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The Journey to the West

Though we journey to the West We pray to the East More or less that's the way Each day begins and ends It’s a tale everyone ...

Friday, May 19, 2023

Birthday Poem (now we are 66 and still love to walk along the beach)

Speak now in full froth
As we crest and come ashore
Before laying to rest where
We shall sleep forevermore 
So the waves whispered to me
This morning while I sipped
From my morning coffee 
Down by the beach

More and more nature's eloquence  
Seems to be wasted on me
Garbled on awakening 
With all her best words 
Evading my reach 

One is what one makes
Such is every poet's fate
No matter how the sheaves 
Happen to accumulate
Year after year 

Words cascade 
Along the mind's shoreline
And at best leave behind  
Little more consequent than
This sea-wrack of shells and pebbles
Strewn raggedly 
Across the high strand 
Monuments to impermanence 
Designed not to stand 
But to fall one and all

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Life Perennial

What I love most about
Gardening is that every year
One gets a little more proficient
And likewise willing to undertake
A little more work

Last year the Joe Pie weed
And milkweed took root
Increasing this spring’s bounty

That’s what it means 
To live and think perennially
To suppress and encourage
As needed yet remain
Open to happy accident

To be constantly raising 
The flower bed stakes
And vegetables too

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Iris

Before it opens
The iris is flat
And pointy as a stiletto
But when it opens
Oh my god
Suddenly it falls
Extremely agape
Almost shameless
The way it drapes
Itself - which is typical
Blue flower deportment
In point of fact from
Upward striving
In first position
To utter collapse



Thursday, April 20, 2023

Spring Never Gets Old

Spring never gets old
As we do
Now that I celebrate its lyric 

With a limp all my own

It’s better than ever

More perennials than ever

To adorn my front lawn

If April makes such
Great showing who needs
May or June
Each moment of Spring
So full of promise
Is a lifetime entire
Complete unto itself

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Life is All About Triangles

for my brother Hank

There’s one big difference
Between me and my brother

Whereas he has a prodigious memory

And has learned by heart 

To recite pi to 

More than 3,000 digits

I can barely remember

What year it is sometimes

Yet still I manage

To comfort myself thinking

Who needs pi really

Life is all about triangles

For most of us humans

Knowing how to progress

From here to there 

By making comparisons

Like me and my brother

All day long in disregard

Of the need for absolutes

Who needs one or the other 

When you can be both in turn

Friday, March 3, 2023

Poem written at the Kanas Center

Lately life has acquired
A beneficent hum 
Friday nights at hospice
Compost Monday or Tuesday
Back and forth from
Science to art
Just like life itself
True of Mr. Apology too
Far too deep in the weeds 
To know what was happening
Wednesday night
We watched a movie
By Thursday feeling blue

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Best and the Worst

This poem illustrates what happens when you fail to properly heed Rabbi Bunim’s advice about the importance of keeping a coat with two pockets. In each pocket, the Rabbi says, you should put a slip of paper, on one of which has be written “For my sake was the world created”  while on the other it says “I am only ashes and dust.”  The Rabbi stresses each slip being better suited to different occasions, the two of them are therefore better held apart in separate pockets.

This poem illustrates the peril and insight that result from resort to a single pocket.


Yesterday around sunset
While walking my dogs

I put a bag of dog poop

In the pocket of my fleece

Along with another bag

Of doggie treats

And when I got

To the garbage can in town

I threw away the wrong bag

And continued home

With a pocket full of poop

The best and the worst

Become interchangeable, it seems

That’s sometimes how life works