Thursday, January 31, 2013


     Spell Lap Dog backwards and you get God Pal,
     Or Little Angel, if you will, because
     If precious dogs don’t bless you, nothing shall,
     And nothing cheers you as a puppy does.



 It’s not that I have something I must say
 That gets me going when I write a verse;
 It’s rather that I put my mind in play
 To find what beat and rhyme and wit disburse.

 A notion or a hint will prompt a line
 That sets me on a trek to seek where next
 To turn, while the emergence of design
 Grows clearer still as thought with thought connects.

 Each poem that emerges then becomes
 A celebration of the interplay
 Between a curious intellect that plumbs
 My brain, and something else that finds the way.

      To meet that source of this covert design
      Is why I write and where my hopes incline.


Monday, January 28, 2013


    “The birds and squirrels are fine, but not the rats!
    I’m happy to feed pretty ones, but that’s
    Just where I draw the line.  I’ll feed the cats
    But not those slinky little wingless bats.”


Sunday, January 27, 2013


     My dad was motivated to get rich,
     though the Depression and the War
     meant first he had to climb out of a ditch
     before he’d start to run, much less to soar.

     Post-War, he worked for Trico, planning new
     facilities, while going to night school,
     with a BS and an MBA in view
     and self-determined discipline his rule.

     In time, Horatio Alger-like, he strove
     to great success and meant for me to go
     his way, yet I proceeded to the Grove
     of Academe instead and just said no.

               He had his dream and he fulfilled it well,
               but one man’s grandeur is another’s hell.


Saturday, January 26, 2013


    The facts, m’am—tell the truth, but tell it slant
    Because your aim is finally to enchant
    Us with your tale and all the more beguile
    Us with the deft and subtle ways your style
    Affects our feelings and impressions of the facts
    With colors that a court reporter lacks.

    While you can’t change reality a whit,
    You’ll shape how we have apprehended it
    By modulating our viewpoint and mood,
    Affecting thus your reader’s attitude.
    The deeper truth you’re aiming to reveal
    Is that which only artifice can seal.


Thursday, January 24, 2013


              The laws that errant humans bind
              Are God’s commands to love, be kind;
              For we, being kin, it suits us best
              To love each other and be blest.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


    How touching, charming, winsome—she’s so cute!
    And Nature made her so, since that’s the route
    To what will keep her safe and warm and fed,
    Allowed to share your house, your heart, your bed.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

M / F

    To be a guy or girl, you act a role,
    Calling for lots of careful self-control;
    Though it may seem spontaneous and free,
    There’s discipline beneath such “liberty.”
    Two girls will traipse along, their arms around
    Each others’ shoulders, while few guys are found
    Engaged in such an intimate embrace.
    A girl will gently touch another’s face;
    For guys, a handshake or a backslap’s all
    That is allowed before they hit a wall,
    Since masculine decorum is constrained
    By attitudes essentially left-brained.
    Though right-brained women freely may emote
    And show affections, no real guys would dote.



   What is the end of this whole versing game
   If not to garner praise and wide acclaim?

   Besides all that, there is another aim
   That’s quite irrelevant to lasting fame:

   It’s simply to discover how to frame
   The sparks that inspiration blows to flame,

   Then praise how something out of nothing came.


Friday, January 18, 2013


    It seems to me my memory’s not bad
    But only my facility to call
    And recollect impressions that I’ve had,
    Now all too safely stashed behind a wall.

    The data’s there, I’m sure, because too late
    For my immediate need it reappears
    From where it hid in a suspended state:
    The sun comes out—my mental fog bank clears.

         Ironically, the less I try to haul
         It up, but just relax—then I recall.


Thursday, January 17, 2013


   Our little Tegi tyke is hardly big
   Enough to fill a sonnet’s fourteen lines—
   This tiny pup will run & romp & zig
   Between your legs, eluding all confines

   Until she’s pooped and needs the comfort of
   A cuddle, scooped and tucked beneath your chin,
   For though she’s small, she overflows with love,
   And this is how relationships begin.

        When older and a little bigger still
        She’ll have the stuff a sonnet’s form to fill.


Friday, January 11, 2013


      The aim of all religion ought to be
      The rectitude of our humanity,
      Binding us back like flowers at a stake
      To gaze upon the sun for heaven’s sake.


      Your kindness to me shows you know we’re kin
      And that our acting otherwise is sin.


Thursday, January 10, 2013


    Though we will still explore our galaxy
    And map the cosmos astronomically,
    The last frontier we humans need to face
    Is not in outer but in inner space—
    Or should that now be our first enterprise,
    Exploring what is dark that in us lies,
    Seeking the way to Wisdom’s lofty realm
    With Clarity and Courage at the helm?
    That way, that quest, is toward what’s valued best,
    For only that which serves all life is blest.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


                         Eventually we grow to be amazed
                         That anything at all exists, yet more,
                         That somehow in us consciousness has blazed,
                         And our inherent intellect can soar
                         To speculate, investigate and find
                         What ever-more revealing science shows
                         Of how the cryptic cosmos is designed
                         And even how the whole shebang arose,
                         Though science isn’t all we hope to learn,
                         Which tells us what & where & when & how,
                         For we still have an ultimate concern
                         That scientific strictures won’t allow:
                              Enlightenment means ultimately seeing
                              The wonder in the mystery of our being.


Sunday, January 6, 2013


for Mary

   “The Universe provides,” she likes to say,
   Believing what befalls us must make sense,
   Intended for our benefit, some way,
   The gifts of an all-loving Providence.

   What one must do is pray and then expect
   In confidence that what is right for you
   In due time will arrive and prove correct,
   Though at the first you hold a different view,

   For what you want may not be what you need,
   As a beneficent provider knows,
   But may express mere appetite and greed
   And not the urge from which true goodness grows.

        The Universe provides just what is best;
        Our part’s to trust a pure heart will be blest.


Saturday, January 5, 2013


    Before the break of dawn I come to sit
    in quiet darkness, sipping herbal tea,
    mulling in my mind what might be fit
    to versify, as notions visit me.

    My writing pad sits on my lap, my pen
    in my right hand gets chewed and twirled,
    waiting for a line to form, and then
    transcribes the thought revealed, a scroll unfurled.

    A low-watt light illuminates my hand
    and writing board while slowly the page fills
    with what may seem premeditated, planned,
    as if we poets exercised our wills
    to write, when just the opposite is true:
    we merely sit and let the Muse come through.


Thursday, January 3, 2013


     She’s gone and in my heart I’ve let her go,
     No longer clinging to what I can’t hold,
     No longer palpable—it must be so,
     Though in my memory she won’t grow old,
     For dearly I’ll recall her winsome ways,
     Cavorting in excitement for a treat
     Or simply blessing us with her fond gaze,
     Her chin on her front paws, her silky feet,
     Or how she’d howl at the midnight moon
     Or at some specter in her fitful dream,
     Startling us from slumber with her tune,
     Left shivering in the chilly lunar gleam.
         She’s left us now with dearest memories,
         Which we shall summon any time we please.