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.
- - - - - - - - - -
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) 

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.


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


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)


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 what you strive,
Is so distant and far,
Across a life'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)