Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Caesar's Gallic Wars

"All of Gaul is divided into three parts."
                                     - Julius Caesar 

Enemies loomed; all Gaul was divided,
Massing his army, Caesar decided
To make the restive region one country;
A new vassal of Rome, from sea to sea.

His legions marched; they fought their foes, and won.
The vanquished swore their fealty; war was done,
And at its end, the Romans held it all,
Laurels for Caesar, and defeat for Gaul.

Monday, April 21, 2014

An ancient mural tells a tale

The girl is powdering her face,
With brush and mirror in her hands,
Her calm expression, soft as lace.
What sweet delights were in her plans?

What mischief filled that pretty head?
Her portrait's from a distant date;
The world she knew has long been dead,
Buried beneath the lava's weight.

Vesuvius's ash and flame
Erupted on the hapless town,
Obliterating Pompeii's fame,
And wreaked destruction all around.

Two thousand years have passed, and yet,
The portrait of the girl still shows
A glimpse of her brief pirouette
Through dances finished long ago.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The pride of lions

The lion is the king of beasts,
A point there's no denying,
In fact, if you said otherwise,
He'd say that you were lying.

His regal mane, and stately tread,
Are signs of his high station;
He sleeps, when he's not making love,
His favorite avocation.

His loyal helpmate, Mrs. Lion,
Will jump to do his bidding;
When Lion roars and flicks his tail,
She knows that he's not kidding.

The lion is the king of beasts,
Commanding our attention.
His place in life is absolute,
At least, that's his contention.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Chasing away Mr. Blues

When Mr. Blues comes to visit,
The pain is exquisite.
When that mean old dog bites,
Your despair knows no heights.

But one fact remains true;
He'll leave, and then you
Will cheer up and incline
To your old state of mind.

Regaining resources,
You'll marshal your forces,
Solve problems when ready,
Both major and petty.

The challenges waiting
Might seem aggravating,
But you'll meet them each day
When Mr. Blues goes away.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Obituaries

It's bothering; I'm always wary
Of the flower-strewn obituary.
When we die, we're only dead,
No angels weep beside the bed.
Please, spare the silly euphemisms
That try to mask departurisms.
We don't "pass on," we're simply done,
As though we never had begun.
The only place we were, is here,
And now we're not; that should be clear.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Beat Generation

Your beatnik friends, were they on track?
Please, tell me how, Jack Kerouac;
Did they express, in great degree,
A fervent longing to be free?

What made you get out on the road,
Your need to shuck a heavy load?
Or was the road your only goal,
A means to irrigate your soul?

And when you rode from coast to coast,
Of what deep insight did you boast?
The same sun rose on east and west,
Which coast did you decide was best?

You made a choice to aggravate
The critics you had learned to hate,
And sought in your distinctive way
To celebrate each brand new day.

You knew your life was just on loan,
Not some new plaything you could own,
And knowing that, saw it clear,
Embraced the whole, devoid of fear.

You saw a chance to get some kicks,
And rolled along Route 66
(The road we used to navigate
Before they built the Interstate).

And whether you were right or wrong,
You stayed the course, and sang your song;
It rang out on the open road
In cadences that never slowed.

Was it "beat," your generation,
Or symbolic of the nation,
Espousing a philosophy
Demanding that all men be free?


Monday, March 24, 2014

Greetings and salutations

At times, just as I say, "hello,"
I'm greeted with, "Hi, dude," or "bro,'"
From strangers, none of whom I know,
At places where I spend my dough.

I think that "sir" shows me respect,
A salutation I suspect
Remains, as always, quite correct;
At least it was, last time I checked.