I walk mindful
after an early summer’s rain—
trees drip shaking gently dry
warming my broad New Hampshire path
I am accompanied with a mid-August
morning breeze blowing softly through my hair—
taught— within its secret wreath
A Melancholy song
Songs are hidden in the words we speak. —sometimes in harmony
with the background hum of those we did not
know or ever meet.
Our melody can sometimes be disheartening
as well as our belly aching, vomiting
between the screeching cacophonous dominant notes
we may have perceived.
My music repetitively keeps playing yesterday’s Rock & Roll songs,
Rhythm & Blues songs, gospel’s black and white songs
—they are all fine—
But, go to the window and lift the shade
and hum them—
as you look at the sun and the future of rain.
Sing off-key if you must —loud and unalarmed.
Sing the songs that are hidden in the conscience that spoke without a word-
putting you in music unharmed.
Hum the song for unity in freedom
that has morally and musically given us;
without disrespect to life in the words
or thoughts written in our songs.
Or, what we sing.
The Banjo Player
I was talking to an old banjo player, pushing a 103 yrs old the other day. I asked him how his band was doing. “Well,” he said, wiping his face with one hand. “It’s over. There were four of us. One is dead, which left three of us unable to play his part and ours at the same time. Besides that, one is as Cuckoo as a broken string. The other young fella, in his late eighties, besides losing his hair has also, seemingly, lost the beat. Towards the end, we realized we were all playing different tunes insisting the other guy was messing up… and looking at each other with the stare of “each of us had better catch-up”. And, what was worst, when we were all on the same song, forgetting the words, we would automatically pick people out in the audience and break out into “Happy Birthday, to You…”.
We still keep in touch…”’
There was a moment of silence, thinking he was reminiscing when he suddenly blurted out, “Now where was I? Oh ya! That was quite a box of good cigars”, sitting back in his chair with a great big smile.
Oh sea glass greening
Passing through low and high tides
Speckling at my feet
The path once well-worn
Through the passing of my youth
Is now overgrown
How stupid am I?
Well it starts out like this—
My Grandson, leaving a summer math class
carrying a piece of folded paper
—Followed by his gracious and grinning teacher
I asked, “What is that?”
Pointing to his hand holding the paper,
Hoping it wasn’t a note from the “warden”
Being shot by one of his righteous and never wrong Heroes.
He handed it to me—
It was a bunch of math problems
He needed to solve before tomorrow’s class.
Looking at it with a quick glance,
Spotting the first problem to be solved—
I asked, “What’s 9 times 3?”
Looking at the sky,
As we were going towards the car
Quietly said, “27”
Then he turned towards me and asked,
“What’s 9 times 0?”
I said “9”! Quite proudly—
Both he and his teacher burst out laughing
As she patted my grandson
On the back, saying, “see you tomorrow.”
Opening our car doors, he said,
“Grandpa, you know what ever number times zero
Will always be zero.”
I looked in the rear view mirror
And saw him wearing my baseball cap
Usually left in the back—
He was wearing it backwards
And giving me this shit eatin’ grin.
It was a long ride back
Thinking how smart I really am.
21st. century compass has no true North.
It circles quickly left— counter clockwise
then, clockwise right— endlessly spinning
in no direction
—until you step on it.
with crystal glass chips or plastic pieces
in the soles of your steps— they become new footprints.
Without arrows, digital flags, religion, or discrimination;
moving your steps equally forward in moral direction
for all the children
—We have wished for
Or given birth to—
Wishing peace in each movement
—life in progressive harmony.
—Forgiving each other in step
—without history’s cruel march
of forgotten sins.
How dare you say I ran away!
— Gun fire, violence in the street,
Whispers about how I look or speak.
I am huddled in an alley finding nothing new.
We agreed for something else— beyond boundaries
—Kicking ass and often hitting the ground
covering our face, committed to our personal space.
I went over the wall
and fucked the barbwire
— escaping with the truth.
Ladies I would invite you up for champagne and lobster
but, since I can’t get it up anymore—
would you like cheese and crackers?
Oh, you old ladies of lords!
Let me open the door
and light a candle
that excludes us from history books
banishing us from false assumption
enjoying each others company
—eating crackers and cheese.
When I said— what I said
and then— did something different
It was not false.
I just moved on—
not convinced of that particular truth.
Scolding me at 70 years old,
having burst in my youth with fire,
is about as productive as a wet match.
Although, I believe in the right of your opinion
and should be shared—
I also believe you will treat our intelligence
and our ignorance, with the stipulation—
of mutual respect.
Why do you insist on haunting
me with my past?
I have been forgivin’
…and have made retribution
from history into history
as I have clicked my mistakes
Into humanities recycle bin.
The sun has set
as so have you—
In the morning glow
of love— my tears of dew
—misting rainbows from my heart
falling to the ground
in full sunrise
in my opening eyes.
Yes, I miss you.
Though I will rise to dance in the morrow’
with the day’s first quest
half-smiling— after— sleeping alone.
All I can do, is adjust the jib until you hoist the sail”
As she was running calm waters with only the kicker on
—leaving the bay
Not needing any wind, just a cool facial breeze
—ignoring everything I say.
in silence, the wind picked up.
We stood nodding to each other, fore and aft, tightening the main sail.
—we sat together hand splashing water
leaning— into a beautiful day
Life is not a bowl of cherries
it’s a nutty fruit bowl of reality
—in full color
transcribed from black & white
over dark ripened rectitude
—spoiled by miss-steps, success,
and the feeling
you’re the only cherry in the bowl—
with sprinkled sugar and heavy cream.
Perhaps, as sour or perky as we are
we still spit the pit onto the floor
bowing on or mats, kneeling in our pews,
and howling at the empty bowl
—of the rising moon.
The house on Mason Road
is set in the woods with a dirt driveway.
—Mail box leaning
is the only indication of an entranceway.
Both for the snowplows and visitors.
—One, hopefully will miss—
The other, with blinker on
—will turn in
Around the wooded curve to a clearing
where there, sits a house on Mason Road.
King, Princes, and Queen of the peaceful
Open Fire Tribe, harmoniously reside;
surrounded by pines, hardwoods,
— and one apple tree.
Two Princes protect the entrance
With a bold plastic pink flamingo
—ready to pounce
On imaginary villains who mean to do “good” harm!
Prince Popo? First with a plastic hammer; if the shadow has a cast.
Prince Gavyn? Waits for introductions, ducking once or twice
in the invisible clash… eventually both smile with relief
as they are greeted with the sight of bright white teeth,
—giving the signal to continue,
to all walk towards the fire
with hugs and handshakes when possible
—Since most of them have their arms full.
Bringing food, twigs, beer, wine, whiskey, and wood
for an evening’s non-occasion meeting of the Fireside Tribe.
Conversation and laughter overtakes everything
as tradition prescribes,
—they put all things,
other than their ancestors,
And their continued fellowship
Her long royal green stem, twenty feet high
or so it seemed, to the lawn below,
emerged from a patch
–of uncut grass.
With grace, top-heavy, carrying seeds for birth
she bends in all directions to the wind without discretion.
sometimes leaning too close to the ground!
—The ancient breeze
has to straighten her up for the wedding in fall
to disperse her seeds. As long as the wind and the mower
respect her vows of matrimony
That keeps her Mother’s Kingdom
Season after seasons
I listened to the bell ring at sunset
I hear the sound passing each day as death;
Knowing in the ‘morrow it will still ring,
Awakening me with yesterdays debt.
I yield to the monster of this day’s Light
With discipline. With matter. Not with fright!
The high notes settle silence with low notes
To kneel in sound whose vision has no sight.
Ah, but such is my luck! The damn thing rings
Morning, noon, and night. My life inspiring,
Regardless of my nature or my regrets.
They pale to my rise every morning.
Someday I shall be the first to wake it—
Or, bid good evening before sun’s exit.