Saturday, January 31, 2015


            There’s nothing supernatural I believe;
            What’s natural is mystery enough,
            Which science has the best means to conceive,
            Calling outrageous superstition’s bluff.

            It’s supposition that begins the quest
            For certain knowledge ultimately proved,
            As careful methodology will attest,
            Once skewed hypotheses have been removed.

            And yet there’s much that never may be known
            About which we may wonder endlessly
            Though not illuminate that twilight zone
            For all our vaunted ingenuity.

                One question causing human brains to stall
                Is this: Is there a purpose to it all?



                        The news is filled with violence and gore,
                        And nothing tops the headlines like a war.
                        Is this in us a habit to deplore,
                        Or just the way the media aim to score?

Friday, January 30, 2015


          A sonnet keeps a train of thought on track,
          And once it builds a hardy head of steam
          And images come billowing from its stack,
          Then lines emerge in a continuous stream.

          Each quatrain’s freighted with a novel thought
          Driving the poem farther down the line
          Toward a terminus still vaguely sought
          That on arrival manifests design.

          The route is fixed, as if by destiny,
          And it’s the duty of the sonneteer
          To stay on track toward discovery
          Until that fated destination’s clear.

               A sonnet’s less invented than revealed
               Along a track, not in an open field.


Thursday, January 29, 2015


                    If something’s priceless then it’s worth a lot,
                    But something worthless certainly is not—
                    What can it be, if price and worth are one,
                    That makes this match a false comparison?
                         Yet it is often said that one may know
                         The price of everything but worth forego.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015


            Of all the things we truly need to know,             
            For our own happiness and others’ too,            
            To keep us in a blissful state of flow,            
            There’s one thing that’s preeminently true:

            Which is to recognize all humankind            
            Are kin and share the same essential need            
            For ecstasy, toward which we’re all inclined,            
            Transcending envy, selfishness and greed. 

               The peace that follows reaching such a state                
               Is something only kindness can create.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


           We were implicit in the grand Big Bang
           From which the blooming universe arose,
           And were there heavenly angels there, they sang
           Of coming glories, we may well suppose—

           How out of nothing: everything would come,       
           Developing a cosmic edifice       
          And ultimately us, who seek to plumb       
          The depths of mystery creating this.

          There may be consciousness far more advanced      
          In the awesome infinity of space       
          That patient evolution has enhanced      
          And elevated to a greater grace,

             Still, it would be more prudent to presume
            Our prime imperative’s avoiding doom.


Monday, January 26, 2015


             We must suppose within the vasts of space
             That other living creatures have evolved,
             Although as yet we haven’t found a trace
             Of them—a mystery still to be resolved.

             It’s simply the clear fact that we are here
             In this small speck of the wide universe
             Implies life elsewhere’s likely to appear:
             The cosmic womb would yet again disburse.

             That being so, why haven’t we as yet
             Discovered evidence to prove as fact
             That other life exists we haven’t met,
             Except perhaps our fear of being attacked?

                  Let sleeping aliens lie, for if they come,
                  That’s it for us—it’s better to play dumb.


Sunday, January 25, 2015


      In us the universe may realize
      Self-consciousness and come to understand
      The vast intelligence that underlies
      A mystery so awesome and so grand.

      When Homo sapiens grows sapient
      Beyond the follies that have long prevailed, 
      We’ll come to recognize our true intent
      And what in our potential is entailed.

      The harbingers of wisdom long have taught
      The way of kindness and solicitude,
      The virtues and the graces that we ought
      To realize, that need to be pursued.

           On Earth we humans play the leading role,
           And knowing who we are is our clear goal.


Saturday, January 24, 2015


          Joe Biden and John Boehner sat behind
          The President then giving his address,
          And anyone who was not color blind
          Observing them would readily confess
               The brownest of the three was Speaker Boehner—
               To call that racist, though, is a no-brainer.


Friday, January 23, 2015


          Our sinkhole pond has now become a lake,
          But not because of some momentous quake
          That opened up the earth and swallowed trees,
          While devastating nearby properties.

          It’s politics and economics that
          Have newly designated this old plat
          “Lake Chelton,” posted on a fancy sign
          Intruding on the towering oak and pine.

          Another sign admonishes no more
          Shall dogs that used to scurry by the shore
          Run there unleashed, their frolic now constrained,
          Perhaps because some duck or squirrel complained.

               This city has become too gentrified,
               A trait this verse is fashioned to deride.



for Jacques Harlow

          “Abash, abate, abet, abstemious  . . .”
          Began the list of words in seventh grade
          We had to know and put in sentences,
          And by year’s end we had a whole parade
          Of nouns and verbs, adverbs and adjectives
          To march our minds into the larger sphere
          Of consciousness that ample language gives,
          Where things un-thought before could now appear.
          Which makes me wonder what ideas yet
          Remain incognizant to me for lack
          Of terms my curiosity would abet
          And keep my freighted line of thought on track.
               So, unabashed, I’ll not abate my quest
               Nor be abstemious to find the best.


Thursday, January 22, 2015


        Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, Patrick Jane—
        These are some stories that extend our lives,
        Lifting our consciousness to a new plane
        That only fiction’s magic power contrives.

        If not by cinema or stage, then books
        Provide the means we need to see beyond
        Our ordinary lives, giving us looks
        At worlds contrived by art’s entrancing wand.

        Yet still one needs a story of one’s own,
        A life conceived with its own plot and themes,
        More palpable than fiction’s twilight zone
        And well designed to realize one’s dreams.

             Though fiction can inspire, it can’t replace
             A life that’s lived with fortitude and grace.


Monday, January 19, 2015


    Though loving kindness may prove hard to show
    To everyone you meet throughout your life,
    In time your capability can grow
    For pacifying anger, calming strife,
         And demonstrating that the healing power
         Of love can make a sweet of every sour.


Sunday, January 18, 2015




     The house is gone where Hayward used to live,
     A generous old fellow now passed on,
     Departing with few foibles to forgive,
     And for his charity a paragon.

     A captain in our Navy in the War,
     He sailed both oceans, having to endure
     Strafing and torpedoes by the score,
     Harsh memories no passing years could cure.

     Then, decades on, covert intelligence
     Regarding Myanmar became his game:
     A tourist in Thailand was his pretense,
     But liberating Burma was his aim—

          A mission that has finally met success,
          And Hayward lived to share that happiness.


Saturday, January 17, 2015




            Doc Martin is the model of “up-tight,”
          Knowing in every instance what is right,
            Expecting silly blockheads to comply
            With rules they seem predestined to defy.

          Not Doctor Spock but rather Mr. Spock,
            For him it’s rationality should rule:
            If only human beings were like a clock
          That’s readily adjusted with a tool.

          Louisa shows this Tin Man how a heart
            Is just as necessary as a brain
           And that he’s put his horse behind his cart,
            A practice that will drive them all insane.

           What should come first—compassion—will reveal
               The route by which all maladies may heal.


Friday, January 16, 2015


     What matters most is not what you believe,
     But that with loving-kindness you behave,
     For when you cause your fellow men to grieve,
     You’ll likely find your fate an early grave.


      It’s first to bins and barrels by the street
      Lined up and down the block, tidy and neat,
      Then clattered in the gullet of a truck
      Where it’s now crushed into a fetid muck,
      That’s driven then to somewhere out of town,
      Where if there’re any houses, they’re run down,
      A blighted neighborhood, long in a slump,
      The site of our fair city’s garbage dump.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

  What’s more important than what you believe
  Is how you choose each moment to behave,
  For if your actions cause others to grieve,
  The guilt of that you’ll carry to your grave—

  Unless by then your heart has hardened so
  You’ve forfeited your own humanity,
  Joining the ranks of mankind’s fiendish foe
  To abrogate both love and sanity.

       As you choose to behave—the choice is yours—
       Know that one way infects, the other cures.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


          (after watching Cormac McCarthy's "The Counselor")
       “Before your ‘Global Wisdom’ can begin,
       There’s Malice, Evil, Wickedness and Sin
       To overcome—all manner of ill will
       Leading us to torture, maim and kill.

      There’s something deeply bent in human souls,
       Perverting us from reaching higher goals,
       And by such malice is our race enslaved
       With little prospect of our being saved.”

       So say the cynics, lost in thoughts of sin,
       Certain there’s no way wisdom can win:
       Not goodness, love, solicitude and care,
       Motives too fragile, vulnerable and rare.

            And yet, just as in day the sun shines bright,
            We see clear evidence of Loving Light.


Monday, January 12, 2015


    There can be no denial that since we
    Are here on Earth, then in this galaxy
    Life elsewhere has emerged and then evolved;
    The issue that has clearly been resolved

    The questions where and when and how have yet
    To be determined, but we’ve cast our net,
    And as our sciences sophisticate,
    We may expect true answers, soon or late.

    Before that happens, though, it may be we
    Who are discovered by some entity
    Perhaps arriving in a UFO—
    A friendly one, we hope, and not our foe.

         Perhaps this feat already has been done:
         What in that Area named “51”?