Ron's Poems - 1999

Poem of the Week: 1/2/00

Rollover

Yesterday it rolled over,
The odometer of time.
We came full circle,
Without rhythm or rhyme.

The world came together,
And shared the day,
From sunrise to sunset,
As the sun wound its way.

Round this fragile planet,
With it's six billion strong,
Four billion still poor,
And 15 million in camps so long.

One man earns more,
Than the lowest forty percent
And the world economy,
Seems heaven sent.

It seems unlikely,
That heaven's gate will open wide,
And unlikelier still,
That poverty will be swept aside.

But if we can just contain,
Our pride and our greed.
We just might do it,
We just might succeed.

Until the greatest problem of all,
Catches us in time,
How will we fix the odometer,
In 9999?

RWH: 1/1/1900


Poem of the Week: 12/19/99

Solitary Confinement

Twelve thousand, sixty-four and counting,
But who's keeping score?
Eric Snider's got me tied up,
Addicted to the core.

I used to marvel at my Grandma,
'Cuz she knew so many solitaire games by heart.
She'd sit for hours and play them,
Wearing card decks out.

Without TV or radio, she'd play the day away,
Waiting for the bread to bake, or friends to come and play.
Cards, her other passion, with laughter all around,
And serious competition, the best hand to be found.

Forty Thieves is misnamed, though it steals my time.
Fifty-two cards are played, stacked in line.
In a way that sucks you in, searching for that one-in-twelve time,
When they all fall in place, and you win the race.

To get them in place.
Before your brilliant strategy is blocked,
And you are rocked, but not defeated.
"One more time."

When I think of the time I waste,
Playing Eric's game.
I could be using it for good,
Or fortune and fame.

Instead I sit, without wit,
And while away the hours.
Chasing the elusive Grail,
Of solitary powers.

None the wiser.

RWH: 12/19/99


Poem of the Week: 12/12/99

Road Stupid and Hung Out to Dry

The other day, just after I'd entered the freeway,
As usual, giving the other guys lots of leeway.
When what did I see in my rear view mirror,
But a little white car, spinning like a gear.

I thought to myself how stupid he'd been,
For what he was going through, I hadn't a yen.
Tying up a freeway like that, but then,
What did I know?

Up ahead it was fast turning to slow.
Soon to becoming stop and go.
I was doing fine 'til the Westpark curve,
Then my van had the stupid nerve.

To stop without warning.
Right in the middle of a beautiful morning.
As the traffic backed up, all around,
I struggled and struggled to hear the sound.

Of the starter turning over,
And my engine cranking up.
But even the backup battery produced not a peep.
I was dead in the water, my van was asleep.

A woman was at my window,
And a wrecker pulled up.
I told her, "Thanks, but no thanks."
And the wrecker driver, Greg, said, "What's up?"

Man that he was, Greg took control,
"I'm going to have to tow you off, Sir,
I'm not being cruel,
It's a rush hour rule."

With his help, I got it in Neutral,
And Greg hooked me up all around.
Then, with skill and bravado,
He shut the freeway down.

It was inspiring and awesome to behold,
I was diagonaled off the freeway and being towed.
Wheelchair and all, high in my seat,
To gas station where help I'd meet.

After Greg parked me, he came to help me out,
And the damn ramp wouldn't operate, wouldn't flip out.
Greg, in emergency mode, called MetroLift and Triple A.
He told me with much certainty that he'd stay.

He got around to calling Cliff at Mobility Plus.
I overheard Cliff ask without much fuss,
"Is the van in Park?"
Am I an Aardvark?

It hit me like a bolt from above,
Without Park, that ramp won't move.
And it won't start in Drive, as a matter of fact.
Down the road to Stupid, there's no turning back.

I said my apologies, all around.
Cranked her up, and slinked out of town.

RWH: 12/11/99


Poem of the Week: 12/4/99

Preparing for the End

If the End is coming,
How will you prepare?
Will two weeks of can goods and water
Keep the wolf from the door?

Will you be Y2K compliant,
And trust in reprogramming more?
Or will you wait until 12:01,
To check the score?

Will you fall down, praying,
Your hands covering your head?
Or will you go out laughing,
Champagne hand raised instead?

Will there be fire and brimstone,
Disaster all around?
Earthquakes and tornadoes,
No safe place to be found?

Will you cower in your basement,
When the sky falls in.
Will you feel the hot wrath of God,
Burn through your skin.

Will you say your incantations,
And renounce your sin?
Will you go out shooting,
When you cash your cards in?

I plan to sit back,
Put my feet up, and relax.
The only thing I fear is,
Another new tax.

So go on and doomsday,
With fervor and heat.
While I cruise into the new year,
Without skipping a beat.

RWH: 12/3/99


Poem of the Week: 11/28/99

Getting It Right

Stayed up all night,
Just to get it right.
All night long,
And it turned out all wrong.

The computer is one,
Bad task master.
One error, no quarter,
You can't out last her.

She's so sleek, sophisticated, and refined,
You can't get her out of your mind.
So you work and struggle to get it right,
Mind over matter wins the fight.

Or so you thought in this dream,
This little scheme.
That would put you on the road,
To peaches and cream.

Or was it just a dream?
A worthless scheme.
So, try to get it right,
With all your might.

You can place symbols in a row,
With mindless precision.
But you'll never get it right,
In your human prison.

Until you bow down,
To the almighty machine.
And use her damn Wizard,
Slithering like a lizard.

At her syntaxical feet,
Will you be complete,
And, finally, get it right.
Good, ... night!

RWH: 11/27/99


Poem of the Week: 12/4/99

Preparing for the End

If the End is coming,
How will you prepare?
Will two weeks of can goods and water
Keep the wolf from the door?

Will you be Y2K compliant,
And trust in reprogramming more?
Or will you wait until 12:01,
To check the score?

Will you fall down, praying,
Your hands covering your head?
Or will you go out laughing,
Champagne hand raised instead?

Will there be fire and brimstone,
Disaster all around?
Earthquakes and tornadoes,
No safe place to be found?

Will you cower in your basement,
When the sky falls in.
Will you feel the hot wrath of God,
Burn through your skin.

Will you say your incantations,
And renounce your sin?
Will you go out shooting,
When you cash your cards in?

I plan to sit back,
Put my feet up, and relax.
The only thing I fear is,
Another new tax.

So go on and doom say,
With fervor and heat.
While I cruise into the new year,
Without skipping a beat.

RWH: 12/3/99


Poem of the Week: 11/21/99

The Chill

I feel a chill come cross the land.
Summer's long gone.
Winter's at hand.

It seeps in from the North,
Like water through a crack,
And kills the plants while they sleep,
'Til there's no coming back.

It gets down deep in my bones,
And chills me to the core.
No matter how I cover up,
The chill claims more and more.

It slowly saps my lifeblood,
And takes me to my knees.
Until I long for a tropical night,
With a warm onshore breeze.

But then I wake up,
From that warm dream.
And feel the cold knife down my back,
With fingers so sharp and mean.

That I wish I were in a tropical clime.
Spending my days so sublime,
Living life filled with thrill,
And never again, feel the chill.

RWH: 11/21/99


Poem of the Week: 11/14/99

Lucky

Aren't you the lucky one?
Hit the jackpot on the run.
Good fortune follows you,
Bright sunlight shining through.

Born with a silver spoon in your mouth,
Right in the middle between north and south.
It doesn't matter what state you're in,
Your state of mind is free from sin.

And if you should fall from your high estate,
You will be saved before it's too late.
Angels will swoop down,
And keep you from the soiled ground.

Everything you touch turns to gold.
You grow better with years, but never old.
And you can thank your lucky stars,
You're a Venus, instead of Mars

If you should die,
Before I wake.
I pray your soul,
My soul to take.

RWH: 11/13/99


Poem of the Week: 11/7/99

No Poem This Week

There is no poem this week.
My creativity has sprung a leak.
Can't relate and can't rhyme,
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Or a penny for your thoughts.
So I can do what I ought.
Like write a poem instead of this awful excuse.
You know I've tried, but what's the use?

I could blame it on lack of time.
But that would be too sublime.
Let's just say a lack of rigor,
Got me in this cocktail jigger.

So, down the hatch and into the breach!
For this tome I had to reach,
Deep down into my inner sanctum
No poem and then some.

RWH: 11/7/99


Poem of the Week: 10/31/99

What You are to Me

You are my everything,
As far as I can see.
You are my bright sun in the morning,
That's what you are to me.

You are my bright star shining,
As deep as the deep blue sea.
You keep my hearth fires warming,
That's what you mean to me.

I cannot count the times,
You have come to my side.
I cannot put in rhymes,
How you fill me with pride.

You are my now and forever,
As perennial as a tree.
My own Rock of Gibraltar,
You stand behind me.

You brighten up my world,
And fill my days with glee.
Each night I thank the Lucky Star,
That brought you to me.

If I could write a thousand rhymes,
Of how I feel for thee.
They would but be a drop in the ocean,
Of what you are to me.

RWH: 10/31/99


Poem of the Week: 10/24/99

The Test of Life

Life is a test,
And it's 'pass' or 'fail'
If you can't see the signs
You must read Braille.

Life has its cycles,
Every which way it turns.
Sometimes it gets too close to the fire,
And something burns.

If you do everything right,
And try your best.
There's no guarantee,
You'll pass the next test.

Some seem destined,
To learn the hard way.
Others seem lucky,
To slip the by way.

Just when you think,
You've passed the last test.
A big bird flies over,
And sullies your nest.

Just when you've finally,
Dug yourself out of the poop.
The bird gets you,
With one fell swoop.

Let's face it,
Life's a bitch.
So pass all the tests,
And scratch when you itch.

RWH: 10/16/99


Poem of the Week: 10/17/99

Little Things

It's the little things,
You say and do.
Little things every day,
That endears me to you.

The way you wake me,
With a smile, and fill my coffee cup,
So I can go the extra mile,
You keep my spirits up.

The way you make my lunch,
So I'll never get hungry, all day.
Sweet fruits and vegetables to remind me,
Of how you care in every way.

When we're apart,
You walk a lonely mile.
I'm heavy in your heart,
And you worry all the while.

It's such a joy,
When you get back,
Just to see your smile.

When we're together,
We laugh and sing.
You cater to my every whim,
As though I were a king.

And, when the night comes,
Cold and dark, you shelter me from harm.
It's the little things you do,
'Til morning comes around.

RWH: 10/16/99


Poem of the Week: 10/10/99

Retired?

I met a gray haired lady on the walk at work the other day.
She said, "Oh, I thought you'd retired?"
At that, I got quite contrite, pointed to my hair, and said,
"Do I look that gray?"

From her look, I'd say she was about 69.
As a faculty member, it was fine,
For her to stay and stay.
I never questioned if she was retiring from teaching,
Every year, in that same old, hackneyed way.

I get that a lot these days,
Sometimes in subtle ways,
But mostly in blunt pronouncements of what I ought,
From people without an ounce of thought.

Who think that my brain no longer works,
Because, from where they sit, I no longer fit,
As a productive member of the organization,
And, worst of all, they expect me to accept it.

It is as if knowledge, skill, and experience,
No longer fit. So they hire a bunch of new kids,
And watch them fail, because they have no mentors,
No continuity at all.

The quality of their work,
Leaves much to be desired,
Makes me wonder why,
They ever were hired.

I can still do better work than them,
With my little finger,
But youth and beauty, and perceived vigor.
Win out, in the end, over hard won rigor.

So, I'll just bide my time,
And outlast those with envy.
Then when they call up from their forced retirement,
And ask me that eternal question.

I'll say, "When I'm damn good and ready."

RWH: 10/9/99


Poem of the Week: 10/3/99

My Way or the Highway

My way is to fly free,
Floating in space.
The highway goes only to and fro,
Keeping everyone in place.

My way is fresh flowers in the morning,
Full of color and grace.
The highway is hot concrete, tar and gravel
A most inhospitable place.

My way is lunch by the water,
Held at a languid, leisurely pace.
The highway is at traffic jam,
And a line at the fast food place.

My way is to follow the flow of knowledge,
Racing down every trace.
The highway is full of speed limits,
The State Patrol of pace.

There is a choice, you see,
And you, too, can find your place.
So, what will it be for thee?
My way or the highway?

RWH: 10/2/99


Poem of the Week: 9/26/99

A Novel Idea

Ah, for a novel idea!
I could write a book,
Get it copyrighted, patented,
Or even trademarked with the right look.

I could nurture and coddle,
Even develop it a bit with lies.
Protect it from infringement,
And prying, meddling eyes.

Start a company on my own,
With help from venture capitalists.
To my initial public offering,
Make it the darling of stock analysts.

I'd make millions on paper,
And notoriety to boot.
Giving millions to charitable causes,
That I don't give a hoot.

But, alas, my ideas are all reruns,
Rehashed, timeworn chestnut drivel.
Guess I'll to go to work,
Or write a novel.

RWH: 9/26/99


Poem of the Week: 9/19/99

Roses

"Why did you get flowers today?"
She questioned, a suspicious look on her face.
"Because it's Friday,"
I replied, gazing off into space.

The chrysanthemums were beautiful,
Full, rich and sweet.
I picked a maroon so intense,
It took twice as much snow white,
To offset their heat.

A perfect blend of color to liven our drab Fall,
No other reason to buy flowers,
Except to enjoy them, that's all.

For my love, a dozen red roses,
Her usual treat.
She kept the dead ones round about,
To remind her of the beat.

Her heart skipped when she saw,
Me carrying that first bouquet, that day.
Asking, "Who bought them for you?"
Not thinking they were coming her way.

She prepared vases and arrangements,
For the mums and roses too.
Placed the roses center table,
And the mums for my view.

I asked if she liked her flowers,
And she replied that she did
She started to climb the stairs to her room,
And softly said, "I'd rather have roses, instead."

The lesson learned is that there is no flower so sweet,
No color so intense or petal so neat,
Than the rose, and so it goes,
Next time, I'll buy her roses.

And have a reason ,
No matter the day or season.

RWH: 9/18/99


Poem of the Week: 9/12/99

The Hunter

When I was young, I gathered berries with the women,
And hugged the campfire at night.
But the hunter in me grew, unabated,
And I left for the hunt with the men,
While the women and children waited.

This time of year,
The days grow shorter,
And a chill pervades the air.
A primal urge rises in me,
And I feel I must be there.

In the forest, so deep and dark,
With sunlight filtering through.
To take my place on the stand,
It's time to do my due.

In the silence, senses heightened,
For the slightest cue,
That an animal or bird,
Will come, unknowingly, into view.

In the autumn, bird and beast,
Are on the move, savoring nature's feast.
For, instinctively, they know,
Soon, will come the cold and snow.

They hunt in earnest, and range far,
For they know that they are,
The ones to carry the seed,
Come the Springtime, to renew the breed.

To the greatest hunter of them all,
A mighty burden does befall.
Am I to wipe out the breed?
For my family, one year to feed?

After all, the thrill is in the hunt, not the kill.
Feed your family, not your fill.
And there will come another Autumn day,
When my ancestors can hunt the day away.

RWH: 9/11/99


Poem of the Week: 9/5/99

Labor Day

Oh, how I long for a labor day now,
Shoveling snow or pushing a plow.
Sweat on my brow.
Never wondering why, just how.

All my muscles in rhythmic motion,
The summer sun heat rising from the fields like an ocean.
Cold well water never tasted so sweet,
Or my sun warmed bread and meat.

Subtly, as the day wore on,
Sensing the changes from dusk till dawn.
Aching muscles succumb to sweet sleep,
And rise refreshed, the day to repeat.

Isolated in conditioned cocoons,
I wander in cyberspace rooms.
Exercising only my eyes, wrist and fingers,
Viewing narrow vistas, my mind lingers.

To those carefree days of youth,
Where hard work lent a sense of truth.
And, no matter the weather, my mind was free,
Hard work bred honesty and strength in me.

And labor, the curse of the masses,
Becomes more appealing, as time passes.
I'm free from labor, in my own way,
But I still long for a labor day.

RWH: 9/5/99

Poem of the Week: 8/29/99

Car Wars

Once, in a Galaxy,
Far, far away.
Long ago,
And in another day.

The '99s were on their way out.
And the '00s held sway.
Whether to buy new or not,
Cash, credit, or lease today.

All steel and glass and rubber,
They multiplied before our eyes.
Fanned out over highway and byway,
And poisoned the skies.

On a diet, they grew smaller,
And more plastic too.
Econoboxes in a row,
What were we to do?

Why buy a sport utility,
And rise above the crowd.
Pay the price of vanity,
For crying out loud.

The buggy ruled the Nineteenth,
Only to be denied.
By the end of the Twentieth,
Everyone had a ride.

There wasn't another spot,
To put up a parking lot.
Two-dimensional physics was verified,
Every time cars collide.

In the Twenty-first a whirly gig came to play--
Three dimensional in its way.
And the genus, car, died.
Progress is never denied.

RWH: 8/28/99


Poem of the Week: 8/22/99

Coming Down with a Weekend

Woke up this morning,
And didn't feel so hot.
It felt like fever,
And my nerve ends were shot.

Felt that tingling.
Way down in my feet.
Rose on rubbery legs,
And found my seat.

Hot coffee by the cup,
And a fried egg to eat.
Couldn't stave it off,
Keep me from the heat.

All around, like the morning dew.
A blanket of doubt,
Like a hurricane, biding its time,
Milling in the Gulf, still far out

Sunlight in my eyes going in,
Couldn't erase,
The feeling within,
Read on my face.

Time in slow motion,
The clock wore down.
When I woke up at 5:05
No one was around.

Except on the Friday freeway,
Where they were running round.
Hurrying to their destinations,
With a weekend coming down.

RWH: 8/21/99


Poem of the Week: 8/15/99

Rocky Mountain High
(With Apologies to the Memory of John Denver)

Oh, how I long to be,
Up, where everything's clearer.
Where life is dearer,
And I am free.

Beside a mountain stream,
To linger and dream.
Fry fresh caught fish,
And ponder the scheme.

That growth is progress,
And the wild must be tamed.
That blue skies and deep forests,
Can be blamed.

For our monotonous,
Civilized life.
So quiet and predictable,
Carved with idea's knife.

Progress is slower,
To reach the high places.
You can still discover,
A world without traces.

Of Man's powerful hand,
Reshaping the land.
Somehow, nearly two miles high,
The land is still free to touch the sky.
And, ancient as its geology,
In beauty that makes no apology,
I'm gifted with a vision,
No opiate has ever given.
So, if you're looking to get free,
Two miles high's the place to be.
Leave your troubles far below,
And free your soul with me.
RWH: 8/15/99


Poem of the Week: 7/25/99

Cleaning House

It isn't Spring or Fall
But, there comes a time,
To clean it all.

Old cobwebs and dead roaches,
Dust and dirt .
Could be left a little longer,
What's the hurt?

The crud builds up,
Over time.
Clogging the synapses,
Down the line.

And so she appears,
With broom in hand.
Sweeps out the cobwebs,
And makes a stand.

Clean as a whistle,
And sparkling, like new.
My vision has cleared,
Can see clear through.

You can go ahead dirty,
You can go ahead, dirty do.
You go on ahead,
I'm brand new.

RWH: 7/24/99


Poem of the Week: 7/18/99

A Royal Death

Long live the King!
The King is dead!
Why they say that,
Runs through my head.

Blue blood does not,
Run through their veins.
But the worship of royalty,
Still remains.

We all want something,
Larger than life.
To guide us through,
Our trouble and strife.

A royal dynasty
Has much appeal.
Create a legend,
From something real.

But people die
And life goes on.
Feeding the legend,
That goes beyond.

RWH: 7/17/99


Poem of the Week: 7/11/99

Road Warrior

I strapped myself in,
Oh, so tight.
So my body wouldn't shift,
Left or right.

Anticipation filled me,
As I rolled up the ramp to brake.
My high tech steed,
Would soon come awake.

With alarms sounding,
And buttons galore.
I followed the sequence,
And she started with a roar.

When everything was set just right,
I eased into gear.
It was just before five,
And I was, "outta here."

The road home,
A twenty-mile commute.
Is mostly freeway,
With heavy traffic to boot.

As I turned the high ramp,
Into the late afternoon sun.
The freeway was flowing freely;
It looked like a good run.

Passing the constriction,
Of the Downtown Split.
I settled for the middle,
Instead of my usual bit.

Second from the right:
Safer and faster.
When traffic was heavy,
And slower was better.

I was riding the middle,
Of five lanes wide.
Picking up speed,
A Corvette on my right side.

I reached about sixty,
And then eased off.
Admiring a 3000GT in my mirror,
Creamy, smooth and soft.

It came from the right,
Piercing my view.
Around the Corvette,
Like eighty, it flew.

Crossing my track,
Like a wild animal in flight.
A skidding old brown Civic,
To turn day into night.

Locked in slow motion,
I hauled her down.
As the Civic careening,
Crashed with a thunderous sound.

Into an unsuspecting Suburban,
Directly ahead.
And spun it around.
I thought I was dead.

Both cars went into,
A dizzying spin.
Tires screaming, careening,
As I closed in.

The stench of burned rubber,
And black smoke filled the air.
No virtual reality,
I was there.

The Civic flew to the left,
Out of sight
The Suburban, backward,
Slammed into the wall on the right.

The smoke cleared as I crossed
A patchwork of black rubber.
At five miles per hour,
My body reduced to shaking blubber.

Should I stop,
And render aid?
A glance in the mirror,
And my mind up was made.

What help would I,
In a wheel chair be?
The Mitsubishi lay behind,
And the 'Vette, still beside me.

I summoned the courage,
To go on.
Pushed the throttle ahead,
Into the empty beyond.

As I headed home,
Over and over again,
My mind replayed,
Where I'd been.

One second later,
And I'd have been the one.
No longer driving home,
In the afternoon sun.

Would my fragile spine survive,
Such horrendous abuse?
I'm not going to worry,
It's of no use.

RWH: 7/11/99


Story of the Week: 7/4/99

Wisconsin Honesty

When I first came to West Virginia in 1971, I met a local man who, upon learning that I'd come from Wisconsin, lit up with interest. He explained that Wisconsin people had a good reputation with West Virginians. It seems West Virginia coal miner lost his wallet during the Great Depression. It was a big loss in those days. He never found it. Three years later, just before Christmas, he received a neatly wrapped package from Wisconsin. When he opened it, he found his wallet with all its contents and a note. The man wrote that he'd been shoveling coal into his furnace and found the wallet.

Two weeks ago, my brother was in route to meet his kids in Wisconsin for a weeklong canoe trip in Canada. Weather prevented him from flying into Central Wisconsin Airport, so he took a bus to Madison to link up with his twin brother. When he called for his brother to pick him up at the bus station, he inadvertently left his wallet by the phone. When he got to his twin's house, he discovered his wallet was missing, so they drove right back. The wallet was gone.

Trying to think of what to do, they thought of calling his phones in Phoenix. When he called, there was a message from a woman from rural Waunakee, saying that she'd found his wallet. Waunakee was only about ten miles away. She gave them directions to her farmhouse and they drove over. Thanks to Wisconsin honesty, my brother got his wallet back the same day he lost it, and the legend grows.

RWH: 7/3/99


Poem of the Week: 6/27/99

Why?

Why is this happening to me?
Is it fate?
Or, was I too early?
Too late?

Was it the mistakes I made?
The plans I laid?
Or just fate?
Am I too staid?

Can I still catch,
A falling star?
Or is it just a meteor,
Viewed from afar?

Is love real,
Or just a sham?
Will I be loved,
For what I am?

Will the World end,
Some day soon?
Will I live long enough,
To walk on the Moon?

Why do I have to ask why?
It's only,
Pie in the sky.
That's why.

RWH: 6/27/99


Poem of the Week: 6/20/99

Roll Over, Edison

Roll over, Edison,
Look what you've wrought;
An electronic world,
That's what we've got.

AC or DC,
Makes no difference,
Just plug it in,
And make the inference.

To a virtual reality,
Of infinite proportion,
Where words and images,
Are stored in formation.

Duplicated and transformed,
Like imagination.
Dividing and unifying,
Into a cyberworld nation.

Like the pyramids,
Thousands of nameless hacks.
Have built this edifice,
On the backs.

Of brethren like you.
Who had the foresight,
To see it through,
To plug us in, in the night.

And help us, see the light.

RWH: 6/19/99


Poem of the Week: 6/13/99

Killer on the Loose

There is a killer on the loose.
Just down the track.
From the caboose.
So, don't look back.

He rides the rails with ease.
Goes wherever he please.
Sneaks up on you while you snooze.
Caught unaware, you lose.

Any weapon will do,
When you are down, he'll use his shoe.
He'll kick and stomp you in the head,
Until your skull caves in and you are dead.

The search is on,
Far, and wide.
Boxcar by boxcar,
To find his hide.

And if you live,
Along the tracks.
You'll want someone,
To watch your backs.

You don't sleep much at night.
Restless, you toss in your bed.
Dreams of a killer fill your mind,
You can't escape the dread.

Chances are, that by next season.
You can rest your weary head.
The killer, disappeared without reason,
Will turn up, dead.

RWH: 6/13/99


Poem of the Week: 6/6/99

Point of View

Is it me or is it you?
Or just a different,
Point of view?

Ideas keep spinning round,
In my head.
So hard to focus,
And face the dread.

That you and I,
Are not the same.
By different rules,
We play the game.

We struggle and strive,
To think together.
But our fickle views,
Are like the weather.

And when we see,
Eye to eye.
It's as if an angel,
Dropped from the sky.

And blessed us with,
Something truly new.
A unified, point of view.

RWH: 6/6/99


Poem of the Week: 5/30/99

America's Race

They come the World over,
This time of year.
To breathe the nostalgia,
With high tech gear.

To savor burnt rubber and raw alcohol,
The whine of hot engines,
With the sharp edge of danger,
Deep in their intestines.

To fine tune and tinker,
Analyze and more.
Going by the numbers,
And keeping score.

They gather in the infield
Like a family tradition
For beer and barbecue
To greet a Mars mission.

For the bricks of the old oval,
Have not seen the likes of this,
Speeds beyond reason,
Pushing the envelope into bliss.

Not down home again,
Without a care,
Pedal to the metal,
To meet the dare.

Of the wall approaching,
At two hundred and ten.
No time to worry,
Just downshift again.

And defy the wall,
One more time,
Hold it together,
And keep the pace.
Too fast you lose.
Smooth and steady,
Wins the race.

And when it's all over,
And the stands are bare.
With a thunderstorm pending,
In the warm summer air.

You can still hear,
That immortal refrain:
"Gentlemen, start your engines."
Just before the rain.

As the rising wind,
Blows paper across the track.
You soak up history for a moment,
Then don't look back.

RWH: 5/29/99


Poem of the Week: 5/23/99

No Laughing Matter

Isn't it funny,
How it seems,
We never quite get,
What's in our dreams.

Like riding rainbows,
And other schemes,
Lone wolves and mavericks,
Don't make good teams.

We get, more or less,
What we want.
But life's paths are devious,
And easily daunt.

The brave and the foolish,
All get their day.
To stand at the podium,
And speak their say.

Thinking back,
I can honestly say:
Isn't it funny,
It went that way?

RWH: 5/22/99


Poem of the Week: 5/16/99

New Order

Today, Old Jeff Davis came down.
With Hitler on the rise,
The Confederacy's on the ground.

It had been a haven for gangs.
To be replaced by a furniture store's idea,
Of apartment luxury living.
An entrepreneur's idea of profit.
From a hospital for giving.

For it was a haven for the poor,
The downtrodden, and more.
A hospital for the masses.
And now it is no more.

But all that passes. The medical center moved south,
Wrenched the Shamrock from the mouth,
That fed it, and
Replaced it by a fountain.

Not a Stone Mountain.
And so yet another tribute to the man,
Who symbolized man enslaving man.
Is lost.

People cried when Old Jeff came down.
But is it right in a multicultural world to keep around,
A symbol of our shame?

Don't weep, don't blame, just be glad to erase the name.

RWH: 5/15/99


Poem of the Week: 5/9/99

Hummer

I'm not talking about that huge truck,
They call the Hum V.
I'm talking about that diminutive bird,
That flies like a bee.

He happened upon my backyard,
One evening last week.
And feasted on his find,
His hunger was not meek.

My Rose of Sharon is afraid of dying,
It's being crowded out.
Like the old peach tree before it,
That lost its last bout.

And so it's blooming like crazy,
Heading off the end.
Procreate before you die,
A lifeline not broken, it'll just bend.

Beneath it two Lucky Plants:
One dormant. One in full bloom.
It may be jealousy for one,
The other may siestaing at noon.

The purple perennial with forgotten name,
Has always been a magnet.
It's sweet nectar available,
For whatever comes and gets it.

The young peach is struggling too,
To show its blossoms proud.
Before new leaves overtake them,
And the summer bakes the ground.

With this Horn O' Plenty,
The hummer drank his fill.
Resting occasionally on a dead branch,
Reinforcing his will.

To head once again north,
To that distant place.
Where he will catch his mate,
Nest, and perpetuate his race.

Late at night, we heard the sound,
Of another hummer, coming round.
Light flowing in our windowpanes.
And we afraid, no sleep, nor peace was found.

Until, in light of day
It went away, and we went back to work
Longing for that little hummer,
That flew without a sound.

RWH: 5/9/99


Poem of the Week: 5/2/99

A Matter of Trust

My money's all been moved online,
I don't have the inclination, or the time.
To stuff cash into my bed,
Or bury gold, like the dead.

Cash and check free is where I want to be,
No worry hanging over my head.
But in my deepest thoughts,
There is a bit of dread.

That one hundred thousand years of accumulation,
So often taken away.
Through hard work and barter,
To this very day.

"You can't take it with you."
They jokingly say.
But most wealth is inherited
So that's the way

To do what you never could have done.
To be the one who gave his soul,
Through self control,
And funded the saving of the Universe.

But, that's perverse.
Like the thought that all that money,
Floating on its electronic decimal,
Isn't real; it's just funny.

Funny money.
And the joke's on you.

RWH: 5/2/99


Poem of the Week: 4/25/99

Virtual Life

So you think you want to live,
The surreal, virtual life.
You've seen it on TV, videos, and the Net;
Wild, on the edge of a knife.

A world where you can do,
Anything you want.
And if it goes all wrong,
Just press, "Restart."

A world without consequences,
For what you say or do.
Where you can mess up all you want,
Then, just press, "Undo."

For those who live their lives in virtual worlds,
The danger is quite clear.
There is no turning back once you act,
And, eternity is near.

A bullet rips your flesh,
And causes you to bleed.
Base-jumping to your death,
Is not what you need.

The freeway isn't a video game.
Computer enhancements can't hide the shame,
Of bad ideas, morphed to worse,
And, heroes in a hearse.

RWH: 4/24/99


Poem of the Week: 4/18/99

NuCur Blues

I've got the NuCur Blues.
My money's all been spent.
My APR's way up,
And I don't know where it's went

Was promised a shiny new life,
Rolling smooth and so carefree.
But this dog's got me down.
To a place I don't wanna be.

They promised me a low cost life,
With pleasure like in my dreams.
Now I must pay the bills,
And my credit card's bursting at its seams.

How can I break free from this Cur,
This flea-bitten old hound?
Why, buy another new dog my dear,
And get ready for another round,

Of the NuCur Blues.
RWH: 4/17/99


Poem of the Week: 4/11/99

Kosovo

Kosovo, oh Kosovo
All my sorrow's weep.
You took my land, you took my life,
From farm to castle keep.

On a road to nowhere,
Fearing for my life.
Cold, wet and homeless,
I've lost my child and wife.

My son ran afoul of,
A soldier's rifle butt.
They raped my wife and killed her,
But I did not give up.

And so I've come to this place,
Between heaven and earth.
To live or die as is my station,
The sky my roof and the ground my berth.

And someday, oh someday,
To return and reclaim the scorched earth.
Of Kosovo, oh Kosovo.
The motherland of my birth.

RWH: 4/11/99


Poem of the Week: 4/4/99

All Bottled Up

I'm all bottled up,
It's no place to be.
I'd rather be flowing,
Wild and free.

They can label me,
"Sparkling", "Fresh", and "Pure".
But, trapped in this bottle,
I feel stagnant, not "Crystal Clear".

It's amazing how I'd fallen,
In a forest, dark and dank.
And run through mud and rotting debris,
Dead animals that stank.

A haven for bacteria,
And other lowly life,
Leeching all sorts of chemicals,
On my way to the womb of my Earthly midwife..

Through tons of rocky passages,
I've wend my way.
Purified by time,
My aquifer to stay.

Until I burst to the surface
Flowing wild and free.
May I quench your thirst?
May I wash you free?

Instead, I got pumped,
Down a nasty pipe.
Forced into this bottle,
And sealed so tight.

That I've lost all my oxygen,
And smell of formaldehyde.
Shaken, not stirred,
On a bumpy truck ride.

To the heat of this,
God forsaken place.
On a dusty shelf,
Just going to waste.

Oh, buy me, please buy me,
And let me out.
Drink me, oh drink me,
Or pour me out.

Let me evaporate or run free;
Let me be what I am supposed to be.
Don't keep me all bottled up,
Come here, and let me fill your cup.

RWH: 4/3/99


Poem of the Week: 3/28/99

Overgrown

I'm pleased as punch,
As happy as can be.
My backyard's overgrown,
And such a sight to see.

Last Summer it was St. Augustine,
A grass so thick and green.
Walking on it's like a thick carpet
No competitor to be seen.

The August Saint ruled the roost,
Choking all others out.
The heat and humidity its allies,
It rules without any clout.

But that was months ago,
And the Saint now lies dormant.
Time for the thieves to come out and play,
Claim my back yard and transform it.

Brought here on the wind,
Or in the bellies of the birds.
They were planted without instructions,
In Mother Nature's words.

When the harsh wind lapses,
And the warm sun shines through.
A drop of Spring rain germinates,
And they break into view.

And grow with wild abandon,
For all of their short lives' worth.
To bloom before my lawn man,
Discovers them in their berth.

And cuts them to the quick
Saved now by the nick,
Of neglect and my largess,
As I gaze upon the wonder of their mess.

Of varied greens and yellows,
Some thin and wispy, some thick and stout.
Growing too fast to be found out,
And blooming hither and about.

Oh, if I were three inches tall,
And would dare venture out.
Into that jungle so wild and dense;
And would not be found out.
By the errant cat,
On his daily round.
I'd view your wonders close up,
So fine as to astound.

And wile away the sunlit day.
Small wonders that I've found.
In the brief fragrance of your glory,
Before Summer, once again, comes 'round.

RWH: 3/27/99


Poem of the Week: 3/21/99

Anticipation

As I sit here,
Waiting for the Spring.
To see the flowers' bloom,
And hear the birds sing.

My thoughts turn to you,
And what you mean to me.
Filling all my days and nights,
And all my wrongs and rights.

Anticipation is the game.
Like reoccurring pain.
Can't wait for you to leave.
Then, can't wait for you to return again.

The mind is a funny thing.
Creating what we foresee.
Reality is never the same,
It's just what will be.

Still, I can't escape,
The Temptress of my thought.
And hope that I'm not too disappointed,
When it comes to naught.

RWH: 3/20/99


Poem of the Week: 3/14/99

So Bad

Why do I feel so bad?
It is the best life,
I've ever had.

Oh, I've had my ups and downs.
But, all in all,
I've staved off the hounds.

Of war, disaster, and death.
And lived and loved free,
With every breath.

Maybe it's just a chemical,
In my brain,
On the wax and wane.

That makes me feel bad
When I am good.
Or, at least I should.

Just stop worrying about it.

RWH: 3/13/99


Poem of the Week: 3/8/99

Urban Jungle

All day I drive the urban waste,
The sun beats down upon my face.
Its heat and the contaminated air,
Dry me out and mat my hair.

Driving to the pounding beat,
Of tires on imperfections in the street,
I try to keep my attention,
As I traverse the urban nation.

Where fast stops grace every corner,
And convenience abounds.
And brand name makes no difference.
To the corporate hounds.

Who develop to the bottom line.
Regardless of the cost.
And turn every corner into an oasis,
Where no sale is lost.

But oh the cost of conformity,
To the bottom line.
The urban landscape is transformed,
Into techno time.

After days of driving,
These hot, mean, ugly streets.
I yearn for a mountain canyon stream,
And air of fragrant sweets.

Yellow, red, green, go,
Why are they going so slow?
Hurry up, only to wait,
Will I be early; will I be late?

To some the city is exciting,
Filled with things to do.
I'd shuck it all in a minute,
For a country road and you.

RWH: 3/7/99


Poem of the Week: 2/28/99

The Robin is Dead

Long live the Robin,
The Robin is dead.
He was hunting a worm,
And got hit in the head.

Now why did he come,
To this untimely demise?
It wasn't smart,
And wasn't wise.

It's just that he hunted,
In a cat's domain.
Like the worm he hunted with zest,
He's gone to his worldly rest.

Dirt to worm,
Worm to Robin.
Robin to cat,
In endless succession.

So the next time you eat,
That wonderful Chinese carryout.
Let me give fair warning,
The chicken you are eating,
May have been a worm in the morning.

Long live the Red Robin!

RWH: 2/27/99


Poem of the Week: 2/21/99

Influenza

Flea, fly, flu, phlegm,
Got this bug on the run.
If I could only clear my head,
My sinuses are draining bad.

Just when the Winter doldrums,
Have got me down.
The damn influenza,
Comes around.

Everyone around me is coughing and sneezing.
Running to the bathroom, wheezing.
I try to avoid all this awful contagion,
Like some kind of alien invasion.

Inhabiting my little planet,
And all the creatures on it.
Try as I might, there's no escaping;
I'm gonna get it, no mistaking.

Armed with a flu shot, vitamins and plenty fluids,
I choose to fight head on.
Bravely, I face each day,
Feed my fever,
And carry on.

The aches and pains,
Got a hold on me.
But I bravely rise,
And go my way.

No walking pneumonia's,
Gonna get me down.
As long as I'm up and around.

Spreading my flu to you.

RWH: 2/20/99


Poem of the Week: 2/14/99

Spring Valentine

Saw a robin sunning on my fence,
A sure sign of Spring.
I hadn't seen one in a coon's age,
And enjoyed hearing him sing.

He sang his joy of living,
And his long journey soon to end.
Where he'd again meet his mate,
And they would nest again.

He swooped down,
On my newly mown grass,
Cocking his head, listening for some unsuspecting worm,
To end his morning fast.

I got no flowers or candy,
No notes in secret script.
Kisses from new admirers,
Or favors I had skipped.

This Valentine's Day is special,
'Though in no ordinary way.
My love is by my side,
And a robin brought an early Spring, yesterday.

RWH: 2/13/99


Poem of the Week: 2/7/99

Floating on Air

She's nowhere and everywhere,
Floating on air;
My Internet lover.

In little packets she comes and goes,
Like a ghost in the night,
On vaporous ethernet.
And no one knows.

She materializes on a screen,
Like a dream in only two dimensions.
But she is as real as she seems,
In all her incarnations.

Like a Genie in a bottle,
I summon her from her cyberspace.
And she appears in an instant,
And vanishes again without a trace.

She is always warm and friendly,
With witty things to say.
I respond in a gentlemanly manner.
Wouldn't have it any other way.

Then last night, to my great plight,
She announced that her ISP had made her pay,
Too much for her existence,
And she had to go away.

Sigh.

RWH: 2/6/99


Poem of the Week: 1/31/99

Money

It all boils down to this.
Whether you hit or miss.
If you haven't got any money,
You aren't worth anything, honey.

Easy come, easy go.
A lifetime's earnings, all in a row.
When it's all said and done.
What's left for number one?

You can buy a lot of stuff.
And, if that's not enough.
You can spend it on the one,
You want to be your Hon.

It seems like there is never enough,
No matter how much you earn.
Just when you've got it made,
Comes something new to yearn.

The rich and famous, they all know.
Happiness doesn't come with money,
The more you've got, the more you lose,
It's a fact, Jack, and not very funny.

A life well spent has nothing to do with the money you've got.
And everything to do with what you're not.
So spend your minutes and your days,
And you'll be rewarded in many ways.

RWH: 1/31/99


Poem of the Week: 1/24/99

Tax Crisis

The time of year,
Is at hand,
That sends a chill,
Across the land.

The taxman cometh,
This time of year,
That the educated and strong,
Have come to fear.

Ten forty,
And ten ninety-nine.
Forms by the score,
Must be in on time.

They simplified taxes,
And the Code,
By adding ten forms and two hundred pages.
To lighten the load.

They promised a kinder,
And gentler taxman.
Avoid paying taxes,
And see who they'll still put in the can.

Shall I file early?
Or shall I file late?
My preparer's advice,
Ain't all that great.

Did I withhold,
Enough this time?
Or will the vigorish of April 15,
Take my last dime?

Snail mail, email,
Or the teletax line.
So many ways,
To put off the time.
When sweating for hours into the night.
Searching for every last receipt.
Absolutely required,
To make your filing complete.
And if you should die,
Before your refund arrives.
Probate will insure,
That it enriches no one else's lives.

RWH: 1/24/99


Poem of the Week: 1/17/99

My Computer Broke

This morning when I awoke,
I went to check my email,
And my computer broke.
It was no joke.

"Cannot locate your modem."
The message said.
I could feel the blood pressure
Rise in my head.

We checked the connections,
As standard procedure.
When suddenly,
My monitor had a seizure.

The screen would come on in a flash,
Then fade to black,
My hopes to dash.

How could I work in that momentary vision?
Like a blind man's remembrance,
A flashback, brain given.

My computer still worked like a charm.
But not seeing what's in it,
Caused my alarm.

What about all the work,
I forgot to back up?
Or I hadn't put up?

To the Net, temporarily safe.
I was lost, like a homeless waif.
Unable to find icons in the dark.
A Noah without an ark.

How would I write this poem for you?
Do my taxes, and my banking too?
I called my repairman to find out.

"You're monitor's shot."
"But I've got, just the thing," he said.
"You've got a second monitor card,
With this old monitor, I thee wed."

Great relief rose up in my head.
I was not blind, I was not dead.
So I write this poem to be read.

Computers may come,
And computers may go.
But who knows the cost,
Of an idea lost?

I don't know.

RWH 1/17/99


Poem of the Week: 1/10/99

No Idea

"I have no idea," I said.
With no clue, whatsoever,
In my head.
Could just as well been dead.

Flatlined, white noise, erased.
Ideas gone without a trace.
Lost that common trait,
Of the human race--imagination.

No synapses firing,
In my brain.
No ideas falling out,
Like sweet rain.
No mammon from on high,
Falling gently from the sky.

The ideology of the idea is such,
That it must be truly unique.
Thoughts that address a problem,
Are no natural freak.

But the reordering of a disordered mind.
In double time,
In a dream.
Can make it all seem right.

But, then you wake up,
And the dream is lost.
Still, no idea,
But at what cost?

Start over.

RWH 1/9/99


Poem of the Week: 1/4/99

Back in '99

I remember when,
Back in '99.
When freeways weren't so free,
And we used gasoline, you see

It was fast and cheaper,
To use cash to buy.
We bought, with or without it,
And quickly turned treasure to trash.

We lived in fear of floods and tornadoes,
Global warming, and ozone holes.
Arthritis and arterial sclerosis,
AIDS, and lung cancer, took heavy tolls.

We talked a lot,
By cellular phone.
And emailed messages,
To nobody home.

Our heroes were arrogant physical freaks.
Leading us by expensive example
By wearing their stuff in public,
Their fame we could sample.

Wars were called, "police actions,"
Tidying up boundary lines.
Terrorism knew no rules,
Just like the ubiquitous land mines.

We worried about our weight.
Took pills by the score.
No plastic surgery yet invented,
Could close death's door.

Wild gorillas, tigers, and elephants,
Still roamed upon the land.
But more lived their lives,
By their captors' hand.

They lined up for a Shuttle flight,
Regardless of their fate.
As if a trip to outer space,
Would lead to Heaven's Gate.

Those were the times, those 99s,
When we were so young and innocent.
If we knew then what we know now,
We wouldn't have been so complacent.

But we were caught up,
Like chaff in the wind.
We couldn't see what was coming,
We just drifted to the end.

RWH 1/3/99



               

       The Kaleidoscope Effect    A Love Story

       Alone?    A Life Story

       Hanging by a Thread    A Love of Life Story

       War's End    A Love of Humanity Story

       American Mole:  The Vespers    A Love of Country Story

       American Mole:  The Cartel    A Lost Love Story

       It's in the Water and Other Stories    A Love of Short Stories

       Verge of Apocalypse Tales    End of Earth Stories?

Poems

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