Saturday, August 25, 2012

Money Lessons

I speculated on the stock exchange
And ended up as wealthy as a king,
Acquiring gold, buying a diamond ring,
A lovely farm house in a hidden grange,
A new dog to replace the one with mange,
And clever tutors — I was pandering —
But everything took so long to arrange.

I never speculate now. Things I know
Include the meaning of both destiny
And sharp words; what is wholly clear to me
Is that bare treetops, crowned by heavy snow,
Bent over by the wind, one lonesome crow
Perched coolly there, must be viewed patiently.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Atmosphere of Happiness

The rain has fallen, but the ground is dry.
An atmosphere of happiness prevails
In spite of everything gone off the rails
Beneath a dark, impenetrable sky
That threatens more rain, though the hours flash by
And nothing falls except the nightingales.
Sunlight attempts a struggling coup, but fails:
Even the half moon rises with a sigh.

I have a headache, my right hip is hurt,
I'm leaning to my left and squinting down
At crabgrass, desiccated, limp, and brown,
Ensconced in flyaway eroding dirt,
And, putting on a fresh new tie and shirt,
I choose which shade of red I'll paint the town.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Down the Well

Enveloped in a robe of béchamel,
The cool fragrance of apples in my nose
(At first I tried an Isle of Bourbon rose
But bristled at the thorns), I learn to tell
My beads as gravely as a temple bell,
And see the giants where the beanstalk grows.
I can't say what I'm feeling: one of those
Inscrutable reports from down the well.

The weather, unreliable and damp,
Prepares us for our real relationships:
Things held together just by paper clips
Or brittle pins, or an expensive clamp.
Our senses were filled up in summer camp,
But knowledge trickles from our fingertips.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Our Dessert

Remove that pie plate from your bag, my friend,
And place it on the counter, over there.
Now sit yourself on this nice Windsor chair
To tell us all about what you intend:
Was this dessert for us? Would that depend
On whether happiness was in the air
Or sorrow? Everybody gets a share,
I hope; it is a berry-apple blend.

Round fruits, round crust, together: welcome sight!
They say circumference divided by
Diameter's supposed to give you pie.
I hope the mathematics sheds some light,
But even if we didn't get it right
We'll have a bite or two while you reply.