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Two textbooks finished,
Two instructor's manuals,
Two test banks as well.

Two papers on law,
Submitted to two journals,
Soon to be published.

A new appointment,
As Distinguished Professor,
Welcomed news as well.

Research conducted,
For a new course developed,
(Immigration Law).

But all at a price:
Not enough time with my wife,
No real vacation.

All friends far away,
The same true of family,
Parents in heaven.

Nose pressed to grind stone,
The sands of time drift away,
Is this all there is?
The world is my oyster,
Though it is three days dead,
Malodorous coffin,
Lined in mother of pearl,
Concealing no treasure,
Not a perfect large pearl,
Just my flesh-covered bones,
And the dreams I once dreamed,
That died while yet I lived,
And hoped they might be born.
Why have you left me, sweet old dreams of youth?
I tried so hard to hold you in my heart,
Where have they fled, faith, honesty and truth,
Or were they only visions from the start?

Do I hear music deep within my soul,
Or mocking echoes of a bygone time?
Embers still glow, though I am growing old,
But they grow dark and cold, as does my rhyme.

Each passing moment wears away my hope,
As does the blowing sand the desert stone,
Symphonies fading to a single note,
Leaving me empty, bitter and alone.

I grieve not for my life; I have more sense,
I grieve far greater loss, my innocence.


[You can access my reading of this poem at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ4EVKhvEYQ]
[To hear my reading of this poem, you can visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=757IZDfihJU&t=9s]

Flowers bloom next to rusting Pepsi cans,
Watered by the spit of ******* dealers,
And the ***** and vaginal fluid,
Of hot lovers groping under blankets,
Under stars faintly glowing through acrid smog.

After dark haven for muggers, rapists, other fiends,
Whose breath profanes the very species
They so poorly represent,
Degenerating Platonic men and women,
Into dead, plucked chickens.

Abomination. Horrid not in itself, but for the use it’s put to:
A bone thrown to dogs who’ve never tasted steak,
And are only too pleased to feast,
Upon the remnants of fetid meat,
Clinging to well-gnawed bones.

Central Park, the bone we are to chew,
While smiling complacently at skyscrapers,
Daily rising where flowers might have grown,
Our humanity sinking in proportion,
To the heights they reach.

If I seem narrow minded and unkind,
Or blind to the brighter side of Central Park,
It is because I’ve stood on ****** ground,
In summer, winter, fall and early spring,
And cannot bring myself to love a *****.
Memories assault my mind,
And make me drink a draft of darkness all my own,
The once-filled corners of my mind are empty now,
And though accompanied, I am alone.

I’ve given all I had to chase a dream,
Which haunted me for much too long a time,
Shards of reality now cut the empty refrains of what might have been,
Of shattered truths and dreams gone awry.

I seek with the hunger of a dying soul,
And am rewarded for my foolishness,
With an endless void where the only meaning to be gleaned,
Is from the shadow cast by my dying mind.

What of Don Quixote and his faithful Sancho Panza,
When the dragons begin to take their true form and windmills appear?
He fights to hold on to the dream and failing to do so,
Dies from the crushing weight of his reality.

When I wake, I will redden profusely,
And put down my ragged lance,
To take my rightful place,
Beside the great dolts of our time.

Yet still I sleep, though I know the uneasiness of incipient wakefulness,
I cling on to the dream, knowing it a dream,
For in its sweet promise lies the only truth I can accept,
My only hope, the evanescent reverie of an immature mind.
If you'd like to hear my reading of this poem, you can visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CV4fGZ2VA8&t=12s
Does true love exist,
Or do we simply dream it,
To fill empty lives?

And if it is real,
Do we see it with our hearts,
Or just with our eyes?

Can we ever tell,
Self-delusion from true love,
And does it matter?

Should we not embrace,
A chance for shared joy when found,
If it does no harm?

Believe in true love,
Hope and dream and strive for it,
If it's not yet yours.

It gives life meaning,
Makes all our pain bearable,
Keeps away despair.
These linked haikus are also a takeoff on my short story "Amor Vincit Omnia" that deals with humor with a very serious topic--the need to be understood and loved with our faults and the mind's rebellion against real or perceived incompatibility with our mates that can lead to some unusual consequences. Can the quest for true love lead to a path of self delusion and madness, or can the universe however strangely or unlikely bring two well-matched, lonely souls together? If we find true love, be it in madness, self delusion or reality, does it fundamentally matter at all?
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