Friday, April 29, 2016

You In Here

As poet there is nothing I can do
About the fact that all you read is you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

On Misanthropy

The lovers of humanity are really misanthropes
Who cannot stand real people. Smiling, they just bring the ropes
To tie their legs and hands--and when they have their victims bound
And when they've cut out all their tongues so they can't make a sound,
They'll look in pity on the slaves that they have cruelly caught
Within their misanthropic web of hate and say they ought
To thank them for the drink and food they give since they can't take
Care of themselves. They swear they do this for all mankind's sake--
They see themselves superior--their egos love to grow
Upon the flesh of all their captive prey. But soon they'll know
What every autocrat will someday learn--that slavery
Will one day end and from the misanthropes we'll all be free.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Door

You stand before the wooden door. It's closed.
Perhaps it's locked. What stands behind the door?
Another room? Outside, where you're exposed?
Will you be safe or will you dare explore?

You stand before the open door, each hinge
A tarnished plate of brass exposed to sight--
The threshold dares invite--you feel a twinge--
Of anger? Fear? Of sorrow? Hate? Delight?

You stand before the weathered door--it's cracked
And all you have to do is push--a breeze
Could open it--anticipation's wracked
Your muscles, which must push and which still freeze.

There's sometihng that you sense deep in your core--
You know that one of these is your own door.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I made a sound--it made you laugh, or cry--
It made you wish that either you or I
Would die--it made you pause and reminisce--
It brought you sorrow, joy--it brought you bliss

I made a sound and you got off your chair--
It made you gnash your teeth and pull your hair--
It made you gasp--it made you clasp your mouth--
It made you take a trip down to the South

I made a sound--it changed your very brain--
It made you want to sing its soft refrain--
It made you feel the absence of all ground,
For that's the power we have in a sound.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Politician

He came into the cave with trumpery
To spare and found the prophet, shot him dead
And told the chained men, "Only look to me.

I'll care for you and you will lose all dread!"

He climbed up to the cavern's open mouth
And rolled a stone across it, made a seal
Against the sun, and then he headed south
And doused the flame. The dark engulfed the real.

"Just hear my voice," the man announced. "That's all
You need, for I'll take care of all of you.
Behind you I have made a great stone wall
Protecting you. I promise that it's true."

He said, "I promise I'm the chosen one!"
Then lit a fart and said, "Behold! The sun!"

Friday, April 22, 2016


You think my poems analyze or blame?
Then you don't know how poems play the game.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I stand before the world, astonished--see
The ways words fold in people's mouths to flee
The facts, the truth, the myths which must explain
The things we've learned--and in that knowledge, gain--
That violate what's clear and obvious
To anyone who has evolved, like us,
From social apes in hierarchies with males
Who love to dominate. It never fails--
We must have government, an alpha who
Will tell us what is just and right and true--
The world is zero-sum, and what is gained
Just comes from loss or others' fortunes waned.
But none of this is true--we do not need
To keep the species at an ape-slow speed.
We stand on new horizons--do be proud
We are the urban species, and we crowd
Ourselves in interactive densities
To get along with strangers, seek to please
Them rather than to use cruel force to steal
The things we want. The Huns want to repeal
Our civilized discourse and interactions
And, racists, sexists that they are, make factions.
The trader, innovator link to make
A social world for everybody's sake.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To the Failed Entrepreneur

You stood upon the brink and stared down fear
And sought to sell what you thought we would want,
But you miscalculated and paid dear--
You took a risk and then you took the brunt.

And though financially you're ruined, broke
And bankrupted because you couldn't make
It work-and though you are unknown, a cloak
Of ignorance about your fate can't take

Away your courage, everything you've done
For everyone by trying--when you fell
And failed, you helped us learn. No, there is none
Who did not grow from water from your well.

Unlike a soldier you's shot down in war,
Your loss is hardly permanent--you stand
To try again, to learn--an open door
Is what you see, and through it are the grand

And awesome opportunities that you
Will make if you succeed or fail--the wealth
Of our society is only due
To those who fail and learn--you are our health.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Coffee for the Soul

You shouldn't want to quench a student's thirst
For knowledge--No!--You ought to make them burst
With thirst and die to know still more and more--
Like coffee, knowledge is a drink we pour
And pour into our endless cup--awake
It makes us, makes us thirst for more--a lake
Of coffee makes us want an ocean--know
And you must know some more--it is a flow
That opens flows. It's when a student's cursed
Your teaching that you've quenched a student's thirst!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Social Justice Warriors

They march, they march, they march
Against imagined slights
Their lives are almost perfect so
They're out there picking fights

They're easily offended
They're always waging war
They wear the mask of the oppressed
And play at being poor

They think that they're so moral
They think that they're so brave
But all they really want to do
Is put love in the grave

But all they really do is
Project their guilt and shame--
Cry-bully racists who oppose
Themselves think you're the same

They hate free speech, propose
New segregation rules--
These racists against racism
Are dangerous and fools

And so they march, they march--
They march against a ghost
Of history they keep alive,
For they love hate the most

Monday, April 11, 2016

To Whom the Future Speaks

The things he said just seemed ridiculous,
As everything a prophet says must sound,
For we are certain that the future's open
And prophets mean the future must be known.

But boundaries are never absolute--
The boundaries of these poetic lines
Are not deterministic--freedom grows
In spaces that each good rule will define.

The futures whisper in the prophet's ear
In metaphoric lines like rapid streams
And rivulets that therefore are poetic
And often come in vivid fever-dreams.

Our branching choices speak from future times
Through whisper-voices that but speak in rhymes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Spring

The winter ends with the emergent crocus
That violates the snow. Bright daffodils
Add sun to melting sun. The fiery tulip
Cups sun and dew before the watery iris
Brings violet once again. The blood-tipped dogwood
Flowers spread white beside the rosy redbud.

Is this a tiny pea upon the redbud
Tree, smaller than the tiny grounded crocus?
The flat and woody flowers of the dogwood
Approach in size the nodding daffodils,
While all the twisted petals of the iris
Bring beauty different from the simple tulip.

In streaks of color, there's no simple tulips --
In small complexity, match the rich redbud
While solid color, simple lines on iris
Flowers balance complexity, and crocus
Delight us with their sign. Fields of daffodils
Spread dancing delight beneath the dogwood.

The forests turn white in the spring with dogwood
When snows are gone. I fill a crystal tulip
Vase, bring the spring in yellow daffodils
Into my home. Outside our window redbud
Trees purple yards. There's but a final crocus
Left in our yard, transferring roles to iris.

The ground shoots forth the green blades of the iris,
A contrast with the trunk and limbs the dogwood
Displays. And lost within the grass the crocus
Hides thin leaves. Waxy, wavy, thick, the tulip
Leaves look so artificial. The dark redbud
Twigs hide in hearts. Strap leaves grow daffodils.

You are the dance and sun of daffodils,
As complex and as bold as are the iris,
The red and heart of fractal-branching redbud,
As solemn and as layered as the dogwood,
Delightful and inspiring as tulip
Flowers, you break my snows like the first crocus.

The daffodils all fade beneath the dogwood
Cross -- then the redbud beans. Aspiring tulip
Beds fail. The iris seize spring from the crocus.