Tuesday, May 31, 2016


                    On Earth, we’re evolution’s furthest edge
                    Of species most disastrous and grand,
                    Less sapient than our double names allege,
                    Yet of this world we’ve now assumed command.

                    Perhaps we’ll grow to higher sapience,

                    A goal toward which we surely should aspire,
                    Against our pride, the only sure defense,
                    The greatest aspiration to desire.

                    Recalling that from humus we were made
                    Might prompt us toward an apt humility,
                    And knowing that first law we disobeyed
                    May point us to a new nobility.

                         Perhaps a triple sapience lies ahead—
                         Once our abundant follies have been shed.


Monday, May 30, 2016



                    A poem in rhyme and meter finds its way
                    Not led by something that it has to say
                    But rather by the odd exigency
                    That rhyme and meter makes necessity—
                    Which is to say: you cannot have in mind
                    A certain goal toward which your poem’s inclined;
                    Instead, you will discover as you write,
                    And all the more to your surprised delight,
                    A course you’d never find out by intent,
                    But rather seems that it is heaven sent
                    As if you were a vessel of a Muse
                    Who whispered as you wrote enticing clues
                    Then leaves you in the end with something new
                    You never had a notion you might do.


Sunday, May 29, 2016


                    Now Tiggy’s snugged beside me in a snooze
                    As we both occupy my easy chair,
                    And little does she know she is my Muse
                    As I seek something striking to declare,
                    Though in this state of mutual repose
                    The aptest attitude is being serene;
                    I have no stirring drama to disclose
                    And musing cannot constitute a scene.
                    Forget theatrics, then; another art
                    Is what I practice on this filling page:
                    Contemplative communion with my heart,
                    Not histrionic actions on a stage.
                         And little Tig’s still here, deep in her doze,
                         Which I have honored now, and so will close.



                    We come not out of nothing, but a Source
                    That’s still mysterious, for all we know
                    Through all our sciences: a subtle force,
                    A secret animus that makes life glow.

                   There is a realm beyond mere mechanism,
                   The physics of dead matter and its motion;
                   Instead—the universal source of wisdom,
                   Intelligence throughout the cosmic ocean.

                   Good Orderly Direction, nicknamed GOD,
                   Is what, of late, we’ve come to call this Being
                   Who somehow elevated us from fertile sod
                   Investing us with consciousness and seeing,

                        Releasing us from spells all beasts lie under—
                        Thus freeing us to ponder and to wonder.


Saturday, May 28, 2016




                    I’ve lost my pair of glasses somewhere near—
                    I mean they’re in the house and can’t be far,
                    And surely with more searching, they’ll appear,
                    But I cannot imagine where they are.

                    And so I thought I’d better write a poem,
                    Which is a practice of discovery
                    That forces me through all my thoughts to comb
                    To solve each day a different mystery.

                    If nothing else, to write would tune my mind
                    By pressing me to seek out beats and rhymes
                    Until what I am looking for I find,
                    As I have done before so many times.

                        Now, ending this, I’ll take another look
                        Scouring every cranny, crevice, nook.


Friday, May 27, 2016


                    When Homo sapiens grows sapient
                     Not twice but thrice, what then shall we become?
                     Presumably, we’ll have become unbent,
                     And greater depths of wisdom we shall plumb:

                     Above all else, we’ll then have mastered peace:
                     Warfare especially we’ll have outgrown,
                     And amiability will then increase
                     As we no more to violence are prone.

                    In fact, most folks I know are so inclined
                    And do lead lives of reasonable accord,
                    Are not warlike, but courteous and kind,
                    Their emblem being the pen and not the sword.

                         When we’re no longer anguished and insane,
                         Humanity will then have grown humane.


Thursday, May 26, 2016


                      What if the famous Bard were here today
                      And aiming to compose a tragedy,
                      What subject might he find for his new play
                      From these four hundred years of history
                      Since he passed on, now to immortalize,
                      As Hamlet and Macbeth and Lear have done,
                      Or would he think our recent woe defies
                      The scope of tragedy, a task to shun?
                       What would he then apply his genius to?
                       To science fiction, I would speculate,
                       Allowing him to make much more ado
                       About how human beings at last grow great:
                            After our history of being bent,
                            We earn our name, becoming sapient.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016


     “Cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer”
               One bird called out against the raucous caws
               Of backyard crows, who seemed moved more by fear—
               And then there was a momentary pause.

               My speculation about this is that
               These birds were neither celebrating morn,
                Nor sharing songs, but saying they’d seen a cat
                In tones not of exuberance but scorn.

                Well, that has passed  and after a short lull
                Their songs resume, a medley of chits
                And cheeps and chirrs, and then an interval
                Of silence till again more tweets and twits.

                     But now it all subsides as traffic noise
                     And airplanes overhead drown out their joys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016





                    A sonnet comes through serendipity:
                    There’s no way to foretell where it may go
                    With rhyme and meter’s strict exigency

                    As it reveals new matter row by row.
                    At best you have a notion as your guide
                    That sets you off into a Wandering Wood:
                    From there on it’s a wild and whirling ride
                    Finding a course that may be understood
                    And, better yet, seems destined to be found,
                    As if it were intended all along,
                    Its sense being aptly wedded to its sound,
                    A sonnet being in fact a “little song.”
                        How it comes into being is Provident:
                        The best of which are surely Heaven sent.


Monday, May 23, 2016


                       When climbing virtue’s ladder, your first rung
                       Is learning to attend to others’ needs;
                       The second is to care for those among
                       Them by performing charitable deeds
                       Which you do out of sympathy,
                       A fellow-feeling vibrant in your heart
                       That graduates in time to empathy,
                       Which signifies you are no more apart
                       But one, now sharing an identity.


Thursday, May 19, 2016


                    In time I’ll go to the Akashic Zone,
                    Returning to that plenum whence I came,
                    Where I can reckon how my mind has grown,
                    Which is the holy goal toward which we aim
                    When we shall ultimately realize
                   The purpose of a planet like this Earth:
                   Creating beings who at last grow wise
                   And recognize the cosmic plenum’s worth,
                   Self-conscious then in an exalted way,
                   Aware of our supreme identity,
                   The grandeur of the cosmic role we play,
                    And sated in our curiosity,
                         For then we’ll know the purpose of it all
                         Uplifted from our sad primordial Fall.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


                    “The glory, jest and riddle of the world”—
                     So Alexander Pope once summed us up,
                    “Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d”
                     Saintly at times, but oftener corrupt.

                     For all the wonders of our brains’ invention
                     That have indeed propelled us into space,
                     We’re rarely pure in our intention
                     And, like as not, we plunge into disgrace.

                     While many strive to lift humanity
                     To lofty eminence through worthy deeds,
                     We suffer from innate insanity,
                     And so it’s rare such holiness succeeds.

                          While many now envision a New Age,
                          It’s only via love we’ll reach that stage.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016


                    What is there better I can do than make
                    A daily verse and exercise my gift
                    And skill “for heaven and the future’s sake”
                    (As Frost once wrote): for joy and for uplift?
                    For that, it must be musical and chime,
                    Depicting in apt imagery fresh sights,
                    And when there’s charming rhythm and apt rhyme
                    There grows a poetry that most delights.
                    Free verse and prose have their own merits, true,
                    But I’ve an aptitude for this old kind
                    And feel the happiest when I pursue
                    A style where sound and sense are intertwined,
                         For such a verse has more vivacity
                         And lodges longer in your memory.

                          P.S.  This poem is not one of those
                                   As you correctly will suppose.


                    It’s not as though there’s nothing new to say
                    And that in writing poems I’ve said it all,
                    As I have demonstrated every day
                    By answering my eager Muse’s call,
                    For sitting, musing, much comes to my mind,
                    New themes and novel topics to explore
                    From which a sonnet’s form may be designed
                    To say what I have never said before.
                    Each poem begun becomes an eager quest
                    To find how sound and sense may best cohere,
                    And when they do, I feel profoundly blessed
                    As what I’m aiming to find out grows clear.
                         The couplet at the end serves to conclude
                         ‘Twixt night and day, my morning’s interlude.


Monday, May 16, 2016


for Daniel R. DeNicola

                    The Spirit, Soul or Essence that is life,
                    That animation with which we are rife,
                    Throughout the Cosmos seems the most profound
                    Of all the spatial wonders that abound.

                   But that we randomly occurred by blind
                   Coincidence, instead of being designed
                   By some implicit Mind, seems most absurd:
                   A conscious cosmic Source must be inferred.

                  If that be so, then we must wonder why
                  We have, and what directives may apply
                  Implicit in our cosmic consciousness
                  Prescribing the design for our success,

                      Assuming, then, we’re an experiment,
                      Let’s say that flourishing is our intent.


Sunday, May 15, 2016


                    What should the next advance be for our race
                    But to eradicate our first disgrace
                    Since we have suffered long for that betrayal
                    Forsaking Eden for this earthly jail?
                    The hope that Paradise might be regained
                    Once we our innate evils have restrained
                    To which from the beginning we’ve been prone,
                    Then our long adolescent stage outgrown—
                    Inspires us to take our longest stride
                    Past envy, anger, gluttony and pride
                    As well as lechery and sloth and greed,
                    For then indeed we may at last proceed
                    To build a world of sanity and love,
                    According to the plan of God above.



                    With this verse I’ll make yet another plea
                    To Garrison that he not leave his show:
                    The Prairie Home Companion would not be
                    What it has always been were he to go
                    Because it is imbued with his own wit
                    And style and personality and grace,
                    By which each weekly episode is lit,
                    And we at home feel as a fond embrace.
                    Who else can take us to Lake Wobegon?
                    Who else has a beguiling baritone
                    Like his, or can such fictive figures don
                    As Guy Noir or Dusty?  He alone.
                         It’s true all good things must come to their ends,
                         But on your genius APM depends.


Saturday, May 14, 2016


                    “You be the preacher.  Let’s hear what you’d say.”
                    “Well, I don’t think I’ll talk to you of God
                    Or of some Decalogue you must obey
                    Or tell you you began as just a clod,

                   For I’m not into such mythology;
                   What is most apt is how we should behave.
                   Instead of arguing theology
                   Or listening to how rival preachers rave.

                   It simply comes to this: we’re here to love—
                   It’s kindness we must learn for our own kind,
                   And this no other teaching stands above,
                   And toward this we are naturally inclined.

                      Though some have been perverted toward sin,
                       It’s only by our graciousness we’ll win.


Friday, May 13, 2016


                     Can animals imagine as we do
                     And recollect past images they’ve seen?
                    Just watch a dog asleep and you
                    Will be convinced she has a mental screen
                    On which she views projections from the past
                    And re-enacts a scene of joy or terror—
                    Perhaps encountering a cat who sassed
                    Her, or brightening at the sight of her food-bearer.
                    Besides that, though, she can anticipate
                    Remote events that haven’t happened yet,
                    Like waiting by the door when we’re out late
                    Or hiding when it’s time to see the vet.
                         Watching our dogs, it’s evident to me
                         They have foresight as well as memory.


Friday, May 6, 2016


                    Now you’re at last about to graduate,
                    Prepared by your collegiate days to give
                    Your fruits of learning and articulate
                    What you have found of how to rightly live,
                    For that’s what liberal studies aim to do—
                    To liberate you from the darkness of
                    All kinds of ignorance and pursue
                    Not only useful knowledge but the love
                    Of wisdom—education’s highest aim:
                    To understand what’s valuable to do
                    For its own sake and to avoid the shame
                    Of not attaining what you should pursue:
                         The good life that’s productive and sublime
                         Lived by the principle that love is prime.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016


                    Which way will human evolution go?
                    It seems it’s up to us now to decide,
                    Who often prove to be our own worst foe,
                    Unable by good reason to abide.

                    That sapience for which we’re doubly named
                    At best my prove a hopeful prophecy
                    Once our malicious instincts have been tamed,
                    And we’ve arrived at generosity—

                   Which means a kindness owed to every kind,
                   Transcending “nature, red in tooth and claw”
                   Toward which all other creatures are inclined,
                   Though we have recognized a higher law,

                        A mandate of which there is none above:
                        To manifest what’s best in us: that’s love.


Monday, May 2, 2016


                  Mead Gardens, Saturdays, the girls and I
                  Will trek around the stream-side nature trail
                  And watch bird-watchers, aiming toward the sky
                  Their long-lensed cameras, spot a yellow tail
                  Or speckled back or other telling trait
                  Of novel fowls on their migration routes
                  And over-hear their spirited debate
                  Trying to note the varied tweets and hoots.
                  Meanwhile my dogs are sniffing at the ground
                  For evidence of rabbits or raccoons,
                  Which for their searching they have never found,
                  Though they’ve been tracking now for many moons,­
                       And I’m the watcher watching everyone—­
                       Seeing their kinds of finding is my fun.


Sunday, May 1, 2016


                             Now Donald Trump is on the stump
                             And sounding like a horse’s rump
                             But may be heading for a slump—
                             I’d rather vote for Forrest Gump.