Friday, December 26, 2008

My time here is just a glimmer

Watch the sky at night and see
the nothing we will come to be
when at last we all are free
to enjoy eternity.

Count the value of a word
nothing else is so absurd
forgotten soon as it is heard

only friendship
is worth the trip

be with me

January 7

Now the Christmas rush is ended
past the business season's peak,
Orthodox joined in devotion
celebrate a later week.

Then without commercial frenzy,
no distraction from The Word:
peace on Earth, mankind's salvation,
Christ is born is all that's heard.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Close Encounters of the Hallucenogenic Kind

Whistling dizzily overhead,
the saucer spins, I leap from bed,
the little green men float eerily,
I watch them waving, wearily.

It's always the same, they seem to say,
we're glad we came to Earth today;
but, don't you wonder, won't they stay?
They drift and tilt and go away.

It's always the same, they never speak:
I never hear a peep or a squeak.
Quietly staring, whatever they seek,
their alien eyes are always bleak.

It's always the same, I seem to dream,
like smoke that gleams in a fading beam,
their eyes aglow, like wisps of steam,
and time goes by like a stagnant stream.

Whistling languidly, singing goodbye,
I wish you a pleasant trip, I cry.
The little green men float eerily,
I watch them waving, wearily.

* ****** **** ******* *

saucers spinning overhead
draw me from a troubled bed

tossing turning aching dreaming
listen to the aliens screaming

see them fly above the town
get your rifle shoot them down

Monday, November 10, 2008

One more time, my hot little lizard

I never saw a purple cow
boogy with a lizard
but I could boogy down with you
and melt the coldest blizzard.

Country is as country does
and that's why God made honky-tonks.
They may be loud but the beer is cheap
and they're friendlier than policy wonks.

It's a new world, whatever that means.

So let's step out and cut a rug
and don't let voting bug ya,
it's time to party till the dawn,
and when we leave and say goodbye,
before I go, I'll hug ya.

Good night, Lizzie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Save the last dance for me.

Dancing in the sand,
we leave an ephemeral trace;
then the wind blows our footprints away,
as if we never came to this place.

But those with whom we danced
will never forget their delight,
and when the day is ended,
will dance away the night.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

On MYKU World

for volchin & his friends

True in what I write to you
despite distractions in the night,
the fears that rise behind my eyes,

I love to read your words,
surprising me with joy of life,
confronting all the world's confounding strife

Alone in the dark
I look down on a burning planet.
Points of light that horrify a mind inclined to feel,

that now must reel to see
destruction fueled by power
better meant to build and grow

(earth at night)

But what do any of us know
when faced with this great age,
when human minds reshape the Earth

and space itself is bent to show us scenes
before our birth
beyond our death
beyond our depth.

Our refuge lies
within the eyes
of each we meet,

or stranger on the street:

as Auden cried,
We must love one another or die.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Modern Love


There is a distance which I cannot reach across.
Your words reach me distorted by time
and shapes and garments,
the Palestinian breeze,
have more meaning that the careening
words that crash on Galilee's shore: What did he mean by that?

Why did he choose those words?
that ring so harshly in a cooler clime,
past millennia of time,
as if they could not have changed their meaning
by the time they reach me?

On this distant shore, undreamt by those more present,
only the sense remains; assumptions washed away
by the moving time,
just the bare words remain,
and some of them misleading.

And yet that sense seems to contain
seamless robes, the glance of a dark eye,
a supple body moving down a road with
one backward glance that is made just for me:

As if you had the time and strength to turn back once each millennium
for each of the creatures that follow you, gasping –
and yet they say you do,
and I seem to see you down that road,
turning once for me, and I am not so great a fool
that I would not say "Yes," and grab for your hand once
and never let go.

Urban Poet

There is no time or distance between us and what we love
whose every true expression is the same below among us as above

Whatever we remember of those days in Galilee is constantly repeated
which is why we still are free: select your path and choose your faith, or not

But God will still be waiting at the end
to laugh at us whatever we pretend
as if we couldn't know He always was our friend.

* ****** **** ****** *

It isn't always easy to be living in two worlds

To watch the groundhogs chewing on the grass
and doves aloft, wings flickering as they pass

We battle petty sins for the sake of truth and money
and forget the six days of the week are the same as every Sunday

To intermix the sacred and profane
to raise ourselves up instead of casting blame

You never have to drop it all to run and clasp His hand
just wave hello as He walks by each day. He'll understand.

Friday, August 22, 2008

whimpering softly

softly the old wolf whimpers as he dreams
vaguely remembering hunting long ago
racing over hillsides, splashing through the streams
running in the rain, plunging into snow

seizing prey in triumph as he hears their screams
never fighting nature, going with the flow

life no longer what it was, nothing left but dreams.

Woodland Lake

the sky above
the trees below
the lake before them all

ignore the cars on roads just out of sight
and all this looks like earth before the fall

with grace the waterbirds arrive as fleets of them deploy to feed
ducks dabble as swans cruise by and geese glide beside every reed

Double Dactyls

studies the ancient life
science has found.

Nothing they find for us
most unsurprisingly,
still lives and breathes, because
it's underground.

* ****** **** ****** *

carried a slide trombone
up on his head.

I would invite him to
play on it now for you
but the poor dino is
so very dead.

After hours

After hours,
close the store,
kill the lights,
lock the door.

The walls and floors all come alive
as mice and rats and roaches thrive,
hunting for a midnight snack,
knowing no one's coming back.

Running over shelf and table,
as only tiny feet are able,
sink and counter marked with tracks
as they leap from bakery racks.

In the morning, not a trace
of vermin all around the place.

The sun will also rise

The sun will also rise
If we're not here to see it;
What's precious in our eyes
Is not what makes it be it.

Solipsist introversion
Is sophistry most cruel,
Unnatural perversion
Of nature's Golden Rule:

We must cooperate, and compete,
Take what we need, and share;
And if we take more than we need,
When we need it, it won't be there.


A day for giving thanks,
And eating too much food;
America the bountiful,
from origins so rude,
Has grown to be so powerful,
Our children's toys are banks.

But we here will remember this,
As long as time remains,
Our families around us,
And all our rightful gains:
Feel sorry for the other folk,
Who think prosperity is just a joke.

Not for earth-shaking wars
Or satellites the globe around,
Our power's formed for only this:
My daughter's cheerful, loving kiss.


Limping slowly into winter,
Stumbling in the cold and dark,
As the evening breezes freeze me,
Walking through the park at night;

I wonder how to reach the end
Of the road I walk in pain,
While the world whirls round beside me,
Like a fickle, flighty friend.

Leaning on my sole support,
Clicking slowly as we wander
Far from warmth and cheerful faces,
Cane-tip tapping, tapping on the ground.

Snow Showers

Silver dust swirling in a crystal breeze,
Myriad motes descending from the sky,
Framing streetlights, an ever-changing frieze;
They chill the air, cover the ground, and I
Stand silent in the crisp cold haze, transfixed:
Adult, or child I was, emotions mixed.

Midtown Recital

The synchronized traffic light, as we turn to the right,
Keeps us from running down folks all over town.

As the bus stops to pick up some more,
A shabby old bum stands in the door.
He smells and he yells, and he keeps us from moving.
He's got an idea that he thinks he is proving.

We sit and we listen and soon he steps down;
He mumbles and stumbles, and leaves with a frown.
It's hard to imagine he meant what he said;
He probably wanted some change, to get fed.

He put on quite a show as he stood and recited;
Though his poetry thundered, his performance was slighted.


Say it isn't so,
That we will never know
About the way to end the strife and rage.

Let's give it one more try
Or else, before we die,
My guess is that our counsel wasn't sage.

Please stop the violins,
Let's hope whirled pease begins;
Easier said than done, I know.

A better way would be
To see charity and mercy
Evinced, instead of blood soaked into snow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

'Alls I know is that its summer and my feet are chilly', he said.

chilly in the summer in the city of new york?
you should know by now you have no right to squawk.
would you rather fry an egg on the sidewalk in the morning?
bow down to the algore! this is just a warning!

keep on making fun of climate change and glowball warming.
see if mother gaia goes on lovingly ignoring
the devastation humans have imposed on planet earth.
destruction of the biosphere is no cause for mirth!

the day will come you'll wish you'd lived a greener life.
the end is near! our doom is clear! observe the growing strife!

Friday, July 18, 2008

another time another place

as the sun climbs
the sun also falls
it rolls down in the west
that great blazing ball
and it's gone

the darkness surrounds us without a sound
all that once dazzled now under the ground

but the sun also rises as we will some day
in the fields of the lord where together we'll play

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a change of focus

the studio's closed, the paint is dry
but art can never say goodbye

the work will find another place
and inspiration once again
will reach out to us when
our minds expand to fill its space

so bring home every tube and brush
in art we trust; there is no rush

Saturday, July 05, 2008

there was a cat

flick flick flickering tip of a tail
and every tale has an end
as every life flickers out
years together gone
replaced by memories and emptiness

sara announces with regret and relief
the ascension of one more gentle soul
to eternal life

go in peace, gara

Saturday, June 14, 2008

i call your name

peter was a fisherman
on the sea of galilee
he sprinkled salt on what he caught
then sold them all to me

i took them to the shore and grilled them for the tourists there
we only had one loaf of bread but the tourists didn't care

oh margarita oh margarita
oh margarita i call your name


followed by "And having written ..."

Friday the Thirteenth

Friday the Thirteenth is over,
And I'm back in the woods once again.
The moon is still shining too bright overhead
So they see me approaching
But then

as i slip into the mist
and fade like memories of places they've never been
they watch the morning fog erase the path
to times that never were again

and sleep sleep sleep deepens in the quiet of a summer night
and even evening's darkness passes through us like a pain so slight
eternal rest grant us in tiny sparkling pieces
like heaven's midnight light

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hate Couture — The Keffiyah

Emanuel Roth

Hate Couture is all the homicidal RAGE,
With Keffiyahs on their heads, and weed stinking in their jaws,
It's Jihad these useful idiots help wage.

Symbol of bigotry, symbol of genocide and symbol of hatred,
Worn by peace militants and celebrities alike,
But don't point out their hypocrisy, killing Jews is sacred.

They say it's just a scarf like any other,
So chic, so modern, all the cool aid drinkers wear it.
Who do they think they're fooling, why do they even bother?

Offering more BANG for the buck than any other hate symbol could.
A symbol ounce for ounce more genocidal than a Che t-shirt,
A scarf that incites the zealots more than even a KKK hood.

Spurred on by an unholy mix of ignorance and ideology,
Liberals dancing to the beat of Islamic fascism.
And if you've seen a liberal protest, you know I'm not talking allegorically.

(Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the term "hate couture".)

Harvey Korman was a lot of fun.

when angels look at earth to see
what they can do for you and me
i'm sure they often wonder why
we wait so long before we die
preferring to remain in misery

but now that harvey's there to tell
the jokes they even love in hell
the angels may begin to guess
that laughter makes the pain hurt less
as even they will fall beneath his spell

Friday, May 02, 2008

(sub)urban poet


where can i find art?
in my heart, a sky, a leaf,
through fresh opened eyes.

Urban Poet

how can i find art through opened eyes
when i sleep away the daylight hours
once a defense against city cries
and dark and gloomy city towers

now in the suburbs i look for what
the concrete canyons haven't got

sunshine is always uplifting
gray skies sometimes get me down
still i don't know why i would find myself wilting
when even the rain can't make me frown

i should be enjoying the springtime sunny or not
before the deep summer really gets hot

so art is never in the trees
but only in the leaves on which we draw them
never in what he sees
but how the artist leads us toward them

tomorrow i'll go out again
and bring my notebook and my pen

Thursday, May 01, 2008

up all night

up all night again
for the second time this week
i nap like a cat

in this quiet town
there are no advantages
in sleeplessness

where can i find art
outside of the museums?
i am still looking

Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Even in the ancient dark of night,
they hum, or twitter, or throb,
boom and roar and growl unbidden
to sustain the civilized world,
(read: keep me warm, fed, entertained).

They mark time with my beating heart
as I go to sleep, singing a motorized lullaby
of wheels and wires, of sparks and plugs,
and comforting assurances. Overhead
“red-eye” flights cross the moon, waning
as they are absorbed into other stars.

Sad to say, in this inky April moment,
the owl who seeks his mate, the peepers
likewise searching, the wind and even rain,
are lost in




Urban Poet

seeking the silence
I walk in the quiet woods
along the highway

window fan whirring
my refrigerator groans
I lie sleeplessly

the machines whisper
songs of noisy diligence
disturbing the peace

Sunday, April 27, 2008

too late to negotiate

wrap a schmatte round your head
scream you want to see me dead
peace is just a process, not
something we should think we've got
never happen, when a war
is what our "partners" all adore
fighting biting kicking scratching
the violence they've got is catching

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter Creek


Roaring down the crevice
from the hilltop to the sea,
by way of several rivers,
my creek speeds to be free
turned into a dervish
of roiling winter rain,
it rises in an instant
over banks that can’t contain.

Thunder boomed the warning,
much too quick to heed,
scouring torrents rumbled
through rocks and soil and weeds.
Then just as fast, it quiets,
resumes its placid mask,
murmuring contentedly
through brown December grass.

Urban Poet

Ah, it was in the bleak December
that a storm came I remember
that flooded both our basement and our lawn.

The weather forecast guessed
that it might be for the best
if we headed for the hills before the dawn.

As we left the sodden town
we watched helpless chickens drown
as the neighbor's barnyard bubbled, and was gone.

Now the drought is really over
and the meadows are in clover,
but my neighbor's face is still so pale and drawn.


Nibble the baby's fingers and toes,
kiss the baby's little nose,
your love for baby really shows --
now chase him down -- there he goes!

Running around, so proud he's grown,
what's he done now? the parents moan.
That's all in the future, so they say.
Treasure your sleeping baby today.

Someone's got to get the credit!
Let the kids take all the blame.
Once you've raised them, you can't edit
what they do in search of fame.

Some day someone's sure to ask,
Weren't they a fearsome task?
Go ahead and let them know:
It was fun! Why, doesn't it show?

Monday, February 04, 2008



What cats won’t do.

Cats won’t beg woefully
to be loved. They will, though,
demand affection at a time and place
of their choosing, signalled by purring
as they crouch to attack a lap
or pillow upon which you sleep.

Cats won’t heel upon command,
nor endure a pet container.
They will chase a moving toy
until bored, batting it casually away
beyond human reach to age
in some dusty grave, along with mice
once the object of unflagging interest,
pursued with the ardor of a lover,
when dead, discarded and disdained.
must be a trove of tired toy
sand mice, decaying and graying,
that humans smell, but never find.

Cats will seemingly starve rather
than eat food that doesn’t appeal,
a new diet, or an old one
suddenly not favored. They will however,
eat a parlor palm down to the trunk.
Owners of white cats are unable to wear black
and black cats quickly show the folly of white.
Great balls of fur drift from them,
signs, no doubt, of their august presence.
All of that being said,
My reincarnation will be
as a house cat, spoiled and petted,
---when I choose.

"There are many intelligent species in the universe.
They are all owned by cats."

Urban Poet

Felines squalling,
tomcats calling
in the summer, in the dark,
in the alleys, in the park,
in my head
as I lie awake in bed.

Telling all their ancient stories
of their travels and their forays
out of Egypt in the past,
arriving in my home at last.

I will serve them without pause,
since I love them, just because.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Anthropologist's Creed



Lucy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown:
Psychology one-oh-one.
Life is better based on them,
Simply, softly done.

Lessons we all understand,
Picking up the shards
Of dignity, survival ,
Learned in friends’ back yards.

Hope and trust in footballs
Forever snatched away,
Believing as we lay in pain
We’ll get that ball one day.

Love (like Linus’ blanket)
Dreams (like Snoopy’s flights)
Faith (in the Great Pumpkin) ,
And individual rights.

Pigpen’s right to dust clouds,
Charlie’s innocence,
Lucy’s nasty meaness,
And devious intents.

Schroeder’s right to genius
Though others don’t agree,
The world without grown people
Sounds pretty good to me.

Lucy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown,
Please, never disappear.
Your truths become more precious
With every passing year.

Urban Poet

You're a good man, Charlie Brown
and I hate to get you down
but that Lucy's angry frown
is a sign she's up to trouble.

She treats you like a clown
but remember wisdom's crown:
that the sensible fish swims down,
and you'll never burst her bubble.

Ah, well, such is your renown
all around our little town,
if your sorrrow you would drown --
just give it to her double!

I love mankind;
it's people I can't stand. -- Linus

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Afghan Agonistes


signs of wealth somewhere:

more wives than teeth, both blessing and curse,
a rusty car, suffering now from sand that blows
night and day, scouring away the paint,
and destroying the cogs and tubes inside
rugs. on the bare earthen floors,
on walls,on couches and beds, covering the chairs,
forming warm windows where none can be
for fear of midnight or daylight attacks.opium,
by pounds and ounces waiting
for deep-pocketed men to thrust more wealth
into my luxurious life. Surely guns,
to fill with noise
the empty desert air when I can no longer stand
the women and the wind, they bark out power!
declaring all that I am not.

Urban Poet

harshly as Kipling described
the virtues of the Afghan race
his descriptions belied
that virtue of which remains no trace

only anger and violence meeting
in the all encompassed feud
in a free translation of their ancient greeting:
we just don't like ya, dude!

cellphones on the bus

i never saw such battery life
the bus is rife with their squawks at night

they yak
they yakety yak
they yak & they yak
they yak yak yak yak yak yak yak

come on people cut me some slack
i like to nap on the bus trip back

In session.

There's a lot to be done about depression.
In fact, it's my impression,
the more you do,
the more the depression will lessen.

So teaching, a noble profession,
will provide a lesson
not just for the students,
but also for the one who leads the session.

Go in (Green)Peace

Enter the ecolyte:
Ecology’s acolyte;

None better placed,
When with progress we’re faced,
Than to piously rave
That the Earth is a grave.

What else have you heard
That is quite so absurd?

Saturday, January 26, 2008



For years, the trees crept in on me.
Then Mcmansions bloomed
Heat consuming, barn sized things
With way too many rooms.

And each of them laid waste the land,
Consumed the creeks and trees
Till all the hills are cold and bare
And birds and bunnies freeze.

There is a justice, though, sometimes.
Seems now they are foreclosed,
They tumble daily back to dust
For mortgages still owed.

Urban Poet

We have them here.
They tucked a few along the slope
beside the highway.

So now the trucks spew fumes
into their yards, frustrating hope
as children play.

There is no reason to be of good cheer
when wealth brings bling to such a dope
to place his family as pollution's prey.

We drive the trees to their knees
and bushes blush to see the flowers fade
but that is mere hyperbole
compared to what they do to you and me.

Save the planet! Leave a space
for the hapless human race.

Friday, January 25, 2008

apathy & ignorance

from the 4 corners
of this spherical point
in an unbounded universe

we gaze across the empty plain
of human indifference
and wonder why

we don't care either

help yourself

people like to gripe
but you know it's all hype
if they weren't pleased
they'd be quick to leave

can you help me he whined
then my friend said no
but if you're inclined
we can tell you where to go

if you need a hand
it's at the end of your arm
you know you understand
work will do you no harm

i've met a few who had reason to cry
but they never contemplated lying down to die
they did what they could to make it through the day
working so hard they had no time to pray

Monday, January 21, 2008

an empty chill

freezing in a heatless house
the cold has killed off every mouse
but cold will never kill me too
buddhists know just what to do

write a haiku and declare
cold is really an illusion
absence of heat, not something there
shivering is only mental confusion

branches clattering
shivering in the cold night
but feeling nothing

turn the dial
electric heat
rise to warm
my frozen feet

but my frozen feet don't care
cold is really 'nothing there'

Thursday, January 03, 2008


urban poets
turning words
into sidewalks
into birds
into jobs
and into parks

into haiku
lacking sparks
of inspiration
without reason
telling stories
out of season

but the day will come when each
learns what poetry can teach

dayvee an tha kat

bryt sunshyn gleemz
off massav fangz
az peepal skreemz
wyt tygar dreemz
av eezing hungur pangz

in narro alleez
rodents run
hyd frum tha sun
tha tygar seez
tha hunt iz fun

az dayvee growz
hiz kat stayz smoll
but stil hi showz
tha fangz rat knoz
kan kill them oll

It is I, the great and glorious
Vampire Gerbil! -- at least
that's my story!

On the other side,
undead rodents take pride
in leaving pain behind.

Who needs it?
My family, my friends, my dogs --
I can't be serious!

Stacie, where are we now?


Together ...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


the lowest form of humor
as anyone can see
is higher than anything you find
on anyone's tv

a play on words
is for the birds
as any twerp
can learn to chirp
but only those
who really know
can make a sound
that will astound
within the bounds
of paronomasia
that I’ve found

a common pun
is merely fun
but nonetheless
I bless
the rare one
that's well done

staring at the monitor

midnights come and mornings go
the nights are passing slowly
why i'm awake i do not know
to sleep well would be holy

damned to sit before the words
the world wide web provides
chirping like the heedless birds
beneath them all the cat still hides

off at three o'clock to walk
through empty streets and dark
only with myself to talk
not even dogs will bark.

coming home
it's damp and cool
not far to roam
where demons rule

come read

In hoc loco vinces,
in this place, you conquer
boredommm and restlesssnesssss;

returning to write poems,
less for what we say than
for the chance to say it.

miserable creatures

luminiferous ether
glaring in my eyes
blinds me as I leave here
for my alien skies

nothing wrong with earthlife
that logic wouldn't cure
but mathematic certainty
they surely can't endure

without a dose of raw emotion
they'd still be fish beneath the ocean

begin again

Whatever has come over me,
to fail to add to poetry?
I've missed our public verbal show,
but why, I do not really know.

Perhaps I'm bored with tired lines,
and common subjects, simple rhymes;
I need a challenge to be free
of apathy.