Free Range Poetry

I Believe

I believe in seven impossible things before breakfast
I believe in the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth
I believe the roads we walk will never end
And I believe I love you

I believe in the healing power of music
I believe in the faith in a good night's sleep
I believed in the Higgs boson before it was cool
And I believe I love you

But we are all gladiators in the arena of the Self
And my belief sustains me only for so long
We face our fears and doubts in the arena
My love for you is all the shield I hold

We shall build a bridge of hope
          I believe we can
We can bridge the river of our tears
          I believe we can 

I believe that poetry is a tonic for the psyche
I believe in dragons, dashing deeds, and derring-do
I believe that books are visas in our passports of escape
And I believe I love you

I believe you when you say you'll call me
I believe you when you say you'll write
I believe, when you say you love me
And I believe I love you

But alone I am a gladiator in the arena of my Self
And my belief sustains me only for so long
I face my fears and doubts in my arena
My love for you is all the shield I hold

And I believe I love you

 

Tagged as: No Comments

Full June Moon

alone sitting under a full June moon
our feet splash the river of time
as we sit on the bank with our bottle of wine
at last you're mine

And the time flows by just as fast as it can, on its way to the far rushing sea
but we'll stay here with our full June moon, my beautiful young love and me

the sun also rises, or so they say,
and chases the moon from the sky
but we face the day with our feet of clay
and our heads full of love held high

And the time flows by just as fast as it can, on its way to the far rushing sea
but we'll stay here with our full June moon, my beautiful young love and me

we chased the moon in our full loved June
and we each ran from year to the next
and those years went by with no thought of why
or the ripples we made in the stream.

And the time flows by just as fast as it can, on its way to the far rushing sea
but we'll stay here with our full June moon, my beautiful young love and me

now it's December, and cold on the hill
and the chill creeps into my bones
rolling months, memories, fade away
and the soft green years of home

And the time flowed by just as fast as it can, on its way to the far rushing sea
but we'll always be there,
with our full June moon,
my beautiful love
and me.

 

Not Bad – For a Monday

"How ya doin'?"

"Oh, I'm not bad...  For a Monday."

Well I'm not bad for a Monday
I could use another Sunday
I need a weekend with One More Day
But even if I had it I know I'd say
That I'm not bad … for a Monday.

-----------------

I got into the office and it's too damn loud
My feet are on the floor but my head's in a cloud
And the prospect of the work-week has my spirit cowed
But I'm not bad - for a Monday

And my wallet's empty but my head is full
Of angry squirrels, with maracas, and no sense of timing
But I'm OK.  Not bad, really. 
For a Monday.

Well I'm not bad for a Monday
I can't remember much of Sunday
I need a weekend with One More Day
But even if I had it I know I'd say
That I'm not bad … for a Monday.

-----------------

Well the weekend was a blur, it went by so fast
My arm's in a sling and my leg's in a cast
And I don't really know what was in that pipe they passed
But I'm not bad for a Monday

My ex won an Oscar for playing herself
In a movie she wrote about what a jerk I am
But that's all right.  Not bad, really. 
For a Monday.

Well I'm not bad for a Monday
I can't remember much of Sunday
I need a weekend with One More Day
But even if I had it I know I'd say
That I'm not bad … for a Monday.

-----------------

Friday it all started out so well
Half a case of beer for our thirsts to quell
Who could guess how fast it would all go to hell
But I'm not bad for a Monday.

I don't think that beer was half the problem since we were OK until
My half-brother's sister's cousin showed up with that Tequila,
But we forgive him.  It's OK.  Not bad, really. 
For a Monday.

Well I'm not bad for a Monday
I could've lived without Sunday
I need a weekend with One More Day
But even if I had it I know I'd say
That I'm not bad … for a Monday.

I don’t remember much of Sunday
I need a weekend with One More Day
But even if I had it I know I'd say
That I'm not bad … for a Monday.
Yeah, I'm not bad … for a Monday.

 

Tagged as: , No Comments

Death of a Duke

“I canna believe that he’s gone,” wailed the widow, though perhaps a little too loud.
“Tis a terrible fate,” said the butler, as he moved away from the crowd.

“Who spoke to him last?” the detective inquired, determined to find a cause.
“Alfred the cook,” said the maid, very fast, deflecting and giving pause.
“Surely you can’t suspect me,” cried the cook, but his bright eyes might have lied.

“That is for me to decide tonight,” the detective darkly implied.
“He was dead when I found him like that,” said the butler, the maid right at his side.
“Everything else was in order, then?” The policeman had finally arrived.

“Sir was face down on his plate,” said the maid, with her hands behind her back.
“All else was quite normal,” the butler agreed, as he edged toward the window’s crack.
“Lord, what shall I wear to the wake?” asked the widow, to no one’s surprise at all.
“Ma’am, that’s the least of your worries,” said the cop, who always suspected them all.
“Oh, but you can’t suspect me,” cried the wife, who stood to inherit a slew.
“No one is under arrest tonight,” the detective said to the crew.

“Maybe you all would have liked him dead,” the detective continued to say,
“Or maybe each of you killed him, each in your own small way.
“Under this roof, a man has died, and all of you reek of fear,
“Still I must let you off the hook, for the clue is all too clear.
“Surely you would have killed him, but I know that none of you tried.
“Everyone has a secret,” he said, “and I know how he died.”

Filed under: People No Comments

Lonesome George

Lonesome George was a lonesome man
lived life longer than most of us can
but he never had sons and he never said why
and he died of a broken heart.

Now Lonesome George made a stop by here
and I asked him to sit and I bought him a beer
And I asked if he'd tell of his life and times
before he went to ground.

Why were you lonesome, Lonesome George?
Why did you spurn your wives?
Other turtles were happy to meet some girls
But not you, for all of your lives.

I'll tell ya, says George, since I'm on my way
since you ask like that, I'll have my say,
before I climb down the Elephant's tail
and take my place in the stack.

I spent my days under island skies
Where the 'guanas perch and the booby flies
and the brave men come in their little brave ships
and they write down all that they see.

They all thought I was a hundred years old,
giving or taking a few
But I had to laugh, cause they were off by half,
and I'm couple years past two!

In '35, in September it was,
that I first met Charlie boy,
He drew my picture and he picked me up
and he called me his pride and joy.

Charlie became my lifelong love,
a man's man and all that
he brought me fruit and he fed me herring
and he told me tales of dash and derring
and I walked for ages with my sage of sages
on my beautiful Pinta beach.

For five short weeks, I knew such love
as a great mind like his can know
but the Captian hailed and the Beagle sailed
and my Charlie boy had to go.

And ever since then I've talked to men
and to turtles near and far
but I've never found one who could nearly ken
to my shining Charlie star.

And I heard long on that he wrote a book
and he made his name 'fore he slipped the hook
of this mortal carapace
and I'm glad he did, but I have to tell
that I'd give my tail and I'd give my shell
for one more measured pace
with my wonderful Charlie boy.

So they found me on Pinta, just across the blue
and they brought me over to Santa Cru
and they hooked me up, and they pimped me out
but those girls didn't care.

What did they know of nature?
Only sun and rock and sand!
And they talked a lot of loving
but what did they understand?
Beefy face and grubby hand...
Ha! What did they understan'?
No, they never knew my Charlie
'cause they never talked to Man.

So I'll take my leave of living,
and I'll climb down on that stack,
and I'll support that Elephant
with the world upon his back,

and I'll dream of seeing Charlie,
of talking to him once more,
and I'll learn more of Nature
on a far and sun-lit shore.

For I'll meet him once again, I'm sure,
my Charlie of great renown:
His world was round,
but where we're bound,
it's tortoises all the way down.

Tagged as: No Comments

An Aging Cycle

on getting older

as my next decade takes
its careful aim at my hair

I reflect on life as I
have known it thus far

we men, still fascinated by fire
still with the visceral pleasure

of the smell of the smoke of the meat
the gas grill backyard barbeque

recalls the cave, the life of bears
and stirs our thinning blood

but the libido recedes with the hairline
and the prostate expands with the waistline

and the demands of a caffeine economy grow
to meet the available excess in salary

where does the time go
where does the time go
where did the time go

I was a building on fire
I was the sword in the night
none dared cross me
I was the big man, the boss
the wanderer

I was the man

The fire smolders now, and I watch as young men pass me without a glance
young ladies too, they see me without seeing me at all
no longer am I the fire, the night, the force with which to reckon

but not yet the reckoner, not yet the worrier
I walk unmolested, the shadow of my youth still preceding my step.

For now content, while the shadows grow.

 

snows of our fathers

how many of these will begin with the days of my youth
the snows of my memory were not just bigger
they were more pure, and more purely real
the better part of what they meant to be
the purpose of snow
driven to the drifting hills
mountains of molehills on the prairies.

the snows our people stepped on, in the days before the cars
was whiter snow, was more truly what it meant to be
the snow shovel is a recent invention
another of Henry Ford's bastard stepchildren.

It falls on the ground, the ultimate democrat,
and we - out of our minds - feel the need to
pick it up and move it?

Our ancestors would surely howl, laughing at our modern need
to dictate where the rain will melt

and where it will not.

And while the power of 150 horses cannot take me a single foot past my driveway
a single horse carried our fathers miles through snow like this.

 

things are getting dicey

I feel like we're at cliff's edge, contemplating the drop.
Memory rises unbidden at the sight of an old photo of us, arms around shoulders.
There we were,
touching,
in tune with our time.

Here we stand, leafing through this album,
photos of a
half-forgotten
love.

Maybe God doesn't play dice with Man in Einstein's universe,
but She sure seems to be placing odds here.

I love you.

Definitely dicey.

 

shoes, new, in box

I stand alive, staring at these Mezlan 'Opera' Oxfords,
With soles that have yet to touch the ground.
My eyes are fascinated with the eyelets, five-a-side,
Staring seemingly back as I stand looking into the box.

This quiet patent finish is perfect, without flaw or marring of any sort,
Leather the way to go, shiny, silk lining on the inside,
Very expensive, stylishly understated, and the tongue is never loose.
This is the perfect finish, a metaphor.

The fit is almost custom, and customs are important – you taught me that.
I wish I could show you these shoes, in whose leather shine
I see only the reflection of myself,
Frowning back at my beguiled countenance.

The obligatory shoes I purchased for this customary walk
Pinch as I shift my weight, a reminder:
I may wear their like, but
I will never fill those shoes.

  

the age of my art

The Age of my art is long forgotten.
No more masters, no more masterworks
to lighten days and \          / tongues
                              \ trip /

at nightly storytelling time.

Modern music holds our tempo,
time, our truth.  Outside, the world
has lost much of the
magic
         that was found in the days of
the great poets, of the great poems.

Much.
          But not all.

knitting a sweater goodbye

long sleeves
it's beginning to look that way

long sleeves
it's beginning to be OK

long sleeves
it's getting to be that time

long sleeves
it's beginning to be that way

I'll miss
the sight of your naked arms

I'll miss
the way that your elbows bend

I'll miss
the shape of your small tattoo

I'll miss
the delicate sight of you

long sleeves
the sight of your naked arms

I'll miss
it's beginning to be OK

long sleeves
the scent of your small tattoo

I'll miss
the delicate sight of you

Definitely dicey,
but still, for now, content,
while the shadows grow.

 

 

On First Looking into Jackson’s Hobbit

Many’s the children’s tale or poem or book
I’ve seen turned to a movie on the screen;
I worried what this Hobbit film would mean,
and how bald-faced the liberties he’d took?
From many had I heard a pre-viewed look:
The latest Peter Jackson film they'd seen,
and urged me skip, at risk of primal scream —
An Unexpected Journey, best forsook!
And yet this weekend past, I sat entranced
while Tolkien’s dream of Shire-folk unwound,
while stout Bilbo with ogres fought and danced,
like Arthur Dent, whose courage must be found.
And Gollum gollum’s best, and thus advanced
the tale – our Precious, lying on the ground.

Tagged as: , No Comments

Komaniwanaleia

I went on a vacation out Hawaii way
I found a nice resort for an extended stay 
(Komaniwanaleia)
I fell asleep one day out on that sandy beach
Dreaming of that girl who's always out of reach

Komaniwanaleia ...
Komaniwanaleia ...

On Komaniwanaleia that's the place for me
Komaniwanaleia baby you and me
Komaniwanaleia by the moonlight sea
Komaniwanaleia you and me!

I'm thinking about moving to those perfect shores
Paradise and surfing when the ocean roars
(Komaniwanaleia)
We could lay out every day under Hawaiian sky
And dine on pupu platter, cream of sumynguy

On Komaniwanaleia that's the place for me
Komaniwanaleia baby you and me
Komaniwanaleia by the moonlight sea
Komaniwanaleia you and me!
Komaniwanaleia you and me!

Filed under: Nature No Comments

a poem about insurance

In honor of the Supreme Court's favorable ruling today on what we've come to call ObamaCare, I'm dusting off my "poem about insurance."  This happened a few years ago when a neighbor was over; we were talking about firetrucks going up the street, which led to a discussion of home insurance, and then to insurance in general.  He looked at me and said, "You're the poet - write a poem about that!"  How could I step down from a challenge like that?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A poem about insurance?

Who would want to write it?
Who would want to read it?
Who would underwrite it?

          (Oh hey, this could be fun.)

But this would be a poem to mean and do,
          and when I asked old you-know-who,
          old Ars McLeish, he said I didn't have to mean,
          just be.

But then a tiger sprang at me,
          lashing his tail and demanding to be
          let out, to stand out in the light.

Well?  I couldn't just leave him there,
          all burning bright,
          now could I? 

And so, a poem about insurance.

And why not? 
          Should I never join the topics of the day?
          Should I always troll the tropics,
          never straying from
          imagination's bumpy way?

And so, a poem about insurance.

And is it really such a stretch?
From universal love
          to universal life?
From health insurance for a warrior
          to a poet's song of strife?

If Hiawatha, if he were here,
had to wait to see a doctor,
had to show his signed referral,
just to make the damned appointment,
during normal business hours
you can bet he'd be quite testy
with the telephonic system
("Please press two if you speak English")
with the bureaucratic bullshit
of the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.

And every doc who ever saw him,
always worried of malpractice,
paranoia of their station,
secret longing for the old days,
wishing that they still made house calls,
wishing that they didn't have to
hear the bureaucratic bullshit
of the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.

And every doc who ever saw him,
Hiawatha and the skin rash,
Hiawatha's orthopedist,
Hiawatha's next transfusion,
Hiawatha's medication
costs a half a million dollars,
which is why our Hiawatha
presses two and speaks in English.

For the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc,
covers all his medication,
all his Prozac and his flu shots,
covers half his orthodontia,
yearly checkups for the prostate
of the aging Hiawatha.

And our aged and ailing warrior
keeps his premiums quite current
keeps his ratings in good standing
quite regardless of the hardship
this imposes on his budget.

Hiawatha used to wonder
if this Gitchie Goo Insurance
wasn't just more White Man trouble,
wasn't just a way to gamble.
" 'Give me money every season,
I'll return more when you need it?'
Why don't I simply keep my money?
Then I'll have it when I need it.
And besides, I feel just fine." 

Hiawatha was immortal
back when he was in his twenties,
had no need for this insurance
on his health or on his wigwam,
on his mighty war club, Bigstick,
on his mittens, Miturhandin,
on his shining big sea yacht.

(This was before his epic battles
with his father, mighty Break Wind,
with the wampum queen, Pearl Feather,
with the Manitos of mischief,
and those alliterative evils
of et cetera and ad nauseum.)

But one day when he was older,
as he watched his burning wigwam
in the glare of big fork lightning
and he realized that he hadn't
saved that money as he'd meant to,
he decided that insurance
might not be quite such a bad thing.

So now the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.,
covers all his home and horses
(with a rider on the albums
he's collected since the Thirties
and his hi-fi record player
with its diamond-carbide needle),
covers comprehensive damage
for his mittens, Miturhandin,
and collision for his Bigstick,
and the shining big sea yacht.

And he knows that old Nokomis,  
ancient wise and wizened mother,
needs her insulin each evening,
and her pension from the old days
doesn't meet the cost of healthcare.

And he knows that Chibiabos,
younger brother on his Dad's side,
still on methadone from rehab,
would be sliding back in no time
if it weren't for all the wampum
that his caseworker from Upstate
spends on him and dozens like him.

And the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.,
like a dozen others like it
makes its wampum running tables
like a big 3-D casino.
Actuarial pit bosses
cover life's expected losses
by spreading out the risk of failure
among thousands of subscribers.

For if mighty Hiawatha
were the only paying member
of the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.,
then it wouldn't have the wampum
to replace his burning wigwam
or his torn and tattered mittens
or to fix the leaking yacht.

But by having more subscribers
than the nighttime ocean starfield
boasts of shining points of brightness,
and despite the aggravation
of their bureaucratic bullshit,
the Mighty Permanente
Gitchie Goo Insurance, Inc.,
can cover all of these, plus more things
that you and I will never dream of.

And since not all of the subscribers’
lucky numbers hit the jackpot,
the Gitchie Goo Insurance pit boss
takes their cash and lets it ride.

 

Tagged as: 2 Comments

citywish

Many million people               go about their lives
Hustling in the bustle            like bees about their hives.
 
A city full of stories            like a mighty, ancient book
More characters develop           every time you take a look.
 
Shining, glowing apple            for the fairest of them all
Growing on the tree-branch        and the fruit may never fall.
 
Bordering two oceans,             only one that you can see.
Thriving on them both;            one the nation, one the sea.
 
Pulse of economics,               market prices fall and rise.
Empire, trade and nations         stand United in our eyes.
 
If I'd one hopeful wish           for Time, this is what it'd be:
While Lady Liberty's              light glows, it shines on this city.
Tagged as: No Comments