Sunrise by the Sea

Where rolling surf laces the sand with foam
and emerald seas sit calm beneath dawn’s sky,
dolphins roam the range from shore to depths
spied only by the blest; or by the wise
who rise and shine with the morning sun.

Beyond the sidewalks, beyond the boardwalk,
far beyond the antlike industry of man,
When Nature talks waves crash, not markets,
The bombing here is done by gulls and terns;
they need no war to make them free.

Stay the hawking vendors from this temple,
a garden paradise fit for the likes of Eve or Guinevere,
Apples here don’t bear the bite of asp,
Where sun and shore share sanctity
the signs are of the seasons, not neon.

Rapt in the peace of the new horizon,
lulled by soft sonatas
written in those holy times
when man and elements blend in harmony,
meager mortals touch eternity.

The Wind Keeps its Secrets


His sable brush gave birth to a blue
so blue it was almost bruised,
and there an iv’ry, there a white,
He saw with just one ear but all his soul.

Come summer irises bloomed, Poplars
swayed and van Gogh captured the splendor,
He painted wind, turning
its force to vision, art’s epiphany.

His Poplars kept vigil through other
summers, the bearded irises reigned
regal in their plot. Who
knows the how or the why? It had  to be.

Spring breezes whisper ‘his torment’s end’,
Summer thunder booms ‘a childish prank’;
By whose hands was it done?
Some say that genius is always weak,

Some say he found his peace.

(van Gogh died on July 29, 1890/  It has always been assumed that he shot himself in the chest, wishing to end his life. However, his biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith argue that van Gogh did not commit suicide  but was shot accidentally by a boy he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”. I read that a group of boys were heckling Van Gogh, as was their usual sport, and their intent was not to harm him but just to scare him.  It is claimed he exonerated them before his death, verifying that the gun had misfired.)

Walking with Charlie

an ode for  the politically incorrect

I love those tartan plaids
but sometimes I think that people
who wear kilts take themselves
(and their kilts) too seriously.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Scots,
their fashion, their strong backbones,
everything but haggis
which we shall dismiss
from this conversation.

There is no intent to be sarcastic,
it’s just that the Scottish seem so permanent
and then there are the French, They
are rooted in more temporary things.

Perhaps vagueness is the key to longevity,
A certain ambiguity has been known
to make a whole room feel guilty,
each one
assimilating blame.

France gave us Nostradamus.
He prognosticated so mysteriously
that each century hails his name
in its history,

There are also some who smile
and say quite quietly that his predictions,
like his poetry , border on the elementary
and really do not stand
too close a scrutiny.

Better he were a piece of winter ice
drifting  in a graceful dance from heaven
Who ever questioned a snowflake…
its form or its sincerity?

But poor Prince Charles dons his clannish kilt
and immediately there is an uproar
about his sense of fashion,
about his knees,
about British royalty.


It stands, has stood
for years in the corner
of the parlor,

that room updated now
to something less formal, a rumpus room
a den, call it what you will

the clock is there
standing as if that corner
were its birthright

imperial, impervious
and we fear it
the clock is not a god

it is not even a demon
though that
is harder to remember

tick, tock is not a language
the mainspring is not a brain
it is a mechanism

it needs no food
no vintage libation
some linseed oil will keep it

from cracking
an occasional pull
of its weighted chain

will keep it chiming
don’t mistake this constancy
for loyalty

nor its accuracy
for devotion — it is a product
of its making

it controls time
no more than a yardstick
controls distance

if the clock were gone
the corner would be empty
but time would not stop

Still there are times
I’d like to hold its hands