Monday, May 31, 2010

Play one and two

Play (1974, age 15)

Brandy barks at swooping swallows,
Life, lowered to one foot or so
In summer time is simple,
As the lure of tired dogs and clover
Greets only those who need to play.

Scampering down outside stairs
Past the skidding bicycle marks
To a tumbling fit of joy
Goes the only daily memory
Of a happiness once known.

Landing in a pile of limbs,
Which includes the golden hair
That shines of wetness on the
Back of Brandy, the player
Laughs at the summer sun.

How long will it be
Before the play begins again,
Before the youthful joy
Once known appears, before
The love, if ever, returns?


Play II, Thirty Five Years Later (2009, Age 50)

There’s this shadow made by Korean Pines that hits
the white wall of building two at one every day.
If you’re sitting upstairs at An Die Musik, lazily
waiting for your favorite lunch-mate, this shadow can
appear to be the cliff seen in ancient watercolors. A
dark cliff and foggy white air in a far-distant place.
Foreground cloud-clipped conifers add a touch of reality,
nudging you back to lunch, which arrives, unlike your partner.
Today it’s the newfound cliff, visible only from three
southeast-facing seats. Students move, shoes push grains
into jagged cracks, yellow buds enlarge, the sun warms
frosted souls, but it’s the shadow cliff that matters. Now
you have a new friend, silent but hopeful, strong yet fake,
everlasting but ever-changing, finally receding with the sun
to a place no one knows. A morose quartet, early romantic,
pops at least one bright piano note, while cello, violin, viola
continue their lament. A new banner is stretched between
trees. The perpetrators are efficient and mingle into passersby
in less than thirty seconds. Now the cliff cascades, trios walk
and talk, you dream of love alone, confident it will return.

Ode to Horace Mann

Ode to Horace Mann

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann

Be aware that energy is life, save some for your kids.
Be afraid that our minds are bent by news not books.
Be awed by the healing power of the simple purple cone flower.
Be amazed that after four short years she knows so much.
Be awake before the bombs drop, before the money rules.
Be agile: live in a town that walks and bikes to work and play.
Be amused by ants and birds, goats and potato fields, lilacs and sycamores.
Be angry only long enough to solve the problem, then move on.
Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Post #4

Paradise Lost

Four sea lions scream on top of a
spire rock jutting off La Jolla Beach.
Square footage on top is less than that
of the yelpers, but physics gets weirder
as you realize that the rock is over twenty
feet above sea level. Even if this is a
record low, high tide would leave a solid
fifteen feet to ascend. So humans gather
and marvel, seaweed swaying, as breakers push.
Surfers ride four footers left or right. Hang
gliders, golfers and Eucalyptus mingle in
weather so perfect, even in winter, the only
hard question is “shorts or no shorts?” Compare
to Haiti, or Africa, or Nicaragua. As we lurch
toward uninhabitability should we pray or play?
If banning red meat, automobiles and coal means
saving life on earth, what are we waiting for?
These solutions are easier to determine than
how the Sea Lions learned rock climbing, yet,
since money rules, none will be forthcoming.

Post 3

Tiger Woods
(The Valentine Poem that Could have been)

You bring a light that shines so bright
I have to wear sunglasses

You hold me close and make life right
it's like taking ten love classes

And isn't love a silly word
unless you're the one in it?

Our time is short, so it is absurd
to waste a single minute

Most turn to flowers others gifts
because they don't know how to rhyme

Just your luck, your man can shift
from golf to poetry any time

Our secret life shall exist
no matter where we are

Because a love this strong persists
even from afar

We may not be hand-in-hand
walking down the street

But isn't life just as grand
when lovers are discreet?

Post #2

We’ve woven a web, you and I,
attached to the world, for no matter
how long, inscribed, though poorly, for
scant eyes, still, as bright a love aura as
has ever glowed, tightly wound around
our hearts, yet soaring miles above
Moodung’s fog to warm cold February.
Sparks fly off a round-rock fire rarely seen
in these parts. We laugh, it feels like we
shouldn’t be here on a cold winter night,
just a few meters from trails so packed
during the day. This charge will never
leave. We’ve marked this space but must
go to where the stars shine, deer run, art springs.
Keep my heart in your brain, words in your hair.
Matched lifelong yearning bursts in my hand,
fluorescent. Quick, pack what you need, let’s
flee! live life in the positive zone, expand
what we enjoy together, bound by the luck
that brought us this far. Where to next?

Poem Day One

This blog started May 28, 2010 and wil have one poem, painting or editorial every day from now on. It will contain typos every now and then, but you can figure them out, I promise. I will start with a recent poem, and then try to keep the quality of poems up until I finally start heading down below the level of any of the eight books I've published so far. By then, perhaps new poems worthy of your time wil be here. The blog will be sprinkled with art work and editorials to keep the readership up.

This poem was written after a sad incident at __________ university, here in ____________ Korea, to a woman named _______________. Yes she did kill herself. yes the poem is "true."

Unnamed University, Unnamed City, Unnamed Woman

She lies back, angel wings spread, feet flat, but
arched back allowing head to inhabit old-school gas
oven. Mouth open, nostrils flared, deep inhale is more
than photo-op, it’s real, she’s forever shamed her family
by laying drunk as 18 fellow classmen raped her. Every
person in this town knows what happened, but she is the
one who must take her life to balance family sadness, apply
guilt to those who just avoided jail time conventionally.
Here, where rules so outdated they make the Catholics
look hip, her family will not pursue the raging animals
who committed this atrocity, instead they’ll be consoled
by funeral guests, and their money. According to the
Confucian beliefs (held more dear in Korea than China
these days by a long shot) it would be harder for her
family to go on if she was alive to tell the story.
You don’t have to cry about this, many already have.
These “men” walk free to start university life, having
completed “Membership Training,” the custom in which
families pay extra for weekend retreats and the school
sanctions and organizes: alcohol, food, pajamas, rape?