Friday, August 23, 2013

We ought to get rid of "boffin"

We ought to get rid of terms like "nerd,"
But "boffin" is worse, a terrible word!
It's common in England, Scotland and Wales,
Denoting scientists, usually males.
But here, in the States, I'll never soften,
I swear I'll never call you a "boffin."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't mourn the girl who got away

Don't mourn the girl who got away,
The one you loved more, every day.
Recall? The girl you had to wed,
Your one true love, or, so you said.
Would it have lasted through the years,
Through highs and lows, through laughs and tears?
Would she prove right, at your behest,
Make bad times good, and good times best?
Would loving her avoid the woes
That life doles out to friends and foes?
Or would your life have been the same
If that someone had a different name?

The regulars retell stale jokes

The regulars retell stale jokes, their lame
Attempt to chase away the purple funk
That makes each Friday night seem just the same.
They laugh, and watch each other getting drunk.
The weekend's burdens loom, a dull regime;
Saturday's chores and Sunday's stifled grace
Brood grey and tattered, like a formless dream
That fades from memory and leaves no trace.
Frustrations tear the drinkers to the core,
Each one is trying harder to downplay
The crushing loneliness they can't ignore,
While pushing their own neediness away.
The jukebox keeps on playing one sad song;
They hardly notice, yet they sing along.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jack Kennedy, in sixty-one

Jack Kennedy, in sixty-one
Told Congress, "There's a race to run;
Let's reach the moon, let's jump the gun!."

"The times were changin', Dylan sang,
From Liverpool, the Beatles sprang,
And through our land, new music rang.

The good times only roll so far,
Bad things can happen, and they mar
The luster of the brightest star.

That November twenty-three,
The nation sang a threnody
For murdered John F. Kennedy.

Next year, the Civil Rights Act passed,
A law to right some wrongs at last,
Although the work ahead was vast.

Great riots roared, and cities burned
All through the sixties, unrest churned,
A grim response of people spurned.

Soon women learned of their mystique,
As Friedan's book provoked the meek,
And feminists began to speak.

In sixty-eight, new gunshots ring,
When James Earl Ray kills Dr. King,
Providing one more dirge to sing.

Than Jack's brother ran for president
That June, his foul murder sent
Good reason for a third lament.

In Vietnam we suffered more,
And thousands died in pointless war;
As politicians kept the score.

The nation wept beneath its load,
The war drums beat as fury strode,
And marched with death down killing's road.

A generation wanted change,
The flower children pushed exchange
Of war for peace, within their range.

When Mary Jane informed the crew,
"Turn on, drop out," the message flew,
"Make love, not war, that's what we do!"

At college, near and far away,
The students ragged on LBJ;
"How many kids'd you kill today?

Their anger toppled his regime,
With opposition so extreme,
He quit the race, ran out of steam.

The protesting was all about
A senseless war, death's heavy clout,
With "Time for peace!"its constant shout.

What did they want, those kids, now old?
A chance to watch the years unfold,
With normal lives, their stories told.

In sixty-nine, we reached the moon,
The mission done, so opportune;
Jack's promise kept, and mankind's boon.

Let;s sum it up, here's what we got;
War crushed the dreams of Camelot,
And mocked improvements that we wrought.

The decade left a bitter taste,
But still, it wasn't all a waste,
Some good was done, some gains embraced.

Some progress came, for all to see,
More civil rights, more liberty,
But at what cost, what misery?

We yearned for peace; instead, war came,
We saw the bombs and bullets maim
The innocent, their world in flame.

Good will and peace remain the goal,
Although ill deeds still take their toll,
And try the patience of the soul.

Yet men can be both brave and good,
They try for better, and they should,
To build a world in brotherhood,
A dream that's still not understood.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The single life's not meant for all

The single life's not meant for all;
Some need a friend they can install,
A partner, when the going's tough,
To share good times and when it's rough.

An empty house to some, seems bleak,
They need companions, want to speak;
A TV show's no substitute
For pleasant talks without dispute.

Dumb arguments can ruin your fun,
And leave a bad taste, when they're done;
Living alone, you never spat!
Unless you're yelling  - at the cat.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Youth's tenderness was made for love

Youth's tenderness was made for love,
In hot pursuit, she sought the best,
A magic feast, a treasure trove;
Youth spread her wings on life's bright quest.
Youth's years were good, the pleasures found
She thought would last eternally;
With lessons learned, and purpose sound,
Sweet youth was happy as could be.
Life pledged that youth would see no end,
She laughed, and gave a kindly wink,
And lying, promised gifts she'd send;
False friend, she knew youth's but a blink.
Brief fickle youth's not meant to stay;
Like winter's snow, she melts away.

Why is this time called middle age?

Why is this time called middle age?
For boomers, now it's all the rage.
For them, it starts real late; just think!
At sixty, they're still in the pink.

And sixty isn't even old,
It's very youthful, so we're told
By experts oh-so-serious;
The news makes us delirious!

The story's out; it's plain to see
That boys and girls like you and me
Should jump for joy and shout with glee;
Now sixty is the new forty!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Deft Leonardo slowed his pace

Deft Leonardo slowed his pace,
Uncertain how to draw her face.
Her smile, paint it as he would,
Was sure to be misunderstood.

The smile smacked of mystery,
Of secrets lost to history;
What brushstrokes could his art equate
To shed light on that opaque trait?

What caused that pleased indulgent look,
What clever plans filled up her book?
What goals did Mona Lisa seek,
What did her cryptic gaze bespeak?

If Leonardo were to tell,
If he explained his ideas well,
We still would fail to get, or find
A clue to what was on her mind.

Back then I thought my grandfather was old

Back then I thought my grandfather was old
(His hair was white, and I was very young).
His boyhood, long behind him, he extolled
In stories freighted full of deeds he'd done.
We sat upon the porch those summer eves;
He smoked cigars, and talked about his youth,
Recalling the bright plans he once conceived,
Before life's needs became his higher truth.
I'm older now, than he was at that time,
And understand the yearnings of his heart;
I joined the race, and ran it in my prime,
Like him, made plans that changed right from the start.
Life gives us leave to balance wrong and right,
As we await the coming of the night.

Friday, August 2, 2013

It's lonely, sleeping with a stranger

It's lonely, sleeping with a stranger in a queen-sized bed;

It's lonely eating breakfast, when everything's been said;

It's lonely in a silent house, when you ignore her tread;

It's lonely when you face the fact the marriage is long dead