Featured Post

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 ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ode to the Cherry Street Inn

for my nephew Austin

There are so many ways
To kick the bucket
Without even trying
Some involve stupidity
Some serial bad luck
But easiest of all 
Is succumbing
To the living death
Of the day after day

Whereas living in grace
Entails a far simpler plan
If you can only whistle a bar 
Or two of the Hallelujah chorus 
While sipping at your morning coffee
If you can keep an open heart and mind  
In the face of all the sameness
That lies directly ahead

You have to persist in this
Notwithstanding the shadows
Lying in wait outside
The front door
Shadows that seem to impede
Your forward progress  
On February 2nd much as
Any other day
You have to figure out how
Not to let those shadows
Get in your way

Groundhog Day tells a story
That’s easily misunderstood
As a simple allegory whereas
It's actually a realistic account
Of the pact each of us
May choose to renew in response   
The alarm clock's summons
Each and every day

No matter what quadrant you start out in  
Whether at the Cherry Street Inn 
Or down at the Blue Lotus Temple
Snug at a table at Papa G's
Or across the Square
And out at the old homestead
Sooner or later your lifetime begins
To spin around the coordinate points
Faster and faster in a disorienting way
It's powerful enough to fool GPS 
And it can certainly confound a foolish
Old man like me

*  *  *  *  *

For those of you wondering about the title of this poem, it's a reference to the great Harold Ramis movie Groundhog Day.  And the picture above is the view from the shade of the front porch of the Inn where Bill Murray stayed for almost an eternity and where Marissa and I were lucky enough to stay last night - as guests of Karla and Everton Martin.  Now called the Royal Victorian Manor, for those of you passing though McHenry County Illinois, I recommend it highly.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Poem Written While Sipping a Cup of 7/11's Finest


Even the candy wrapper 
Approaches perfection
Sitting at roadside as the world
Spins and strives to regain its balance
Every cause seeks out its effect 
With longing and finds bliss 
In the attainment from 
One moment to the next
All ten thousand things
Fit snugly in the pocket
Of emptiness

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ode to the Barrista's Fedora

Just the other day
I reread a favorite essay
By George S. Trow
In which he lamented
His demographic fate
As outcast to his
Patrimony only fit
To wear a fedora

And then again today
In a coffee shop
I noticed this barrista
Named Sarah who was
Wearing her fedora
Most fashionably and 
Without a hint of irony

And I realized it all adds up:
No context has been context
Enough to trace our progress
Over the intervening years
As fashions came and went
The hat got passed from
Clark Kent to Jimmy Olson
And now to Lois Lane
And all the while
The goat continues

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Under a Gibbous Moon Rising

A dog barks to leeward
I am so in the mix of
The west wind rising
Uplifted with the tide 
And likewise enthralled 
By a milky gibbous moon 
Which has pulled Time adrift 
And so I slip a little too 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Short Poem for Wittgenstein's Ghost

The punchline to the best jokes
Lately sounds exactly the same
As we figure things out
A minute too late or else
Our sizable cash inheritance 
Only becomes payable the day after
All currencies have been abolished
And or it turns out even words come
With an expiration date
As a medium of exchange
For expressing matters
Of utmost importance