Archive for category Poem

A Prairie Home Companion Cruise, 2017

A not-so young comedian of New York
On a cruise of not-so Norwegian ports
Made half the guests smile
The rest he bribed
To laugh and pee in their shorts.

 

(With thanks!)

 

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Share My Sorrow

For Leonard Cohen

I’d like to share my sorrow
I’d hand you this broken cup
I’d like to share my sorrow
But you’ve already had enough

You spoke so low in darkness
To brighten darker skies
You spoke candles burning
In a thousand angels’ eyes

I’m leaving for the hotel
I’ll pay a few more dues
I’m leaving for the hotel
To check in with the muse

You skipped the preliminaries
Your song is in the mail
A voice like a mountain
A pen hesitant and frail

I’d like to share your sorrow
And fill this broken cup
I’d like to share your sorrow
But you’ve already shared enough

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Recipe For Dried Apples

After summer in New York
Fall feels like spring
And then a birthday in October
Reminds you it’s precious to get older

So you leave town
Shy of the morning commuters
To pick apples upstate in the drizzle,
Smelling the dirt, the wet grass

As your hand reaches for that apple
That the ones before you couldn’t quite reach
And then you drive home like after church
Under foliage the color of all sermons

You find an old Danish recipe for dried apples
You scald Mason jars for aquavit
Adding vanilla, star anise, cinnamon sticks
Then you seal the lids. Winter.

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Nobel Limerick

Honorable Nobel Committee
When you award me for being witty
Don’t share the prize
With three other guys
Or my mother will say, What a pity!

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Woodworker

I loved trees
I became a woodworker
I loved the ocean
So I drank it
I loved dirt
So I rooted
I loved music
I was quiet

I loved the truth
I spoke up
I loved God
So I knelt
I loved birds
So I flew
I loved wisdom
I said little

I loved the view
I became a mountain
I loved silence
So I hushed
I loved a woman
So I loved her
I loved the Earth
I left it

Alone

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Let There Be Light Verse

When facts are scorned
And lies prevail
It’s Hell on Earth
And Heaven in Hell
 
For common sense
Is quite amiss
Where ignorance is
No longer bliss
 
We need now, people
More than ever
The blueprints for
The Tower of Babel
 
To build it high
And let those climb
Who poison the minds
With guile and slime
 
Good riddance, we chant,
Now truth shall blossom
And let there be light
It’s totally awesome

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The House of Dying

Here I am, in a Brooklyn backyard, reading Donald Hall,
A book of 1970s poems called “Kicking The Leaves”
From around the time when he moved back
To the old New Hampshire homestead where his
Great-grandfather farmed from after the Civil War

Until the year before the so-called Great War.
I’m told he still lives there, frail and old,
And recently The New Yorker published
What one could only read as the poet’s note of farewell.
Yet here I am, watching the birds in April

While the trees are budding and the difference
Between a male and a female sparrow becomes apparent:
The males marvel, posed but alert,
As the females shake their wings and asses,
A call for assistance from the reproductive branch.

On the pages, I return again to “the house of dying”,
A phrase written in the middle of life
And a terrific title for a book
That a person could write when he is done
Jotting down the lines of this poem and the next

With a cheap plastic pen from the Algonquin Hotel
And done sitting here, in this cathedral of spindly maples,
As cardinals, robins, finches, and brown thrashers
Descend from on high, like prayers
No one needs to answer.

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