Surely Good to Simply Sit & Listen

The lovely songs of birds just chatting

—such delight in being. The various leaf

each tree sports, a lovely lace lifted

skyward in today’s gentle breezes


Off in the distance, acres away

the machine noises of man

(human ex machina)


The throated throttle of

single-engine aero plane

a piper cub perhaps

Its novice pilot

clocking hours


The soft cry of something well hid

The near-explosive silence of sunshine

Such pangs of joy

Another time-less moment

caught in blue & green

& all the other colors of so many things

in this world: tree trunk, roof, flowers

& red plastic cup


A melody of insects – just before

the show begins again


Let not the ache in my foot

or the favoring of my right hip

(injured so foolishly a few years ago)

curtail any of this move from mind to heart



You Got to Watch Out For

Who is telling you what, and should you believe them

or not (in terms of fact not opinion)


Who attempts to control the language

and therefore one’s freedom of expression


Who said they’d always be yours

but left a long time ago with no good-byes


What the opposition does to secure seats in Congress

and to buy up all the local elections


What the polls say, and what the rest of the Europeans

are doing to deal with the Brexit


What goes on globally

as well as locally


Where the wild animals might be pushing their limits

Where one’s child is…even if one is in paradise

Where the heart actually leads you in this tough life


When the calendar indicates it’s time to pay the rent

or get the healthcare payments in by the first


When to wake, when to eat, when to brush your teeth

When to “drop the dime” and make the call


When it is your turn to scrub the floor

and take out the garbage – yes, your turn!


How to keep loving – even those who hate

How to keep at it despite all else failing

How to keep on staying free

Born Too Early, My Fault Totally

Lady your riffs rip thru me like porn torn
from phages racing viral in my blood
doing that Annie Clark shuffle back & forth

Sorry it took me so long getting here

but you don’t see me, the old guy
who wrote your songs before you were born

You sing them well – good for you
There’s no “someplace else” for you & me

I understand, mind your boots there
Be kind to all kinds – Ooh oooh ooh!

As Within, So Without

Rain comes down so hard & heavy

it couldn’t get off our near flat roof

fast enough


Some slight sum of water ran the line

of a rafter to drip, drip right above my head

& woke me before I could get back to sleep

with an unprecedented six inches an hour


Something else on a long list to worry about

The roofing guy comes on time & ladders

his uniformed self up on the roof to take a look

— That’s after he offers to redo the roof

for at least five, six thousand

We go with

the repairs that carry no guarantee

for a few hundred plus change


We may never again get such hard & heavy rain

But the way things’re going it’d be no surprise

if the highway became a series of small islands


Should our roads soon turn to canals, time then

to pole rafts & barges as means of commerce

& access to community services


Preparing for the future demands new mindsets

Our philosophers fade away in solitary classrooms

or small but well equipped offices tucked away

in government-funded law firms

or private bathrooms en suite

in corporate headquarters

with direct ancestral connections to people

who make things happen!


Democracy as practiced, at best, a charade

one might begin to suppose

After the Red Moon

Spring falters mid-April with a cold morning

and a sheet of snow turned to ice covers

what was beginning to sprout after the crocus

came and went. The hyacinth wilts, stunted


Yet by noon the sun warms the ground

and no further alarms sound. The cold stays

but it’s above freezing. I’m back to toting the seed

trays back and forth from the sunshine

to night time warmth on the kitchen counters


When things occur in the sky

I look for the effects upon the earth, my own small

plot of land in this place I’ve lived for a long time


Some force tripped up Spring. Now Spring’s a gazelle

leaping long-legged leaps she leaps amazingly well

The Days like Horses Run without the Hills


Hit the pillow last night with thoughts of high winds

which I either slept through or the winds stayed low

as I woke to the sun shining earlier than forecasted

and remembered today’s appointment


Just back from a visit to the dentist

which I generally avoid but figured a cleaning

after none in two years was in order…

After bat-wing x-rays and a tongue cancer check

(Swish this in your mouth for a full minute

“this” tasting like vinegar, would cause any cancer

to glow in the small disco black-light dancing

in my mouth), make a follow-up appointment

to get tooth 28 or 29 refilled. $300 later I’m head-


ing for a late lunch of shrimp and brown rice



 “You got to eat to stay well, and you got to be well to eat”

a couple of friends told me as they closed in on death


They were ten years older than me. They used to joke

That I’d be the one to have to clean up after them…

And I have, several times. And there’s still more to go


A view of blue sky and white puffy clouds

right out the window from the dentist’s chair

kept me from crying – I’m a wuss and an easy

one at that. Simple sights still thrill me – glad to be



But how many times have I said that, and what

might it mean to you reading, right here right now?


And I’ve probably asked that already. I wonder

if one lives long enough to write everything twice


does it all ring true?  Let me know



 Well, that’s only if you’ve got good things to say

“I have not forgotten all my failures” ringing on

the car radio as I did a few chores up on the highway

one of those yesterdays ago – since time moves now

in different shapes than it did before retirement


As with most beings I still enjoy the shapes

of all things animate and inanimate. I still enjoy


a few bits of fun and games – “shits & giggles,”

as Tom used to say, egging one on in the debate


about what our business is on this earth

at this time – night or day! We know not the hour



 All this could only be in the world that I’m in

And there’s little proof what continues when I’m gone


Once there was a story that had a great beginning

What one does from there, what one becomes


Whether or not one agrees with Science

As long as Science not forget Beauty


It’s neither the Romantic nor the Gothic

And surely well past any ex-post modern


The new is almost new in an almost now

Democracy demands too much of the crowd


Kings and Tsars and other possible despots

running in the blood of the commonest man


No one is innocent.  Not all are guilty

It’s a dance  — and this one’s a lady’s choice

Sitting After the Commute

Before the rules are totally forgotten
let’s put Everything in its place,
whether it has one or not!

When a doctor voice-overs my dreams of
my body’s failing health,
the lines of communication go down

Too many questions at once
I’m simply alive in that moment and oblivious

to even that moment. The dancing girls
said their lovely good-byes years ago

Oh, how I continue to remember dancing
I’m unsure of the full value of cell phones