Thursday, February 28, 2013


   Speak the speech, yes, trippingly, but then
   Intelligently, too, finding your way
   Into the character, his depth and ken
   And all the passions that he might display.

   Savor, as well, the words and cadences,
   The palpability of speech in verse
   And, if you like, suppose or even guess
   How one might sing the lines—you could do worse.

   The purpose finally in all you do
   Is to induce your auditors to cease
   Supposing that your character is you,
   The player, but someone else, all of a piece.

        For acting is believing that you are
        Another being, from glorious to bizarre.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Here’s Tiggy with Ben
reading together in bronze
the Declaration.


Saturday, February 23, 2013


              My name is Tegan and I’m told
                   That’s Welsh for little poet,
              And though I’m still not very old,
                   Let’s see if I can show it.

              I’m writing this vicariously
                   By striving to inspire
              My master who pens poetry
                   To serve my fond desire.

              And here you see it worked, and I’m
                    Now on my way to fame:
              He caught my meter and my rhyme—
              Which if amiss, then he’s to blame.



 for Aaron Wiggins

        The purpose of the Muse is to enthuse
        The poet’s brain and light the poem’s fuse.

        The Muse is a kind spirit who inspires
        And enflames his banked and dormant fires.



     How easy to forget how grand we are,
     Composed of atoms from some shattered star,
     A star materialized from energy
     That out of empty nowhere came to be.

     How marvelous that seeming happenstance,
     The progeny of merely random chance,
     Should create that which now might comprehend
     The cosmic cause from which all would descend.

     What then’s the proper attitude to take
     Toward what remains mysteriously opaque?
     For though we know what scientists can find,
     There yet remains the mystery of mind,
     That cryptic Source of everything designed.


Saturday, February 16, 2013


       Abash, abate, abet, abstemious
       And so began our first-form list of words
       That Mr. Harlow made (despite our fuss)
       Us memorize to turn us into nerds—
       Or so we felt (though that word hadn’t yet
       Appeared in lexicons), and every week
       Our Monday quiz encompassed the whole set:
       Abash, abate, abet right at the peak.
       No wonder I remember, decades on
       (Just like amo, amas, amat, amamus, too),
       What was imprinted well and hasn’t gone
       The way so many other memories do.
           Abash, abate, abet, abstemious!
            We cheer you, Mr. H, the lot of us.


 My master’s breath itself is none too sweet
 Since Ralegh taught him how to smoke a pipe,
 And even I, his dog, who smell his feet
 Must say no rotten meat’s more rank or ripe.
 About his mistress, though, while dark of hair
 And hue, and less than dulcet in her tones,
 It’s she looks after me and gives me care
 And, when there’s roasted beef, saves me the bones.
 While he’s ink-stained and in his writing fit,
 Muttering lines and tapping with his shoe,
 There’s nothing here for me to do but sit
 Or sleep and hope she’ll save me from my rue.
      But ah!  Outside the door I hear her tread—
      Dark goddess come, then I’ll be walked and fed.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


     For all of this amazing world, I praise—
     Praise whom or what I cannot rightly say,
     Because the mystery of creation stays
     Still unrevealed to animated clay.

     Though many speculate, suppose and guess
     Or frame experiments to figure out
     The underlying laws, with some success,
     None absolutely banishes all doubt.

     Yet here I am, alive, with consciousness,
     And the teeming world a glorious miracle—
     Surely there must be someone to address
     And praise and thus relieve a heart that’s full.

          The sun is up, and each bird sings its song—
          Let me, attuned, atoned, just sing along.



       You write a sonnet when you want to sing,
       But not exactly burst into a song,
       The kind that makes the welkin ring
       Or an anthem aimed to over-awe a throng;

       A sonnet is a milder melody,
       That, if of love, is suitable to croon
       And move your darling dear to ecstasy,
       Enamored by your poetry’s sweet tune.

       And yet your song may take another way
       Than courting and amour—perhaps a quest
       That’s philosophical towards Wisdom’s Way,
       Or a religious search for what is blessed.

            Whatever motive moves a sonneteer,
            Your first command is to enchant the ear.


Sunday, February 3, 2013


   The wonder of all Being summons praise,
   Yet most of all ourselves, who comprehend
   The universe itself within our gaze,
   Supposing it both enemy and friend.

   We mostly marvel how our kind’s emerged
   By course of evolution into being
   And have so far avoided being purged
   By our offended Maker’s cold decreeing.

   Praise, then, is due and rightfully bestowed
   On this mysterious source, our origin,
   Progenitor by whom our seed was sowed—
   Neglecting which most certainly is sin.

        The greatest of creation that we know,
        We’ve greatest cause to pay the praise we owe.


Saturday, February 2, 2013


     Through stories we make sense of how life goes,
     Which otherwise is meaningless events,
     And yet through narrative we may compose
     A biographic plotline to condense,
     Refine, align and otherwise construe
     What may sound plausible and pass as true.