Poetry

The Beautiful Elaine

We were nineteen and I wondered,

What would it be like to hold your hand?

To hold the hand of the beautiful Elaine.

So I held your hand - and it was nice...

We were nineteen and I wondered,

What it would it be like to kiss your lips?

To kiss the lips of the beautiful Elaine.

So I kissed your lips - and it was nice...

We were nineteen and I wondered,

What would it be like to hold you close?

To hold close the beautiful Elaine.

So I held you in my arms - and it was nice...

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 10:53 AM, 01.21.2011

Emergency at the Lecture Hall

My throat tickles and sends violent

signals to my brain.

I have to cough, I must cough,

I must, I must.

But here? Among this crowd,

among these serious citizens,

these scholars, not to mention

the head-nodders?

I'm not contagious,

that would be outrageous,

but they don't know that.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 5:55 AM, 02.03.2011

Snowmen

Snowmen, snowmen
Some are big.
Some are small.
But all snowmen have a smile on their face.
This is why they are so difficult to trace.
They have great vast arms that extend to the sky.
Sometimes I just wonder why?
Snowmen have a modest, orange carrot nose on their face.
Gaze at its nice, comfortable place.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 2:07 PM, 12.27.2010

Haiku

The smoke
from the fire pit
chases my chair


The pushers of shopping carts
search for
the shortest line


Soft bed
our hands touch
much like our souls

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 1:08 PM, 01.04.2011

Nature

Consider the fly with his wondrous
green and blue eye,
faceted like a gemstone of Heaven,
and the spider with her slender legs
akimbo to our glance, and ask,
is she walking like a clown on stilts
or is she a wiry ballerina
gliding across my kitchen floor,
to pirouette at the wall
and disappear forevermore?
And see the autumn leaves putting on
their spangled beauty to greet death,
unlike ourselves
with our pale mottled skin
and smell of medicine.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 1:33 PM, 01.07.2011

Playing Solitaire

It's like tending a garden
and watching the stems
rise tall and shrink small,
blacks juxtaposing reds
– an interracial affair –
then dissipating into four piles
at the top of the garden,
then picked up,
ripped, stripped,
strewn, mixed,
fixed anew into brand new ranks
piling higher and higher to the right.

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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 5:44 AM, 12.10.2010

The Moon and the Dog

One cold night the moon rose full
in perfect periodic roundness
– of course, she is a lady –
and bragged that peoples and nations
have worshipped her, and she liked it,
and that was her sin,
and why she was an exile.

Oh yes, the way it is,
it's in the Book.

I wondered,
does my dog worship me,
I'd like that,
and is that my sin?

He looked up and said to me
– in hushed barks –
that he knows nothing of theology,
that he loves me,
nothing more, nothing less,
and I knew my dog was holy.

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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 5:41 AM, 11.23.2010

Early Morning Rain

The soft music
of an early morning rain
playing on the grass and trees
in B flat major
is as beautiful as
a Beethoven piano sonata,
same key, so I open
my window wider,
my ear gets wet,
and the wind says to me,
– hush, listen! –
and hands me a towel.

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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 4:13 AM, 11.11.2010

The Proof of the Spoof

To create the most effective spoof,
Select a genius not a goof.
Employ a person so superior
No one could ever class inferior,
For if your choice is near the top,
You cannot cause his fame to drop
By giving him a gentle ribbing
Or with a sting in your ad-libbing:
Such things can't threaten his acumen –
They'll make him just a bit more human.
So let this be your comic rule:
"Laugh with the statesman, not at the fool."

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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 7:14 PM, 11.07.2010

Before The Snows

If I am dead
before the snows,
how much I love them
Heaven knows,
 
my second choice
to blanket me,
a windswept, dappled
autumn lea,
 
and tender hands
to tuck me in
and toss my soul
upon the wind.

 

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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 4:52 AM, 10.12.2010

Fuller House

Fuller House
Beautiful old house,
you came to us sailing down
Lake Erie's shore.
How many of your order have had
a sea-adventure like that?
But no more water-trips for you,
gallant one,
you are home
and here to stay
forever and a day.
Have no trepidations,
Huntington is your family now,
and we will love you evermore,
brick by brick,
wood by wood,
room by room,
door by door.
And here's a buckeye
for your boutonniere.

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Volume 2, Issue 20, Posted 4:53 AM, 09.28.2010

The End of Summer

August is a terrible month,
a hot wind from hell
turning sand into glass.
But the latitudes are tilted
at twenty-three degrees
bending times and places,
and September comes on
with her cool-glistening-steel
permitting me to turn
to my romances and endurances,
my October, my November,
white fancies, cold fancies,
and December's dreams
piled up in the meadow,
an annual affair that saves my life.

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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 6:10 PM, 09.16.2010

Learning to Talk

The lady is flapping her lips
and tongue. She has a cell phone
stuck to her ear with super glue.
A small child is at her side
holding on tightly,
attached, invisible,
wondering if she will ever
learn to talk.
I hope the lady doesn't
ask me the time of day, for
my mother taught me not to speak
to someone on the phone.

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Volume 2, Issue 18, Posted 6:47 AM, 09.03.2010

The Moth of Disconsolation

There is a moth who eats
the shredded fabrics
of discarded love,
and he is very fat.

You have fed him my torn rags,
and I, ever the fool,
run quickly to my loom
to supply his future needs.

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Volume 2, Issue 17, Posted 6:00 AM, 08.19.2010

Senior Evolution

I am becoming older
Strangely defiant
Of youthful ideals.
What worked for me
At twenty, thirty, etc.
No longer pleases me.

I am becoming
Someone I do not know,
Someone whose skin
I am not yet comfortable in,
I am becoming who I am not.
I am becoming who I was meant to be.

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Volume 2, Issue 17, Posted 6:57 PM, 08.19.2010

Ode to the Night

The sun is a delight
in its time and place,
and yet I chase the night,
 
my first love,
my ebon mistress,
my dark pleasure,
my inamorata,
 
to breath her musk,
kiss and touch
her mystery,
close my eyes
and disappear into her
dusky folds.
 
But if a sudden storm
flashes across the darkness
I hope the night
doesn't ..... see .....
my ..... infidelity .....

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 8:33 AM, 08.06.2010

Trust Only the Best

A friend of mine queried me some time ago                  
Concerning a subject he felt I should know.

"You own a vast number of volumes," he said,
"And also should have something there in your head.
You know all the mottos you've frequently quoted;
You recite many phrases on which you have doted.
You live by sung lyrics 'cause I've heard you croon 'em  --
So kindly come clean
And explain what they mean
When on coinage they're stamping: E PLURIBUS UNUM

I felt like a fool 'cause I had to confess,
That my answer at best could be only a guess.

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 4:52 PM, 08.01.2010

Smiles

Beauty is the roses' hue                                                                                  
Bathed in sunlight
Kissed with dew.

A baby's face
Cherubic smile
Brightens up the darkest place.

Tiny kitten, soft and white,
Stately pine tree,
Colorful kite.

When life is cruel and filled with pain,
It's these  which lift
My spirit again.

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Volume 2, Issue 15, Posted 7:46 PM, 07.21.2010

Too Young, Not Old Enough

Too young to know what was going on,
Too young to know right from wrong.
I was just too young.
Too young to know where my parents were,
Too young to know where my siblings were.
Too young to know what courts were or social workers,
Too young to know what foster homes were,
Too young to understand what group homes were.
I was just too young. Too young to understand what
was being dished out to me.
Then...I wasn't old enough.
I wasn't old enough to go certain places

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Volume 2, Issue 15, Posted 3:55 AM, 07.11.2010

Moles and Voles

Moles and Voles

           (for the children)

Moles and voles and swans and geese,

and spiders' webs and golden fleece,

and little boys and little girls,

and hissing snakes and smiling squirrels,

and rain and snow and spring and fall,

 and dogs and cats, I love them all.

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Volume 2, Issue 14, Posted 6:00 AM, 06.24.2010

Heeeere's To Sigmund!

I raise a toast to Sigmund Freud,
A seer who found my skull devoid
Of any trace of neuroplasm,
And in its place a ghastly chasm.

He proved to be a pioneer
Who plumbed the depths of groundless fear;
And when he asked me, “Yoost vas los ist?”
He brought relief to my neurosis.

And so his memory I revere,
With love and honor quite sincere.
He was a thinker so sublime –
And the head shrinker of all time.

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Volume 2, Issue 14, Posted 6:54 PM, 06.12.2010

Men and Boys

The search for the Absolute

is tempered in a great man

by a mother who will always

think of him as a child.

He may move kingdoms

with sword or pen

and love a beautiful Circe,

but his mother

sees tin soldiers lined up

on the table, and she knows

when it's time for his nap

by the dispositions on his face.

He pouts and she smiles,

he smiles and she laughs,

he laughs and she thinks of

gods and men and little boys,

and tucks him in at night,

chasing the ghosts away.

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Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 6:36 AM, 06.09.2010

My Celia Walks

Whenas my Celia walks
My blood flows hot.
Your permeating eye, dear Herrick,
So long ago, has quickened mine.

So now when Celia walks,
My blood flows fire-like
As she moves in polyester so diaphenous. And dances
Such movement glides,
Excites the eye, the mind, the heart.
And when my Celia walks,
Each step pulls tight
The sheath she wears. Then, then...
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Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 6:58 PM, 06.12.2010

Basic Physics

In the beginning she came out of a star, as did myself.

They say that in a million years her quarks and atoms

will be flung across the universe.

They say that's the way of all matter,

they call it - molecular decay -

they, they, let themselves decay,

dumb bastards that they are!

I say she will be turning and spinning,

fiery and glistening, as she always has.

But wait for me, promise me, let's ride a comet's tail,

and if we tire of our trip we can dive into a star

and start all over again.

With a big bang.
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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 6:14 AM, 05.24.2010

The Storm Within

Walk
The wind, wild,
Whistling, ravaging, tearing
Branches from years old oaks.
Clouds spitting pellets
Of ice, stinging skin
Lightning flash illuminating
Dark corners.
Steady pace,
Heading home
Welcoming harbor
For those experiencing
The storm within.
The storm is a form
Of cancer
Within the body
Renegade cells invade
I prayed
For all who fight
The good fight.
Please walk, run, race or donate to help find a cure.
We can conquer cancer.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 10:47 PM, 05.05.2010

The Teacher

How can I fly without wings?
Ah, but you have them.
And feathers?
Yes, those too, you have them.
But where are they? I see nothing.
They are there, dear child.
But I am afraid of falling.
You must persist or you will never fly.
 
And turning aside, the teacher gives a sigh,
for she, too, is afraid of falling.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 8:21 AM, 04.16.2010

Consolation Song

In memoriam Bill Hickey
& maybe some autobio --
Let's trust that
when hurling hard
to the inmost self
of embattled hitter Job,
often the Lord
took a lot off
his 110 mph fastball
and curve that explodes
like a bomb -- and
sometimes delivered
a very fat pitch.
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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 4:39 PM, 04.14.2010

Cat at Prayer

And what is more delightful
than a sleek young cat
sitting on a window sill
gently licking her tiny wrists,
her cushioned toes,
her crescent eyes narrowing
into slits of conspiracy
as she slowly turns
and looks out the window
at a bird high in the sky,
a small dot of brown
in an ocean of blue,
and she softly rumbles,
- come closer and I'll rip
your flesh to death
and lay you
at my master's feet,
a gift of love -
and rolling over,
she takes a nap.
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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 5:20 AM, 03.30.2010

A Widower Goes to The Mall

On her birthday I go alone
down to the Great Northern Mall
and sit on a bench in front of JC Penney,
drinking hot coffee and reading Yeats.

The Mall buzzes with electric noise,
the inside air bright and warm,
yet seeming a winter's darkness.
Busy silent people swarm about me.

I feel invisible, an alien.
I pretend to wait for her
as she shops,
and I become disconcerted.

She is taking too long. 
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Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 6:45 AM, 02.26.2010

Observer poet wins award

Joe Psarto, a Westlake resident whose poetry has appeared many times in the Observer, won the grand prize in this year's WCLV Valentine's Day Love Poem Contest with his poem "Blush." Joe beat out over two hundred entries. His winning poem can be seen on the WCLV website, www.wclv.com.
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Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 3:09 PM, 02.18.2010

Shinto

In our belligerence we reject
the Apache medicine man
and the Shinto monk of old Japan
who assign life to rocks and rills,
and mountains and hills, and clouds,
and the flashing lightning, too, and
speak to their dishes and pots,
thanking them for their services.

We say it is nothing
but superstition and myth,
a waste of time, a poetic madness.

Yet I find myself - my very self -
talking to the trees. And as for flowers,
I cannot pass by those blushing ladies
without a nod,
and, for the dew-covered ones,
a crimson sigh.
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Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 9:17 AM, 02.17.2010

The Palanquin

They buried her beneath the earth
and left me weeping there.
And from my post I could not see
dark eyes, sweet face, soft hair.

The air fell dead and nature paused
as silence entered in.
Then moon and stars and angels
came with a Palanquin.

They carried her up from the land,
dark eyes, sweet face, soft hair,
and quitting me for fleecy clouds
she left me weeping there.
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Volume 2, Issue 3, Posted 5:49 PM, 02.02.2010

Upon My Way To Scotland Yard

When summer days were dry and sunny,
A farmer lad, for pocket money,
Came into town to cut the grass
For city folk of higher class
Who did not care to push their mowers
But spent spare time in boats as rowers.

Now when the boy became a man,
He built a daydream and a plan,
And since more fit for storytime
I’ll put it into words that rhyme.

Upon My Way To Scotland Yard

Upon my way to Scotland Yard,
I met a statue of the Bard
I doffed my hat in deep respect
And fondness for his intellect.
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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 10:59 AM, 01.10.2010

Irish Lace

I turned into the avenue
and met a stately row
of young pear trees
shimmering in the morning light.
They were dressed in white flowers 
where the night before 
had been twigs and branches 
of bent-naked-wood.
And when the sun hid 
behind a fluffy cloud,
leaving a feathery glow 
across the land,
they became an Irish lace, 
a cloth of royal pedigree.
And with the wind 
holding their hands
they danced a dainty jig for me.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 5:06 AM, 12.27.2009

Winter's Night

Air so crisp

It bites.

Frozen landscape

Crunches, crackles, dazzles

In shades of white.

A cloudless sky

Stars so bright

They glisten.

Murmurs of

A Winter's Night...

Listen.

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Volume 1, Issue 8, Posted 8:00 PM, 12.02.2009

Names

Names.

Identifying words,

And more:

Expectations when given,

Challenges as received,

Meanings while lived,

Legacies remembered.

Words are common,

Names are not,

Each uniquely

One’s own.

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 10:13 AM, 11.10.2009

How about that

I'd like to coach girls in sports

for a while.

They don't know many cliches;

they speak basic English.

A refreshing change.

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 5:19 PM, 11.12.2009

A Man and His Wife (a Korean sijo)

silk pillow
you are too soft
I will flee to the mountain

rock mountain
you are too hard
I will go back to my pillow

soft pillow
hard mountain
my wife - it was you all the time
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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 4:47 AM, 10.26.2009

Insubordinate Prose

I never get what I want when I want what I want

because my want all looks the same.

I never say what I mean when the time comes around,

I never say what I mean to say.

If all you can think is how great they can write

and your pen will never mean a thing,

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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 10:22 PM, 10.28.2009

Worksongs

Buddy, why did the boss reject

your football headline

that, sparingly, spoke

of backfielders? --- 

What does he call the baseball 3

who patrol the outfield

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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 8:32 PM, 10.30.2009