Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dark and Light, Dark

The dark, when Abelard met Heloise,
Had settled on the continent, unlit
By stars, the moon, electric lamps, or wit.
The populace began to cough and wheeze
Brought on by widespread allergies to cheese
And crackers, cleaning up was done with spit,
The knights kept ripe bananas in their kit
To ward off succubi, but lived with fleas.

The light, when Heloise met Abelard,
Was never true, and hardly ever shone
For Druid worshipers of futile dawn;
Clouds, fog and sleet came suddenly and hard
Leaving the people scared and dark roads scarred,
And soon enough the lovers had moved on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Along a Messy Riverbank

I have a special fondness in my breast
For flowerbeds with dowdy, stinking weeds
And decomposing fish among the reeds
Along a messy riverbank, a zest
For chattering small rodents in a nest
Under low branches, with their unmet needs
And open mouths, their caches of fresh seeds
And nervous tics. I think I like those best.

Some people feel life shows too great a range
Of scenes, of tastes sour, salty, bittersweet,
Of attitudes and rat-catchers, replete
With courage, inattention, flight, and change.
I think, rather, that not enough is strange,
That almost all of life is much too neat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Last Rioja

My last rioja, cellared since the spring
And ready, went down smoothly. Short of cash,
I had to finish what's left in my stash,
Which isn't worth much. Almost everything
Is gone, because she had a glimmering
Of how our lives were turning into ash,
And left two geisenheims and one grenache
When she returned to Mother's cosseting.

I'm finished with this portion of my life;
This is the place I stop and draw a line.
I opened up the other Spanish wine,
I traded in my bus pass for a knife,
Left eighteen cents in pennies for my wife,
And marked time while I waited for a sign.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


If differential calculus were fun
For people with a deficit of brains,
If all it took to understand the gains
And losses in the market were a gun,
If, when the calculations were all done
And we were out enjoying how the cranes
Flew over us as we stood counting trains,
That cleared our heads, you'd really be someone.

You can't explain how water comes to boil,
Or why the denizens of the Black Sea
Have come out of their fruitless revelry
To face hard facts about depleted soil,
Excessive irrigation, and crude oil.
You're still in party mode. You're nobody.