Monthly Archives: June 2011

Blink of an eye

Hi, love. Sorry I missed your call – I know
It can get lonely at the hospital.
It will be great to have you home tonight.

I was out at Penney’s with our newborn
Buying him a birthday suit, extra long.
He looks so cute, you could just eat him up.

He’s been eating constantly, back to his
Birth weight, and then some. He does like ice cream,
Especially the stuff your mother brought us.

Nap times are good, he’s getting lots of sleep
But his days and nights are all turned around.
It must be from all that time in the womb.

Oh, and the driving instructor called us
She said there’s a spot for him next Friday,
Now that he’s learned to walk, and read, and shave.

When I asked the woman at United
If they would take care of him on the plane
There was an awkward pause, before she said

Sir, your son is sixteen – he’s an adult.
She’s right – he is the best of both of us.
And it happened in the blink of an eye.


The naked truth

(Hendrickje bathing, by Rembrandt, 1654)

I swear by all that’s holy
If you keep stepping on there
It will steal your soul.

When you lose, you feel uneasy
When you don’t, you feel worse
And all the time you look the same to me

Stepping radiant from the shower,
Torrents streaming from your hair
Like a goddess at her bath.

Hendrickje never had a bathroom scale
Neither did Venus on her half-shell
And you surpass them both.


Some days we
Are magnets
Dancing spikes
Of iron
We quiver
To embrace
Until one
Turns their back.


(For my father)

It’s time to mow the grass for the first time
This spring – the tousled dandelion heads
Bobbing above great ragged waves of green.
Next to the street, the lawn is struggling,
Burned under mounds of salt thrown down by plows
Last winter. Nothing can live with that much salt.

My father told me once how they used salt
In the ancient world, as fertilizer,
Spreading it on the fields to make crops grow.
Too much salt in one place damaged the soil,
Scorched beyond use. But when spread thin it was
Golden! Life and death in each farmer’s hands.

The good book says: you are salt for the earth.
And I think of how we all get piled up
In great toxic mounds of long-lost goodness.
We poison our own back yards, when we could
Be scooped up and scattered to the fresh winds
Helping wheat and weeds grow up together.

Written originally for a prompt at the wonderful Poetic Bloomings site.

Postsy Toodey

I love nicknames – everyone should have one.
It shows you are loved and special – J.Lo
A-Rod, The Gipper, Deep Throat, Mack the Knife.

Maybe certain movies would be improved
If they had fancy nicknames to go by.
The Sweet Smell of Success would be Smelly

The Lord of the Rings just known as Ringer
While the Return of the Body Snatchers
Would be Rot B.S. – appropriate, eh?

Anna Karenina would be Russky
E.T. would be Mr. T, and King Kong
Could choose: K-Kong, Special K or Big Guy.

Pirates of the Caribbean 2-D
Would be Potsy Toodey, and in 3-D
It would graduate to Potsy Threedee.

As far as I can tell there is nothing
You could do to improve Casablanca.
Great art should be left alone: Play it Sam.

Old Gasoline

Old gasoline smells nasty when it spills
All bungee cords aren’t created equal
It is possible to have too much string
Chipboard doesn’t make a very strong ramp
Teenagers love to prove how strong they are
Especially to other teenagers
Truck rental places lie – get over it.
Leftover rolls and coffee taste like dust
When you’re standing in an empty garage
Watching one of your best friends drive away.


It was three-oh-five
A suspiciously long time
Here in our kitchen
Till I realized this was
The oven temperature.

Like Jacob

Like a dream half-remembered of an old
Flame, once bright but now guttering wax tears,
These prayers melt into sand, as dark smoke sears
My senses. With each return to this old
Place, I feel my spirit shift as I hold
A taper and fumble for words. The years
When I could answer any person’s fears
With platitudes are gone – that fool’s gold
Plundered by experience. I think on
Jacob with the angel, spent on the floor
No revelation won, all mystery
Left unrelated when the night has gone.
Like him, I have my blessing, but still more
Walk with a limp – as wisdom’s gift to me.

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