poem a day

Until Then

There was a time I might say until pigs can fly, but

given the state of bio-engineering these days

that could happen before we know it.

 

So I'll just say until we walk through the Taj  Mahal and

around the Arctic Circle, until I sit by your hospital

bedside twenty-two times longer than you've sat by mine,

until we dance at our grandsons' weddings, and we hold our

great-grandchildren in our arms, until the Yankees stop

winning the World Series, until you stop patting my

Pocahontas 2

Yesterday I did you a disservice,

creating a poem as dead and lifeless as

Annie Leibovitz's photo. But she's a

creative genius and I'm sure her

work was intentional, while mine came from

a slovenly get it done, deadline approaching mentality.

 

I Googled you on the Internet and the

information found may or may not be true; you know

there's no truth checking on the Internet. But I gave

myself poetic license to string pseudo-facts into

meaningless, artificial phrases and call it done.

 

What do we want? Justice. When do I want it? After You.

a 1970's demonstration students workers against the cutbacks take over admin

building sit crowded cramped cross-legged listen to speeches blocking a door when

Mary Meek and Mild

The infant suckles her breast

much like my baby suckled mine,

biting the nipple, tugging her

blouse with two hands.

I always felt frustrated,

enough already, you

greedy little bastard.

She ignores him and his

insistence. Placid, serene, she

chooses instead to ponder these

things in her heart.

It helps to wear a fucking halo.

Pocahontas

Powhatan princess, you with the frolicsome

nature, run far, run fast and take Bambi

with you. See the ship on the horizon?

It carries measles, influenza,

whooping cough, diphtheria.

Deep in the hold, there’s bubonic plague,

typhus, cholera and scarlet fever.

Don’t look now, but your death is

arriving in blood and breath.

 

Ain't Got Much to Say

Aging is one thing after another falling apart.

I swore I would never be one of those old women

who discusses ad nauseum her aches and pains,

but really, what else is there to talk about?

 

I take Lisinopril for high blood pressure,

Premerin to stave off the heat from god's anvil.

My father's list of medications is as long as his arm.

Surgeries both inpatient and outpatient, physical therapy,

homeopathy, alternative medicines.

No one I know can read without glasses anymore.

 

Coffee Drinking Muse

Shirley's been hanging around a lot lately.

I wake up in the morning and she's in the kitchen

drinking her coffee black with one sugar.

Mid-afternoon she's out on the smoking porch

drinking coffee cut with bourbon.

I told her to use the rotgut, with coffee that strong and bitter

no one could tell the difference, but she

insists on the good stuff, won't touch anything but Bulleit.

In the evening, she's back watching the eleven o'clock news and

Jay Leno, feet up on the coffee table, with cup after

My Heart's on My Sleeve

Not a raglan sleeve, a Juliette sleeve,

and certainly not a poet sleeve with

lacy ruffle on the cuff; it's more of a

cap sleeve close to the left shoulder joint

that still aches when rains clog Portland gutters.

 

Needled black, red, blue ink reveal raven's

tale - how he tricked the magician who

stole the sun. Raven transformed into a

feather, floated down the river, captured

in a basket, drunk by magician's daughter,

deep in daughter's belly, the feather

became a baby, magician's grandson.

 

Fear of Heights

It starts as a tingle where thigh meets groin,

climbs red and pulsing until it reaches my belly,

and is quickly subsumed in waves of nausea.

 

I fight it,

walking across St. John's, Brooklyn, the Golden Gate.

Heart pounding on the Empire state's observation deck,

conversing with snails on the bell tower of Sagrada Familia,

climbing eight hundred ninety-eight steps to the

top of the Washington Monument.

Why, just today, I scuttled after two grandsons

up and down five decks of the USS Kidd.

 

Random Weird Person

Near river's edge outside the Cafe du Monde,

John Brown sets up his telescope.

It's taller than he is by a foot, and it

probably outweighs him, too.

 

I sip cafe au lait, wipe powered sugar

from off cheeks and nose,

staring into the darkness of

Jackson Square when a stranger steps

out of the past and into the light of a streetlamp.

 

Is it the hat, the hair, the long leather coat

the thinness of legs or chest that conjure up

miasmas of floating saloons on the

languid Mississippi?

 

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