Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Grinch



In keeping with this special
day, the one that closes
the year, we should go
to a party, or at least
open a bottle of champaign.

But we'll just stay home
and I'll draw a picture.

I remember, when our kids
were young, our baby sitter
was upset with us for not
celebrating a good year.

She brought over a bottle
of whiskey for us.

I want to retain
my full resources when I
celebrate. And luckily
we don't have to stay up
until midnight, since Times
Square is on a different
time zone, and,
obviously,
we are dead beats on
another wave length.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Chair



He found the small metal
chair with the red seat.

It allowed him access
to all that was just
out of his reach.

He'd carry it around,
climb up on it, and
rearrange our world
to perfect all kinds
of skills.

Looking on were
all of us, totally
clueless about
what was going on
in his golden head.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Waffles and Milk



He doesn't exactly
know the words for
waffles and milk,
but we read
his moods, from happy
to hungry, and then
start trying out this
or that, hoping to hit
the nail on the head,
eventually.

He seems to get his
needs met, somehow,
without an ability
talk. I wonder how
much of our talk
in the bigger world
is really needed
for our happiness,
or even, just our survival.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Toys



Maybe toys came
from the days when people
didn't have much stuff,

or even when all
that they had was
human sized.

So the Indians
would make a
little bow and
arrow to teach the kids
to hunt,

or a doll to
teach the kids
how to take care of a
baby.

I've noticed my grandson
is much more interested
in my things than he
is in the toy closet.

Lucky he has my spare
cell phone. It is one
of his favorite pastimes.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thanks, but no Thanks!



Sometimes
I ask for help
and regret it.

Not that the
helper was
not well-intended
or even skillful
in their craft.

It is just that
sometimes we want
the job done,
and we don't want
to do the work
involved.

So I asked my
former accountant
father-in-law to
help me set up
a financial system,
only to realize
that I'd have to
rebuild my mental
transmission before
I could shift that
many gears.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pecans



My daughter brought
bags of pecans for
everyone, carried from
her Texas pecan tree.

Her aunt brought
one gadget for breaking
them open,
and her grandpa brought
another.

We worked feverishly
to crack open enough
to get a cup of pecans
for a pie or whatever.

I drilled a new
hole in one of
the gadgets but it
didn't do much.
The pecans were too
slender and long.

In the end, hours
later, we were
failed piece
workers. My daughter
said that next
year she was going
to rake those
nutty nuts into
the compost pile.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

An Hour



In an hour my son, daughter-in-law, and
grandson come for the holiday.

The plane is now in the air, heading
west at record speed, I’m sure.

I guess the pilot gave up
or at least delayed
his XMAS for the occasion.

We haven’t seen my son and his
family for a couple of
months.

I don’t expect that they have changed,
though certainly my grandson, not yet
a year and a half, will be into new
things.

The XMAS sun blasts through by
bamboo shades, reminding me
not be somber on this day.

Their plane arrived early so
I stopped writing and went to pick
them up.

As soon as we were home from the
airport, my grandson went to the
toy closet and picked up a cup.

I think he was more interested
in a holiday drink than play.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis the Season to be Jolly?



Christmas eve, and I went to the grocery,
two hardware stores, a bookstore, and the
car wash.

I didn't go to all these places to
to check that everyone was jolly.

I knew that some
of the Christmas hype is just that,
and some people have a mean and
tired look on their face in this
special time for celebration.

I didn't want to write about
my disappointments,
from the squenched up faces
to the aggressive driving
of shopping carts and automobiles
because I didn't want
to perpetuate the sourness
I was experiencing.

But then joy came
as one woman
passed me with her cart
in the grocery store.
When she saw that
I was looking at her,
she broke into a smile
as big as they come.
I smiled back.

Yes, it is the season . . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2007

No More



I"m not going to write
a poem today, I thought,
until my dog started to
bark in protest.

I tried one about the
holiday trance
we are all in,
"getting and spending,"
but that is old hat,

and then the phone
rings, and it feels
like it's my daughter,
but it was the
wrong number.

And sometimes the
honeymoon is over
and friends tell you
what they really think
and you feel like shrinking
to the size of a
head of a pin,
wishing you didn't say
or believe this or that,

and then you escape to the
country to see how
the trees survived
their first snow of
the season and you
see them basking
in the sun, and loving
the bitter breeze, with
their dark brown bark
glorified by the bright
blue sky and accented by
the fluffy white clouds.

On the whole, the trees
always stand up straight,
don't they?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Bed of Rocks



I'm not sure what a rock
can see, nestled in a bed
of sister and brother
rocks.

There isn't the option
of deciding to jump on
a bus and take off to
the west or the east.

Though, inadvertently,
the bus might pick up
the rock in his tire
and take her to some
unknown place, to
find a distant
bed of rocks.

We had a dog who
was called to separate
certain rocks from
their neighbors.

She would spend countless
hours picking up this
rock and that, dropping
certain chosen ones into
a new pile.

Though we tried,
we could never understand
her methodology, but
believed there was
a method to her madness.

When her back was
turned, however,
we returned the rocks
to their next of kin,
only to watch the
dog patiently extract them
once again
from their families.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Memories



How often we think of
things past, like the
milk man who drove his
horse and buggy
down my street in
Chicago or the time
my friend got bit
by a cheetah.

Our lives seem to
accumulate
these events
some educational,
some fun,
and some we'd give anything
to erase from our memory bank.

Are we this
volume of stories
that fill our
minds and hearts,
or are we here, now,
listening to our
inner voice and
looking out the window
noticing every incident
that shaped every branch,
every bent browning blade
of grass, and every dent
in the cars and trucks
passing on the road?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Conflict



The world seems
to teeter-totter
between "what's the weather"
and "when will the war end."

I've often imagined what
the weather might be if
it was fixed by legislation.
Could we all agree on the
ideal weather, and, if so,
would we waiver a week later
and ask for rain, or fog, or even
a blizzard to help the sale of
firewood.

On the war issue,
it is interesting
we continue to engage in war
irrespective of the data
that millions die in such endeavors.
Are we kept in uniform believing
that it will be the other guy,
or the other guy's son,
that will die?

Wars don't just take place
in war zones.
Everyday we see them
at work, at play, and in the home.
Resolving these minuscule wars
can be as challenging
as diverting WWWIII.

"Is it warming up any out there,"
she asked as I came in with my
hat in one hand and my scarf
in the other."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Second Hand



The second hand,
on my electric clock,
patiently moves around and around,
every minute,
every day,
every month,
and every year.

He takes just a little energy
to do his duty, and,
like Sisyphus, never complains,
despite his boring task.

I suppose he makes the minute hand move,
which in turn makes the hour hand move.
This wouldn't amount to much
but these movements determine
when we work,
when we eat,
when we play,
and when we sleep.

If I was a second hand
I'd take frequent naps when no one was looking,
and then speed up at dawn
to get to where I am supposed to be.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Late Afternoon



My house is shading the snow
on the east. The dogs have
made numerous tracks during the
past few days, and the 40˚ sun
has done is best to shape the
snow by melting her edges.

It is about time for the dogs
to be fed, so they remind me
to make sure they are still on
my radar. I quietly say "food"
and they leap off the porch
to devour their dried pellets.

Looking north, I see shadows
as tall as their trees.
The branches are slow dancing
from enough of a breeze to
make the wind chimes play.

Our parakeet is discussing
the weather with his mirror.
It is an animated discussion
with some disagreement.

The dust bunnies commensurate
one another in anticipation
of the holiday preparatory vacuuming.
Realizing that their destiny
is to become one with the
inside of a dust bag is more than
most of them can stand, so they latch
on to one of the dogs hoping to be
taken outside in their quest for
immortality.

Now, later, the breeze is gone and
only one ray passes
through the tree from
the setting sun. At a second
glance, even it is dimming to
become a gentle apparition.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Changes



I've been noticing
that every day is
different from the last.

What I didn't realize
is that every moment is
different from the next, something
that every photographer should know.

Early this morning,
it was foggy, cold, and overcast,
with a little warmth in
the eastern sky.

Later in the morning,
the sun was shining,
casting sharp shadows
on the snow and buildings.
Yesterday the sun
was shining as well,
but the shadows
were nowhere as distinct.

If we change as rapidly
as these moments,
then finding ourselves
can only be an
impermanent accomplishment.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sun



Nothing seems brighter
than the sun on a fresh
sheet of snow.

The warmth of the sun
seduces me until my
hands and feet get cold
from the coolness of the
blue white snow.

The blue white light foreshadows
the forthcoming darkness
from the shortened day.

The melting snow suggests that
spring is here

until a cool gust warns me
that I am barely at
the beginning of
winter's wrath.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snow Today



It is a quiet snow.
In the morning,
it seemed brighter
through the curtains
but I couldn't be
sure if there was snow
until I glanced out the window.

The dogs forgot how slippery snow
is and skidded
as they jumped down the
stairs to see if any rabbits
were out and about.

Glancing at the snow
covering the fall leaves,
I sit at the table
wondering if this
beautiful blanket of crystals
is the work of natural forces,
or that of some very special
intelligent being.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stuff



I have stuff.
As a wantabee hippy in the 60s,
I thought I could reduce
my belongings to what
would fit in a duffel bag.

I even included the provisions
for a darkroom, and jumped onto
a bus to Oregon.

Now, if I only had two of everything,
I would not feel so excessive.
Somehow I've acquired multiples of
multiples, and only their inventory
list would fit into the duffel bag.

If my brain remained a mirror image
of the simplicity of
that old army duffel bag,
I wouldn't be so alarmed.

But no, as I look at my piles of papers
and stacks of computer equipment,
video tapes, and books, I can't
help but think that my clutter
must be a reflection of my noodle —
a dead ringer for the serpents of Medusa's head.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Balls



Not all balls bounce
the same. Some just
land and go to sleep,
while others reach
for the sky when
they are dropped.

Some are kooky,
and bounce in a
unpredictable direction,
as if to not remember
from whence they came.

Others just bounce
a little, and settle
in for a long winter
nap.

We should expect to
tumble if we are
ever off the ground.
The question is not
whether we are going
to fall, but if and
how we are going to bounce.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Plane



Yesterday our plane took off
through the fog into the clouds,
limiting my view out the window
to a smoky white mist.

Before long,
we had passed through the clouds
and could see very clearly
a blanket of cotton
being ordained by the sunset.

As our altitude increased,
the texture of the blanket
became smoother,
and as the time progressed,
what was dusk became darkness,
and my illuminated world
morphed to the size and shape
of an airplane cabin.

I Live in a Fog Today



I live in a fog today,
with a radius of about two hundred feet.
Objects within my reach
are very clear, or so I think.
Objects farther away are
diminished in clarity dependent
on their distance.

They become desaturated
and middle gray, as opposed
to those close that are
saturated with a full
range of value and hue.

Unlike memory, where
distant images and
experiences can be
enhanced, in the fog
objects tend to follow
the scheme
according to their distance.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Shall We Do?



What shall we do?

Where shall we go?

Where should we eat?

How about pizza — half price from 4-6?

Mr. Natural has an amazing buffet.

We could go there.

Not that many vegetarian restaurants in AUS.

Have you been to . . . ?

They have their own brand of BBQ.

Nothing vegan, though.

I used to live right around the corner from there.

I think you ought to go to Mr. Natural.

Did you go down and see town lake?

You wouldn't want to walk.

There are a couple of ways to do it.

Make a right on Red Run Hills.

Hard enough just for the two of us.

Lamar is the divider.

Go on Loop 1.

Get off on . . .

Go west . . .

Once you cross the river . . .

And there are some humongous houses.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Have we agreed on anything?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Spiritual Athetist



I believe in angels, which might
make me a spiritual atheist, if
there is such a term.

Too many good things happen
to me to attribute
my good fortune to luck or skill.
People seem to be around
just when I need them.
People are willing
and able to give
just what I need.
People care what happens to me
as if it is a calling
embedded in their genes.

One of my goals is
to be an angel, maybe as a chance to payback,
and maybe because I like to help
things (and people) in need.

Sometimes people put multiple
locks on their doors to keep
out the angels. The trouble
with receiving charity is that
then you can't complain about
what you don't have, and, as
well, when you receive so many
gifts, you feel compelled to give
to others.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Contrast



Yesterday woke in STL
to come to AUS.

Now @ B & B,
sitting in the LR on an
easy chair facing

a little bronze cherub blowing
a trumpet. One leg is over a log
and, on the other, the knee
is brought up to the chest as
if needed to gather more strength
to welcome the day.

In the kitchen the hubby and his wife
whip a dozen eggs
for the quiche or omelet
that will be served on the white
tablecloth with fine china & crystal.

An idyllic world, contrasted
to all the other earthly worlds,
also orchestrated by g_d's mysterious
ways, that are laden with varieties
of suffering.

My thoughts of these other worlds,
where little girls do not blow their
horns, is quickly drowned out
by the intoxicating breakfast aromas
coming from the K in the B & B in AUS.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Transitional Thoughts



December morning,
the floor is cold,
though in reality,
the floor is laid back
and it is my feet that
are cold.

Someday I'll get slippers
but they've always
seemed slippery to me,
with a slick bottom
and your foot
slips out of them
as easily as it slips in.

Got up early to see
if I could get an
earlier flight so
I wouldn't have to
get up so early.

Why do birds get up
before dawn? They
don't eat all the time
like fish. Eat like
a bird
is pretty much
par for my fair feathered
friends..

President George tries
to tell untrustworthy
countries that they
should eliminate the
intelligence to build
a bomb. Other than
sending over lots of
lead toys, I'm not sure
how that might be done.

On the other hand, he
proposes to
freeze balloon loans
and says it isn't a
price freeze because it
isn't costing the government
money. Since when did
price freezes cost Uncle
Sam, except for reduced
tax on increased profits,
that may also come from
the balloon freeze?

I understand there is
a shortage of helium. Perhaps
some day we'll only be able
to get it for those special
birthdays, like turning 100.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hari Cari or Draw



Cold Thai restaurant
waiting for friend
from old job.

Hearing broken record like
Thai elevator like music
hoping she's later so
poem can be written.

Now later, after
nice lunch, then
catastrophe trying to
be nice helping another
human being, driving
home through sleet,

talking to my son
on phone as he's
walking home in a
static storm, or so
it seemed, and my big dog
barked because I fed my
bird first, and my little
black dog with white specks of snow
barked because I fed
my big dog second, and
I weigh hari cari or
doing a drawing for this
abomination of a poem
and I choose the drawing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

There are No Reruns in Nature



Yesterday, looking out my window,
it was still.
The dogs and I were waiting for a visitor.
Even in that stillness,
subtle movements started occurring.

Today is a virtual fast dance. The
meager but cold snow flurries of an
hour ago changed to a bitter wind
testing the leaves and tall grasses
to see of what they are made.

No two snowflakes are alike,
nor are any two days the same.
There are no reruns in nature. And
each day foreshadows the next, if
only we would read the clues.

P.S. for J.A.

I often have the dilemma
whether to use line, tone, or color.
What I do depends
on whether I'm feeling
austere, bold, or flamboyant.
As well, it depends on what is
particularly challenging me.
Sometimes I get stuck with
one medium and turn to another.
And sometimes, what seemed like
a good idea, wasn't.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Waiting



There is a stillness when
I wait. Everything seems to
be waiting. Even the shadows
appear to be still and my
dog looks out the window,
pointing at nothing, or so
it seems.

Then, out of the stillness,
I start to notice movement:
the water in the pond, the
occasional auto transversing
the road, and the oak leaves,
clutching themselves to
keep warm.

The watched pot doesn't boil,
or so the saying goes, but
still we watch it, not
believing that or any
of the other aphorisms
that could guide us so well.

Monday, December 3, 2007

7 Random Thoughts



The magical brick house across the street
never looks the same. This morning I saw
it laced with sharp shadows, and now they are soft,
barely defining the object of their creation.

Driving out to the country yesterday I
saw shades of gray. Muted colors that
I felt more in my fingertips that with
my eyes.

Why does the sun look that much brighter
when you are in the shade?

My dog, who sometimes sneaks up to our
bed and sleeps all day long is today on
patrol, anticipating a visitor from the
west. Will it be the Buddha?

He started to bark and cry.
I slapped my hands and startled him.
He stopped.

I hear my wife's foot steps above me.
I try to visualize what she is doing.

Our bird looks at himself in a mirror
for 15 years and continues to sing.
Humans go to the nip and tuck doc with
far less reflection.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Waking Up Early



Maybe so much writing
is boring because it was
written early in the morning
when nothing much was happening.

Sure, the wind chimes are ringing,
the dogs are snoring
and the water in the pond
is rushing down its mini-waterfall,
slowing wearing a groove in the
boulder that it transverses.

The sky has a mere tinge of pink,
and occasional car lights
can be seen passing on the road,
punctuating the darkness
with their brilliance.

Compare that to rush hour,
in about a hour, when we
hurry hurry hurry.
Lots more fodder there
for a good poem, don't you think?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Not About Nature



Today was a tough one.
I wrote two poems about
excuses, but they weren't
very good.

The clock whizzed by
from morning to evening.
I noticed our neighbors
lined their gutters
with holiday lights,
and my dog watched
out the window with
a giant drool falling
from her mouth.

After hearing a discussion
about Wordsworth two times
on my Ipod I vowed to never
write another nature poem.

And then I realized I couldn't
see past yesterday's leaves
that were flat and vibrant
in the warmth of the sun and
today are shriveled and dry,
ready for their kamikaze dive
as the wind shook their branches.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ancient Leaves



One of the trees out my window
is holding on to her leaves
for dear life.

They are shriveled, ancient,
brittle, used, light-brown
in color, and facing
the cold but bright morning
sun.

Some say that one needs to
give themselves permission
to die. Some hold on longer
than needed, while others say
goodbye upon first landing on Earth.

I'm not sure what it is with
these leaves. Are they survivors,
or merely afraid of flying?

Perhaps their mother tree
needs a little shaking.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Frustration



Woke up.

I can't do something
so I buy a new machine.

The machine needs batteries
so I go to the store.

Machine still doesn't work,
so take another trip to exchange
the machine.

I try to do the something,
but realize I need the more
expensive machine. It doesn't
need batteries.

Return the machine and batteries
and get the more expensive machine.

Get home. Hungry. Eat dinner.
Then it is too dark to do the job.

Maybe in the morning . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breathing



Trying to pick the best breath is not easy.

Some are forced, some preachy, and some pathetic.
Where is that pure breath
that seemed so right at the moment–
unencumbered, fresh, ruthless, and brilliant?

Where is the one that came from my heart and soul,
and did not try to console, persuade, and impress?

Where is the one that I would save in a burning fire,
if there was only time to save one?

Where is the breath that I could take
to the next life
to show who I really am?

Oh, here it is, the one
where I stumbled over a twig
laying in the path.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dirty Dish


Sometimes we just face a
dirty dish, full of crumbs,
once showered and purified,
now tainted and ready for
a cleansing.

What was on the plate was good
enough for our innards,
but now needs to be
sterilized off.

I imagine an invisible army of germs
hovering above the dining
room table, waiting for my
last bite before they
attack. God bless them for
holding out until I finish eating.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Morning



I look out the same magic window
that is never the same.

Yesterday, all was still,
while today the wind caresses
the few tree limbs with leaves
and the yellow orange school bus whizzes by.

The sky is white, ready for rain
or a few frigid snow flakes.

The woodpile
waits for winter.
The logs are fast asleep
with their ends
darkened with moisture.

The evergreens, in their moment of glory,
display their rich greens and
mock the shedding trees
for giving up their year's work.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brrr . . .



It is cold this morning.

Everything is still.
Even the shriveled
leaves are asleep,

their molecules hibernating
until the sun shines again.

The dogs go out, but come
back moments later
when they smell toast,
chancing that the possibility
for a handout
is greater than

the discomfort from
the brrr
of the winter morning.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Trash



I pick up trash by the street.
I fill a garbage bag
with whiskey bottles, fast food debris,
and unmentionables.

I wonder if these gifts appear
through some miscomprehension
of the free-speech doctrine
guaranteed by the constitution,

or if the trash's disposition
is the result of civil
or divine disobedience,

or perhaps, if some of the drivebys
are just thoughtless
or downright angry
gestures.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Not without Money



A poem about money.
Hardly likely, she said.

Money is crass, cold. It comes
from the wrong side of the brain, he said.

We need to wash our hands often
and well when we touch money.
It is laden with germs and viruses.
A living depository, she continued,
for all things evil and small.

But what about a box of chocolate?
I said. You can't have such things
without money.

A necessary evil, she said, and
besides, can't you steal a box?

And go to hell? he said.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

(Thanksgiving) Warts



This morning I was sent a picture
of a man who was half tree.

He has an uncontrollable case
of warts and his limbs look
like the roots of a tree.

I suppose that he might have
a future in a freak show, but
otherwise there doesn't seem
much, on this special day,
for him to be thankful.

The odd thing, as I consider
my minor aches and pains,
is that he carries such
an enormous smile
on his face.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Seeing Through



As if I had surgery for nearsidedness,
now that the leaves have fallen,
I see the horizon line,
so carefully hidden a week ago by the leaf-laden trees.

I should know more now,
being able to see through my former reality.
I can tell where
the earth ends and the sky begins,
and if I was a little wiser I could create
joy and harmony on Earth, or even with the neighbors
who complain about where the leaves have fallen.

It is much colder today,
suggesting that winter is on its way.
What was opaque is now transparent.
What was middle aged is now becoming old.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Am I Proud?



I'm continually being asked if I'm proud
of the accomplishments of my kids.
I noticed that I'm always confused and
just nod "yes," to be polite.

In the same way that I'm not
proud of Einstein for his
special theory of relativity
(I had no part
in its creation),
I feel that what my kids
have done was often in spite
of my advice that would
have only taken them to
places they didn't want to go
and/or shouldn't have gone after all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Choices



Sometimes our lives are about making choices.
We come to a fork in the the road,
our GPS isn't getting the proper satellites
and we find ourselves facing a serious dilemma,

A Buddhist said that people who meditate
to make choices get more confused.
Maybe it is the clarity
that makes the choice harder not easier
because the meditator sees all the
ramifications of the potential decisions.

Freud recommended that we flip a coin
and see how we feel about the coin's decision.
I tried this and 8 out of 10 times
the coin was wrong.
I scolded it severely.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leaves Looking for Good Home



She said if you don't
rake the leaves
the grass will die.

If grass needs that much upkeep
should we keep it?

If grass dies,
then it won't need to be mowed,
and more robust plants
will grow in its place.

You can't rake every leaf.
But your neighbors will try,
and if you wait long enough,
the wind will give your leaves to
your neighbors' rakes and
mulching mowers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Like Liberals, Even if They Aren't



I like liberals. You'd think,
(as the expression goes),
I like them because they
are liberal, but no.

I'd be on their side
if they were truly liberal,
meaning they've accepted
the complexity of life
and see the costs and benefits
of all proposed solution,
and then "own" their beliefs.

But today's liberals have a
specific ideology, which
in my mind, makes them as
short sided as conservatives.

Note: I was told, early on,
that one should not speak
of politics or religion.
More forbidden fruit to partake!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Church



When I was a kid,
my mom did not believe
in anything she could not see, including God.

My friend Bruce wanted me
to go to church with him.
I asked my mom for permission to go.
She said no,
that I was too young
and too impressionable.

I don't think I ever went
to Bruce's church.
Before long, though,
I was attending up to
four churches a Sunday,
trying to get a bite of that forbidden fruit.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Generous Tree



We have lots of trees,
one of which is very generous.
Every fall this elm covers our neighbor's yard
with an elegant layer of golden leaves.

"I'm retired and tired," our neighbor said,
"and I don't have time for these leaves.
I'm going to cut down my oak tree as well.
I don't want to work anymore."

My giving tree, so used to the
morning shade provided by the oak,
droops her remaining leaves in sadness,
and then releases the next cadre of leaves
in protest, as if to say,
"do we not see the gifts
that we receive?"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ode to Junk Mail



Admittedly, liking junk mail
is as politically incorrect
as being enthralled with a
very unpopular leader.

Before you deny it,
think how devastated you feel
when the mailman comes by
and your mailbox is empty.

Much of my junk mail
is the same junk mail
I've received before
—— many times before.
I get a kind of "deja vu"
fondling, and then disposing of,
these pesty, but familiar, friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't



Can't do a poem today.

I look out the window
and there is stillness everywhere.

The wind is still,
the sky is blue,
and the shadows are frozen.

The big dog sneaked
up to our bed and is fast asleep.
The parakeet is quietly admiring
herself in her mirror and only occasionally
do I see a car pass on the road.

Maybe I'm living in still photo,
with these letters magically
appearing on my computer screen
as my fingers twitch.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Train



We took the train from Chicago to Portland.
We'd board in the afternoon,
spend two long nights,
and arrive the next morning to the open arms of our grandfather
who would take us to our favorite hamburger joint.

We are all on a train,
with different destinations, different speeds, and different distances.
The cycle of light to dark to light to dark to light to dark
is our common denominator.

We take work to do on the train,
but our true work is riding the train,
and seeing where she takes us.
Our belief that where we go to bed is
where we wake up is an illusion.

My dog looks out the window anticipating the next stop.