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my hidden shames

are an excellent source of moral fibre,
nurturing, but not nutritious.
we coexist in a quiet
 mutual acknowledgment,
coexisting but un-categorizable,
among my oldest cohorts,
their singular coordinated characteristic,
they are mine alone,
not meant to be shared.

But they will someday
make an excellent poem.

Mon jan 2 2023


the askew

are  my oldest companion,
dating back to my naissance,
faithful, eternal, but single-minded,
with a rueful sense of humor,
of course,
refer to my relatively plentiful hairs
inherited from my mother’ genetics.

a morning chore,
to return their antics
to an adult,
dignified pose,
plenty sufficient to be be brushed,
straight back,
the preferred orderly compose,
of older men
who cannot waste time
with foolishness,
the excessive vanities of
curls, parts and pompadours,

and yet,
every day they wake me with
ridicule, mockery,  by presenting me,
as if electrocuted,
hair raising itself
pointing to the heaven,
their true Creator resides.

no amount of product
they do what they must do,
akimbo, askew,
with inordinate amount of
malice aforethought and
a venomous sense of
hairy (and now hoary)
absurdity .

a splash of water,
a handful of rigorous brush strokes,
returns order
and the pretense of a serious mien,
an adult demeanor.

But their purpose accomplished,
they have reminded me of the
absurdity of human vanity,
to humble myself
before forces
more powerful
than human self-aggrandizement
by accentuating
our human foibles.

same time & place

morning prayers are
a trilogy

the rounded evenness of three,
provides the necessary gravitas
of sufficiency,
three being
not too short,
not too long,
not too quick,
just three right,
to impart
the seriousness
of gratitude
for having gained
another day upon earth,
with it,
many multitudes of
chances to share
& love too,
and to write,
one more poem
all of the above.

same day
same place,
same cup of coffee
Joel M Frye Nov 2022
the amount of light
expressed equals how much of
our dark we explore
Grazie, Denah.
  Aug 2022 Joel M Frye
Caroline Shank
The soliloquies
born of tears,
spoke of Loneliness.
The Plays the Thing.
The Long and Winding Road.  

Hamlet was not crazy,
as some think,

he was alone.

Lady Macbeth scraped blood
from her hands in a
castle of lonely rooms.

McCullers loneliness
was a companion.  

Teasdale wrote of the sea's
lonely foam.

Lear,  alone,  held Cordelia
to the
cold and empty sky.

I know Alone.   It is a wind
just past my skin.   Your hand
on my face is a reflection.   My
skin is uninterrupted by the
conversation of your fingers.

Alone is the road
we travel.  


Caroline Shank
  Aug 2022 Joel M Frye
Nat Lipstadt
Something’s changed.

6:00 AM Sun August 16 2022

The temperature today will baby step
up the kitchen ladder, careful, senior slow,
to hover at a pleasant 79 Fahrenheit.

But, I am unfooled.

‘tis the birthing of the
changeling of mid-Augustus,
June’s initiating summer solstice,
an intimate longing now a long
gone forgotten memory, now a
calendar X a valedictorian graduate.

But of late, the sun has lately been
heisted by late afternoon by a batter
thick grayish cloud cover, right here,
hovering upon this godly place on earth.

there is a underlying fragrance, familiar,
an unmistakable chilling odor of cool fall.

an urgency emerges, hurry up you,
pluck the blueberries, harvest the peaches,
because trace hints of crispin fall apples,
falling browning foliage, curling leaves,
pumpkin flavorings and yellow gourds
is unjustly barely there, a definitely discernible.  

Back-to-school ads replace banners proclaiming
bargain prices for summer necessities, vin rosé.

Even the squirrels are enjoying a Sunday rest,
after mornin’ worship, no feverish acorn collection,
a subtle hint, winter supplying must be nearly done.

dare not superstitious say out loud, the **** geese,
have made themselves scarce going on two weeks,
having learned a trick or two from the Ukrainians,
I chuckle to think that we may have regained territory.

But, I am unfooled.

Morning boats of all ilk and demeanor ply-plow the
bay waters, but all seem less hurried, savoring the pretense
of forever long summer days, beyond-belief sunsets, soft white
ice of creamy calming waters, no impasto^ seas wintry rough.

Return-to-bed, coffee mugged, I await the Dumps early call,
the sorting done, metal, plastic,compostable, so easy to bring
order to our daily detritus, thinking if only one could sort the seasons then I would be a forever summer man, here,
on this godly place.

But, I am unfooled.

7:06 AM Tue Aug 16 2020
Shelter Island, N.Y.

^Impasto is a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the surface thickly, usually thick enough that the brush or painting-knife strokes are visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture; the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.
Joel M Frye Jul 2022
There is a deep honor befriending an elder;
returning the blessings that we've been bestowed.
Also a frisson of fear we have held, for
we pray we are gifted with honor, not owed .
Joel M Frye Jun 2022
I thought you would burst
from unexploded laughter
when my ten-year-old self
knocked at your door
in my Sunday best
fresh-picked dandelions
in my grimy hands
as permission was granted
to court your daughter

Thirty years later, you made
the grievous error
of asking your daughter
if she wanted to attend
my mother's wake
the mother who always said
I would marry that daughter

Today that daughter
prepares her pilgrimage
to home and bedside
a journey I can't take
because we are fellow travelers
and you boarded the express

Our lives have always been twisted;
yes, literally and figuratively
between friend and family
I pray you safe and quiet passage
and will let you know
how the kids and grandkids are doing
when I catch you on the second shift
If you know my father-in-law, the title is self-explanatory.  Blessings upon you, Allan Hull Sr.
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