December 31, 2008


My life twists
Dangling in the mists
A spider in the earliest hint of dawn.
My mind roams
Lost in a thousand homes,
Amnesiac messenger still trying to warn.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, April 2008

December 25, 2008


All the little people
Who lived on the Moon
Went into hiding,
Not a bit too soon.

Nixon promised cars and cokes
And Nixon promised strings,
But they were worse than Communists
And didn’t want such things.

So, in case the President
Got it in his head
To bomb the little Moonies
If he thought that they were red,

All the little people
Who lived on the Moon
Went into hiding,
Not a bit too soon.

They tore up all their houses
And they spread some dust around,
And dug up all the trees they had
And took them underground.

When Nixon saw the mess they’d left,
The craters, rocks and sand,
He said on TV coast to coast
“We’ve reached the Promised Land.”

“Since the week of the Creation”
(As Old Glory was unfurled)
“This week is the greatest
“In the history of the world.”

“Americans” he said, “Revere
“The steps that we have trod;
“This here’s the new Paradise;
“And this time, guess who’s God.”

But what with bombing Communists
And wasting oil and men,
America’s resources
Were back to scratch again.

They cut back on expansion
And left alone the Moon,
And all the little people said
“Not a bit too soon!”

They put back all their houses
And replanted all their trees,
And as they passed a pipe around
They said to God, “O please –

“We know those people are a mess,
“And bound for trouble soon,
“But with a little less, they’d be
“As happy as the Moon.”

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008

December 20, 2008


The correct thing to do, when you're dead,
Is have someone take care of your head.
There's no chance of more drama
Without Futurama -
Don't say you weren't warned! Act, instead!

Published online: Transhumanity, November 2005

December 13, 2008


More than the actual loss, it’s helplessness
That we most loathe when suffering a theft:
The arbitrary way one daring, deft,
Brass act leaves careful order in a mess;
The knowledge the thief’s wilder and cares less;
The easy way he tears the warp and weft
Of dull security; the insight left
The cosmos can as quickly curse as bless.

Therefore the fears are mostly overblown –
The thief himself causes no loss or strife
More than insurance or day’s work redeems.
But there’s a greater thief, and more unknown,
Who comes each night and steals one third your life,
Leaving no more than fingerprints, your dreams.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, October 2008

December 6, 2008


The Reaper, with hourglass and hoar locks,
Sees me dreaming of witches and warlocks,
Of doing and fighting,
Of loving, of writing,
Taps my shoulder and says “I’m from Porlock’s.”

Published online: Snakeskin, UK, October 2008

November 29, 2008


His armor is silver, his ’chute is khaki,
A grenade on his belt, and a shield on his arm;
And she thinks of the kiss by the loom and TV
And his camouflaged, war-painted lost face’s charm.

He went off with his pals in the longship and jeep,
As brave as his rockets in the boat prow.
And disease, gas and tomahawk put him to sleep….
What is his mouth, to laugh or kiss now?

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008

November 23, 2008


The red leaves in the sunshine are
So red! So red! So red!
There are no buried Caesars here – instead,
The dispossessed of all the Earth,
With native wisdoms, human worth,
Bleed through the trees like a reopened scar.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, October 2008

November 22, 2008


When God took Time to spin a length of Matter,
And, nothing at each end, tied the ends together,
He held between his fingers and surveyed
The first cat’s-cradle, and since then has played.

Flames dazzle, dance, and fade to a friend’s face;
Dogs mime all features of the human race;
The willow weaves a walker from the air;
All Nature helps us see things that aren’t there.

To read Life’s Meanings, we must write the text:
What’s Right one day is often Wrong the next –
I’m rich or poor only as I profess,
Must ask your love or hate, for you can’t guess.

If love’s illusion, so are hate and fear…
Why not choose love?, when it’s so great, and near?!

Published: Rubies In The Darkness, UK, Summer 2005

October 31, 2008

CEMETERY - First Robishover and Chelmer Graveyard, NJ

Places of rest and quiet
Places of death
Where the leaves of crowding trees fall;
Where the squirrel buries nuts,
But no new tree will grow;
Where a swarm of tiny flies in the last hot and shaded air
Live short lives
Before the year dies;
Where the grass lives to be mown
Where the bones rot beneath their polished headstones
Saying Chesner and Shaber are at rest
But the dead do not rest
For the dead cannot rest
For the dead no longer exist.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, April 2008

October 25, 2008


Some fling away
Some stay and cling—
Each their own Way
To do their own thing.

Sacrifice meaning
For love of the rhyme;
Know that in dreaming
You make up the time.

Sacrifice meaning—
When thought becomes sight
Your soul from its mole-hole
Blinks into life-light.

Published: Metverse Muse, India, March 2008

October 19, 2008


The Buddha died at 80, and they say
That Lao Tzu reached 200, by the Way;
But Jesus, only 33, was stood
Arms out against the circus side-show wood:
His hands first, then his feet and side and heart
Pierced by the drunken dagger-thrower’s darts;
The crowd had lost a man, but, quite unbothered,
Named him a God, and went and killed each other.
And you and I and sanity lost out
With Christ’s name from Humanity crossed out.

Published: Rubies In The Darkness, UK, Winter 2005

October 18, 2008


The sense of poetry pervades all life:
Intense sensation, far-abstracted math,
Calm observation, passion-fired strife,
The glorious rise, the decadent aftermath.

Forgive me, pitying gods, for loving all
When “all” includes the tortured, starving, mad.
Symphonic raptures round pride’s bugle call
Drown out the truths where glory would be sad.

The very movement of the people lives,
Starring a missionary, or clown, or thief;
The moral climate either steals or gives –
It faithfilled strives, or slumps in disbelief.

So, in these patchwork years of peace and war,
Detached to calm the passionate lies that lurk,
We love life’s good and ill, but, more and more,
Our sympathetic vision makes us work.

Published: The Penwood Review, US, Fall 2005
Awarded Editor’s Choice certificate

October 4, 2008


Nothing’s yours always, anyhow,
And Time shall lift from off your brow
Your troubles, wrinkles, hat and wig,
Leave you the basis for “long pig”.

Published: Metverse Muse, India, March 2008

September 29, 2008


Death will be harder now, as, year by year,
We solve the clues of immortality:
Emotions sink to animality
As false hopes tighten screws of desperate fear.
Hormone control will make age disappear—
After false starts, most horrible to see—
But those already old must beg to be
Frozen for the genetic engineer.
While war, starvation, pipe Earth’s gruesome jigs,
Successful businessmen will fight to gain
Some dead teen’s body, to transplant their brain,
The already-old beg to be guinea-pigs.
Children, look back, hear our despairing cry:
We bred immortals, but we had to die!

Published: Ambit, UK, October 2007

September 22, 2008


In the winter the Interior stops
The shops close
Clocks unwind
Clothes hang frozen on the line.

With the summer tourists gone
Birdsong is ended
The water is locked away in the hills
And the waterfall hangs suspended.

No one takes down the signs that read
“Entering tunnel, remove sunglasses”.
Stopped by the wind at the top of the passes
We look down
On some tiny, frozen, unmoving town,
Down on a land without seed.

The city, car-filled, cascading, bickering,
Seems so long, long ago.
Look down on the river trickling
Through the desert dusty with snow –
The tracks of coyote and deer
Echo the unseen in our own austerity.
Will Spring ever come, here?
In this desolate clarity?
With blossoming fruit trees and softening lakes?

It will, and the snow will be brushed from the sage
But until then the only life that we see
Giant snowflakes
Lily pads of ice
Flowing down the Fraser to the sea.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, April 2004

September 15, 2008


Though mystified why yogis walk
Across the burning coals,
We know they stand upon their heads
To elevate their soles.
Published: Metverse Muse, India, March 2008

September 8, 2008


Auntie got her
Maid to knit a
Set of under-

For my frozen
Sister Flo's end
That was posing

Flo then wore 'em
With decorum
And she swore 'em

Undismayed by
Undies made by
Auntie's maid by

Published online: Snakeskin, UK, August 2008

September 3, 2008


Old fool! You really think yourself the same
As I who write to you, aged 22?
Ha! All we’ve got in common is my name:
I’ll wear it out, throw it away,
You’ll pick it up some other day....
But who are you?

My life’s before me; can you say the same?
I choose its how and why and when and who.
I’ll choose the rules by which we play the game;
I may choose wrong, it’s not denied,
But by my choice you must abide....
What choice have you?

If, bored, I think one day to see the world
I pack that day and fly out on the next.
My choice to wander, or to sit home-curled;
Each place has friends, good fun, good food,
But you sit toothless, silent, rude....
And undersexed!

Cares and regrets of loss can go to hell:
You sort them out with Reason’s time-worn tool.
Today’s superb; tomorrow looks as well:
The word “tomorrow” is a thrill,
I’ll make of mine just what I will....
What’s yours, old fool?
Published online: Snakeskin, UK, September 2008

August 25, 2008


Sitting blowing bubbles,
Each one a tiny world
Of monumental troubles
And how they all unfurled:

"The desert - Cairo - jaunty -
A blue room and a whore -
And so I said to Monty -
And so we won the war!"

Published online: Snakeskin, UK, August 2008

August 8, 2008

The Score So Far - 45

One of the joys of getting my poetry published has been to realize a) how diverse it is, b) how careful I have to be in sending the right stuff to the right place:

Bleak, sarcastic: Ambit
Flippant, silly: Snakeskin
Landscapes as expressions of personalities or moods: Candelabrum
Religious, Christian: Penwood Review
Religious, non-specific: Rubies in the Darkness
Anti-religious: Ambit

So my stuff is totally contradictory? So what? They're just expressions of different moods or ideas.

Fun, isn't it?


Why vines on desolate winter hills? we ask;
The chill bird seeks—a fruitless, wormless task;
But still, with faith from deeper knowledge grown,
The calm vine-grower renovates his cask.

As vines in winter store, and bloom in spring,
Our hearts, though dull, absorb, later to sing;
Grapes ripen, and are picked, ferment to wine;
Our sweet-grown works, inspired, true knowledge bring.

Our wheat-yield’s up, and Science we exalt,
And say life’s pointlessness is not its fault;
And wonder why our bread’s so tasteless now—
Forgetting that we are ourselves the salt!

So we learn Triad, Twelveness, Mystic Seven,
In seeking knowledge for a rise to Heaven;
As with the best in West we didn’t rise,
The dough we are with Eastern yeast we leaven.

As wine aspires to grape, water to wine,
The guided mass aspires to the Divine;
We only ask the guidance of the Mass
To further our intention to refine.

As Calyx turns the petals to sun-glance
Chalice turns flower of Chivalry to Lance;
The purple grape foretold impassioned Christ,
The shared Cup turns and feeds us in the Dance.

Choose faith as you would choose a favourite star:
The one that’s brightest to you where you are;
Search for your key right here where it was lost,
With light of Tao, or Christ, or Inch’allah.

Only: exemplify by work your love—
Clear the blocked way for those too weak to shove,
Light up life’s scene for eyes to weak to see,
And help transform Below into Above.

Published: Rubies In The Darkness, UK, Winter 2005


I guess
Not elation
Or creation
Alone may men not mock;

God bless
Spared the temptation
Of our generation —
Writing rhymes for rock.

Published: Metverse Muse, India, March 2008

August 4, 2008


God is two brothers, one dark and one light,
Riding out Time in a tiny ship;
Half day and half night gives little room;
God knows that a rose, red rose or white,
Is a rose is a rose is a bud is a bloom
Is brown blown petals and a drying hip;
And the length of Time’s budding, blowing park
Walk the arm-linked arguers, Light and Dark.

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008

August 3, 2008


Two tars talked of sealing and sailing; one said with a sigh
“Remember gulls wheeling and wailing, we wondering why,
“And noting bells pealing, sun paling — it vanished like pie!
“And then the boat heeling, sky hailing, the wind getting high,
“And that drunken Yank reeling to railing and retching his rye,
“John missing his Darjeeling jailing, and calling for chai?
“While we battened, all kneeling and nailing, the hurricane nigh,
“And me longing for Ealing, and ailing?” His mate said “Aye-aye;
“I could stand the odd stealing, food staling, not fit for a sty,
“And forget any feeling of failing, too vast to defy –
“Home-leaving your paint-peeling paling too far to espy –
“All because of the healing friend-hailing, the hello! and hi!
“And, with the gulls squealing, quick-scaling the mast to the sky.”

Published online: Snakeskin, UK, August 2008

No No Nse Nse

And things like that
May look like nonsense
But there is
Published online: Snakeskin, UK, August 2008

July 17, 2008


Hard to describe blown-off-ness of a head:
No head, neck, shoulder – only flopping flesh,
Unfinished ending of a smooth-limbed, fresh,
Strong, naked body on white-sheeted bed;
A tangled, mangled churning; then, instead
Of the anticipated face (serene
As marble statue, Christmas figurine)
Instead, disorganized meat, spilling red.

No face or brains or hair. We’re sick, confused.
The torn-off torso seems to have the calm
Proportions of an adult – look again:
The genitalia of a boy of ten.
“Collateral damage” is the term that’s used.
Beside the body, on the sheet, an arm.

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008


The tall trees are so green, so green,
Hidden birds sing so sweet;
And men, women and children are
Starved, raped, and murdered.

Published: Ryerson Free Press, Canada, April 2008

May 12, 2008


The knife of night
Spreads swirls of black and white
Over the slice of here.

The taste is bold:
A pinch of cold,
Spiced with primeval fear.

Published: Candelabrum, UK, April 2008

February 7, 2008


When, like a brainless toad in the swamp of God’s mind,

The Universe bellies up its throat to emit a cacophony of galaxies,

Who can be sad to know that the raucous noisemaker is merely mortal

And that one day peace undisturbed will return to the swamp of God’s mind?

Published: Ambit 190, UK, October 2007