Pamela

featured in the poetry forum September 23, 2016  :: 0 comments

Now he’s gone and I find myself
strangely drawn
to the most important woman in my brother’s life –
statuesque, dark eyes, olive skin, perfect hair –
as if she’s drunk from
the Fountain of Youth (he didn’t
marry her, but almost).
And as she tells me she loves opera,
reads Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, listens
to Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Bach
I stumble for my words,
imagining his smirk and that
“I told you so” look in his eyes.

editors note:

Loss brings gain; what might have been becomes a wonderful “could be.” – mh clay

32 Poems

featured in the poetry forum July 27, 2015  :: 0 comments

After two and a half years
mentored by a famous Beat poet
from the 50s and 60s
he finally produces a booklet of 32 clean
lean poems.

“The title poem – Bouncy House –
was inspired by your daughters”
he tells his son
and his son’s wife
as he hands them the booklet.

They say “Thanks, how nice”
as they put down their iPhones and leaf
through the pages for a minute
before picking up their iPhones again.
“That’s great” they added and that was that.

editors note:

Isn’t there an app for this? – mh clay

Altruism

featured in the poetry forum January 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

My daughter is boycotting
companies that lie to her
or steal from her.
On her hit list so far:
Comcast, Apple, Hertz, Commerce
Insurance, Walmart, Sorrento’s Pizza
and a local gas station.
I warned her
that she’s going to run out
of stores and services
by the time she’s my age.
Fuck ‘em, she said.

editors note:

Ah, the search for truth in advertising; an endeavor for the idealist. – mh

Vanity

featured in the poetry forum September 26, 2014  :: 0 comments

In the park pushing my granddaughter
on the swings, guiding her
across the monkeybars
up the ladders and down the slides
the only man in the place surrounded
by trophy wives and buxomy blonde European nannies
but none of them not one of them notices me
with my new weight-trained body
thick shoulders and arms broad chest and back
pushing lifting climbing pulling (and flexing)
toiling in the afternoon sun
and I can’t comprehend why
I’m not getting a single look
or even a simple shallow furtive smile
from any of these beauties then
I get home glance in the mirror
at my 65 year old body and understand why.

editors note:

Alas, it’s not the seed, however vital and strong, but the seed dispenser who matters to fertile field keepers. Vanity, indeed! – mh

Electronic Man

featured in the poetry forum November 14, 2013  :: 0 comments

Here we are in Boston the oldest most historic city
in the country bursting with unique art and architecture:
“Which way to the bar where they filmed Cheers?”

You can see the entire city from up here
a panoramic view everything from The State House
and Symphony Hall to Harvard and MIT:
“I need to take a picture of the airport with my iPhone.”

There is so much to see along the Freedom Trail
and in the Public Gardens and through Boston Common
the oldest city park in the country – statues lakes bridges
exotic plants street performers the Swan Boats:
“Hold on I can find some great tours on YouTube.”

The Aquarium divers are introducing some new species
and feeding 85-year old Myrtle the Turtle right in front of us:
“Oh look you can see it on the big screens along the wall.”

We can stroll along Hanover Street in the Italian North End
find a nice little place for a genuine Italian cappuccino:
“I’ll Google a place using my iPhone more efficient that way.”

Electronic Man knows it all won’t miss a thing
on this his first visit to Boston except for Boston itself.

editors note:

Our eyes, screens; our memories, recorded; our experiences, validated through playback. All now is meant for later… – mh

Shakespeare’s Ghosts

featured in the poetry forum January 23, 2013  :: 0 comments

What if you belonged to another man,
were another man’s wife
and I fell in love with you anyway,
I couldn’t help myself and fell in love anyway
with your beauty and charm,
your elegance and grace,
but I couldn’t have you
because you belonged to him,
what would I do then?
What could I do then?
Would I go crazy,
loving you from afar,
pining away, pacing a rut
through my living room rug,
the thoughts of you throbbing
like heavy trains through
my brain, chewing at my heart
like jackals gnawing a wildebeest carcass,
the vision of your ethereal femininity
like diaphanous bats haunting my daydreams
and my long dark nights too,
like a ghost in Hamlet or MacBeth or Richard III?
Or would I fold my tent,
abandon my quest for you,
go off quietly into that not-so-good night?

Upon instantaneous reflection
the answer is all too clear to me –
I would have to pursue you with every ounce
of my pale pathetic being,
move mountains, conquer the heavens,
how could I do otherwise?
We have only one life and one true love
and they must come together in one place
in time like a tornado touching down
on a clear flat plain
in the lightning and the rain.

editors note:

What if, what could, what does, what not, what ever? Much better, what is. – mh

Maria

featured in the poetry forum October 9, 2012  :: 0 comments

Bobby! For crying out loud!
Your cousin Maria is beautiful!
I just talked with her on the phone.
She’s also brilliant and very personable.
I can tell she’s caring and loving,
thoughtful, considerate, and kind.
I found her picture up on Facebook.
Dude! I’m not kidding!
Oh my God, she’s simply beautiful!
You should see her, you’ve got to see her.
What have you done?
Where have you gone?
You’d be so happy to still be around
just to spend some time
with your cousin Maria,
to see her, talk with her, touch her hand,
breathe the same air she breathes.
I know you would. I know it.
Bobby! For crying out loud!

editors note:

These moments, friends long gone. How to share? Like this: Speak into the air. – mh

Three yards of loam

featured in the poetry forum August 19, 2012  :: 0 comments

Doesn’t seem like a lot of labor:
2 hours collecting and burning sticks
and branches and twigs,
some cutting with the chainsaw.
Then 2 more hours shoveling and raking,
raking and shoveling 3 yards of loam,
spreading it all around
where the old apple tree used to be.

But I guess it really is a lot of labor
because I’ve strained a muscle
in my upper back
that stings with every breath I take,
and my lower back and hips
still have burning pain and fatigue
and it’s 2 days later!

Muscles take longer to recover as you get older,
you get sore easier,
remain sore longer. But apparently,
I haven’t yet got the picture.
I still think I’m 24, have the stamina
and strength of my youth.

But I hope now I’ve finally learned my lesson,
this painful lesson of going easier on myself,
so I won’t be so sore and sensitive,
throbbing and burning with pain.
Hopefully I’ve learned finally,
to act my age – but I doubt it.
What man, what true man, can submit,
can agree, to go gentle
into that dark night?

editors note:

When not gentle in the day; damn sure, not so in the night. – mh

All I can think and hope

featured in the poetry forum June 5, 2012  :: 0 comments

Heading back home finally after 6 interminably
long days and nights away at yet another
supercilious waste-of-time business meeting.
(All we have is time, isn’t it?)

The shadow of the airplane follows along far below,
a dark, ghostly smudge sliding eerily
across the bright snowy landscape,
over fences and barns, rocks and roads
and cars and lakes and trees.

And all I can think about (as usual),
all I can picture in my mind (yes, yes, we know)
is me sitting on my heating pad
watching my documentaries on TV,
sipping my beloved Starbuck’s iced coffee,
my stunningly beautiful, sweet
and radiant wife close nearby, where she belongs,
doing something or other on her i-pad.

And all I can hope (beyond all hopes),
is that she is indeed still there
and hasn’t yet run off
with that pesky lawn-care guy
with the big arms full of fuzzy tattoos.

editors note:

Many of us share the same hope and possibly the same lawn-care guy. Ensure familial stability, eschew fuzzy tattoos! – mh

Simply to Mate

featured in the poetry forum June 14, 2011  :: 0 comments

Instead of watching another football game
I excuse myself, leave my wife and daughter
in front of the big screen,
shuffle as unobtrusively as possible
into the bedroom to watch Great Migrations –
Race to Survive on the little TV atop the dresser.

I’m not much of a football fan, really.
I’m not as manly as I know I should be,
I’m thinking, hoping my pretty wife
isn’t looking at me disdainfully
as I slink away.

If this had been back in college
when she was palling around
with big Don, her macho football player friend,
more than eager and ready
for him to ask her out, you know
I’d be right in there watching the stupid game
with her, cheering the team on,
slapping 5 for each goal scored, perhaps
even downing a beer or two in the frenzy of testosterone.
All this, of course, to show her, to prove to her,
that I’m a man, yes indeed, a real man,
a football fan, a football loving fan man.

But for right now, for tonight,
I’ll hide away in the bedroom
watching in complete fascination
as the Okavango Zebra herd stops at nothing,
tramping continuously
over ancient migration paths,
risking lion attacks and disease,
starvation, cheetahs and hyenas,
to reach the salt lick
and the river beyond that simply to mate.

editors note:

Sports could be just a bunch of men chasing balls around. Well, not if we’re talking WNBA or some other fatuous pastime. This walks into a packed Chili’s Bar and Grill, where Jerry’s Cowboys are playing on a dozen plasma screens, and switches the televisions to Romanticized animal porn, and what life is really about—survival, habits, salt licks and sweaty sheets. – tm