Category: Poetry

Here are many of the poems I have written throughout my life, dating back to high school, so beware. As a poet, I’ve been pretty sporadic over the years, going through periods of high productivity when I was very young, to occasional bursts in midlife and very occasional drips as I’ve gotten older. I’ve found that the drips of my later years are far more appealing than the bursts (sometimes outbursts) of my youth, so I came to an accommodation. Instead of presenting everything here, I went by a standard of “that which is at least forgivable.” There is much in my moldering files, I’ve discovered, that is not. I’m sure you’ll find some of the work pretty engaging. Whether in the process of cataloging my expressions and impressions from across the years, I have weeded out all that indeed is unforgivable I, with some trepidation, leave for you to decide.

Twenty-nine poems

Twenty-nine poems. Why not twenty-eight? Or thirty, for a pleasant rounder sum? Enough? Too much? Not mine to calculate, a magic number; sic oraculum. To woo your breast and breath and arms and mind, I offer heartbeats mounting, unmeasured. While cauldrons, crystals, Tarots, chants divined In  mute clairvoyance thrash for magic words, Conjure instead through too-neglected modes Of Read More …

For the Queen, Mother

Born: Date Unknown Died: January 23, 2016 Plato could distinguish the dog from the essence of the dog. Stevens strained to see not ideas about the thing but the thing itself. Damn them both. Or praise them, I don’t know. In my mind: the dark face of dignity. Ever calm. Ever pure. The queen, free, Read More …

Pocket Detritus

(From my novel “Within the Bosom,” as envisioned by “narrator” Janis Elizabeth Samson, writing about an afternoon in her father’s memory.) Who, really, can guess what a 75-year-old man will find when he spreads his memories out on the kitchen counter and shuffles them with his wrinkled fingers? First kiss, surely. Prom night? Maybe. The Read More …

The Rage

(From the novel “Within the Bosom,” as envisioned by “narrator” Janis Elizabeth Samson, writing about a dispute with her mother.) Oh, God, the rage. Mornings of hoarfrost. Silent, desolate sighs in icy gulps, a howling wind behind the eyes. Oh, God, the rage. Fire-breathing afternoons. A long, slim, slithering tongue of flame, consumed and all-consuming. Read More …

Sonnet for the Irish

(From my novel “Within the Bosom,” as envisioned by “narrator” Janis Elizabeth Samson, writing about her parents’ love affair.) Love songs write themselves deep where shallow Time’s Intent distorts the light, so all that once Was false bows to request of Truth a dance. Then black washes to red, such minor crimes, And broken hearts Read More …

Hapless Henry Helper

Henry’s my friend. He likes to help All of the people he knows. He tells their bad points and gives them stuff To get rid of the spots on their clothes. He gave a truck driver a bottle of Scope — I’ll never forget the day. The man said,  “I like you. You’ve got guts.” Then punched Read More …

The Days of the Week

The days of the week are monotonous things If you stop to think about them. Yet, however dull they all may seem, We just can’t live without them. Friday, let’s start with just be be different, Is the same every week. You get your pay and, zoom, it’s spent Along with the happiness you seek. Saturday Read More …

Twenty-Three Skidoo

One night while walking in the woods Watching the fireflies flying, I heard the most unhuman screech; As if someone for help were crying. I looked to my left and I looked to my right, But nothing there could I see. And then a voice from out of the night: “Over here, my friend, look Read More …