Sunday, December 22, 2013

Duck Dynasty

I said what I thought,
But my big mistake
Was just that I ought
Not have said it at all,
Because there are some
Subjects which fall
Into the category of
That which should
Not be mentioned,
At least in good
And politically correct
Public conversations,
Which hide all our true
Views, and their variations,
Obfuscate and misconstrue,
What we know we knew.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Mating Habits Of North American Caucasians

It starts with feelers, sounding-out
Mutual views on stocks and art,
And Red or Blue, or what about
The new trends, about to start,
Read on my-tablet-can't-be-without,
Then the attempted mutual access
To browse each others' hearts,
Over Pinot Noir and watercress,
And once the data is all collected,
Parsed, analyzed, a die is cast,
The potential mate is selected,
With hopes it all will somehow last.

Aaron's Rod

So here I sit, under a holy tree,
Playing a surreal song with my flute,
Perhaps you will listen to me,
My musical magic, what a hoot!


Behind Black Friday

The dirt-cheap shirt you just bought
At Walmart, is cheap because I sew
All day for way-less-than minimum wage,
Just thought that you should know...

Book Bug

I crack open an old good book,
Pages brittle, yellowed at the edges,
And a tiny movement makes me look
At a small insect which emerges
From where pages meet the binding,
And it crawls across the print, headed
To some place of its own finding,
Could this be a bookworm, I think,
Wondering how could it possibly survive
All these years, it makes me appreciate
That the bug, and I, are both alive,
It in a novel, and me in a chair,
In this passing moment we share.

Fukushima Dai-Ichi

That such advanced technology
Could fail so completely,
Was way beyond the pitifully
Inadequate analysis of the chance,
The risk that came from the sea,
Caused by fatal hubris of engineers,
And mistakes, which produced a
Curse, which will last for years.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Artist's Battle Cry

Declare war on that which holds back
The words I need to say, I need to sing,
Cast curses on that soul-stifling black
Feeling that tries to squash everything
Good before it gets started and flying,
Imagination, creation on the wing,
Leaving poems and songs in the dying
Of the day, in the path of what it will bring.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For A Grandchild

Genes from four,
And many more,
Flowed down through two
To you,
My grandson,
Swaddled on the bed...
Welcome to the outside,
And all that lies ahead,
We promise to nourish you
With warmth and love,
And your ancestors
Are smiling from above,
You are your parents' joy,
A miracle of life,
A fine baby boy.


I will not consent,
I will not break,
Will not be bent,
And I will take
My punishment,
Because I cannot give
Up freedom, I will fight
You as long as I live.

Don't dictate, dominate,
Don't tread on me,
You will never, ever,
Contain what's free,
It will erode, corrode, explode
In your face eventually.

Behold our rebellion,
With or without a cause,
Behold your downfall,
You, with your control, your laws,
Were bound to lose it all,
What fell and broke, what was...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Matsuri 祭り

They sing a song, I don't understand
The words, but the music makes
Me happy anyway, and the band
Is really good, it performs dramatically,
Making the people dance and sway
Together, stomping a mysterious beat
With the tunes the musicians play,
But the words and cries are still
Opaque, I know there's no way,
Not enough time, to learn their
Meaning, and so I get swept away
Into the mosh pit of hot emotion,
A foreigner among the island tribe,
Lost in their passion and commotion.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Bed Transition

How warm and wonderful
Is the dimly fuzzy zone,
Of consciousness,
Experienced while prone,
In between asleep and awake,
Waiting for the journeys
Your dreams will take.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Internal Conflict

The toughest fight to win,
Is the long drawn-out one,
Against the enemy within.

There is no maneuver or retreat
From yourself, the battlefield,
Made of water and meat.

Never surrender, never relent,
Spirit must master flesh,
Its energy focused and spent
Where hope and healing mesh.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Lisa

I carried you on my shoulders,
You were so light, and I could
Have kept you up there for
So long as you as you would
Have wanted, you were not
Heavy, it wasn't much, it was
Totally cool, it meant a lot
For me to be your father, and
That the shoulder ride you got
Was not a fluke or chance,
It was me holding you, a lovely
Child, above, in a happy dance,
I stepped and pranced, unconscious,
And melted into a father's trance.

Onset Of Alzheimers

It's a minor victory, when I remember
Something that I was supposed to do,
But had forgotten, because I was so
Busy with some other follow through,
So, I now embark, happily, on the action
I was originally supposed to pursue,
Why I forgot it in the first place,
Or why it came back, I wish I only knew.

Hamlet Was Onto Something

We all have to hold, then play,
The cards we have drawn,
Dealt from the deck of life
By a joker, who once upon
A time may have been a
Savior, or maybe Genghis Khan,
The muses of fate and chance
Look down at us and yawn
At our urges and machinations,
Sound and fury, and then gone.

Kyoto's Secret

The Japanese garden looks controlled
And peaceful, but don't be fooled,
Because it hides a powerful and old
Surge of animistic energy and pride,
An ancient urge to kick your ass,
Which the pines, sand, and rocks hide.

Depopulation On The Plains

A small town is bounded
By fields and fences, and
The reason it was founded,
No longer as vital-strong,
Like back when there were
Young ones, all now long
Gone to cities, vice bringing
In the corn, no longer grounded
In the harvest, scythe-swinging,
Now rusted, shrunken, surrounded,
All lost, but for the clinging.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

After-5 Advice

For wine drinking time,
I've a time-tested motto,
Drink till you're truly buzzing,
But quit before going blotto.

The Power Of Curves

To a pretty face and figure
Most men will succumb,
And do things, which afterwards,
Are seen as pretty dumb.

Social Salespersons

Some politicians chant
Punchlines and promises,
Others simply rant,
Stop talking, they can't,
Trust them to much,
I shan't.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Failed Life Line

Four people, one woman and three men,
Tie themselves together to mountain-climb,
Figuring it would be much safer than
Going alone, up the slopes of Mount Fuji,
And all seems to be going well, when
The oldest guy has a heart attack, and falls,
Dragging all down on the ice, never again
To resume upward progress, they tumble
Bounce on the the deadly rocks, gravity's Zen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

If Flowers Could Talk

We are arraigned and aligned
To attract butterflies and bees,
Not humans like you, who
Stare at, sniff us, as you please;
We bloom, unaware of our
Beauty, no intent to please,
Our colors are about survival,
As we sway on a summer breeze.

Photo by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1955-2011

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last Day Of November

The ginko tree has turned into
A beautiful blazing yellow gold,
Spectacular proof that
This year is now old,
And a new one awaits
In the coming cold,
Time advancing mercilessly
Sequentially and slow,
Its gift of hours and minutes
All spent before we know.

The Other Side

Sleep comes covertly...
A gradual warming...
And dreams take over,
With little warning,
Drifting into dramas
And scenery surreal,
Where we live for a while,
While we rest and heal.

Tool Using Apes

People sometimes do crazy
Things, unable to hide
The animal in all of us,
The monkey inside.

After The Feast

Having finally digested
The sacrificial turkey, which,
Yesterday, I ingested,
It's now back to yogurt,
Fruit, nuts, and the rest,
As the doctor requested...

Pillow Resort

Vastly underrated as a tourist destination,
A welcoming, fly-under-the-radar, best
Value, and relaxing vacation location,
Is the bed, where every night, I rest.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Distant Solar Lesson

An ice comet plunges into the sun,
Millions of miles away from our
Dramas played before a day is done,
And we never doubt the power
Of the sun, hell, we don't even know
How close we might have come,
To a sun-less final, cold, dark hour,
Caused by a cosmic Russian roulette,
Where large killer stellar ice-bergs
Crash and destroy, without regret,
Pure chance, a matter of mathematical
Reality and risk, a lost loser's bet.

Fire Pit

Something about a fire,
Warming, elemental, ancient,
And we never tire
Of looking into the flame,
That dances in-place
But is never the same,
And promises survival
For our huddled clan,
With another night's arrival.

Another Way

We push so hard sometimes
Tirelessly seeing things through,
But instead of wasting all that
Energy ... let the game come to you.


The song birds flutter and scatter
At the approach of the hungry hawk,
Would they say "Thank god we're safe",
If they were able to talk,
Or do not bird brains register the matter?


Waiting for my head to clear,
And, perhaps, for an idea to appear
From that mental zone
Where less than more is known...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Liturgy Of A Day

Lauds, is the moment, at the dawn of a new day,
Prime, is at the first fresh hour, usually around 6,
Terce, is a pause through the morning, mid-way,
Sext, comes at noon, and the clock slowly ticks,
None, means the hours have flowed ahead to 3,
Vespers, is when the evening lamps must be lit,
Compline, is done before we sleep peacefully,
Vigils, are given as sleep and dreams permit.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We Are Not Alone

The headline says it has been
Newly discovered, that there
Are thousands of Earth-like
Planets out somewhere
In our galaxy, which leaves me
More worried, than happy...

Waiting To Cross The Street

The bright red dragonfly
Is radiant, perched on my
White shirt, where it landed
A few moments ago,
Making me feel oddly
Happy, and lucky, although
An insect's random flight
Has no reason to bestow
Such comfort, yet it does,
And why, I do not know...

Monday, November 4, 2013


The old book, full of answers,
Sits on the dusty shelf, unread,
While the unknowing ones
Finger their I-phones instead,
Not even close to knowing
Things already done and learned,
Wise words in the book wait,
Patiently, on pages un-turned.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Red & Blue Talking Heads

The partisan political commentator
Is a human of a special class,
Who delights in fights, part ideologue,
Demagogue, and pompous ass,
Whose words are the intellectual
Equivalent of intestinal gas,
Stinking-up our politics into a
Confused and hateful morass.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Time Out

That several minutes in the morning,
When I pause, and sort of meditate,
Before getting up and walking out
Into what the day will create...

A short time of peace,
before dealing with
What chance will release.

Life's River

I may not predict the future,
But I can see things go by,
Some moments purely happy,
Others that make me cry,
Then there's the ones that beckon
Questions, "How?" or "Why?"...
All flow forward, sequentially, and the
Laws of diminished returns apply,
Inexorably, and I can't stop or
Slow it, no matter how I try...

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I hurts me to see this haunting,
Beautiful, image of the moon,
Knowing that the one who
Made it, disappeared too soon.

Photo By Geoffrey Hamilton 1955-2011

Beneath The Fronds

The palm tree points up to the sky,
And whispers to me to look up,
Which I then do, not asking why.

The palm tree reaches up to
Clouds convoying quietly across
The cool eternal blue,

That it all could be so splendid,
I never really knew...

Art By Mark Harm Niemeyer


After I ran into you on the street,
I realized how many things must
Have happened for us to meet,
In such an unplanned manner...

If I had stopped to shop or eat,
Or had turned left instead of right,
And even something as discrete
As the speed at which I walked,

All could have combined to create,
A scenario where we, unknowingly,
Missed each other -- call it fate.

French Gift

There is a way I know,
To get all through a day
Way too dull and slow,
And it involves good music,
And a bottle of Bordeaux.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Izu Oshima, October 2013

The rain pouring like a river
Caused the mountain to break,
And the soil on its slopes to
Loosen, slide away, to make
A wall of wet muddy death,
Which surged down to take
The lives asleep, on a night
From which few would awake.

The Limits Of Youth

Sometimes, looking down and back
On results your team achieved, it becomes
Apparent that the younger ones lack
That little something, which would
Make things proceed more smoothly,
Towards a harmonious greater good,
A deceptively simple approach and
Plan to follow, if they only could.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Minored In Philosophy

Nothing easy or peachy
Reading Friedrich Nietzsche,
But it's not as hard
As Soren Kierkegaard,
Or the fret and fume
Over David Hume,
Trying but never gleaning
Just what he was meaning,
Then there's the brain fart
Existential stop an start,
Of the Frenchman Jean Paul Satre,
At the end, Immanuel Kant
Issues a metaphysical taunt,
All written in 9-point font,
Which leaves me very sorry,
A-priori ... A-posteriori.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And Your Bird Can Sing

The Dream Birds stand in front of plants,
And make statements through their cries
About something aesthetically urgent,
Because they intend for us to realize
That art can be viscerally vital, a resurgent
Force in our otherwise pedestrian lives,
The Dream Birds' song an emergent
Emotional force, released for us to hear,
Reverberating, well after they disappear.

Art By Mark Harm Niemeyer

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Small Garden Miracle

Does an insect have any pride,
Or does its tiny functional
Brain know, somewhere inside,
Of how beautiful it appears
After landing on the flower,
Where its color coheres
Into an image of magical power.

How I Spent My Day Off

A fine bracing autumn day,
Spent purposefully walking around
Inside, in zigzags, large curves,
And smaller circles, to the sound
Of mindless, easy-on-the-nerves
Melodies to browse and shop by,
Following the menu she serves,
Go with the flow, don't ask why.

Our Promise

I pledge allegiance to the ring,
On my finger, and to the union
For which it stands, our thing
Together, under continuous review,
Dealing with what each day will bring.

O-Kesho お化粧

Spooky chemicals and powders
Applied, with care, to the face,
And the formerly plain-looking
Girl, disappears without a trace.  

Detroit City (Part 2)

I'm working at the service counter of a
Big-box store, in an unavoidable extension
Of employment, instead of being retired,
After they eviscerated my pension.

I'm forcing smiles, and dealing with all
Sorts of customer jerks, all the while wishing
I was doing something else, less dull, less stressful,
Like playing golf, or deep ocean fishing.

The municipal service union job paid well,
And we felt like middle-class -- it all seemed
So secure, American Dream-like, until it fell apart,
And we joined the ranks of the screwed, the reamed...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Court Of Appeals

To love is to put one's heart on trial
Where the judge is another unknown,
Who will feel for a decision, while
A mystic jurist force flows to a
Conclusion, and hopefully, a smile.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Razor Ritual

She shaves her legs,
He shaves his face...
Similar intentions,
Different place.

Sisyphus With A Mop

The janitor cleans the same mess,
Every day,
For minimum-wage-per-hour,
A job whose pointlessness
Is part of its corrosive power.

Just Another Shutdown Day

I wake to face the morning
Of another working day,
In the service of my country
I will labor without pay,
For as long as the supervisor
Mandates me to stay,
I shall man my computer,
Heroically, the American way.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

As The World Turns

Each day, allotted by the Sun, and the miraculous,
Just-right, orbit, position, composition of our small
World, opens and proceeds, offering the pleasures
Of simple life, as well as the pain and shocks of all
Unlucky fate; each day giving differing measures
Of happiness, sorrow, or numbing mundanity,
Twenty four hours, full of potential treasures,
Each day, the rotational root of our humanity.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Men In Black

The kuro-ko,
Quiet and black,
Stand to the side,
And in back,
From where they guide
The dolls in the night,
The kuro-ko hide
In plain sight.

To Face The Inevitable

Against the onslaught
Of time, and the bruises
And wrinkles it has wrought,
We make our stand,
Together, taking courage
From each other, and,
I always feel stronger
As I hold your hand.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not What It Appears To Be

I enjoy living in my dimension,
And assume it's the only one,
Not just a mental invention,
That soothes until the day is done...

Until sleep brings a sly suspension,
Of what I assumed to be true,
And the dreams show there's
A side of things, I never knew...


Changes to which clothes to wear,
Are unforgiving, and rapid,
Fashion coloring and conforming,
So urgent, so cool, so vapid...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scientists Seeking Olympus

Physicists grind their brains relentlessly,
Hoping, groping, for the magical occasion,
When inspiration, or an epiphany,
Reveal the numbers of the God Equation...

Ise Shrine Reborn 伊勢神宮

The faithful followers can not
Ignore what the gods have willed,
That Ise Shrine must be demolished,
And then all the specially skilled
Carpenters must be gathered
To come together and rebuild,
Through patience, sweat, and tears
The holy place they destroy,
Every twenty years.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Carpet Tiger

The house cat, grown fat,
Would rather take a nap
Than chase or catch a mouse,
And sits in your lap,
Or lies in the sunlit-spots
Around the house,

The house cat uses all
The tricks to get its way,
Then curls into a furry ball...

Day Equals Night

The first dead leaf of fall, fell
In front of me, walking,
And it floated pell-mell,
Doing some rolls and yaws,
Before making a soft landing
On the ground, for a pause,
And then cartwheeling away
On a zephyr of change,
This autumnal equinox day...  

Buttocks For Dollars

Rich young spoiled celebrity girl
Makes a fortune by twerking
In public, and she knows no shame,
But I guess it beats working...

Mutton And Me

So, I was trying to get to sleep,
And over the fence
Jumped one hundred sheep,

But then they stopped,
And all turned blue...

Now what was I to do?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Spirit Of Wall Street

It's some sort of funny,
That we allow others
To gamble with our money,
Calling it high finance,
Brokers and economists
Play a numbers game of chance,
Blurring the fact they are
Flying by the seat of their pants,
Formulas and computers they claim
Can calculate through the chaos
And ultimately tame
Risk, and thereby produce profit,
But it's all a sad expensive game,
Rigged by hustlers with Ivy League degrees,
And the final score tends to be the same:
Small investors losing, flapping in the breeze...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just Before The Equinox

The tiny spider floats on a thread
Of arachnid silk, gliding on a cool
Breath of autumn, now here instead
Of summer's cloying heat, and all
The feelings, ideas in my head rise
Spider-like, on the first breeze of fall.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Passchendaele, 1917

I try not to remember, and it's hard to describe,
The feeling in the battered trench, as the enemies
Came tumbling in for murder, and if only to survive,
We had to resort to all kinds of fighting, with
Clubs, knives, bullets, teeth, "kill them to stay alive"
Was the only violent instinctive force in the mud,
Where you looked in the eyes of the man you killed,
And after it finally ended, all was shit and blood...

Coal Creek, Colorado, September 2013

I'm hanging onto a beam
In the rafters, literally,
After the quiet nearby stream
Turned into a torrent,
And poured in through
The windows in the living
Room, and all I could do
Was run up the stairs
And away from the water,
Which rips, roars, and tears
A gaping whole in the wall,
And then rises up to the
Second floor, and it's all
I can do to keep from
Being killed by the creek,
Hanging, cold, shocked, numb,
Alone in the dark, feeling,
I just might make it through,
By clinging to the ceiling...

Eric Clapton & BB King & Alvin Lee

What else in the world can transfuse
Hope out of pain and bitterness,
Listening to the Blues.

Near impossible to refrain or refuse,
Nodding head and tapping feet,
Listening to the Blues.

Dissolve into the melody and lose
That stupid everyday stress,
Listening to the Blues.

Deceptively simple chords and notes suffuse
Your dirt-dull life with inspiration,
Listening to the Blues.

In the end, you don't win, don't lose,
You just get through another night,
Listening to the Blues...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Empty Places

Sometimes it is the nothingness of a place,
Free from people, noises, distraction,
Where, for a moment, there is peace...
I suppose that's the visceral attraction
Of forest paths and deserted beaches,
Which still an ancient restlessness
Within our inner reaches...

Listen To The Bird

The sea gull cries "it's coming", but
No one understands, because
We don't speak sea gull, in the hot
Summer lull, which will soon
Be stirred-up into adventure
By the powerful typhoon,
Which, cried the bird's warning,
Will attack us in the morning...

Chores As Meditation

The daily household zen,
Of delving into messes,
And make them neat again.

Cycle of chores as strong
As anything in nature,
And going on for as long.

Life's meaning,
Pondered distractedly,
While cleaning...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The priest is the 23rd generation
Of a family who have served
The ancient objects of veneration
Which reside inside the shrine
Silently watching over those who
Come to worship and consign
Those portions of their lives to
Harmonize with the gods' design.


Ideals in the ether captured by words,
Which joined in series and strings
Become inspiration, dogma, scripture,
And a million other mental things,
Words which heal, words which hurt,
Words which led our fathers to fight
And be killed, now buried in the dirt...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Date

Young love
In the gut,
Twisting churning
Urge to rut,

Rushing blood
Lusty and hot,

Unrestrained elation,
Followed by
Emotional evaporation,

The final mating
Chorus sung,
Youth is wasted
On the young.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


The first day of the week
Is really like any other, but
That we've labeled, numbered,
And calendared what
Is just another sunrise,
Which shouldn't be the subject
Of our whens or whats or whys...

Crowd Control

The crowded park clears out quick,
As the rain falls, suddenly, from gray
Sponge clouds, benches wet and slick,
Now unoccupied, except for one old
Man not yet wet enough to move,
And, now gleefully free from obstruction,
I zone into a rain-cooled jogging groove...


I take what you say,
And turn it into different sounds,
In such a way
That your information,
And opinions,
Become communication.

Electromagnetic Organism

The radio towers multiply, unnoticed,
In places all around, and direct
Invisible rays and waves through
Us, and everything, in order to connect
Together human consciousness,
But, I wonder, to what effect?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where Did They Go?

I go out into the gloaming of an early autumn day,
Walk beneath the trees quenched by a sudden rain,
In whose branches bell crickets ring and trill away,
The last of the cicadas sing a sinking sad refrain,
An insect paean to a summer soon to fade,
Its energy, heat, and humid passion will dissipate
Into a cooler season, where I guess I will wait
For the next exciting thing to come around,
Days pass so covertly, I don't even know the date.

Somewhere Near Damascus

And so it came to pass,
That the people in the
Village were attacked with gas,

Leaving them all sick or dead,
And the rest of the world
Watches sports events instead

Of doing something,
Anything, to intervene
And stop the escalation
Of something so evil, so obscene...

On The Sidewalk

I watch her as she approaches,
And she sees me looking at her,
Which makes me look away
Until she passes in a blur
Of determined perfumed female
Steps, which, in passing, confer
Her smell, in a tenuous vapor trail,
Which I try to ignore, to no avail...

Back At It...

Now's the time to throw the bucket
Down deep into the gloomy well,
Where ideas and images swim in cool
Formation, where the rare words dwell,
And the bucket sinks into the pool...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Long Hug

They hold each other closely, desperately,
As if to stop time, totally entrapped
By mutual emotion, and being so different,
They imagine love will bridge and adapt,

And they look for signs of this hope
In each other's mating-fevered face,
But do not dwell on it, for now it's
Enough to be lost in their embrace...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hair Of The Dog

I drink an ice cold beer,
Fizzy and bracing,
Instantly altering,
Softening, and erasing,
The head-hurting legacy
Of a lost night's debasing...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

After The Festival

The lantern dances have been
Disassembled and stored
By the recent celebrants
Who, now idled and bored,
Consider the matte bleak
Days ahead, summer exhausting
It self, week after week,
The green explosions of
Vernal green turning dun
In a languid humid transition
Under the late August sun...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ended Too Soon

Leaving the mountains behind,
We stream, a river of headlights,
Slowly and steadily, in a mind
Boggling, spirit-numbing traffic
Jam, headed back to the grind...

Go-Nin-Gumi 五人組

You watch me
And I watch you,
What you say
And what you do.

And if I detect
Your slip or sin,
I call the Lord
And turn you in.

There's no escape,
There is no end,
The Shogun's rules
Will never bend.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Perched Slumber

The seahawk, head tucked
Into shoulder, sleeps
Balanced on the storm wall,
And I wonder how it keeps
From taking a fall...

Cairo, Egypt, August 2013

The teargas cannister comes bouncing along
The pavement, angrily spouting smoke
Which billows to cause gagging, and a strong
Urge to cough, and vomit out more hate,
Reinforcing why we are here in the first
Place, tearing up the same pavement to throw
Chunks of it at them, who are the worst
Aggressors and infidels, and cannot be allowed
To avoid exposure to our rage, and thirst
For revenge on this manic bloody day,
All of us gathered in the thrill of it all,
And we don't have jobs to go to anyway...


Friday, August 16, 2013

I Should Be Sleeping

I look at the clock showing 3:33
And realize I should be sleeping,
Vice pounding the keyboard assiduously,
In an early morning haze, keeping
Sure that it is all meaningful toward
Some sort of conclusion and cause,
Vice insomnia, and the intricate ways
That cause sweet slumber to pause...

Put It Down, Turn It Off

Through each day, in seemingly
Endless succession,  parade
The stupid, horrendous things,
And the rest of the cavalcade
Of crap the newscast brings,
Accidents and tragedies made
Into stories for money, and to feed
Our covert voyeuristic hunger the
Junk-food data we didn't really need.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It Happened Last Night

Emerging from the depths of a lost
Night, and I wonder what I did,
But I cannot remember clearly, so
I guess I will just blame it on my id.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7 August, Risshu 立秋

Although it doesn't feel like it at all,
Still humid-hot and insect-noisy,
Risshu is the first day of Fall,
Solar angles now minutely shifted
Inexorably toward winter,  
While heat's burden remains unlifted.

Monday, August 12, 2013

An Approach To What Approacheth

Not to get too
Is the key,
To dealing
With mortality,
Just go with the flow

Shochu Highball

It becomes important and compelling
To consider the sky,
And wonder why,
In this altered state of mind,
After a fourth Chu-Hai...

From My Room

The view from my room is limited
By ceiling, floor, and  four walls,
Yet I don't feel trapped or inhibited,
Because there's something that enthralls
And stimulates from an engine inside
My head, a kaleidoscope of ideas and
Images, which launch-up and glide
In altitudes I have yet to understand,
And I hug the hope they provide...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Waiting For The Storm

Way up above, where convection forms
And mixes the cool and warm moist air
Into looming, magnificent thunderstorms,
It's all I can do to wait and wonder where,
And if, and when, the meteorological drama
Of monster rains and lightning's flare
Will strike and pass, and then leave a cooling
Breath of relief in answer to my sweaty prayer.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sound Trucks Of Summer's Peak

Today, a few days before the anniversary of Japan's
Defeat, the right-winger trucks are cruising around
The neighborhood, blaring martial music and filling
The summer day with their angry nationalist sound,
Trying to resurrect, I suppose, lost pride and glory
And Imperial lust, best left buried in the ground...


Koshien Summer Baseball Tournament

They arch backwards, faces streaked with sweat,
Uniforms stained brown with Koshien dirt
And under the fierce August sun they forget
The sweltering humid heat, as they shout
The words to their school song blaring out
From the stadium speakers, the heated
Contest finished, the winners stand and sing,
While lined-up behind them, the defeated
Team fights back the tears their feelings bring.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Take Cover

It's all good, crowded here
In the cool department store,
On the hottest day of the year...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adagio Sostenuto

I feel for Rachmaninov,
Who produced the best
Beautiful music ever,
In the surreal, blessed,
And haunting tunes of
His Second Concerto,
Melodies wafting way above
The normal we know,
Bringing drama and feeling
Especially the second movement,
Which leaves me reeling
And sympathizing for
Rachmaninov, because his best
Boiled down to Adagio Sostenuto,
And damned be the rest.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gyokusai 玉砕

Attu Island, 1943, and two thousand
Six hundred Japanese troops
Were informed by the General
Staff in Tokyo that, Whoops!
We can no longer send you
Supplies or ammunition, so
Instead, you are expected to do
Your duty for the Emperor,
Attack the Americans and die,
You will be called "crushed jewels"
Who didn't flich, or wonder why
You, as warrior-sharpened tools
Of an Imperial dream, were callously
Abandoned, all tragic-heroic fools...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aerial Mishap

Through the open door of the stopped train
Wings a small moth, and I can't stop keeping
From watching it do its insect aerobatics and then
Flutter into the open mouth of a man sleeping.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Arirang 2013

Hundreds of Asian girls, in sailor suits,
Playing drums, all wearing boots,
As part of a passion show
To honor a dictator, would seem
Like something out of a very weird dream,
But there they are, in vibrant flesh,
The pride of a crackpot Korean regime...

Red, White, And Blue

In God We Trust,
And, after all the
Others have rushed
For the exit, we will endure,
We will not be crushed,
For the stakes are too high,
And we'll fight, if we must,
For freedom, and grind
Our enemies into the dust.

Galactic Chill

Pausing, to breath, and stare skyward,
After a long, hot, hard-assed day,
A sense of cosmic perspective
Cools me, gazing at the Milky Way...

The Unbowed

Toward the finish line, the winning runner
Surges, victorious muscles in motion,
And after the race, as the first place guy
Is feted and crowned, I have this notion
To look instead at those who gave it a try,
But finished fifth, fourth, and third,
Their faces shine with energy, not defeat,
And they strut away, without saying a word.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I wonder about happiness, and whether
It is the same thing as having fun,
Or the like the feeling of a full stomach,
With a wine buzz, after a good dinner's done...
And I ponder on happiness because,
It occurs so inconsistently, as our lives unwind
In millions of high dramas and black
Comedies, dull reruns, all of it consigned
To the control of forces way beyond our ken...
So, maybe happiness is really a state of mind,
Always there for the having, the antidote
To pain and sadness, with which it is entwined...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Talking About Mutual Interests

O.K., so now we will negotiate,
Which is a way to fight
Using words, vice weapons,
And, could it be, we might
Find a way to concur, agree,
And thereby arrive at an
Arrangement, amicably...
Or otherwise, we surely can
Go off on our separate ways,
No harm, no foul, we'll claim,
All things being the same,
But the unsolved problem stays...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Three Pieces Of Toast

Limit your toppings:
I slice of ham, two of cheese,
But okra and broccholi,
Have as much as you please...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

LDP Victorious

The evening of an election day
In Japan, where what was predicted,
Has, in fact, occurred, and a historic
Defeat was invariably inflicted
On those who had refused the mainstream,
But, also, were not smart enough
To to offer a valid, workable, alternative,
And so now they are lost, and will
Have to find a different way to live...

Better Than Before

It used to be the fifth lap around the park,
Dodging dogs on slack leashes and avoiding
The homeless emerging from the dark
Memory of their previous night of survival...
But now it's the third lap where the feel-good
Kicks-in, like some gassed endorphin revival
Originating in my thigh muscles, which flow
Up to my brain, the third lap does it, and
As I keep jogging, that's all I really know.

Not In

Out of ideas,
Out of options,
So I'm
Out of my head,
But also
Out of the way,
Out of order,
Yet not
Out of luck,
Out of gas,
This too, shall pass...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Smart Ones

Some of those who have a knack
For mathematics, go on to jobs
In the New York fast track
Of high finance, making gobs
And piles of electronic money,
Never getting their hands dirty,
And it now seems quasi-funny
That they, who were teased as nerds,
Get uber-rich by the age of thirty.

Take Only One

Middle of the night, I am awake
And hungry, and there's two
Sesame bagels on the table,
But I only take one,
Because I know that if I
Eat both (very easily done),
There would be no way to mollify,
Her anger in the morning...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Arizona Tragedy

The fire came up too quickly,
And the Hot Shots could not
Adjust in time, and so they died,
At a place which burned white hot,
On an unnamed, nondescript ridge,
For long enough, to kill the men
Who had fought, courageously, the
Deadly flames, again and again...

Detroit 2013

The old brick warehouse's broken windows
Jaggedly, partially, sadly, reflect
The blue light from GM's headquarters
Towers, which loom, unreally, over a wrecked
City, now bankrupt and apparently dying
In a slow-motion spectacle, for all to see,
Mismanaged so long, it was not worth trying
To revive or restructure or resurrect,
And it's as if the vacant lots and crack houses
Have prevailed, and urban rot, unchecked,
Has achieved, over time, a rusty-rat-infested victory,
In a war which could have been won,
If "appropriate measures had been taken",
If only the right things had been done...  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Try Again

It was over before we really knew:
A love, hotly and brightly burnt-out;
Which, now that I am falling for you,
Makes me wonder if it will all repeat,
Stir the ashes of love, some kind of deja vu

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Middle Aged Rant

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
Everything travels in circles,
Coming around to where they began,
Reruns, re-learning, the story of man.

Ashes to ashes, in god we trust,
Or being too busy, we don't,
Filled-up with food and forced laughter,
No one thinks of hereafter.

Ashes to ashes, love and lust,
Marriage is legalized rutting,
Women would rather be free, than mate,
But are tied by biology to their slavish fate.

Ashes to ashes, behold, with disgust,
The rich, and their carnal consumption,
For us, scraping by, it's sad but true,
The most and best belong to the few.

Ashes to ashes, cry if you must,
But tears will not salve the frustration,
Rather try to find joy in the small things,
The normal joys each day always brings.


Running down the street, barely in front
Of big crazed bulls, also running madly,
Hooves cracking against cobblestones,
And falling means things will end badly,
So we don't, and we try not to get gored,
Or trampled by the angry bulls, it is a
Total visceral thrill ... beats being bored...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Small Victory

"Now", she orders me, to get
An odd job errand done,
I say "Honey, O.K., O.K."...
(But here's how the match is won)
I find a good excuse for delay,
A reason for inaction,
Not too laughable, or lame,
And with the story in my head,
I go back to watching the game.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sisters Of The Consolation Unbounded

Excitement and joy appear
Spontaneously, on each holy face,
Of the white-clad nuns going bonkers
Watching a famous bicycle race...

All This And Sunburn

Love on the beach,
Passionate, oily, pleasure-fun,
Except for the itchy sand.

Lorimer Burst (Redux)

One one-thousandth of a second is all it lasted,
A mysterious radio wave which was detected
About a billion, or so, years after it was blasted
Away, perhaps, from a distant revolving magnetar,
Out beyond the edge of our galaxy and our
Ability to comprehend that old, and that far...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Turkey, June 2013

Sometimes you have to do things,
It's like you don't have a choice,
Because not to act would mean
Ignoring the powerful inner voice
Which says: "This is wrong,
It must not stand", and so out into
The streets you go, with strong
Intent to take control and rearrange
Political affairs, only to find out that
Pain and blood are the cost of change.

The last days of the rainy season,
And something clicks-on in the brain
Of the cicada, who now has a reason
To dig it's way up from the dirt,
Under the roots of the maple tree,
Where it had been subsisting, waiting,
Seven years for this moment, patiently,
I suppose, but still wonder about
What, if anything, the bug was thinking,
All those years underground without
Air or light or motion, simply drinking
Tree-root sap and slowly growing,
Protected by being deep underground...
But now, a signal has been received
To claw and climb up and around
All obstacles, and emerge into the air
Of summer, grow wings, make sound,
With millions of other bugs also there,
The cicada sings mightily, under the sun,
For two weeks, then falls quiet, and is done.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Gambler

It took me many years to realize
How to win at poker -- just be patient,
And watch their fingers, not their eyes...

After a while you come to understand,
An opponent's face reveals much less,
Than the grasping and twitching of his hand.

Remember 01 July 1916

Under a death-white summer's sky,
Toward the enemies' trench I run,
Too sweaty and confused to be scared,
A knife attached to the end of my gun,
Kinetics and luck will decide if I survive,
Or end-up as fly-food, under a cruel sun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Elderly Realization

There is no new, things
Just repeat until you're old,
Shapes differ, substance the same,
The truth, already bought & sold,
Regardless of what you
May have been told...

The Unheard

A tree, falls,
In the forest,
And ...........

Hello, July!

Not quite noticing it, being
The busied-beings we have become,
Somehow, without our seeing
It, the year's latter half has begun.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blood Is Thicker Than Flowers

Out, with my family, on a Sunday walk,
In a park, with flowers for all to see,
I stop to take pictures of my kids,
With the gorgeous roses, and quietly
I realize, it's not the blooms, but
How beautiful my kids look to me...

Next thing I know, I start to choke-up,
As a father's love swells viscerally,
And sends a tear running down my face
Which I fail to hide effectively...

Thereafter I'm joking and denying
To my worried, puzzled, children:
"No, no, Papa wasn't really crying"...

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Random Vicious Act, Nerima, 28 June 2013

Drops of children's' blood on the pavement
Crosswalk, where young, innocent life
Was almost cut-short, literally,
By a mad angry man with a knife,
Who attacked the first-grade kids without
Warning or cause, and could have
Done worse, were it not for the shout
Of the old volunteer crossing guard,
Who charged the attacker, waving,
A flimsy traffic flag, furious and hard,
Making the would be child-killer balk,
And then flee, leaving scared screaming
Kids, and a shaken hero, on the crosswalk.



I Wanna Hold Your hand

My anxiety settles down,
Things become calm and fine,
When she comes around close
And puts her hand in mine.  

Terminal AM

Suck a breath of the free
And bracing fresh air
Of the morning,
And taking care
To taste it, for it's one
Of the few things left
To enjoy, before I'm done.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Forgotten Fight

The burnt-hulk of a battle tank
Lies half-embedded in the sand
Of a distant tropic river bank
It's bent cannon pointed quietly
Over the azure water flowing
Steadily towards the southern sea,
The tank, a rusted reminder of
One's defeat, the other's victory...

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Longest Day

We are, who we are,
Not much changed
From those far
Away years, when
We chased-down
Our food, and then
Cooked it over fire...

Do we remember
How, with bellies sated,
We reclined in the ember
light, and celebrated
Our luck at being alive,
While waiting for
The darkness to arrive...

No matter what we own,
Or gods to which we pray,
We are, just what we are,
On this long Solstice day.

Fact Of Life

An action is sometimes
Taken by a powerful man,
Not because it's wrong or right,
But simply because he can.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Troubled Sleep

Knowing I have to get up in the morning,
Very early, to start a full busy work day,
I understand very clearly the warning
That now is the time to turn-in and rest,
And sleep with dreams of getting up
Later, full of energy, to do my best....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

After The Fall

Nothing is more humbling
Than to own-up to
One's bumbling,
And, thereafter, take
For the mistake.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Four Monks

A quiet blessing from an elderly one,
Draws the attention of the monks,
Walking, clad in indigo robes, now done
With begging, and headed slowly back to
Their temple, quiet under the god trees,
Which whisper zen-sounds in the breeze.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Inner Caveman

We humans want so badly to
Believe we exist in narratives
Of free dramatic meaning, vice
Obeying biological imperatives,
And other instinctive urges, hidden
Deep in the ancient stems of our
Brains, which emerge, unbidden,
With urgent primal power
To spur, control, and drive
Us, despite our efforts to deny,
No matter how hard we strive.

A Country Called Yamato

Japan is difficult to describe
Ancient and homogeneous,
Less a country, more a tribe,
Protected for centuries
By surrounding seas,
With the greenest hills
And gods in the trees,
Its people crowd together
And adapt, with unease,
Knowing the next earthquake
When it happens, will destroy,
What they build and make,
Yet they do not quit or despair,
And accept the impermanence
As a given, like the sweet air
Of the forests they have known
Since their oldest animist days,
And this spirit of adaptation
Has remained, at the insular core,
Of a holy, perfectionist nation.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Smart Professor

The middle-aged Ivory Tower man,
Loves to discourse and dispense,
As a tenured expert in his field,
Advice that challenges common sense.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Restructured Morning

About three weeks into it,
Don't know for sure,
Because I'm a little bit
Tired, bored, confused
About what I'm supposed
To do, and also bemused
About my current state
Of joblessness, which has
Given me this awful great
Gift of "my time", whereas
Before it was my daily fate
To go to work and spend
All those minutes and hours,
All gone by a long day's end...
Well, now, my big decision
Is when to get out of bed,
And knowing I don't have to,
Means, I'll just lie here instead...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Note From Area 51

There are those who believe in UFOs
And little green men with oval eyes,
Who pilot their floating dynamic saucers
Which flit-zoom over the desert skies...

So are they real? -- Well, no one knows
For sure, but the theory they pose:
That we are not alone on our own green
Planet, and it's the visitors from those
Distant planets, who arrive and are seen,
Is what keeps us willing to believe
In the curious flying objects, we perceive...