Friday, March 9, 2018

Love's Labor Lost

This is a very long sentence, wrapped down the page. It might take more than one reading to make sense.

Love's Labor Lost

I've labored, striven, bungled, idled, hoped,
Despaired, persisted, scored and missed—and now,
Reflecting on my life, I see the trail
Of labors lost or fruitful, much like seeds
Or shoots or saplings planted once with hope
And tended, watered, fussed about and yet
Now sadly lying withered, ravaged, strewn
Or blown away completely—save for one
That still is bearing leaves and even fruits—
And on this one remaining rest my hopes,
As might a parent's on the child that's left
From all the storms that blew away the rest.

2018, around February 20th 
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Morning in the Mountains

Morning in the Mountains

When the mists of night are rising
From the valleys to the hills
And the morning sun is shining
As the eagles take to wing,
Then the children wake from slumber
As the mother lights the fire—
And they rise from bed and shiver
As the birds of morning sing.

The peaks on high are glowing
And their colors change to white.
They shine as clouds surround them
And the shadows dance with light.
It is morning in the mountains
As the sun has chased the night.

2018 March 3rd, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Peace, U.S.A., 2018

U.S.A., 2018 
The village is abandoned; the city’s tumult grows.
And in the leafy suburb, the humans can’t be seen.
The tractor plows the farmland; the traffic clogs the town.
The stalk of grass is glowing; the sprinkler wets the lawn.
A migrant man is walking; a car goes speeding by.
The field of stubble shimmers; a billboard lofts its sign.
A woman dodges buses, her cell phone to her ear.
A dog barks in a backyard, but no one seems to hear.

2018  March 2nd, Fri.
Brooklyn, New York

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

There's a Fog Tonight in Brooklyn

There's a Fog Tonight in Brooklyn

There's a fog tonight in Brooklyn
And it brings back memories.
I can hear a fog horn wailing,
And I remember times.
I can see the street lights haloed,
I can see the signals change,
As the fog is slow drifting
And a horn sounds out at sea.
There's a fog tonight in Brooklyn
And it brings back memories.

2018-02-20 Tue
Brooklyn, NY

There's a Mist Tonight in Brooklyn )

Friday, February 16, 2018

Winding Down

Winding Down 

The clock is wound—and then its coils unwind,
as “Tick-tick-tock!”, its seconds-hand goes ‘round,
until it’s all unwound—and then it stops
and waits for us to wind it up again.
So also it may be with each of us.
We each are wound—and then we each unwind,
as childhood, youth and middle age go by—
and then we might perceive we’re winding down.

And so we slow and stumble as we move,
as friction overcomes the driving force,
until at last the pulsing heart has stopped.
Then life is done and death is all that’s left.

Is there a hand that winds us up again?
If so, the spirit might perhaps revive—
but not the body or the burdened self
that sheds its baggage—and its claim to life.

2018 February 16th, Fri.
F train, running on the D line
between Atlantic Avenue and 
Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn

Prayer-on the Chinese New Year

Prayer—on the Chinese New Year

Arjun, being attacked by a lion—that has been distracted by big WC
photographed by Wai-Sin Li, 2018-02-16
Deliver us, oh gods, from competition
Between yourselves—and also that which rages
Between us mortals struggling on this Earth,
And especially between us humans, who
Are racing so that banks and profits grow—
Deceived by those who’re surely human too
Yet feed off human labor, spreading ignorance—
And cheering as their shares of madness climb.

So on this day, as lions and dragons dance
And crackers burst and strew their colored shards,
And coins and notes are wrapped in red and passed,
We do beseech you, move our foolish race
To pause from racing—and to then reflect
On where your Mammon leads the ones who race.

Arjun, survived, writing, "Prayer..."—with CP taking a break and little WC cut off
photographed by Wai-Sin Li, 2018-02-16
2018 February 16th, Fri—Chinese New Year
Chinatown, Manhattan—New York, New York

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bits of Blue

Bits of Blue

On a cold, wet, winter day,
The sky was overcast with gray,
And all that I had treasured seemed
To silently have slipped away.

And as I walked, I wondered why,
Beneath that gray and gloomy sky,
My life had gone the way it had—
And whether I should quietly die.

But then I saw a bird that flew
Within a little patch of blue.
And I decided then to live—
For this reminded me of you.

How often, when you were alive,
And we were struggling to survive,
Did you discover bits of joy,
Which then allowed us all to thrive.
So I resolved, that winter day,
When all was wet and dull and gray,
That I would find my bits of blue—
Until I too was blown away.

And so, however sad the case,
As I recall your smiling face,
I wipe the tear that’s in my eye,
And find my solace—and my grace.

Bits of Blue
2018 February 10th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York