It’s Time

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment


In the Age of Falling
banana peels are everywhere,
no one knows to tie their laces
and leaders say—“Come
the floor is waxed and wet
let’s run!”

Insurance replaces the house
as life’s biggest expenditure,
and we love our hip-
replacements, our titanium
pins, our plastic kneecaps.

Yet as unbelievable as a radio
would sound to a caveman
or a cell phone to Paul Revere
I must tell you, an Age is coming
when falling will not be possible,
that is to say—Falling   Will
Not   Be   Possible!
And “Falling” has been enough.

It’s time
for the Age of

Clark Kent Can’t Wait

September 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Clark Kent can’t wait for a bank to be robbed
or a jewelry store—even a kitten to be caught
in a tree, for then he gets to be “Superman.”

Otherwise he’s stuck like you and me at the dumb
desk of work writing and rewriting a story he can’t
stand, Lois Lane near by—angelic, snug-skirted,

intrigued by nothing but Superman.  And when
word comes that the Skyler building is ablaze—
people trapped on the top floor, everyone says-

”Oh no!” but Clark says—”Oh yes!”
In instant he’s there flying them from the flame,
and as he lands the last one to safety Lois is there

too with Jimmy Olsen snapping the photo,
and their eyes meet—the eyes of a woman
overwhelmed, the eyes of strength subdued.

Returning to the Daily Planet, Clark at his desk,
Lois says—”You were not there, you did not see?”
and Clark says—”Did I miss something?”

Feeling for this man who seemed so “unsuper”
Lois lays her hand on his shoulder
and for a change it’s Clark’s turn to fly.

Grandma’s Pancakes 

September 8, 2011 § 1 Comment


Even in old age when Death comes to the door
who would let him in?  Inundated as we are
with living we think there’s still laundry to do,
a book to finish, a DVD to return.

So it was with Grandma withering on the bed,
and why not—she still with the strength to sit up.

Then, tired of ringing the doorbell Death raised
his fist to the door, and Grandma spoke of the
Funeral Parlor she remembered from streets
she roller-skated as a child, a place that unless
the son and grandson of the undertaker took up
the business was long gone.

“Yes, Grandma, yes,” I said, then seeking her smile
I spoke of her pancakes, how her trick was to
prepare the batter the night before, mixing
the white of the egg with the flour first, then
the yolk, and placing it overnight in the fridge.

As I spoke the ninety-three birthday candles
of her life glowed in her eyes and happily
she said—“When I get to heaven the first
thing I’ll do is make everyone pancakes!”

So it was one perfect morning that my Grandmother
having prepared the batter the night before
made all the free and joyous souls pancakes,
a heavenly feast that I already have been
so privileged as to enjoy.

Published in This Enduring Gift – A Flowering of Fairfield Poetry, 2010

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.