Thursday, August 25, 2016


                    There’s little that’s haphazard in my day:
                    It’s patterned tightly, like this sonnet’s form,
                    Proceeding in a regimented way,

                    All things accommodating to a norm.

                    And yet in this, a paradox is found
                    That by this seeming onerous constraint
                    I am more liberated than I’m bound
                    Can I but show the patience of a saint.

                   For form inspires versatility
                   And leads me where I wouldn’t think to go,
                   Discovering what waits in latency,
                   Making as yet un-thought ideas flow,

                      Which now this sonnet newly demonstrates
                      While this phenomenon it contemplates.


Monday, August 15, 2016


                      You’ll never see Doc Martin flash a smile:
                      The best his visage registers is grim.
                      He might tell you it’s an excess of bile
                      Or just his disposition to be prim.

                     So how Louisa fell for him is hard
                     To fathom, though his rectitude appeals;
                     He’s quite the opposite of Abelard
                     And of the sort who rather thinks than feels.

                    And yet, his diligence and rectitude,
                    Apparent in each weekly episode,
                    Are recompense enough for his being rude
                    And for the bristly brusqueness of his mode.

                        Though he’s a hero who is clearly flawed,
                        After each episode you’ll still applaud.


Sunday, August 14, 2016


                    Our two dogs have their special traits and ways,
                    Quite different, and yet compatible:
                    Tiggy is the one who frisks and plays,
                    While Gyp, the elder girl, prefers to mull,
                    Her chin on her front paws, lounged in a chair;
                    And yet they’re best of buddies—except when
                    I’m tossing them some treats for both to share,
                    Which I soon found I shouldn’t do again—
                    “Food before friends,” I quickly learned, is true,
                    An ancient jungle rule that still applies.
                    But otherwise, there isn’t much ado,
                    Not games as, say, two kittens might devise.
                    We think of them as children, much adored,
                    While they of us: M’lady and M’lord.


Saturday, August 13, 2016


             First off, it’s running to the yard to pee,
             And then begins the hunt for errant squirrels
             Who wait for nuts I toss abundantly,
             To the delight of our two frisky girls.

             And Tiggy, though she knows that I have treats
             Appropriate for her, prefers the nuts
             And rather’d keep the squirrels from their own eats
             By scampering after their fleet fuzzy butts.

            Then they come in and eagerly await
            The Greenies and the Jumbones I hand out,
            Which usually aren't quite enough to sate
            Their appetites, so I’ll soon hear a shout.

                 “All right, all right, you girls—just one more each.”
                 They’re glad to know I’ve learned what they’ve to teach.



                             The evanescence and fragility
                              Of life makes every day a precious gift,
                              An opportunity for ecstasy,

                              Showing the folly of a life adrift.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

UMMM . . .

                    Let’s see—what was it I was going to say?
                    Oh yes— it’s something about memory—
                    About the mental test I took today
                    For my retentional capacity.

                    I’m sad to say, I did not do so well,
                    While quite a few times even drawing blanks:
                    The more I did, the stronger grew the spell,
                    A run, it seemed, on my poor memory banks,

                    Although I’m taking medicine for this,
                    It hasn’t kicked in yet or quite enough,
                    And something’s cerebelically amiss:
                    Still, though, this poem shows I’ve the right stuff

                        To keep a beat and conjure ringing rhymes,
                        Though otherwise, it’s not the best of times.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016


                    Last night in bed, ostensibly asleep,
                    I somehow took a transcendental leap
                    Then waked enough to know that I’d gone Home
                    And made a note for now to write this poem.

                    Regrettably, that vision has all fled,
                    Except for thinking that I then was dead,
                    Which seemed to be a most delightful state,
                    Far more than I could grasp to contemplate.

                    The upshot was a surge of confidence
                    That when at last it’s our turn to go hence,
                    We’ll find indeed a paradise of bliss
                    Beyond discovering in a world like this,

                        Although improving what we now find here
                        Is an imperative that’s surely clear.



                    The kind of love this little dog inspires,
                    Who’s lying now between us in our bed,
                    Is such of which this couple never tires,
                    Who love to pet our furry quadruped.
                    She’s Tiggy, and she craves to sleep with us
                    Between our pillowed heads much of the night,
                    But as the dawning day grows luminous,
                    And prospects of adventures come in sight,
                    Tig makes her move to roust me from my sleep,
                    Get up, and throw treats to the braying squirrels
                    While she scarfs up a few peanuts to keep,
                    And Gyp’s now come along, so both our girls
                        Begin the day by frolicking about
                        Our yard—happy at last the sun is out.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016


“You never know where poetry comes from.   
The more ittakes you by surprise, the better it is.”  
—W. S. Merwin

                    “All right, O Muse—surprise me once again:
                     Let’s see what fourteen lines will soon reveal
                     I thank you now for what you’ll give—amen.”
                     I’m confident this won’t be an ordeal . .  .


Monday, August 8, 2016


                    It’s close now to when I should be retired:
                    It’s clear some faculties are fading out.
                    Perhaps too many brain cells have expired,
                    Although there are some feats I still can tout.

                    I still produce a poem every day,
                    And surely that displays cognitive skill,
                    And such a feat may hold decay at bay
                    And more effectively than some nerve pill.

                    Since I’m forgetful and repetitive
                    While teaching class, it may be best to leave,
                    Attending more to what I yet can give,
                    Not hoping for miraculous reprieve.

                         I’ll concentrate on where I still have strength,
                         Scribing my scroll of poems to greater length.


Sunday, August 7, 2016


                    Now there goes Tiggy, bouncing down the stairs—
                    The happy flashing of her lustrous tail
                    To any gazing spectator declares
                     She’s blissful as a bunny on the trail

                    And eager to begin this dawning day
                    By racing round the back yard chasing squirrels
                    As Kimmie throws out nuts, and quickly they
                    Elude poor Tig and nab what Kimmie hurls.

                    As consolation, though, Tig grabs a few
                    To bring back in the house, and then we must
                    Negotiate a trade: a Greenie to
                    Entice her with a more nutritious lust.

                        And so each day begins, hearty and hale,
                        Till sleep once more at last calms Tiggy’s tail.



Saturday, August 6, 2016




                    A state of mind to prize is being serene,
                    Ostensibly the opposite of being keen,
                    Yet when you write a verse, you need to be
                    Both at one time to master poetry:

                    It takes serenity to find a theme
                    But then sharp focus to stay on the beam;
                    Oxymoronically you exercise
                    Opposing modes to win the prize.


Friday, August 5, 2016


                     Each passing day, Trump proves he’s a buffoon
                     Whose campaign may be self-destructing soon;
                     The more absurdities he blares by mouth,
                     The faster are his prospects heading south.

                    Though Hillary sometimes comes off as shrill,
                    Behind her stands the legacy of Bill,
                    And prospects of a Clinton dynasty
                    Would prove a first in U. S. history.

                        Still others say, “Let’s start again from scratch;
                        We need new candidates—a better batch."


Thursday, August 4, 2016




Wednesday, August 3, 2016


                    Now my neurologist has made it plain
                    That something’s gone awry within my brain:
                     Dementia at an early stage seems clear,
                     And over time more symptoms may appear,
                     So my career of teaching soon might end
                     Because my memory’s gone round the bend.
                     The best I’ll hope for’s that the course is slow
                     And that my knack for poetry won’t go—
                     In fact perhaps this daily stimulus
                     Of making metered verse will prove a plus
                     And help retard cerebral decline,
                     An exercise in sound-and-sense design.
                     Now, otherwise, I’m vigorous and sound
                     And aim for some long time to be around.



                  That Donald Trump’s a certified tycoon
                   As well as a political buffoon
                  Just shows that private enterprise,
                  While it takes smarts, won’t prove that one is wise.


Monday, August 1, 2016


                   I start each day being placid and serene,
                   By sitting in my half-cocked easy chair
                   With eyes half closed and mind both calm and keen
                   While waiting for a subject to declare
                   Itself as promising for poetry—
                   Some item from the news or past event
                   Still vibrant and alive in memory
                   Perhaps aroused by a delightful scent
                   (As was the case with Proust), or by a note
                   I’ve scribbled in the night while still in bed
                   Or by some mastermind’s provoking quote
                   Or by an article I’ve lately read,
                       And nearly always something comes to mind.
                       No masterpiece, but something of this kind.