Thursday, November 29, 2012

My second book of poetry is available in Kindle version (on Amazon) and in paperback everywhere (you may have to order it at brick and mortar shops). This one is just poems and continues the contemplative, observational, calming, style of Conditions.

Also available in other formats on (10/10/13).

Of course you can preview on Amazon, but here are a couple further into the book:

Little Bird

Little bird, where do you go
When the rain beats down
And the wind does howl and blow?
It can’t be far; you’re always out
As soon as the sun
Returns and the kids begin to shout.
Your tiny voice is so very loud;
When you leave there’s silence.
So I’m happy to see a break in cloud,
Knowing you’ll soon be back!

Passed By

It’s coming!
Wind picking up, gusting, cool.
Clouds piling up, darkening.
The birds excited, racing about.
Thunder rumbling, deep and throaty,
Still distant.
It’s coming!
The wind swirls; you almost
Taste the rain coming.
The trees bend and sway
As the thunder comes closer
And the birds disappear.
It’s coming!
A patch of blue?
The clouds streaming by, breaking up
Thunder less distinct
Wind suddenly weaker
Where’d it go?
Passed us by.

The Bog
 Limpid pools of dark oily water
Call with enchantment strong
As magic can be.
Frogs skitter at the edges
Disturbed by boys’ silent noisy progress.
Muck sucks joyously
At sneakers filling them
With sulfurous black goo.
Spiders hang dangerously close
To the surface, barely visible
In the mystic gloom.
Treasures lurk just below the surface –
Beer cans, half their labels dissolved,
Husks of bottle rockets, and even,
To the lucky, a mud-sodden baseball.
Mom won’t like the treasures
Or the pieces of bog
Tenaciously carried home.
But nothing she says can stay the lure
Of the dim, smelly, bog.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sandy (and no power, heat, light) - We Ain't Gonna Miss Ya!

I was ten days without power and heat in the "superStorm" aftermath. I know people still out and people who lost everything, swept away in the storm surge or smashed by trees falling or uprooted. It is oft said but intimately observed in the past two weeks by me personally, that trying times bring out both the best and the worst in people.

The below, in chronological order, are personal poetic snapshots. Hopefully we all learn a little from this and avoid the severity in the future.

Hurricane Sandy

The wind rolls up in waves.
The roar starts out low and builds
Whipping the trees and bushes
Into a frenzy as it peaks and lingers
The suddenly fades away
Only to begin the cycle anew.

The frenzy starts with a gentle swaying
Back and forth in one dimension
Then, as the wave crests, spreads
To every direction in a madcap dance,
Only to fade to a stiff quivering
As the wave of air recedes.

The sound is my favorite;
It encompasses the whole –
The muffled beginning,
The rapid build-up,
The climactic crescendo,
The equally rapid decline.

Then there is the presence of danger
At the peak, the frenzy’s max,
Will the branches or trunks snap
In the incredible frenetic dance
Or will they recover to face the next
Burst and dance once more?


Waiting It Out

Motors thrum a steady background beat
While inside no dance, no light, no heat.
Hurricane’s come and done her worst
Recovering slowly, we’re not the first.
For a few it was deadly, for others, total loss
For most inconvenience, disruption, emotional cost
And now the recovery, unknown progress
Waiting’s the worst of it, can’t trust the press.
Lines for blocks at the rumor of gas
The kindness of strangers, the rude horse’s ass
The best and the worst in a person comes out
You see it all when you’re out and about.
Not worth crying over; falling into a pout.
Move on, make the best of it, this too shall pass.
Nothing worth fighting over, don’t bring out your brass;
It’s a difficult time for all, remember the worst off
When you complain you have it so tough.
No cable TV, or internet? Some people still sit
Buried under blankets, cold meals, lights unlit.
Linesmen working overtime; many from far away
The fault is not theirs, working day after day.
Maybe the execs, and the big utility boards,
Should have planned better, or fall on their swords.
But for the individual, caught in the mess
Do your best, know your limits, pass the test
By making it through, staying healthy and sane
Good, solid decisions, despite the annoying pain.


Stupid Is

The gas! The gas! It will never return!
Race to the station.
Wait on the line, engine idling,
For hours.
Just to top off the tank.
Because it may be
The last
On Long Island!
Or not.
Every day
More power to the stations,
More tankers to the terminals,
Trucks delivering more every day.

Another storm is bearing down!
It will bring devastation
And the end of the world!
Or at least
More outages
And shortages
And hardship.
Or not.
This one’s just a regular storm
Like hundreds of previous storms.
Nothing special except
In the minds
Of the media
And the cold and the homeless
And the tired.

Myths and Gods
The storm had passed
Leaving loss and waste
And a darkness, black
Against which stand back
The stars in bright relief.
You feel the Greek belief
In their myths and their gods
Without our technical clods.
Closer to the best of nature
Even in the midst of disaster.


Haiku 32
Trunks smashed and splintered
Wires tangled and twisted and down
Awaiting repair

Haiku 33

Small warbler singing
Jumble of uprooted tree
Recovery begins



A child wandered through the devastation
Her mother holding her hand at a sharp elevation
She wanted to know why so many trees fell
And why the garbage had such a terrible smell
Then she found a thin, long, bare-branched bough
And fancied it her memory of the great event
She snatched it up and dragged it home, a moment;
Captured in the object, cast aside by the storm
Summing up her loss and confusion and scorn.
Because it had been fun and terrifying and awesome
And Mommy and Daddy never let the gruesome
Protrude into the excitement and questioning
And so the branch was her silent mentioning
Bare like the shelves when batteries they seek
Thin like the keening of the wind at the peak
And branched like the rest of her life.

Nor'easter After

Snow falls in dangerous beauty
On the fragile survivors.
Sharp winter in soft white clarity
Missed in the misery of "others".

The 47 percent and the 1 percent
Lost in the powerless 30 percent.
Gas lines and travel, psychotic breaks
With gentle, pretty, hexagonal flakes.

It is said, this too will pass
If you survive, you will be stronger
But while the snow is falling fast
Please make the dark be no longer!