Sunday, May 31, 2015


Remembering that kid
in the school hallways
always quoting averages
on baseball cards
he being of average
height and weight
thinking he is a creation
of the state
born from a botched abortion
outside the United Nations
and only a material creation
always teasing others
for no reason
trying to play basketball
trading drugs to be cool
up town or in Harlem
despising the golden rule
for silver dollars
puts on his white collar
on Wall Street
while withholding Das Capital
in his sweating hands
from a harem of admirers
on the newspaper staff
as an original media maven
he thinks he is a small god
a success story
and everyone else a fool
here only for a laugh
who will write
his own epitaph
righting the wrongs
in pointless derision
with a smidgen
of feeling public ridicule
as a free wheeling social critic
like that fellow H.L. Mencken
once ruled a division
from the "American Mercury"
keeping your brown nose clean
who writes to expose yourself
after being a stool pigeon
and yellow journalism's dean.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


We still listen
to your words
by the birch branches
in the canopy of bird shades
holding their songs on high
as veils against the pale sky
and whatever wrongs
are reflected in the sun
will be resolved in daylight
as a lost twig in my hand
breaks in my memory.

Friday, May 29, 2015


If you're the one tongue
speaking of suffering

that sole breathing
that defies death

that Hitler's boot
could not reach

and Stalin's breath
1941, cheap perfume

could not smell,
between borders

and shadows
of a hundred centuries

past or yet
to come,

thank you,
and welcome

to the one thief
of the cross

who made up
for all our loss

from the face
of  Hell.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


You cannot destroy him
the powers that be

Sending him into war
there still is no peace

The poet lives on
though he longs for bread

though the world may laugh
writing early his epitaph

The poet keeps writing
for reality,for justice,for God

outliving the dead
though the powers that be.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


We stay up
all night
reading books
that have been
weighing your love
those remainders
on the shelves
that you become


The way of the star
found a child

the way of the cross
gave new loss

we write our names
on the wall

Each day in silence
we cannot efface

the shame
of enduring the Fall.


Her purse
was empty
his pockets
were frozen
yet you never cursed
but gave
and forgave freely

knowing you were chosen.
May 31

it was at seven
when I was given a copy
of your "Leaves of Grass"
under beech trees
here by the nightingales
your open words disclosed
a language of wonder
reaches out
as words to stun us,
we are your brothers
and sisters
as twin birds on
thickets of roses
hear tiny May cicadas
whispering their love
disclose to each other
your birthday's good wishes
as expression transfers
with a pair of poetry tickets
gathering all verse lovers
in every country on earth
as a star poet of the universe
to celebrate your birthday,
and all the salt of the earth
dreamers, refugees,
workers on the fields
dancers of swan lake,
jazz musicians playing
a round has your back,
whether by the sounds
of fiddles,orchestra or sax
or at the dunes
where you relax
down by the cranberry bogs
near the steamboats on the sea
as far as St. Louis, Missouri
those building bridges
on the brightest isle or eddy
or writing dialogues
for T.V. or radio
even in Japan
in Hiroshima or Nagasaki
there is a Whitman party
for our hero.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


How light the day
at the county fun fair
near the whale watchers
by spiny lobster tables
a Portuguese fisherman
proudly holds up his cache
here in sprightly Gloucester
along the Atlantic ocean
we are aware of purple kites
and lemony hot air balloons
rising suddenly by sky writing
on fitful May afternoons,
a former poetry student
in my class stretches
his gawky opaque pose
combs out his long ringlets of hair
and on the common green
plays a love song melody
on his Basque guitar
giving up his tied bloodhound
other dogs bounding
after him from the bazaar
whose senior essay on Joyce
was our valedictory choice,
motions to me to move
in the strongest light
and suddenly snaps my picture
near the near Eastern rug exhibit
and Ron disappears
on the merry go round
with his sun burnt
girlfriend,Leah Belle
found selling at the flea market
feldspar star crystals
and a porphyry of shells,
whom Ron saved
as a life guard last summer
from being drowned,
we hear Elvis look alike voices
in a rolling contest by the Bay
amid the freshest noisy air,
they are putting out trays
by the blueberry pie bake in
with Boston bake beans
and a salmon chowder
near the lemony painted gazebo
facing the bluest Bay,
we are watching a Persian cat
trying to ride a mare,
I'm looking back as a guest
at the book sale
of my poem collections
those by Whitman
and Thomas Hardy,
others romance to a love beat
carousing away
having a loud beach party
waiting in a carburetor's
parking lot
by going Dutch
on a six mile run,
some gossiping about politics
without any smoking guns,
now near a little league game
amid a boys boisterous crowd
reaching out to invite us
to dance the macarena
and for others a Swedish polka
on blankets of white sand
glancing over the island festival
birds sing in their own rock band
by the dunes on the harbor
as sister wanders away,
nothing could be wrong
even taking our chance at play
in the spring resonance
promised for today.


Watching the stars
on their sky journey
who needs a telescope
or a green catalogue
from Forbes-Burney,
we may be alone
like a leaping leopard
behind steel bars
we have a keen bard
to keep us on an altar
from being lonely.

Friday, May 22, 2015


When the river
offers us a path
flooding by the walls
birds in a sky rain
sinks our letters
of Dear John or Jane
as wild roses
hide by conifer trees
cannot dispose of love
in easy words
from the winding breeze.


Who was the blessed bride
seen all in snow white
engaged for a small part
in a hidden cameo film
made in beautiful Afrique
who spoke French
dressed up in the language
of a once colonial signature suit
in the rainy scene on the bench
drenched from head to boot
in a now forbidden apartheid age
taking her vows and bows
in a full black and white video
her pages read to us
as she rehearsed in review
on a past ceremonial stage
where few actors like her could go.


Never one question
or proven answer
only the fatal disclosure
you were the one who painted
the parting landscape of ambrosia
shaped and sought
your sculpture of a dancer
in intelligent thoughts
at art's accidental exposure.


After you clean
all night
drowsy yet
regularly in a cold
encapsulated study
you paint
tilting my portrait
left in my studio
by the blind windows
near the music stands
on the grande piano,
only your shadow remains.


After war urges
the quest for life
no more crimes of death
or violent strife
a chance of a last breath
in a changing time
a silence for the dead
for engaging in resistance
in our peace metaphor
from an interrogation
or fascism's torture
from the horrors
of all collaboration
in the last bread knife.


When the shore
nestles me by oars
of my kayak
and has my back
the dawn warms me
the sun opens my day
in a welter of storms
to shelter me at bay.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Light captures
the horizon rings
over a moment's notice
until the rays are gone
at sunrise
plays on
our impressionism
as quickly as a jazz riff
in a sandstorm of time
or grain,
its is shaken and gone
as wings of a swan
waters our eyes
like the rain sings
and drops into oblivion.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Traveled on the earth
and the knotted wind
as if in the ninth circle
of a labyrinth
an aesthetic critic
taking a cure
with his java coffee
and vanilla biscotti
feeling he had never sinned
yet Cees is not sure.


You may look back
and your curse your verse
nurse it in a conduit
as a bottle
of milk
for nature's sake
take a picture
of a robin's red breast,
make words out of silk
relax with tables
of cucumber or watercress,
take cover
in your collections
and change its design
or your directions
rest on your waking laurels
quarrel with your peers
or critics
drink wine
eat bread to bless
or make believe
that your fears
that your eidetic peers
have a wise past reality
that the paradise
of poetry disappears
from its last fatality.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


you looked to words
   for relief
in those pre war years
to politicians
controlling the masses
 to make a magician's peace
at least you had a rose
is a rose
  and Alice
away in your palace
of fearful imagination
  away from your pre-
occupation, logicians,
and disbelief
imposing what passes
   as a pose
on a wonderland world
through rose colored
 looking glasses.

Monday, May 18, 2015


Chet from Simi valley
Ventura, California
had a sanguine sense
of adventure
having a bag of creamsicles
and pickles tied
to his motorcycle
always virile and hungry
in his Levi jeans
pretending to be a side arm
in the counter culture
of James Dean
now turned sixteen
has a near fatality
and head injury
a casualty of Hollywood
the shrink said of his miracle
of being alive
to relive our thinking tale
of the goggle-eyed soul
always with a smile
lying in a sickly stupor
for a weekend
Chet without a scream
until his ill mishap recovery
by Jupiter
without a thermometer,
from his dazed day dream
his younger sister Jennifer
who works to save animals
from the zoo
paints on Chet
her angel of death tattoo
with a hammer and sickle
for their grandfather's karma
in the old country
as he left for Tibet
after being nearly dead
to see the Dalai Lama
then off to Bali
floating under the radar
in a tiny jet plane he built
rigging up his propeller
off in the Hawaii islands
reaches the controls
vanishes in the wrong sky lane
winds up in the highlands
of the Scottish plain,
Jennifer e mails him back
from her emptied train
takes out money
from the bank teller
and joins him on the plateau
with her rescued furry cat
from the hurricane
of New Orleans
renamed Stella
after the futurist painter
and modernist,
for all life is connected
to the avant garde,
nothing can hurt us
even though what's rife
seems hard
we have a knife
to cut bread
even for the lonely bard.


Nothing will
with Jennifer's
hobby and avocation
of collecting
life, wedding and death
to lobby and care
among names and dates
in her picture album
who appear in the news
as she reviews
their past,present and future
days and nights
and then campaigns
for human and animals

Sunday, May 17, 2015


A box of geraniums
by the phlox and mums

by the rocks we heard
a humming bird.


Jennifer not much
older than any teenager
puts her first love letter
from Alexander
the Dutch zoo keeper
in her draw
whom she saw
on Sunday
as the animals
were escaping
plans to elope
and hopes to get
the priest
to have a ceremony
by the ex antelope cage
in her mind
she is already engaged.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Animals reject Alexander
the zoo keeper's commander

with a laugh toward
that man outside the cage

first an antelope escapes
on the grass

passes by
that Alex guy without hope

near the garden habitat
of a weird rabbit

the giraffe escapes, spots
a priest seeking to pardon Alex

who chooses to be
with the panda

with humanity lost
at his own age.


Let her go
beautiful Sappho
to her own femininity
of which her heirs
wait on her in infinity

Let him go
young god Apollo
to his own his masculinity
in myth,music and poetry
until the trinity.


Paint as words
   clipped on canvas
on an object'd'art
  excavated on board
a rain drop
 from Barcelona
parachuted through space
  and the timeless.

Rene Magritte's
"Human Condition"
in a world of bread and water
of walking dead sons
and daughters
more like perdition
in a curse
of war and fascism
in a burning line of color
changing from brown to red
instead, you return
and have us follow you
drawing us into landscape
a painting within
another window
an easel brushes
against time within time;
a shadow.

Friday, May 15, 2015


A solemn portrait
in oils by Delacroix
of a Moslem's harem
as women wait
by coils of hookah
followed by Picasso's
"Women of Algiers"
by the most
artistic revolutionary
in a post colonial century
who swallowed
all our critical fears.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Your old school friend
was not lost in your memory
colors transformed to mend
for a  bold unique personality.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The young Dali
looking respectfully
in his snowy cravat

passes by the bench
to eat a sandwich
speaking French

quotes Rimbaud
taking off his hat
to a young artist

dreaming of his oil
the Persistence
of Memory

dreams in Spanish
of an early siesta
eager to be on canvas

with Mir,
and Picasso.


our world
begs for mercy

Europe is closed
at six

not opening
nor disclosing your doors

to your hungry thin child
in a world at war

picking on the bones
at the last of the righteous

the dry bones
from Ezekiel's dream

which make everyone of
us seem invisible

until they return
in my Word

to the land
from exiled days


Like birds on Evergreen
from different branches
with a verbal spirit
a poet's body dreams
in sequences
with open jocular lines
for our contemporaries,

Images survive first light
in a park of tall trees
when a starry night
remembers us for a moment,

like eating ripe herbal fruit
with an epitaph's language
as a humorous archetype
those whom life frees us
to laugh at our world.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

birthday May 12

There was always light
in your woodland drawings
hovering from reshaped colors
of playful joy that we escape to
in your bailiwick's landscapes,
invited to be guests
to your Beata Beatrix
under white museum walls
of the preRaphaelites
which disarms dark nights
to escort us as swans
over the sea and tall towers
to illuminated nascent dawns,
your adjacent canvas of flowers
excavates my transfixed soul
drawing in an ethereal breath
of luminous consciousness
unhindered by post-Elizabethan
and modernist time
after a Fine Art's museum visit
to view your paintings
along the Victory gardens
over the Fenway's city limit,
we had a repast
of French bread and salad
over the park bench's tall grass
at outdoor Sunday's poetry,
arts and musical recitals
in lyrically painted afternoons
watching flotillas of sky divers
by parachutist's fly overs
we walk in a hurry with kites
on paths of capsized balloons
over glad day Esplanades
by easy greensward boundaries
along vivid sunny dunes
in aromas familiarity of nature
as birds circle the spring orbs
leaving us at a miracle sunrise
by showers that made us shiver
like a new May leaf
giving us a flowered surprise
and thrill at grandiose roses
on the very greenest hill
covering a public art exhibit
and privacy view at a bas relief
by the last pine comb and twig
to face the desires of the day
in a narrative's belief at nature
from Dante Rossetti's goodwill.


Battering my soul
among new green buds
on leave from the world
carrying a Sunday knapsack
of dry fruit and yogurt
watching roads into blue hills
getting close to river beds
where we once scouted
for an avid labyrinth
of neon and gold butterflies
surprised by unnoticed orioles
from the mouth of the sky
running to view a seagull
by the dock's wharf
my sheepdog companion
watches over me by red tulips
and blazing sunflowers
rests on my shadowed expression
surprised by the living aviary
yet acquainted with birdsong
in the cool delta's air
of a woodland mirrored journey
in colors of a wellspring paradise.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


There is no chore
in store
for a laundry list
you swore to remember
here on Saturday midnight
from tired sleep
you close the light
in the rush
for your Sunday best
moving my wrist
the water gushes
in the moving shadows
near your tired feet
drying out your list,
we know a  poet
only urges to be kissed
clothed by the Word itself
in his refuge below
the huge dark cellar,
as the drip flows
through the window
among the vapor's universe
you dryly walk away
reciting your stellar verse.


At college, John Milton
with truthful knowledge

as youth expresses
his own addresses

you were cleverly named
not ever shamed "the Lady"

being the Puritan guardian
of the sectarian and virgin

putting on your play
with Henry Lawes music cast

in your own Comus
your character's masque

holding your heavenly laurel
the press harassed in a quarrel

in their laughter's pit
you turned your back

wishing for a gold crown
in a divine celestial life

God has ordained
for a trained poet

of being put on trial here
but not in the here after

not defiled by your own
fair skin and limbs

but wise in a long hymn
to the lost paradise.

Monday, May 4, 2015


A student asked me
who influenced my poetry

I told him I was partial
to the Roman Martial

At ten I read John Very
telling me of the heavenly

then at a loss for the blinded
Puritan poet Milton

with his aerial quality
and angelic in sight,

and the visionary
St.John of the Cross

who loved night

then at eleven I turned
to New York school

O 'Hara, Schuler, Ashbery's
enlightened symmetry,

I  thought along the white pages
of their language's chemistry,

then read in not so easy French
Rimbaud and Artaud on a bench

and yearned and was taught
from the ear of Pound and Eliot

I sought to be modern
and fed on W.H. Auden,

My time runs by its pace
of a quotidian Phil Larkin

by a sphere
of meridian place,

enjoying James Merrill
in his vetted Divine Comedies

the word games of Hopkins,
a man of the cloth

hid the Asian translations
of Kenneth Rexroth,

then of course the new Scottish
force of Hugh MacDiarmid,

when with my own arrow and bow
had my target set on Vallejo

yet not knowing all mystery
in a translations history,

a secret spot on a patriarch's path
met Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Today everyone fears
the greater powers

on earth
they cower as kings

on ships of state
they watch continents

motioning to our row boats
as under cover waves

with hard line lips
over the ocean passengers

ordering whom they wish
to manipulate

even mapping the censorship
between words of two mates

who like Hart Crane
just want love to communicate,

but what is a creator of poetry
in the fickle fate of theory

of today's unknown poet
a conduit of reason and rhyme

the unknown poet of our years
who sails past all time and season

by the floating sunshine
in his his work-out body

waiting on once sublime words
to anchor his or her literary weight

when there is no Byron, Pushkin,
or Shelley around to elucidate

no Sappho, Dickinson,
Chatterton or Whitman to date.