Archive for the ‘poem’ Category



November 11, 2014
PFC George Daborn

PFC George Daborn, 1941

Picture a dimly lit cellar,

an ancient wooden work bench,

hammers, hand saws, planes, and nails,

sawdust-coated mysteries.


Enter now a young boy,

silent, curious, alone,

the basement world of his father

draws him slowly in.


See the rusty cookie tin

far back on the bottom shelf,

a hidden place the small boy

had never before ventured.


Open, find the bullets there,

long and strangely heavy,

the brassy cartridge ending

in dull gray pointed tip.


Reach back even farther still,

the dwelling place of spiders;

touch metal — cold, smooth, sharp,

the bayonet pulled from the darkness.


Sit now on the living room floor,

plastic soldier battlefield

spread about in ordered rows,

attack in silent glory.


Ask the quiet man who’s there,

the unseen scars within,

Daddy, did you kill someone

when you were in the war?


Remember still his answer

frozen in that moment,

solemn, sudden, startling,

from someplace deep inside.


Sing a song of sixpence,

A shot glass full of rye.

Daddy came back from the war,

but memories don’t die.


There’s a Mouse in this Poem

August 23, 2013

The mouse looked about, confused,

not knowing that he’d been dropped

into a poem.

He began sniffing, as was his wont,

at first for a means of escape,

but then, without warning,

oddly sensing familiar fragrances:

the tangy saltiness as one nears the ocean,

the sweet scent of lilacs in bloom,

the air just after rain.


The startled mouse scurried in circles

feeling almost weightless

as though he were on Mars,

the stars glittering madly

like diamonds in the velvet Martian sky,

its pale moons skittering along the horizon

like cue balls.


A gripping  anxiety overcame him

as when suddenly awakened from a dream,

the Nobel Prize denied just as you mount

the last step of the stage,

the air that sustains you

sucked from your lungs in a single gasp

at the sight of a long-forgotten childhood enemy

who is tugging at you, dragging you from

the safety of your sheets.


At last, the mouse probed his way out,

exhausted, spent,

like the school boy, lost,

trying to find out

what the poem really means.


Portal (for Ida)

May 12, 2013


“There is another world, But it is inside this one” –Eluard


There is another world

that’s inside of this one,

a world of my childhood,

the world of my mother.


The world inside this one,

has a portal so simple;

I just have to open

her old sewing box.


Sometimes when I enter

the world inside this one,

I reach out and touch her

and still feel her love.


Red House

April 28, 2013

Red House

He’s the old man

inside the red house,

ninety-four now

and alone.


He’s tucked away

within those red walls,

white beard flowing,

growing long.


Spends the time up

in his old bedroom,

all around him



One of Lisa

who had just left him,

echoes of her

laughter fresh.


One of Rita,

gone now for decades

though her spirit

lingers still.


And there’s one of

his sweet youngest son,

dead at fourteen;

broke his heart.


I go over,

bring him some brownies,

take the garbage

out at night,


Listen to him

tell all the stories

of his life in

days gone by.


And sometimes when

I’m leaving him, he

says good-bye my

Baby Boy.


He’s the old man

inside the red house,

ninety-four now,

and alone.


A Poem About The Poem

April 14, 2013

This is a poem about

the poem I could not write.


At first I asked my heart

what it wanted to say,

but I had reached a place

where there were no words

in a language other than blood.


I searched my brain

but only found there

ideas too small or words too big,

each trying way too hard

to sound like my poem.


I went downstairs to

the dusty cardboard boxes

where the past lurked silently,

the relics of my life

casting sixty year shadows.


I sensed my emotions

rise like the mist

of early autumn mornings,

memories appearing,

obscured images in the haze.


Oops. Brain again.

Well, if it’s any consolation,

I am shut inside, alone,

though it is much too light to be poetic

sitting at a small table scribbling lies.


Maybe I should call

Billy Collins.


A Villanelle for the Overindulgent Parent

April 7, 2013

We all have seen them. Blindly running wild

without a care they go their merry way.

You know. “I only did it for the child,”


is cooed, an answer that’s become reviled

by those who know the ills it can convey.

We all have seen them blindly running wild


through lives this new age freedom’s loosely styled

where no desire should suffer a delay,

you know? I only did it for the child


because in my own youth those “no’s” compiled

a guilty debt that I now must repay.

We all have seen them blindly running. Wild


abandon seems to have them all beguiled,

a price for which these words cannot defray.

“You know, I only did it for the child,


and really, all considered, it is mild

compared to the result of saying nay.”

We all have seen them blindly running wild.

You know I only did it for the child?


Other Poets (a Cento)

April 1, 2013

There are other poets.

The old farmer working the earth,

lines etched in his weathered face.

The young housewife

composing herself each day

before the mirror in her husband’s house.

The man alone in the winter woods

versed in the snow’s ways and the sound of the wind.

There are other poets,

but I will seek my truth

in the yellow eyes of the wolf.