Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fantastic Structures

I am not structure     nor am I form
But if I was I would be      A Fantastic Structure

One could walk me sideways      and climb my stairs upside down

My windows would be glazed with      Crystals from deep Bavarian caves
My womb would hide secret doorways     and be open on holidays

My pantry is not shuttered but open      for all to see the bounty I hold 

Steeples and Minarets twist and bend with the wind and clash with cumulus
Fragrant muted paint of Neroli decorates my 
consecration of concentric love mirrors 
who spiral round Thelonious towers and 
many stairs of Mourning Dove feathers

No gendarme guard me as my shingle is hung with an
 "Always open for business" sign
 that speaks pidgin english to all passersby advising them inmost
that what they see is  verite

I am not structure     nor am I form
But if I was I would be      A Fantastic Structure

Friday, December 30, 2011


Dust falls
it falls everywhere
like snow in the forest
do you hear it?
silently it accumulates
patiently appearing
as if by magic
out of nowhere
then it begins its search
under chairs, behind bookcases
without foot steps
it creeps up and ensnares
hair: dog, cat hair, human hair
spider webs
skeletons of fantastic structures
I witness this
having also fallen
not able to move
with eyes slowly glazing over
slowly being covered
by the falling dust

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

nobody wins

What is this thing 

falling from the sky

a leaf to be turned

something new to lead me on

who gave this kindness          in a glance

and took it away
                            with silence

Friday, December 23, 2011


winter solstice
                      shortest day of the year

turn off all the lights

supper is buttermilk pancakes
bathed in vanilla scented candlelight 

go to sleep early and dream divine

Thursday, December 22, 2011


the depths of Dark Winter
any light is revered
the Sun is precious
life is precious
a rose, a candle
and a smile

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Post

More Ducks than could be counted arrived via post
Dust colored and intent on destination
Meted out across the front of the card
They fly now in perpetuity across the mantle
Inside diminutive words of Christmas cheer

Outside the solitary pink rose resides
In the warm coastal winter of the wetlands
Through my window it communicates to me
And only to me as we are now allies —
Sisters waiting for Spring to arrive

Sunday, December 18, 2011

just kidding

They found the device in a cave on Triton one of the moons of Neptune. I call it a device but it’s really a computer, the most sophisticated computer ever devised, but devised by whom … ?

Engineers developed an interface, a keyboard and screen that allowed questions to be posed to it. Answers to the most difficult scientific problems were returned in the instant that the last key was struck. It wore out all the scientists who came with worried faces and left with the appearance of bliss. They finally stopped coming. No one could think of anything else to ask.

I watched all this. I was just the janitor, by the way. After a while I became bored and I set down the book I was reading. It had given me an idea. I approached and typed in “What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?” and hit enter. I heard a something that sounded like a belch. The device whizzed and gurgled, and kept on making sounds like it was chewing on my question. Minutes went by, hours, days. I fell asleep, woke, fell asleep, on and on it worked. My beard grew and grew. When my hair started to fall out I got worried. I dozed again but was woken by the chiming of a bell. I looked at the screen. Gone was the screen saver of Barbarella in various alluring poses. The words on the screen printed out “The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42.” The screen went blank and Barbarella reappeared. She turned and looked at me and said, “Just kidding!” then the screen went blank again. The device turned itself off and could not be restarted.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Peloponnesian War


With a Bang?
With a Whimper?
How does one face The Future?
Plans made and laid and paid,
The best of plans gone astray.
Hair piles up in the corner
Of the shower and you shiver
To think it is your own. Flit —
These thoughts down the drain.
Brave face skeets into the world
With fresh laundered raiment and tinkly
Bracelets. Little Louis Heels click
Across the Saltillo Tiles with purpose
And gentle might. Down the hall The
Peloponnesians are at it again, but no matter,
Whoever wins this war, they will need dauntless
Soldiers to carry the dead and mend the wounded.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the future

He rang the bell three times
     then four
and three again
it was the sign.
everyone waited
pausing into the stillness
of the blue morning
no birds sang and
insects were still
only the close sounds,
breathing, hearts beating
then at the crest of the brown hill
came the creak of wagons
the dull thuds of oxen plodding
measuring the road towards the town
“they’re coming,” one boy spoke
admonishing eyes turned towards him
and he shut his now trembling mouth
eyes turned back to the road
waiting for their future to arrive.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thricely Blest

Once Blest are ye
who have limits
Once Blest are ye
who have none

Twice Blest are ye
Who know their limits
Twice Blest are ye
Who do not

And Thricely Blest are ye
who overcome both

Friday, December 9, 2011


The metal double doors slam open into the cavernous room
thirty boys, thirteen year-olds charge out on to the floor
the goose flesh on their spindly legs
shorts and t-shirts stiff with dried sweat
worn again and again, seldom washed, the smell,
the squeak of running shoes
jocks and non-jocks
the ones running and those standing
arms around our middles to ward off the cold
a whistle and everyone starts to run up and down the floor
a sudden stop, turn around and run back
some boys seem to be able to keep this on forever
the rest of us are gasping after two rounds
the fit and the non-fit
some mouths smiling, others cannot be opened wide enough
there is not enough oxygen in this room to ease our torment
we hate this
another whistle and we’re divided into teams
balls magically appear
more running
balls bouncing passed then shot upwards
the hoops, the nets
most shots are missed then more running
the opposite direction
shouts of “here, here”
by now we’re bending over gasping
while others keep running and shouting
“how do they do that?”
now for the worst part
a whistle “off to the showers”
clothes come off, nakedness
the snickers, those with hair
and those without

Monday, December 5, 2011


Standing at the metal double door
You can see them lined up

The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) was developed in 1958 by Dr. Albert Sabin. Sabin attenuated the wild type poliovirus by passaging the virus in monkey kidney epithelial cells. Trivalent OPV is characterized in vivo by efficient growth properties in the intestinal tract, unaltered immunogenic properties with respect to wild type progenitors, and attenuated neurovirulence after experimental intraspinal injection into primates. This means that an individual immunized with trivalent OPV induces long-lasting (frequently life-long) protective immunity of the gastrointestinal tract to all known forms of poliovirus.

Little hands outstretched
For consecrated sugar cubes

A year later Dr. Alber Sabin worked on a live-virus polio vaccine. In 1961 the American Medical Association endorsed the use of Sabin's oral vaccine. Upon the adoption of the Sabin vaccine, everyone in America was called back for immunization.

Changelings now, free from
Disease that paralyzed limbs

 The Sabin oral polio vaccine was made with a live but weakened virus, which gives the advantage of passive immunity for large groups (i.e. because it is easily passed on through the oral fecal route in households, schoolrooms, etc., even if only a portion of the community is immunized, everyone eventually develops immunity).
They walk out of the Gymnasium
Into the world: Soldiers of Immunity

Friday, December 2, 2011

Unca Bulgie (Uncle Otto)

He stood before the easel
brush pausing
shifting his weight
one leg to the other
swaying on his crutches
shaking his head
something was not right
he struggled over to the model
adjusted her arm across her leg
then back to the easel
picked up his brush and started again

since he was a child
crutches and heavy braces
he said “I’ve measured every staircase
in every house that I lived”
Jonas Salk had come too late

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Betty Grable Legs

Sacha Tillier limps out of the trailer. Her neck is stuck in gear and she cant seem to remember which one, high or low. Her back aches and she knows her child sized bed will only hold up so long. In the dark of last night the sounds had scared her but when the apparitions appeared she closed her eyes and said, yes I am home. God wants me here.
She tidied up her camp stove and made some coffee, cowboy style. Drinking her first cup o joe with her leg propped up on the ancient sawed off tree was her usual morning starting point and the sameness while routine, gave her hope. Hope she will find some way to escape this place. Hope she was young enough to find another lover. She had been looking for escape for the past ten years. Every hidey hole turned up empty. No key to be found.
Making the best of it was her motto. She turned her face to the sun and ran her hand quickly down her withered leg. Dammit, she thought, I used to be known far and wide for my Betty Grable legs and now not even my confused raggedy ghosts wanted to look at them. A deep sigh seeped out from her, but as she was determined to be ever hopeful, she dreamt of better days for herself. She need only find the key and she would be free.