How I’ll Cure the World

I will write the demons,
the silent screams and tears,
the groundless, and not so groundless, fears
accumulated like mismatched luggage.

No fancy suit bag here,
just battered baggage
scarred and damaged,

the ugly rumblings of griffins
and goblins, the predators
with twirled mustaches,
vile breathed and detached.

I will write the shadows
that smother the sun,
the smog and the pollution,
the pestilence of intimidation,
the bias of discrimination,

I will write the smack, the crack,
the booze, the pills, the pain,
the insane refrain that does not dwindle.

I will write it all
then crunch it up
into a vulgar ball
and burn it.

Poet

first
run through fire
without fear
of blisters
walk barefoot on gravel
without
forming calluses
or questioning
the wisdom
bathe in moonlight
without shyness
or shield
expect rejection
for surely
it will come
embrace it
and move on
only then
can one claim
the name

On Choosing the Proper Pen

A pen is not a thing;
it is an instrument,
a purveyor of art,
representative of ancestry,
a promise of posterity.

The brand to use
is just a matter of taste,
a Montblanc might be a waste
for Frost. He would choose a Parker
or a Cross.

Stevens
would probably schmooze
with a DuPont, while I,
in poverty of inspiration,
see a stick and think stick. I
would settle for a Bic.

A Retreat, Not a Surrender

I thank my lucky stars
for midnight walks,
for mango moons,

and let’s not forget
opposable thumbs
that heal when hurt.

I’m thankful for this tea
that warms me like a poem writ’
with soul and mind in tune.

I’m thankful for moments
of silence that teach me
how to listen.

On this rainy day
when the breeze is warm
and the pines are emerald green,

I’m thankful for most everything,
even the cantankerous poet
who circles in the square

reading his work with a growl.
Gloves on,  gloves off.  Exempt
from apprehension

and the cloak of fear.
That’s the way life is here…
no cabbages or kings,

just poets and their pens
delivering peace and love
and a spattering

of sarcasm on pages oft’ recycled.
A meeting  of minds,  sometimes  heads butt
but please, spare me the paper cuts.

The Abundance that Completes Us

“One puts down the first line in trust that life and language
are abundant enough to complete it”   Wendell Berry

Having run the gauntlet
between lawn and tangled vine,
skipping across bare spots,
hopping over rocks,
hurrying to make a deadline,

we have learned
there is no need to check calendar
or clock to know that time
is the keeper of the score.

Searching for something,
we realize it is not a lack of food
that makes us hungry, nor the fear
of running out of ink

that makes us write,
more like some primordial need
that bends our knees
and bows our heads in prayer
for the abundance that completes us.

More Splendid than Byzantium

No fantasy,
this mossy forest floor,
the decay, the spoor,
the symmetry and artistry
that cushions sole and soul.

The tiny wren
or lowly sparrow, no golden bird
on golden bough.  This song
is real – a trill
that’s born of being.

No drunken merriment
pollutes the air.  No shining
armor here.  All highs
and lows
are measured by the trees.

The breeze a voice
that comforts weary  travelers.
The spirits here are friendly,
complex without complexity.
No artifice in this eternity.

‘Life’ in the Pitch Dark Middle of a Noon Storm

Part highway, part pothole:
part my way? Not necessarily
but that would be nice too.

Every day is not always a poem
but it should be. The failure is ours
if we can’t see it.

“La vie est plus belle que les idèes”
(Life is more beautiful than the ideas.)
My thoughts are as dark as noon.

Nature loves mixed metaphors, but
a poet can’t get away with that.
Maybe it’s true what “he” says:

**The eye sees less than the tongue says,
The tongue says less than the mind thinks.
The poet is the priest of the invisible**

With nothing about life decided,
the storm has passed; the power is back on.
Go figure.

**Random quotes from Stevens’  Adagio