Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968. Comb. 1916.

Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968.   Comb.  1916.

August 24, 2013 – L.A. Times

I’m not much for contests
and competitions – all that
reminds me of work, of a life
I want only in the rear-view
mirror. Nonetheless, I submitted
two poems to the L.A. Times
Op-Poetry call. They may not
choose my poems. They may.

11th century church, Assisi

11th century church, Assisi

August 22, 2013 – Pocket Compass

And old friend brought me back
a gift
from a market in Afghanistan

a brass pocket compass with
a poem
inscribed in the screw-on cover

it’s final verse (engraved
in words
too small for 57-yr-old eyes) reads:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the on less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.”

The Wheelchair Heart Symbol

The Wheelchair Heart Symbol

August 23, 2013 – Postcard Poems

I treasure receiving these
postcard poems –
and so I send in hopes
that I’ll receive –
today I expected to harvest
a bumper crop –
but none came.

Still, twelve have arrived,
so I go back
and re-read them all,
one by one,
line by line.

A lovely stack of thoughts –
my treasure,
my winning lottery ticket,
my pot of gold
at the end of the rainbow.

#1522 Bartolome Estaban Murillo 1617-1682 Die Wurfelspieler

#1522   Bartolome Estaban Murillo  1617-1682  Die Wurfelspieler

August 21, 2013 – Lady Day (a sonnet, sort of)

I could listen to Lady Day
sing – all night long –
those blue minor chords that
don’t quite seem to fit
except for their perfection;
those flat notes that fall so
softly from her lips, like
manna, to our awaiting souls –
like dew, early, early
before sunrise…
I could listen to those
old songs all night long –
“Bend your branches down –
along the ground – and cover me.”

Vincent Van Gogh, The Bedroom, 1889

Vincent Van Gogh, The Bedroom, 1889

August 20, 2013 – We Take These Things for Granted

What is the greatest scientific
problem of our time?

How do you send a postcard
to a homeless person?

Can people serving prison terms
order books from Amazon.com?

We take these things for granted
but we shouldn’t.

Dick’s in Seattle

Dick's in Seattle

August 19, 2013 – Summer fall

There is a slight chill
in the August morning air – Summer
withdraws so quickly, quietly –

The trees – now fully dressed –
will slowly shed – disrobe – prepare
for Autumn’s triumph march.

Fetal Trapping in Northern California

Fetal Trapping in Northern California

August 18, 2013 – Started my day

I started my day
with a walk –

and a submarine
sank and burned –

and a thousand
peaceful protesters died –

and a vice-president
resigned –

and a press conference
was inconsequential –

and we had dinner
with friends.