Saturday, July 30, 2016


for Bernie

                    You’ve finished at  the mall.  You’re walking back
                    Across the parking lot to where your truck
                    Is parked, the one with the tall flatbed rack,
                    And as you near you see—“Hey!  What the f**k?!”

                    The heavy tool you’d stashed back there—is gone!
                    “I can’t believe it!  Some bastard ripped me off—
                    And how’d he lift it out?  It weighs a ton
                    Set like an anchor in the flatbed trough?”

                   A thing like that can change your whole worldview
                   By darkening your faith in humankind
                   And make you reassess the things you do
                   Your attitude toward others realigned.

                        Don’t let that happen, though.  He’ll suffer soon:
                        A hernia, perhaps, for that baboon.


Thursday, July 28, 2016


                   I write to find out what is on my mind:
                   I don’t know what I think until I see
                   What I’ve to say and where my thought’s inclined,
                   Until which, it remains a mystery—
                   Especially so when I compose a verse,
                   Engaged with finding rhymes and hitting beats
                   Which somehow make my memory disburse
                   A happy phrase as good, perhaps, as Keats’,
                   And, if a sonnet, then it heads for home
                   Too late to bring up any new concern,
                   No room to let imagination roam
                         Because we’re at the couplet now and must
                         Make do with one last rhythmic, rhyming thrust.



                    This Earth’s experiment with humankind
                    To see if we can grow into our name,
                    As doubly sapient as we’re designed
                    To be, transcending our first mythic shame,
                    Has not succeeded yet, but must do soon,
                    For though we have performed amazing feats
                    Of science, even soaring to the Moon,
                    We’re seeking still where science with wisdom meets.
                    Noetic Science is our grandest goal,
                    Inquiry into cosmic purposes
                    Which, till we know, our species can’t grow whole,
                    No matter what a mere materialist says.
                        A science that is less than ultimate
                        Will never satisfy our human wit.


Monday, July 25, 2016


                    Throughout the universe there surely are
                    Other planets flourishing with life,
                    Each one circling a vibrant star
                    Creating organisms made for strife,
                    And then contending for a vital niche
                    In the arena of its biosphere,
                    Some languishing and others growing rich—
                    Though in due time all doomed to disappear.
                    So it will be, in time, on planet Earth
                    Though not, I hope, until we humans have
                    Expressed the double sapience of our worth
                    For which we’re named and learned to nav-
                    igate the treacherous ocean that we sail
                    Making our cosmic consciousness prevail.


Saturday, July 23, 2016


                    Why All This came about, I cannot say.
                    The laws all cosmic matter must obey,
                    The mystery persists of to what end.

                    For all we know, we are the Cosmos’ goal,
                    Assuming there’s a Universal Mind,
                    And consequently may infer our role,
                    That purpose for which humans are designed.

                   As Homo sapiens sapiens we claim
                   We’re doubly wise: at least we know we know,
                   But is astute self-consciousness the same
                   As wisdom?  Is there further we can grow?

                       I say we have no purpose that’s above
                       Our kindly inclination to show love.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016


                     My mind’s adrift in the poetosphere
                     Just waiting for some topic to appear
                     With energy enough to fill a page
                     With imagery and thought that will engage
                     My auditors and captivate their minds
                    Through sound and sense effects of many kind

                    Yet better than poetic folderol,
                    A topic to appeal or to appall
                    Is requisite—some ultimate concern
                    Or mystic revelation one may learn,
                    And yet, it’s clear by now, some other verse
                    Than this will have its mission to disburse
                    Such wisdom to the world, some new insight
                    That works to set our whirling world aright.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016


                    Let’s say then that my essence will survive
                    And I’ll have many rounds to be alive
                    Reincarnating for new challenges,
                   Just as the ancient Hindu teaching says,
                   Implying that I’ve come to Earth before,
                   A secret hid behind a mystic door.

                   So much, then, for the needless dread of death
                   When I’ll be here to draw another breath

                   Encased within another mortal form,
                   Another life that’s palpable and warm
                   With opportunities to meet with mates
                   From former lives, then altering our fates.

                        There’s naught to fear then in this cosmic game
                        As life by life relights our subtle flame.



                    This choosing Presidential candidates
                    Then listening to their face-to-face debates
                    At the conclusion of each four-year term
                    Then voting donkey or the pachyderm
                    Is the old ritual we’ve begun again,
                    Though for the first time now, it’s not just men:
                    There’s a First Lady who would like the role
                     Of President herself, her ardent goal,
                     Though seeking it, her reputation’s smeared,
                     And “Crooked Hillary” has not endeared
                     Herself sufficiently to voters who
                     Are more than dubious of “The Donald,” too,
                     And there is no third-party candidate
                     With any likelihood to prove first rate.


Monday, July 18, 2016


                  Each day I jog along this rhythmic road,
                  For formal poetry is my mind’s mode
                  To access what I didn’t know I knew
                  And happening  on some unexpected view.

                  The pleasure of discovery is what prompts
                  These early morning rhyme and meter romps
                   In hopes that on the way I’ll meet the Muse
                   Who’ll give me sonorous clues that I may use.

                  Those free-verse poets who abandon this
                  Supposed constraint don’t know how much they miss,
                  For their minds are left idly adrift,
                  While formalists can always catch a lift.    

                       Riding the current of iambic lines,
                       I’m freed from all predictable confines.



                    Some dogs are barking down the street, and Tig,
                    Who’s sitting here beside me, makes reply
                    With little care they’re large and she’s not big:
                    They’re rowdies she feels bounden to defy.

                    They’re quiet now, and Tig has settled down;
                    She’s snoozing on the carpet near my chair.
                    While in her antics, she can be a clown,
                    Now pacified, she sleeps without a care.

                    My hope is that, before it’s time to walk,
                    I’ll have this sonnet done and printed out,
                    So both our dogs can then be free to stalk
                    Whatever curbside critters they can rout.

                         Well, here we are—with one last rhyme to go
                         And two dogs frowning that I’m way too slow.


Saturday, July 16, 2016


for Kimmie

                   The evidence reincarnation’s real
                    Looks strong to me, which changes everything,
                    Though without giving death any appeal,
                    As if this life were just a passing fling.

                    Presumably, each soul’s curriculum
                    Extends through many courses meant to teach
                    Not simply knowledge but, at last, wisdom,
                    The highest, sweetest fruit that we can reach.

                   It’s clear, as well, our soul group stays the same,
                   And we’ve been here together in past lives,
                   Each essence going by a different name:
                   Sometimes we’re husbands, other times we’re wives.

                       Though all of this remains a mystery,
                       It’s good to know we have a history.


Thursday, July 14, 2016


                    What is the best that we can make of this?
                    Becoming wholly who we ought to be
                    Because there is no higher kind of bliss
                    Than realizing our capacity
                    For growth and learning as a human being
                    Employing talents with which we’re endowed
                    For greater doing and for farther seeing
                    While making our divine Creator proud.
                   I hope my turning verse like this may serve
                   That end and prove a worthy enterprise
                   By helping you and others to observe
                  The good that writing verse can realize.
                       If nothing else, the quest for beat and rhyme
                       Is an uplifting way to pass the time.


                    Miracle enough is that we’re here,
                   That out of star dust humans could appear
                   With consciousness adept to comprehend
                   Where we began and on what course we’ll wend.

                  The Cosmos is self-conscious at long last,
                  Although we must suppose within its vast
                  Expanses mind has otherwhere emerged
                  And taken other paths that have diverged

                  From how we’ve grown and may be more advanced
                  In knowledge, and in wisdom much enhanced.
                 Let’s hope that’s so and that in time we’ll find
                 Good ways to emulate exalted mind,

                      And our adventure in humanity
                      Will prove at last we’ve mastered sanity.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016


                    I write the poems I write because I love
                    To sit and listen to the pulsing sounds
                    That bring me meaning from the depths and prove                
                     Felicitous by staying within bounds.

                    I do not write for fame and lasting glory;
                    To aim for that would turn me from my Muse,
                    For I am bound to listen to what story
                    Emerges from within through whispered clues.

                   Nor do I write to argue for a cause
                   Or say a thing I fully comprehend,
                   Enunciating universal laws;
                   Instead, I write to see where I will end.

                       Where I will end is always a surprise,
                       For reasons only rhymes can realize.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


                    Just contemplate the fact that we are here

                    In all the vastness of the omniverse
                    And in the course of our earthly career
                    Should learn the secrets science can disburse,

                    But still there is a wonder we can feel
                    Though not explain: not what or how, but why—
                    Beyond the scope of science to reveal,
                    And yet where shrewd philosophers may pry,

                    Or canny theologians may divine,
                    Intuiting the essence of it all,
                    A source with which it’s wisest to align,
                    As once we did before our fabled Fall.

                         It’s only if our hearts can be inspired
                         That we shall find what we have most desired. 



                    A symphony’s an edifice of sound
                    Designed to keep its auditors all bound
                    Within the measures that compose
                    Its form, captivated, heads to toes.

                    Beethoven was the master I first met
                    Before my AM radio could get
                    More than pop music on the weekly charts
                    Meant to alleviate love-stricken hearts.

                    A family friend lent me the symphonies
                    Of Beethoven, which brought me to my knees
                    In awed delight at its majestic sweep
                    Of sound, from lyrical to dark and deep.

                        From that time on, I opened to a realm
                        Of sound that can exalt and overwhelm.


Friday, July 8, 2016


                  So say (as some declare) that I won’t die
                  But carry on in a post-mortal sphere,
                  In which condition I’ll again know why
                  We spirits choose mortality right here.

                  I’ve heard we come for lessons we’re to learn,
                  To brighten up, like current in a wire,
                  Illuminating what’s our chief concern—
                  That holy Love beyond which nothing’s higher.

                  The same Good Orderly Direction that
                  Created out of nothing all that is,
                  With every creature that our Earth begat,
                  Is our Grand Father, and we all are His.

                     We know we’re here and know we’re called to grow
                     For our intelligence is meant to glow.


Thursday, July 7, 2016


                  Privilege and opportunity have led
                  Me to those fortunes that I now enjoy,
                  While others have had harsher lives instead,
                  Which misery and hopelessness destroy.
                  My way to right inequity like this
                  Is to employ what talents I possess
                  To brighten up the world and to bring bliss,
                  In hopes my meager artistry may bless
                  The souls of others with artful delight,
                  A solace to prosaic suffering,
                  An uplift of sad spirits to a height

                  Of happiness that soars with words that sing.
                      We each are born with gifts we’re meant to give,
                      For giving is the blessed way to live.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016


                    Each morning when I call upon my Muse
                    To ask if she will bless me and enthuse
                    My consciousness with something new to write
                    That’s both insightful and will bring delight,
                    I usually find the goodness of her grace
                    And set off on my poem’s iambic pace
                    Intent to fill a sonnet’s fourteen lines
                    With grace and seeming ease in these confines.
                    The trick is to appear spontaneous
                    And effortless right to its terminus,
                    Each line just like a leaf upon a tree
                    Emerging in its form spontaneously
                         And yet clear evidence that it’s designed
                          By a mysterious creative mind.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016


                    The fireworks last night kept us awake
                     Long after we had sleepily gone to bed,
                    With all the bangs and flashes that they make,
                    Filling our agitated dogs with dread.
                    Those engineers of noise aren’t patriots
                    Or celebrating some high principle;
                   They’re just a pack of feckless idiots
                   With stunts of mayhem wantonly to pull.

                   All right, I’ll grant I’m grumpy after that,
                   And, long ago, when I was just a kid,
                   Especially at the beach where we all sat
                   Gazing at the sky while someone did
                  The job of shooting rockets high above,
                   It was a sight that even I would love.


Monday, July 4, 2016


                      It’s hard to think there may not be a God
                      Who raised us from a lowly clump of sod
                      Investing us with such a noble mind,
                      The loftiest of every earthly kind.

                       Implicit in this vasty universe
                       Is the potential to make life disburse
                       As here on Earth it has so gloriously
                       Evolving its mental capacity

                       Until, in us, it reaches sapience
                       Or may, at last, if we can grow less dense,
                       Responding to our calling to grow wise
                      A destiny we’ve yet to realize.

                          Imagine what a wiser world would be—
                          Then work to make that our reality.


Sunday, July 3, 2016


                    The evidence that souls come back to life
                    And are reincarnated many times,
                    Though unbelievable to most, is rife,
                    With testimony gathered from all climes.

                   This would explain why some who seem so wise
                   May have the benefit of many lives
                   In which to learn what they now realize,
                   Assuming such experience survives.

                  If true, this means we may in time transcend,
                  By virtue of increased experience,
                  Our foolishness, and ignorance may mend,
                  Which even now seems dauntingly immense.

                       So, who was I before, I’m urged to ask,
                       Could I but peer behind my present mask.

                    On the finale show of Prairie Home,
                    The President himself called Garrison,
                    Which may not seem a subject for a poem
                    Unless you think, as I, that he is one
                    Outstanding figure of humanity
                    Whose wit and humor, merriment and song
                    For decades now have served our sanity
                    On Public Radio, where listeners throng.
                    The show, without him will continue on
                    With the direction of another host,
                    But no one can fill in for Garrison
                    Who’ll hover over it, a dancing ghost.
                        Sure, we’ll tune in and yet not cease to mourn
                        For, missing Garrison, we’ll be forlorn.


Saturday, July 2, 2016


                      A moil of notions roils inside my head
                      As I await to see where I am led;
                      It takes awhile to get my brain in action
                      And for an apt idea to gain traction,
                      But once I’m pacing this iambic trail,
                      New paths of thought emerge that will avail.

                      I even might believe there is a Muse
                      Who, somehow, as I labor, will infuse
                      My mind with what I need to go from line
                      To line, revealing a covert design
                       As if I’d known from the start where I
                       Had meant to go and had good reason why.

                            To tell the truth, it’s not like that at all:
                            I’m lucky to get here before I stall.


Friday, July 1, 2016


                    To see the most important things, I need
                    To close my eyes, for then what I can heed
                    Is what imagination might reveal
                    That by my artistry I may make real.

                    This poem is just such an artifact
                    That’s latent in my brain until unpacked
                    By my attending to what comes to mind
                    And seeing how my notions are inclined.

                     Without the vital impetus of rhyme,
                     I’d never find the novelties that I’m
                     Bestowed with by the Muse, who gives me clues
                     And resonant alternatives to choose.

                         While free verse may be easier to write,
                         Bound verse creates more resonant delight.