Monday, June 26, 2017

Your Words

Behold the supple sounds of words that slip
So easy from your fluid tongue and trip
Across your teeth and fall across your lip
That help you hold or make you lose your grip.

Do they make bonds of beauty, boundless--bear
New knowledge, wisdom, virtues, make us fair
Here in the world--do they bring smiles of care
Or bring on bravery and make us dare?

Beware the sinister, cruel words that weigh
And break and bruise, intended to delay
The births of dancers for the dawning day,
Designed to trip, make slip, our virtue's play.

With every word you utter all the Earth
Will tilt to Heaven or to Hell in worth.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Warm Glow of Trade

The market milled with women, men who made
To sell and sought to buy, and from this wrought
A greater value for themselves--each sought
Advantage, but each gained through mutual trade.
Each trader left the other pleased, each bade
The other happy days--the buyer bought,
The seller sold, each having what they ought--
Each gained, for money is an accolade.

In trade there's trust, and always value grows
To fill our lives with value, happiness--
Each trade is trust, and trust is bond--each bind
Brings people closer--every person knows
What better binds us is true moralness--
Thus markets make us better, warm and kind.

Monday, June 12, 2017


The sun is speaking in cicada song,
And as the heat intensifies we hear
The trees burst out with buzzing, blazing cheer.

But surely what he says to us is wrong--
We wonder at his words and sip our beer
And as the heat intensifies we hear
The trees burst out with buzzing, blazing cheer.

We raise our cup before this noisy throng--
There's nothing here on earth we hold more dear,
Yet in this field admit that we all fear
The sun is speaking in cicada song,
And as the heat intensifies we hear
The trees burst out with buzzing, blazing cheer.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017


The sand is swirling in the wind--I grasp
The sand here in my hand and with a flash
Of lightning spark and flatten it and send
Another lightning surge to make it dash

Into a simple form of thought, if/then,
And/or, a simple switch and route, a one
And none to make this simple sand a flow
To calculate each aspect of the sun

And planets, galaxies, and other simple
Things crossing paths across the cosmos strands
In images of neurons neurons image
To help us calculate the swirling sands.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Forgotten Man

(An adaptation from William Graham Sumner)

The simple, honest laborer who earns
His living by productive work. We pass
Him by because he’s independent, self-
Supporting, asks no favors, won’t appeal
To the emotions, never would excite
The sentiments. He only wants to make
A contract and fulfill it, with respect
On both sides, favor shown on neither side.
He has to make his growing living from
The country’s capital that, as it grows
The better living he can make. Each part
Of capital that’s wasted on the vicious,
The idle, and the shiftless is the gold
That’s taken from the capital that should
Have been available as just reward
For him, the independent and productive
Laborer. We ignore, do not remember
Him just because he makes no clamor; is
He not the man who ought to be remembered?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Love After Death

It's odd that you are loved when you are dead--
The body rots, is cold and decomposing
While you are loving me. The dirt's enclosing
All but the memory of me--unwed
Without divorce--the soul inside my head
Lives on in yours, in paper fragments prosing
And poeming my soul, refined, exposing
My self that in this world I would embed.

The unity of me is freed in death
And I am left in fragments, memories
In others' heads that may not match, in rhyme
And rhythm, supple sounds that caught my breath
In marks that freeze my soul and, freezing, frees
Me to eternal life and endless time.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Shifting to the Guilty

The man they sacrificed transformed the wood
That grew around the town to structures great
And beautiful, transforming each man's fate.

And yet, the plague still spread its deathly hood
Despite the efforts of the growing state
That grew around the town to structures great
And beautiful, transforming each man's fate.

But when they learned that evil can't be good,
They sacrificed their king without debate,
Lamenting that their folly would create
The man they sacrificed, transformed the wood
That grew around the town to structures great
And beautiful, transforming each man's fate.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Poetic Existence

This poem is a figment of my mind--
It doesn't exist--dogs can't eat it, birds
Can't perch on it--these mere mark-sounds unwind
In music notes and rhythms and in words.

And when I die, and if and when these marks
Will disappear, will they have made a place
In all this cosmos any more than larks
Who sing upon the line with sonic grace?

Or will these patterns, more complex than you
And me because the poem requires we
To be, and all mere facts less than the true
This poem is, and more complex, more free,

Be much more real than anything that came
Before and light the cosmos with its flame?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mornings With You

The Earth is turning, moving me to morning
Where the light is lifting, pinks and blue adorning
The atmosphere, horizon. It is poor
Compared to you, the beauty I adore
Where light is lifting, moving me to morning.
The Earth is turning, pinks and blues adorning.

Monday, April 24, 2017

On Patterned Ground

The rocks are richly ranged in round
Through looping layers lifting leaps
Of swirls that swell in swings and sweeps.

Are flying fairies' feathers found,
Their cries increasing? Credit creeps
Through looping layers lifting leaps
Of swirls that swell in swings and sweeps.

The grizzled graze on growing ground
And sheer the shining sharp as sheep's
Wool down the dank and darkling deep
The rocks are richly ranged in round
Through looping layers lifting leaps
Of swirls that swell in swings and sweeps.

Monday, April 17, 2017

On History

The restless river runs deep red
While on the bank the people glance
With love, make children, song, and dance.

They come, enjoy the festive spread---
The river tries to make a trance---
While on the bank the people glance
With love, make children, song, and dance.

While killing, stealing, crimes are read
As history---our only stance
Great criminals or weary chance
The restless river runs deep red.
While on the bank the people glance
With love, make children, song, and dance.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rivalrous Planning

Blood is blinding, bleating blackened
Rivers. Read around. The rivals
Lust for long and limber ladies
Mocking manly murmurs mild. But
Horses heft their humans -- Hades
Fires flash and form the fairies
Winging where they wish we were --
Dragons drink then, drastic, drag on
People pushing poisoned passions --
Yet you yearn for yesteryears that
No one nowhere knows, are nothing.

Monday, April 3, 2017

On the Value of a Poem

This poem isn't worth a dime. It's not!--
No one will pay me--magazines will send
Their thanks--and when I see my poem hot
Off of the presses, that's where it will end.

But do not worry, some will say--the day
A person pays for poetry with cash
Your poems will lose all their value. Stay
Impoverished or all your work is ash.

Oh, what an odd trick of bookkeeping! Add,
And there's subtraction--trade to value less--
And profit bears no profit--just the sad
Are happy and the nude are all who dress.

Perhaps, instead, with value value trade
And only then your verses will not fade.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A World in Fragments

You look at me and you don't see it---I
Seem just like you, or maybe I look worse,
Or better---I'm a white man---do you see
So many others just like me? Deny
Your eyes---they lie---I differ---that's a curse
To you---I have a mind you try to flee.

You see in wholes, then slowly break them down---
I see in fragments, slowly build them up---
You see in hierarchy---you have to place---
I see equality from white through brown,
Men, women, gay and straight---I give my cup
To fill each member of the human race.

Though born among you, my borne culture's strange,
And I am born with it---you're merely born
Within your culture---yours a dress, mine skin--
And there is nothing that I can arrange
To help you see---you're blind, I am forlorn---
We are and are not always never kin.

I have a sort of ultraviolet sight
That can't see red---and so I see the shapes
Of things you cannot see---and also, you---
You fail to see what brings me joy, delight---
And much of you is hidden behind drapes
So all I see is shadows of the true.

But there's a true you hide from you---the sun
Exposes it to me---it makes me laugh---
That laughter, it offends---you think me cold---
My care is practical---what I find fun
Is boring---yet, I promise, it is half
As boring as your anecdotes half-told.

And yet, you look at me---I'm merely odd---
Naive, perhaps---I'm privileged, that seems clear---
Those things you see, think you see---my eyes dart
Away---you think I'm rude---I'm hearing God
In poetry---anxiety and fear
Are ever-present---stop!---behold my heart.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beyond the Two

I've conquered you to bring you peace--this war
Was for the follies you embrace--let go
And in your freedom you will not be poor--
I've saved you from yourself so you can grow.
Don't hold on to your shabby, wretched home
For if you do you'll be put in the grave.

Some people ought to stay at home--you roam
To where nobody wants you. Coward, brave
This notion that you cannot conquer me
Or all of life's diversity--each soul
Is seeking freedom out on beauty's tree,
So thankfully you can't achieve your goal.

We'll never give the oversoul release
Until we get beyond mere war and peace.

Monday, March 13, 2017

I Hear the Trumpet Calling

I hear the trumpet calling all the souls
To bathe in trumpery for all their sins
And take the trump to make sure each one wins.

Each digs around to find the frigid coals
That will not warm the water in tin bins
To bathe in trumpery for all their sins
And take the trump to make sure each one wins.

Now each will have to pay the others' tolls
But find they carry only empty tins
As each are kept out of the warmest inns---
 I hear the trumpet calling all the souls
To bathe in trumpery for all their sins
And take the trump to make sure each one wins.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Coming Winter

We've lain in luxury for much too long,
Transformed ourselves to snowflakes, finding wrong
In every tiny thing---our weakness winds
Through every aspect of our lives---our minds
Are melting, slush. We're neither manly nor
Womanly---we're serious and soul-poor,
Like children but without the pleasant charms.
We're safe, so we are out inventing harms---
These days of decadence drive our demand
For new Victorians to take command---
And we soon will, and then we will oppress
The liberties that made this awful mess.
We will destroy all joy to show we care---
We're poor in learning, wealth to make life fair---
We spread our ignorance but can't ignore
That you oppress with each held-open door.
You know I'm right, so do not challenge me---
You do, into a safe room I will flee
And relish in my knowing, icy cold---
I'll grow among my fellow snowflakes bold.

Monday, February 27, 2017

What You're Not

You're not a poet--do not be ashamed
You're not a poet--very few can sing
Or play an instrument, compose a song
Or symphony, or paint a picture, draw
Realistically or write a novel, play,
Or television show, or act on stage
Or in a film or on the television.
You're not a poet--then again, you're not
A physicist or chemist, biologist
Or--though you think you are--psychologist,
Economist, or sociologist.
You have no expertise in these rare things
If you're a normal human being--yet,
You do not feel ashamed that you have failed
To be these things--but poetry's a form
Of language--and, you say, we do all speak--
And yet--and yet, and yet...we do not speak
In rhythms and in rhymes, select our words
With all their meanings and their sounds displayed
And crafted, framed and focused to be found
In ways that worry weary neurons pushed
Well past the way that language is most used.
So I'm a poet--you are not--enjoy
The work the artist does without resentment--
Enjoy the work the poet does--it's art.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I am the Poet

I am the poet in the tree
Up hear no one comes after me
I'm free, a flea upon my knee
I am the poet in the tree

I am the poet in the bush
And here my lyrics need a push
There is a thorn here in my tush
I am the poet in the bush

I am the poet in the grass
I'm laying here next to my lass
No lyre here, but only brass
I am the poet in the grass

I am the poet in the ground
Where poets always can be found
To Hades, down, then upward bound
I am the poet in the ground

I am the poet in the sea
The fishes swarm and do not flee
The sharks ignore my final plea
I am the poet in the sea

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Promise You

I love you for the things that make you you
I promised it to death
I'd love you as time works to make you new
Love takes away my breath

I love you every atom made of ash
My supernova star
I'd love you through eternity's short flash
That makes you feel so far

I love you even when I cannot say
Or horror dare forget
I'd love you every evening, night, and day
It's grown since we first met

I love you, every single lovely segment
And unity's relation
 I'd love you even if you were a figment
Of my imagination

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Future

The butterfly is leaping from the cusp
The petals make unfolding in the sun --
A flap, a cantor dust of dew sprays out
From hair-wide legs and in the air have spun
In golden spirals undulating down,
Refracting butterfly reflections won
In scattered wavicles of laser light
That cause cascades of soft delight begun
On mossy mornings when the sky is low,
On mellow mornings when the white is dun --
The sun is soft like petal hairs the breeze
Is undulating in a subtle run --
And with the burst of heat each rigid wing
Announces that we all will feel the spring.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Beauty and Ideology

In beauty there is strong connection
In beauty there is love
In beauty there is paradox
In beauty there is awe
In beauty there is growth and life
In beauty there is infinite delight
In beauty there is deep complexity
In beauty there's the promise to be free

In ideology there's only hate
In ideology the other must soon die
In ideology the misanthrope survives and thrives
In ideology there's but conformity
In ideology the demons find delight
In ideology there's only death and slavery

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Love Sonnet

I can't connect outside my intellect --
Excepting the deep love I feel for wife
And children -- one is natural, one a gift
From sources never known before -- this life,
An alien among the earthlings, sings
In tunes I cannot quite repeat, a feat
That makes me feel less fleet and sails
Me off to lands where I but feel defeat.
But when, on second thought, I must reflect
On all the beauty in my life, I shift
Back to the loves I have, and from me springs
Out lines of joy instead of whines and wails.
The chaos that I bring society
Makes me and it creative and more free.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Terror Birds

Beware the terrorists that always lurk
In every bush and building -- some lame jerk
With penis envy, ideology
Replacing love -- a useful idiot,
A boogeyman who we think we must flee
Because the baby just might have a fit.
A rare and useful idiot who gains
His enemies more power through his pains.

But little do the common people know
That rarest things create the greatest show.

With horse-head beaks that tear the flesh and rip
The smallest prey in two, the blood will drip
Onto the tongue and thrill the taste and baste
The air for every scavenger for miles
To trace back to the bones with little waste,
The blood-streaked bones all cracked in scattered piles --
An ancient land where terror was once rife,
The last of an extincting way of life.

Since little do the common people know
That rarest things create the greatest show.

In this, a time of war and rumored war,
When things seem more like Nineteen Eighty-Four,
When life, it seems, is in a great stagnation
And ideology's a terrorist
And we are losing every strong relation
Once based in love, now crushed under a fist --
And what is crushed is beauty, truth, the good --
You'll see the light if you'll but lift your hood.

Yes, little do the common people know
That rarest things create the greatest show.

We love our lives in Stockholm, with our birds
Who tell us what we want to hear with solemn words,
And we believe their every word of fear
When life is truly better, safer, war
And terror rarer now than ever -- we're
The gullibles who won't peak through the door.
The demagogues are who we have to flee
If mind, then body, ever will be free.

Monday, January 16, 2017

My Mind's Crucible

The throbbing fire in my soles abate
When I'm no longer conscious, and my hips
Send lightning when the storms arrive. This fate
Befell me from my birth in torrents, drips.
Rare blackouts, common twitches seize and freeze
Me -- never does this body please me -- ache
In joints and guts (so far there's still good knees),
My shoulders, back, migraines for goodness sake!
A cataract is coating my left lens --
The artificial one that had replaced
The one with cataract. I lift my pens
To say the endless things that I have faced.

But in the brilliance of the world I sing
Until these pains fade away to nothing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


"Nothing must be allowed to distract from the world's elections." -- Anthony Esolen

Beloved neighbor, do not mark a check
Against me when we share a language, hope
Our children will find love, a common beck
By music we can share, that help us cope.

Beloved neighbor, do not choose to force
When we can work together, share a dish,
Behold a common place and set a course
From known to unknown lands, a common wish.

Beloved neighbor, do not take the path
Toward division--do not heed the cry
Of separationists--division is their math
When we would grow and add and multiply.

Far better that together, through the day
We join in our tradition, culture, play.

Monday, January 9, 2017

After Death

I've killed myself and celebrate that death
I had to die -- I had to bleed and burst
My heart, a self-inflicted wound, a blade
That made a soul that I would never trade
For past -- I would not celebrate the worst
Whose coffin's covered with dry baby's breath.

I sunk, enjoyed the chaos of the dark,
Enjoyed the dance and music of the dead
Inviting me to stay beneath the earth
Where I, they promised, now would find my worth
There in the silence, shadows. I'd be bled
To bring my voice into the meadow lark.

Just step into the river, lie and float,
The easy choice. A tiny troll, grotesque
And hideous, grabbed hold my hand and showed
A rocky rise no one could call a road
Or path and said to me in a burlesque
And eager voice to sing a higher note.

Why should I follow up a rocky trail
A being less inviting than the way
He showed me when the water offered me
A death of ease. It's hardship I would flee
In death -- why clamor, scratch another day?
Why try another thing that I could fail?

I stepped into the river, but the troll
Pulled back on me -- I stepped onto the bank
And knew I could not step into it twice.
The mountain path was swarming with gray mice --
I turned away and then I felt a yank
And I gave in to climb the jagged knoll.

I think I left more blood upon the stones
I climbed across than I had left behind
When I had ended my disordered life
And thought that I could leave behind the strife
Of Eris, Eros, Ares undefined
Yet heavy on my mind and on my bones.

The moment that I reached the plateau's peak
The troll released my hand and turned and said,
"Now you must go beyond. I cannot hold
Your hand," and then he turned to stone so cold
I shivered in the chill. But having tread
So far I could not let myself be weak.

I took a breath that I could see -- I gazed
Up at the final cliff to climb -- I'd lost
Myself before, and now with finger grips
I had a second life where all my slips
Would strengthen me, where every single cost
Would profit me, where downcast eyes were raised.

I struggled up the cliff face certain I
Would see the promised mountain meadow, land
Where I could stand in silent awe, where streams
Would quench my thirst at last and all that seems
Would then turn into someplace I could stand
And I'd be thankful that I'd had to die.

An eagle high above began to soar
And circle -- then it dropped and swooped beside
My head. It rose and made another dive,
But all it did was tighten up my drive
To climb the cliff and make sure I'd not died
To simply be what I had been before.

I plucked a feather from the eagle's tail
And felt a lightness, swiftness as I clawed
Up to the top and found the ancient field --
Arcadia, where all the poets yield --
And in that field I planted Jacob's rod
With knowledge, wisdom, beauty I'd not fail.

And there I found myself another voice
And there I found myself another mind --
And where I found myself, the eagle came
And in that other life we both were tame --
And here I found my riches, once unmined:
A life more beautiful, and now my choice.