Thursday, December 31, 2015


                                    No matter how we all decried
                                    The animosity that might divide
                                    Their families, they both defied
                                    Our sentences and would deride
                                    Our efforts, and our pleas denied,
                                    Nor ever let good sense decide.



                                        You must strive to be firm
                                        With your pet pachyderm
                                        Lest its trunk, like a worm,
                                        In some window will squirm.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015


                    My wife’s a hunter-gather it seems,
                    And stuff left by the curb-side for the trash
                    That oughtn’t be crunched up to smithereens
                    And then incinerated to mere ash
                    It is her mission to save from such fate,
                    To salvage and recycle what’s still good,
                    Returning home, car laden, and elate
                    With all these treasures from the neighborhood.

                    The only part that needs to be refined
                    Is what to do with stuff we do not want
                    And finding someone else happily inclined
                    These places of such cast-off stuff to haunt,
                         For it’s too terrible to contemplate
                         A trash compactor as its destined fate.


Monday, December 28, 2015






                       There’s physical and metaphysical:
                       Our mortal bodies and immortal souls
                       Some say, while others say they’re full of bull:
                       Each views things from opposing poles.

                      What evidence is there that we have been
                      Incarnate on this planet previously
                      Except alleged memories that begin
                      In early childhood with felt certainty?

                      If souls have lived before, why should they not
                      Recall those lives with perfect accuracy,
                      Whereas all but few notions are forgot
                      As with most dreams that flee from memory.

                           Reincarnation has a great appeal,
                           Yet it’s more likely fantasy than real.


Sunday, December 27, 2015






                 Poor itchy Gyppie wears a plastic cone
                 Around her neck to shield her half-flayed flanks,
                 And now it’s acting like a megaphone
                 Through which she’s panting more distress than thanks.

                This clunky apparatus catches on
                The table legs and door jambs she walks past,
                Yet it’s the best protection she can don
                To keep from being constantly harassed

                With “Stop that Gyp!  Quit biting on your butt!”
                Which just exasperates the whole household
                As if she were a wretched, mangy mutt,
                While I become an irritable scold.

                     We hope that soon her medicine will heal
                     Her sores and bring an end to this ordeal.


Saturday, December 26, 2015




(the first in 38 years)



                       Why is it that we have our furry pets
                       If not because they’re so affectionate,
                       Allowing us our nuzzling tête à tête,
                       Not something from our goldfish we could get.
                       A dog or cat can be so cuddlesome
                       Allowing you to be the best of chums
                       That when you call them sweetly they will come
                       And happily let you rub their furry tums.


Friday, December 25, 2015


              The green poinsettia’s leaves are turning red
               In time for Christmas’s festivities; 

               It’s something Florida can do instead
               Of snow, since plants here grow that elsewhere freeze.


Thursday, December 24, 2015


                ‘Twas the day before Christmas here in Winter Park,
                And the birds were all singing, yes, even a lark
                Who’d flown a long journey to flee from the snow
                And not until spring to her home would she go.
                Just now in our back yard their squabbling is raucous,
                Something more dire than a politic caucus;
                It must be a cat who’s meandering through
                Having scaled down our fence to cause such ado.
                Now quiet’s returned, except overhead
                Where descending airplanes roust sleepers from bed.
                The day is fast brightening; the sun’s rising higher
                And rousting to action each last-minute buyer
                Who forgot Uncle Oscar or kindly Aunt Tilly
                And almost agrees with Scrouge: Christmas is silly.



Wednesday, December 23, 2015


                    Poor Gypsy wears a cone around her neck
                    Because she’s chewed her itchy flanks to heck,
                    A problem started by some nasty fleas
                    Or caused by her insidious allergies.

                   Sun Bonnet Sue she may look like but ain’t,
                   And her predicament would try a saint;
                   All she can do is lie forlorn and pant
                   Thinking of what she’d love to do, but can’t.

                   A week, at least, according to the vet,
                   She’ll need to stay like this before she’ll get
                   Released from what’s now making her forlorn,
                   Her flanks then healed that now are newly shorn.

                      But soon, a few days on, she’ll have forgotten
                      What now makes her feel put upon and rotten.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015


                    Our squabbling squirrels contend with other noise                
                    That signifies the morning’s well begun,                   
                    But not the kind of sounds that one enjoys—                     
                    A loud leaf-blower braying, to name one,                   
                   No doubt to be soon followed by a mower                      
                   Then after that a Cessna’s passing drone,                    
                   A less distressing sound and somewhat lower,                    
                   But then the ringing of our telephone.                    
                   How everything today seems to conspire                    
                   Against the contemplation that I need                     
                   To lift my spirit to a realm that’s higher                     
                   For my poetical endeavors to succeed.                         
                        The best that I can make is this complaint                        
                        That may be verse, but poetry it ain’t.


Monday, December 21, 2015


                    Intelligence pervades the universe
                    Informing galaxies beyond our ken,
                    A matricosmic source primed to disburse
                    World upon world upon world, amen.

                   Now here we are on Earth, one tiny speck
                   Within the vastness of infinitude,
                   Able to peer out from our ship’s deck
                   Yet seeing nothing whereby to conclude

                  That meaning is inherent in it all,
                  Unless it’s what we make up on our own
                  While contemplating mysteries that appall
                  Or, worst of all, the thought that we’re alone.

                       Not faith but reason should dispel that fear,
                       For others are, as sure as we are here.



                    Now I’ve heard tell of many things that seem
                    Preposterous, though people claim they’re true;
                    Perhaps they’re just a dream, or worse, a scheme
                    Intended to bamboozle me and you.

                   The worst of these abuse religion’s name
                   And propagate some holy True Belief
                   But proves no more than a con artist’s game,
                   That when exposed, brings its poor dupes to grief.

                   What holy creed then proves most credible
                   Proclaiming supernatural truths above
                   Not made of empty promises, but full
                   Of valid evidence of lasting love?

                       Perhaps it’s not a faith we’re looking for
                       But fact: it’s acts of love we should adore.


Sunday, December 20, 2015


                    Of course there’s life elsewhere in outer space:
                    That we are here proves it is possible;
                    It’s simply distance that allows no trace
                    Of evidence that we have yet to cull
                    From that infinitude of cosmic mass,
                    But given time and science’ widening range,
                    Our limitations we will then surpass
                    And grow familiar with what now is strange.

                    It’s always been the stuff of dreams, projections
                    Of our fantasies, that aliens
                    Or angels from beyond come to protect
                    Us from ourselves and help us make amends
                    For how we’ve loused up this experiment—
                    Let’s pray they do and fix in us what’s bent.


Saturday, December 19, 2015


               In memories, dreams, reflections often come 
               The stuff that poetry is fashioned from
               As quietly the poet contemplates
               In hopes the inspiration he awaits
               Will suddenly his seeking brain inflate
               With notions that in sound and sense relate
               And seem predestined once they’ve been transcribed
               To be remembered always and world wide.

               Regrettably, it rarely is the case
               That poems come with such amazing grace
               That they seem destined for eternal fame,
               But join the ranks of verses halt and lame
               Whose manuscripts lie crumpled in a bin,
               And such is just the case that I’m now in.


Friday, December 18, 2015


                    So here we are.  Somehow we’ve come to be.
                    And look at all we’ve done and have become,
                    Though we have yet to solve the mystery
                    Of life and consciousness or deeply plumb

                    The occult nature of the universe

                     Which seems not happenstantial but designed,
                     Though loath its deepest secrets to disburse,
                     Yet seemingly, like us, possessed of mind.

                     Good Orderly Direction we’ve named GOD,
                     Personifying what we recognize
                     Has elevated us from lowly sod
                     Toward sapience, though yet not wholly wise.

                         Should we arise to wisdom, then we’ll know
                         What makes the universe, or this verse, flow.


Thursday, December 17, 2015


                  This logosphere of language where we dwell
                  That forms and then transports our thoughts around
                  Without which we could only show, not tell,
                  May even, sometimes, let us be profound,
                  For without language, no philosophy
                  Can be articulated to affect
                  Our minds and guide us toward veracity,
                  Distinguishing erroneous from correct,
                  Or, beyond that, to probe mysterious
                  Phenomena throughout the universe,
                  About which we alone are curious,
                  Whose secrets only language can disburse.
                       Nor could there even be love poems written,
                       By which a kindly dear one’s heart is smitten.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015


                 My little pup tucked in beside my hip,
                 Nestled in my half-cocked easy chair,
                 Breathes softly while I take another sip
                 Of my warm mocha drink and vaguely stare
                 Above my high-piled books into the yard,
                 For all of this provides the ambiance
                 That brings forth verse from an aspiring bard,
                 As out of teeming chaos he makes sense.

                The light’s now brightening and the birds
                Sing their aubades, while planes descending toward
                Orlando International bring words
                To mind as squabbling squirrels attempt to lord
                It over rivals or scare off a cat,
                By which time I am done, and that is that.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


                        Most dogs that Gyp and Tig and I may meet
                        On our twice-daily walks out on the street
                        Are amiable and curious, no threat,
                        And happy enough to get a friendly pet
                        From me as we dog-lovers have a chat,
                        While all the dogs gaze round to spy a cat,
                        Which, if they do, means I must get a grip
                        On both my leashes, especially on Gyp
                        Who’s always eager for a frantic chase,
                        As if against a cat she’d win that race
                        Before it scampered half-way up a tree
                        Less terrified than filled with feline glee:
                        Score yet another point in that long game
                        Wherein it’s always cats who win acclaim.


Monday, December 14, 2015


                    For all we know, there still are mysteries
                    We human beings may not ever solve
                    Despite our scientific theories
                    Or what technologies may yet evolve.

                   Those questions we call Ultimate remain
                   Perplexing to our vain investigations:
                   How the Cosmos came about we can’t explain,
                   And other deep inquiries try our patience.

                  Who and What and Where and When and How
                  We have good methods to investigate,
                  But Why is one our science won’t allow
                  And none of our philosophies will sate,

                      For all their propositions but suppose
                      How this mysterious universe arose.


Sunday, December 13, 2015


                    I never know where my new poem will go,
                    Since there’s no set agenda to fulfill—
                    Just beats and rhymes to roll out row by row
                    As it reveals its course by its own will.

                   Somehow a seed in me is fertilized,
                   And then it draws on me for sustenance
                   Until the poem is fully realized—
                   The progeny of purpose and of chance.

                   The fun of writing is discovery,
                   Not saying something I already know,
                   But revelation of a mystery

                   That only seeking beats and rhymes will show,

                       And if I’m fortunate, the Muse will send
                       What sound and sense I need right to the end.


Saturday, December 12, 2015




                  For all we know, there yet is mystery
                  Enough, confounding our intelligence,
                  To keep our questing brains from atrophy
                  With who and what and where and why and whence.

                  We Homo questors now are launching probes
                  Deep into outer space in hopes to find
                  What intellects may live on distant globes
                  And how the vasty Cosmos is designed.

                  Were it not better, though, to tend our garden,
                  Restoring what was once a Paradise,
                  Relearning love and mending hearts that harden,
                  Becoming sapient by growing wise?

                      The follies we’ve committed, we’ll transcend
                      When all our errant trespasses we mend.


Friday, December 11, 2015


                 About the oval table, students sit
                 Bent over their examination books
                 Inscribing answers that are meet and fit
                 With urgent concentration in their looks.
                 The sense of ticking time is palpable.
                 So many questions yet to be addressed
                 And time, which started out as plentiful
                 Their urgent efforts will now soon arrest.
                 This is a ritual of academe,
                 A nightmare haunting grads in after years
                 Who suffer from an oft-recurring dream
                 Of having over-slept—the worst of fears.
                      Yet here they are, about to finish up
                      As I march toward my ending rhyme—hup, hup!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015


                    Of writers worth our study, first the Bard
                    Deserves our reverent analysis,
                    But not because his verse and plays are hard,
                    Yet rather that they generate such bliss
                    When deeply understood, and that takes time
                    To probe and then unfold his subtleties
                    Then tune in to his meter and his rhyme
                    Which better understood, the better please.
                    Four centuries by now have certified
                    The wonder of his artful legacy;
                    The negligence of time he had defied
                    And earned the right to immortality.
                         If ever this grand legacy be lost,
                         We’ll know our woeful world’s been tempest-tossed.


Sunday, December 6, 2015


                    Beside my bed, dropped on the floor, are slips
                    Of paper, notes I jotted in the dark
                    Containing doubtless poem-provoking tips
                    Delivered by my night-time Muse to spark,
                    When I have blithely risen in the morn,
                    A poem that I’d soon sit down to write,
                    And this is how so many poems are born,
                    But sometimes notes I’ve scribbled in the night
                    Are indecipherable and all for naught,
                    And nothing’s left to do but to lament
                    The loss of that night-Muse inspired thought
                    And cudgel my own brain then to invent
                         A verse that’s uninspired by the Muse,
                         Hence one that doesn’t soar but trots ensues.


Saturday, December 5, 2015




                             Our Tiggy is a cuddle pup
                             Who always asks for a lift up
                             To sit beside me in my chair
                             So while I’m writing, she’ll be there
                             Perhaps to serve me as a muse
                             As then I listen for those clues
                             Of what to write, from the Sublime,
                             Suggesting to me my next rhyme,
                             Or simply so we’ll both be warm
                             As still my versing I perform—
                             But now she’s leapt down from my chair
                             With my verse hovering in mid-air . . .


Friday, December 4, 2015


                           Give me, O Muse, my daily sonnet,
                           And place your brightest blessings on it
                           That it may sing in praise of grace,
                           Rising above things bad and base,
                           For poetry should celebrate
                           What things in life are good and great.

                           This poem itself is no such song
                           To join such sonnets in their throng
                           But simply a meek invocation
                           Of what may rise to true elation.
                           Consider this an exercise,
                           A modest little enterprise,
                           To limber up my vocal cords
                           Not meriting praise or rewards.