Tuesday, March 31, 2020

An Irish Tale

A man retires and moves to small village in Ireland. He finds the local pub and goes in every night. And he always orders three beers at the same time.

After a few weeks the publican says to him, "I can pour them fresh, separately each time and they will taste better."

The man says, "No, this is a family tradition. I have two brothers and whenever we drink, even if we're alone we drink together. And I guarantee you wherever they are tonight if they're drinking they're doing the same." The pulican says what a lovely tradition it is and things go on as usual for about 3 months.

One night the man walks in and orders only two beers. The word goes out to the village and though no one wants to ask the obvious question, anonymous flowers start arriving for him at the pub. The whole town appears to be in mourning, and the man finally asks what all the fuss is about.

The publican tells him, Well, we saw you're  only ordering  2 beers now, and if you wouldn't consider it prying, can we ask which brother has passed away?"

The man replies, "Oh, that? Me brothers are both fine. But I've given up the drink."

Sunday, March 29, 2020

For Aliyah and Trinity


I wish I could show you the seashells 
lying along the shore.
I wish I could show you the oysters 
that lie on the ocean floors.

I'd love to show you the sunsets 
in all the parts of the world,
With all the sunrises and moonsets
and the way the stars shine, just as pearls.

I'd take you for rides on a moonbeam,
and have you home before dawn.
So, when you awaken to greet the new day,
the dream would be lost in a yawn.

But somehow you'll know that I've been there,
the day will feel extra bright.
And, knowing there's someone who really cares
will make all your burdens seem light.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pokey and Ted

Pokey is the doorstop,
Ted is his best friend.
They love one another dearly,
they're friends unto the end.

They greet me each time I go
through the bedroom door.
Sometimes I pick up Pokey,
while Ted sits on the floor.

I nap with Pokey by my side
and each time I awaken
Ted is steadfast by the door
my faith in him unshaken.

These two guys are really tight
as any fool can see.
With so much spare love to share,
there's even some for me!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Trick of the Light - Morning Sun

The sun comes in the window,

it makes the mirror glare.

Then bounces back across the room,
and warms me in my chair.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Peacekeeper - 1969

The small waste can bounced off of my brother’s head and he slammed into the picture frame, shattering the glass and cutting his wrist as he fell to the ground. The old man stood over him, yelling, “That’s your mother- she’s MY girlfriend and that’s who I care about!”

He was about to strike another blow, he was like that, given to seemingly out of control rages, though I had often suspected he was, at all times, by virtue of his outbursts, in perfect control. My slender, but firm, hand reached out to stay his arm as he arched it backwards. “That’s enough!” I yelled. “He’s bleeding!”

The old man stood back and surveyed the damage he had done. His eyes took in the form of his crumpled older boy on the floor, weeping; and the broken frame and glass which sprinkled the black and white tiles of the foyer, the blood on the wall, and he stared in disbelief.

I began to clean up the mess as the two former combatants, who had only moments before been so bold and loud toward one another, slunk away, as if by doing so they could undo what had just happened.

The glass was cleaned up, and the frame removed to some long forgotten corner of a closet. The old man finished cleaning and dressing my brother's wound, and then we all went to the hospital to see Mom.

It was Valentine’s Day 1969. My brother was 16 that day and wanted to see his girlfriend, whom he would later marry. My father wanted to have a little birthday/Valentine’s Day party in the day room at the hospital for my Mom. I just wanted to see her. And she just wanted to see us.

Why am I writing this story now, after so many years? What point am I trying to make? Only that the simplest of emotions, and the best of intentions, can sometimes both backfire and blow up in your face. There is no explanation for our emotions, sometimes there is only damage control.

Note: The photograph was taken in July of 1969 on a trip to Florida. The flag, at St. Augustine, is flying at half staff. I have always remembered this as being in honor of Senator Everett Dirksen, who had just passed away. Evidently my memory fails me, as Senator Dirksen did not pass away until September.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Bitter Man


'Tis a bitter man I am, man.
'tis a bitter man I am.
They didn't allow all that I can, man.
So, 'tis a bitter man I am.

They left me in a jam, man.
They did this and then ran.
Left me doing what I can, man.
Now, 'tis a bitter man, I am.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"The Boy at the Window" - Richard Wilbur (1952)


This is another of my favorite poems. The stark imagery of the outdoors; as endured by the Snowman; juxtaposed against the warmth and love which the boy experiences indoors; breaks my heart each time I read it.

And the sympathy of the snowman as he melts is truly amazing. Being born to die he has no fears at all, while the boy remains trapped, fearing the loss of the things which he only thinks he possesses; but which in reality possess him. (Photo of Sue and her snowman in 2017.)

"The Boy at the Window" - Richard Wilbur

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.

His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a godforsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to
see the youngster cry.

Though water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love,
and so much fear.