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.

Friday, February 4, 2011


First week of February,
Cold and dry, it's time
for Setsubun, which means
You thrown some lucky beans
At the bad-news demon
Coming in the door,
After which, the lucky beans
Are gathered from the floor,
To be eaten,
But only as many as your age,
Not more...
Thus is bad luck beaten
Back, at the year's early stage.

The Week That Was

Thinking back on an utterly normal week
In my life -- It was not so for others
I know, but it's good that the meek
Shall inherit something, some day,
If not the happy peace I seek,
At least another allotment of pay.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Wisdom Of Children

A grade school teacher presented each child in her classroom with the first half of a well-known proverb, and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.

Their responses follow:

1. Don't change horses
-- until they stop running.

2. Strike while the
-- bug is close.

3. It's always darkest before
-- Daylight Saving Time.

4. Never underestimate the power of
-- termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but
-- How?

6. Don't bite the hand that
-- looks dirty.

7. No news is
-- impossible

8. A miss is as good as a
-- Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new
-- Math

10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll
-- stink in the morning.

11. The pen is mightier than the
-- pigs.

12. An idle mind is
-- the best way to relax.

13. Where there's smoke there's
-- pollution.

14. A penny saved is
-- not much.

15. Two's company, three's
-- the Musketeers.

16. Don't put off till tomorrow what
-- you put on to go to bed.

17. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and
-- You have to blow your nose.

18. If at first you don't succeed
-- get new batteries.

19. You get out of something only what you
-- See in the picture on the box

20. A bird in the hand
-- is going to poop on you.