Poetry

Re: Bicentennials

(Done 04/07/1976 for U.S. Bicentennial)

Sing jubilee four times:

for world-heard shot the year before,

for pen in hand,

and blood and treasure.  ---

Great bell did joy

the taproots of our now.

 

(Toward 2010 Bay Village Bicentennial)

Hail Cahoons and Osborns, et al.

and splendid-looking beach

and ours who fought

at the 'Canal and Bulge and since...

Others and we will say more pre-'10.

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 12:40 PM, 10.02.2009

Aye, There's The Rub

God made man in his own perfect form,

Then for each critter established a norm.

And if you won't freely His powers admit,

Take the best of the animal kingdom, to wit:

An ant-eating mammal so legendary

That it always comes first in the dictionary;

A diaphanous fish with a touch like a tickle,

And the rough-coated fellow that once graced a nickel.

Yet before He reflected and found them good,

Made a beast with a trunk, and a snake with a hood;

An hombre that drinks without bending his knees,

And pokes his head from the tops of the trees.

And if He could make all these creatures so grand,

With harts in the highlands and heads in the sand;

A bald-headed scavenger riding a gale;

A four-legged hoofer escaped from a jail;

An impeccable bird that wears a tuxedo –

Why on earth did He make the ...

...the insect that brings epidermal sgraffito?
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 8:10 PM, 10.02.2009

Cello Concerto (a love letter)

A volcano has erupted
on an island paradise,
a hurricane is ripping
through a Mississippi town,
an Asian war is breaking out,
a famine threatens Africa,
and a meteor of iron and fire
is crashing towards the earth.

But all I want to say to you
is that last night the moon
made my white roses even whiter,
a summer breeze is shaking
and quaking the aspen trees,
butterflies are really small angels,
rain drops little diamonds,
and that I love you.

The owl down by the barn
is playing a cello,
and the ripened apples
are falling for it.

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:53 PM, 09.22.2009

Be Not Alarmed

This world in which we live and work
Is daunting to get hold of —
For in each step in life doth lurk
A hazard we're not told of.

There are books on all the -ologies,
Tricks in all the -isms;
Your heart may pulse with steady beats,
Then switch to paroxysms.

No matter what you start, it seems,
You must tiptoe twixt the orifices;
And the firmest bases for our dreams
Are eternal metamorphoses.

Franz Kafka turned into a bug,
Ground wheat becomes a blintz,
There was a frog, from kiss and hug,
Emerged as charming prince.

Radiation is expressed in rems;
A whale has coughed up Jonah.
London Bridge no longer spans the Thames,
But stands in Arizona.

The Moon has now been walked upon,
Niagara Falls repaired.
So if all icebergs soon are gone,
Be not alarmed or scared.

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:53 PM, 09.22.2009

A Walk Along Glennsbrook Creek

At meadow's end
Where the land falls swiftly down
The wooded slope to the ravine below,
Wild phlox contrive in a line of isolated clumps,
To flaunt their fuchsia opulence
And paint a pastel perimeter
That stops the eye — mesmerizing it.

Yet I know, beyond this dazzling rim
Deep in the ravine below,
Though hidden now by broad-leafed maples,
And an aspen's silvery quake,
Two creeks collide, blend, and head north
Toward the river
Seeking ever more mysterious depths.

Ahead lie unknown rocks, pebbles or sandbars
To be caressed with a gentle, rippling touch.

As a friend and I descend the slope
To walk along the low banks
Of this confluence as it proceeds
Softly, sinuously northward through the valley,
We hear pileated woodpeckers pounding
And warblers singing without the competition
Of civilization's mechanical clank and grind.

We feel the relief of absolute nature.
We breathe the cool, fresh air beneath
Ancient oaks, or smooth, gray beech trees,
Or shagbark hickories, whose tops
Disappear into the sky.

As we walk, a whiskered muskrat slips
From behind a hollow fungus-covered log,
Shrouded by ferns, and then vanishes with a plop
Beneath the surface of the stream.
A rotting stump green with lichen, blocks our path.
Half-filled with rain water, it teems
with mosquito larvae, and probably
A dozen other amoebic life forms.

Abruptly, we feel a shattering smash.
A beaver slaps his tail flatly, forcefully
On his pool's surface as he plunges down
To the privacy of his dualistic habitat.

Thus, nature is not always so placid, so
Lacking in the tensions of necessity.
Then I notice a partly chewed-off sapling
Leaning at an angle against the trunk
Of a giant ash.

The shock of this minor drama jars my mood
And suddenly changes my thinking —
For if the beaver, by his grit, fells timber
To encase his watery lair of ecstacy,
Is man really so different, then,
So unnatural, when in his metropolis
He builds a tower of stone
Reaching for the stars?
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 12:22 PM, 09.14.2009

Skylark

Speak, skylark, of your swift and day-long quest
Through shortening moments of this late season's hours.
Explain what dream still gives your flight its zest,
Gliding high where lately grain and flowers
Graced the verdant fields beneath your wings.
And what fulfillment do you seek before
The joy that springtime mating always brings
When nature gives its rebirth to explore?

Eurasian child, brought here by human hand,
You've kept your plumage and your song serene.
By now your race recalls no other land,
No softer climate, nor any childhood scene;
For here you walk among us like a native --
Adroitly slip past leaf and twig as agile
As the breeze itself. Do you enjoy
The perfume trees exhale, so faint and fragile
Like that the distant locust blooms employ
To tempt the nectar-hungry to their thickets?
And do the ceaseless notes of music flowing
From warblers, crowds of katydids and crickets
Bring to your inmost soul a happy glowing?

My friend, the winter’s chill will soon unfold,
And all year 'round you are a neighbor near.
How do you meet the spectre of the cold,
Or face the bleak and sunless days so drear?

Surely you must sleep, and strength restore.
But where is restful shelter to be found?
Not likely while in frigid air you soar;
Nor windy treetop, nor on frozen ground.

Still, bravely, through it all you do survive
And seem to find the snowflake's icy touch a kiss
That makes your heart so glad to be alive,
And gives you hope to dream again of bliss.

So if the summer sounds and scents and textures bring
Your deepest spirit realm a gentle smile,
You know by now they'll be reborn in spring,
Though you must be denied them for a while.
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 12:08 PM, 09.14.2009