Sunday, February 28, 2016

(Renoir Birth Feb. 25,1841)

Tell me
I will get out
of my delirium
to celebrate with Renoir
this week
his birthday
that my memoir
of spending days
with him at the museum
and dreaming of his shaped
colors need my sadness
not to be reconciled
but to get me away soon
from my wintry exile
into the butterflies sunshine
sitting by the window
watching the snow flakes
hearing a blue bird whistle
at the slate roof shadow
knowing spring will dawn
soon in neon light red
in sands of air
by the thistle branches
with your spring bouquet.

Friday, February 26, 2016


In colors of ashes
from the sighs
of Polish village synagogues
settling on innocent wounds
here was only an assembling
of prayerful grief
that you have taken us
which all humanity take notice
sparing none of the pieces
of your passionate sorrows
drawing from articulate fingers
on history's awareness
in victim's impacted dreams
from the dusty altars
for the sascrificed living memory
the spirit shone lives on
in an artist who has a poet's voice
enduring despite everything
as the two eyed deadly colors
and shapes become our own.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


While light
has fractured
the pantry window
we listen to Bach's
Coffee Cantata
after a parlor game
of morning scrabble,
an informed delivery
brings me postcard news
from an ingenuous hour
filled with dark shades
when with a single heart
of regrets will remember
Guinevere as any good Arthur
with many men courting her
as she deserved the royal seal
for her gift of abstract painting
revealed in all those shifting
good times at Long beach
exonerating me for acting out
for her in my own paranoia
all the characters in my plays,
swimming out by the lighthouses
harbors and towers of Babel
now I hear she has gone
an expiation of the passing
of a beautiful swam near
our sail boats in the East
off the Coast of the Marianas
during an adolescent race
now surrenders in my sunrise
with a missing cloudless distance
for shadows on a snow kiss
to a salvaging love
of a now absent friend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


We have to go on
though we want to be blameless
for your lost brother
hiding from war's opprobrium
at a recurring nightmare
under the white cover
denuded yet open faced
except for his laughter
about his week -old underwear
and coming home blameless
after your last message came
to us with no guilt or retreat
you were not shamed
for not putting on your boots
blaming it on his flat feet
or being deaf in one ear
a status grown into irony
by his "4 F " rejection
convicted by a mastery of fear
that he was a bare necessity
of their related son's reflection
he was under a reputation's curse
of his belated family
in a conflict having
when  life ate us all
he is gone from the station
having not left on the right path
pushed down here on the beach
by wildly Cape angular winds
near the familiar bird feeder
refreshed at the fountain chorus
to swear it still feels like winter
as an escaped tenor of a bear
is heard by the woods
on March first's murderous air
off an ocean's raucous waves
he's wandering in the gazebo
and sat to reminisce for a time
with Joey a light weight boxer
recovering from amateur night
offering him a small cup of whiskey
that he saved with his food
up against his youth hostel's
sandy chorus of rude dreams
that fills an absence of distance
from any death wish fatality
still carded for memory loss
to be reached in contemplation
or solitaire,
now mounting over
the winding beach stair
finding a single yellow crocus
probably from a high school prom
that eventually will hurt him
in his pea jacket pocket
leaving us with no homily, ribbons
epitaph or his teddy bear
a fellow not frozen into believing
any glimpsed churlish reality
he is none for the worse.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

March 13, 1900

The island
of the Aegean
and a singer and poet
chants of exiles
of banishment
your hands
have a brotherly shape
in a personal charge
of amnesty denied
toward poets
with skeptical pens
writing on the beach
scratching the paper
of the seaweed hand
a prompter of notes
by a warm night's
gamble of words
in the lamplight
shading your fingers
printed on mirrors
of sultry mirages
in grey fog descriptions
of the last tourist ship
onto the harbor's cul-de-sac
heading to the downpour
at the ports
of holding you up
of your last breathless
possible moment.

FEB. 19 1896

When the visiting
French critic
said to me
'Do you know Breton's verse"?
and only eighteen
despite my youth
she brought me
to Breton's mirror of books
after class
seated me by the table
and had me type
in French
about myself
telling her my cousin
fought in the Resistance
and have a stamp
with his picture on it,
both Pierre and Andre
became an assembly
of fresh stars in my life
when we shared our poetry
years later
in the twilight of the Louvre.

FEB 21, 1907

The light
may be out
by the flickering flame
on the street where
we heard of your passing
as the snow is a landscape
along windows by church
with the odor of incense
at the last peal of bells
yet we by our lamp stands
waiting to remember you again
at over coming misunderstanding
and betrayal
in a confessional search
of our own age's delusion
walking by the rails
of second thoughts
with a poet's words
in a free spirited conclusion
lighting a candle for you
in my near sleeping eyes
thinking of the threshold
power of a traced reunion
when future and the past
shine in on glow.


A blue bird carols
under the pine branches
near the ice pond
in a revelation
that spring is near
where children skate
wanting a summer orange
raw almonds and poppy seeds
from California vineyards,
a musician plays riffs
to the woodwinds
with his confident notes
of smooth jazz fingertip tunes,
while my hands open
from the bird feeder nearby
on quiet country roads
with scenes of my youth
everywhere by the pale suspense
of a falling silence
that only a poet knows
from a ghost town
who haunts to scale
the white hills
in the noonday air
scattering the shadows
as snow kisses the myrtle
by river beds
of a once rose trellis,
the sunshine simmers
down our backs
we hold up a village sled
as several boys play bocce
tiny flakes
from the exhaling sky
make their eyelids wince,
a teacher from a Vermont hike
shuffles by near the river beds
hoping greensward foliage
will come forth
on the pine covered branches.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Dr. Jacobson- psychiatrist

L. I keep writing lines of the future and they frighten me.

J. Isn't that what writers do?

L. It's disintegrating me from my life.

J. Who is the main character?

L. A hero who is normal but not too terribly formal.

J. Where is the text?

L. In my pocket book which I left on my train of thought in the underground.

J. Is that what is disturbing you?

L. It's turning me into a figure of pure imagination.

J. You feel lost in your manuscript?

L. Just lost and out of date. I guess my state of mind is out of whack.

J. Did my pills help.

L. I temporarily relax, get tired and fall asleep.

J. Arn't you able to lighten up?

L. No, Dr. Jacobson. You think you were a tryst, not a psychiatrist.

J. I  got your streaming messages when you won that Paris literary prize. Can you update me.

L. I'm no character witness nor are you.

J. Why be divisive in our session's conclusion.

L. A surprise ending.

Suddenly Linda collapses after she shoots herself.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

(1932- FEB.19, 2016)

In passages and raptures
reaching each word of yours
in the name of your rose
outside a house trellis
of nature's tree groves
knowing your strong voice
has a sanctuary backstage
you are not lost alone
in this actor's dressing room
not in a mourning dark suit
before a motionless camera
for I'm consoled by your prose
leaning over your novel
read under my sunny window
accepting your tinged photo
on my one lira's Italian postcard
near a transient travel oil lamp
our era shapes your epitaph
as dawn rises to laugh over the dust
from a somnambulist character
of an exiled story of stranger
disclosing many weathered years
in travelogue soundings heard
from varied nesting archipelagos
tidal waves are at high tide
remembering the lost ships
as shadows flood with light
over many a night's filmy eyes
amazed at Eco's unsurpassed energy
immersed in history, poetry
and narrative dialogue
that we witness in your shade
for your lost artifacts
with honoring presages
and passages over triumphant lives
left behind by murdered friends
in an age of light and science
you taught us chapters of life
in an illumined tempo
against the rocks and branches
at islands of the Mediterranean sea
embracing us by a horseman's statue
to record our darkness
with shining phrases of ardor
now at digital libraries
scattered in arbitrary manuscripts
chronicled by a fable teller's fate
in several languages and tones
embraced by a trembling hand
of reinvented time and pendulum
outfoxing the stones and a leaf
in his unsigned books at length
by a chalk line from fans
awaiting your enchanted speech
outside Milan's momentary
yet innocent snowy gates
or wherever the literate gather
to your soul mated reflections,
in stories ,words,letters
you made our world better.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Born Feb 10, 1890- May 1960

Hardship by the Volga
night has electrified
a witness to mirrors
of a poet's spirit
clinging to words
when censorship
vilified you Boris
not the last time
you heard the moans
in a corridors
of lock down prisoners
with their backs
to the river rain
stars shattering
both war and peace
in Siberian steamships
a shadow in careless space
of a white sky resurrection
your eye lashed quarantined
now with the silent dust
your voice unwavering
into a spring of seedlings
of the hearth and garden
your light leads us
to the watery swan
and flapping wings of birds
covering you by gates
in buried underbrush lanes
seeking and dreaming
like the last dawn
of a notable obituary
shadowed by lightening
as the poet is gone
into a sanctuaries pardon.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


A dirty blond stranger
with a long grayish beard
from Provo Utah
slept on a chimney
one snowy night
resting on a jazz club roof
of the local forest ranger
on another cold evening
after he awoke
laughing inconsolably
told us he lost the fret
of an A string
on his wine covered guitar
which he replaced
then he created out of magic
a folk song with lyrics
of sublime originality
about the fronds off
Cape Cod waters
we invited him as a guest
to our outdoor city theater
to do stand up or sing
with a T.V. host on the couch
to interview Rex
but he spoke in revelations
that gave him authority
larger than most
with an enlarged history
that no one could vouch for
suddenly like any cowboy
or imitating ghost rider
took off with a wandering eye
of a pedantic lonesome soul
perhaps searching
for God or sex in mind
or some vocation as his goal
courts over the Duck pond
and elopes in a glitter of stars
to get far away
with a rich scientist's daughter
from Woods Hole
vanishes with all his insight
with a jolt
of his open air sports car.


After the peace march
you emerged in the city
walking alone
with a home made sign
speaking against war
without a moment
to drink green tea in a glass
like our grandparents
but you cleverly manage
to cut the lemon,
four ways
from the farmer's market
burying my daily worries
as we remembered playing
backgammon and chess
when we were in advanced
algebra two math class
of Mr. Feeney
who was so poor
he wore his tweed suit
from the Goodwill
every day
but your nana
fixed his buttons
before our last exams
in the long corridors
of the library hallways
years later
we saw each other
in the Big Apple
at the poetry slams
as you intersected me
on my motorcycle
suddenly flakes of snow
appear on my old pea jacket
by a rush of city traffic
as sirens go off
at the red light
lost near a Soho district
where we did disco dancing
along the tinted bars
where I once played sax riffs
in weary alley ways
smelling of marijuana
with a chip on the old block
of my Manhattan street
where I met expressionists
in their cold starry eyed lofts
at a series February storms
yet hide to get our bones warm
by visiting the Cedar Tavern
drinking beer, wine
or Mexican tequila
talking at the revolutionary back
of Pollock,O'Hara, and Rothko
those now famous artists
along with their poet friends
who became mine,
Ginsberg, Kerouac, Franz Kline
Leroi Jones, Greg Corso.


Who may have answers
on this stage
like a signal to Hamlet
settling all my questions
but he does not rely
on my reacting to his ephemeral
last words, words, words
but on defying my own reason
to this actor and poet
who merely recites his lines
after rehearsing all night
watching Hamlet curse
with Shakespearean lines
about all his personal strife
I'm trying to memorize
yet willingly knows nothing
as to the good prince's motives
what gives into his suffering
at the votive stone
taking notice of my part
in this play's atonement
yet having my own moments
since searching at his soliloquy
for his own past identity
that we witness and reveal
to this patient audience
who still fears his uncle
but cannot forgive the deeds
of unending violence
after the murder of his father
with the new king's silence
has those doom of secrets
opened here in this living room
and is weary of his mother
the waited on moody Gertrude
whom his personal young life
has been offended and violated
with his own gloomy melancholy
soon turns on his girlfriend
the confused beautiful Ophelia
who will soon be dead
in an excused adolescent season
but all our hourly lives are on loan
to a higher wonder of power
like leaves on the snow
may survive in the spring
to reveal a small jonquil flower
dancing in the underground
in the sunlight.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Born Feb. 23, 1878

A wall mural elaborately
breathes out
its artistic calligraphy
by the floral studio hallways
as we are pointed  out to view
a visually daring span
and sensory painting of quality
Kazimir Malevich's "Red Square"
with its modernist panorama
of human potentialities
with an emphatic composition
from a Russian abstract painter
who knows his geometric facts
on the cross-cutting edge
of a blistering visionary's canvas
dropping patinas and auras
from his angular colors
upon prolific cloths gesturing us
to many hectic liberating shapes
that regenerate our imagination.
discovering a charming subtlety
and wisely unique chasm
as if a poetry's phantasm's lore
of ambiguity directs us into
his drawing trimeter measures
in a surpassing critical technique
of all who came before
Kazimir Malevich's
Cubo- futuristic part
of the avante garde's pleasure
in vector of great magnitude
with a critical character
and sense of ouvre in his art
as Moscow's emerging complicity
in a new modernist century
from a creator's spacial segments
which imparts marginal outlines
as our aesthetic eyes widen
from a wise pollinator
featuring a dramatic nature
of an authentic sculptor
with an unexpected varnished
and polished painter's surprise.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


A kindly neighbor handed me
an Einstein sweat shirt
along with my Valentine
as today his theory of relativity
has now been confirmed
without great consternation
how he created it
a century earlier
Albert with a comical face
yet a theoretical physicist
he who barely escaped
so many hurts of the human race
and bravely made his way
from Germany to the U.S.A.
who admired Mahatma Gandhi
in his demonstration for peace
and Isaac Newton
he inspired Princeton
backed up our nation
lost in calamity and war,
no matter what yahoos say
he is a hero who saved the day
with his detection of vibrations
of measured gravitational waves
from faraway stars and galaxies
covering his black hole discoveries
he is treasured for eternity
for how science now behaves
and proves that divine miracles
are wrought from our angel refugees
who left their country of poverty
with mind, sense and body
like Einstein to serve,
who taught us to give a chance
toward all human kind
who survive our memory
with a sense of generosity
deserving of our thanks, sympathy
and a symphony of poetry
in ranks of our calendar annals
from a traumatic five-star history.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Now we think twice
in taking advice
to be vigilant
when we compose or chant
our cantos, rants or odes
from ancient legendary fare
in lyrical poetic documents
or in prose narrative
writing in our honor codes
how to live
through purgatory's spirit
the glory of a poet's creations
as in the Latin of Virgil
or in modern translations
in public library revisions
from Pound on Baudelaire
or in Eliot or Auden's comments
which enfolds us this dawn
at the country fair,
listening to a matins church choir
with musical sounds in French
sitting on a bench with Nicole
a student and actor of literature
here amid the icy air of Montpelier
listening to her thrilling solo
then of her reading Portia's words
at a Shakespeare folio
from the Merchant of Venice
wanting to plant a laurel
of recognition on her head,
instead of feeding a few birds
while I have a repast
of potato skins and bread,
now reading to console her
having to face an audition
she is needing for her exam
after her hour poetry slam,
the snow still blowing its darts
as St Sebastian's arrows land
on the narrow cold flagstones
when comforted on a hammock
by our arty tomes
at a windy garden party
near the river bed
once filled with garlands
in spiced amphora jars
of camouflaged flowers
by a slippery bush of junipers
where sparrows abide
now standing by her snowman
with a rose red tie on his chin
a carrot on his nose,
as a deer waits for hours
by the bird feeder
near the water fountain
by the flora and fauna
now filled with black ice
where neighborhood cats rest
and relax like the poet Durrell
after an Artesian wellness drink,
we listen by a wellspring ground
for a chirping sound
of three squirrels up the tree
I'm thinking in conversation
are also busy on vacation
making provision
when two tiny children
named Dora and Victoria
accept a skating invitation
with their kitten Yuri
trying to converse and say hello
from their Russian
with a temperamental fellow
who must be their daddy
at this February hour
who puts on their heavy clothes
with bonnets and mittens
to play on the icy field
and eat cookies and brownies
by their bay windows,
while Howie ,a friendly neighbor
ends up from the duck pond
with his macho brother, Joad
a lucky race car driver
whom the local yokels
claim is like Groucho
by his funny sporting sessions
who teaches soccer and hockey
and asks to have freaky fun
by reaching out
to the younger townies
as if on a mission
whom years ago use to work
in a now empty brewery
inventing his own ale and beer
from the hip buzz of happenings
of the transition Sixties
born in New Haven
near Yale college
who can still quote any passage
from any sonnet of Shakespeare
as an intellectual maven
with notes in his vest
he is a frostily bearded Yankee
with a white goatee visage
he acquired from the Village
in smarty yellow pants
yet who is brilliantly intelligent
not a throaty ranting sycophant
wearing almond colored shorts
in this frozen weather
who use to play soccer and rugby,
now even at an eccentric sixty
he still fixes vintage cars
running best in every marathon
when he is lights as a feather,
rumor has it he was in Swan Lake
when he was at eleven
studying at the Boston Conservatory
yet once madly slid
from his slippery ballet toes
from the ski slopes
dashing his university hopes,
now baits to switch on his rod
as he hopes to ice fish
on the local pond for cod
wanting to feed on manna
quail and venison
for his ninety year old nana,
walks the wood forests
breathing heavily by his cat
to take our snowy picture
from an on point camera
under the Elm trees nest,
taking more winter photos
from a storm's interlude
as a flock of guest eagles
rock the open Arctic breeze
of the White Mountain ski resort
at ease in Vermont
assured by the South
to get warmth,
while I want to play
an etude from memory
of Chopin's b minor sonata
indoors on the piano.

Monday, February 8, 2016


With a fiery wind of poetry
cast on the paint
to Robert Browning
in his middle ages
among the saintly picture
he draws "Fra Lippo Lippi"
at his crowning glory
with a priority
of a monk who blessed
as their sin is confessed
sunk in poetic languages
of Greek and Latin
in the satin background
as the choir alights in
and engages
in a Florentine cloister
from the Carmelites sound
singing by the orchestra
with wine and bread
of the sacrament.

Friday, February 5, 2016


A bard at a coffee house
always at his artistic best
picks up his packet
of avant-garde postcards
quickly counting nine
you may regard this Beat poet
with knowing affection
in San Francisco at City Lights
his sounding direction
riding on a motorcycle
over his invading grounds
as he is spot on deciding to buy
the most clever of lyrics
over these poetic Valentines
along a bookstore wall
on this February Twelfth night
as he puts his literary signature
brightly red on the dotted line
and share a valentine with guests
from West Los Angeles
who are about to visit him
at his backyard retreat
who read his prose
from his folio of keen quotes,
as he puts his feet up
over the desk
with newly discovered
yet not secretive love notes,
spilling and drawn out
in an artistic form fulfilling
his ideas on a colorful obelisk
that are beautifully designed
in starry skilled structure covers
as he slowly recovers
from his latest nature's outburst
at his last heavy metal storm,
here with shortness of breath
under a burlesque black book
from the Sixties pictures he took
of his art critic friend Elizabeth
that he seems almost reformed
waiting for the open theater's
comic humoresque to perform,
not wanting to throw a tantrum
keeping all St.Sebastian arrows
adjusted in his quiver
he discovers his own grave past
in the lines he must deliver
tonight playing
a dreamy young vital upstart
who waits for love
of an expressive tomorrow
resembling the grave Malvolio
reacting a bit grotesque
in a poetic text of "Twelfth Night"
as he casts his bright narrative
like a robotic blue fish
with a live line on a sinking hook
restoring up inky metaphors
by his outlook of good wishes
that make his history stand out
at rehearsing an artful solo part
by handsomely staring
into a double mirror
convex and concave
with all his troubles to behave,
and looks fairly misunderstood
remembering his first rendition
of doing "Romeo and Juliet,"
or at his first reading
at a starlet's picture edition
over daring movie sets
with charismatic vital actors
always bursting out dramatically
in temperamental condition
shouting about past regrets
cursing themselves for being
once of a good nature,
with the worst of pretenders
to engender their stand up lines
and innovate for
their own personal nomenclature
so super sensitive
and berated it seems
by any sex and gender,
among cultured and cultivated
the poet shilling the text
given out to drama queens
in those receptive lines
from his artsy picture book
as he listens and quietly divines,
weighing in on a '78 recording
of a soul on the basement floor
quietly reading Rimbaud
Baudelaire and Verlaine
by the casement window
near the stage door,
here the poet tries
in his masked shadowy word
to write free verse
about a wreck asking for love
as suddenly he runs
outside the studio
under a hammock of rain,
as twigs fall off the woody Elms
from the heavy breeze
at the last storm remembering
his past feat at a quatrain
when a flock of blue birds
from Capistrano
rested above the branches
at the back yard shed
near crab apple trees
feasting at bread in the nest,
explaining the moment
his eyes shut out the light
which would glow
on the soft elephant lamp
he built with his own hands
after the last ride in a night cab
when he paid the tab
from a lottery's advance
as a gift of chance
from the mayor's charity,
he goes off to the loft's bed
with only poetry and prayer
returning as his sole guest
from the masked ball dance
remembers the correct answer
about the poet
"Giacomo Leopardi"
on a snowy T.V.'s Jeopardy
then does a crossword puzzle
in the latest Chronicle,
not laughing about years ago
about the libelous article
on the lie of Mr. Bell
that daily city sports reporter
was revealed against him
before he was fired
that caused us so much unrest
the one in his Bermuda shorts
who is now retired
was hidden by unlocking
his Harvard clock by watching
unlawfully wrong statistics
so his kindred nephew
Rocky Arvid easily won
at our risky marathon run
when all we just wished
was to court some wild fun
now it's water under the bridge,
the bard refills his forty years
in a cup of black coffee
with a warm memory
of many a Valentine
there in a fine wooden box
of black and white photos
in a studio backdrop
of Rudolf Valentino
kept at the back of a child Bible
that he once memorized
before he was riled up
at his first audition
on the hollow stairs
near Hollywood and Vine
letting the dim lights glow
on the unsettling words,
"Let you be mine."

Feb. 8, 1819

Aware he is
a minor prophet
of art for art's sake
in a poet's lore and literature
dipping in his water colors
over the aura he wakes up
for an Italian cup of coffee
and his painted murals,
with maps of geography at home
over London and Rome
tapping into the wit and culture
resting by his catalogs
of floral and fauna
at his Victorian age
with fine architecture
at the structure of wide lines
in his travel guide to Italy
with his "Stones of Venice,"
Ruskin adored all birds,
just turn the plumage page
of his brilliant words on plants
yet he was no sycophant
as an expert in ornithology
he even contributed
his sectarian share
with lectures on theology,
instead as a back bench patron
connected with art and society
with his analysis of landscape
on a canvas of honorable basis
of Mr.Turner and Constable
with his beautiful variety of lines
in " Sesame and Lilies"
always on my aunt's table
with croissants and green tea
and a French Bordeaux wine.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

February 27, 1912 birth

Petunia is all masked
for the evening ball
rushing from the library
to her Junior prom
dressed in a pink taffeta
puts on pearl earrings
and high heels in a moment
which she fixes
over a beige picket -fence
whispers as a coincidence
of a quick sidewalk push
Petunia suddenly reveals
to tell me
she has a  life long
literary crush
upon Lawrence Durrell
with his travel journals,
asked me what I think
of his aesthetic sense,
telling her I was not yet familiar
with his exemplary
but probably minor poet,
yet later secretly learn
of this diplomatically
serviced and wisely
dramatically wrought writer
who was immediately
spotted by his English critics
by his literary character studies
yet arbitrarily asking myself
what his poetic life taught
for him to crave in literature
for more cultural advance,
Petunia laughed out loud
at my evasive journalist answers
about love ,jealousy and romance
in this petulant chance encounter
at this one forgotten event
on the curb
with a  nervous question
to her in the sunset
if she could accompany me
to the dance
as a pageant tour
of high school movers,
and tournament of cheerleaders
waves to us in a limousine,
later in a quest of a Eurasian life
I will welcome Durrell's diet
of travel and diary
as this continual night owl friend
climbed with me on divine heights
over explicit sex scenes
howling at the hectoring lovers
under his laurel covers
of "The Alexandria Quartet",
that desire all the company
at the Copts' society set
with their family quarrels
out of Cairo with,Egyptians
attired at his text,
by uncovering a manic betrayal
in the pride of complex novels
by which students freely
make out his dramatic destiny
out of an episodic history
as of sexting fragrant dreams
when he was a guilty libertine
brilliantly enlightening "Justine"
Lawrence  Durrell still riding
over the Ionian sea
wondering of Jason's fleece
and onto the classic language
of his discovered Hellenic revival
as he sails on
as an Athenian to Greece.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

(1889 -1966)

Past a discerning memory
of Anna Akhmatova
reading her poetry notes
with dim eyes over
the warm stove
and curved mirror
turning a white headband
on a courageous life
we witness to your laurels
as you press in your quotes
from your astonishing passages
on a lost lover and husband
with a warm quarrel of regrets
at the turn of a century
at lucid secrets emerge
at the miracle spin of her survival
calling out all of Stalin's criminals
as trembling whispers
of passing voices rival
in her paucity of letters
she does not yet send by mail,
for Akhmatova's nature expands
reaching us after death exhales
in knowing our time better
when on a winter pilgrimage
to greet Osip Mandelstam,
an exiled friend,
camped out with luggage
along the dark Russian river
who sailed away in exile
who shares another language,
in a passing visit over kvas
and a sparkling glass
of herbal mint tea,
it is snowing for the poets
with the snowy wind covering
her brown coat and bandana
by a smile then laughter
at the mouth of the cold Neva
everyone is awaiting saplings
planted under a bridge's beach
near fathomless shadowy
reaching branches of a knout
and blackened whip
when birch twigs will bend
in a coming deliverance
from the long fathomless thaw
for a Russian wintry penance
as children shout their warring
yet loving confessions of love
in a thousand wonders
of an Easter nascent rain
as you hear the priest's language
in purple procession and song
everyone wondering
at the spring's arrival
as this everlasting poet
covers over her tense glances
and she reaches out on the sand
to us in benevolence
from an age without end.

When musicals played
invading a new luminosity
for me in adolescence
in a consenting language
on grandfather's Victrola
this talking machine
embracing shadows
of an engaged melody
at his own poor dream
in making a living
delayed from his final hours
of a forty day rehearsal
we made our lyrical notes
interwoven in a duet
on the open piano
as we were in a recital
as he heard me play
a sonata of Beethoven
then he recited my poem
the words of a secret prelude
in English and German
within the key of G minor
in a quartet dedicated to him.