Saturday, September 27, 2014

Things that go 'bump' in the night

Something that creaked and went 'bump' in the night,
Conspired to give me a terrible fright.
I lay in my bed, and only could shake,
Blood pumping fast as a slithering snake.

No lamp was alight to banish the dark;
What nameless creatures were having a lark?
Were they starving for food, hungry for lunch,
Or looking for snacks, just something to munch?

I pulled up the covers and made myself small,
But nothing attacked me, nothing at all.
Relieved at my luck, I guessed I would keep,
And, closing my eyes, I went back to sleep.

Monday, September 22, 2014

On a chance meeting

I met her at a diner, she was sitting at the counter,
A slim, attractive woman, dressed in dark slacks and a sweater.
She was drinking coffee, I said, "Please, would you  pass the sugar?
It's raining cats and dogs outside, just not my kind of weather."
"It beats the snow and ice," she said, "and ducks find it a pleasure."

"I laughed, "You're right, but we both could do without that pleasure."
We rambled on, agreed mass transit would be better,
That traffic was awful, the day couldn't get much wetter.
I liked how she looked at me, music in her laughter,
It was open, unforced, relaxed, and then I wondered;

What if we had met before, when my life was freer?
I put the thought away; a silly thing to ponder.
I stood up, told her goodbye, paid, and left the diner.
Now and then, I think of her, of a pleasant stranger
I spoke to, on a rainy morning I remember.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Random thoughts at breakfast

I have to write this down before it flies
Right out of my head. Damn it! Where's my pen?
How did she phrase it, "Life moves on, love dies?"
Her comment was banal, cliched, but then,
Isn't most of life like that? We repeat
The same mistakes our parents made, and think,
They're so special, unique, world-class, replete
With significance, right up to the brink
Of revelation; they're just new to us;
Uncounted generations felt the same
Frustrations, the same losses and strong lusts;
There are no demons here that we must tame.
I wrote it all down; it's not very well-styled,
But then again, I'm no Oscar Wilde.                                                                                            

Thursday, September 18, 2014

On the bounties of fall

                                                "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness"
                                                                                         Ode to Autumn
                                                                                              - John Keats

The hazy, hot, and humid days of summer spent,
Of her bright fireworks, only the embers remain;
Intemperate with pride, she thought the rules were made
For others, forgetting each player takes a turn.

The fall will yield a bumper crop from fertile earth,
A fruitful harvest, culled by labor, and with love;
And the fall offers cool mornings and sunny days
In defiance of icy winter's coming blast.

When winter comes again, her frigid onslaught sure,
When blizzards cloak the land, when rivers slow and freeze,
Beneath the suffocating coat of ice and snow,
Shy spring will wait her turn, to green the world again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Aurochs rocks

Let's note the Aurochs, now extinct,
Who disappeared before we blinked.
A relative of modern cattle,
He lost in evolution's battle.

Gone, in sixteen twenty-seven,
Now, he lives in bovine heaven.
Geneticists all hope to bring
The Aurochs back for one more fling.

Prologue and epilogue

They mark the start, and then, the end,
Outline the statement that I send.
I brag and boast in the middle,
As I ply my bow, and fiddle.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On quicksilver Time

Is time an item you can buy,
Like cigarettes, or apple pie,
Available, if you have need,
Or is its rationing decreed?

I went to the convenience store
To buy some time. I needed more;
More time, and I might beat the clock.
The clerk said time was out of stock.

When I was young, time passed so slow,
I hardly saw it come and go.
Tomorrow now is on its way;
Can we hold on to yesterday?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The ballad of Big Foot

Somewhere, some say, but facts are slim,
A giant lurks; can we find him?
Known as Sasquatch, Big Foot, Yeti;
He might find us, when he's ready.

In Washington and Oregon,
Some hikers glimpse him, then he's gone.
Sherpas in the Himalayas
Contend he's seen on snowy days.

Abominable Snowman keeps
Aloof from men, on mountain steeps,
The climbers claim it's unimpeached;
He's sighted where they haven't reached.

So, that's the gist, the story's end,
Passed on by travelers, as they wend
Through forest trails, or blinding snow;
Is he real? We may never know.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

On night terrors

Asleep, you are susceptible to fright,
When dark shadows coalesce as you dream.
Blackness enshrouds the room in moonless night,
Shapes creak and moan; sleep isn't what it seems.

You spring awake, your body drenched with sweat;
Your heart is pounding, images congeal,
Assault your mind, your night of rest upset
By eldritch terrors nearing the surreal.

Night terrors don't originate from guilt;
Carloads of crooks dream away like babies.
They might be caused just by the way you're built;
The question provokes a host of maybe's.

The best advice? Do what your mother said:
No pepperoni pizza, before bed.

Dead as a Dodo

Take pity on the Dodo's lot;
He was alive, but now he's not.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 2014

Coolness in the air;
The young ones are back in school.
What will they harvest?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

On things that count

She wore a bright new blouse and skirt,
One glance, and we began to flirt;
We were too young to have regrets,
A pair of undergraduates.

And when we met, to our delight,
The moment was exactly right;
We laughed and talked throughout the day,
Engrossed in what young lovers say.

I learned a lesson long ago,
When life taught me what I still know;
To celebrate first love's embrace,
A memory time can't erase.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Queen's English

The language of Her Majesty,
Her words weaving a tapestry,
Is right for her in every way,
Although unpopular today.

Her dialect is very posh,
So upper-clahs, and oh, my gosh,
Some folks will try to copy it
If they think theirs is not quite fit.

Her plummy accent's clipped, tony,
And, be warned, it isn't phony;
You can assume it, but take heed,
It's used by such a high-class breed.

Let's hear a speaker on his rounds
To find out how the accent sounds:
He makes a visit to your "hice";
(That's house to you; please say it twice).

And most important, this by far,
You must always drop your "R";
It's never far, but always "fah,"
When you take a trip by "cah."

If you chance to utter "very,"
You must know it rhymes with "Teddy."
One more point; the "uppuh-clahsses
Sound their "A's" like "O" in flosses.

These three tips are just a "staht,"
You must learn all rules by "hot."
If you slip up and say, "my house,"
You might as well go catch a mouse.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

E pluribus unum

We spin, without apology,
The web of our mythology.
It's habit now, as we pursue it;
Here's a taste of how we do it.

Let's sing, and praise Alabama,
To the tune of "Oh, Susanna."
Alaska's famous Northern Lights
Shine ghostly through the winter nights.

Arizona? I understand
They have a Canyon we call Grand.
From Arkansas, a resident
Named Clinton was our president.

Southern California's teeming
With young surfers prone to dreaming,
And Colorado, Is it not
Now legal there to smoke some pot?

Connecticut lays claim to Kate;
It's known as Hepburn's natal state.
In Delaware, there's a welter;
Businesses that got tax shelters.

In Florida, close to a third
Of residents are called "snow birds."
Georgia's not far, well in our reach,
A perfect place to eat a peach.

Then it's off to warm Hawaii,
First Oahu, then Kauai.
They're busy up in Idaho,
And grow potatoes; this I know.

Abe Lincoln lived in Illinois,
But elsewhere, as a little boy.
Indiana's the Hoosier State,
Exactly why, I can't relate.

Iowa's known for growing corn,
But you knew that since you were born.
Kansas boasts of wild Dodge City,
And Wyatt Earp's audacity.

This list of brags is going well,
Let's take a breather for a spell;
Not even halfway through the states,
We've lots more stuff to contemplate.

The Derby gives Kentucky fame,
Where horses win, unless they're lame,
And swinging down to Louisiana,
We enjoy New Orleans glamour.

Maine's cuisine is more than par
For those who love to eat lobster.
In Maryland, do you know what?
Babe Ruth was born,"Sultan of Swat."

What's Massachusetts claim to fame?
The place to which the Pilgrims came.
Michigan is where one panders
To the whims of Michiganders.

"Land of Lakes," is Minnesota,
That's not false, not one iota.
And Mississippi's the birthplace
Of Elvis,whom we can't replace.

An author known for writing some,
Missouri's where Mark Twain was from.
Montana's famed for its"Big Sky,"
And fishing that you'll have to try.

Marlon Brando's from Nebraska
Did you know? I had to ask ya.
Nevada is the place to go
To gamble and to lose some dough.

Up in New Hampshire, it's no lie,
Their motto is, Live free, or die."
New Jersey's where it's really at,
According to my neighbor's cat.

New Mexico is where they say
A magic town is Santa Fe.
In New York State, Niagara Falls
Awaits for honeymooner calls.

North Carolina, I've heard talk,
Is where Wright flew at Kitty Hawk.
Teddy Roosevelt liked it rough;
In North Dakota, showed his stuff.

Ohio is the state that sent
To D.C., seven presidents.
Pennsylvania's fame? Let me tell:
It's home to the Liberty Bell.

Rhode Island's where, good times or lean,
They build atomic submarines.
South Carolina, I'm aware,
Is home to TV's Steve Colbert.

South Dakota's forevermore
The site of storied Mt. Rushmore.
Great music's found in Tennessee,
Rock 'n roll, to Grand Old Opry.

To mention Texas, at their best,
Two lines of verse won't stand the test.
The state's brave flag, seen from afar,
Resplendent, carries one lone star.

Utah's amazing Great Salt Lake
Defies descriptions you might make.
Vermont's green peaks and valleys dream,
While Ben & Jerry make ice cream.

Five presidents, Virginia-born,
Served well during the nation's morn.
In Washington, "the old groaner,"
Bing Crosby, hailed from Tacoma.

And there you have it, each unique,
Competes hard for the life they seek;
But in the end, they concentrate
On being, The United States.