Ice Cream for Peace

July 2, 2011 § Leave a comment


The day they served ice cream the war ended,
as through butter pecan and creamy chocolate
sticky fingers laid their weapons down.

It was then that frisbees took to the air
and the intensity of one country against another
in soccer.

As night fell song arose
and the impassioned maneuvering of dance.
Come morning having hugged their comrades

they returned to their families,
officers too with one last salute left for home,
and where had been humvees and mess tents

was again the play of children,
and doves delighting amid sand
in tasty bits of ice cream cone.

The Church of the Old Car

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment


I’m on the side of the road, hood up,
watching the shiny cars pass, waiting
for a faded one, like mine, dented
with rust, to show the jumper cables to.

Someone who’ll look me in the eye,
who’ll say when I thank them—“It’s OK,
someday I’ll need a jump too.”

Like this we of “The Church of the Old Car”
rise from pews of worn upholstery,
open our hoods in offering and unite
with a pair of jumper cables,

common in the conviction that an old car
will get us there, and humbled for it is all
we can afford.  And when the weary engine

runs again we rejoice, as in witness to any
miracle, and return to the road richer
in brotherhood and bolder in the belief

that by the hands of providence
on the two ends of a jumper cable
we will make it there
in peace.

Unemployed Angels

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment


There are no pool tables
in heaven,
the recherché-play
of billiards balls
is not for them.

So what do they do?

while we work overtime—
struggling with the mortgage
of too big a house,
or far from home
serving as a pawn of war?

Surely the Devil is hiring!

But the “good deeds”
during which an Angel
flies at our side
for this both Heaven
and Earth await…

so come on,
do a little kindness—
bring an Angel to her

The Unmaking of Bologna

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment


We grew up on bologna
and american cheese
on wonder bread, still
somehow something
evolved, that years later
we read Rumi, vote a black
man into the White House.

While there are some yet
with bologna in their mouths
the talk at the table is of planting
a garden and cleaning the yard,
even of going—gift in hand,
to visit a neighbor
no one has smiled at
in a long time.

What You May Not Know About Frankenstein

June 19, 2011 § 10 Comments


Although he had not the hands to crochet, the patience to build birdhouses or the nerve to push a hook through a worm in the hope of pulling a fish from the sea, he did write poems and wrote often and late into the night.  Was it pain that made him write?  The pain of all those stitches, of shoes that despite their size were still too small?  Was it psychological pain of social non-acceptance?  Or the electricity that years later still snapped between his fingers?

No, it was simply what his brain wanted to do, the brain they dug up and sowed into his head, it was just grave-robbing luck.  At poetry readings, where everyone is welcome, he read his poems sounding like a man who having fallen into a well and cried out for years was now finally being heard.

Like this there are many so-called monsters with poems to share.  The same is true of angels, of gangsters, shepherds, anyone who fits words together like body parts, revises, revises again, until magically, beautifully, lightning leaps from the pen and the poem opens its eyes, sits up from the page, staggers into the world, and whether it is seen as monster, or friend, it is alive, every word it says is real and it comes not from the grave, but from the sky.