Friday, September 25, 2015

Pascal's wager

Does God exist, or does he not?
A coin toss shows you what you've got:
If "heads" comes up, you've won it all;
If you get "tails," you take the fall.
There is no other choice for you;
You have to bet, and so, you do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


September seemed far off, back then, in May,
And May was when we had a lot to do,
A life to fill, with love, and work, and play,
And goals to meet, before our time was through.
We played the game as fairly as we could,
With more wins than losses to remember.
Time sped more quickly than we thought it would,
And before we knew, it was September.
Now shadows lengthen as the days roll by,
And leaves are brittle, as they fall to earth,
The breeze is colder, now that winter's nigh,
Warm days are gone, and we regret their dearth.
The cold will soon prevail, but then the spring
Will come, renewing - almost everything.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The future is now

When I retired, I made a vow;
Forget the future, live for now.
The fickle years fly by too fast;
Who knows which one will be the last?

When I still worked, I donned a suit
Before I made each day's commute.
Today, my suits are in disuse,
And I don't polish any shoes.

Also, I sport a full grey beard
Where once my naked face appeared,
I relish all the time I've saved,
Once wasted by me when I shaved.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Be wary of the Kraken

The Kraken is a giant squid
Who waits for prey once he's well-hid
Somewhere upon the ocean floor,
According to old sailing lore.

When he wants food, he'll seldom fail
To snag an unsuspecting whale,
And happy if he wins the fight,
He'll fill his belly for that night.

Ships that want to save their bacon
Must avoid the wily Kraken;
His tentacles will never slip
If they surround a passing ship.

He'll drag it down beneath the waves
Where other ships lie in their graves.
He's doom to ships that sail too slow;
Beware! The Kraken lurks below.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Land of opportunity blues

I had a good career, but I don't miss the grind; it's done.
Retired, my time's my own, and I use it to have fun.
But, I'm sad for graduates today, their careers can't start;
They're still at home, with mom and dad, it almost breaks my heart.
They drank the Kool-Aid, studied hard, and now they get to see
No jobs are out there in this "land of opportunity."

There are some jobs available, and stuff that they can do,
Like selling burgers, or ice cream, but even those are few,
Or retail sales, like selling clothes, at stores inside the mall;
That beats the aggravation, when they never get a call
For jobs they were trained to do, which is why they went to school;
They walked the walk, and talked the talk, and now they're played the fool.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

To hear the sounds

Songs lack for music when unsung,
Bells never toll when they're unrung;
Poems have a voice, and must be heard;
Say them aloud, but sing the words.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The politician

Every slippery politician
Holds a partisan position,
But he'll soften it with euphemism
To hide his blatant party-ism.

He'll sweet-talk voters very well
To sell stuff that he's told to sell,
And he'll strive to gain affection,
Always seeking re-election.

His wealthy owners let him know
Without their cash, he'd have to go,
So he parrots lines they taught him
And talks fast; that's why they bought him.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On the Pluto mission's success

At last! We know how Pluto looks,
An item for the history books;
The New Horizons, NASA's probe,
Has sent photos of the tiny globe.

It lies four billion miles from earth,
And what we learn will prove of worth;
The voyage took nearly ten years,
But now, its great success is clear.

But, where are our priorities?
What matters most? To you, to me?
It looks like war will still endure,
And, as for cancer? Still no cure.

And, will we ever find relief
From poverty, and hunger's grief?
Although we've had a huge success,
We've ancient problems to address.

Monday, July 20, 2015

To own the sky

Skilled Daedalus built feathered wings,
And asked his son to test the things.
He made the wings with wax for glue,
And thought the sticky wax should do.

He warned his son the wax could melt,
But Icarus, foolhardy, felt
He was impervious to harm;
The warning caused him no alarm.

The feckless boy, immune to care,
Soon launched himself into the air,
But flew too near the burning sun;
Both wings fell off, and he was done.

The dream of flight, and own the sky,
Is brave, and noble, worth the try.
That time, it came to no avail,
And so, we end this sorry tale.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What I believe

If people ask what I believe,
I tell them, I believe in change
In everything that I perceive
Across the breadth of nature's range:

The soft rain falling down on me,
The lightning flashing in the sky,
The thunder crashing fearsomely,
And sun returning by-and-by;

The summer buzz of bumblebees,
The calmness of a clear fall night,
The crispness of a winter freeze,
All change; as sure as day to night.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Portrait of a girl from Pompeii

The girl is powdering her nose,
A brush and mirror in her hands;
The artist caught her mundane pose,
Familiar still, to any man.

What notions fill that pretty head?
We'll never know, they're lost to time;
Pompeii and she are long-since dead,
But here we see her in her prime.

Two thousand years have passed, and yet,
The mural of the girl still gives
A hint of her brief pirouette
Through life, and love, as though she lives.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Intelligent design? Or not?

Some call Intelligent Design
God's plan for life, and his outline;
But doubters say life's profusion
Has its source in evolution.

Believers claim the plan's God's law,
And science lacks sufficient awe;
The battle lines are sharp, and strong;
Each side insists the other's wrong.

Religion swears God's plan is key,
And science has to bend the knee.
Who's right? Who's wrong? Both sides seem sure;
With luck, the cosmos will endure.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Each time the circus came to town,
That night, I'd try to stay awake,
So terrified about the clowns,
They'd give me dreams rhat made me quack.

To me, they're all grotesque and mean,
And slimey creatures to the core,
Exaggerated and obscene,
Nightmarish ghouls that I abhor.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A family portrait

The camera caught a pleasant sight;
My mother's family, bathed in light.
The image sharp, the picture shows
Them as they were, so long ago.

Grandfather wears a solemn face.
The children stand straight in their place,
Afraid to make the slightest gaffe;
Grandmother tries hard not to laugh.

They're all long gone, but I can see
Their vivid, sweet humanity,
The warmth and hopes that they display
In an old photo from that day.

Friday, June 19, 2015


We call the old people, "seniors citizens,"
Vanilla words that segregate the old,
But well-meaning; it's a harmless title -
We certainly would never condescend.

Then we describe the people next in line
As middle-aged, not sure of what that means;
Except, they obviously aren't kids,
But they're too young to lump in with the old.

Finally, we have youth; ah, golden youth,
A time to flourish, enjoy, and find love!
We call youth beautiful, exciting, fun!
We smile at its mistakes (we made some too).

The labels make us feel smart, and cozy,
Cocooned and snug, and knowing where we are,
But they can't change the quality of truth;
We're simply people, living out our lives.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I never heard my father laugh

I never heard my father laugh,
Or ever saw my father cry;
Attempts at humor were brushed off,
When bad news came, his eyes stayed dry.

Strong passions that he may have felt,
Emotions to perplex his soul,
Were reined in when the cards were dealt;
To win the game, his only goal.

I know he learned his lesson well,
I've wondered how he learned to hide;
What part of him he had to sell,
And if he knew that something died.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The pterodactyl

The pterodactyl was a sight,
A dinosaur equipped for flight;
He ruled the skies before the birds,
But now, alas! he's been interred.
As evolution's plan can show,
When birds arrived, he had to go.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The praying mantis

When Praying Mantis couples court,
Their love affair is soon cut short,
For, after hot sex with her date,
The female gobbles up her mate.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The scent of love

The scent of love's a rare perfume
That conjures spring, when flowers bloom;
It haunts us like a song, once sung
When we were innocent - and young.

The telling scent of love will make
A man risk all, and undertake
His heart's desire to be complete.
Oh, love's alluring, love is sweet!

The promise in his lover's eyes
Will tease of where his future lies,
Beguiling him to think of ways
Their love may perfume all their days.

He hatches plans, and she concurs,
And calls his soul a twin of hers;
Two joined as one, she's sure they'll be
In love for all eternity.

Their love is real, and makes it clear
Its heady fragrance has no peer,
But, conquered by love's perfumed spell,
Perhaps they trust the scent too well.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


With English, sometimes, you just guess,
And trust your luck will find success
With words as spelled, and how they sound.
(The differences can be profound.)

The natives rhyme the name with "cow,"
In England, in a town spelled, "Slough";
The local folks think that's a breeze.
(Don't mispronounce it, if you please.)

If you're a snake, you'll shed your skin,
Whatever odd-named town you're in.
In Slough, you'll stand out as it's "sloughed."
(Make sure you rhyme the word with "stuffed.")

In Slough they won't slough off a romp,
But don't attempt it in the swamp;
Another word for swamp is "slough."
This time, you rhyme the word with "goo";
(A synonym for Slough is "slough.")

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Temporary insanity?

I'll never understand this thing called love.
It's like temporary insanity,
Or the pinnacle of inanity,
A puzzle that I'm always wary of.
Love's habits fit us closer than a glove;
Its presence trumpets our humanity,
Overcoming selfishness and vanity,
But makes us foolish as a turtledove.
Maybe love's just a dream that we create,
A fragile equilibrium we build
to end confusion over want and need.
When we're in love, we hold our breath and wait,
With hope our heart's desire will be fulfilled;
If true, that dream should be our only creed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The spoils of war

On a cold and bitter winter's day,
I swore a solemn oath, to say
I'd serve my country for three years;
The Army needed volunteers.

Some fifty years have passed, and yet,
It was a time I can't forget.
The memories are sharp, I find,
And now and then, they come to mind.

Old soldiers like to brag, and pitch
Warm tales about their army hitch;
Whenever army buddies meet,
they tend to relive every feat.

They talk of passes into town,
Where willing women could be found,
And hint, at times they were uncouth,
But always blame their gaffes on youth.

They push away reality,
And fears for their mortality;
They know that they were there to kill,
Or, be listed on the butcher's bill.

Their memories fade, and turn into
Old snapshots, with a softened hue,
And sanitized, as if a war
Is what men were created for.

It wastes our time to moralize;
It's plain, that war is what we prize.
It must be true, and if you look,
The proof's in every history book.

One far-off day, when men are gone,
And earth still turns around the sun,
What reader of the cosmic plan
Will sorrow for the loss of man?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Waking on a May morning

I hear the birds of morning sing
Their song to mark the end of night,
And soon, they'll rise up on the wing,
And sun will cheer them with its light.

Their singing swells, begins to soar,
The music blends and it promotes
Sweet harmonies in close rapport,
A love song from a thousand throats.

The lambent earth approves their song,
Reverberant throughout the day;
As flowers bloom and days grow long,
She celebrates the joys of May.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Writers write: Right?

I've learned some wise words that I heed,
On how a writer can succeed.
Work hard; the formula will prove
The way to get you in the groove.

Distractions woo us from all sides;
Excuses roll in like the tides.
For best results, here's what I say:
Do some writing every day.

Sit right down and write a sonnet;
Good or bad, don't dwell upon it.
The lazy man will take a fall,
But enterprise will conquer all.

Or, start a novel, fiction's fun,
Your words will flow while crafting one.
The true joy's in the work itself,
Not just some book upon a shelf.

It's lonely, staring at a page
That's white and empty at first stage,
But think how happy you will feel
When your own words are down for real.

One caution, though, and you'll agree,
Life gives you choices; nothing's free.
Ideas may sparkle, shine and gleam,
But work alone fulfills your dream.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Computer chair blues

My chair was hard, my butt was sore;
I couldn't take it anymore.
I surfed the web, began to search
To find a new computer perch.

I looked at dozens, and found one
That worked for me, and I was done;
Dressed up in black, replete with charm,
Its personality was warm.

When it arrived by UPS
The battered box showed some distress;
Re-taped in places, dented, worn,
Its look was frazzled, glum, forlorn.

I peeked inside to check each part
Before I even made a start,
But - what the hell - could it be true?
It lacked an arm; I needed two!

I called the store that sold the chair
And reached a nice clerk working there.
She said she'd send the missing piece,
But it would take three days, at least.

I thanked her, and hung up the phone,
Quite grateful for the help she'd shown;
To celebrate, I had to eat
A bowl of ice cream as a treat.

The time dragged by, the three days passed,
And I received the arm - at last.
My brand new chair would soon be done,
There'd been a glitch, but now I'd won!

I tightened up a final screw;
It wouldn't catch, what should I do?
I took it out to look at it,
And nearly had a fainting fit.

The bloody screw head's top was smooth,
It came like that, without a groove!
I slowly counted up to ten
And sighed; well, here I go again.

I called the clerk back right away;
She mailed new screws that very day.
A human contact will incline
To help, with products bought on line.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A solution to ageing

Do you object to getting old?
Does retiring just leave you cold?
Are you concerned about your age?
Do you think youth is all the rage?

I saw an ad the other day
To help your worries go away.
Throw pills and hair dyes in the trash;
Why not relax, and save your cash?

Avoid the plastic surgery
And other types of splurgery;
Try death instead! They guarantee;
Apply it once, and you're age-free!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Phooling around

If you're paronomaniac,
You probably get lots of phlak
Phrom pholks who never phind it phun
To play with words and make a pun.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Freeing a death camp: 15 April 1945

Seventy years have come and gone
Since British soldiers burst upon
Frail remnants of the human soul
Alive within a hellish hole.

At Bergen-Belsen, dreams had died,
Though some still walked with halting stride,
Their lives' hopes drowned in boundless grief,
When freedom seemed beyond belief.

The prisoners, most resigned to death,
Still clung to life with their last breath,
And rotting corpses, scattered there
Lay poisoning the springtime air.

Have men improved in all this time,
Erased the feral paradigm?
Is savagery his only fate?
Is life devoid of all but hate?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I kissed her lips and all my fears dissolved.
My admiration augmented the fire
Of my passion, intensifying desire,
And gave courage to my faint heart's resolve.
I held her hand in mine, and my poor head
Grew dizzy, knowing I had found my mate;
I touched her cheek, and marvelled at my fate.
Her eyes told me that I was not misled,
And here was happiness I could embrace,
A gift more precious than a golden crown;
A prize worth more to me than foolish fame.
I was encircled in a state of grace,
And in that blessed, enchanted ring I found
A sanctuary; love, its proper name.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Karen's considering

Karen's considering what she should do;
Go get her nails done, or visit the zoo?
She could gather flowers, out in the yard;
So many choices, it's really quite hard.

She might take her bike , and ride through the park;
Or,wait to catch fireflies, after it's dark.
So much to decide, it's surely no snap;
Perhaps she should lie down, for a short nap?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Let's praise young soldiers

Let's praise young soldiers, dead in war,
Who never knew what was in store,
Who trusted what their leaders said;
Let's mourn the youths, now that they're dead.

Let's praise them with a grand parade,
For the sacrifices that they made,
They fell before opponents' guns;
Let's grieve with families, for their sons.

Let's praise them for their handsome looks,
Their photos now in history books,
War took their lives before their prime;
Let's weep for soldiers out of time.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mad Men, or sad men?

I saw Mad Men from first to last,
And frankly, I was just aghast.
In spite of all the praise it got,
Good entertainment, it was not.

The storyline did not appeal,
Ir made me yawn, I had to steal
Some furtive glances at the clock;
I never have been pleased with schlock.

A trip to Mars

What would induce someone to face
A voyage through the night of space,
What breed of man, attempt to try
To flee the earth and pierce the sky,

Leave home behind, and fly to Mars,
Or hunger for the distant stars,
What urgent need could he presume,
To laugh at fate, and risk his doom?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


"A psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation."
 - Wikipedia

Now affluenza's in the news,
A malady owned by the rich;
It shows the kind of life they choose,
That guilt can cause a nasty itch.

Their greed remains their true disease,
If they were poor, then they would steal;
They think more luxuries will ease
The existential pain they feel.

To fight their numbness and malaise,
They buy fast sport cars to impart
Some meaning to their empty days,
Or plan new shopping malls to start.

Although they think their way is right,
Their lifestyle never could bring peace,
But affluenza's their affair,
And seems to be on the increase.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The headline writer's challenge

The headline writer knows the score;
His job? Describe the story's core.
The words he chooses must impart
The meaning at the story's heart.

On deadline, tense, he conquers dread
As pressures mount to move ahead;
Words flood his mind at breakneck speeds
To tell the reader what he needs.

Despite his zeal, words he selects
May leave the reader lost, perplexed.
His challenge will not go away;
He has to face it every day.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The first day of spring

Despite the fact that spring is here -
The equinox came yesterday -
Winter stayed on, and it was clear
A heavy snow was on the way.

It started snowing after dawn,
And showed no signs of losing steam;
Before the day had come and gone,
The spring still seemed a distant dream.

We tell ourselves we know the score;
We like to brag about our role.
We claim we handle what's in store,
But nature's really in control.

Friday, March 20, 2015

On napping

When taken by the need to nap,
Don't fight the urge, it's always apt.
Your body knows when you need rest,
Though you may think your brain knows best.

No matter if you tease or spin it,
The nap will win, so just begin it.
And if you were to stay awake?
How much misery could you take?

Sleep deprivation isn't fun
For you, for me, or anyone.
Your nap is not the least bit odd;
It's restful in The Land of Nod.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day

(Apologies to Dr Seuss)

'Tis fine, the wearin' of the green;
On Paddy's Day it's always seen,
But spare me, please! I think it queer,
To sit around and quaff green beer.

I do not like to drink green beer,
I do not like it far, or near.
Green beer's a beverage I'll forsake;
My thirst by other means I'll slake.

Monday, March 16, 2015

If wishes were horses...

"If wishes were horses, beggars'd ride,"
Cliches like that we just can't abide;
Conditional verbs are what we use,
If fantasy's the thing to choose.

If we speak in indicative mood,
Describe reality unimproved,
Avoid all need for expectation,
We leave no room for speculation.

But if you were queen, I'd be your king,
And we could achieve 'most anything;
Our lives would not be lean or frugal,
(If only we had stock in Google).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beware the ideas of March

We're all excited on this day,
"Cause half of March has passed away,
But spring ain't sprang until it's sprung,
And winter's final song's been sung.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Meeting on 42nd Street

At 42nd Street, by chance,
They nearly passed without a glance.
Distracted by work's daily crunch,
Both men were rushing back from lunch.

At Third, the traffic light turned red;
They looked around, one blinked, and said,
"Hey, Frank, I can't believe it's true;
Long time, since I bumped into you!"

Frank laughed, delighted, and replied,
"Hi, Tony, hey, I thought you died!
I haven't seen you since last year.
I know I'm right, on that I'm clear."

"Our class reunion had just passed.
Time disappears so bloody fast.
What 's new? You look like things are swell.
I hope the family's doing well."

His friend said, "Yeah, I can't complain;
In fact, we just got back from Spain.
We'd planned to go there since last June,
A kind of second honeymoon."

"It goes too quick, what can I say?
Your wedding seems like yesterday,
But that was - what, ten years ago?"
On green, they both began to go.

The friends shook hands, made plans to meet
For drinks one day right down the street.
Let's not forget, both of them vowed,
Then vanished in the milling crowd.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

On adulthood

We're all in a conspiracy
About our own maturity.
We like to say that we're grown up;
How true is that, if we own up?

Inside, some think they're still eighteen,
Although a mirror mocks that dream;
And others stop at twenty-four,
Adult outside, but nothing more.

The hope is that we age with grace,
not minding wrinkles on our face;
When I'm grown up, I want to be
A person who can live with me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Great Blizzard of 1888

On March the eleventh, history shows
No one was worrying, "What if it snows?"
The weather was warm for March on this date;
And spring, folks were certain, wouldn't be late.

Curious crocuses peeked above ground,
Birds chirped in chorus, new life was around;
The trees, sap rising, despite winter's blight,
Were bursting with life, buds ripe with delight.

Soft breezes blew, as kids played in the lane,
Joy harmonizing a springtime refrain.
But by late afternoon, casting a pall,
A mantle of snow fell, covering all.

Temperatures chilled, ice coated the trees,
And soon the earth shivered under a freeze.
Snow piled in drifts up to twenty feet high,
Yet on the storm raged, to blot out the sky.

Roads grew impassable, rivers all froze,
Cities shut down, as businesses closed.
Old folks still talk of the blizzard that year;
When winter took charge, her might was quite clear.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Winter - 2014-15

This year we cringed from winter's blast.
We knew the season couldn't last,
But days were cold, and grey, and drear;
We groaned from winter's force this year.

The frigid weather wouldn't end,
Weak sunlight was a fickle friend,
Time seemed to slow, as in a dream,
The snow and ice remained supreme.

We sought relief in little ways,
Good books, hot tea, to ease our days,
And certainty about one thing;
The knowledge that there would be spring.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The turtle

The turtle has a sturdy shell
That keeps him dry and warm as well.
He needs it when he starts to roam;
It doubles as his moving home.

Friday, March 6, 2015


When the world ends its run
As an exploding sun
Consumes it in its fire,
Will there still be desire?

When the stars start to dim
At the galaxy's rim,
And they're replaced by night,
Will they recall their light?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On lovers

We remember them, those feckless lovers,
As time telescopes, and black night covers
The vestiges of plans we thought supreme.
The answer that we seek, the truth we want,
Resides in darkling memories that taunt;
Those carefree, feckless days are just a dream.
In youth, our lives play like an endless feast,
Until it's finished, and the fun has ceased.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Cold Mars, god of war;
The month is full of his work.
He's always busy.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Call me "old man"

I read a script on being old,
And learned my lines; I've got them cold.
I like the role; it suits me fine,
I'm old now, like a classic wine.

All euphemisms are a sin;
Don't call me "senior citizen,"
I know I'm not the only one
Who hates it, if you call me "hon."

And phrases like the "golden years"
Were coined to quell young people's fears.
The condescension makes me sore;
I want respect, and nothing more.

I like my part in this new play,
I explore it every day,
And talking down's something to ban;
I'm proud to call myself old man.

Friday, February 20, 2015

He mumbles

He mumbles, forcing me to ask,
"What's that? What did you just now say?"
His vodka's done its nightly task,
Helped push his empty day away.

Amidst the hubbub at the bar,
Perched on his stool, his words unclear,
Above the strains of a guitar,
He tries to talk, but I can't hear.

The barmaid passes by, he points;
She brings a drink to fill his need.
He spills some vodka, which anoints
The bar, then drinks his holy creed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On still being carded

At twenty-nine, that was my age,
Not thirty, although near,
A bartender who couldn't gauge,
Sought proof to sell me beer.

I had a wife and kid at home,
A job for board and bed;
I was adult, how dare this gnome,
To question what I said!

I vowed this stuff would come no more,
A 'stache would do the trick,
And years flew by with no encore,
Time passing very quick.

I wear a full, grey beard today,
It suits me not to shave,
And proof of age, I have to say,
Is not a thing they crave.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Phooling around

It doesn't show some mental lack,
If called paronomaniac;
The name's for he who thinks it phun
To play with words, and make a pun.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor, suggests you find
The simplest way, and peace of mind;
Your first solution could work best
To get a problem off your chest.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The cockroach

Consider the lowly cockroach,
Who runs away at our approach;
The cockroach wants some crumbs to eat;
We try to kill him with our feet.

When species have the proper tools,
Survival of the fittest rules;
Cockroaches still may have their day,
When hapless mankind fades away.

Friday, February 13, 2015

On choices

Should we turn left, or to the right?
Is it the day, or is it night?
Confused, we heave dramatic sighs,
Then choosing, wonder, were we wise?
We make choices, and we fiddle,
Winding up close to  the middle.

And wind up somewherfe in the middle.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Schrodinger's Cat

Physics quantum's
Where we want him
Alive, or dead.
Is he either
One, or neither?

Friday, February 6, 2015

A visit from a one-percenter

The winter was freezing in year twenty-fifteen,
And we grew impatient for the spring, and its green.
Would times be better for each one of us renters,
Out-of-work home owners and non-one-percenters?

Our plastic maxed out, and nearly hysterical,
We needed money, and hoped for a miracle,
We'd stolen from Peter, as we tried to pay Paul;
With most bills overdue, we could not pay them all.

Last Christmas, fewer presents lay under the tree,
We'd bought for the children, but not you, and not me.
At night, we turned the thermostat setting to low,
With the oil tank near empty, the heat came up slow.

We'd spent every penny of our last jobless checks,
And stayed home all the time, in debt up to our necks,
But we hoped, as we shivered together in bed,
That things would get better, like our government said.

As I yawned, and began drifting off into sleep,
I heard a horn outside that had started to beep.
I opened the window, and beheld a Rolls-Royce;
It was silver and shiny, some wealthy man's choice.

The driver at the wheel of the custom-built car,
Well-fed and jolly, was puffing on a Cuban cigar.
He was dressed to the nines, in a fancy blue suit,
I could tell from his Rolex, he had lots of loot.

And sitting right near him on the passenger's side,
Was a gorgeous young blonde, just along for the ride.
He smiled as he saw me, and broke into a speech,
With cliches on hard work, bromides rich people preach.

"If you want to succeed, be like me, and work hard,
Or lazy, like losers who take care of my yard.
If you tax rich people more, you'll hurt all of us;
The jobs will trickle down, so cut out all your fuss!"

"Now, I have to go," he said, revving his engine.
I hope you're with me, wealth and power are no sin.
I'm off to the airport, so my new jet can fly;
It's Tahiti this weekend! Good luck, and goodbye."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

On infatuation

I was infatuated with you, dear,
No other word describes the way I felt.
How did it happen? Why? When you were near,
I was bewitched,  all  my reserve would melt.
With dark sunglasses tilted on your nose,
You glanced at me, and I returned your look
And couldn't look away if I chose,
Your effect on me more than I could brook.
What followed, every time that we would meet,
Became a fencing match, of parry, thrust;
You won the match, and I signaled defeat;
My passion spent, love crumbled into dust.
Infatuation isn't meant to last,
But it consumes, until its heat has passed.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


The earth, impatient,
Wishes that a bird would sing,
But awaits impending snow

Monday, February 2, 2015

On sunflowers

Pert flowers frolic by a wooden fence,
Their open faces turning to the sun;
Umbrageous blossoms flaunt insouciance,
Delighted that the spring has now begun.
Sunflowers know the briefness of their stay,
But they drink beauty from the morning light,
And like bold lovers, they embrace the day,
Although aware the day will turn to night.
Their evanescent life will soon expire;
But their vital presence shows the best
Of life's tenacity, and its fervent desire
To never end, to spurn an urge to rest;
The wheel of life rolls on, its turnings sure;
Like present time, sunflowers can't endure.

Friday, January 30, 2015

On metaphor

A metaphor can bring
True grace to what you sing,
And take your breath away.

A simile or two
May strike a chord for you,
Sweet sounds you can essay.

Their use, wherever made
Improves a serenade;
Such music rules the day.

When songs are sung on key
To make a harmony,
Bright metaphors will pay.

Monday, January 26, 2015

On reality

When I was young, and innocent,
I had a solipsistic bent;
There was no way that I could see
The world as real, outside of me.

I liked to think Rene Descartes
Had put the horse before the cart;
"I think, therefore I am," he said,
And from that point, my thoughts all led.

The world itself could have no place,
Unless a mirror showed my face;
A different sight would be perverse,
Inside my private universe.

There were no "us," no "them," no "you,"
No consequences to construe,
No consciousness of woe, or pain,
No thoughts of others to retain.

The solipsistic stance I had
Proclaimed all other views were bad,
But selfishness is not the way,
Despite what narcissists may say.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On a memory

I miss the fluent language of her touch,
The reassuring pressure of her hand
In mine, expressing more than words command,
The warmth alone, communicating much.

And when I held her closely in my arms,
And kissed her supple lips, no words were said;
Our kisses were enough, no pledges read,
We were immune from cares, and worldly harms.

While pacing corridors of fleeting time,
I recall meeting in that special place,
Our brief communion sanctified by grace,
The precious moments vivid, pure, sublime.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On late romance

Now that you're old, should you bemoan
The single life, if you're alone?
The question's quite an easy one;
"Is love a "must," or, are you done?

When people reach a certain age,
Most have been married by that stage.
They've dreamed the dream, and tried romance;
Is new love worth another chance?

Do you prefer to come and go
When you feel ready? Yes or no?
Your answer will be a surprise,
If you find joy in compromise.

"Togetherness" can cause a scare;
Of fairy tales, you should beware.
Though wedded bliss might seem sublime,
For single life, it may be time!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Simple facts

I'm calmer now, since I got old,
Life shows you how, as time unfolds;
I mulled the truth of simple facts,
And taught myself how to relax,

Mansions? I have none at all,
Nor servants at my beck and call;
No penthouse on Park Avenue,
Or second home, with ocean view.

I never owned a private jet,
Or frolicked with the wealthy set;
I never was a millionaire,
And that's okay, I just don't care.

Youth's ambitions burn with fire,
As we satisfy each new desire,
Yet at some point, near end of day,
The fire dies, fuel burned away.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On winter's cruelty

When winter comes, the earth, once green and fair,
Looks sad, stripped of her charms, in disrepute,
And winter is in charge, but earth can dare
To dream of summer, and its luscious fruit;
Long days of warmer weather, free of snow
And discomfort, the promise of new life;
A fertile time, when gorgeous flowers grow,
A time when songbirds sing, love's pleasures rife.
Though winter won't give up its icy hold,
The earth retains her dreams of early springs,
Sweet harbingers of warmth that ease the cold;
Winter is cruel; while cold weather clings,
The miseries of winter give us cause
To curse its rule, and nature's rigid laws.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My father's birthday

The day arrived, then slipped away;
A hundred years, since he was born,
But I forgot to note his day,
Or celebrate the life he'd worn.

I'd like to think he'd understand;
Work always takes priority,
My life is hectic, meetings planned,
And scarce a moment when I'm free.

He told me, "Work, rewards will come.
When you have won, your battles fought,
Appreciate what you've become,
You'll revel in the things you've wrought."

He taught me not to deviate
From goals. The prize would ease all pain.
Success itself, would palliate
The efforts made, and I would gain.

I follow his advice today;
It always stands me in good stead;
Before I plunge into the fray,
I pause, remember what he said.

Pictures that I remember best,
Are etched into my memory;
When he cooked trout he caught with zest,
Or he flew model planes with me.

I smile about his love of cars;
When we went to the rodeo;
The tales he loved of distant Mars,
And when we saw a Broadway show.

With these memories, I still can
Be startled that this vibrant man,
Was born a century ago;
The only father that I know.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The lure of love

When you were taken by the lure of love,
And opened your heart on that ardent quest;
When you were silky as a flight of doves,
And soared aloft, and forsook all the rest;
When you were searching for that love so sweet,
Overflowing with hope, lacking all fears;
When you were reckless in your urge to meet
Your perfect lover, in your green-vine years,
The world seemed to offer the love you sought,
And your love was there, real as love can be.
Your heart was ready for the love you caught
In the net you cast when you trolled love's sea,
But life taught a lesson; love went away,
And fled like a breeze on a summer's day.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: Thoughts at the new year

Atheism must seem quite odd,
To people who believe in God;
The faithful claim their strong belief
Will help them, when they suffer grief.

But atheism has a point;
Man's suffering is out of joint,
If God exists, he might do well,
To shield the weak from evil's spell.

If God is everything that's good,
Can famine, drought, be understood?
If God is kind, and love's his theme,
Starvation should be just a dream.

The faithful, on their knees, will pray
To God to help them on their way,
Yet thousands die in pain and fear;
Would not a kind God interfere?

Is grave disease within God's plan?
If so, is that the fault of man?
When floods destroy uncounted souls,
Does that comply with heaven's goals?