Tuesday, February 28, 2017

                    Skip and Ripple are our backyard squirrels,
                    Up every morning for whoever hurls
                    Them peanuts out across the dewy lawn,
                    Most typically before the crack of dawn,
                    And just before our doggy girls race out
                    To see what all their scuffling is about:
                    But now the noisy yard guys are intruding

                    On the pure rapture of my lyric brooding,
                    Their mowers and leaf-blowers in uproar  
                    With sounds that even barking dogs deplore—
                    So what is this poor sonneteer to do

                    Diverted from a subject to pursue
                    Intended to attain a higher plane
                    Of consciousness, not this one—driven insane?


Monday, February 27, 2017


                     All right, you ask me if I think we’ll be
                    Together when we’ve left this earthly plane,                   
                    If there is truly immortality                    
                    And that the essence of us will remain                    
                    And even may return for future rounds                   
                    Of mortal life, to take yet further strides                    
                    And add more gems to our celestial crowns                   
                    By learning how to live where love abides,                    
                    Where magnanimity is our grand aim,                    
                    Our souls alight with charity and love,                    
                    Not seeking after temporal acclaim                     
                    But, in the spirit of the Holy Dove,
                        Content to nestle in the arms of God,
                        Protected by His holy staff and rod—



Sunday, February 26, 2017


                    The best way I have found to contemplate                    
                    What’s in and on my mind is meditate,                    
                    Serenely musing in my half-cocked chair                     
                    While chewing on my pen-cap as I stare                    
                    Inwardly behind my lowered lids                    
                    Into a realm that busyness forbids                   
                    And where imagination’s free to roam                     
                    Until it lights upon what makes a poem                    
                    Appear: a subject with propensity                     
                    To stir my thoughts into intensity,                     
                    The racing of my till-then torpid mind                   
                     Now eager to trace how a thought’s inclined                    
                     And see where all this gush of words may tend
                     And at what point this oddball verse will end.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 SO IT GOES                

                    Although I know it’s time now to retire
                    From my career of professoring, I
                    Have miles to go before I sleep and fire
                    In my gut to write until I die
                    Still many years from now, and write I'll do,
                    For I am called each morning by my Muse
                    To sit and contemplate until some clue
                    Occurs about a topic to peruse,
                    Which I’ll begin my writing to pursue,
                    And, all the while, this sweetest, dearest pup
                    Lies here beside me in my kicked-back chair
                    As I sit sipping on my morning cup
                    Of Graviola tea and chew my pen
                    Till this last couplet’s done—and now, Amen.


Monday, February 20, 2017


                    When, shortly after rising in the morn,
                    And tending to our dogs and their concerns
                    I come to sit here where my poems are born
                    To find which way my seeking spirit yearns
                    Some dream or figment, memory or notion
                    Before too long will render up a theme
                    And, shortly after, set my pen in motion:
                    A recollection or perhaps a dream,
                    Which turns, just past midway, toward clarity,
                    As comprehension of my bent then brightens,
                    And what’s implicit clearly comes to be,
                    A presence that reveals, sometimes enlightens,
                         Out of the twilight, now at last in day:
                        What was mute and inchoate has its day.


Sunday, February 19, 2017


                    So gentle, sweet, adorable, this pup
                    Who lies between our heads in bed at night
                    And sleeps till morn, waiting till we get up
                    To start her frolics in the morning light
                    By chasing squirrels when I toss out nuts
                    Into the back yard, shortly after dawn,
                    With Tiggy harassing their fuzzy butts
                    Making them scurry all about the lawn,
                    Until I lure her with a Greenie treat
                    To come back to the house with prospects of
                    A bowl of Royal Canin set to eat,
                    As further evidence of our dear love,
                         Which she has won by being her sweet self,
                        A pup who is part Miki and part elf.


Saturday, February 18, 2017


                    It’s morning, so this eager sonneteer
                    Has sat down in his half-cocked easy chair
                    To see what happy notions will appear
                    With contemplation and assiduous care,
                    Two requisites for how a sonnet grows,
                    And here, as you now see, the poem begins
                    As with its movements, inspiration flows,
                    The poet deaf to any outward dins—
                    The barking dogs, descending planes above,
                    The clattering of trucks on his brick road,
                    And even the anticipation of
                    His breakfast with his growling stomach’s goad,
                         But now, at last, this sentence-sonnet may
                         Conclude and, satisfied, he’ll start his day.


Friday, February 17, 2017


                     "Video-video-video," sings the bird
                     Outside my window as I write this verse,
                     Which, if this bird sings Latin, then that word
                     Proclaims, “I see,” a message clear and terse,
                     Instructing me in what a poet, too,
                     Alert now in the morning, ought to do,

                    Except my calling is to gaze inward
                    And search for what imagination sees,
                    Some linkage of ideas that’s occurred,
                    A notion that in form and sound agrees,
                    Yet this achievement only very few
                    Have both the wit and talent to pursue.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


                      Happily, I have this interlude
                      Most every morning just to sit and brood
                      And add to my accumulating batch
                      To see if yet another verse will hatch
                      Of poems for this year’s Verse Chronolog
                      Before it’s time to take the dogs to shog
                      Along their morning walk in Baldwin Park

                      Their always much-anticipated lark.

                      It suits well, then, that so pedestrian
                      A topic such as this should ‘scape my pen;
                      Tomorrow, though, may inspiration flow
                      Into my torpid brain so I may show
                      That I have something with more wit to say,
                      Although such inspiration failed today.


Monday, February 6, 2017


                                 If football is a game that evolved
                                 To teach hunters,
                                 Then what game evolved
                                 To teach gatherers?


Saturday, February 4, 2017


                 Good Orderly Direction, GOD, or Source—
                 There’s something from which everything has come,
                 And here we are to celebrate this force
                 The wonder of which leaves us nearly dumb.

                 Unspeakably magnificent, this Cause
                 Of all the Cosmos mystifies our minds;
                 Though we’ve begun to understand its laws,
                 There’s much to fathom still of its designs.

                      My way to navigate towards such a Home
                      Is via such a craft as this small poem.


Friday, February 3, 2017


                    The sonnet is a symbol of composure
                    That sings its little song with rhythmic zest,
                    Concluding with a graceful couplet’s closure
                    That brings its argument to its arrest:
                    For fourteen lines it will elaborate
                    The matter of its argument or query
                     Or sometimes merely pose and contemplate
                     An idle speculation or a theory,
                     But mostly, from its start, the subject of
                     Most sonnets, from the Renaissance till now,
                    Is to express the longing of the poet’s love
                    Then end his proclamation with a bow
                         In trepidation that his fond appeal
                         Will provoke passion that a kiss shall seal.


Thursday, February 2, 2017


                    The sonnet is a symbol of composure,
                    That sings its little song with rhythmic zest,
                     Concluding with a graceful couplet’s closure
                     That brings the argument to its arrest.
                          Call this a demi-sonnet that pooped out
                          Before discovering what it was about.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017


                  The land is being contoured down the street
                   So yet another mansion may arise;
                   I hear the huge earth-mover’s BEEP-BEEP-BEEP
                   As it backs up and Nature’s plan defies:
                        The upstart’s dreams are being realized
                         While our small city’s being mansionized.