Friday, January 28, 2011

Cartesian Canto

I think, therefore I am,
But, you are what you eat,
It is, what it is,
For the chump on the street...
Follow the fashion
And dance to the beat,
Existential wanking
'Til your maker you meet.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pictures Of My Children

Oh how hard it hits that soft spot inside,
When I look at old photos of my kids,
Them laughing and crying, a Disneyland ride...
I had more hair then, and I carry the girls
On my shoulders, smiling, unable to hide
The sheer joy of being a "Papa"...

The memories exhumed leave me stupefied
And with a stubborn goofy grin,
I put the photos back inside
The scrapbook, on whose pages
The lost past and my feelings coincide...

Unknown Soldiers' Grave

I stand in front and above
The ossuary, and offer
Incense sticks, whose smell
Symbolically covers the stench
Of death, and I pour water
On the memorial stone to quench
The thirst of the fallen,
Cool the heat of their hell...
Thinking of their sacrifices
Churns in me a mordant cry
Quietly screaming "Why?"
And, "Poor unlucky bastards"
Forced by their countries to die...

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Lovely

My old eyes
Still see you
Lovely like you were,
Like you still are...
Time will not
Change that,
Though my vision
May blur...


Friday city's dusk, and
It's an exhilarating feeling
To strut out into the night,
A group of men in suits,
Off of work, freewheeling
Hunters in the dying light,
But they won't get too lost,
Try as they might.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Intoxication In The 1970s

The end of the day, the party's done,

Empty keg, massive beer buzz,

Semi-conscious under the rising sun,

I sing a song to myself, because

I'm the only lonely one

Who remembers what it was...

Rock and Roll, and smokes, and fun.

Samurai Posture

I haven't eaten anything
Since last Tuesday...

Yet I kneel in silence,
And clean my teeth with a toothpick,

As if I've just gorged on a steak...


Up from the ashes, the Phoenix shakes off sparks
Of a soul-fire which could not kill
Its spirit... but then there's the meadowlarks
Who don't get burnt, yet still
Wing aloft into the same sky,
Both birds finding their own way to fly...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When The Robots Started Dancing

In the year 2098
Millions of robots are helpers to man
Doing the dirty jobs no others can
It's their mechanical fate
Toil like illegal immigrants
Metallic, not tragic,
Keeping America great.

But then something magic
And strange occurs, as a ghost,
One day, enters the machines,
A cosmic music virus jumps
From host to host,
From coast to coast,
And then there are joyful scenes
Of hip-hopping hydraulic pumps,
And, in digital-electric trance
The metal-droids begin to dance
Like James Brown, hot circuits
With ants in their pants.
They do the Boogaloo,
The Funky Chicken and The Jerk...

The Robots never stop,
And humans go back to work...

- - - - - - - - - -
Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer, available at MAIYA Gallery in Sacramento, CA

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Poem For George

Walking through the souk,
Bargaining and buying,
Young chocolate-colored man
Has fun without trying
Because he can,
And the seller's skin
Is the color of sand,
Who makes his living lying
To tourists, from another land...
The bargain is made,
But nothing really connects,
Neither ventured nor laid,
The chocolate-man flies back
To distant Japan.

Writer's Block

Waiting for a word that might not be there,
An idea or an image, out of thin air
A fragment of beauty, devoid of despair
I'm sure it will come to me, sometime, anywhere.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Social Media

How can I be so lonely?
When I have so many friends,
On Facebook.

茶道 Tea Ceremony Wisdom

The taste of new tea
Is green and sweet;
Blended over time,
Its flavor turns complex
and astringent;
And when fully mature,
Tea is deliciously bitter.

So are we.

Scary Future

He chases and kicks at the pigeons,
Sreaming little monster boy, at play
In a peaceful suburban park,
He'll be hurting people some day.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Football, which is really
A hand-held ball,
And it's carried by players
Who run into each other,
Leap and fall,
On the green grass,
At speed, chasing the forward pass,
Which ends where the acceleration
Immediately smack-stopped,
Energy negation and
The remainder pain,
It argues for emptiness -- no place
No name...
Yet football spurs celebration,
For the yards we gain...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lemur Man

Lemur Man hangs-out at the zoo,
With his primate pals, looking and
Laughing at the humans, me and you,
The true exhibit's outside the cage...
He's got nothing else pressing to do.

Lemur Man once went to college,
And studied for an MBA,
But the wild call of the jungle
Pulled him off to a different way,
Jettisoning corporate bungle-
Business play...
There's more to life than pay.

Lemur Man takes pleasure
In a simple cooling breeze,
He's creative and eager to please,
And his art is most highly appraised
By the simian critics in the trees...

Lemur Man and his monkeys
Are happy and amazed,
To be able to live slowly,
Each of their days.

Home For The Holidays

When families split apart,
Which tends to be the case,
Was it intended from the start?
The kids,
Like seeds which leave flowers,
And float-off to a different place...?

Truth be told, the answer's "Yes" --
A fissile force works days and hours,
Until children leave, and egress
For rebel areas off the charts,
Sometimes gone without a trace...

But we are not doomed to loneliness
For love and memory have the powers
To bridge the distance between hearts,
To reach across intervening space,
And bring together the scattered ones:
Mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Strange Yellow Mound

On an eastern Nebraska plain, seen from afar,
Was a hill of gold, a mysterious yellow pile,
Of corn, it turns out, a mountain bizarre --
Cattle feed or fuel ingredients for my car...
Yet the sight was still enough to beguile,
As the farmers' grain trucks, came to dump
Their harvest, all lined-up in a single file...

The Carrot We Chase

It's not always happy
To be a working stiff,
Putting-up with crappy
Situations, wondering if
You can scramble and survive
The politics in the hive...

But it sure reduces the tension,
When you qualify for your pension.

Akemashite Omedeto!

... Five, four, three, two, one!
Hooray! New Year's begun!
But the cold is the same as yesterday.

245 Days Until The Next Kick-off

It's said when you lose,
A part of you dies,
And you learn from it, and use
The pain to put fire back in your eyes.

But what if the pain's so bad
And there's no learning to be had,
The feel-good mantra revealed to be lies,
And all that's left is cold and sad...?

It's the truth, lad,
A word to the wise...

01 January, Suwa-Dai-Jinja Shrine

The past is smoke curling
Up, from the votive burn can
In the Shrine yard, whirling
Into the sun rays peeking
Through the ancient trees,
It turns white, gently swirling
Across to where I sit, at ease
In the Zen of a sacred place,
Where the Shinto gods have
Caused time to slow its pace
To that of a tentative winter breeze,
Wafting the smoke of burnt wishes
Past my face...