Captive (The Sandman’s Heavy Hand)

Face slowly sliding
from my skull
drawn down by the
great weight of my lids
Jowls now sagging
to my clavicles
What a sight!
Poor me!
Fatigue’s fading captive
and all the coffee beans
in Indonesia
ground to powder
prove useless
to keep this
wilting flower
from returning to
Mother Earth

and slumber

Again

The big stores were the
big winners

Again

Convinced us that to spend
was the best way to
win friends and influence children
so I did

Again

And now they’re gone
without a peep
till next year

Again

And I’m sitting
home fighting the
need to sleep for a week
and yes
You guessed it

Again

But the little dresses
were amazingly cute
and the smiles
priceless
so I think
next year I’ll
do it

Again

December 24th

Christmas Eve
and some laundry
A big load
Folding
Listening to ragas
Nag Champa burning
Those pants mine
that shirt hers
The room decked with
holiday lights
Reading Merwin
All is calm
All is bright
in this ever
variegated life

Fit For The Fire

My disappointment in the
pine’s lack of resolve
is palpable
How quick they are to
thrust up their guts
from the earth at the
first brush of adverse winds!
What bird would build a
home there seeing their bones
laid low among the oaks?
Cut them for yule then
feed them to the flames

Unbreakable Bond

I see the colorful rows of boats
weathered and coarse as
the shrimper’s hands holding
hot coffee in the hours before
the sun the motor softly
rumbling in the pitch of
the predawn oceanscape
A life of
wrestling
coaxing
blessing
the tempestuous lover
that is the sea
Never dreaming of
leaving her briny
loving
embrace
A study in
devotion

Respite

I sit cross-legged traveling
through the early verse of
William Carlos Williams as
jazz holiday standards play
but this respite
This breathing space
is to be brief
Guests will soon be along
and the room will belong to
loud voices
paper tearing
glasses of cheer
and laughter I don’t
often hear

Foraging For Poetry

I went out the back door
this morning looking
for a poem
Sometimes I’ll find one
lying around
Stuck between the slats
of the deck but
today there was only a
chilly west wind scratching
at the bare sweet gum
trees and a few leaves
dancing across the grass
while the clouds played
babysitter
I’ll try later

Learning Curve

I recall a day I spent
in the old Port of Marseille
I still feel the magic that
seemed to hover over the place
at a bistro by the water
I didn’t speak any French
so I ordered Steak Tartare
“steak” being the only word
I understood
When it came I wanted to say
“Hey pardner, want to throw a
little heat on this?”
But to avoid embarrassment
I ate half and
rubbed my belly for the waiter
to indicate I was full
and I was

In a way

The Prosecution Rests (Life Awaits A Reply)

I lack the strength of mind or

more genuinely

will
to become a classical musician
in either Western or Indian music
I have the time
The hours in the day
The years remaining
but a certain laziness
comes with age
A creeping apathy

What a shame it is that so few
grasp their purpose in youth!
Only the gods know why most
arrive so late to the grand
idea for their life

With the passing of years
we become
stiff-necked
stubborn
Unwilling to submit to
strenuous
rigorous
disciplines
and our doubts rise
in equivalence

But I still have time to decide

And the truth is evident

The more we resist and fear
an undertaking
the more clear the point
is being made that this
thing we are avoiding
is what we are meant for
in this life

What will I decide?

What will you?