One can suppose those clouds are silver-lined,
that just around the corner lies great joy,
and what appears today both bleak and sad
tomorrow may turn out to be rainbows.
Let anyone suggest such dandy things
and all the world proclaims them truly mad.
“Come to your senses! Live in the real world!”
those persons full of reason will advise.
Contrariwise, let any sourpuss disagree,
and on their heads is rained derisive scorn.
“How dare you destroy hope, and shun good faith”
that things will work out, somehow, in the end?
Depend on it: you try to spend the buck
that “stops here”, and you’ll be made out a thief;
but ask for change to buy a cup of tea –
you’ll end up parched, and fined for vagrancy.
One can suppose this world an oyster, still;
a shellfish allergy afflicts us, then.
What difference does it matter, joy or pain?
You live a while, perhaps, and then you die.
18 JAN 2017
The world has not yet made its final twirl
around a sun still managing to burn;
the seasons, although changed somewhat of late,
continue with their ceaseless promenade.
Both wise and foolish prattle on no end,
with new results no different from before;
the civilized maintain the status quo
their barbarous ancestors stumbled on.
The end of days is always almost here;
soothsayers find new suckers without fail.
The young, in spite of things, still become old
and stop all their pretending at some point.
So put away those funeral shrouds for now.
There will be no apocalypse this week.
16 MAY 2016
I love the way the world unfolds at times:
in sudden spurts of random energy
that interrupt a boring, same old day;
and with a moment’s notice, nothing more,
release some new unknown into the mix.
I love the way that life unwinds, sometimes:
like careful knotted segments on a string
you foolishly attempt untangling;
a few short tugs is often all you get
of easy work suggesting at success.
I love the way that trust releases hope:
like an old rusty key you thought was lost
to the great treasure room inside your heart;
it squeezes past the slowly creaking door
and with a gentle hand, turns on the light.
16 NOV 2010
Someone told me once we never grow
beyond the point we turn the age eighteen:
what insecurities we carried then
still manifest themselves throughout our lives.
That makes those speeches every June
(you know the ones that say life’s just begun)
much more than naive lies, and still the truth:
depends on just how much you would believe.
I wonder if it’s like the weakling boy
who overcomes his limited physique
by spending endless hours in the gym
to change the image in the mirror,
but never runs quite fast enough to flee
the sickly shadow he would leave behind.
Could be the “eighteen” theory’s full of shit;
What would the world be if we never grew
beyond the high school notions that we held
to be so absolute and crystal clear?
A playground laid out on a global scale,
with territories marked in black and white,
a constant “them” and “us” dividing up
the haves from the have-nots, and so forth.
We must evolve. I’d like to think we do,
although it often takes ten years or more
to come to terms with who we thought we were
(in contrast with what we had yet to prove).
How many of us reach the other side
with anything but memories left alive?
14 SEP 2009
a poem in blank verse
Again, the conversation turned to fate;
and as the group was interested, to chance,
the lines of battle drawn between the ones
who thought the world predestined yet misshaped
and those who found perfection or kismet
in random acts and notions of free will.
The problem, said the former, is the lack
of evidence to justify our claim;
and to rebut, the latter said, to wit,
all evidence is houses built on sand.
For after all, our frame of reference fits
inside a thimble floating on a sea.
At best, we know our own spot on the shore;
and of the entire ocean only guess.
04 APR 2004
When the temperature drops with the sun,
there is a stillness that comes on the world:
like a blanket of crystal on the lawn
that mutes out even the low sound of breath,
or a layer of gauze, chilled and lowered
on the exposed throat of the universe
(so that its murmuring voice is made dull
and one must listen for it in the hush),
the silence that comes with the evening frost
brings a solemn and delicately cool stop
to the city as it huddles for warmth
in its houses and beside parked cars,
as the slow creep of frost extends its touch
and holds the whole earth absolutely still.
In that too brief moment when the old leaf,
released from the now hibernating branch,
finds itself adrift on an air current,
floating in limbo between sky and earth,
doubt may raise its ugly head and whisper,
urging secret fears to find their voices
and sing a mournful dirge for what once was
(now that it is dead and gone for all time).
In that span of seconds, one loses track
of the waiting earth, there below, littered
with other fallen leaves, other lost souls
who have returned to the one source of life,
feeding the dreams of the yet unborn trees
with the body of their experience.
08 JAN 2003