Previous Week's Poem: 12/27/97
Why are some birds so white?
Surely not to be seen in the night.
Silhouetted against the blue sky, or in lush green vegetation, to catch the eye.
Nature made all creatures, large and small, blend with their surroundings, summer and fall, for their own safety; why white, at all?
Only in the snow of winter, are white feathers of use; hence the snowy owl and snow goose.
But what of the swan, egret, ibis, and dove?
What purpose do they have?
It must be for the poet's pen, and peace, and love.
Previous Week's Poem: 12/21/97
Birthdays come and birthdays go; some bring springtime, others, snow.
I was born on the darkest day, and shared my new life with a brother; we were on our way.
Shared too, was Christmas, so close at hand.
Presents were few and practical, and had to be shared, but Mom, undaunted, and not one to fake, made our day special with a few good friends and lemon cake.
School, work, marriage, divorce, just living life, of course, got in the way; years came and went, and we spent our pay, avoiding the day.
But then, before it's too late, at 98, we gather friends and family around us and cut lemon cake.
Mom would be so proud.
Previous Week's Poem: 12/13/97
I looked out on the clear and cold, and found it falling down, in hypnotic rhythm, without a sound. Without persistence or patience, it soon covered the ground.
Strange, it conjured up warm memories of childhood's first snow; when snow balls and men, and a soft feel under feet, forced me to go walking in the clear morning air through autumn made neat.
And, white, oh so white, to trim the trees and make the long night bright.
The first snow was always the best; we would forgot for the moment that the long winter ahead would give us a test.
As we looked back on fresh tracks, marking our way, and couldn't remember, over warm drinks at sunset, when we'd had a better day.
Story of the Week: 12/6/97
St. Peter and the Four Brothers
Four brothers were all car buffs. They were not very religious. Alas, eventually they all died and went to the Pearly Gates, where St. Peter sat in Judgment. Roger, a professional engineer, consultant, and highly successful in the Stock Market, was married in church, twice. He drove his 1980 Mercedes 280SE on the Autobahn at 100+ to the Gates, more pristine than the day it was built.
St. Peter looked down and said. "I'm sorry, you can't come in, too much fascination with the toys of the Third Reich."
Thomas, named after a Saint and a converted Catholic, was a computer scientist extraordinary and explorer. His one-of-a-kind BMW 965 CSX turned the treacherous mountain road to the Gates into the straight and narrow.
Once again, St. Peter turned Tom away: "I'm sorry, your trip computer's clock is off by a nanosecond, affected by some sort of mystical force."
Timothy, named after a Disciple and also a converted Catholic, was the owner of a highly successful worldwide trucking company. With top down to the brilliant sun, drove his XK8 straight to the Gate as if on cloud rails.
St. Peter wearily noted Tim's appearance and said, "Sorry Brother, you knew where Hoffa, Elvis, and even Styx were and never told, not even to the Tabloids."
Ronald, Runnie to his Aunts, and Ron to his friends, was an atheist. Paralyzed in his misspent youth, he was over educated and didn't amount to much. In spite of failing health, he was the last to go, driven by his attendant in his 73 Chevy Monte Carlo on the much-crowded Expressway of Life. The rusted out, muffler-dragging Monte Carlo wheezed and coughed on the last steep grade, back fired, and died at the base of the Gates.
God, hearing all the commotion, came to St. Peter's side and looked down. St. Peter said, "I'm afraid...."
God cut him off: "Oh, let him in, he's had enough Hell with that car!"
Adapted by RWH 12/3/96
Previous Week's Poem: 11/30/97
Three Days on the Road
You said that without you was not unkind, out of sight, out of mind,
but three days on the road cannot replace, one look at your happy face.
For long hours, the road reaches out to its vanishing point,
chasing the sun and wind, day into night;
but you are on my mind.
Thumping tires and engine's roar, dull the senses and send you fore.
Will you be waiting at my door?
Will you still kiss me as before?
Only the murmur in my mind of softer times, long ago and far away,
when all my days were in the future, and the only barrier was money and time, and in my mind, you were mine.
I wake, and find the bed empty.
Out of sight,
out of mind,
out of time,
at journey's end.
Previous Week's Poem: 11/15/97
Out of the Cold
Take me out, out of the cold;
warm my soul, before I grow old.
Fill my coffee from your hot cup;
with your kisses, warm me up.
Stave off the blue norther into the night;
with the radiance of your love's light.
Sew me warm clothing, against the chill;
protect me so I won't fall ill.
Shelter me in your arms 'til the day,
the warm winds of summer blow the northers away.
Previous Week's Poem: 11/8/97
Keepin' Up with the 'Boomers
The '59 Beetle was nice, except for the fleas and head lice, sleepin' by the road. So we got a '63 Bus. It too, disintegrated to rust, on the salt-paved roads of the Upper Midwest, we trust.
We tried a '67 Pony car for bit, but it took a hit, and was too small, so we traded it for a '69 International Carryall. The Carryall was too large, more like a barge, and costly to keep, so we left it in a heap and squeezed into some muscle--a 454 '62 Monte. Collecting tickets wherever we went, with that gas-guzzler, we could hardly pay the rent. So, we unloaded the Monte on a pimple-faced geek, and began our station wagon streak. Riding a series of fake wood-sided Fords, Olds, Plymouths, and such, at the shopping mall was just too much.
Looking for a Mercedes we could afford, we settled for an '82 Accord. When Accords became little boxes, we upside to '87 Volvo. We wanted an Audi, but opted for dowdy, and look what we got.
So, we studied our portfolio, skipped the Beamer, and headed straight for Acura, Lexus, and the nebulous Infiniti. We coveted a Coupe and SC300, or two, then settled for a '93 Camry ES, in lieu. The Camry was way cool, we were the first on the block, but it's now far too common, even in leather, for our flock.
So, we joined the freeway-going-to-the-golf course crowd, traveling proud, in our '96 Eddie Bower. What is the hour? Is it time to trade on-line? I hear they're bringing the Beetle back in 1999.
Previous Week's Poem: 11/1/97
My Land (The Immigrant)
My land lies in my dreams, or so it seems...until the big airplane took me away...across the wide ocean to this place so mean, where I work and scheme.
But somewhere in the corner of my mind, a fragrant flower steals into my senses, and water flows placid upon the river of my childhood.
The warm sun browns my carefree face as it laughs the frowns away. I wander the deep green forest filled with wondrous creatures and play. I work hard in the fields and taste the pleasure of my day
I know no other way, but it is good.
Now I'm stuck here in brick walls surrounded by broken glass and concrete in the 'hood ... remembering my land where all was so good.
Previous Week's Poem: 10/26/97
Girl with diamond eyes, sparkling in the dim night light. Girl with luscious lips, please hold me tight.
Girl with a soft sweet song, sing all night long, and treat me right, by night breezes as soft as your hips.
Let us lie here in the dark, while your diamond eyes make a mark, on the silence of my heart. With a spark that overcomes the dark, and helps me make it through the night.
Joke of the Week: 10/18/97
I met an interesting elderly Black gentleman the other day while riding to work on MetroLift. He spoke with a heavy Italian accent. He explained that, like Franco Harris and Prince, his mother was Italian. He immigrated from Italy in his youth to New York, but never lost his accent. He also proudly confided the he was a first cousin the Johnnie Cochran, the famous defense attorney.
When I went to leave the van, my driver, Neecie, was having trouble putting the footrest on my wheelchair. It wouldn't fit, but she kept trying until we discovered that she was trying to put the right footrest on the left side. The right one fit easily.
Upon seeing her struggle and eventual success, my new-found friend quipped, "If it don'ta fit, you musta notta quit!"
Previous Week's Poem: 10/11/97
She had ...
She had lips like rose petals, falling softly into mine.
She had eyes like liquid diamonds, melting into mine.
She had breasts soft as moonbeams, merging with mine.
She was ethereal, but she was not mine.
She was only as I imagine, not as I find ... not yours, not mine.
Previous Week's Poem: 10/4/97
I Miss Autumn
The crackle of leaves under feet, the smell of wood smoke to the beat, of distant drums, beating the sound, "Winter is coming, gather round."
Indian summer, lazy cloud day, brilliant vistas of color, mark the way, to wonderlands of vision, too soon, blown away.
So savor the moment, be it cold, wet, or dry. When the wind blows, you too, must fly. Along ancient pathways to safety and warmth.
Now my wings are clipped, and I can no longer soar, along the red, gold, and yellow ridges, like so many autumns before.
Safe and warm in my tropical nest, I miss autumn; It was always the best.
Previous Week's Poem: 9/27/97
Long Ago, Tomorrow
Long ago and far away, I dreamed there was a better day.
I dreamed of breezes and gentle skies.
I dreamed of kindness in everyone's eyes.
And no one knew of hunger, pain, or suffering down under.
A time of peace and glory, where hands reached out to help.
Where everyone faced fears with courage, and no one was left out.
Long ago, tomorrow, we will find out.
Previous Week's Poem: 9/21/97
Hanging by a Thread
Maybe it's all in my head.
Like a dream in my bed, but in my mind the end is near
And I am soon gone, I fear.
My brain is floating in place, receiving false signals without a trace of where they were read.
For I am hanging by a thread.
A thread so fragile it cannot survive, without the body keeping it alive.
It began as cord from which I grew, arms and legs, toes and fingers too.
A lifeline of energy bonding body and brain; a source of power and a shelter from the rain.
For twenty years we grew together in a symbiosis that created a man--body teaching brain, and brain responding to train.
Then an unkind cut, damaged the link, and my body began to sink into the nothingness defined, by loss of the mind.
My memory is strong, as I focus on the place, where my body moved with such grace.
And nothing happens when I call--nothing at all.
Deprived of their lifeblood, cord nerves entwined, die one by one until none remain.
My brain grows depressed as it attempts to reach, organs no longer within its teach.
Organs that die, little by little, with no word from a severed mind.
One nerve, then another, shrivels and dies.
The once mighty river of power is reduced to a thread.
And when the thread breaks, I will be dead.
A head without a body is like a body without a head....dead...don't cut me off from that life-giving thread.
Previous Week's Poem: 9/13/97
I drove into the night with all my might.
The fire in my engines burned with desire.
While the cool of darkness hid the fire.
But my Black Steed shown in the light,
Reflected from the fire in the night.
My wheels were burning a familiar path,
Down tired highways, in their aftermath.
Yet the fire in me, burned true and new,
And took me to the tranquility of you.
Previous Week's Poem: 9/6/97
She Comes Softly
She comes softly through my gate.
She comes 'though the hour is late.
She steals gently in my mind,
And seeks my love to find.
No matter if it's foul or fair.
She comes softly like the Sun.
That filters through dusty air.
I just dream and she is there.
She comes softly to my kitchen.
Bearing fruits of exotic description,
Scented with the finest spice,
With her love, she feeds me twice.
In the night, she soothes my pain,
When she comes, softly with the rain.
Her sweet song warms my dreams.
Like her kind hands smooth the seams.
Like tears at night that sting my sight.
She comes and cries and cares.
A shudder of thought is washed from the spot.
When she turns, smiles, and shares.
In my dreams, when it seems,
That life is slipping away.
She comes softly with her song,
and brings a better day.
Late one night, if you listen with all your might,
You too, can hear the sound.
Of her, stealing softly all around.
Into your sight with peace and light,
Like the angel she is.
Previous Week's Poem: 8/31/97
Body of Christ, jewel by the bay,
West Texas wind, blow my way.
Down dirty and gritty, hot highway.
Carry me away--do it today.
Where dancing heat, caresses the mesquite.
And the wind sculpts the live oak tree.
Take me to that special place.
So far away, by the sea.
Where the warm sea breeze.
Soothes the soul to ease.
And moonlight on the water.
Is free for all, you see.
Where countless little corners of peace reside.
And troubles flow out like the tide.
Walk with me, along the sea wall.
Stop at a gazebo, savor it all.
Have a tequila sunrise over the bay.
Try a wild jetty, get wet in the spray.
Watch the wild dolphins, or windsurf away.
Sun on the beach, with ever changing surf.
Shines on beauty, birds, and children in careless mirth.
Worshipping sun, sand, and sea.
Like the sea turtle returns to the exact spot where she was born.
We too, need the return to our life's morn.
Corpus Christi by the sea.
Lies waiting in the sun, for you and me.
Previous Week's Poem: 8/23/97
August in America
It was August when we left for the land we know so well.
Over tired roads in blistering heat, the pavement pounding to the beat, of August in America.
The crops were full in the fields; countless trucks, ant like, carried their bountiful yields.
Along ribbons of asphalt saliva, to storehouses of plenty, in colonies called suburbia.
Like the Monarch following the milky weed, we carved across the country chasing our need.
To reach the cool North with its distant trees, its brilliant blue waters, and its calm, eerie peace.
The grime of a thousand miles shone on our faces, as we ate gasoline, road fumes, coffee and food as fast as the car we drove.
They said we shouldn't go, saying, "Why don't you just take a plane?"
But, what do they know of newfound vistas opening wide, of road kill smells, and clouds high and wild, of the flavor of clover newly mown, of sunrise and the newborn morn.
What do they know of kindred faces, of friends and family in their traces, and now that they are older, the young seem to forget and grow colder.
You can fly off to a packaged spot, and call it vacation if you wish; but I'll drive a thousand miles to see the face of one I miss, and return renewed...in August...in America.
Previous Week's Poem: 8/10/97
"You knew him in another life." He said.
I knew him before I was born.
Before I was dead.
Did we share a nest or lair, or at the least,
Were we fellow germs in the stomach of some great beast?
Were we comrades at arms, or farmers of the soil,
Together did we toil?
Upon the countless eons of lives come and gone.
The heap of humanity from which we've sprung.
The memory is lost across space and time,
But in table's conversation or kindred thought,
The sense of life's essence is sometimes wrought.
Though I met him but once and he is now dead.
The memory is burned in my mind what he said.
And sometime after this trouble and strife.
We will meet again, in another life.
Previous Week's Poem: 8/3/97
Black velvet nights, black velvet lies.
Black velvet skirts high on black velvet thighs.
Black velvet hair and black velvet eyes.
Black velvet suits and black velvet ties
I sip my Black Velvet while the night sighs.
Caressed by your black velvet eyes.
Previous Week's Poem: 7/27/97
Bug in a Rug
Snug as a bug in a rug,
We huddle and hug,
Under the covers of life.
The sun streams through the window,
Lugging me out from under,
That warm cozy spot,
That was so hot,
But now it's not.
Cold air on my skin,
I smile and remember when,
I was snug as that bug in a rug,
My feet swing out, and,