The Whistling Buoy

“The whistling buoy is a signal to approach boldly; informing the mariner that he is in a position of safety,”  from The Whistling Buoy [Volume 22, Issue 132, Dec 1893

Having finally realized I am unsure
about a lot of things, like
Who is a god, the river
or the builder of bridges?
These questions
that straight jacket my mind,
will have their time and then
fade into the realization
that one’s truth might be a matter
of perspective

and perspective no more
than a slave to experience.
Imagine the water unbridged
by foot or flight. To be confined
to no farther than we could swim
would surely proclaim as god whatever
bridged the river. Come a flood
that ripped the pilings all asunder,
demolishing the arching splendor,
I wonder if

we might decide it is the river
that is a god, an angry one.
By then, long in the tooth
and denying tunnel vision,
we proclaim no doubt
that what we think is right.
But that is not the end.  Just when
we think we have it figured out,
along comes another generation
with a better bridge

or an innocence of tsunami.
We assign the problem to robots.
They have no preconceptions, only
those programmed in and discarded
by gigo logic. How much will our history
matter then? Will the robots build a better bot?
Who will calm the storm and quench
the flame? It is then we ascertain,
neither the river nor the bridge is a god. That
is reason enough to capitalize His name.



Scaling the Peaks

Mountains climbed
in measures heretofore unknown;
the sound of song an echo that returns
long past the making of the tones
or the paying of the dues. That song
to soothe the weary soul to climb again
with faith to go beyond the bend that blocks
our vision. With footsteps sure, to travel without doubt
or questions that would slow the progress thus avowed.
Our goal, a lofty one it’s true, as high as any peak we’ve seen…
in good times or in bad, to leave no muddy footprints where we’ve been.


Count them One by One

Having vowed not to complain
about summer’s rising temperatures
nor its squalling storms,
I lounge inside decrying the persistent hum
of the a.c.  —  Woe is me.

Apparently born to discontent,
I remember winter, vividly.
‘Twas then, when walking through drifts
knee deep and rising higher
I made that foolish vow.

And now, in leisure to repent,
the only entertainment affordable
to see is watching the electric meter
spinning wildly like a wheel of fortune
that will not stop for me.

Never satisfied, it seems, I sit,
mere sum of the self, wishing
for sun when it rains, for cool
in the heat, and suddenly I think,
July is just fine.

Thus in the throes of déjà vu,
I wonder if you, too, are sitting
in the comfort of your feathered nest
sipping from a beaded glass of tea
and wisely counting your blessings.

Peaceful Assurance








A lake of jade
reflects the flowers and trees
as if they are all we need to know
on this earth.

I think of Thoreau
and wonder
if there were wild azaleas
at Walden.

A bull frog
calls his courting cry,
and then a splash.
I can only guess at his success.

In a green so fierce it takes your breath,
I have put my voice aside,
Even my footsteps
are a desecration.

Wanna Buy Some Fleas?

At the drive-in where windows fogged
with lack of interest in the movie,
where speakers on poles stood like soldiers,
even when the show was closed, they have opened
up one of those markets that feeds upon itself.

Started out with a few tables of used clothes
and some rusted tools, maybe a few bootlegged CDs,
There was something intimate in the climate
as if each vendor had opened up their closet
and let all the skeletons out.

Capitalism brings the cream to the top
and fosters a taste for heights.
The tables now lack memory: Plastic swizzle sticks
and frames that have never held a picture,
prepackaged memorabilia, even the baseball cards are fake.

The movie screen is gone, deemed a hazard
in high wind. The speakers, pilfered by kids
long past their prime, show up in markets
from sea to shining sea on tables that expose
the fleas.

Considering Superiority

trickles across field
and lawn
trees nod their heads
as branch tips touch
in harmony

flicker code
but to each other
I think they giggle
as they gather

why wouldn’t they?
the breeze
is light and warm
and they are free
to do what fireflies do
to be

and we who walk upright
and work with tools
spin our dreams
in the dying light of day
that we
might live so peacefully

The Defeat of Darkness

Lose that frown
you who would despair;
grass greens

through time’s spilled sand.
Darkness lost a duel
with the moon.

shoveled shrieking into the rain,
stars twinkle and shine.

Fog’s gauze
gobbled the shadows,
left with them.

Oh, glorious morning
the dew has dried,
the mist has lifted.

Say farewell
to that dark and mournful cloud;
the long night is done.

Take notice…
the sun is shining.
It is a new day.