Saturday, November 30, 2013


   Our Tiggy now, in this her second year,
   Has come into her own and rules the roost.
   Though but six pounds, she’s always made it clear
   Who’s in command, since we were introduced,

   And even Gyp, ten times her size, allows
   This little scamp to freely romp and play
   And pester her—and seemingly kow-tows
   To Tig’s shenanigans throughout the day.

   Yet at some tricks, big Gyp will draw the line:
   A rawhide stick once given her is hers
   To keep, and she’ll help envious Tig define
   That line by growling till the pup concurs.

        But otherwise, it’s Tiggy who’s in charge:
        If not in size, in attitude she’s large.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

     Though it’s toward wisdom humans are inclined,
     That end for which we’re finally designed,
     It’s clear we are a work in progress still
     Toward which we must exert our utmost will.

     The sapience incipient in our genes
     Must be expressed by all effective means,
     Yet foremost through examples sages set
     By deeds our histories will not forget.

     Though Socrates and Jesus in their ways
     Set wondrous precedents that still amaze,
     More modest modern instances abound
     Exemplifying reasoning that’s sound

          And that by which true wisdom is defined:
          The ever-present motive to be kind.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


    Inhabitants of Earth, know this: that we
    Have monitored your contumacious history
    And seen you growing smarter than you’re wise,
    Thereby endangering your enterprise
    With so much power so recklessly employed
    That soon your habitat will be destroyed.

    Know this as well: there is a proper way
    To flourish and grow wise and thus allay
    The direful fate you’re swiftly heading for—
    If you can open wide perception’s door
    To recognize a higher consciousness,
    Without which there’s no hope for your success.

         It’s only when you see all life as one
         That you’ll know properly what must be done.


Monday, November 25, 2013


   The aim, I’d say, is that you’ll end up glad,
   When life is through, about the trip you’ve had,
   With few regrets over mistakes you’ve made,
   And that the cards you held were all well played.

   You sought out your potentialities
   Then cultivated your capacities
   Until you reaped the fruits of all your labors,
   Happy enough to share them with your neighbors,

        And it was ever foremost in your mind
        That our first duty’s always to be kind.


Sunday, November 24, 2013


      What might begin by fooling round with words,
      An idle, useless exercise for nerds,
      May rise fortuitously to something higher
      Responding to a nobler desire,
      For as the train of thought begins to chug,
      One line hauls up another that will tug
      Still yet another to the place of rhyme,
      Rhyme shortly to emerge from the sublime.

      This is a mystery to wonder at in awe
      That may eventually lead one to draw
      Conclusions about how the universe
      Commingles rhyme and reason to disburse
      New notions in the world that otherwise
      Might never in a million years arise.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

         What does it mean to be “true to myself”?
         Is there some doppelganger on a shelf
         To whom I’d pledge allegiance and belie
         My own true selfhood and thereby defy
         What Providence intends for me to be
         Through manifesting my integrity?

         That may be so, for there are many ways
         Down which a lost and errant spirit strays.
         If so, then how might I identify
         The Self I truly am, lest I should die
         A wayward soul who never heard his calling,
         For such a fate would finally be appalling?

             If I attend to what I can do best,
             My true identity will manifest.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


      Now, why should I believe what I don’t know?
      I might suppose that such-and-such is so
      As an hypothesis to probe and test
      Until its truth or falsehood is assessed,
      But I can give no credence without proof,
      For nothing else persades me but the truth,
      And thus on matters metaphysical,
      I’ll hold with only what is sensible.
      But yet I wonder if beyond the ken
      Of science with its rigid regimen
      And protocols of proof, there still may lie
      An occult realm our brains can occupy—
           If we could readjust our frame of mind
           And find our whole perspective realigned.


Monday, November 18, 2013


     To write verse free of verse defies all sense,
     especially the sense of rhyme and meter;
     so I arise and come to the defense
     of lines with zip and dash that never peter
     out, but set up expectations they fulfill
     while subtly varying the pace and beat,
     deciding when to run—and then stand still
     and signalling clearly that a thought’s complete.
     Then when a turn of thought is called for it
     occurs at the expected spot and shows
     a new perspective somehow meet and fit,
     while signalling the verse now nears its close.
          Or so it is with sonnets, whose strict rules
          confound the skills of witless free verse fools.


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Is there anything that you and I can do to help devise and promote a viable future on Earth for all creatures, great and small?  Then, beyond that primary exigency, can we also make salutary advances into new understanding and invention that realizes more of our intellect’s potential to create beyond the capacity of mindless nature?

Somehow, out of unconsciousness, consciousness has emerged on Earth, and then self-consciousness in us, Homo sapiens sapiens.  If there are yet higher, finer, keener levels of mentality to be realized, it seems likely that we are the agents of such advancement, at least here on Earth—for who knows what the evolutionary process has manifested elsewhere in the cosmos, beyond our present ken?

To that end of advancing human mentality, our first imperative is that of the physician: Do no harm; yet that commandment we have blatantly flouted.  Obviously, our burgeoning, reckless species, like a plague of locusts, is ravaging our planet’s resources and despoiling its habitat.  That behavior we must cease or any hope of advancement is null.  Our population must be limited rationally and humanely.

Yet, every human being born must be regarded as precious—a pearl of great price.  Children’s caregivers must assume the responsibility of doing all possible to help the child’s positive potentials manifest and flourish, not merely its aptitudes and talents, but its whole humanity as a loving, caring, generous person.

Whence does malice, evil, atrocity arise?  “I’m depraved on accounta I’m deprived,” says a lyric from West Side Story.  Just so.  We need what we need, and without proper provision we fail to flourish.  Without loving-kindness we rot.

Humankind is most assured of advancement to the extent that it is both human and kind.



Musing is a method that writers and other artists use to tap in to some occult source of inspiration that breathes ideas into their consciousness that might not otherwise occur to them.  When they are baffled in the course of their work, or if they are seeking another apt project suitable to their disposition and skills, these artisans invoke the Muse.

While ancient Greek legend names nine classical muses for such arts as music, dance and poetry—for all those human endeavors requiring insight, imagination, and the infusion of new ideas—latter-day cognitive sciences have reconstrued the human creative process in more mundane terms, such as preparation, incubation and AH-HA discovery stages, the last of which represents the Eureka moment of sudden discovery or awareness that seems like a bolt from the blue or the gift of a muse.

Assuming that a writer, say, is seeking such a guiding light of inspiration, she would do well to find a place congenial to undisturbed reflection, as in an easy chair with a lapboard and writing pad, her pen in hand—relaxed and receptive.  With anticipation but without anxiety, she waits, she muses, her mind drifting and shifting into a mode of reverie and reflection in which notions seem to bubble up from the depths of consciousness, as from a seabed, to burst into the air of conscious thought—AH-HA!

Then the writing begins and proceeds until needing a new ignition from another session of musing, a new spark, as from a new metaphor—like spark—to be explored.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


    The Former Poet Laureate, renowned for droll
    unsentimental, understated verse,
    his new book out, was on a national roll,
    a circuit guaranteed to fill his purse.

    Who would have thought that in America
    huge audiences might gather just to hear
    the musings of a poet’s da-de-da
    or, in his case, verse free of such old gear?

    But sitting in just such an audience
    and hearing him perform, I realized
    his voice and verse, attuned in sound and sense,
    were subtly and ingeniously devised

         to plant in auditors a fertile meme
         that afterwards in memory would gleam.


Monday, November 11, 2013


     What kind of world are we now rushing toward
     with all our science and technology—
     one to be applauded or deplored,
     a world of prudence or depravity?

     Given all the powers we now command
     to process and exploit the natural realm,
     one has to wonder if we understand
     enough to navigate and take the helm,

have we like Prometheus overreached
     and brought an awful fire aboard our ship
     certain to leave our galley burnt and beached,
     a dreadful end to our once hopeful trip?

          It isn’t knowledge that we need to find
          but wisdom to decide what’s good and kind.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nemerov # 14


Saturday, November 9, 2013


      Who is this warped, invidious nemesis
      if not an incarnation of the Devil,
      whose foremost target is a mentalist
      devoted to the rooting out of evil?

      Red John has found in Patrick Jane a match
      that’s made in Hell, for torment is his aim,
      and every move he makes is bent to snatch
      Jane’s soul, the goal of this malicious game.

      We root, of course, for Patrick to prevail,
      hoping he has the moxie to outsmart
      this monster, knowing at last he will not fail
      because we trust the writer knows his art:

           Like God, he will somehow contrive to end
           all happily—on that we may depend.


Friday, November 8, 2013


       What is the point of choosing to conform
       To the strict pattern of a sonnet’s shape,
       Adhering to this arbitrary norm,
       Which you might very easily escape?

       Be free of measurement and formula,
       Or set your own unique parameters—
       No more de-DA, de-DA, de-DA, de-DA—
       Be done with such an arbitrary curse.

       But then, out goes the baby with the bath;
       The genie in the bottle will have fled;
       You will no longer tread a steady path
       Or feel yourself mysteriously led.

            Ironically, there’s freedom in this form:
            It is not dead—it’s breathing and it’s warm.


Thursday, November 7, 2013


      As the Old Master said, “It’s just a line
      That gets you started on a would-be poem,”
      No abstract scheme or fanciful design,
      Just let your morning mind begin to roam,
      Tune in to that elusive, vital source,
      Like finding on a crystal a sweet spot
      That fills your earphones by a magic force
      With far-off sounds some other brain begot.
      And don’t be too inquisitive about
      The nature of this vatic provenance,
      But cultivate an attitude devout
      While line by line you see your verse advance.
           Your job’s to be receptive to what comes
           Then amplify what at the first just hums.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


      Once in awhile, what I intend as verse
      Ascends to poetry in some mysterious way:
      While praying for the Muse to please disburse
      A line or image that will help me say
      Whatever it may be that wants to come,
      It suddenly befalls from who knows where,
      Alighting in my consciousness, once dumb
      But now apprised of something it can share.
      Though this is not an instance of that gift
      And must be thought a practice run at best,
      Perhaps on my next try I‘ll get a lift
      And by a passing vatic breeze be blessed.
           My attitude must be that altitude
           May be invoked, but cannot be pursued.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


    Although my highest aim is to grow wise,
    The first thing I should rightly recognize    

    Is that at best I’ll just approximate
    That goal, for few have ever grown so great.

    The first hard step’s to be intelligent,
    Aware of all the ways we can be bent,
    Diverted from the straight and narrow path
    By envy, pride, sloth, gluttony and wrath,
    Plus lechery and greed—more than enough
    Potholes to make the Way to Wisdom rough.

    Perhaps just knowing that perfection’s out
    Of anybody’s reach should make us doubt
    That it’s a goal toward which we should aspire—
    Still, hope of it will drive us ever higher.


Monday, November 4, 2013


   My own ambition, when it comes to verse,
   is not for fame, for fame can be a curse
   and a distraction from my real aim
   which is, each morning, to ignite the flame
   of creativity here in the dark
   feeling the impulse of a genial spark
   that brightens up my mind and brings me rhymes
   so one line readily with another chimes.

   If after that, when the text is typed and set,
   and I’ve posted my new verse on the Internet,
   I’m happy to hear from readers who applaud
   and hope that such responsiveness is broad,
   though not for fame and some large market share,
   but only to illumine my small flare.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nemerov # 13


Saturday, November 2, 2013


 The poetry I write, this form evokes:
 it’s not that I have something set to say;
 the sonnet scheme itself colludes to coax,
 by dint of meter and of rhyme, the play
 of thought and imagery that slowly shapes
 my phrases and my clauses, line by line,
 which sometimes dance or sometimes trot or traipse,
 explicitly unfolding their design.

 How curious and magical this feels,
 as if I were the agent of this form
 that has possessed my brain till it reveals
 a pattern in my busy thoughts aswarm
 that finally take shape as if designed
 this way, from the beginning, by my mind.


Friday, November 1, 2013


     What may we know in fifty years of how
     our human consciousness can grow,
     providing us more sapience than now,
     allowing our intelligence to glow?

     Just thinking such a feat were possible,
     not daunted by our former ignorance,
     believing in that wondrous miracle
     may point us toward our species’ next advance.

     Then let us hope that new technologies
     to tune and realign our consciousness,
     or ancient ones that sages used to ease
     soul’s maladies will bring our hoped success.

          Lord knows, it’s awfully late to realize
          it’s time for us to wake up and grow wise.