On No Progression

The plough divides
a worm multiplies
where two + two
equals five.

To see a beach
in a grain of sand,
hold time in a glass
filled clock.

The privileged are due
the poor overdrawn
the middle class
approves.

The selfie shatters
the looking glass
the valleys are empty
bathtubs slowly refilling.

Politics is a rich ugly
old man’s courting
the priests and the
prostitutes.

Put out dearth stats
in a year of death
wear a mask
and walk asunder.

Walk in the morning
nap at noon
fast in the evening
lap the night long moon.

Culture cars cruise
the city strips
radios talk blaring
the end of days.

The wise avoid likes
links and comments
while fools post poems
almost daily.

The fool prepares
to like a scholar
a celebrity hires
security.

Devils eschew
angels desire
melting ice
feeds the fires.

Who teaches the tree
to drink the child
to nurse the old
to appear free and easy.

Too Late Too Little But For A Banana

Awake
too late
(bugged & rugged)
& too little
to compose.

Moon long gone
its ring through
(fully foolish too)
the open window
I let it go.

I don’t have to be
anywhere but here
(not new and worn)
so to thee my love
on the icebox door

this note:
“Awoke & forgot
litter box, but
poppy seed cakes
& coffee

await
your awakening.
I’m on the porch
writing with a banana
so soft & mushy.”

The Uncomfortable Rose of Refugio

We were kids from the city hunting snipes.
We didn’t know a rose from a hedgehog.
It was night and dark green swells
broke into laughing curling soup.
The tide was in but we had climbed
over the rocks and around
the Point and couldn’t get back.
We came to a cave in the cliffs
where we waited for the rose
to bloom like the moon out
over the cove, light spreading
across the ocean near and far.

Our rose was not sick, like Blake’s.
It wasn’t full of worms or covered
with aphids. Through the hot
summers and cold winters
its mild scent filled the cave.

At night we first felt then heard
the train coming and by the time
it crossed the trestle the whole
campground was awake waiting
for the shaking ground wave
to pass through.

Tent flies opened and a few folks
went out walking in the night.
The night did not howl.
The rose’s name was not
Germaine. Her bed was blue
not red, unkempt and unread,
saltish, seaweedy. We peeled
back the pearl petals and spent
the night on the sandy bed
in the cave as the tide ebbed
and even the waves fell asleep
in the uncomfortable silence.

Not All Blues

Not all blues radical newfangled
greens in blues blues in greens
so what asphalt actually mostly
walking away sweet summertime
steps not very early carnival birds
sing to farther extant songperch
over lands & seas sands & trees
trills of trains fading away full
dress function over sidewalks
across intersections red gold
solos muted with olive tents
“Ineluctable modality of…”
commodities blues and greens
all that is seen right under
one’s nose walking to & fro
stopping in 16 blues bars.

Beckett Beatitudes

Happy are those who have seen Godot
for theirs is the kingdom of the circus.

Beat are the Monks whose clapping
hands lack priggish-holy rhythm.

Privileged are those who ask
and can’t get no answer.

Rich are the old who hear
sweet silence coming near.

Beati are the ugly the down
and out whose beauty stuns.

Blessed are the homeless
their room in heaven made.

Happy the captured silent
who wear pork pie hats.

Blessed are the busted
whose crime is alive.

Rich are the poor so
free from distraction.

Lucky are the fall guys
the players in the play of the play.

Canonized are the sinners
free from all rules.

Wealthy are the workers
whose tools are not words.

Blessed are those who fail
for they have their degree.

Happy the ignored their
ignorance unsurpassed.

Abite the teachers who tried
and failed to teach nothing.

Blessed are those damned
to fame and taken amiss.

Directional

You must work at the edge
of an ocean to know
your ebbs and floods

the absurd churn
of the daily news
tar between your toes

my sister Barbara’s
handmade cards
poetry without steps

Eric gave me a card
wild stone staircase
like a waterfall

spilling down
a treed hill
shade and light

neither the top
nor bottom
shown

the strides switchback
rise this and fall that
at the same moment

one climbs up
one descends
one walks around

town
the park
the neighborhood

here and there
makes no difference
which way you go

there is no peak
experience
no all-time low

each section
its own part
fragment of time


The Blob

It absorbed all
who approached
near its lovely light
who hid there
clearly out of sight.

It was a blob, its blue dazzle
embraced, encased
in its light shell
all who posed for it.

Like the moon
it was one’s own
reflection mirroring
all who imitated.

Hand held, powerful
like the spermaceti
candle when it lit
half the Earth.

The other half
of course burned
in darkness but
safe from the blob.

Say It Isn’t So

Say it isn’t so
whisper in my ear
it’s so soon for you to go
stay young with me dear
don’t make me grow old

Say it isn’t so
blue eyes once so clear
freckles on your cheeks
falling disappear
your skin where soft as milk

I used to slip the clutch
voluptuous your lips
your grip so loose
say it isn’t so
that now you’ve let go

There is no instant
metamorphosis
when bliss gives way
to the fish flouncing
in the bucket on the pier

Say it isn’t so
we’re all out of bait
you can’t remember
our last happy date
the old commiserate

but must go down alone
say it isn’t so
the best time of the day
when your eyes close
peace comes a wave

bubbles at the shore
at the tideline we talk
unsure is it going out
or coming in
say it isn’t so

On So & So On

In the beginning
it was so
and so on

Soon sown
then three
to party

Grown from seed
and so on
the invitations.

So the old fisherman
though years since his
boat out on the water
still sold more fish
than he caught
and when asked
by the economist
how this could be so
said so few are called
but many who so choose.

To the Lighthouse

It was not a real
lighthouse tho near
the ocean in Hermosa
and hornful of warns

Sunday afternoons free
we listened to hot jazz
players coming together
& going this way & that

And nights were cats
in the lot out back
came for scraps
a tuba sized cook

tossed evenings we
could afford only
one drink and out
for a walk on the pier

in a fog or clear breeze
round midnight round
about midnight waves
breaking into ivory

silk blouses blowing
below to the empty
beach behind us
and Pier Avenue

and to The Lighthouse
its beacon leading
light sinking in the must
of music business.