For Gail

(on her birthday)

This Bayside Bohemian breaks boundaries.

Down to earth ordinariness

with emotional and intellectual depth.


Her paintings speak to me.

They start in the here and now

And venture into new space and new forms.


Her gift for friendship

Embraces as it guides me.

And she likes burnt toast


September 21, 2020

The Average

by W.H. Auden

His peasant parents killed themselves with toil
To let their darling leave a stingy soil
For any of those smart professions which
Encourage shallow breathing, and grow rich.

The pressure of their fond ambition made
Their shy and country-loving child afraid
No sensible career was good enough,
Only a hero could deserve such love.

So here he was without maps or supplies,
A hundred miles from any decent town;
The desert glared into his blood-shot eyes;

The silence roared displeasure: looking down,
He saw the shadow of an Average Man
Attempting the exceptional, and ran.

Test

this is to see if I can make the spacing between stanzas work

Mary had a little lamb

It’s fleece was white as snow

And everywhere that Mary went 

The Lamb was sure to go

Hello Thoreau

The sage of Walden Pond said

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after”

About whom does he speak?

I put on waders

Lace up my boots;

Tie on a fly.

I’m out to catch one

And I love being on/in

The water.

The patient pursuit of a trout

Heightens, not diminishes the tranquility and beauty

Of early morning on the Battenkill.

The reflection of 

The trees in the river,

The sound of flowing water,

And birds above.

The focusing of eyes and ears 

On breaks in the surface.

We fish for fish and 

we look and listen for more.

There is no separation.

It is a seamless, glorious activity.

September 10, 2020

On The Nature Of Love

(My friend Warren Liebesman shared this poem by Rabindranath Tagore with me)

The night is black and the forest has no end;
a million people thread it in a million ways.
We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where
or with whom – of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith – that a lifetime’s bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.
Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs
brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks.
Then peradventure there’s a flash of lightning:
whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
I call that person and cry: `This life is blest!
for your sake such miles have I traversed!’
All those others who came close and moved off
in the darkness – I don’t know if they exist or not.

Original Sin

(This is the third poem accepted for publication by The Mindful Word after some suggested revisions.)

In this time of pandemic,

The protest and violence

is a further accounting

of the terrible legacy of slavery.

I support Black Lives Matter

And I fear America is unravelling.

Can we defund the police when 

Crime and violence are on the rise?

Is the murder of George Floyd 

A product of our compromise? 

We don’t choose the time;

There is no guarantee.

We must move forward

Without certainty.

September 4, 2020