Sometimes I’ll take time to compose a sentence,
Perhaps pinning words to a swift fleeing thought,
Or maybe because an id-freighted post
Twitted or TikTokked its way to my screen,
And, though but a sentence, it compels me to spend
Long minutes drafting, revising and crafting,
Balancing rhythms and linking up rhymes,
Until, were it laid out in separate lines,
It could be a poem, although it is not:
Just a small contribution to the long conversation
Between myself and the world, or myself and myself,
Uttered half-heard, or, more likely, ignored,
Bearing its dignity into oblivion.
I chased my love away
And made sure she would go
Because I feared the pain of when
She’d go all on her own.
Sumer is icumen in
Rather like Elijah,
That is to say,
Leave the door open,
And set a place,
But don’t get
Your hopes up.
Love may, as though by lightning hit,
Flare bright and shine out briefly,
Or cast its glow, cool and slow,
As by the north lights lit.
But fast or slow,
It still will go
And let the dark back in.
We climb from the solstice
Into clean cold light,
Shedding tarnished tinsel ashes,
Wearing hueless haze,
Awaiting the staining colors
Of the next march of days.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, featuring the omnipresent background soundtrack of holiday carols that, from sheer repetition, leads me willy-nilly to generate parodic mockeries.
Here are three:
🎵“Good King Wenceslas got high
On coke and pot and acid,
Then he awoke on Christmas morn
He tried to smoke the Christmas tree,
But he couldn’t light it.
Tried to kick the habit but
He just couldn’t fi-ight it!!”🎶
🎵“I polished off a 6-pack of beer,
The chips, dips, and a cheese tray.
And now I’m sprawled face down on the couch,
So I can’t see the walls sway.
My bladder’s full but I can’t get up,
The bathroom seems miles away.
Good will to all who have self-restraint,
But that sure ain’t me today!”🎶
🎵“O! come to our meeting
When we’ll exchange our stories
Of binges and benders
That we can’t quite recall.
Sadly, our families
Remember every detail
Of their humiliation
At our self-degradation
And vows of reparation
That we broke one and all!”🎶
Time, as we clock it,
Falls back this week:
And the hour hand
As it retreats
Pulls the dawn with it.
Yes, day will come sooner—but its early light
Portends the coming of an earlier night.
The L.A. autumn dances in,
Santa Ana in one hand, fogbank in the other,
Bewildering immigrant trees whose forebears
Had grown in climes more orderly,
Where seasons stepped in stately grace
And not in helter-skelter leaps, pliés, and pirouettes,
Where summer, fall, spring, and all
Fell into line, and winter had a place.
I met a traveller from a strife-torn land
Who said: “An orange and empty head of stone
Screamed at the people . . . Near it, in the grandstands,
Half drunk, a bitter correspondent, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and trembling hand,
Tell that its owner knew his hopes were dead,
Could not survive, insulted by this orange thing,
The crowd that mocked him, as his poor heart bled:
But in his notebook these words appear:
‘His name is Donald J. Trump, ranter of things:
Pay heed to his word salad, and despair!’
No one with brains remains. Past the fairway
On that benighted course, boundless and bare
The greens and empty sand traps wait, unplayed.”
The future shifts and swirls even as you approach it,
The present fleets by before you can grasp it,
And the past is unrecoverable as it fades away.
Nonetheless, the view…the view…