Sunday, September 24, 2017

Thin Line--An October Poem

For David Hernandez
A grandfather whose kindness I can never repay

The fires are lit to stave
Off first hoarfrost
The harvest in
With its scent of rot mingled
Amid sweetness
Overhead winged
Cry out in joyful unison
On their way home

Below crickets trill
Las Abuelas begin the story
Stitching us to the tapestry
Weaving our fate
Into the fragile web
Gossamer threads between
Being and non-being
Betwixt between
The thin line of here
And over there
Outside time
The fires are lit
For love and
Heart’s desire
Before extinquished
In final glory
And all is well


October 19, 2016
Tsegyalgar East

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Homage to Ally R.I.P.


        

for my brother Mike

My feline queen --Ally
Love bug and long heart companion
Spirit sprite of so many years
          Your purr music to our ears
Ever in our midst a gentle being
Confused by killer instinct to pounce on wispy bugs
        or the mouse behind the fridge
You were born for a higher purpose
Nesting in my lap while practicing
               or listening to dharma talks
Soothing Mike who dotted on you
Serving your every need

My heart aches now and then
When first I held you in my palm a tiny kitten
The fragility of it all

My sweet girl I wish you well
Roaring through the corridor of
Rebirth may you
Snuggle close to the heartbeat
of loving tenderness –your special forte
and come back to us one way or other

September 3, 2017
Highland Village
Shelburne Falls, MA


Photo by Jacqueline Gens, September 2011

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Another Found Poem--Gould's Sugar House


Gould’s Sugar House

I wait for Kate my therapist
Now long-time friend
To join me for brunch
At Gould’s Sugar House
On Route 2 historic Mohawk Trail
This peculiar cusp of no-winter
Early spring day when hardly any sap
Will flo -- for you see it takes freezing nights
And warm days to make the sap flow
There in the rustic barn above the
Sugar house for a contemplative moment
I see all the people before me
The music of the din of restaurant
Noises, sips of coffee,
Contentment in anticipation of 
Pancakes, waffles, corn fritters
Each in their own vision of reality
Not touching yet together seeking
The taste of that sap

With its sugar of sweetness   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nearing Summer Solstice

Here's another favorite "seasonal" poem I like to post every year.


Nearing Summer Solstice

At Tires for Less on Route 9
I wait to exchange snow studs
for all season tires past the April deadline--
A young skinhead,
with spider web on his naked
elbow strips the lugs
which hit the floor as he moves on haunches,
feral menace with a drill bit.
I pace the pavement,
looking down at the Connecticut River.
At the edge of blacktop next to a field of low
lying wildflowers and scrub brush,
broken glass and butts indicate I'm not the first.
Two monarchs catch my attention, then flecks
of orange move among purple cones,
a different butterfly, with fur edges.
This day is long with light and I have time
to wonder how they know to convene
by the hundreds in this dump
oblivious to trucks and cars speeding past,
their movements counterpoint
to my own noisy impatience, calmed a moment,
until spider boy calls me over.

Reprinted from Connotation, November 2009

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Poem I Found Among my Papers---Is it Mine or Someone Else's?

Going through 40 years of papers I found this poem draft in my handwriting  without a date or author.....Some of the syntax seems like mine, in other places not so. Generally, I do not copy out poems by others. On occasion I've found poem fragments without recollection of writing them down which seem strangely unfamiliar while familiar too. If the following work is NOT by me, my apology. In this instance not so interested in the weak craft with excessive use of passive verb tenses and adverbs but more in the content. So here it is:

FOUND DRAFT--

I've not been troubled much
by self-definition, 
leaving such works---
when all was said and done---
to others less inclined
to live, it seems to me, 
but called mysteriously,
to the judgement seat.
Spread your nets fastidiously,
catch a fish or two, 
but where's the sea?
Life's a tangle, isn't it
of pointed fingers?
Just where they point
escapes me!
Live in the web,
if you insist, I'll take
the spaces in between.
Quarrel how the  fountain's 
to be shaped,
I'm one with the water
or I'm nothing, I'll agree,
but shapely, nonetheless
Zero has its elegance
and so do lips
but what's said once
is never said again
I live in the once 
I die in the twice again.

So here's my first revision  dated Memorial Day, May 28, 2017 on a rainy afternoon. Will let it sit awhile. 

I'm not troubled much
by self-definition, 
leaving such work---
to others less inclined
to live in mystery.
Spread your nets fastidiously,
catch a fish or two, 
but where's the sea?
Life's a tangle, isn't it
of pointed fingers?
Just where they point
escapes me!
Live in the web,
if you insist, I'll take
the spaces in between.
Quarrel how the fountain's 
shaped, I'm one with the water
or I'm nothing,
Zero has its elegance
and so do lips
but what's said once
is never said again
I live in the once 

I die in the twice again.