(*ala Wizard of Oz)

A SONG FOR LINDSEY __________________________19
CHILDHOOD TRAINING _________________________20
BLOW ME AWAY _______________________________21
THE ULTIMATE COOL___________________________22
SPRING ________________________________________28
SWEATING IN THE FROSTY ____________________________29
INNOCENT ONES _____________________________________ 30
THE LOVE I LOST ___________________________________ 32
HE’S A MEAN AND EVIL DEMON ______________________33
MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF ________________________34
TO BAMA ___________________________________________35
LAMENT ____________________________________________36
NORWALK MOTOR INN __________________________ 37
TO MY GRANDPARENTS _____________________________38
THE FISHERMEN ALL CAME ALONG __________________40
PAPER WORDS FOR TAPPING FEET ___________________41




A Song For Lindsey

All those self made heroes
Trying to find just anyone
To tell their life’s long story,
Tell their tales of glory
Under the sun

And all the legend makers,
Those enormous fakers,
Trying to sell the story
Sell those tales of glory
To Everyone

Don’t worry when the record shows
That what they claim is more than they are,
More than they could ever be
Just like Don Quixote,

Are they wrong for dreaming?
Are they wrong for even scheming?
Their little plots may only be
Truth to children who hopefully
Reach out their hands to touch a star.

So what? Life’s an endless quest
To them, searching for the best.
Who are we to frown and laugh
When they believe in a better way
And try to conceive of a better day
From all the mess we made?

All I can do is toy with words.
My course is set, my game’s been played.
If not for them…what could I write
The sorrowful loss of youth’s shimmering light?

Oh! Quest maker, continue your quest.
Ah! Do gooder, do your best
And lover of life, live with zest
For Don Quixote rides with you,
All you troubadours,
Making poetry not with words
But with your lives.








Childhood Training

I am an artificial man,
My life is a masquerade
And with my false presentment
I lead the mock parade.
My words are measured carefully,
Though they may not be profound.
With my falsehood and my trickery,
I’ll turn your head around.
The me you see is never
The person who I am.
I’m hiding safe from inspection
Behind an endless sham.







Blow Me Away

It’s right
For you
To flutter
From flower
To flower,
To live from
Hour to hour,
Taste only
The sweetest

I float
On the wind
Like pollen too –
I may be
A lot
Like you
But when a flower
Halts my flight,
At least
For a while,
I’ll stay
And only
The softest
Blow me






The Ultimate Cool

It was conceived on a Sunday
And he was born on a Monday
And they called him Steven
For no absolute reason.
From nothing came something
That cries, feels, and knows
But most especially something
That grows.

He was a boy put upon the Earth
But the only reason for his birth
Was a fleeting moment in the night,
The climactic feeling of delight.
His fingers grew longer.
He went to school.
His muscles grew stronger,
But his parents forgot about the ultimate cool.

At only seven years of age
His suffering could fill many a page.
He was juggled and moved and swept out of the way,
Put in a home where orphans stay.
He learned how to read, how to tie his shoe,
The book said, “See Spot run.”
But where , O where, did Spot run to?
Where did he go when he wished to have fun?

His teeth dropped out.
His heart became stout.
His mind grew bigger.
A fact finder, deep digger,
He learned about things that all people need
And he, because he was nobody’s fool,
Began searching for a more eternal creed,
A thing he called the ultimate cool.

Ten years had passed since he was born
And still no righteous cross had he worn
But a cross he soon would bear,
And soon he would go where but a few dare.
A clearing in the mist, liquid turned to gel
Because a family of his own was not too far;
The stars were sun kissed and his pride would soon swell,
With a family to love him; But still he bore a permanent

His foster parents called him Steve
But don’t let the informal mood deceive
You into thinking that he was freed
From searching for a more eternal creed
And that is why he had to go
Back to the place of his birth,
Into a world he didn’t know,
And a time when there was no mirth.

So when he kissed his folks good bye
And his foster mother asked him, “Why?”
He just said, “Thanks for all the wonderful years,
I’m going now to conquer my fears.
I must keep moving. I can not rest.
I have no time for learning in school
Until I know I’ve done my best
To find the meaning of the ultimate cool.”

He looked toward the city with buildings tall.
His heart skipped a beat but he didn’t stall.
So he did the boxcar, hobo thing,
The stowing away the rail jumping
Until there was nothing left to eat
So he pulled out his watch and decided to hock it,
The watch his father, long ago, had won,
And traded fire in his eyes and faith in his pocket,
For faithless eyes and a rusty, old gun.

He didn’t know which way to turn.
He tried to work, tried to learn.
His ribs sticking out, his skin hanging loose,
No need for protection the gun had no use
Until with hunger and thirst raging in his soul
He remembered what he’d heard in school.
Money, someone had said, is what made men whole
And whole men had to have found the ultimate cool.

He finally found himself a job;
Fifty cents an hour but he didn’t sob.
Even though his inexperience, his tender years,
Were hidden by suffering and unannulled fears,
The boss in the city saw through his mask.
He was always sly and not in a daze
But he was too young. What more could he ask?
That question put him through another phase.

All the time he was tending the store
He was thinking of getting some hash next door
And when he left his friends to watch it, not rob
Everything, he got canned for leaving the job.
Where could he go but to them for a place?
“To the good time man, he’ll take care of you.”
They took him to see the man face to face,
The man who fronted a couple, then a few

Sacks of smack, snort horse, white delight.
So he sold them and fought the man’s every fight
And wanted to be just like him
Little bad Steve, like big bad Jim,
Who did every task the boss man bid
And started stepping toward death’s dismal door
He developed the habit and all he did
All day was stealing, buying and mainlining more.

Steve followed a pattern and followed it well
But as he reached the precipice and as he fell
Some unwitting someone, was there and caught him.
She worked at a hospital where she brought him,
Gave him attention and personal care,
Talked and touched him and soothed his fear
With beads of love and flowers from her hair.
His heart was filled as his head became clear,

Filled for a plain jane girl who,
With corn silk hair, blimp nose too,
With lips like snails,
Black iris and bloodshot pales,
Became, for him, Juliet of ancient fame.
He would let roots grow, have ends meet,
As she kindled in him an ancient flame.
She made him want to plant his feet.

He fell in love, that soothing pain,
And married her, and did not complain
And life was so awfully wonderful then.
His dreams came true but he didn’t know when
And then there was war and he took his part
Forgot about turning the other cheek,
Left the woman who’d read his chart
And told him that courage was not for the meek.

Well, drafted was he
And as quick as could be
He was one in ten million, a government issue
With tears unwiped and no toilet tissue.
With all the comforts of life taken away
He was a killing machine trained at war.
His friends died beside him with no time to say
Good bye and no one to tell them what for;

And, searching again through all the pain
Of life and love lost, he remembered his main
Purpose, the goal of his life,
The reason he’d put up with all the strife.
So he, being a man of the nature he was,
Ran to a neutral territory,
To fight against war and killing because
The ultimate cool was to be his story.

He loved his country, fruity meat and pit,
But far from his home he became a hermit.
Living off the land without a dime
He wished for his wife and dreamed of the time
When war would end and love would start.
The beautiful letter that he wrote to his wife
Was never sent but still it was art,
Filled with the emptiness of his life.

Reading the life he’d written down,
The fulfillment that he’d never found,
Tortured by what people had to say
About how he was dirt for running away,
He grew to love. He grew to hate.
He grew with every bruise and cut.
He grew in spite of his chosen fate
Because his eyes would not be shut

To the possibility of something better.
He forgave the world, forgot the letter.
He headed home to see his wife
Take his punishment and get on with his life.
Then the war ended and when the war ended
He was already home in a jail cell
But he wasn’t alone. Freedom defended,
The ones that lived tried to make him well

But his mind was gone and freedom lost,
At least freedom for free, because freedom’s cost
To Steven was his frame of mind
And the ultimate cool got left behind,
As age began to steal his parts,
Separate him from a joy for life.
The only cool then was two entwined hearts
And the beauty that was his loving wife.

She noticed the age, the difference in him.
He babbled after he lost a limb
And pain got old as pain sometimes does.
There was something missing but what it was
Was lost in muddled thought and remembrance.
Folks stopped stopping by, such a flighty host
Was he, and everything was in the past tense
And eating in the evening was milk and toast.

Too soon there was nothing for him to do.
His bones grew dry, his skin did too.
He only could watch his favorite sport
His lost arm limp, his breath was short.
He’d grown too old to participate
And could feel himself aging every day.
He was conscious of the time and date
Because so many had slipped away.

Growth steps are different except the first and last;
Death came too fast
But in death there was the promise of something new.
He waited for death for something to do
And if I ever reach that point,
The waiting for death, plodding toward death’s door,
I don’t want my life’s ambition to anoint
Me with jewels and oil. I want more.

I hope that I will be able to say
That I grew a little every day
And, like Steven, lose my childhood fear.
So the meaning of life became clear
To him. Like a clearing in the mist,
Liquid turned to gel.
The stars were sun kissed
With no secrets to tell

And the letter that was lost and put away
Was a love song found from an empty day
And those artsy words reminded the aging Steve
That there was something more. He was ready to receive
The grace of spirit from helping others,
The truth of death and a renewal
Of connection to all his human brothers

And now he lights the sky like a jewel
With billions of souls that found the ultimate cool.














A new life began the day he died;
It was autumn at the time.
I see the coffin in my dreams
And hear the church bells chime
Harmony with uncaring spades
That slowly fill his grave.
With all the wonders of modern man,
There was one man they couldn’t save.

Now flowers bloom and buds on trees,
New born birds and honey bees,
Sing a song of enormous rebirth
In the ground and nest and hive.
Why, then, can not the one I love
Be back again, alive?










Sweating in the Frosty

Sweating in the frosty
Chill of a winter’s day.
My skis and poles and boots
Are still safely tucked away.
The cold winter weather
Reached a record high.
A dark and windy forecast
And not a cloud in the sky.
It’s much too warm to catch a cold
So with telescopes folks go,
In bathing suits and sunglasses,
To search the sky for snow.












Innocent ones: you, the one that died
And you, (left behind) who cried
In life after the death of a friend:
In death or in life the friendship won’t end,
For death means a reunion with the one
Who was your earth and moon and sun
And though, innocent one who lives no longer,
Your pain was great, you were so much stronger
Than the one that was left behind to suffer.
Thoughts of you, the dead, have managed to hand cuff her,
The living, into immobility
Withstanding greater pains in nobility
But ever bending under the weight
Of life’s limitations and of burdens too great
To be borne by one innocent one alone.

That is why I, to whom innocence has been denied,
Have been sent around to grieve by the side
Of this innocent one, so all alone.
You must be shown
That love and care need not end
With the sorrowful death of a loving friend.
Left behind on this tangled earth,
You must live your life sharing the endless mirth
Of your friend who now can feel no pain.
Sing a happy song of love and its sweet refrain
Will lovingly sing back at you again and again.

You’re the one, the one who suffers now
And if you try you may learn how
To live with the death that set your friend free
To sail high above the clouds so endlessly–
Endlessly watching everything you do.
Oh! Innocent one it’s up to you
To live her life as well as your own
And one day you may be flown
To that the eternal meeting place
To, once again, meet her face to face
But for now let her death share in your life.
Let her strength share in all your strife
And in life you may share some of the joy
That she had to die for. You are the messenger-boy
Of the happiness you know she has found.
So, to keep her alive, spread her mirth around
And she will be happier at your contentment
As long as, in your heart, you hold no resentment
For the fact that she left us way before you.
She left to you love and something to do:
To live your life, one life, as two.











The Love I Lost

Under this bush, under that one,
In the back seat where we sat once,
Along the path to lover’s leap,
(Remember? The drop was much too steep)
Around each and every bend we took,
Is where I desperately look and look
For a simple sign, for the smallest clue
To where the love went when I gave it to you,
Where it landed when you threw it away.
I search hour to hour, day to day
For a smile or a wink or another sign
Of the love that once was mine, all mine.

When I finally find the love I lost,
When my emotions are no longer tossed,
Like drifting wood, by waves, ashore,
I won’t have to search for love anymore,
Won’t need to be blind to the friendship all around,
When the love I lost is finally found.












He’s a Mean and Evil Demon

He’s a mean and evil demon with eyes of fiery red.
The devil makes him thirsty and the devil keeps him fed.
You, pretty little innocent, had better keep your head.
If he says go backward, go forward instead.

He’s a mean and evil demon and he has his eyes on you.
If you look too deeply, there’ll be nothing you can do.
He’ll take you in his power and the things he’ll put through
Will rot your soul and turn your blood a darker shade of

He’s a mean and evil demon who’ll rape your mind and steal
your heart,
And when he has no use for it, he’ll tear your soul apart.
Stop him, stop his evil deeds, stop them before they start,
Before he has a chance to use his lascivious form of art.

He’s a mean and evil demon who’ll blind you with the truth.
He’ll close your eyes saying evil things and he’ll claim he’s
saying sooth.
He’ll entwine your head in weedy vines and gin and dry
He’ll take your womanhood away from you while he quietly
steals your youth.

He’s a mean and evil demon so you’d better keep alert.
He’ll have your heart for dinner, your pure soul for dessert.
Then he’ll say that he must leave and it will really hurt,
Even though he tortured you and made you feel like dirt.

He’s a mean and evil demon.






























Make It Easy On Yourself

Make it easy on yourself.
Put your sloth upon a shelf
And save it for a better day.
It’s hard to use it anyway,
For level heads and steady hands
Tame the seas and rule the lands
With forward forces driving ever,
Here to stay, stop striving never,
You’ll find your work is a bottomless well,
A source of joy and stories to tell.
Forces refined remain strong and true
And practice makes them a part of you
And level heads and steady hands
To tame the seas and rule the lands
Will be your justice, your well earned reward
As your work and life bring you toward
A time when work is leisure to you,
When you’re only at rest with something to do.
So get yourself to work today.
Put your worries and fears away.
Make it easy on yourself.









To Bama The Village Poet

Bama, village poet, man of black,
You stand tall and defiant
Uncompromising and enraged.
If you need to, you’ve agreed to go back
But only if you can do it black.

Stand firm and proud at your conviction
And bend to no man’s jurisdiction.
Unlike those blinded by the fingers of fate,
Blinded by systematized claws of hate,
You have maintained your sight and you can see
A dawn in the darkness, what it would be
If only we were truly free.
You are a black man, nigger no more,
Never to go back to what came before
And, though you can not forgive and forget me,
I will call you brother if you will just let me.

Black man, I stand by your side
And though I can not share your pride,
I share your dream– What a world it would be–
If every man were truly free.

So call me honkie and say that I’ve lied
And I’ll call your bluff and stand by your side
And though a brother in blackness I could never be,
In the ghettos of my mind I have never been free.
Maybe that’s what makes us brothers.






































Significant change has never been made
By the passing of a moment
And though it may seem hopeless
You can’t trade your lifelong ambition
For a moment’s success, if the passing
Of a moment can only bring
A fading happiness.

A monument in stone will stand alone
But artistry in flesh and blood
Can change the sweep of a powerful tide.
If just one person can understand,
Victory is a little closer at hand
But final victory is only yours
When everyone declares an end to the wars.
Your screaming has a wasteful, wanton feel
When change can be made in a tick and a tock
But acceptance slows down the wheel.







Seduction by a San Paku Lady
In the Parking Lot of
The Norwalk Motor Inn

How can you so quickly say
That this is an escaping?
I am untouched for many days
But once was a starlet’s daughter;
You can see it in my eyes.

I go zoom, back and forth,
To chance meetings with
Obscure knowledge faded,
I am a genius, once I was a queen
But now I prefer to be fed
And clothed and carefully coddled;
Riches to rags, riches to rags.

There is no use in going on
To live a life half sane.
So come with me behind the walls
Where what you will is true;
Your sickness is as great as mine
And will be long in mending.










To My Grandparents

Remember the days when Earth was large,
When a man’s ways were oft his own?
We grasp so little that is known
But we understand
It’s complexity and too much that make the ugly
Seem more grotesque.
Infinity either way, you save or you spend
But how can infinity and imaginary numbers
In sets and subsets
Free the shackled mind?
Has everything been changed in this foreign land
Or do we just look differently
At things we took for granted then?
It goes in circles, it all was planned;
On this we depend
But how, why, and all that matters can change
When things, once flat, get spherical.









Poem from an Assigned First Line

The mind is a city (overpopulated).
We clean it up now and then
When meaningful people visit,
Display famous landmarks,
Propagate an ideal.
After the mood is justified,
If ornaments and trappings
Are not considered, it’s
Mostly buildings growing
Haphazardly toward the sky.
We don’t know how far to extend,
When to stop or become polluted.
Nature, lost, is not soon forgotten
So we create our own to compensate;
Plant trees along the avenues,
Paint the concrete artfully.










The Fishermen All Came Along

Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day,
I see Granny at the stove but there’s nothing for the pan;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.

My home’s a mess, my business down, my life is slow decay
But my belly’s stretched out and I’m glad to know that I’m
doing all I can,
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day.

When the kids get home, when the wife gets mad, I never know
what to say
To explain why all I have to claim today is a gut and a darker tan;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.

The neighbors moved, but I got stuck, so I guess I’m here to
Not much to do but the work’s not hard; some say I’m a
fortunate man,
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer all the sunny day.

I never was one to sit and moan and watch myself get gray
So I’ve been smiling since the day this began;
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.

Three years ago, there were no more fish. The sportsmen were
glad to pay
For a pond and some tanks and some tiny fish eggs. Last year
went according to plan;
Cradled in a boat with a pole and a beer, all the sunny day,
The fishermen all came along and fished the fish away.















Paper Words for Tapping Feet

The shadows, quivering red and black,
Excite the dance floor. You thrive on contrast,
Don’t you? You turn the thrill around
Until the flow is blushing at your wild, teasing wiggles.
Isn’t it wonderful how lust can deceive?
I make my youthful move toward you and you
Doubt my intentions, make my heart pound,
Inches away. I grope at your beauty
In my clumsy attempt to carve myself into your memory
But you will not give me a tainted love.
It’s your habit to expose yourself, briefly.
You play with the cut of your dress between
Us and show the boy behind my charade.
You smile as your lover reclaims you
And as I walk into the night, with arms crossed
And salty tears, I remember your rhythm and rhyme.