Monday, December 31, 2012

Theater!

Take a moment,
And dress it up with
Lights, music, sound,
Make it special,
Different from other
Moments all around,
Create a special point
In time, one to make
Time stop, to disjoint
The normal flow
Of all the boring
Things we know.

The New Year Has Opened

Welcome to the Year of the Snake,
The hopes you may bring,
The troubles you might make,
Off, we now together slither,
Through the winter's whither
Toward another fall, summer, spring...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Radiological Bucket Brigade

According to my orders and direction,
I pull up a bucket of sea water from
The designated spot, for inspection,
Later, in a distant lab, where the
Water, analyzed for so many years,
Has yet to reveal anything that
Might warn or justify the fears
Of the citizens, on whose behalf,
I strain my back, each day,
To verify what has been
Already measured, anyway.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tough Times At The Power Plant

Geologists, and other technical experts,
Gather to report and debate
Over the characteristics
Of soil, to determine the fate
Of a nuclear plant, built over a
Fault, discovered too late...

Concrete, steel, and billions of yen
Hang in the balance, tense explanations
Are made, and then countered
With growing anger and accusations...

Someone must decide,
There is nowhere to hide.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yuletime Morning

Drinking with intent,
We partied all night
And got seriously bent,
But we did not fight,
Not that I remember...

My mind's in a fog,
Sometime in late-December...

Now, for the hair of the dog...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spiked!

Vodka poured in the Holiday eggnog,
And with the drink thus secretly infused,
Wildness, great ideas, and hilarity ensued,
But the Great-Aunts were less than amused...

Holiday

Every day which passes, which we live
Through, takes us closer to the ending
Of the, year: a time to gather and give
Presents, observing the Yule and spending
Time with our special group -- not all
Necessarily super-beloved ones -- but we,
All of us, clan-together anyway,
Mood-lighted by our pagan pine tree,
To eat, drink, and mix-up, on a special day.      

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Going To Starbucks

Going out into a Saturday,
A cold one, near the end
Of the year, out into the
Commons, with an old friend
Who, when all is said and
Done, is there to lend
A hand to hold, an ear
To listen, my friend for life,
Who happens to be my wife.

We know each other well,
Know more than we can say,
So we will sip our coffees, and
Not say much, out on this Saturday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Upon Listening To Elton John’s “Rocket Man” – Late-1970s

Leaning back in my recliner,
I stare at the ceiling
Of my humble place,
Imagining the night sky beyond it,
And I get this spooky feeling
That the chair and I are clinging
To the surface of a planet reeling,
At great speed, through space.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Waterfowl And Breadcrusts

Feeding ducks at the pond, from a sack full
Of bread crusts, the birds which swim near,
Are the tame ones, the other, wild travelers
Stay further away, perhaps out of fear...
And my daughter ignores the feathered
Multitude, insisting, instead, on giving
Bread to a lone, misplaced and weathered
Bird, forced away to the edge by the flock,
It comes ashore, unafraid, takes bread
From her hand, it does not fuss or balk
Or run away, the strange ugly duck instead
Looks at us, with a seemingly human eye,
"How did I end-up here, and why?"

Long Live Rock

How to describe the punch-the-sky feeling,
The throbbing excitement inside me,
The first time I heard,  in 1970,
The vinyl album "Led Zeppelin III"...

Don't matter where I'm at,
Don't matter who I am,
All is changed by Page's
Fingers-on-the-frets, at 33 RPM.


Monday, December 17, 2012

World Order

A quick test of what
Civilization is all about:
You turn on the faucet,
Clean water comes out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Russia

Cursed, but also blessed, to be located
On Eurasia, Vikings to the west, Turks
To the south, Chinese to the east, Russia
Is fated to find whatever wins and works
To ensure Slavic security and prosperity,
Starting with survival through the winter,
Russia endures, with guts and temerity.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Permanent Stranger

Living like a drop of oil,
Undissolved, in the water
Land of the gods, I toil,
Like other Japanese,
But do so in isolation
From the ancient tribe,
Which is called a nation
By outsiders, like me,
Who misunderstand it, from
Distance, across the sea.
Meanwhile, the Japanese
Live and work impermeably,
In clan, club, and cabal,
With oil-drop foreigners,
Dispersed among them all.

Suddenly Bare Tree

Yellow leaves piled along the gutter,
Where they were washed together
By a storm, which caused the utter
Nakedness of the winter Ginko tree,
Now completely stripped, with branches bare
Brown and gray, facing December's air.
Wasn't it just yesterday? When all
The glorious golden leaves were there,
On the branches, before their sudden fall.


Sayonara

A transient feeling of pressure
And warmth, the breath near
The back of my ear,
As we whisper and hug,
Before you disappear...

The Message Of The Reeds

The long reeds of grass
Have turned golden and
Brown, the cold winds pass
Over, causing wave-sway
And quiet rustling sounds,
In the waning of an autumn day,
Where I'm walking beside
The bowing yellow plants,
With a sense of transition inside.

12:12 PM, 12 December 2012

An event, rather, a moment, occurring
Only once in a hundred years or so,
Made by man's clocks, not the stars,
Five twelves, all lined up in a row
In a rare synchronous pattern for
A minute, then gone before I know.

12:12, 12/12/12

Friday, December 14, 2012

When Will We Learn?

A madman attacked a Connecticut school,
Spilling the blood of the children;
But honestly, didn't our culture of guns,
Enable the sicko that killed them?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Small Miracle On The Shrine Hill

On the winter trail to Suwa Shrine,
About halfway up the hill,
In a spot of winter sunshine,
Stands a hardy Daffodil,
Who somehow got its seasons
Crossed, and doesn't grow
In springtime, for reasons
Mysterious and unknown
It shares its beauty, all alone,
When most everything around
is cold and dull and browned,
Such a wondrous, holy, sight,
Blooming green, yellow, and white.


December Shelter

The windows rattle and shake,
Assaulted by winter winds,
But the windows do not break,
Despite the frosty turbulence,
They protect the warm dry
Space, where I hide,
From arctic's deadly breath outside.

The Protection Of Toads

Your schedule doesn't matter,
Or the busy plans you made,
You stop to gaze in wonder,
At the glowing toads' parade.

Luminous amphibians on
Patrol in a municipal park,
What are they protecting
Us from, out there in the dark?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cavemen's Legacy

There is in us a power,
We feel it when we gather
Around the fire, sharing
meat and stories, rather
Than staring at the sky
Alone, this power in us
Warms, protects, it is why
We endure, even thrive,
In the unforgiving place
Where we must survive.

Real Estate's Broken Promise

She sees the sea, and seasons
Passing, from the balcony of a
Condo bought, by him, for reasons
Related to taxes, the sea stretching
Out over to Chiba, its beauty not
Always obvious or fetching
In shades of slate, gray, and blue,
The whole point of the property
Was supposedly: the view,
Which, admittedly can take
One's breath away, on those few
Days of the year, when she
Can actually sense the sun's
Shift, and smell the ancient sea,
But lately, given loneliness and liquor,
It pleases, only incidentally...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Life

If you want to keep your marriage
From falling apart,
Just keep on pushing
That shopping cart.

Mother Daughter Haiku

Strange, small reassurance,
Hearing the sounds of their arguing,
Meaning all is normal.

Powerball Winner

Standing at the counter of a country
Convenience store, carefully looking
At the numbers on a ticket you bought
Last week, along with items for cooking,
You slowly understand what ought
Not to happen is actually coming true,
As the numbers match-up, one-by-one,
With the real big winner, and you
Realize you will never need to worry
About money again, and your heart
Beats fast, as it all sinks in, you hurry
To double-check, and the numbers
Are plain proof, that for better or worse,
You are now very rich, which could be
Your future's paradise, or a curse.

French Roast

It's the second cup of java
That will wake up and urge,
Ideas and imagery
To tumble and surge.

Our Saturdays

We'll soon be off, to perform
Our well-worn week-end
Routine, first coffee and warm
Pastries, checking out news
On our hand-held devices,
Then it's off to cruise
The aisles of the big box store,
And we're with each other,
That's enough, don't need more.

Surveillance Reports

The new gray morning is greeted
By cries in the language of crows,
Exchanging intelligence on locations
Of a garbage breakfast, I suppose.

Walmart, 23 November 2012

A funny, ugly, sight
Of shoppers involved
In a Black Friday fight
Over trinkets, they
Push, punch, and bite.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stump's Story

Cut and fallen, nothing left, it appears,
A gnarled trunk and roots remaining,
But that's enough for the tree spirit
To endure doggedly, quietly, retaining
A hundred years of sensations,
Breezes above caressing branches
Which gave leafy haven to generations
Of lives smaller than the grand old tree,
Who now, laid-low by a chainsaw,
Embraces its existence, stoically.

(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)

Pilgrims And Indians?

We give thanks for what we perceive
To be happiness, meaning full stomachs
And the food and water we receive
Through a system complex beyond our
Imagining, we give thanks for the peace
And order made possible by the power
Of a system too big to comprehend,
For which we pay taxes, and we kill
So many turkeys, trusting it will
All be O.K., in the end...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Guest Poem...


The Piper

(By George Thomas)

Blows the woodwind devil,
Play the wicked bard
To his tune all dance
The reluctant dance most hard.

With every act we take
To craft his bitter reed
When draws the time of harvest
We collect from cursed seed.

Decide we:
"Dance this second!"
Decis we:
"Dance next year!"

When comes to call, the Piper,
All pay the price we fear.

Thank You Bayer

What was once a headache
Lurks at the edges of my head
Like retreating jackals, done
With feeding on the dead;
The pain dulled except for
An occasional twitch of nerves,
Still sensitive and sore,
At the back of my eyes,
And base of my neck, yet cured
By a miracle which aspirin supplies...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Post TransPac Flight

Surrendered, could it perhaps be
Other words: handed over, or given,
To the airlines, unconditionally,
To be strapped into twelve hours
Of blood-clotting, butt-numbing
Nothingness which easily overpowers
And stymies any emergent measure
Of comfort, joy, or pleasure;
And so we soldier on, we who have
Surrendered ourselves into the care
Of a meat-pen flying through the air...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Case Of Relativity

It's a well known fact that
Time's rate of acceleration,
Increases greatly
While one is on vacation.

Home Leave Haiku

A lull in the conversation,
Words no longer necessary,
Staring at the camp fire.
- - - - - - - - - -
The Chickadee is fearless,
First to use the feeder,
But doesn't linger either.
- - - - - - - - - -
Garbage cans appear on curbs,
Every Thursday morning,
Proof that life exists in the suburb.
- - - - - - - - - -
Gastronomical epiphany,
At Village Inn restaurant,
"Free Pie" Wednesdays.
- - - - - - - - - -
Sitting in the back yard,
Imagining how it must look
From above, on Google Map

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grown Up And Away

Cleaning out her bag -- the one
She left behind, along with some
Clothes and papers -- "Better done
By herself", I think, as I separate
The saveable things from the detritus
Always found in women's totes, my eyes
Get a bit moist seeing her photos,
A condom in a pocket, surprise, surprise,
"She was always a strong one", I sigh,
Her rebellions, the boys, she was wise
Beyond her years, saying "Papa I'll be fine",
An ache in my heart, each night she went out,
Back in the days when she was mine
To raise and control and worry about...
Now she's gone into the world of men,
And I'm far away, holding her old things,
Helpless to protect her, like I could, back when
I pushed her on the playgrounds' swings...

Drama In The Bushes

The hungry hawk dives suddenly,
And violently crashes
Into the thicket, from
Which a scared rabbit dashes,
Lucky and uneaten,
And the hawk squats down
In the bramble, defeated.

Secrets Of The Universe

Mostly, most of us don't,
Think of infinity, and what
It implies -- most of us won't
Want to know too much,
Because to understand
It accurately,
Basically requires a
Physics degree...
And most of us prefer to
Believe what we can see,
Or congregate with
Others in shelters
Of faith and myth...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

With Love, From Talk Radio

Republicans are Red, 
Democrats are Blue,
They won't hear each other,
Until the yelling's through,
And a will to smother
The partisan feud,
Emerges to stop
The venom that's spewed... 
The bitchy, tit-for-tat,
Social-political hate,
Needs to be halted
Before it's too late...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Memory Of John Lundsten

I'm remembering my Uncle John,
Finally released from his hospital bed
In Oregon, now embarked upon
His journey through a distant, ethereal world --
He can surely look back, perhaps amazed
At where it all began, in the Minnesota
Fields, where he was born and raised,
And learned to lift his wise-gentle eyes
Up to the songs and fluttering wings,
The small feathered miracles of life,
He came to love, along with other things:
Family, friends, and nature -- now he's in
A better place, where a feathered angel sings.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Waist-land

Try as I might, I cannot shake
The image lodged in my head
Of a Porterhouse steak,
Which is about the last thing
I could hope to partake
Of, in this peak moment
In my fast, for the sake
Of proving I can endure,
The long road to my cure...

Last Day Of October

A candy wrapper, yellow, like a leaf,
Tumbles in the harvest breeze, while
The little goblins skip away, in the
Glow of the Jack-o-lantern's smile...


Sunday, October 28, 2012

It Was Worth It

With red-tired eyes I look
At the clock,
Lack of sleep
Caused by a real good book...

Afterthought

Waiting for the coffee to brew,
She wonders why things turned out
So strained, last night,
Surely he knew
What it was not about...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Night Shift

Sleep through the day and work at night,
Keeping vampire's hours, under the moon,
You play in the pale-neon light,
But it always seems to end too soon,
As the sun returns, and adults awake,
You lie the bed the shadows make.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Navy Wife

She holds up his shirt
To her face, and smells
Him, which lessens the hurt
Of being far apart...

Unwashed laundry
Saves a breaking heart.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Can Never Be Controlled

Seemingly mysterious, invisible,
The implacable urge to grow,
Spring-loaded in all living things,
Is the most dangerous thing I know.

Only when revealed for what it really is,
In out of control kudzu, populations,
Or cancers, does growth reveal its fangs,
And we're undone by our copulations.

No winter arrives to halt, to freeze,
Our visceral drives and desires,
Which run, unchecked, in the cold --
Countless, tiny, white-hot fires...

Seemingly Unaffected

The tiny butterfly alights gracefully
On an autumn leaf, and spreads its wings,
Almost proudly, as if it's summer, not October,
Does a butterfly know such things?

Surrounded, In Okinawa City

Through the window I see the protester
Clearly, he is an angry elderly man,
Part of the worked-up crowd
Blocking and surrounding our van.

He brandishes a printed sign saying:
"We Are Angry" -- the letters yellow
And the background bright red, and I
Wonder whether to tell the fellow
That he's holding it upside-down,
But I don't, and just watch instead
His placard waved inverted,
An old man's excitement and anger fed
By indignation, then converted
Into action, and surely higher blood
Pressure, at this crux of confrontation
Performed for the ranks of reporters
And cameras, drawn to the situation.

And then it's done, he retreats
With all the others, demonstration
Complete, the placards are collected,
He disappears into the streets.

My Muse

A voice that comes from within,
Whispers in the midst of a busy day,
Making me pause for a moment
And listen, to what it has to say
From a world that causes no sound,
The voice offers fleeting thoughts,
Some nothing special, others profound,
My voice from within can be steady,
Even when chaos and confusion abound,
It is my faithful and silent companion
When nothing, or none, are around...

A King Henry Headache

There was a monarch
Who, in the fatal course
Of losing a famous battle,
Really could have used a horse...

So it is with the sorry
State my head is in,
"My kingdom for an aspirin!"

Consequence Management

Flying over green-black mountains,
Through a clear October sky,
We're on our way to offer comfort to
A wounded woman, who doesn't know why
She had to be attacked, after dark,
By two of our young men, who now
Have ruined her life, as well as their own,
Both boys sad examples of how
Lust can lead to desolation -- so we
Fly south to say sorry, and to bow...

Monday, October 8, 2012

An Unexpected Work Break

I lay back, relax, and admire
The blue sky and clouds,
And the wind caresses my face,
As I'm loaded into the
Ambulance, in front of my place...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Wedlock

The secret to marital bliss
Is to smile, and respond to
"Honey do this."

But take care not to reveal
How you really feel,
DVD the game for later,
It's no big deal.

For only pain and woe
Results from tell her "No,
I'd rather have pizza and watch the game"...
After which, the peace of the
Day, will never be the same.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flightless Misunderstanding

The dream birds go "Yipes!
We're being stalked by
A big head with stripes!"

"No, wait, he's staring
Not at us!" What a fuss,
A case of mistaken scaring.

Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer

In Memory Of A Child Killed By Her Mother

What is so scary about us
Is that when our internal
Moral gyroscopes break,
Or distort, due to external
Stress, things can coalesce to make
That rare and fearful moment
Where we are made free,
To behave most horribly,
A freedom to act that's always there,
A hidden, unbidden, demon
All of us share...

Things Not Being The Same

It seems totally strange,
That despite their knowledge
That things will change,
People feel compelled
To re-arrange...
Their urge to anticipate,
Vice simply wait.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Nineteen Times Three

This is my year.

When It Doesn't Happen

Dropped my dream bucket into the wishing well
Figuring, hoping, there was something there,
Down at the bottom, where the cool ideas pool,
But pulled back up, the bucket was only full of air...  

The Day After Number 18

The day after the typhoon passed
To the southeast, in a rush of gray
Wet bluster, is a crisp-clear breath
Of autumn blue sky, a precious day
Where we would sense the death
Of a too-hot summer -- but locked
In air-conditioned offices, too few
Even notice the quiet miracle caused
By the cyclone's passing through...

Rover's Round Run

Released from the leash by his master,
The dog runs in a perfect circle,
Stops for a look, then does it again, faster,
Flight held in check by the law of the pack,
A dog will always come back.

Monday, September 24, 2012

School Of Hard Knocks

A fact of life,
That's hard but true:
Tough times don't last,
But tough people do.

Enduring, they see things
Through to their end,
And deal with whatever
The future may send.

Too busy to stop,
To tired to fear,
The tough people
Simply persevere...

Emmys

Awards are given to actors
Who pretend be others
Dealing with emotional factors
Which appear real, but are fake,
Yet feel dramatic and funny,
Performed on-screen for the sake
Of us, whose lives are desperately
Boring, so, the actors make
Stories, happy, scary, and sad,
And we reward them for the
Drama we, ourselves, never had.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Run Of The Gray Dream Birds

Dream birds, forward racing,
A blurry group of gray
Motion, endlessly chasing,
Through night and day,
Elusive song fairies and color
Elves, who buzz and play
In a magic the Dream birds
Need in an urgent way.

(By Mark Harm Niemeyer)
 
    

Wisdom From Oz

The more you yearn
For the rainbow's end,
The more you learn
That in order to attain
It, you must sweat, and earn
That pot of gold, while
Your healthy hours remain.

Morning Quasi-Haiku/Senryu

Sleep-jammed thoughts
Loosened by the
First gulp of coffee
- - - - - - - - - -
First time in months
Open the windows to the air
Equinox morning
- - - - - - - - - -
Veteran marriage:
One-way conversations
+ Grunts in response...
It's all O.K.
- - - - - - - - - -
So peaceful, knowing
That I do not know,
And not watching the news...

Mind Games (2)

Debate and dialogue is supposed
To occur between people, a form
Of socializing noise, as opposed
To the quiet converstation inside
My brain, along with the dreams,
And boundless ideas, which hide
From the outside acts and schemes
Of a loud and busy life, my head
Is host to a plethora, a surreal mob
Of thoughts, feelings, joy and dread,
And I can take the most amazing
Journeys, while lying on my bed.  

Veil

Protection from
The way men stare,
She hides what
Is not really there
In the first place --
Doesn't seem fair.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old Profession

It's a kind of work
I do, comfort play
For the lonely, unloved
Ones, who will pay
For their pleasure,
And, afterwards,
For me to walk away.  

Pre-Flight

A pause before I launch,
And off I go,
To exactly where
I do not know,
I do not care because
My brain is small,
And chemically makes
Me fly, not fall,
Towards the flowers,
My end, my all...


The Only Living Boy In Omaha

He checks the weather report
Repeatedly, the information is
Amazing, no need to resort
To special systems or main
Frame computers, in order
To track the clouds and rain,
To monitor the ever strange
And unpredictable course
Of micro-climatic change,
For the weather will provide
The drama which is mssing,
And nowhere to be found inside
The occluded front of his life,
Alone in his man-cave,
Hiding from his wife...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Papa's Stolen Youth

There you are with your buddies,
All decked-out in your suits,
A bunch of young Dutch guys,
Unaware of the jack-boots
And German guns which were coming,
To lock you up, and use
Your young strength relentlessly,
And demoralize and abuse
You, until the English set you free.



 

Transitional Moment

The leaves on the Sakura tree
Are still green, but at the same
Time, they are drooping slightly,
Ragged brown on their edges,
The leaves are tired, and quietly
Signal the cold days are coming...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Navy Personnel Assignment System

The Detailer is someone who decides,
Where your next job will be,
And what you will do, when you get there,
He does this arbitrarily,
You tell him where you want to go,
But often, and inevitably,
His cold response is "No"...
And although you may try to negotiate,
The Detailer has already sealed your fate.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Curse Of The Minutemen

Seems like it doesn't matter a lot,
That the right to bear arms, raises
The chances of one's getting shot,
Totally at random, at innocent places,
By quiet-crazy men wearing hateful faces.

Small Agricultural Tragedy

Powerful, healthy, gold and green
Corn stalks, proud, growing tall, under the sun,
Prior to conversion, with chemicals, into
High fructose syrup.

Mind Games

Tail-spinning onto my morning pillow
From a dream so vivid and real,
It takes, like five whole minutes to
Just wake up and think, vice feel...
To calm down and realize who,
And where, I am... Passing minutes reveal
It was blood and chemicals in my head,
An idiot's drama performed on my bed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Reality Of Politics

A Republican and a Democrat
Found themselves stranded
In a boat ... they couldn't agree on
How to row, and still haven't landed...

Flesh-Eating Ghouls

If the Zombies attack,
Just shoot them in the head,
Or whack them with a
Baseball bat instead,
And send them back
To being quiet-dead.

If the Zombies have lawyers,
Then it will be your fate,
To live with the results
You negotiate.

If the Zombies hear music,
They will want to dance,
Boogie-woogie-woogie
Into an undead trance,
And that's when you escape,
That's your only chance!

Death Of A Journalist

A Syrian man in a red shirt
Guided the Japanese woman
To the place she got hurt
So bad, she died -- her demise
Becoming part of the story
She was there to apprise
And report, but now
It's done, and there she lies,
On the Aleppo pavement,
So far from from Yamanashi,
Sad food for the flies.


Alas, Potomac

Celebrity reporters breathlessly
Promoting dramatics and tension,
Over a weakening tropical depression,
The Republican National Convention,
Ignoring more vital and compelling stories,
Farther away, and too tiring to mention.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Self-centered Washington
Percolates inside its bubble,
To focus on others, outside,
Is just too much trouble.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Patriots

You work for your flag,
And all it stands for.
As do I for mine -- its
Sovereignty, and more
To the point, our flags will
Be raised high before
Me and you, reminding
Us that our differences
Are non-trivial, and binding.      

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The End Of Generations

He sits, bored, amidst chains,
Daggers, knives, and credit card bills,
The last ninja...

Welcome Back (Sayonara) Kotter

It was announced on the news today,
That a star of 70s T.V. had passed away...
I instantly remembered, when I saw
Him in the file photo reporting his
Termination, and I'm thinking "Ah!?"
And Im asking myself "Why is this
A surprise?" -- Because I could not recall
His being alive, and it would be remiss
Of me to act like I somehow knew it all
Along .... Yet he existed in his own place,
Unknown to me, and also somewhere else,
In my brain, as an old remembered face.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It Always Ends Too Soon

Some are vitalized and refreshed,
Others are grumpy and depressed,
All back in their labor maze,
Monday at work,
Post-summer holidays...

Ambient Trance

The notes repeat like a chant,
The underlying rhythm urges
Along a feeling I can't
Explain in words, it all surges
In spooky loops, and glides
On the updrafts of sounds
To a place where peace resides...

Relativity

Time faster flows
During one's vacation
And no one knows
Why the acceleration

What Money Can't Buy

I want to do that and this,
But I don't have the money,
So I'm forced to dismiss
Or defer gratification,
And the temporary bliss,
Which is said to be so nice,
On sale, at a bargain price.

Somewhere In Syria

Morning in Aleppo, cool
But soon to be bloody and hot,
A summer war between neighbors,
Where quick death is a shot
From a random Alawite sniper,
Where forgiveness is not
Asked for, or received by
Those, mostly men, who fight
And hate, while innocents die.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August -- Tokyo & Seoul

One country bows in shame,
While another rises to cheer,
What happened 67 years ago,
Over there and right here...

But those killed don't know
The difference anyway,
Packed into ossuary, grave,
And memorial, they lay
Beyond man's power to save...

Beloved to someone, all
The dead had hopes,
Small joys and plans, before
The vengeful bombs would fall,
And all was crushed by war...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bon Odori 盆踊り














Paper lanterns, hung on a string,
Line the perimeter of the dance,
Emitting soft light, hoping to bring
The spirits of the old departed ones
Back from their dark forgotten space,
The lantern lights beckon them
To return to this festive place,
Where women in yukata dance late
Into the balmy summer night,
And the children of the spirits await.

RISSHU 立秋

The eighth of August,
Feels like any other hot
Summer day, but it's
Different, special, not
Ordinary at all --
It's the first day of Fall.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Red Medicine

It comes in slowly, like an ocean tide,
Inexorably, quietly making me feel
Better, and my room more interesting
And fun than it actually is, in real,
Less altered circumstances, where
I normally exist, and minutes congeal
Into hours of sweat and effort spent
So fast, I can't tell if we won, or arrived,
Or, frankly, where it all went...

So, now I'm sinking,
Into the surging tide
Of feeling, not thinking...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Landing On Mars

Landing on distant Mars, our
Carefully-designed machine
Slow-rolls on solar power,
To explore and glean
Facts to hug the hope we hold,
That there may be other
Places, however cold,
Were life found a way, in water,
To thrive, or so it's told...
And our Mars rover will
Collect, crawl, explore,
Relentlessly, mechanically,
Until it moves no more...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lover's Spat

Ten minutes too late, it occurs
To me, what I should have said,
My failure blurs
The way ahead,
But ahead I must go,
Believing that action assures
A way to repair, what
I have somehow broken
Through words unspoken...

The Decline And Fall Of Disco

The power was chopped,
And the music stopped,
But we just keep on dancing
To the beat of our hearts,
We will shimmy and sway,
And hug, until the next song starts...

Small Tragedy On A Tree

Fresh-born loud cicada's,
Proud song abruptly stopped --
A sparrow's breakfast...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye Norma Jean

We lost Marilyn Monroe
So tragically, suddenly,
50 years ago...

Yet her beauty lives!
An eternal light
Shining from the void,
Left by a tired pretty
Woman, self-destroyed...




Evolution At Zushi Beach

Naked apes: yellow, pink, and brown,
Frolic and fry on the summer beach,
All day long, until the sun goes down...

Posing and preening in string bikinis,
Speedos barely concealing weenies,
Ape-like they jump, hoot, and clown,
But stay far from the water
Lest they get wet or drown...

Naked apes drinking
Cocktails and wines,
Will continue as long
As the hot sun shines...

Watchstander's Angst

Have you ever been stuck,
Waiting for a phone call,
Which you know will be
Bad news, and it's all
You can do to sit there,
And not scream or
Pull out your hair,
But you are stuck because
Fullfill your duty
You must, and it does
Not matter what things
You feel, just be there to pick
Up the phone when it rings.

Retirement Secret

In the mornings, for health reasons,
I get to walk the dog, and clean
Up after it deposits yesterday's
Meal onto the granite sheen
Of a park pavement, and only
The dog is getting shapely, lean,
While I manage to stay plump
But happy, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Prometheus' Gift

Gathered, on the ground,
We split the bones and meat,
All of us feeding around
The fire, our gift from the gods,
The fire forever changing
Our fate, increasind the odds
Of our survival, rearranging
The natural order of things,
And we, once food for beasts,
No longer fear what nighttime brings...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August Night

Waiting for the fireworks,
And the magic they will
Paint in the evening sky,
With noise and light, until
They finish, and things go still,
As it is now, as we wait,
Putting on summer kimonos,
Preparing to celebrate,
The festive moment in time
The fireballs will create...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

About This Blog

I don't mind a bit,
That some of my
Poems are shit,
Because others are
Not that bad, and it
Is just something
I cannot, will not, quit,
Waving my fist at the sky,
I exclaim: "Create or die",
My solitary battle cry...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Matter Of Focus

Science has shown that
The mind which wanders less,
Is much more apt
To experience happiness...

Do not dwell upon the
Trail of a dreamy star,
Just focus on the now,
And be happy where you are.

Post-Fukushima

The car runs into the cow
On a road, where there
Are no people now,
To control the cattle,
Because of what happened before
In a complex event, involving
Cesium 137 and 134...

London Olympics 2012

Nationalism advertised through
Sport, sovereignty asserted
By the bodies of ahtletes, who
Gather in the Olympic village
For training, trysting, and eating,
All paid-for by Nike and Adidas,
Before going out and competing,
In the colors of their nations,
The young strong athletes seek
Championship and ovations,
While the countries' older fatter
Leaders, issue acclamations.

Pre-Java

I'm slowly enjoying it, feeling oddly refreshed,
That nice fuzzy moment in the morning,
When the gears in my head haven't meshed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Enchantment

Is the magic gone, that sparked
Between us, like some kind
Of spell we would cast
At each other, never mind
That the buzz wouldn't last,
Our giddy magic moments
Seem a thing of the past...
Yet we still hold each other,
No longer young, we hold on tight,
Husband / wife, father / mother,
Still dream of magic, in the night.

Berth-12, Yokosuka, 26 July 2012

Standing, expectant, on the pier,
As the big ship comes in from the sea,
Inside she smiles: "He's finally here!"
She tip-toes and strains to see
Him, among the hundreds clad in white,
Lined-up along the deck, high above,
Most of them reunions waiting to happen,
Sailors coming home, returning to love.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Flesh Or Flush

I need to flush out an idea
From my muddled mind,
Then flesh out the idea
Into some kind
Of meaningful word string,
A composition thing.

Mirage From Space

It takes six million years,
For the light from a distant nebula,
To reach us, looking up, from here,
Under the exoatmosphere...

The faintly rainbow-silver light
Of a faraway and extinct star,
Seems so real-wondrous to our sight,
Rather than just nothingness from afar.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Celebrity

You worked so hard, and tried
To become famous, and then you
Are, and now you try to hide
From exactly the attention
Which you wanted so badly
Back then, not to mention
The money you make, which sadly
Doesn't buy happiness or peace
Of mind, only some pleasure,
Which evaporates too soon,
Leaving you alone to measure
Benefits versus cost,
And was it worth what you lost.

Friday, July 20, 2012

James Holmes Is A Symptom

A crazy man with gas and guns,
Imitating art inside his head,
Cruelly attacks the innocent ones,
Shooting, until many of them are dead...
A smart man gripped by insanity,
Could not yet realize that he,
Should have shot himself instead...
And all that remains at the scene
Of the killings, are bullets and blood,
And the cops who always intervene
Too late to stop the guns,
Which today will yet again be sold
To other random crazy ones.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

For Whom The Locust Sings

The first cicadas of the summer heat
Are singing dirges over the dead
Hydrangeas, lining the side of the street,
Once vibrant blue and pink flowers,
Now wilted and faded, in complete
Submission to the hot Sun's powers.

Beloved

What sort of dictionary
Should be used, when
Words cannot describe
What I felt just then,
When you smiled at me,
So spontaneously...
Yes me, a word-loving
Rational fellow,
Reduced by your smile,
To a pile of jello.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clothesline Epiphany

It's impossible to predict,
When inspiration will hit
Hard, and interdict
An otherwise normal flow
Of a Wednesday's thinking
That "this is all I know"...
It's like a blue blinking
Light which says "IDEA",
Announcing the arrival,
With mental tremors and shocks,
Of a really good solution,
While I'm hanging up my socks...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Neon Beauty

(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)















In heaven there is no beer,
That's why we drink it here,
And when I'm gone from here,
My friends will be drinking all the beer.

(From an old German Bauhaus song.)

Solar Spirit

God could be the Sun,
Shining warmth on everyone,
The Sun eternally burning,
Lighting our way, our yearning
For an eternal being, above,
Who brings forth life and love...

God could be in that part
Of us which wonders and feels,
In the gut or the heart,
Which inspires, which heals...

God could exist, or maybe not,
Unlike the Sun, which all can see,
Trusting myths we've all been taught
We gamble on gaining eternity.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Magic Moment

Another day begins, and I drink
My coffee in a sweet suspended
Moment... I drift and think
Of plans yet to be upended,
Or influenced by the motion
Of the random things
Each new day brings...

Friday, July 13, 2012

George Burns Senryu

At my age,
Flowers
Scare me.
- - - - - - - - - -
Happiness is having a large,
Loving, caring, close-knit family
In another city.
- - - - - - - - - -
I can remember
When the air was clean
And sex was dirty.
- - - - - - - - - -
I spent a year
In that town,
One Sunday.
- - - - - - - - - -
When I was a boy
The Dead Sea
Was only sick.
- - - - - - - - - -
You've got to be honest;
If you can fake that,
You've got it made.

Easton's Logic

Why stand, when you can sit?
Why sit, when you can lie down?
Why worry, when you can quit
Consciousness, and drown
In the lake of sleep, for a bit...

Science Fiction

I don't which is stupider,
Green men on Mars,
Or lizard men on Jupiter,
Pulp fiction up in the stars;
Imagination out of compliance,
With the scriptures of science.

Japanese Superstition

Don't look into the crow's eye, 
All you'll see is black, 
He'll hit you with a bird curse, 
And never take it back.

(By Mark Harm Niemeyer)



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tragedy In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture

Forced to rehearse his suicide
By the bullies in his school,
The weak boy, with no place to hide
From the relentless and cruel
Pressure, now lies dead,
On the pavement, below
From where he jumped, instead
Of letting someone know...

Improvised Explosive Device

Mesopotamia is about as far
From Nebraska as you can get,
And in the middle-Aughts,
When our commanders had yet
To learn how to fight,
Or to get things right,
Bringing in the tribes to be on our side,
And our Humvees had yet to be
Improved, with steel plates applied
To protect us from the blasts of IEDs,
That's when I lost my legs,
Both of them, below the knees.

Lonely Optimism

The many kinds of peace,
Which we all seek,
We, who know no rest,
We, the harried meek
Inheritors of the messed
Up world our parents left...
What peace can be found
When greenhouse gases abound,
And too many people are around...
The kinds of peace we need
Are provided in pills and bottles,
In the null of sleep, indeed,
We long for a peace which throttles
The bilious place where anxieties breed...
We hope, that hope will not betray,
We hope, that hope will yet succeed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Leopard Man

It could be me
Looking down at you
From up in a tree...
Might I change my spots?
If required, yes I can...
Part chameleon, part
Joker, I am Leopard Man...
It could be me
That sets you free,
I exist in art,
Where I can start
Psycho-creative thrills
From pterodactyls,
I can summon dream birds
To fly in your head,
I can write rainbow-colored words
Or purr a song instead...
It could be me
To Leopard-stalk your tired
Empty days, and pounce on
The boredom-pig, make you inspired...
It could be me, it's true,
Or, it could be you.

(Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer)


Particles At Play

Leptons lying in a Higgs field of grass,
Quarks busy putting their clothes on,
The forces are playing, but what about mass?
Ask mysterious Mr. Boson.

The Eye Of The Beholder

The village idiot,
May be as dumb as he seems,
But he has the most
Incredible dreams,
Which, could they be displayed,
Villagers would see and realize
Assumptions made
Were misled by their eyes.

Eyeball Liberty

Look surreptitiously, but do not touch,
Honor marital ties and trust...
Touch me, and think of another,
If you really must,
For our love will always smother
Your daydreams of lust.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th Of July, Yokosuka, Japan

Standing next to an old memorial stone
For a Battleship sunk by the Americans,
I see Stars and Stripes raised, not alone,
But aside Rising Sun, above the dull black
Steel of a Japanese submarine moored
Across the bay, and it makes me think back
To the awful burnt and bloody fight,
Often to the death, against implacable attack,
Which ended in ashes and pain and blight,
Now, here, decades after, this wondrous sight
Of the flags of former bitter foes raised,
Flying side-by-side, Japan honoring an ally's
Independence Day, leaves me touched, amazed.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Manning The Rails

I stand on the edge of the deck,
With dozens of others, faced
Outwards, each a white-clad speck
When seen from ashore, each braced
In the position of Parade Rest,
As our big gray warship enters port
Flags raised high and fully dressed,
My arms really hurt, as do my knees,
But there's no relief yet, for me, or the rest
Of the sailors, flapping in the breeze.


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Crossing The Line

Us Pollywogs, Or Wogs for short, we were told to put on our
Clothes inside out, and report, very early in the morning, to the
Work center where the fun stuff began -- made to sing, repeat
Insults to relatives and ourselves, to walk like a duck and go
"Quack, quack, quack..." -- then, some silliness with shaving
Cream being applied liberally to heads and bodies, drinking
the "Truth Serum" -- warm orange juice and tabasco sauce...
And then it was nuts-to-butts and slime up to the top deck,
Where we ran around an flapped our arms like Goony birds,
And then we got to crawl through a 20-yard long canvas
Tunnel filled with last week's stinking kitchen garbage, and
There was the grimy dunk tank, and the Shellback Chiefs
Who had the largest guts were rubbing their bellies with lard
And we each have to try to get the almond out of his belly
Button using our lips -- All this for a few hours in the honor
Of King Neptune, as we Wogs, who were crossing the
Equator for the first time, were transformed into Shellbacks,
Just like the ocean-going mariners of the olden days...   

Marriage Senryu

Point remote control
At nagging partner,
Push mute button, in vain.
- - - - - - - - - -
Fighting over nothing special,
Peaks to a climactic pause --
Both start laughing
- - - - - - - - - -
She talks, knowing he's there,
He hears her, but doesn't listen,
A sort of compromise.

Living Room Relativity

A modicum of change, refreshment,
The feel of travel without taking leave
Of one's rooms, this accomplishment
One can surely achieve,
By rearranging the furniture...

There To Hear

A radio playing beautiful music in an empty room,
Like a tree falling in the forest with no one there
To hear, and breaking hearts each day for whom
No comfort can be found, these are the places where
Things could change profoundly, and zoom
To joy, if there was a listening heart to share.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Epiphany At Taco Bell

Throw the trash into the hole in the top
Of the box, place the tray on the designated
Spot just above... There is no way to stop,
This flow of papers and plastics, fated
To be processed into hazardous slop,
There's no way to halt what we must consume,
No way to avoid ecological doom...
Is what I think to myself, paused
For a second, in front of the bin,
A momentary hesitation caused
By something apart from the place I am in.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Too Tired To Think

I rub my tired eyes
After a long hot day,
As my sweat dries
The wetness steams away,
Epidermic action tries
To reach comfort,
At the end of the day,
Cooling, the only goal
For my unrelaxed
Sweltering soul...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hump Day Senryu

Where did my day go?
Spent on administrivia;
Can I get a refund?
- - - - - - - - - -
Sitting in a row, on a train,
Heads bowed, as if in prayer,
Over hand-held devices.
- - - - - - - - - -
Calorie-counting
Shocked into off-mode
By big jelly donut
- - - - - - - - - -
Time is money,
Money is power,
Power is relative...

The Cosmos And Me

Ambient music
Spurs thoughts of space,
While I'm stuck
In an utterly banal place,
Me, one of billions of
Carbon-based life-forms,
On a a speck in the swirl
Of galactic storms...
Me , who can conceive
Of the complex inner
Workings of stars, until
It's time for dinner...

26th And 27th June, 2012

These are the last cool days,
I know, because I can recall,
Soon will come the sweaty haze,
Sun burning until the fall...
Yea, verily, the cicadas will scream,
For their two-week lives, in the August steam.

Nocturnal Disruption

The clock says three,
Get up to pee;
The clock says four,
Can't sleep, read some more,
Soon the sound of my snore;
The clock says eight,
Aw shit, I'm late!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Alberta Gothic

How did we get here on the plain,
Where RVs migrate on the trails
The buffalo used to roam,
Criss-crossed by roads and rails,
Fertile-flat Canada is our home,
Where the wide horizon prevails
Upon our senses, and we are free
And wild and open, we descendants
Of those who came across the sea,
After busting out of Europe and
Away from Old-World insanity,
Now, here we sit, on the dirt
Of our future, a speck of humanity
Young, strong, unafraid, unhurt,
We sit together on the grass,
Where the ghosts of the buffalo pass.

(By Photo Fiend)
http://thephotofiend.tumblr.com/ 


Zen Failure

Mind blank, conscience clean,
Skilled at forgetting,
If you know what I mean...
Meditating on the sound
Of one hand clapping,
Sutra going round and round --
Might as well be napping.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Floating Girlfriend

His girlfriend is mysterious and quirky,
She does this trick when only he is there,
In the basement magic and murky,
That's where she floats in the air...
Yes, she levitates, no tricks no strings,
Like a angel with invisible wings...
His heart lifts toward her, full of love,
To the ethereal girlfriend, floating above.

(By PhotoFiend)


(By PhotoFiend)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Post-Typhoon Senryu

My job sucks,
But I do have
An interesting hobby
- - - - - - - - - -
Fresh strong coffee
Can relieve
Mental constipation
- - - - - - - - - -
We remain children,
Those of us who
Have no children.
- - - - - - - - - -
A watched kettle
Does, in fact, boil,
If you're patient enough
- - - - - - - - - -
Bright peaks, dark valleys,
Planes of the mundane:
The topography of love.
- - - - - - - - - -
Same sex marriage? O.K.
Don't want children? Fine.
Just pay more taxes.
- - - - - - - - - -
He is all apples,
She is about oranges,
Together, they are fruit salad.

Ajisai

Hydrangeas bloom in the time of the rains,
In the semi-cool air, under cloudy-gray sky,
Blue, pink, or white, their beauty displayed,
Until the first heat of summer, when they die.  


Rocket Men

We, Space G-men, may be
The last thing an alien will see,
Before its obliteration...

We defend our space station
With the latest weapons technology
And we offer no apology
For zapping the ETs,
With a quick trigger squeeze.

We, Space G-men, are O.K. with our fate
Living away from earth, wearing funny suits,
Working for the standard government rate.

And, we exist, so isolated, so far
From our homes, under the lonely
Azure light of a distant star...  

(Art by Mark Harm Niemeyer) 

Plate Tectonics And Me

I'm standing still on solid ground,
As opposed to being tossed around
On the seas, leads to a complacent
View of dirt as rocky-firm, unchanging,
When, it is but a thin layer adjacent,
Above, the lava that pushes, rearranging
Things in fearful shocks and quakes,
Where the land waves like an ocean,
And what seemed so solid, cracks and breaks...
I'm standing still on a green field of grass,
But deep beneath, is a mad molten mass.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Two Lane Highway Release

Free, free, free-flying
Down the Pawnee County
Highway, not even trying
To keep track of the speed,
No looking back, no spying
The rear view mirror, it's all
In front, free, free, with pay
In my pocket and a full
Tank of gas, today's the day
That is what it is, to be
Devoured whole before I say
It's done, the moments dripping
Down my windblown chin,
Speeding unheeding through
The road show I'm in...


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Listening To Her Singing At The Stove

The sound of the voice of my wife,
Heard, from a few rooms away,
In the place where we live our life,
Amidst hanging laundry and books,
Sheltered from outside stress and strife,
Her familiar voice, singing, as she cooks
Supper, calms and sooths the moment,
No matter how imposing tomorrow looks...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Global Warming

Having heard most recently,
That climates are changed by
The world warming increasently,
Due to carbon dioxides,
And our failure to decently
Defer from driving everywhere
All the time, rather than walk,
And talk of change, is simply talk.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Old Royal Bonsai

Whose hands have guided you
For 450 years? ... Bending
And trimming, your growing
Branches for seemingly unending
Numbers of seasons, not knowing,
Those hands, not pretending
To guess at what point the care
Should cease, if ever, because
The life force that is there
In the wood could be holy,
Feeding silently on water and air,
The spirit in the pine lives solely
To grow in green beauty, controlled,
With devotion, and love, by those
Hands, since the distant times of old...


Vincent's Gift





The man in the woods looks out at me
From between the trees,
What does he see?
But does he need to, caught in a Van Gogh...
Stay as long as he please,
The man in the wood, as long as he could.   



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Going Lunar In The Girls' House

The moon looks full and fine,
And the womb-renewal
Pains of the girls align,
By a mysterious PMS design,
And the following days are hell,
But after that, things are fine...

The Last Laugh

One who laughs last, laughs best,
It's said, but gloating and giggling
Could invite the wrath of the rest,
Those who laughed first, who now gaze
Sourly, and see neither mirth nor jest
In the result now displayed...
Winners are crowned, losers dismayed,
And it's not smart to laugh
As the bets get paid...
So, have the last laugh, at the end of the day,
But do it discretely at a place far away...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lost

Already deceased, but animate
And full of feelings, at a place
Isolated, surrounded by ocean,
And haunted with a misty trace
Of the unusual, the dead actors
"Strut and fret their hour upon
The stage", influenced by factors
Beyond their control, they're gone
Already, but just don't realize
It, despite the gleam in their eyes...



Written, While Trapped, In A Meeting

It's a sad fact of life
That no matter how
Much you sugar-coat
it, both then, and now,
Bad news does not get
Better with time's flowing...
Victims disinclined to
Forget or forgive, knowing
Not about live and let live,
It's a sad fact that the blowing
Winds cannot disperse
Bad seeds already sown,
Or the sound of the hearse
Carrying the newly mown...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big 1950s Sedan

Look at you now, who used to be
So powerful, modern, and sleek,
A den on wheels where we
Rolled each other on the big back seat,
At the Drive-in, which is now
Also gone, like your wonderful fins,
Which are sad symbols of how
Inevitably the rusting begins...
(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)


Insomnia

Sleep, when it does not come,
Deposits a gray weary scum
Which stifles, it seems,
The drift towards dreams,
Leaving one stranded, distressed,
And miles away from rest...
Sleep, when it stays away,
Is like a joke gone astray,
With the punchline gone
Until the coming of dawn,
And the light shows it's true,
That the joke's been on you,
Who now, gulping coffee,
Face a new day's reality...

Some Wisdom

If for where you strive,
Is so distant and afar,
Across a live's desert
Like an unreachable star,
Then don't walk, take a car...

Dahlia Blue

So, I'm an insect, let's say, seeking pollen
Or nectar, or whatever, and I come across
This amazing flower, way beyond my fallen
Expectations of beauty, I'm at a loss
For how to approach this Dahlia, the first
Blue one, ever, carefully watered and grown
Not for me, nor to quench my bee's thirst...
Perhaps its purpose is yet unknown,
With its heretofore unimaginable hue,
Fragile and gorgeous, this Dahlia blue...

     

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Afternoon Job

A watched clock, with an approaching
Deadline -- appropriate word there --
Taints the lazy afternoon, poaching
What little peace I had to spare...

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Life Seen As A Tree

My life seen as a tree,
With marks where branches
Were snipped, lost
Opportunities and chances
That were cut, or never
Allowed to grow,
Is what the holes forever
Remain to show...
As my tree towers above
Life-green growing in the sky,
Time passing in the Sun's love,
Shading below, not asking why...

(Photo provided By Megan Young)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

What is to pity, or feel bad
About, the young ones will
Fight because it's the mad
World's way, the gut thrill
Of the hunt, especially for
Other men, the chase, the kill,
Organized into a thing called war...
Our children fight for their
Cause, like their fathers before,
And for the winners, the fanfare,
They are lifted, like heroes of yore...
For those who lose, there's nothing
But to lie and cower in the gore...
Then there's the others, who,
Are quietly returned from the fight,
But their parts no longer work together
Like in days before, or fit quite right,
These others must find a way
To somehow make it through,
Each and every remaining day...

(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)

Big Cat At Risk

The Amur Tiger is dangerous,
Yet at the same time endangered,
According to the law,
It sees humans as a meal
To be eaten warm and raw,
What does the Amur Tiger feel,
As it licks blood off its paw...


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Morning Tea

Chemicals from the English Breakfast tea
Circulate out from my stomach's wall
Into the bloodstream, to awaken me,
With each gulp of tea, it seems
I perceive the new day much more clearly,
The weird-cool mist of last night's dreams
Lifts before the daylight's jobs and schemes.

Party Time

Looking back on the wild weekend party,
And how the craziness started,
It probably was the moment when
The lights went off, and the hostess farted,
After that it was blind-fun-bedlam,
Until the morning, when the last guest departed.

Victorville Penitentiary

Always check your six,
Watch your back,
For the ones with smiles
Who wait to attack.

If you drop the soap,
Don't bend over,
Keep it on a rope.

Count the days,
But not the hours,
Don't sweat the shit
That's beyond your powers.

The weak dog
Is meat,
For the strong dog
To eat.

All things will pass,
But things can move slow,
Like growth of the grass,
But then it's done, before you know.

May you long live,
And not know the pain
Of a stabbing shiv...

Cold Cure

Fighting the ails
Of a cold with plenty
Of citrus juice,
And if all else fails
Don't declare a truce,
Try adding some tequila...
That'll heal ya.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reality Of Violence

A barfight is not what you think
It is stupider, uglier, shorter
Than as shown on T.V., its stink
Is cigarettes, vomit, body sweat,
And its cause was trivial, a bet
Unpaid, a look misunderstood,
A warped defense of someone's womanhood,
But not worth the pain being inflicted
On the poor guy, prone on the floor,
Who believed in bar fights as depicted
In stories and on T.V., nothing more
Than a rumble and flying out the door,
Rather than the kick in the face
Which knocked out teeth and broke
His bones and left him a coma
From which he only just now awoke.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tumbleweed (3)

The cab-over White
Freightliner is a
Rust-lonely sight,
Parked in the weeds...

And what tales might
It tell, of its deeds
On the deadly roads,
Of toiling and speeds
Too great for braking...

Or the countless
Farewells, forsaking
Love for the lonely freedom
Of the highway's making...  

A grand old truck,
Driven by
A tough old fuck.

(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)





Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sweet-tooth's Gift

Chocolate covered peanuts
Are proof positive,
That though life often sucks,
It sometimes has good things to give...

The Reality Of Marriage

Our love has made a space
Where the walls are soft
Rubber, and it's a place
You can lung and rage,
And rattle the cage...
For no bleeding or bruise
Can occur, because our love
Will ensure we neve lose
The special room,
Which will contain our passion,
Which we can always use...

Nebraska Sky

To a person who lives on the plains,
The vast open unblocked sky is more
Than a soft blue background to scenery...
It is a looming monolithic presence for
Which there is nothing to compare,
Except perhaps the sea, seen from a ship...
The sky above the plains is more than air,
It is a canvas on which magnificent art
Appears for a moment, then is no longer there,
It prophesizes of things about to start
Like the coming of a storm, rain, or hail...
The person of the plains wonders at the sky
Which inspires, yet makes him feel small and frail.

(Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011)

Dog Whisperer Needed

A woman walking
A dog in the park,
The dog pulls the leash
And starts to bark,
The woman says "Stop"
But the dog won't heed her,
Because he doesn't sense
Her as his pack-leader;
But at least she is there
With a bag and a scoop,
To follow the dog
And pick up its poop.

California Bar, Summer Afternoon, 1977

2:38, lost afternoon, bourbon chasers
With 40-cent draws, a half-devoured
Tombstone pizza, and the buzz is complete
And good and strong, and empowered
To make the day seem more sweet
And special -- and neither hero nor coward
Are we who gather here on stools to meet
At the long wooden altar of Bacchus
In mid-afternoon off the summer-hot street
Of a dull transitional part of the City,
And a guy starts playing his accordion,
The spritely-sad melody adding implicitly
To the overall sensory innebriation,
Which is exactly why we come here
To kill the minutes of our privation,
For escape, companionship, sedation...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Smarter Than The Machine

Here I sit with hand on mouse,
Interacting with the world
From inside my house,
And all this stimulus and fun
Is caused by combinations
Of zero and one...

Dirt's Gift















Spring-wet green smell
Carressing me with a hint
Of musk and earthy mint,
Green colors so strong
And vivid -- almost hurts
To see with unshaded eyes,
The damp brown dirt's
Surging verdant surprise,
Moist, breathing green,
In countless shades exhaling
Gently, unheard, unseen,
The sweet air of life.

No Pain, No Gain

With regular exercise
Ones body avoids
Obesity, and rewards
With endocannabinoids.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Mind On A Tuesday

If there were a way to trace
Where my mind spent the day
Would a buttefly in space
Resemble it, or a zig-zag graph
Peaks, valleys, all over the place...
Think, day-dream, worry, laugh,
These all I did, and even more,
Over the course of an average
Day, ideas and brain farts galore,
A million synapse connections
Unnumbered, unaccounted for,
Butterflying in directions
I wish I could better understand,
Taking the trip that can't be planned...




Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Night On Iwo-To

Over an island, alone
In the vast tropical sea,
A fighter jet flies,
Like a blue comet, above me,
Into a deep black sky,
Where stars look down silently
On an island of ghosts.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Some Advice

When the days too grow long,
You're tired, short on hope,
Take a nice long shower,
With a new bar of soap.

Can't Go Home Anymore

Home is not just a place,
A point of geography where
Familiar things are gathered;
No, it's home because you are there,
Or, were, until last summer,
And now we cannot share
Anything -- my memories must fly solo
Winging above the loss and despair,
Home is not just a place.
It is a heart, it is a face.

Children Can't Choose Their Parents

What sort of awful screeching noise
Of the soul, tearing around inside his head,
Made him fire a bullet into his mouth,
After shooting his wife and children dead

Shock and sadness ripple outwards...
Irregular painful waves which infuse
A sense of loss, an unforgivable waste,
Briefly made meaningful, on the evening news.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Triangle

She can't decide
Between love and lust,
But abide with just
One she must...

Ivy Flowers

Obligations and commitments
Fill up, stimulate, consume
The days and weeks, and I find
I missed the ivy flowers' bloom,
On the green vines which cling
To the wall, along the path
Where I walk in the spring
Mornings, and they are bereft
Of their sweet white flowers,
With only budding berries left,
Tiny green symbols quietly showing
How much is lost without knowing...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Haiku About The "Real" Japan

(From "The Japan Times", written by Colin Jones, who teaches at Doshisha University --- big thanks to Eric Kimura for sending them)
- - - - - - - - - -
You want a lawyer?
But without confessing first?
"Very difficult" 
- - - - - - - - - -
Sunrise — ohayo!
Here's your breakfast, clean undies
The hanging's today
- - - - - - - - - -
Can't see your children
Judge too busy to see his
You see the problem?
- - - - - - - - - -
Cops went to onsen
Before checking out stalker
Oops! New mascot time
- - - - - - - - - -
It's not gambling
Pachinko is just for fun
Do you need a loan?
- - - - - - - - - -
Supreme court ruling:
"Plaintiffs claims legitimate"
They're old by now, too
- - - - - - - - - -
"Lifetime employment"
Is no longer viable
(bureaucrats aside)
- - - - - - - - - -
Mandates to teachers:
Sing imperial anthem
Teach about freedom
- - - - - - - - - -
Non-Japanese folk
Have constitutional rights
Except when they don't
- - - - - - - - - -
Presumed innocent
Suspects are detained for months
They might destroy proof
- - - - - - - - - -
Random card checking
Fingerprints at the airport
Yokoso Japan!
- - - - - - - - - -
Japanese culture
Lawsuits disfavored by "wa"
Also, they're futile
- - - - - - - - - -
Record questioning?!
How could cops gain suspect's trust?!
Or, uh, threaten them?
- - - - - - - - - -
Ministry old boy
Drove your pension off a cliff
Amakudari
- - - - - - - - - -
Barred from the hot springs
for invisible tattoo
It says "foreigner"
- - - - - - - - - -
Notice on bus stop
"On alert for terrorists"
What are they smoking?