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May 2017 · 174
Untitled
May 2017 · 394
At First Light
It is the last of the night
and the first light of the day
brings wake-up time
to the birds in the bushes;
their songs,
tentative at first
the notes quiet and seeking
take form,
one with the other,
questing and melding,
point and counterpoint
till the moment,
when strong in will
and together in purpose,
the chorus swells
the light brightens
and together they bring
the dawn to a full day
Apr 2017 · 204
Untitled
Apr 2017 · 226
Just look
Just look,
my astonished daughter
at this image.
Once I seemed a monstrous being
but look and look again
this is me,
this overgrown hedge
of my beard
and hair
and moustache
the broken nose.
The eyes
peer out and say
this is me.
At that time
you were not even envisioned
and now I am here
in this black and white photo
your father.
Keep me please
I bind you to an unknown past
connected by memory and dna,
this time is yours
if you want.
Just ask
paper pencil bingo!
her muzzle shoves snow
sneezing out all the crystals
no snowshoes needed
Sep 2016 · 537
In boreas veritas
The wind blows
in the birch tree
Why do I think
of widows at a funeral,
faded and tired.
The leaves too.
soon they will fall
another summer
another year nearly over
I cannot but help feeling
as the leaves fall.
I am a year older
Sep 2016 · 322
Night
the loon sings
his songs,
the night wind
wafts his plaints
over the black water to us,
sitting on the dock
in the silence
of a Maine Summer night.
Jul 2016 · 321
The Family Meal
The family rarely gets together
oceans apart
email and skype are there
but touch and embrace
are not
the family meal
remembrance and folly
and joy and bitterness
at new partings to come
gelled over, smoothed with wine
the mother asserts her role
the desert a trifle
memories of tastes past
remembered again
before the door opens and shuts
another goodbye and for how long
the question hangs
the answers now are too late for tomorrow
and so to bed
Jul 2016 · 186
And the winner is - haiku
Jul 2016 · 292
A Needle Needing North
Then,
on waking
out in the early light
running and running
the familiar curves and sweeps of the road
markers for my discipline
the rise and falls of the hills
signals to my heart and lungs
to do what I willed.

Runners know that will,
It says that you are king
it says you will not fail.
I am, I am
A needle needing North
And finding it,
Exulting,
I am, I am.

Now,
on waking
I lie waiting for the ache in my back
To take over
To tell me there is a new day
And like yesterday,
And the day before,
I will hurt.
I am, I am.
hitchhiking at night
dressed in white from head to toe
woman driver stops
Dresses in white so that I could be seen and also dressed in white to convey an aura of probity
Jul 2016 · 211
halcyon times - haiku
hitchhiking from Rome
dressed from head to toe in white
woman driver stops
Hitchhiking is a great way to see places and experience people. My longest was San Francisco to Cartagena in Colombia. Took me 18 days.
Two white balloons fly
the fast west wind blows them where?
over the roofs goodbye
I was sitting at my kitchen window with a small frame of blue sky and two balloons flew by. ergo a haiku
Jul 2016 · 231
summer in the city - haiku
ultra f*cking hot
skin on head all burned off
will I ever learn
Jul 2016 · 179
dark fire
dark fire,
images on my eyes
are they real?
I see the road where I walk,
broken cobbles
they cut my feet
my blood the color of a rose in summer
I walk because I have to.
I dream??
Caught it quick in pencil on the back of a bank statement
The nurses are always brisk and purposeful.

"*** in this'
she said,
writing my name on the small plastic container

"I'll be back soon"
and out she went
leaving me alone to ponder on my ability
to fulfill this function.

"Now what"
I say to myself
"Unbuckle or unzip or both?"
How best to relax.
do what I gotta do
standing or sitting?

Will there be enough?
and what if it spills?
Could I get it off the floor?
and if not,
where could I get more?

Carefully, carefully, the job done
I put the precious liquid aside
and carefully, carefully
I pick up and ***** on the lid.

Zip.
Buckle.
Preen.

What tales will this ichor tell?
Two new back operations coming up. Can't be too  glum.
my happy niece clare
back in london and clothesless
suitcase lost in Detroit
an amuse-bouche. no more
Jul 2016 · 235
it evolves daily - haiku
d'ja really know
in my home vernacular
that ooonts mek them tumps
Jul 2016 · 1.1k
Dire wolves -haiku
woof spirit of wolf
tails wags not sign of amity
choker chain needed
From our country lives matter columnist
measure your hemlock
write the names in copperplate
then fall on your pens
Jul 2016 · 282
the pot boils over - haiku
poets froth up
inedible stone soup feeds
inconsolables
After all the clangor and tumult and epithets I thought a gentle little epitaph might be written in haiku form
Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew

My father descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman's hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks...
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper's flesh will be my food
Beware...
Beware...
Of my hunger
And my anger!
My haikus are self indulgent jottings compared to this
Fourth of July
independence from Britain
language ties still
Jul 2016 · 192
A sigh at twilight - haiku
The sky is very tired
rain weeps down the dusty trees
night will comfort all
Jul 2016 · 164
he said - she said - haiku
words thrown all about
egos and allies in thrall
no one really cares
Lots of acrimonious toing and froing lately Great heaps and windrows of remarkably narcissistic self justification in verse.
Appeals to Elliot!
If I was Jewish I would scream Oi Vey.
But I am not.
Tomorrow is Monday. It's Poem time.  Start writing
Jul 2016 · 159
to be or not to be - haiku
contemplation
has not helped me overmuch
action works faster
A one Martini lunch works wonders
Jun 2016 · 279
China
Today,
I talked to my daughter on Skype,
She
in Chicago, about to leave for her trip to China
a veteran now of this journey,
but still needing dad
to tell her where the baggage scale was,
and then to tell her what to do
when that scale is with me here in London.
The suitcase to be lightened,
the impossibility of throwing anything out.
Dad. I need all my makeup.
Dad. I need all my cut-offs.
Dad .OK. I will be reasonable.
Gentle logic at a five thousand mile remove.
Memories now of her as a three year old,
She,
many years ago in her bath,
water as cool as she would demand,
and playing submarines and holding her breath,
and of the same three year old,
fascinated with ***** and entering that word
on my keyboard and unleashing
**** by the screenfull.
She,
now, off again, her third trip for full immersion
in a culture in her language of choice
her middle school graduation speech in Chinese.
She,
much much more accomplished than I was,
much much more mature than I was,
knowing what she wants to do with her life,
her school already picked out,
and here I am, her dad,
She,
asks for nothing except my love
which seems enough for now,
and so I will give her all that she asks for,
patrimony at it’s purest.
Jun 2016 · 615
Edificio Ganem
And so it came to pass that I was offered a floor in a room in the elevator winding mechanism shack which was on a corner of the roof of the Edicifio Ganem. This was an elegant nine story tower that had been built in 1948 in the middle of the old city in Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. The rent was a dollar a day and I was entirely responsible for me and mine. The elevator worked sometimes; if it did not it was a long slog around and around and up and up the interior staircase till one got to the top.
The views from the roof were superb in all directions. The sunsets were shared with God.  When the trade winds blew it was “cool” meaning the breeze evaporated your sweat. It was never less than 90 degrees whatever season of the year. In the rainy season it rained and for those people from more temperate countries the rain was a wonder.  On one occasion I was caught out in it and survived only by steepling my fingers over my mouth so that I could breathe. But it cleaned the streets wonderfully and even washed the cucurachas away in the drains for a while until they returned no doubt well refreshed after their swim.
There were drawbacks of course, chief amongst these were these same cucurachas which are the insect kingdom’s equivalent of ninja warriors. These four inch invincibles could sprint, walk up walls and across ceilings, swim and fly. They were also difficult to **** since their carapaces were thick and shoe resistant. I found in the end a delicate touch with a mallet was best. If one hit too hard the body would burst and a mess would ensue; not hard enough and the nuisance would scuttle away.  Once killed the body would be kicked aside and the night staff cleaner ants would move in and eat the husk clean.
Again being entirely responsible for me and mine meant that I had to buy my own bedstead. Iron of course with iron legs and metal springs and a mattress all brand new and all hopefully bedbug free. The iron legs would each stand in a can of kerosene which was the ant and cucuracha moat. I was late to this concept of insect defense and only adapted it when I woke up one night with a cucaracha in my mouth having a drink.  I sought advice from my “landlord and ”landlady” and was told to go to a man in the mercado - market -  who sold empty cans; I had always wondered about this obviously niche trade and was very happy to go there and be advised on the right width and depth to create the necessary defence. Four cans and a litre of kerosene and I could sleep free from attack.
I have seen texts deposited as poetry. I figured it was my turn
Jun 2016 · 347
humpty dumpty
Once when I was a manchild
a blind broken piece of finework
cut from the loom
and thinking myself whole
and the gleam of light in a dim world
I ventured forth in my majestic ignorance
and was upset
when the unfinished piece I was
unravelled at the first stress
and into a  hospital bed
where tender mercies made me whole
and ready for Monday
it was only yesterday
it seems that  I was young
well younger
and on a Maine island
leaping from rock to rock
along  the shoreline
no fear just jumping
free
a youth still in spirit
and for a while in body
Now
in retrospect
that was more than yesterday ago
the memory exists
the body follows faintly and not so much
the mirror of desire does not lie
and my body is sadly fain
yesterday is yesterday
and fixed so for ever
Jun 2016 · 244
angst
My father never knew a father's love
and was crippled for ever.
I do not remember a hug
I do not remember a nighttime story
where the good guys promised peace till morning
Perhaps he did and was so diffident
that changelings were born
and so different that false memories were created
and no love ever lived
Jun 2016 · 279
In the house next door
When parents bicker and fight
the children are left
in a wasteland
of shadowy facts
the rocks of absolute love
move and skitter
and the places where they were safe
no longer have footing
the attendant black crows
peck and harry.
Silence and tears blind the sky
and hush the lives
off the innocent who
die crying.
Jun 2016 · 1.5k
I SAY
PriestlyPriestly
14 hours ago

you say fifty people
I SAY FIFTY GAY PEOPLE
you say nightclub
I SAY GAY NIGHTCLUB
you say the shooter was mentally ill
I SAY HOW DARE YOU PERPETUATE THE STIGMA
THAT MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE ARE SOMEHOW DANGEROUS
WHEN THERE HAVE BEEN COUNTLESS NEUROTYPICALS
THAT HAVE DONE HORRIBLE THINGS OF THEIR OWN VOLITION
you say this was isis
I SAY HOW DARE YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THIS ISLAMOPHOBIA
THIS WAS THE WORK OF ONE MAN
ONE MAN WITH A GUN
AND NOW FIFTY OF MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE DEAD  
SO I SAY HOW DARE YOU
TRY TO MAKE THIS ANYTHING ELSE THAN WHAT IS OBVIOUSLY IS
THIS WAS A HATE CRIME
AND THE WORST SLAUGHTER
-BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IT WAS-
IN HUNDREDS OF YEARS
AND IT WAS A HATE CRIME AGAINST THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
SO HOW DARE YOU TRY TO DOWNPLAY THIS
TO A MENTAL ILLNESS AND AN AFFILIATION WITH ISIS
BECAUSE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE DEAD
AND YOU SAYING well this happens to other people all the time
ERASES THE FACT THAT YES I KNOW THIS HAPPENS TO OTHER PEOPLE
BUT THIS HAPPENED TO GAY PEOPLE
AT A GAY NIGHTCLUB
AND NOW A PLACE THAT SHOULD BE SAFE
FOR MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS
AND FOR ME
IS NO LONGER SAFE
BECAUSE A MAN WITH A GUN DECIDED THAT
SINCE WE ARE DIFFERENT THAN HE IS
WE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO LIVE
THIS IS NOT MY POEM. READ ON. I read today's Daily Poem and then I read I SAY by Priestly. The former is ephemeral, the latter is important which is why I am reposting it on my page
Jun 2016 · 365
circle - haiku
Narcissus weeps tears
old day dies new day reborn
two pools at midnight
With acknowledgement to Kikodinho Alexandros
It is nights like this
with the air hot and till
that they come for you.
They cannot be seen
looking directly on,
but with the head canted sideways
you know they are there
in the shadows at the far end of your eyes.
They sit perfectly still,
wings folded at parade rest and ready to work,
veterans of these dark hours,
trained and blooded
and with a desire to have no feelings
about doing the job right.

No animosity, totally professional
quick, competent escort staff
they are, it might be said,
in the boutique-packing-to-go-now
side of the business.
We are all going to the same destination:
plush cushions, snacks on porcelain plates
delicate porcelain cups too.
Here with our name bar codes,
our history in tie-on tags, the reasons why……
Factory Returns, Out of Warranty
Time Expired, Use by, Discounted to Go,
it’s all written and in an account somewhere.

And when we are assembled and ready to leave,
The door at the end of the hall opens and is tested,
It is one way only and shuts with a metallic snicker
and has no inside handle which you might try
if you had second thoughts about this trip.
There are no second thoughts,
no thoughts at all and no regrets
too late for that.
It’s like queuing for Wimbledon, gentility and good will to the last,
the memory of the taste of strawberries and cream in your mouth
as you go on your way out and up for an ever endless lebensraum.
Her morning began well I suppose
She may have been from out of town
Otherwise I would have not lived my day
With her as I did

I was standing on the corner of holy ground
St. Marks and First in the City
I saw her coming towards me.
She was with a friend
She passed me and then with a few steps more
She sat on a stoop.
She’s drunk I thought
She leaned over and fell on her side

We just did some stuff her friend said
Is she OK
I shook her slightly
What is her name I asked her friend
Jennie
Jennie I said loudly
Jennie
I pinched the skin between her thumb and forefinger
Hard hard with my nails
Nothing

People stopped and looked
Call an ambulance
Her breathing was slowing
I pressed my mouth to hers
And blew and blew
Again and again
Nothing
I pressed her chest over her heart
Again and again
She was gone
Her friend was gone
The ambulance arrived
and I went into the bar on the corner
NYC in the 80's was a profligate place. In the East Village people went to the edge quite often and did not come back. On weekends the B & T crowd came for the cornucopia of earthly delights and often did not get to go home.
Jun 2016 · 265
Fresh Bread
Today I ate fresh baked bread
crackly crust,smooth dense chewy texture

After one bite I thought.
perhaps some butter, marmalade too

The butter spreads easily
the little holes all fill up nicely

then thickly comes the bitter marmalade
which glues the top slice on

A two handed squish to firm it up..............

a second bite

Good thinking
An old one  but nourishing still.
Jun 2016 · 399
Music and Melancholia
No matinee today
from my blackbird,
the robin too, is off sick
and the rain is so insistent,
that the shoosh of the wind
in the birch tree is just a whisper.

On days like this,
lonely people in lonely lives
give over and give up;
here in this gun free country
the gas oven, the dressing gown cord
and stored up sleeping pills,
are enough and enable the tired
to leave without saying goodbye.

The dead do not read obituaries,
are not here to unravel confusions,
to answer the question. Why?
to answer the question. Why?
to answer the question. Why?

Now there is one less setting at table
a bedroom door stays shut and
in the bathroom
the toothbrush goes dry in the mug.
The clean shirts at the dry cleaners
are picked up and  on their hangers
with the new heeled shoes in their bag
are fresh goods for the charity shop.

And in this big city village
no one cares
no one really cares
The music is "Le Pas de Chat Noir" by Anouer Brehen  It is truly depressing!
my options are none
death is the sole arbiter
leave it all to fate
Inspired by a work from PAPAYA
bushido ruling
I offer up my haiku
wakizashi kills
The notes of the
oud and piano
meet and meld
each bringing to the other
strength and direction
they take
separate paths and
come back to
reflect against each other
in such a way
never rejoicing
but constant and melancholy
insistent vespers
to mark
the beginning of the end of our day
Jun 2016 · 484
the busker in black
My local songwriter
the blackbird
is up on his pole
again.
Most evenings
when the sun is downing
to the west
he comes and gives us
a concert,
he has no score
just opens his beak
and  trills.
There is repetition
with variance
and pause.
Sometimes he is so eloquent
that people in the street
stop and listen
and smile at each other
content for a moment
to listen to a genius
granting us solace
Jun 2016 · 229
poetry - a haiku
hitherto a poem
with vision and precise wording
limned all our dreams

poetry - a haiku - a follow up

Now it seems to me
******* and a keyboard
wow! anything goes
a short short short skirt
not even handkerchief size
cabin crew aghast
May 2016 · 678
Zika - haiku
Zika mosquito
the gift that keeps on giving
Rio welcomes you
Maybe Coney Island might be safer
this is your pilot
forgive me for the delay
we have a flat tire
May 2016 · 207
Forever - haiku
flower in her hair
enigmatic smile for you
forever in your dream
May 2016 · 270
Out of Order
woke up this morning
feeling excellent
picked up the telephone
dialed the number of
my equal opportunity employer
to inform him I will not
be into work today
“Are you feeling sick?”
the boss asked me
“No Sir” I replied
I am feeling too good
to report to work today,
if I feel sick tomorrow
I will come in early”
by Pedro Juan Pietri

This is NOT my poem; I have been carrying it around for ever as the number of pinholes will attest.
My small grass back lawn
flooded out by heavy rain
will plant rice later
daily sun shone hot
bright summer blue in London
back to gray today
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