

8 Thoughts From Soren Kierkegaard

1. Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

2. Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.

3. Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

4. Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

5. People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think they have seen something.

6. People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

7. The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

8. The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

Home, Backyard, July 2011

Where the tree used to be
Is a cricle of brown dirt
Easy enough to see,
There, in the middle of the green
Lawn, now absent of shade,
Squirrels gone, as well the haven
For birds, the old sick tree made...

Where the tree stood
The grass does not grow,
But the breeze flows freely,
And I wonder if they know,
The birds, who now wing across
Where the tree used to be,
Of its absence, of our backyard loss...

Papa's SENRYU (Batch Number 2)

Early morning meeting,
Father off to work,
Teenager back from party.
- - - - - - - - - -
300,000,000 blogs
Which are read, mostly,
By those who write them.
- - - - - - - - - -
On dreamy-dulled vacation
Lots of time to lull-relax
But still check the Blackberry
- - - - - - - - - -
A feeling of total hopelessness
Trapped in middle seat of five,
Economy section of a 747-400
- - - - - - - - - -
Atmospheric turbulence
Under the dinner table
After a big meal of beans
- - - - - - - - - -
Instictively watch the clock:
Closing moments of a tight game,
During a sermon run too long.

Trans-Pac, Cattle-Class

Maybe just because I'm
Jammed into a pressurized
Aluminium tube, jetting time,
Stressed, anesthetized
At 30,000 feet altitude,
Is why I can eat every single bit
Of the baked-nasty airline food.


Politicians pander,
While reporters spew
But real leaders,
Few and wise,
Hammer-out the compromise.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gray Epiphany

Awakened, and soon outside,
I'm walking under rainy skies:
Shades of gray, which curl and drift
So elegantly -- And I realize
This day is a treasure and a gift
We must enjoy, but never waste,
Use the time to enrich and uplift,
And carefully step to avoid the haste
With which we often squander
The precious moments through which we wander...

Post Command

Old generals, some say,
Don't die, but fade away,
But it's not that simple
Nor dramatic nor clean,
There's multiple outcomes,
If you know what I mean...
Some become symposium talkers
While others are dog walkers,
There's sitters at board meetings
Givers of Walmart greetings,
Some relearning how to drive,
Others just happy to be alive...
Ultimately -- shine, fizzle, or fade,
Each sleeps in the kind of bed he made.

Monday, July 4, 2011

See The Snake

He holds in his hand a slithering
Wiggling tube of flesh
Standing in the midst of dithering
Hollow men and random robots
Wandering under a blithering
Sun, without much purpose...
Hence the waving of the asp
Coiled striped reptile of death
Squirming in the prophet's grasp
As he calls out the news
Of pain and happiness yet to come
Which are not ours to flee or choose
Until the work of fate is done
Like the earthquake in Japan
Endless war in Afghanistan
The scientific triumph of man
Turns out to be the biggest mistake
Our history a poorly told joke
Belly laughs over the mess we make
Eat and multiply until we choke
Just listen to the man with the snake...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Post Rehab, Undefeated

He's all cleaned up, his hair
And beard trimmed shorter
Than before, and where
He used to be covered with
Dirt, and oozing beyond repair,
Seemingly hopeless, now fixed,
But still with the crazy-man stare...

What is he thinking
As he sits with his bags and wine,
Or is he quietly sinking
To where the sun don't shine,
Weighed-down with the devil's gift
Of bad karma, too heavy to lift,
He's all cleaned up, but can't arise,
Or wake from the null that shows in his eyes...

Flight Test

The mother swallow flies
An example from the edge
Of the nest, to the ledge,
Whereafter, the child swallow tries
Its wings, fluttering, crying...
The child does not fall,
The mother watches it all...
And soon the child will be trying
Swallow aerobatics on the breeze,
Eating legions of insects with ease,
But it started with mother swallow
And flight testing under the eaves.

What's This!?

Mother's shock and surprise
Sorting out the laundry
Finding a stranger's underpants

Sultry Mega-City

Summer Tokyo nights
Slowly cooling streets
And a galaxy of lights
From restaurants and bars
Of all flavors and beats
As numerous as the stars

Breaking Up

That part of my heart
Which cannot be recycled
Must be burnt, or
Crushed into a cube
And buried, according
To standing ordinances
Covering disposal of
Hazardous romantic waste.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Other 10 %

Working the night shift
Over the years, I've found
I function much better
With less people around;
Life means more than
The company you keep,
There's a whole dark world
Which sizzles while they sleep.

Floating World Woman

The naked nape of the geisha's neck
Is the purest powder white
Sloping down into a dark
Warmer place, out of sight,
Where skin, the color of harvest rice,
Is cocooned, soft and tight,
In layers of silk and cotton...
A place, where if entered,
Time and intention are forgotten...

Cat's Eyes

Women do not consider it strange
To undergo chameleonic change
On a regular recurring basis,
Emotions and instinct prevailing over stasis,
Not stange at all, nor right or wrong,
It's what helps women become so strong...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tea Party Losers

It's the others they blame
For problems everywhere,

Admitting their own failures
Would be too painful to bear,

Righteous indignation
Is the solace they share,

Incompetent, vulnerable...
Dispossessed serving the millionare.

Botany Lesson

Spring pink-magenta blossoms ascend,
In a tiny miraculous spiral,
Around and up, to where they end,
On top of the stalk of a flowering grass
On which small butterflies attend
To the business of nectar and bodily needs,
Breathtaking beauty and wonder,
Right there, in the weeds...

Looking Down...

Who knows what goes on
In the kingdom of the toes,
Beyond the navel mountain
Which always bigger grows
Over months and years,
Thanks to pizza and beers.

Hairless Primates Stranded In Modernity

Bouncing off the walls
On the days it rains,
Videos, books, and sex and booze
Please sooth the boredom pains!
Despite the talk of gods and souls,
The desperate fact remains,
We're trapped naked apes
With too-big brains.

Why So Blue?

Loosen your grip and relax,
Life's too short for the way you sing,
Crying with the notes of an alto sax,
Casting gloom over everything...
Just because you can't pass on your genes
To co-mingle with those of another,
Do you know what that really means?
You need to go talk to your mother.


My face hurts from smiling
At the cranky customers I greet,
I sell them fat and sugar --
All that they can eat;
Dazed repetition of soda & fries,
I'm half-dead on my feet,
My boss is a truly lovely guy
An anal-aggressive treat,
This job of mine is a butt,
And I'm the bicycle seat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Papa's SENRYU, Batch No. 1

Early morning motion,
Body responds, on automatic,
But brain delayed.
- - - - - - - - - -
Exacerbating an already
Sensitive situation,
The wrong cologne.
- - - - - - - - - -
Loud and declarative,
The order is issued,
But no one moves...
- - - - - - - - - -
A water-tight logical plan
Falls-apart completely
Before the look in her eyes.
- - - - - - - - - -
Monkey with an abacus,
Seagull with a wrist-watch,
My wife and sports on T.V.
- - - - - - - - - -
Deep stunned silence,
Forks & spoons held in mid-air,
After a magnificent belch.
- - - - - - - - - -
The work of an office
Is less like baseball
And more like soccer.
- - - - - - - - - -
Mixed feelings over the
Main course at Olive Garden,
My first Senior Citizen discount...
- - - - - - - - - -
Always sensitive and
Reacting to the winds,
Weather-vanes and politicians.
- - - - - - - - - -
Tears in front of my wife
At a restaurant,
After the spicy Thai curry.
- - - - - - - - - -
Negotiating question asked,
But no reply received,
Which turned out to be the answer.
- - - - - - - - - -
Last night's left-overs
Spread all around the trash box
Thanks to the crows...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Six Quotes From Jean-Paul Sartre

Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.

Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.

Hell is other people.

I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science. But in the concentration camp, I learned to believe in men.

Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.

There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.

Raptor UAV

The missile, like a silent
Assassin, descends
Onto a hut, where the life
Of a terrorist ends.


Step by step, you plod through
The hundreds of minor actions,
Which you are bound to do
Each and every earthbound day...
Wash your clothes and brush your teeth
Go to work, collect your pay,
Actions always piled-up waiting,
They never go away...

I-Phone 5G

An exquisite compilation
Of intricate, advanced technology,
Held in the greedy grasp of a whore,
Hi-tech in service of baser biology,
Used as a weapon in the war
Of the sexes, where libidos are led
Down dark alleys, and seen no more...

The Wet Weeks

Mood and tone change
For seemingly no reason,
With the approach
Of the rainy season,
Humidity and pressure
Shift and rearrange,
What once was greener and fresher,
Into something
Heavier and strange.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Liner Zingers

1. I'd say he doesn't have all his dogs on the same leash.

2. The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's asleep.

3. She forgot to pay her brain bill.

4. His antenna doesn't pick up all the channels.

5. Doesn't have his belt through all the loops.

6. I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.

7. The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train just isn't coming.

8. Looks like he played goalie for the darts team.

9. All booster, no payload.

10. Got the IQ of garden tools.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Himawari & Tetsujin

Sun flower,
Solar power,
Life juice for robots.

Huntress Erin In The Mountain Brook

She lofts the fly into the stream
Expertly, it lands,
And she makes a wish
That the lure, so carefully crafted,
Will fool a fish...
In the end,
The result was never in doubt,
The fly was too much
For the hungry trout.

Prehistoric Perennial

Spent the last seven months
With a mouthful of dirt,
But it's all good now,
Nothing bent, nothing hurt,
As I poke my green
Limbs out of the ground,
And suck in the fumes
Of spring all around...
I'm the scion of spores
From the time of the dinosaur,
Sprouting back from the spot
I was cut-down before...
All hail the return
Of the hard-luck fern!

Baby Boomers

Hell no, we're not too old for that,
Not too frail, or not too fat,
To roll around on the grass again,
Like we used to do, way back when...

04:30 AM -- I'm supposed to be asleep...

Half awake, rest destroyed,
In a murky, troubled, sleep;
Tribes of toxic trolls deployed
Into the tangled dreams I keep
Where they proclaim "It's party time!"
And then they scrap and dance and leap...

West Of Tripoli, May 2011

Kneeling in the cruel
Libyan desert, the men
From all walks of life,
Practice firing again and again,
At a tyrant they hope
To send to heaven,
Through the barrel
Of an AK-47...

Break Time

Drying on the back of my head,
Drips of honest toil-sweat
Evaporate, and thereby dry
What once was working wet...
Wet which cools the times I try
To lighten step-by-step the debt
I owe the gods, but know not why...
I can't give up -- not now, not yet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Insect Ballet

Three butterflies suspended in the air,
Flying in a magical close formation of shifting
Triangles, a quiet fluttering wing-dance
Inter-weaving, blacks and blues, lifting
On an angel's breath of a breeze,
Upward into the green tree, drifting,
Leaving me below in the moment's trance...

Shower Power

Bracing morning
Of an unsoiled day,
Full of hope!
No better way
To start, than with
A fresh bar of soap.

Sonic Beauty

"Moonlight Sonata" playing
Peacefully... written
By Beethoven saying
Something mystically
Many years ago, smitten
Then by the silver light,
Which also shines on me tonight...

Where Did It Go?

Looking back, through my mind
At a week of my life
Is there something enduring to find
In the trailing twist of smoke
Of the past which swirls to unwind
Into things forgotten --
A vacuum both deaf and blind
To what could have, should have
Been recalled...
Leaving me dyspeptic & appalled...

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Balancing on the edge
Of a seat on the train,
Semi-awake, exhaustion
Dopes the pain,
While the track
Clangs a relentless refrain...

Vernal Feel

Temperate and damp,
See Spring, smell it!
From fifty eight shades of green

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Random Thoughts From An Addled Brain

A baby wakes
Alive the mother's arms...
Who sits at a funeral.
- - - - - - - - - -
You are drunker
Thank you think,
When you wake up
Peeing in the sink.
- - - - - - - - - -
This week,
My economic fate,
Is largely dependent
On the yen exchange rate.
- - - - - - - - - -
Running emphatically out of the door,
As if she'll be seen no more;
Then later, she's welcomed back home,
No longer angry, no longer alone.
- - - - - - - - - -
Tasty and healthy is
Chicken soup,
But oat bran is better
To make you poop.

Into The Ether

The talk radio host launches-off
A beautiful string of words, which fly
Out from the station, and into the sky,
And from there into outer space,
Where they eventually land someplace...

The Endless Staff Meeting

Burnt-out, tail-end
Of the office meeting,
Can't even pretend
To be interested...
The energy sucked out of the air,
Leaving limpness, indolence,
Almost inducing despair...

Salary-Man SENRYU

- - - - - - - - - -
Plan for the future!
But no way to plan
No future either

- - - - - - - - - -
Bad economy
Give-up job hunting
Try wife hunting instead

- - - - - - - - - -
"Honey, you forgot something"
Used to be a kiss
Now it's the garbage

- - - - - - - - - -
Instead of the lottery
What I win is
Selection for jury duty

- - - - - - - - - -
The first Grandchild
Is a deterrent
To a gray-haired divorce

- - - - - - - - - -
Finally saved-up something
Not money though
Only body fat

- - - - - - - - - -
I'm trying to find
The note I wrote
So I wouldn't forget

Old Market, Omaha, 1978

Walking off my pain,
And the cobblestones, reflective
Under the tumbling rain,
Mirror the neon light beams
Shining down on the city street,
Where shadows breed, grow, and meet
Mingling with puddles and streams...

From a window, opened up above,
Music drops with the rain,
Staining each moment, each further step,
With memories of love,
With the haunting verse
Of a half-forgotten song...
Remembered for an instant,
And then mathmatically paled into obscurity,
With distance traversed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Emergency Along The Japanese Sanriku Coast

Didn’t you hear the siren, the claxon, the bell..!?
Chaos and destruction are approaching
Like a bull-dozer of death from Hell…
The earth starts to shake, with panic encroaching
Into the formerly well-ordered-stable peace
We considered our birthright, our world
Of commerce and fun, where comfort’s increase
Was assured over time, and assumed
Would continue, until a subterranean tectonic crease
Shifted and released the violence which will now consume
All that lies before it -- perhaps sparing our lives…

So hear the siren scream, the claxon squawk
The loudspeaker stressing “Run! Don’t walk!”
And we scamper and limp toward the higher ground
As death’s brown dust billows all around…

We, who now we realize, were the fools
To ignore our ancestors’ warnings not build
On the low lands by the sea,
Which, after the black tsunami has killed,
Will be nothing but rubble and pools,
Testament to the fierce power of Nature,
And its incontestable forces and rules…

We who, wet and shivering, must now
Find a new way ahead, somehow…

Sunday Afternoon Farce

Every pot his its lid,
Even those pots
You think would not...

Every parent has a kid,
But so do goats,
And pigs make shoats...

Every ego has an id,
Nature's tricky way
Of passing on one's DNA...

Every day has its night,
And you can't dream through it,
Try as you might...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ear Buds...?

I feel lonely, isolated,
Stuck in a boredom vacuum
Without ear-buds mated
Firmly between my skull
And my I-phone,
Or one of its clones...

Poor, poor insatiable me,
Without my fix from the Cloud,
It's unfair and unholy, dude,
Like "no fun allowed"...

I'm crashing-mental affected,
I can't be disconnected...!


Nine hundred fifty eight
Literary masterpieces
On my e-book reader,
But no place to re-charge...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Upon Viewing "Avatar" For The 1st Time

A classic Western movie,
Where the Indians
Are big and blue
- - - - - - - - - -
Living in trees
Must be cool,
But where do you poop?
- - - - - - - - - -
Certain very big & old trees
Are revered in Japan,
Called: Shin-Boku (god trees)
- - - - - - - - - -
Couldn't help it, but
With Sigourney Weaver on-screen
I kept expecting the ALIEN monster
To jump out of someone's chest
- - - - - - - - - -
I wonder if when I sleep
Someone gets out
Of a control box somewhere...?
Am I an Avatar,
Or am I in the Matrix...?
Will I ever end-up being
A traitor to my race...?

Glass Half Full

There's a cost to interacting
With people, through the course of a day,
Which comes from the friction
Of lives rubbed against each other,
In every which way...

An unavoidable infliction
Of mundane bruises and bumps,
But also hugs and miracles
Which bring smiles, as we take our lumps...

Don't Go To Them For Comfort

Highly intelligent engineers
Are paid to analyze and think,
Yet they cannot calm your fears,
And their bedside manners stink.

Science, facts, and objectivity
Are cast aside by feelings
And adrenalized relativity...
Engineers so honest in their dealings,
Refuse to to defuse uncertainty,
Driving the masses to panic and drink,
And their bedside manners stink.

Smart people like them
Would know to act better,
You would think...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The North Wind At Berkey Field

The ball field, flat and wide,
Lets the wind to blow straight
Across and into my face,
As if pushing me back to wait
And slow down the pace,
Of the walk I was taking to clear
My mind -- find a different place
To remember, reconsider, and sort
Out false assumptions; but then,
I stop on the green turf where sport
Absorbed sweat, hope, and tears
Of soccer girls and football boys,
And realize we are more than our fear,
We will cheer, shout, and make noise
Even if the gods never hear.

Rotor Rooter

A brain plumber is hard at work
Using the synapse snake
And neural auger
To pierce through the blockages
That tired troubles make
And free-up the blogger
To write for his sanity's sake...

Spring Break

A happy time on a good day,
Smells of clover and heather,
A moment of peace in a park
In a spell of good weather,
A placid vernal scene
Fleeting, almost unreal,
Spiritual dopamine
Helping emotions to heal,
Like a cathartic belch
After an awful enormous meal...

Avian Knowledge

The crow drags a green wire
Across the greener grass,
Good support material for building a nest...
But where did the bird inquire
To learn about using wire, and the rest?

ElzoHarm Goes Abstract

Evening Commute

Walking into a strange night,
Through eerie kooky light,
Under an awesome spooky moon,
Gotta get home soon...

What We Don't Remember

Lessons of history
Are relevant and effective,
But memories of humans
Are spotty and selective.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Imagine being in the white house -- off center in the photo (taken by some heroic fool) -- watching T.V., or sitting on the toilet, or cooking-up your favorite fry-pan recipe, or making plans for the week-end, or praying, or whatever... When all of a sudden there's a big shake & rumble, and you get settled-down saying it's just another earthquake, and you're picking-up the books that fell off the shelf --- but meanwhile this monster wave rises up above the normally placid beach where you dug for clams and made sand-castles... You never had a chance, my friend...

Nature's Gift

Little purple flowers looking up at me,
Walking to work with lots on my mind,
"Spring is here" they whisper softly...
And although disinclined
To stop, I paused and I gazed
At life's purple hope in a plant,
Which left me happier and amazed...

Iitake Village Song

If you are talking about Grays
That's something about rays,
Which gamma through tissue
Without permission or issue,
And then there's the dirt,
Piling Becquerels of hurt...
Beware floating dust gems:
Milli-sieverts and Rems,
Which slime us in flurries,
Of unimagined Curies...
I laugh rather than cry,
But I can't tell you why...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tokyo, April Fool's 2011

Glorious spring day...
A gift from heaven
Cherry blossom blooms,
Sprinkled with Cesium-137

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Good Sense Of Humor

Spontaneous, loud, and bright
Is her laugh
At a joke on T.V.,
A happy and comforting sound,
Full of genuine glee,
And sometimes
She laughs at me...


The Pope may be Catholic,
And a bear may poop in the woods,
But the gifts of radical preachers
Are nothing but damaged goods,
Mendacious holy teachers
Spreading hate in their neighborhoods...

Examination Hell

Two A.M., walking in the dark
Are lonely drunken fools,
And tired kids leaving
Korean cram schools...

Hard-Earned Money

A welcome development
Sure to ease life's tension,
Comes this November
When I qualify for my pension.

Love And Bodily Functions

Into each other's arms they fell,
All lusty heat and passion,
Until a fart broke the spell...
A tale that love poems
Never tell...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Post Stroke

Newly ejected from in-patient care,
It's start time for therapy,
A contest against pain,
Gut-check hikes in the morning air,
Counting pace with a walking cane...
Tell myself it beats being in bed,
Each step a delay to the day I'm dead.

Saturday Thoughts With Head Pain

The headache seems worse
When I find the aspirin
Bottle is empty...
- - - - - - - - - -
I'm sure the folks next door
Must love their music,
Which vibrates through my floor...
They must think I could not
Stand the silence before,
So they unleash the bass
And the beat, so my place
Is not cold and empty anymore...
I must express my gratitude,
For their kind and caring attitude.
- - - - - - - - - -
Convenience store sandwich rack
After the lunch-time rush is done,
And all that's left is
Fried-noodles in a hot-dog bun...

No Fear Of The Blankness

I may not be the one to fight,
But I can conjure, I can write,
Scribble things that weren't there
Before I snagged the words out of the air,
And herd them onto the sheet
Of paper, where marks and meaning meet...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Christchurch, NZ, 22 February 2011

The telephone is all plastic
And metal, and intricately built
To deliver a message,
Technically, without feeling guilt
Over the woman who just went spastic,
Collapsing with tears
Running into her mouth
At the news her daughter is feared
Dead, in a country to the south.

The passenger jet is all aluminum
And composites, and designed
To carry people afar, to places
To relax and unwind,
But now it flies south, beautifully,
With a load of anguished souls,
Transporting dutifully
Friends, mothers, and wives
Ripped away from normal lives,
Towards a place where the Earth
Went kinetic, and hurt
And killed so many innocents
Now buried under the rubble-dirt.

Best Laid Plans

The concrete sidewalk runs straight and true,
Like it was designed to do...
But the curving paths of flattened grass,
Show where the people really pass.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Technical Absurd Theater

Full of concern and urgency,
The engineers mill-about smartly
In their make-believe emergency...
They've been at it since dawn,
Extrapolating fervently,
While I sit and stifle a yawn,
And wait 'till the "crisis" is gone...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Dregs Of The End Of The Day

I haven't done wearing out
This day of mine, so long
But so short, it's all about
Deep breaths and finishing strong,
Fight through fatigue and doubt,
Fueled-on by caffeine,
Comforted by dopamine...
I will wear out this day,
Squeeze each moment, play
Each chance, unable to stop
Lest sleep intervene...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tahrir Square

God gave us legs to stand tall
And demand the tyrant's fall,
The same legs we use to run,
And we curse and cry
As the bullets fly...

Too long we have been pressed
Into fetal balls of fear,
Heads bowed, and silent, lest
The rich ones in power hear
The anger in our hearts,
The discontent and trampled dreams...

But now, something snapped -- it starts!
Fueled by hope and hate,
The great uncurling rise
As freedom finds its legs
And stands, backs straight
We have fire in our eyes...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday Morning Mall Musings

Bleary and blinking
Clouds in my head
Until the coffee hits...
- - - - - - - - - -
20th Anniversary
Of the shopping mall,
Where so many
Random days have passed,
I don't remember at all...
- - - - - - - - - -
Her mood is ugly and black
Until she sees the
Half-price sales rack.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A grain of wheat,
So basic and nutritious,
But something I can't eat,
Because of a glutenous curse
In my genes, inherited
For better or worse,
From Northern Europeans,
Who, over countless eons
Preferred the mammoth's meat
As the main thing to eat,
Rather than the grain
Which caused the stomach pain...

Looking Down From Mount Olympus

Someone watching over me,
An awesome being who cares
About my hopes, and also
Remembers the prayers and
Promises I've made and broken,
Chances wasted, sins and misses,
Encouragements unspoken...

Someone in the clouds who I ask
For forgiveness, because
It needs to be done,
It does,
Since he's watching
From somewhere above,
I'm told, throwing thunderbolts
Of shame, and brotherly love

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From "A Month Of Sundays"

"Grains of sand, one by one, make an aeon in the end. ... A dime held close to the eye eclipses the sun. No matter in how many ways our lives are demonstrated to be insignificant, we can only live them as if they were not."

John Updike

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Trouble With Most Modern Verse

If you read a poem and can't understand
Its meaning, then you should demand
The poet add footnotes and explanation
To alleviate your frustration,
For poems should be beautiful, but clear,
Singing a message, everyone can hear.

Senile Smile

Short-term memory, lost with age,
Can be a blessing, not a curse,
Because sometimes
Remembering is worse.

Sayonara, Mr. Mubarak

The angry people in the square
In Cairo, Egypt, vent their rage
Against a system so unfair,
Lead by a strong-man,
To old and proud to care
Much about those below,
So now it's time for him to go...

Dream Sequence, 2011

Walking in a night-time unknown Asian city, through an adult fun district of lights, and invitations to pleasure... It seems familiar, not scary, and the touts and money-changers and entertainment-sellers are active under neon lights, with rock and soul music pumping energy into the pungent evening air... The inner feeling that there's a "special place" somewhere near, becomes strong, and leads to a walk up a hill to a quiet street, which is also a night business place, but many of the cabaret club storefronts and pub doors are closed, yet mysteriously beckon to break a window and come inside... Then there it is -- a large strange house at the end of the street, surrounded by a garden, on a knoll... It's a Victorian Mansion-looking place, much different than the tropical/Asian architecture everywhere else, and its uniqueness attracts almost subliminally, and I walk through the gate, past the garden plants, up the stairs onto a spacious porch, and knock on the door... And it opens... And that's when I awake...

Family Unbound

It panics me to think of the force,
Which, like some sort of anti-gravity,
Pulls away slowly, without remorse,
Those loved ones, who once were so close,
And hugged and rode my back like a horse,
Now drifting away on tangents and arcs
To become distant stangers, in due course...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

S.E.T.I. (The Truth Is Out There)

Science guys sitting in a room full of gear,
On top of a mountain, far from here,
Waiting for signals flying through space,
To arrive, unbidden, through the atmosphere,
Into antennas and microphone...
A message, perhaps, from a distant place,
Of voices, or music, or mystic tone,
Which tells us, at last: "You are not alone."

"Won't Get Fooled Again", The Who, 1971

We'll be fighting in the streets, with our children at our feet,
And the morals that they worship will be gone --
And the men who spurred us on, sit in judgment of all wrong,
They decide and the shotgun sings the song...

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution,
Take a bow for the new revolution,
Smile and grin at the change all around,
Pick up my guitar and play... just like yesterday...
And I'll get on my knees and pray...
We don't get fooled again! Don't get fooled again!

Change it had to come, we knew it all along,
We were liberated from the fall, that's all...
But the world looks just the same, and history ain't changed,
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war...

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution,
Take a bow for the new revolution,
Smile and grin at the change all around,
Pick up my guitar and play... just like yesterday...
And I'll get on my knees and pray...
We don't get fooled again! Don't get fooled again! No, no!

I'll move myself and my family aside,
If we happen to be left half alive,
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky,
For I know that the hypnotized never lie...

There's nothing in the street, looks any different to me,
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye...
And the parting on the left, is now the parting on the right,
And the beards have all grown longer overnight...

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution,
Take a bow for the new revolution,
Smile and grin at the change all around,
Pick up my guitar and play... just like yesterday...
Then I'll get on my knees and pray...
We don't get fooled again! Don't get fooled again! No, no!


Meet the new boss,
Same as the old boss....

The Great Spouse Hunt

Cautious and continuous
Is the search for one's soul-mate...
Should one compromise,
Or analyze and wait?
Finding a life's love,
Is a gambler's fate.

Supper Wisdom

The dinner with dear ones
Went fine, I think...
But the ultimate result,
Now lies
In the kitchen sink.

Female Ties

Daughters and mothers
Have relationships
More complicated than others.

Rat Race

Imagine not having to worry,
No bills to pay, no car commute,
No needless stress or hurry...
Take off the tie and business suit,
Ignore the mindless flow and fury
Of promises, appointments, debts,
Unpaid, unkept, -- until it gets
To a point of perfect stillness,
Finally clear of your modern illness.