Sunday, July 8, 2018

Does It Matter?


Does It Matter?

So does it matter, if a woman says
that she’s a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew
or Sikh, believing in a god or gods—
or Buddhist, Jain, for whom that matters not—
or is a follower of another creed
or disavows them all—or does not know?

And does it matter, if she says to you
that she’s a citizen of this or that—
or whether you perceive her lineage has
some more or less or none of that or this?

Or does it matter more, if through her acts
she shows that she has more of faith in you
than others might, and that she does not need
your passport shown to her and can perceive
your heart and mind, beyond your face and skin?

Does kindness have a country or a faith?
Is it confined within a species or a race?

Behold the being, of the man or dog,
in deeper essence than its outer form.
So many sorrows would be lessened, if
we found again this sight—that we have lost.

2018 July 8th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
  

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mugwump / In the Round

 
Mugwump / In the Round

A caricature captures part
Of truth—but only that.
But if I try to point this out,
I know you'll knock me flat.

Projections on a plane are fine,
But it isn’t really sound
To base your judgement on a view
That isn’t in the round.

There are more sides to an issue
Than those that you might see.
But if I try to say this,
Your monster, I will be.

It isn’t simple left and right.
There’s back and front as well,
And up and down—and often more
Degrees in which we dwell.

There is the present state, but then
There’s past and future too.
But if you're blind to both, why then
I’m just a dolt to you.

“You’ve got to choose a side!” you say,
And if I then decline,
You say that I’m a mugrump, who
Is lacking sense and spine.

It isn’t always black and white.
There also are the grays.
But when I whisper, “Look at these.”
You drown me with your nays.

There’s action needed, I agree.
And here’s what I suggest—
Let’s pause and think this through a bit,
So the outcome might be best.

“But who’s the good guy, who’s the bad?”
You ask. I scratch my head.
“There’s some of each in each.” But you
By then have shot me dead.

2018 July 7th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York
  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Whither-II

 
Whither-II

The clouds were racing past the moon
that shone within a halo.
“Oh whither are you headed, clouds?”
I asked, in fascination.
They answered not.  They never do.
Such questions go unheeded.

I asked them once, I asked them twice,
I asked them yet again.
They did not answer—whither, whence
Or why—but raced ahead—
or was it back, or sideways?  Do
such things, for clouds, have meanings?

I wandered to the highway.  There,
I saw the cars were racing.
“Oh, whither, cars—and why this haste?”
I asked, in consternation.
They answered not.  They never do.
Such questions go unheeded.
 
2018 May 30th, Wed.
Brooklyn, New York
     

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

This Old Chap

 
This Old Chap 

This Old Chap
The weariness from lack of sleep,
The weariness from age,
And all the buffets borne before
Combine to blur the page.

And though he writes his verses still
And so avoids despair,
It seems his vision falters, fogs
And fades beyond repair.

And so the time has come, perhaps,
To take a quiet nap.
And then he might have strength for more—
This old, persistent chap.

And see—he dozes in his chair
And jerks from time to time.
And when he wakes, he’ll fix again
The meter, sound and rhyme.

2018 May 30th, Wed.
Brooklyn, New York
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Beloved, Where Are You?


Beloved, Where Are You?

The sun is warm upon the skin,
The sky is blazing blue,
And I am walking in the sun
And thinking still of you.

The little birds are chirping as
They fly from tree to tree,
And feelings, long held captive, now
Are rising, wild and free.

The winter has departed and
The spring is here to stay.
It seems that we were walking in
The spring, but yesterday.

The trees are dancing in the breeze,
As they had danced before.
But you, who’d stood and smiled at these,
Are now with us no more.

The greens of newborn leaves are flames
That rise towards the blue.
The sky and earth are singing—yet,
Beloved, where are you?

2018 May 24th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York
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Note: Any connections that such hinted romances may have with the scribe's own life (which has been mostly ordinary and unromantic) are tenuous at best. 
  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zombies-version 2


Zombies (version 2)

There comes a time when dreams have turned to dust,
And humans lose their passion and their lust.
Then what they do, they do as zombies might—
Or robots—not from choice, but since they must.

Bereft of purpose, shorn of meaning’s might,
And so of all the vigor these had lent,
And lacking vision, robbed of thought and sight,
As husks, they know not where their kernels went.

******

What acts or words or thoughts can break that spell—
Release them then from that robotic hell?
They ask this question, with the ardor left
That wills can muster, from within that well.

They ask the question as a prayer, plea—
To find the clarity and wisdom then
That gives them sanity and sight to see
The path that takes them back to being men.

******

But then, they might at times remember this—
The precious thing that zombies surely miss—
Those moments, scant, retrieved from memory—
Those instants past of pure, essential bliss.

What presence then, except that essence fine—
As walls dissolved and pain had ceased to be—
That taste and scent, as if of fragrant wine,
That even zombies know, who once were free.

2018 May 22nd, Tue.
Brooklyn, New York
  

Zombies-version 1


Zombies (version 1)

There comes a time when treasures turn to dust,
And we have lost our passion and our lust.
Then what we do, we do as zombies might—
Or robots—not from choice, but since we must.

What acts or words or thoughts can break that spell—
Release us then from that robotic hell?
We ask that question, with the ardor left
That will can muster, in our souls bereft—

Bereft of purpose, shorn of meaning’s might,
And so of all the vigor these had lent,
And lacking vision, robbed of thought and sight,
As husks that know not where their kernels went.

We ask the question, as a prayer, plea—
A pleading for permission, yes, to see—
To find the insight, and the foresight then—
The wisdom, as a presence, still to be.

But then, we might at times remember this—
Those moments scant, retrieved from memory—
Those instants past of pure, essential bliss,
When walls dissolved, and pain had ceased to be.

What presence then, except that sense divine—
That scent of joy, as if of fragrant wine—
That essence that is still within us, though
It’s hidden, where we zombies do not know.

2018 May 22nd, Tue.
Brooklyn, New York