The fireflies burn out well beneath the stars
And leave the shadows of the trees around me,
Naked here, in a galaxy at war.
Poolside, in my moon reflection, I will be
Dropping out of this humid world down to
The unexpected.Guillotined to cold;
Feet first with the water closing over you
And then shoving off the pool bottom, old
And stretching out as the new world runs by
Drifting utterly empty, my life gone
In my underwater wake and my eyes
Closed till I hit the wall and stand alone
In the shallow end and I am reborn,
I arise baptized with the coming of the morn.
Here, self-preservation is metaphor:
Two dry riverbeds that run the water
From the neighborhood to the reservoir
Hold the water when it rains, in order
That a semi-septic self-made swamp pond
On two grandfathered acres, that won’t perk,
Might be the birthplace of this flower on
This shallow marsh. Each spring I watch her birth.
The “Blue Flag”, out of the Iris family,
Has a throat of spectacled gold, and grows tall
On a solid single stem; fun, friendly
But at her roots she’s poisonous to all.
Self-preservation, as final duty,
Creates its own narcissistic beauty.
… But it’s one of those days where you start serious and end up with a joke…
The Janitor in the Classroom
I stopped to watch him clean the window glass
And wet mop the floor and make real sure
The day’s questions, unanswered, or unasked
Were washed from blackboards and the doors secured.
“His kids,” he calls them, who went home today;
They live the “life-changing experiment,”
Which is to navigate the unknown way
To save the future which we have not spent.
An old man’s mind makes orderly his past
But lives as the victim of his future.
He washes sinks and wipes the window glass
And prepares the classroom to make sure
The desks line up in geometric rows.
What they will learn will save him, this he knows.
… Oh well, what the hell
You never ever can tell.
If you think that he’s a dope,
We can end this with this joke:
An optimist’s fortune cookie
Tongue twister summary:
Our children are our heirs
Until theirs are theirs.
Okay, last Tuesday I posted a grumpy piece about writing plays in a time when all the theaters are closed.
In response, I received unexpected wonderful encouragement.
I’ve decided to forgive my pen and write a thank you explanation…
Sometimes Life is a Bic
Within the four corners of your blank page
Lives the life’s work of a ballpoint pen
And the untranslatable language
Of its beginnings and of its end.
Its play at drawing portraits of doodle-faces,
Or stringing words to make a thought brought pure,
Or working the architecture of spaces,
Or just displaying the ego of a signature
Is to have enjoyed its own universe.
Even if it’s just dotted “i”s or crossed “t”s
And all work and no play has been its curse /It can mirror the joy we live and breath
But how entirely unlike your life or mine
Is a single thin line as a life defined?
… It is also an apology and thank you during this pandemic from me to you! ❤️
These posts and my blog are my second life as a poet/ playwright. Although I loved being a lawyer and starting the law firm, I have always wanted that second life.
Since March, I have grown increasingly despondent because the coronavirus has shut down the theaters and curtailed my evolving development. The quarantine made it darker, more claustrophobic and broke my heart. I stopped writing. I am too old now. I will never be what I had hoped to be.
But I have learned something beautiful. I returned to a sonnet cycle that a friend of mine suggested we write years ago. Both of us wanted an artistic life to be jumpstarted. Back in the mid-1990s, I didn’t have the courage to do it myself, so we began to exchange sonnets. This was the beginning. The Genesis.
The sonnets I have been posting these past few weeks are from that 1990s cycle. I went back to the beginning, and I want to say thank you to those that have given me a second life that I now better understand.
Although I love seeing my work performed, I have discovered that what I love most is creating, writing, and the discovery that entails. I delayed forever, but I owe a duty to Elizabeth Bishop (poet) and William Alfred (playwright, and my tutor), both my professors in college. They are gone now but the thank you is not too late.
From the start, they, along with Candace, my friend, taught me this real joy of discovery.
With two cords of hardwood stacked by the door
I’m ahead of winter again this fall.
All these years with no spark, no central core.
My art? To fortify’n avoid it all.
At Mount Auburn, my friend Candace and I,
Last winter, about this time, decided
To write a poem each week’n agreed to try
For e-mail delivery to the other by
Monday morning, coffee time. We would do
Fifty-two: Deadlines to keep us to it.
Miss Bishop and Professor Alfred too,
I hope these make you proud. Last night I lit
A new fire in an old fireplace
And dreamed I’d warmed your hands and touched your face.
Lust & Love
His object of affection (but not of mine),
A belly button, seductively displayed,
Below the shirt which hides nipple ring outlines,
That make both her breasts look like hand grenades.
He looks for the screwdriver he has lost.
His is the world of replaceable parts.
Unscrew her belly button, her ass falls off?
Still they both dress to win the other’s heart.
The city’s suburbs spread out around them both
As they skateboard the parking lots and clocks
Keep the time and administrate the oaths.
Is there no place left to think out side the box?
Is the message of the world we are part of
That we live so long as we lust and love?