Poetry 2

Oui nous (Yes, We Knew)


For Lilah Hegnauer

I remember. She was still a girl. She called me honey. It was the spring of 2003. Syracuse was in the Final Four. Tommy and I bought the store and drove to the New Orleans Superdome. The Orange was on a roll. We (or was it they?) looked to be in control. We beat Texas Saturday night. The Monday night championship was set for the Kansas Jayhawks. Monday morning we went downtown for breakfast. We visited a diner that served grits. The waitress asked if we wanted coffee. We said yes. Delicious! After ordering breakfast she returned to ask if we wanted more. More coffee that is. She called me “Hon,” short for honey. We said yes, of course! I recall the voice, the Southern drawl, and all I could think of was sugar. Sugar, like honey, is a polite term of affection. I like honey. I love sugar! As a New Englander, we don’t get much honey or sugar at the restaurants. I miss Louisiana. I miss honey. The Orange went on to win the game. The “Zoo” must have gone insane! The victory was sweet, but not nearly half as sweet as the middle-aged woman who spread sugar like rain. She called me honey, this child of Southern hospitality, how I do love you is my refrain!

Sunday Morning in Vermont

For Pamela & Paul

Sunday morning in Vermont Paul and Pamela are already up Coffee brewing by the cup on the kitchen table, Eggs in butter frying in the pan (later we’ll add salsa and cheese) Sunny morning outlook over Mount Pease easy Sunday doughnuts are a treat! Sunny morning lookout over Mount Philo Sunday is at ease and at peace.

A Mare

In memory of Hagar

Born a slave, an Egyptian maidservant; She was a child; a girl; a woman. Chosen by the wife to take the master's hand, she is young; trusting; fine. Une mère, mother of her son, She finished what she had begun, What she had started, And what she does. Young mother of one Who would go on to found a People. Cast into the desert, She wanders in search of a New World. Carried aloft upon the waters, Her body is brought home By a carriage pulled by a single white Arabian charger, a mare, free, free and alone.

The English Florist of Avignon

For Yves Bonnefoy

The English florist rides by the fields of splendid yellow flowers and remarks how lovely the local countryside has become. The English florist believes in miracles and God. His instincts tend towards yellow and blue, a habit really, it’s what they all do, to satisfy a customer looking for some local color. Happy and gay he passes the working day behind the counter of the shop in town. Happy, merry and gay, he whiles away as he waits on another customer. And the field beckons. He dreams of a bouquet of local wildflowers, accentuated by a single rose, a splendid yellow rose, like the countryside, a yellow innocent and true, a love of friendship, not blue. But his dreams are for naught, as his patrons look for the exotic and the exciting. And the English florist still believes in God, though evidence of His presence is waning, as he still rides the train through the countryside, though he may not notice the flowers fading…

A Girl in Love

A girl in love with the world a woman in love with a man, a giant that understands it’s not a matter of either or. A girl in love with a man a woman in love with a girl, a giant in love with them both and a boy who remembers. Monstrous or enormous, terrible or outstanding, the subtleties of poetry, And a poet’s damnation we learn from our mistakes and a distillate of hope and grace.

Coffee by the Pot

(A kinda funny yet sad poem)


Now let's see what we've got. Coffee. Pot. Coffee pot! "C'est simple!" (It is really quite simple). And coffee beside the pot (must be French, I don't understand). I take a hit on the bong. I sip a little java. And let the caffeine mix With the marijuana! How I wanna have fun! Son of a gun.

The Sweet Bouquet

for my Mother

Fragrant, yet bittersweet, the bouquet of the floral bouquet of flowers was a memory of yesterday & today! The gladiolas & the snapdragons made the arrangement smart & lovely. My! How they spread love completely. Baby’s breath is silent, a whisper of white, & the single rose at the center is cause for delight. How bright! How gay! How to say okay, let’s do this more often. Two carnations of milky white streaked candy red It goes to my head! & the love it represents is somewhere on the scale between nine & ten!

Clearing the Air aka. The Distillation Process at Work

for Frank Bidart

Clearing the air of Baudelaire & suggestions of hypomania. Burying the diamond under shoe leather & gold with thoughts of lithium, Burying the past in yardarm & mast, in passages of poetry, & feeling the pulse the sudden electric pulse of a nation's harmony.

Coffee with Extra Cream

I'll try not to demean, what I mean is I'll try to mean what I mean, to begin again & not to be seen but to begin again & to seemingly weave a story of coffee with cream.


Coffee with a little extra cream, an innocent Image can mean more than I hoped for... More than I could dream! We who see the complete Scene, do so readily & mean, meaning nothing else Is needed to add to the puzzle.


Coffee with cream obscene is not the intention, I only mention it once to garner attention, Pale coffee with extra cream only means gee, my skin is awfully light, As coffee black be dark, brown & delicious... & coffee with extra cream & sugar is mellifluous!

For My Young Lady Charlotte

For Pamela

Like gossamer web, the young Lady in tulle walks the ways of her world village, Younger than the green mountains, younger than the faithful foothills, She gathers sunflowers in springtime for the winter songbird’s harvest, She buries everything deep in her hope chest of snow, & her Garden she will bury in a north-westerly wind blow, A last yellow stone hidden, the end of dahlias lost & forgot, As if everybody knows that cares, Vermont winter is deep, oh Charlotte!

Fields of French Sunflowers

French’s yellow mustard glow, Fields of French sunflowers, French’s mustard glow, Fields of sunflowers, The field. The field of flowers. The field of sunflowers. The yellow. The glow of sunflowers in bloom. Not a season too soon to visit The countryside. The blur. The yellow blur. The blur of standing flowers At sixty miles per hour. The stand, standing by the roadside, At sixty miles per hour, The flower just a blur of splendid yellow. & the painting concurred.

Memories of Times Past (aka. “A Dog Pissing in the Snow”)

I: Free Modern Jazz

Magnificent! Delicious souvenirs of summit, the mountain ascent Camel's Hump, past Labor Day, how very gay! How exquisite! We kept pace, (though not a race), the rocky crag at one o'clock, a sight to embrace, blue & white, who knew what we had sought? My first time, our only time, to remember, to erase, stories told, to unfold, a skyscraper, a mountain singing, & nowhere else I'd rather be, free, my memories agree, I see a feeling for a time... the wanting to go & be me, I will let it go, let it snow... I let it go!

II: Free Classical Romanticism

Delicious souvenirs, magnificent! Camel’s Hump, past Labor Day, the summit, the mountain ascent! How exquisite! How very gay We kept pace, (though not a race), the rocky crag at one o’clock, blue & white, a sight to embrace, who knew what we had sought? My first time, to remember, to erase, to unfold, our only time, a skyscraper, a mountain singing, stories told, & nowhere else I’d rather be, a feeling, a time, une langue, long ago I will let it go, I see we agree memories free, let it snow… I let it go!

Poem with More Precious Stones

For Pamela's Sunflowers

Behind the house of the farm, lives a Garden Small, yet not hard to find, if one is of a mind To do so... In this garden are planted guarded Deep within the soil, a soil not dirty but fine, A soil as if all alone, a soil for planting precious stones, In the poem the poet describes how the gardener came to realize The natural nature of the find & the fine nature of the bones Of the stones... His recollection brings to mind the postage stamp size Of the prize, buried for a long time long ago, & now is the time to recover from this climb To heaven to make the sunflowers grow, In land of giants the weather is fine, a clime, New England or English tea time A stone, a burial & a floral blossom... mine. Who knows?

That Mona Lisa Smile

Enigmatic. That Mona Lisa smile. That winning smile. That knowing grin, without teeth, yet toothsome like honey, sugar frosted wheat thins, please, pleads, frozen in a quick-freeze, kneaded & pliant, Cold & broken, Charles Pierre married to Sophia Loren, when she breaks water... the old men weep. Memories of a time past long ago yet not forgotten, Memories & poppycock. Popcorn at the movies, moving pictures before motion pictures... Moving vans & Christmas tree stands, Moving pictures & photographs. That smile, Cobain could not deny it, the denial, he all the while relaxing in Camarillo, Bird & the sunshine gang, Relaxing in L.A.. When she breaks free, the weekly presence of her enemy, when she breaks clear, the song I fear is a tear.

The Fall of the Old Man of the Mountain

In memory of Abraham, Father of the People of God

The end. The witnesses said it was dark, the sound unheard of, like a freight train going off the tracks, crash! The morning brought sorrow for the passing of a friend, the man lay in blocks & boulders, jumbled at the foot of the bed that was his home for centuries. The hooks & ladders fashioned & designed to hold the head to the mountain finally let loose. Inevitable they said, irreplaceable was whispered. The Old Man is dead. The autumn breezes float leaves of peepers, today since its been years since the "Event". Old Man memories mix with bitterroot & the souvenir hunters have gone & went. We remember our fathers, real & fictional, poetic & literal, living & deceased, as stones of the world without borders are modern, the Old Men are becoming a memory.

The Making of an American River aka. The Education of a Poet

in memory of Charles Baudelaire

The damming of the Charles River, the birthplace, the first place, The damming of the Charles River, the "AIR" of the American Industrial Revolution, The beginning of "modern" slavery, The calla lilies, then the "peculiar" yellow flower, Bury the dead & then celebrate the spirit, The current flows through the Harbor, The damming of the Charles River, the City Upon a Hill, The damming of the Charles River, a post-post-modern will.

Yellow Trains

“The mare broke down. I was your fate, that yellow train, the plot of sleet, through dust crusted on the pane. It wasn’t warm enough.” --Lynda Hull from the poem “Black Mare”

Yellow trains Educates Prepares us For the fight, Yellow trains Declares us Fit For the battle, As we train for the militia To fight or flee, We see fit to do battle To defeat the enemy, & to do right by Justice & Liberty To be free, In mind & deed. Holy be His Name.

“Today a Black Cat in the Backyard”

For Lilah Hegnauer

Today a black cat in the backyard, gaie the day, a cat, a yellow wood, her back to me, seemingly afar in window long I peered, feared & stood, behind a lattice of nylon screen, haunches down, resting upon his knees, as the cat appears to be serene I rhyme too much, we should all agree, he looks forward towards the garden with an eye benign & unknown, the garden tool shed she is guardin’, I have left her well enough alone… & now I’ve got a poem to write about what I saw & had just seen, in afternoon hour, black & white beyond winter’s green lawn scenery! There’s a black cat in the backyard, there is a black cat by the woods, but she’s a subtle mystery, car long I peered, darkly, misunderstood. Puis oui, nous avons compris… les nouveaux “nous” & we are free! Then yes, we knew & understood… Free are we & renewed. Happy. Good! --January 17, 2014


For Camille T. Dungy

They saved my life. I couldn’t read, I was going blind, at wits end, I planted sunshine, daffodils in the front & back yards. I couldn’t see, I was losing my mind, when for a third time I encountered English rhyme, a pattern slightly imperceptible but for the repetition of syllables, a reformed rhyme, by design, a yellow sign, a tried & true rewarding mind, a poet of notice who wrote me a poem of crepe myrtle & daffodils. They saved me from the poison I had found injected, rejected by my mind, a poem that simply & sanely saved my life… I had planted before I read the prize poetry. The daffodils attract chipmunks & squirrels, who dig the bulbs for forage. I had no means of storage for my spring delicacies to grow. I let the furry rodents go about their busy days. That’s okay with me. I’m free. Believe me, I have your poetry to keep me company, and I read for all of nature’s seasons. Daffodils are yellow heaven, blessed be the fortunate who have seen the light of day. Daffodils are seventh heaven, a place of memories & happy thoughts of yesterday. Daffodils & paperwhites grow in my garden guarded by Hope. And paperwhites with daffodils make the hope my springtime home. Thank you Camille for your poem on “what to eat, what to drink, and what to leave for poison…” nothing could say it better, better yet, nothing could better reason why.

A Thoroughbred Horse

She is harmonious... She is a songbird in flight, She is mellifluous, she is a delicious delight, she was inspired by thoughts of future modernity, she was tired, a slave daughter of a wife, & she is harmonious, a song of the heart, a harpsichord, in the desert land, an American, a onetime African queen, a foreigner, a stranger, a woman in need, A girl without parents, lost at sea, seeing the desert flow, & believing in the Father, the children of the Father, & the children of the children as equals. She reminds us of a purebred horse, a mare, an ocean apart, a sea, a belief in you & me, a harmony, & a desert bird of love, Nesting in the mustard plant, cooing as a dove. 9/3/14

A Giant

Not a girl, nor a woman, but a giant, a giantess. Hagar was young when approached by Abraham, to be the mother of the future, to be sister to Sarah, & to be daughter of the Father, Hagar was young, not ready to understand what it meant to be a young girl in love with the world, what it meant to need a bicycle man, Though not a ma'am, she came to believe in herself & her equal humanity, a slave from childhood, a child groomed to bear, A process rare, but not inconceivable, a process rare, but all too frequent, a slave to bear the master's race... Just in case, the wife was past age.... 9/3/14

Who Can Say; Who Can Tell? (aka. Who… Can-t-elle?)

“Elle est bien laide”* She is bein’ led, Elle est bien laide She is quite ugly. Elle est bien laide She is being laid, Elle est bien laide Say it, it is quite ugly… The peculiar situation we find Ourselves in today, That’s okay, is it okay… okay? & if & when the defense came, Our notice of intent may frame The way we see the study.

* The opening phrase in Charles Baudelaire’s poem, “Un cheval de race.” Elle may possibly be “la servitude” (slavery). 9/14/14

Les Feuilles

The little fires of fall, the little flames of autumn, Lick the yellow fog in the recesses of the dormer, The little fires of fall, the small dames of autumn, Caress my long heartsick soul with languor, As Vermont guides my dreams Of an ancient sea, With blaze of orange, blue & red, We go over it again, Maple, oak, white pine & ash, Trees to the last, & again. 10/5/14


Spilling yellow, drenched in lemon ochre, The truth may be beautiful or it may be ugly, Dandelions green with youth & adventure. Dripping burial yellow, fringed blades of grass, Cutting white fluff of powder-puffs, The seed has spoken at last, With a moment’s hesitation, we come about To head in the right direction, Left over from the last election… La vérité be told like the bells of old, A colossal performance era, To unite the giant with the man, As if we could understand The meaning of the dandy. 10/5/14

The Leafing of Leaves

My handsome tree My beautiful tree, My poet's tree A house, a poetry, In woods of pine & ash, Maple, oak & beech, Silver-gray & shades of half-brown. The turning of the leaves Reminds one of spring Times forgotten, As the good book Of autumn leaves Us dry, tearless, yet forgiven. Delicious is the apple Mackintosh or Empire, Fruit of the Tree Granny Smith, we believe The source of human desire! Leafing be the tree of spring, Growing, glowing in fullness, The truth might still be hidden, Though dark night be the sky... Leafing be the tree of spring, Growing, glowing & ripe, The truth might still be hidden, As bright may be the sky... 10/5/14

The Shipwreck

Derelict & majestic, her nobility intact, Caught upon the reef, a ship, a wreck, Erect in honest stature, still sailor of the seas, Still man upon the waters, still a woman begging please! Pleas of hope & helping salvation! The bay was not far away, the shoals that did her in, They were not chartered, though the explorers Speculated on their present condition, The night sailing might have not been cautious, The sinking of the rum, molasses & gin, Sailing for New England, her flag A mer, a kin. 10/14/14

A White Page

I remember her vividly, Her laugh & her smile, Her sea-blue eyes, by contact, The arrival of her sigh, & I remember that she was different, Her contagion, her infection, A happy, happy, happy I wish her, To a being happy & gay, As the memories do not falter, My own past―a white page… 10/14/14

Morning Flowers for Mother's Day

Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Christmas... Every day ought be our mother's day, a birthday clear & with presents... Mourning the lack of chrysanthemums, noticing the arrival of the fall, autumn leaves a taste for coffee in the morning after cereal or toast. Only mommies get to have more than one birthday! Her birthdays are in December, March, & May. Flowers are the easy choice... Be inventive! …Okay.                                      10/23/14

Weaving the Tapestry

Fabric of poetry, woven patterns, Woolen cotton synthesis, a swan’s neck in white, Snow drones in the theater, the hall, & the attic, Restless leg syndrome, I am battered. The storm has passed, our clearing done, The woods in a fade, the meadow run, As a million bucks make their way, through mud & blow, The storm has passed, our season is known, Weaving the tapestry of love.            ~            & weaving the tapestry in gold & copper, Making the poetry, relating the song, Passing the Middle to come around shoulder To shoulder, arm up in arms, Liberty knows, she knew before us, We came to the scene of late, As we speak of the role of the Center, A belle, a girl, a woman, a fig… a date.                                  11/2014

A Magic Kaleidoscope II

Magic can be a lot like poetry seen Through a kaleidoscope; the integrity Of the original image is found In the mirror-fractured multi-faceted Translated vision of the magician. Images may be multiplied through This process, shattered with modernity, Or a violet flower & a green fern frond Together will make one see the mellifluous & delicious honey spilt harmonies. It’s split like the booming sound Of river ice breaking, verbs & nouns, Mirrored spectacle of glass & polished Wood, the little feet, & the momentary Celebration of the-art of photography. My kaleidoscope knows no borders, (A lot of cars in the park), our awareness Of fractured elements, as the mirror Knew what this meant to our renewal Of an addiction to poetry anew.                                                                                      12/20/14