A highlight collection
--In memory of Frederick Douglass
Mounds of Almond Joy M&Ms, baskets of Oreos stuffed, Oh, how we do love our cheap chocolate! A West African disease On an All Hallow’s Eve & the children do play. The skeleton, the prince & the pirate Together form a union of delight Tenor saxophone Pharoah Sanders “Reeding” a jazz poem. & as the poetry is mightily complete, A yellow dress & a Lady Liberty, The abolitionist does “lust” for cheap Dear chocolate a national obsession!
The Kitchen Pantry
--For Lilah Hegnauer
Abundance of love, the shelves & the drawers, Together hold what a ship’s hold might contain The chocolate lover’s dream: cookies & cakes, Donuts & ice cream, hot chocolate & dipped pretzels. Abundance of secure love, the pantry bowls, The spoons & pestles, the spatulas, the dinner rolls, An abundance of stuff, bread stuffing & spices, The dance of the Fairy Queen, a throw of the dice, The syrup, maple & brown. The clowns & the clouds, A chocolate candy bar, (left over from last year?) The Halloween apples an offering with sweet ginger beer! Loud & proud the poem does tell, of a holiday holy day Say what the Hell? A lesson in civics & democracy, Our thoughts drift towards the cut flowers on the table!
A Holiday Sonnet
Halloween & Trick-or-Treat, The candy & chocolates we believe So innocent & for children No longer a belief… The child labors for the confections For the confectionary industry, In West Africa, the largest Exchange of commodities, We are mistaken, you say, Everyone is happy & gay, Slavery is so passé So nineteenth century! But not so fast, the poet says “Please, I plead to beg to disagree…”
A Holiday Sonnet II
Thanksgiving for democracy, Thanksgiving for the Great Abundance we see, The trip, the voyage across the sea, An immigrant honors our country, New & naked like the newborn infant child, We come to the table hungry, New & us in the aisles Of the supermarket of commodities… With appreciation & recollections Of a proud history, a storied past, We will find our roots being shunned, We will find our memories at last, So too the love of a modern world, With the butter & honey & a churlish girl.
--For the victims of the Irish Potato Famine
Eire, fire, sea, See. The victims of famine or poverty… Gentler, human, feminine, gentlemanly, The children are paid in future royalties, As the red-haired girl works the ways, The byways of the city, & her mother stays the night, The mills loom over the river at twilight, The day never seems to end. Keen on not becoming mean, she will spend the night in bed!
The room, tidy & compact. The apartment intact, The girls, the young women, equally married To a boss of the Company, his time in fact Not our time, the opportunity to relax tarried. The racket, the racket & the unearthly noise, The “system,” the control of the girls & the boys, A sound of machinery cutting down the crop, A culture of necessity, a work till you drop! The room, the narrowness, the twin bed, the loss, A knowing not to challenge who is the Boss! My memories of the farm, (I’ve never been there!) Are tempered by recollections of a past anywhere. But just as the last man out will finally attest, They put us through the wringer, it was a final test!
The Beginning II
One, two, three… One, two three, The waltz has just begun! One, two three, four… One, two, three, four… The rhumba or the foxtrot… Yes, we dance! We romance, we take a chance, As we remember… To the hall of the salon, The studio of distant maternal labor, A love of flowering graciousness & a handsome gratuity… An appreciation, A soul above, the memories of youth! As in the beginning, so too the end, A magic City, an emerald friend.
A Bouquet of Cut Flowers
A bouquet, A fragrance Of cut flowers. A dance of aromas, Delicious & toothsome, The emotions of fatal attraction, The showing Of terrific Petals & stamens, A dependence, A vocal awareness For four leaf love… A vocal awareness For multi-stemmed dove wings, & a friendship with God. ~ A suggestion of a smell, The bouquet of long stem roses, The offering of William Tell, The belief In Above, A stuttering Of appreciation Adored in reflexes, The loss of a parent, A loss is a loss. ~ Black Friday, black Friday, The shrill, the thrill, A thriller! A cancer of the skin, A coloring Localized, My bouquet, mon cygne, Ma poésie, A lion, Roaring for more breakfast, For more brunch I lie! ~ The pungence of the iris, Wild, untamed, A flower cut By the florist, A given Sunday in May, Memorial Day flowers, Celebrating the past, We remember our ancestors, Sisters, brothers, Mother & Dad.
The Green Garden III
Remembering my Nana’s garden, Situated along the driveway, Up against the house in Readville, & Pa’s vegetable patch garden, Guarding the lot out back, With lilac’s fragrant early spring bloom, Oh how the petunias caught my eye, The eye of a child, lavender, pink & white, Blue cornflowers & salvia, marigolds Delight! The local Stop & Shop a nursery, We bought the flowers early, On Truman Highway, With memories of Times past, The pasta (spaghetti & cheese) went fast!
It’s a full moon tonight, starlight, star-bright! It’s a full moon in the bedroom window, Crossed by the screened lattice, The moonlight illuminates the clouds that pass, Romantics romance the stone, Cold, white & blue, As far as I know, I was told It isn’t cheese, who knew? A couple of lovers might Allow it to make do… The moon is full tonight, I love it, how about you?
A spiritual presence, the aura of sex, A condensed recess, the aura of misery, The aura of his story, & her consent… The air of a need for a hero… Our heroine asleep, walking the streets, Day or night, ichnite or bay, The horse of a Norseman, the ignition of a way, Fired up & ready, the mighty have fallen, Might we be mistaken? I don’t know… The air of a need for a hero…
The Marriage of Pursuit with Happiness
The whole Truth… Foraging on wages of subsistence, Gathering together under the tree… Ash be the forest Of oak & pine, the blessing of the Lord we see, The marriage of Truth with carriage, the comportment, The harmony, called upon to carry the water, the deed & the seed… Called on to porte l’eau, called on to be. Some May we might travel, some June we may finally Be mean, for today, we count our blessings, for we Are coming Home! For now, we are winning, Winning the battle, if not the war! The war, but not The score, the score or more who are remaining, bored…
Paul Coffey: Bruin Coffee
Paul's coffee, brewin' coffee French roast, French press. Paul Coffey, UCLA coffee the defense, the basketball contest. Bruin's Coffey, Paul coffee as I say, I will confess. We love coffee, brewin' Coffey far & away, the very best! ~ For Paul Coffey, four cups of coffee four Cups for Coffey, for Cups of Fame. Bourque was done, with his only one, for Paul, coffee, is but a name. Nevertheless, our hockey guest knows a thing or two, about this his game & with his Oilers, we the spoilers could do more, of the same!
A storm is a brewin’. My mother bought A new coffee maker, It brews hot coffee On the spot, Better than the old Drip machine, I can see it Has a clock. A round, A mound of coffee, A practice field, As if coffee hot Could be brewed Over the top.
My Aunt Philly, Aunt Philomena, Aunt Filly, Oldest sibling of my mother, Stealth thief Of her closet, raiding the freshly laundered Blouse & skirt needed for tomorrow’s school day… Aunt Philly, second sister of the sisterhood, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Her old Kentucky home, disher of ice cream By the bowl, spoon & table… Her hero, Flash Gordon, my mother explained With the logic of a careful & loving daughter, Hiker of the Blue Hills & crosser of Paul’s Bridge, the scenery complete, & not to be forgotten, a nun with a habit A habit of making us smile & laugh joyfully!
Mothers & Fathers in Pairs
Mothers & fathers in pairs As mères & pères in pears A pregnant fruit, A screw loose, Mothers & fathers in pairs. Mares & pairs of horses Hitched to the wagon or carriage, The cart of venerable marriage & the path of righteousness! Mothers & fathers in pairs An air of Baudelaire, The aura of distant languages, A token of a ring, Mothers & fathers in pairs.
Marriage Equality II
A return, the ethereal burn, A minor concern, we turn in the wind… Condemned to a life of loneliness, Poet-less, & on borrowed time, Carriage-less, broken wagon, Wagging the dog, imagining God! ~ Remembering the score Of bucks in the picture, A necessary more, the moor & the meadow, a broken door, The preparation, H-bomb threat, The talk of a Nation! ~ An atom bomb too, tools of the ware, A borrowing of the blue, The bounce of her hair, I decide to come in, back in From the cold, my troubles begin Back here where it snows…
He was a man with the innocent heart of a little boy. He took the stand in defense of Liberty, she of yellow dress and American freedom… He wrote his poetry for a girl, a little girl, who, born of a mulatto mother, was fairly recognized as beautiful. Delicious was the day when he went about his way to find her lounging on her cushions. Again, innocent was the heart of a young man caught up in theatrical robes of scenery Parisian. Student caught unawares, she found him and his stare in the street where guttersnipe and rainwater meet. Sweet was the voice that doth compare her hair to the fair affairs of stated history. And so he wrote, a book some joked, a revolution in writing. He defended her good name, Hagar some might say, maidservant to Sarah and Abraham. Mulatto she may have been, fair to Father, leaving the scene on the birth of his second son, Isaac. Charles Baudelaire was his name, nothing was a game to him, nothing more than Charlie Brown would be known as his fame!
My former neighbor, who lived across the way, once told me a joke told her by a visiting priest. He asked, “Evelyn, do you know where they get holy water?” She was serious, him being a priest… “No, Father, I don’t” she replied. The priest came back: “well, they take the water and boil the Hell out of it!” She had to laugh as she told it to me. ~ Hello, Hell-oh, Hello, Hallow, Hello, Hell-l’eau, Hallo, how low, Hello, mellow, Hallo, hollow? Hello, yellow, hallow, who knows? Hello, He’ll owe, Hallo, Hell ode? Hello, Hell-l’eau, hollow, how l’eau? (Lyrics paraphrased from Kurt Cobain & Nirvana.)
Allyn, allyn be Hagar, sweet mellifluous Harmony be her being led by the Heart Of the Lord, towards the gates of Heaven! Allyn be her voice, a voice that chooses, A freedom to be a woman, a Liberty To be a grrrrl. Let Honey be the world! & so harmonious be she who believes In the Father, who trusts in his wisdom Of the Ages, as the Sun will rise over The horizon, settling on a newfound day. & honey bee the drones who hone A way back home, once lost & forgotten In Time & Space. Barred naked in the hive, An insect surprise, the smoke stoked & stroked the behavior, with comportment Benign, of Nature’s design, a Queen, A scenery, a please & my curtain rent.
"Might the Flowers..."
Might the flowers be composed, & be composed of light? Might they say "hey," what the hay, the grass or the weeds, A bloom can blossom like the flowers of evil, might they come to be the delight of the free? Might they become for us the dance of an early plight, satisfying the need for running or flight, To be the children of a poor spirit, to put up while putting up the good fight? A child was born unto us of this world... a child mulatto? A flag unfurled! Abraham knew the Truth. We who see seek the news, Hagar a child of the day. Escape through the night was the only way, to & wholly towards Heaven...
O Little Girl III
O Hagar, o my girl, o darling, my daughter, O Hagar, please take the world for the better, My daughter, my giant, our affair scares the People, My daughter, my wife, our People need you, O child, o wondrous child, how momentous The moment, how organized the wealth, O child, left for lost, perhaps forgotten, Sarah & I will not forget…
A Female Garçon II
She was led by the River of Life, a watery flow that grows in Africa & forms the river’s fertile valley. Abraham understood, & chose her to be mother of his child. She was present from the beginning, before he & Sarah arrived, planting the crops & harvesting the wheat. She was young, she was not old, when told of her new station. A female garçon, she’d be the one, to raise a new family. A new family of common humanity, the slave freed as a child of God. D-O-G, Cat, C-A-T, Rhode Island.
The End of the Day
The frost on the window pane has melted Leaving rivulets of spilt milk appearing Inside the glass, the world outside still Fascinates, the trees are becoming black. Patches of dark grass reappear amidst The early winter snow, the contrast is fast Resembling memories of the Inferno, The Sun, a star, that great fiery orb, Discovers our distant horizon, As prospects for tomorrow are rising, & lovers part forlorn, the end of the day’s Arrival brings us back to the storm, The tempest lost, the cloudbanks tossed, A hope & a prayer for the morn…
The Holiday Tree
; Douglass Fer the Hol-i-days, A Christmas Tree, A Thanks Giving Tree! Blanketed in snow, Beside field & grass; Cold winter we go, A Tree of lore, An abundance & store Of family wealth, & from the moor, Colored in Love, A light-bright, & trumpet Blast!
My Firestone is animated With thoughts of a father, A man fraught with danger & dangerous desires, My Fire Stone is carbon-based Leitmotifs & lyres, layers Of grime, rhyme & foot, Understood as music lost. With yellow flowers The stone grows Into a gem ready for cutting, As from the Garden We surely know, The toss of a tire to the fire.
Angel's Heaven Scent (aka. He Smells Teen Spirit)
To Rome, to roam. To be or not to be. To roam, to Roma, To see the Eternal City. To roam, to Paris, To southern Maine To the City of Light, & to remain Atop Montreal, The park, the view, The sights. A City's parks, its gardens, its open spaces define To a degree, its conscience, its heart, & its identity... O how our city upon a small hill can be enlarged By you & by me! A city large, a city open, A city libre, a city green & a city free (but not cheap).
Justified & broken, Realized In song, Her anger Is sewn Into the tapestry Of her soul. Barely known. ~ Justified & broken, Realized In song, Her anger Is sown Into the garden Of her soul. Barely known.
Denial of Race II
The denial of race is the embrace Of a common humanity, a removal Of the distinction between lord & serf. It is the “All Men are Created Equal” Of Jefferson’s quill pen, a midnight Revelation for a slaveholding gentleman, Raised in the society of Virginia. Virginia, named to honor the Virgin Queen, How shall we honor her memory? Virginia, they said there is a Santa’s Claws. & with paternal thoughts still animating Our minds, we will embrace a new design, A mind of Spiritual Healing for all.
A Little Boy
He was beau, not Beau, but handsome In a mid nineteenth century way, A dandy some have suggested, A gentleman others might convey… He was, he is, free. Released of all debt, He was at harmony with his sickly being, He struggled to make his bed of eternity, & his life’s work would go little recognized. A man, some would say, with the mind Of a John & a body vitally the same, As his heart was that of a little boy, Innocent despite the truth, he frequented The House of Ruth, a madam, a woman, With daughters aplenty. Here I come! Are you ready?
The Affirmation I
The affirmation of modern Life Was confirmed in the narrow, The confirmation of its right Was affirmed in the marrow, The little boy understood this well, Hell, he lived it with his soul, Condemned by the guys, he had No disguise to protect her here on earth. The process was slow, painstaking They knew, for the modern way was both New & not well-known, bilingual perhaps, Or studied proper, he propped her up With the blunt tip of his nose. The future post-modernists would see, If not entirely agreed, they, yes, we saw A harmony in his way, a heartfelt harmony That might stay distant from our own. & with the present aside, we will come to comb Or to realize, a lingerie model’s curvaceous & sublime sighs, might be a brick home.
The Affirmation II
He was such a little boy, a young garçon, A natural student studious & proper, Needing to break out, to break free Of the restrictions of a Romantic Poet’s Life… She was something new. She was someone new. The affirmation came as no surprise, The voyage well spent on traveling, A return trip just as rewarding as the first. She was someone new. She was someone nous. My sense of proportion comes from him, A child in the modern forested wilderness, A lack of desert beginning the hymn, Our appreciation for her wooded tenderness. She was someone nous. She was une personne nue. As the folly approached three hundred meters, The tower took on a new view. No longer iron & arc, we regret, it became a modern tool. A celebration of the New! A new tulle!
An International Location
A nation of laws, governing principles & a love of Liberty. Built on the rights of Men. A nation without borders, fenced in equality, A freedom of thought, a Free land, A country of a single location, undivided, Created for brother & sister; you & me… As the cupcakes spill out of her dress, We will (without success?) gather the crumbs Of a Life & Liberty of an other Person, With ancient vestiges aside, a modern image resides In the legs & torsos of the Rockettes, The dancing girls of Radio City Music Hall. Snow has fallen, we can attest to its presence This late autumn, so fall has hit rock bottom, Winter can now enter, stage left…
“A Stage Left Open…”
A stage left open & clear of performers, No Rockettes, no actors, no personages, A stage left free of entangling borders, An international presence, a world-class arena. A stage left blind & without directions For its use or its peace & harmony, The theater is left without a musician To direct our attention, heavenly… ~ Baudelaire & Cobain, our rock ‘n roll heroes, Will stand the passage & test of Time, Modern enough & rolling with the punches They both knew how to control their rhyme, “About a Girl” a telling anthem, each found Truth in their own language & design, Baudelaire & Cobain, our rock ‘n roll heroes, Our boys are back in the saddle riding high!