POETRY

 
Migrating wild geese formation in fall s

The Hajj of Canada Geese*

Just when you think

the world has lost its mind,


you hear them

beyond dusk's cloak


those winged missionaries

evangelizing on silver pulpit.


You can't see them,

oh, but you can hear them;


and you know

that they are scrambling


and flapping

and whisking chaos


into magnificent geometry;

and they call to mind


the ocean's metronomic breaths

and the calibrating celestials.


And in one rapturous heartbeat

they're gone,


those conveyors of certitude,

assailants of amusement


leaving you in bubbling beatitude.

And though


they are the ones

on hajj to a beneficent mecca


you are the one

who experiences salvation.

*First published in Earthen Lamp Journal 2013

 
NYC Skyline BW

English as a Second Language

In Apt 7D

I say Te Amo

it’s easier

than saying it

in my my native tongue


two words (or three really)

that will divide us

into before and after


I think my ruse clever

until you ask

Now can you say it in English?

*First published in Cardinal House Poetry 2016

 
etienne de bore oak.jpg
 

To the Etienne de Bore' Oak

On your twisted lap I sit 

your petite-fille, happy child 

boots off, fake smile stowed 

unapologetically unplugged

stealing a triumphant pause mid-chatter.


I will not reduce you to Instagram

not dishonor you with a selfie

never tag you on Facebook

nor hashtag “oldest oak” to the automatons.


I just want to disrobe of disquietude

the clickety-click and varoom-varoom

to swoon beneath your grand parasol

strip of society’s tight corset.


I would like to fall under your kind spell

 be stupefied by your moss talismans

 swaying to the Mississippi’s breaths


 to learn from you

 like the Choctaw and Chitimacha

 to honor you, wise Grand-mére

 with this poem

 and a thousand more.

*Etienne de Bore’ Oak in Audubon Park, New Orleans, dates back to 1740 and is also called the Tree of Life.

hartford crows courant.jpg

December Crows

Black scissors cut

dawn into beauty,

a faithful stream

of silhouettes

across morning.


How can I wither

when these dark

messengers bring-light?


Again and again

they will visit;

again when the ice hardens

my displaced Southern veins.


One by one;

two by two,

they sluice through tree skeletons,

those sleeping giants of death;

yet all I see is life.



*First published in Cardinal House Poetry 2016 with an additional stanza.

**Photo credit: Hartford Courant, Jan 12, 2020

 
Image by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

mania

somethings upsets the nest.

it's ajumble, nettled yellow-jackets

now besiege, wings flapping

into auricular bumble.

through your inner grand central,

commuters swarm, high heels plunking,

suits joggling, luggage yawping.

la orquesta de cerebellum warms up but spawns

rampageous clarinets, howling trumpets,

violins with strings asnap, drums

tattooing disoriented guerillas.

synapses snigger as they swing from twisted

creepers, impishly spurning scutwork.

neurons raise glasses in a hearty toast.

stop.

smoke out the bastards, aflutter with nonsense,

pull the fire alarm at the station, dismiss

the unwelcomed guests, fine tune 

the strings and horns methodically, beautifully.

machete through thoughtful thicket,

hatchet beyond brainy bush,

untangle the jungle,

unbend the vine.

there.

there amidst pine copse and cradle,

the feather mattress awaits.

*First published in Connecticut Poetry Review, 2012

**Image by Claudio Schwartz

 
Seagulls

On Why Seagulls Prefer
the Wal-Mart Parking Lot
to the Seashore

Wings set in determination

they line up as though awaiting

the Grand Poobah of the Feathered,

most distinguished King of the Winged,

trading the endless

salty bubble bath and glittered frontier

for asphalt ablaze with capitalism and French fries

and discarded by the Overindulged.


What bizarre bend in the Universe

brings them here,

these ornithological bohemians,

plumed Jonathan Livingstons,

beaked Indiana Joneses?


Does the Divine ordain

these Winged-Bill, Sooty and Laughing

charlatans to split rent

with chromed shopping carts,

weathered Icee cups,

and carcinogenic stubs?


Maybe the GPS is broken—

the GPS where the lady

with the sultry voice says

“recalculating”

“recalculating”

“turn east and travel 30 miles

to the Atlantic.”


Rogue robbers!

of picnic lunches,

perhaps they’re lured by the sirens

of endless Rollbacks on Doritos.


Then again, if an adorable, freshly-permed

grandmother greeted me

at the door each morning

with a ready hug,

I might also dwell

in the Wal-Mart Parking lot forever.



*First published in Cardinal House Poetry, 2016