You can lay down all the money you like
on redwood gazebos, those big platform feeders;
put out the best blend of customized seed,
and he won’t show a figment of interest.
Cut up fresh fruit and array it on saucers,
crumble up corn bread and leave it for hours;
sit there stock-still, either morning or evening.
He’ll twitter from above on the wire.
But if you leave the backyard, or a portion
of it, to grow long and fill up with black crickets
and hiding grasshoppers, then spend a half hour
of afternoon mowing, he’ll come.
The moral of this tale is that happiness follows
your action, not waiting. It prefers live bait.
26 JUN 2006
We exchange pleasantries online or on the town;
you’ve read my poetry and perhaps you have found
some similarity between yourself and me,
but you don’t know me.
We talk of politics or turns that life may make;
something I say perhaps prevents a new mistake;
but nonetheless it’s wrong, because you’ve heard my song
to think you know me.
How could you know unless you’ve felt my pain,
from a life that is not your own?
All that you have is your experience;
not my life – that is mine alone.
We’ve shared a meal or two, maybe a glass of wine;
not quite enough to know just where to draw the line.
I’ve not been in your shoes; you’ve never sung my blues,
so you don’t know me.
Almost acquaintances: that’s all we really are;
I wouldn’t push the definition all that far
without me cheapening what should be deepening:
no, you don’t know me.
How could you know what makes me tick inside
in a day, or brief afternoon?
There’s more to me than shallow “seem-to-be’s”,
that simple melody is not my tune.
We’ve only just begun to plumb the hidden depths;
as far as I’m concerned sometimes, it seems we’ve barely met.
There’s so much I don’t know about you, and I know
that you don’t know me.
My number’s on speed dial, and yours is likewise stored;
but it’s a simple truth, and cannot be ignored:
you want to call me friend, but just “sort of” pretend.
Well, you don’t know me.
26 JUN 2006