Poetry

Inscrutable

Inscrutable Japan?
Imagine an homogeneous people
Separated by customary formality
Trying to find ways around their traditions
And get close.

Inscrutable America?
Imagine a diverse people
Separated by customary informality
Trying to find ways around their “friendliness”
And make their alleged closeness
Real.

Poetry

Travel Advice

Do not travel with the crowd for companionship.
For there is no companionship in crowds,
Only company.

Do not travel alone to avoid the madness of crowds
For hermits and prisoners in solitary confinement
Lose their sanity.

In life, travel neither with the crowds
Nor travel alone,
But rather travel with the wise.

Poetry

The Teammate

“I love you”, I said.

“Come in”, she replied,
“The water is warm.”

“But I have not swam in years”. I balked,
And the waters are deeper than I’ve known.”

“No worries, my friend
All you need is to trust.”

“Forgive me, but what if my trust is misplaced?”

“It is not me you must think of,
But yourself.
It is not the sky that a bird trusts,
But his own wings.”

“What if I cannot keep up with you?”

“Love is patient”, she replied,
“Love is teamwork.  In the end,
Love always comes down to teamwork.”

Poetry

“Bad Poem! Bad Poem!”

Writing a poem
Is like training a dog.

The poem loves you.
It loves you and it is loyal to you.
It is loyal to you and it wants to obey you – but
But sometimes…

Sometimes it looks at you, cocks its head,
And just does not understand what you
Are telling it to do.

You want it to bark and growl and bite – but
It thinks you want it to fetch,
So it drops your slippers
At the feet of the thief
Who broke into your house.

Or it looks at you, cocks its head,
And is on the edge,
On the very edge
Of understanding you,
Of getting you,
Of getting you at last — but
SQUIRREL!
And it’s off racing in a direction
You never wanted it to go.

I love my poems, but I can get upset,
I can raise my voice.

“Bad poem! Bad poem!
No treat for you!”

Sometimes I yell it, really yell it.
“Bad poem! Bad poem!”

My neighbor is shocked.

She phones me, “You’re cruel! Cruel!
I’ll call the Society on you!”

I tell her, “The American Poet’s Society
Is not the American Humane Society.”

She doesn’t listen.

And neither does the Poet’s Society.
They send their inspector around.
“Sir, we’ve had a report.”

“A what?”

“A report, Sir.”

You still don’t think poems are like doggies?
You still doubt me?

Then explain to me how come,
How come it is always just about then
That my poem drops my very best slippers
Right at the inspector’s feet.

Miscellaneous, Poetry

The High, Proud, and Ugly Wall that We Love

Between my beautiful neighbor
And my beautiful self
Is a high, proud, and ugly wall
Called “Ideology”.

She believes she can prove
What she cannot prove,
And I believe I can prove
What I cannot prove,

And we together believe
What we cannot prove
Is more important
Than what we can prove —

Which is that she lives,
And that I live,
And that we both live
Beautiful neighbors
To each other.

Beautiful neighbors
Who live on the only planet
In the solar system
That has turned loneliness
Into an art,

And an art into an obscenity.

She is wise and I am a fool
Or I am wise and she is a fool.
We have no means to decide
Which one of us is which,
But we both of us know
It just cannot be
We are both of us fools.

It just cannot be
We are both of us fools
Who breathe the same air,
Who waste the same life,
And who will someday
Die the same death.

My neighbor and I
Stand on the same side
Of a high wall
An ugly wall
A proud wall
Called “ideology”,

And on the other side
Is life.

Human Nature, Life, Love, Poetry, Relationships

All That Matters Now

(1)

I hear the leaves blow
Against our door tonight.
Dry leaves passing by,
Scratching against our winter door.

Sometimes I look up thinking, “She’s home”.

But it’s only a creak in the door,
And the leaves, the scratching leaves.

Continue reading “All That Matters Now”

Courage, Human Nature, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Poetry, Quality of Life, Regret, Relationships, Resilience, Self, Self-Knowledge, Spirituality, The Art of Living Well

There are Ghosts in Every Heart

The air is warmer
Than the spring tonight,
Cooler than the summer.

A half-moon has risen
But I cannot recall
Whether it waxes or it wanes.

It is three in the morning and thunder
Is rolling off the mountains,
There is lightening to the North.

Continue reading “There are Ghosts in Every Heart”