26.5k · Mar 2015
time
time is
the space in which we grow
   without awareness
   in our early years
structured by meals
   arrivals and departures
   light and dark
   hot and cold
   school   studies  play  adventures
   celebrations
and by waiting
   anxiously or not
for things to happen

time is
that feeling
that we may not have enough of it
in our later years
busy with jobs and family and travel
covering long distances in order to
achieve and educate and care

time is
what starts to rush by us
with increasing speed
in our final years
making us wonder
what it really means

that space
by which we measure
our lives
   our universes
      our worlds

time is
16.2k · Mar 2015
one night ...
it happened once
upon a time

a place with a piano
   much wine
  & cozy talk
they left late
   tied in an amiable hug
heading for their separate quarters
   each knew
   the other shared
   with someone else

passing through the old library
she gently pulled him down
    upon a persian rug
    and lifted her skirts
    quite irresistibly

they melted in bliss

knowing it would happen
   only once
in their time

         * *
dead bodies floating
in our oceans
from the Asian Pacific
to the Mediterranean

crumpled corpses lying
on our beaches
thousands drowned unknown

overcrowded detention centers
not unlike concentration camps
behind barbed wires
guarded by police and snarling dogs

nobody feels responsible

not  those who started wars
destroyed whole cities
made millions homeless
and into refugees

not those who take advantage
of the chaos for their own gain
abusing the names of their gods
or some ancient figurehead
to excuse their atrocities and greed

not those who live
in comfortable homes
and wish the desperate crowds
would just stay on the TV screen
and not come close

nor those who pretend
to be the guardians
of our great humanitarian heritage
but show no backbone
against nationalist fanatics

it is the shame of the world
to sit and talk and watch
and not do enough

remember
those who live by the sword
shall die by the sword

and those who turn away
the needy and homeless
may one day also lose their homes
forced to rely
on the kindness of strangers
13.7k · Mar 2015
new solar system
making love
suspends gravity
   and time
seconds expand
   into eternity
we are
   on top of the universe

floating
   in the fourth dimension
feeling  
   the birth of a new solar system
      amidst convulsive explosions
   whose brilliance
      light years into the future
   may be observed
   by keen astronomers

we do not mind

our system
radiates and shines
in its time

nothing else matters
9.0k · Nov 2016
november 9, 2016
the day
when even the not so faithful
were tempted to pray
for the health of the nation
7.8k · Sep 2015
autumn (reposted)
over the past weeks
a gentle autumn sun
has painted colored leaves
upon the ground
and thinned
the bright abundance
of the wooded ranges

most of the harvest
is securely stored by now
or sold at morning markets
by weathered men and women
in country garbs

vintners are busy with their lots
fermenting grapes
and entertaining those
who see their visit
as pleasant pastime and escape
from daily urban chores

hunters and lumbermen
are waking up
to shoot and mark

schools by this time
have settled into the new year
teachers are happy still to share
the knowledge of our world
with students still inclined
to listen

businessmen
remembering their vacations
on the Bahamas or in Saint Tropez
step sprightly into offices
womanned by secretaries dreaming secretly
of beautiful Mallorca summers
and of those never-ending nights
on the Algarve

I guess it is a human thing
to find a new beginning
and do best
when nature’s breath goes easy
to collect the strength
for yet another fruitful year

or were it better
that we also took a rest?

           * *
7.7k · Apr 2016
not about you
this poem
is not about you

even though
your spirit is in every word
your voice sounds strong
in the halls of my mind
telling me things
I am now sure
I want to know

this poem is
about me

trying to understand
you
6.7k · Mar 2015
dawn
the clouds of cloudland
cast a light of pastel slate
through dripping windowpanes

and as if in a dream
we move and touch
I feel your loving lips
take in all that is yours
all I can give to you
in this enchanted moment
we carved
   in sudden desperation
out of the marble stream of time

           * *
6.4k · Mar 2015
food
food
the requirement of life
comes in all shapes and tastes
   and smells and quantities

to the starving
   a bowl of rice
   the bottom barely covered
to the obese
   a five-course meal
   or piles of junk food
   in bright packaging

the starving
celebrate their meals
   in quiet concentration
each grain of rice
   is tasted carefully
   and chewed with care
extracting to the full its scant nourishment

the last one disappears
   with unheard sighs
when junk food and the five-course meal
   have long been finished
5.3k · Mar 2016
cold world
it seems we live in times
when helping hands extend only reluctantly
to those in dire need who had to leave
     the ruins of their devastated homes
     not waiting for more bombs to fall
to those who had to save their lives
     from the barbaric rule of self-styled prophets
and those whose simple love of education
     was met with inane terror and oppression

why is it that so many people
     are afraid of them and think
     these desperate refugees are perpetrators
          not the victims

why is it that the nations most responsible
      for chaos and destruction in these countries
           far from their own safe shores
      are the least willing to accommodate
      those they have driven from their homes

good Samaritans have become scarce
only a few today share their possessions
     with those who are in greater need

our humanity has been outsourced
to NGOs and sundry other institutions
to whom we donate so they feed
the hungry   poor   and the displaced

it makes one wonder whether shameless greed
has indeed  
    and without any saving grace
become the only goal of our race
4.9k · Jul 2016
time travels
these days
looking around the globe
one might believe that we are travelling in time

just in the wrong direction

regression as progress
seems to be
the dominant notion of the day
creating wannabees in various disguises
     populist czars, sultans, nationalists, dictators,
     assorted self-appointed snake-oil salesmen
     and saviors of their peoples’ wealth and health,
trumpeting fences, walls, tough immigration laws,
etc., etc.  
to keep out all those aliens

     who otherwise are welcome
     as our partners in the global trade
     that seems to dominate the world of greed

so we can all be ourselves

     whatever that might mean

claiming to solve the problems of tomorrow
     with memories of yesterday
is hopeless and quite dangerous

do you remember
what that glorified past
actually was?
4.0k · Feb 2016
words & thoughts
we live in times when words have lost their meaning
they only serve to fill some soundbite gaps between
faces of popstars, politicians, presidential candidates,
maybe some refugees, victims of crimes and natural catastrophes

and more sensational media creations flooding our lives
with unrelenting hype unless you push the button
that brings quiet to your life   and you find time to reconsider
what it might be  exactly you desire to achieve

in the short time we are allotted in this world
you will discover it is not the senseless media blather
but some coherent thoughts turned into words becoming deeds
enacting change leading to bold decisions

think for yourself and don’t let others think for you
then speak your thoughts in words like others cannot do
3.8k · Jul 26
fake president
talkshows and the yellow press
get excited in excess
over Trump's shenanigans
that delight his faithful fans

rumors of these *** affairs
strong words for all macho players
     in the game of social thrones
texts with threatening undertones
     for minorities and women
     treating immigrants like demons

neither fans nor his opponents 
seem to notice the components
of the white house strategy

     throw them bones
     fodder for the yellow press

and while  they fight
clandestinely out of sight
works the Trumpian policy
 
money laundering   blatant lies
scolding allies   breaking ties
adoring foes   praising those
     usurpers of democracies
     experts in atrocities
slowly yet persistently
     undermine  civility  
     with foul language 

court the aristocracies 
         of oil sheikdoms in the East
praising communist dictators
who have helped him build his towers

step by step he‘s leading US
from the groups of international powers
to an isolation desert
at the margins of the world
slogans we have rarely heard
over decades  
      now re-nourished
twittered with presidential flourish
make America small again

warning voices call in vain

no wonder the statue of liberty
hides her face in misery (*)
(*) This at the moment still is 'fake news' - but I would not be surprised if she did...!
how do I write about the beauty of the world
when barefoot people pass before my window
in search of shelter

how do I share my pleasure of the birds' sweet song at dawn
when I see faces etched with panic
from the deafening blast of bombs

how to rejoice in love and friendship
when meeting people who could barely save their lives
after burying their loved ones

how can I write with passion of the kindness of the human heart
when I see thousands fleeing from the ruins of their homes
only to face police   walls   barbed wire

true words are hard to find
as said a poet of an older war

    when it is a lie to speak
    a lie to keep silent

not easy
The poet from which my last two lines come: John Balaban, Vietnam War veteran:
“A poet had better keep his mouth shut,” he writes in “Saying Good-by to Mr. and Mrs. My, Saigon, 1972”:
unless he’s found words to comfort and teach.
Today, comfort and teaching themselves deceive
and it takes cruelty to make any friends
when it is a lie to speak, a lie to keep silent.
3.4k · Jun 2016
humankind
the other day
I occupied a chair
at a sidewalk café
watching the vanity fair of the quotidian
float by in quickly changing apparitions

an endless flow of different ages, nations, fashions,
skin colors, miens, ****** expressions, posture & gaits
kept passing through  my field of vision

it made me wonder why
some people get so furious
when they  just hear about
    not even meet
    the ‘others’ different from themselves
that they start dropping  bombs and shooting rockets

I think they rather should be curious
and eager to discover
how the immense variety of humankind
can help expand a locally grown mind

and recognize
that we are all of the same kind
at times we tend to think
our democracy is safely founded and secure
only eventually we recognize
the need to constantly defend its fundamental rights
work steadily against their stealthy abolition
watch carefully the words of politicians
       lest they betray what they pretend to say
think twice for whom we cast our votes
avoid contenders who too often bray
     that these were not their quotes  
listen to those who have good arguments
     do not unleash too easy sentiments
and in the end cast our votes when called

in short  
democracy turns out to be hard work

     in case we shirk this
     we soon pay the price

unfree societies have known
     dictatorship  corruption  vice
have often needed centuries
to remedy injuries done
to find their four freedoms

and to recognize
democracy remains a living promise
a brilliant idea with many faces
always a work in progress
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms
2.9k · May 2015
birthday child
a grandchild
   for her 9th birthday
very happy
    to be away from her older
   as well as her younger sister
  for a while
spent a  long weekend
with her grands

   they picked her up
   schoolbag and bathing suit
   and guitar & everything else

she had already mentioned
   that French Toast for breakfast
would be REALLY nice
and that’s what she got
together with chocolate milk
   1 minute in the microwave,
   according to her wish
patiently reading her book
while the oldies got their act together
   in their slow morning routine

they all went birthday shopping
   & out for lunch
she read her book again while the oldies
    were snoring their nap
& then they all had great fun
    swimming and horsing around in the public pool

watching some TV  
   & improving her ping-pong game
happy & tired
after dinner some goodnight reading
doughnuts and hot chocolate for breakfast
next morning
   and then
    with grandma’s help
printing out a card for Mom on Mother’s day
AND baking real  brownies as a gift….

a happy & proud 9-year old
   was delivered to her parents
& presented her mother with the card
   & the brownies & the new dress
   & the homework all done

somehow
the guitar practice had gotten lost

yet she was the envy of her siblings
for the day

           * *
2.7k · Jul 2016
summer evening
the setting sun glows crimson over distant hills
people enjoy the balmy temperatures
sip their mojitos and manhattans
anticipating finger food and tapas
chatting with friends and neighbors

not everybody notices
the folding blossoms of the garden flowers
or the sweet evening songs of birds
the daring hedgehog venturing forth
    to look for food
the smell of honeysuckle gaining force
    under the rising moon

the beauty of our nature
often gets talked away in conversations
reduced to just a pleasant ambiance
that loosens our tongues

in our obsession to communicate
we tend to overlook the soft magnificence
the world presents to us in dusky evening hours
2.5k · Mar 2016
so sorry
we look at TV screens that show
thousands of persecuted and bombed-out families
on the run for safety and sheer survival

so sorry

borders are shuttered now
the boat is full   no more come in
we have to think of ourselves

so sorry

we sincerely regret that you
are suffering from cold and rain and snow
in your rickety makeshift camps

so sorry

we are sure there’s someone
to take care of all that mess

it’s just not us

so sorry
2.4k · Jan 2016
art of poetry
the art of poetry
    like any art
produces better work
when writers are not only
erudite but also smart

the lovers' painful state
upon loss or desertion
is voiced much more impressively
with less dramatic flourish
and more of the grate
that finishes the sword
at the old blacksmith's fire
where the hot flame of our desire
    thrown into water
with a defiant hiss
turns into deadly steel
ready to **** and ******
     friend or foe or lover
in our desperate search
     for exits from the mire

or take the unexpected loss
    of victory that seemed so close
    on a wild battlefield
when suddenly the hero's gallant steed
    falls victim to a hostile archers shot
and its proud rider is reduced to shout
"A kingdom for a horse!"
rather than holding a long monologue
    about the treachery of fate

in  short
less is oft' more
and lets the readers fill the empty spaces
with their own images and graces
2.4k · May 2015
living
I sit
   all by myself
   again
and look out
   down upon the streets
cigarette in hand
a glass of wine upon the table
love's sweet exhaustion lingering in my bones
   and smell upon my skin
feeling so young and yet somehow so old

A late night bus drones by
and takes strange people
   to their desired stops
in a city
where I know only few
that could say
  yes  
  it's him

a woman with unsteady midnight gait
secretly walks her dog
into the public park
   both little more than blurs
   of bluish white and brown
   in the half-shadow
   of forbidden bushes

a couple leans entwined
   forever in a parting kiss
   upon the doorstep
unmindful of the plane
   that comes in low and loud
   before the landing

why is it that these moments
   seem eternal and yet
I sense the rush of time go fast
   and pass me by
   and her
   who sleeps next door

and leave us lost among our memories
of what was lovely
   and so beautiful
   before

          * *
2.3k · Dec 2016
generosity in hard times
in hard times especially
those of us who can afford it
should be generous

unless we want to have
tanks in our streets again soon
2.3k · Aug 11
cosmic
I move
through gently opening embraces
and find myself
firmly enveloped in your luscious warmth
that urges me to push on further
until we reach the moment
  out of time and space
that holds us close
forever and again
  one
in a world of brilliant galaxies
  exploding
in deep space
2.2k · Mar 2015
mother
the day you went
   into that other world
the day spring began
is etched into my memory

I know
thousands of mothers die
every day

but this time
it was you

my mother

to bend
to the limits
of our life

hurts

almost beyond words
2.1k · Aug 2016
old Spanish proverb
Diapers and politicians
need to be changed frequently
and for the same reasons

********

los panales y los politicos
hay que cambiarles a menudo
y por los mismos motivos
2.1k · Mar 2015
night sky
when I look up
   into a clear night sky
and feel
   the vastness of the universe
   touching me
it calls up
all the words
humankind has constructed
throughout millennia
so as to face the skies
   with dignity
and not go insane
   instantly
with this vague
   but almost overpowering
sense of helpless awe

neither
the most sophisticated machines
   we send to the edges
   of our solar system
nor the most complex theories
can calm me
when I look up
into a clear night sky
2.0k · Nov 2015
VEGAN THANKSGIVING
no dead birds in the oven
no innards in the stuffing
nor fatty drippings to be scraped and poured

the smell of roasted veggies
wafts through  the wintry air
pumpkin and sweet potatoes
marshmallows  green beans  lentils
turnips  & collard greens
hashed browns & black-eyed peas
quinoa  sorghum cuscus hummus
carrots  leak  broccoli Romanescu
gumbo in southern regions
wild rice dishes in the north
tastily spiced with turmeric
cumin and baked paprika
Indian curry  soy sauce  chipotle
as well as with the usual suspects
of garlic  salt  and pepper
and whatever fits the taste of hosts

in short
a venerable feast to demonstrate
how nature feeds us a large cornucopia
of plants for our delight and sustenance

in short
no need to **** a bird

                * *
I release you, my beautiful and terrible
fear. I release you. You were my beloved
and hated twin, but now, I don't know you
as myself. I release you with all the
pain I would know at the death of
my children.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the soldiers
who burned down my home, beheaded my children,
***** and sodomized my brothers and sisters.
I give you back to those who stole the
food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold
these scenes in front of me and I was born
with eyes that can never close.

I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved.

to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won't hold you in my hands.
You can't live in my eyes, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart

But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid of dying.
Joy Harjo, leading contemporary Native American poetess
1.9k · Jan 2017
gone
where have conversations gone
long time passing
where have all our love words gone
long time ago
where have all our love words gone
mobiles took them, every one
when will we ever learn
I hope they will return

where have all the mobiles gone
long time passing
where have all the notebooks gone
long time ago
where have all the kindles gone
turned to tablets, every one
when will we ever learn
there will be no return

where have all the tablets gone
long time passing
where have all the smart phones gone
long time ago
where have all these gadgets gone
been recycled every one
never they will return
never they will return

where have all the users gone
long time passing
where have all the texters gone
long time ago
there lie all the facebooks slain
people try to speak again
when will we ever learn
hope they again can learn
Obviously trying to do a half-serious, twitter-age version of Peter Seeger’s “Where have all the flowers gone?” (My favorite rendering is by Peter, Paul, and Mary)
1.9k · Feb 2016
associating
love  
dove
bird
hurt pain rain
washing laundry dryer  shrunk
too hot   summer  beach  tanned skins
bikini girls   lifeguards  bodybuilders  
Schwarzenegger
robocop criminals politicians votes
lobbyists corporations   special interests
stock exchange oil price pipelines
pollution profits   leaded water   oily shores
banking wall street   99percent
wealth CEOs distribution education defloration
exploitation union struggle macjobs
Walmart amazon   tax evasion    offshore banking
islands caimans reptiles alligators walruses
snapping turtles  manatees  albatrosses
birds
dove
love
just for fun, sort of ...
1.9k · Mar 2017
organza
a tender fog
hides our view
of what might be
a face most beautiful

but we don’t know

as local laws are such
     that beauty only shows itself
to spouses predetermined
by the wisdom of the elders

who demonstrate to have
     no  understanding
of human wishes and desires
when a bunch of  old Senate men
and some intimidated women
voted to heave

     an accused ******
     and proven liar with an alcohol problem
     given to irascible outbursts, fits of self-pity
     and insulting comments on women

into a lifelong seat on the highest court in the nation
     against voluminous evidence of his lacking qualifications
the statue of the Goddess of Justice
     whom a former attorney general
      had all covered up in blue cloth
dropped her sword and scales
tore off her blindfold
and covered her ***** ******* in shame
Apropos the U.S. senate 's decision to nominate Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
1.8k · Mar 2016
your self
there are the times
when clouds obscure our view
of blue ethereal skies
and our world grows dark and desolate

days are monotonous and gray
nothing can put a smile into our face
we see the whole confounded human race
doomed to pernicion and without ***’s grace

this is the time when it is useful to remember
that it is YOU who calls the shots
YOU who decides what road to follow
YOU who determines where to go
rest, linger, or proceed

so you can truly say
these are the actions of yourself
for which you need

nobody else
1.8k · Jan 2017
small minds (10w)
only small minds believe
putting others down
makes themselves bigger
those killers of innocents
will die in their own blood

not even mistranslated 72 houris
can save them

   the misguided fanatics of Paris
   who shot happy civilians
   with their Kalashnikovs
   and then blew themselves up
   will have discovered that
   by now

to throw terror and death
into people’s daily lives
is an abominable crime
not a heroic deed

those who instigated the massacre
shall be punished accordingly

fake heroes revealed
as ruthless criminals
shall face judgement

in whose light
their great deeds
are shown as what they are

****** ******

yet – far beyond the proper punishment
    required after cruel acts
there is the need to look ahead
and face the somewhat inconvenient necessity to
    remove the roots of violence veiled as religion
    speak up and stand up firm against fanaticized minorities
        no matter in whose name the claim to act  
    bring peace to regions devastated by the dire games of politics

we simply cannot allow
a bunch of ruthless desperados to dominate our lives

            * *
1.8k · Mar 2015
when my time comes
when my time comes
it comes
and I will gladly leave
to those who go on living
the task of sorting out
the mess I have accumulated
over years

let them discover
not only the stamp collection
the bank accounts
but also unknown niches
of their father’s/friend’s/husband’s life
the words unspoken
scribbled on some paper
thoughts never shared
for lack of time or opportunity
the letters to a friend of yore
emails to many people
hints of potential
love affairs that maybe never happened
ideas to change the world
into a better place

here I am
  now with a 7 before my years
envisioning life after death

a sign of vanity
perhaps
or an expression of despair

I am not sure

it may just be
the fleeting thoughts
on a clear winter evening
when cold creeps slowly
but insistently
into your bones

reminding you

   of all that cold space
   in our universe
   how it grows larger by the second

making you wonder
if it has a plan
and if that plan
includes you
speculating
about your destiny

        * *
1.7k · Jan 2016
GOD EXISTS?
the real question is not
    whether *** exists
but whether you believe in one
no matter which denomination

do you believe
    that there is someone
    who commands your fate
    created everything
    makes earth move and the universe
    protects the good and punishes the bad
    and will reward you after death
        according to the life you led
    with everlasting bliss
         or fiery **** eternal

or do you rather think
    that it is our responsibility alone
    to live in peace  
         not war
    protect all life
        not only our own
    and not pretend
        that hunger  sickness
        lack of water and clean air
       are simply  natural  

if you are a believer
     remember all religions
     respect all forms of life

if you are prone to think it's humans' obligation
     remember those who do believe
     may also strive  to do their best

the common goal of all
should be the recognition
     that whatsoever ***
     may have created us
     would not have wished
     for our abolition
rainstorms fiercely bulge the waves
toss honeysuckle and bougainvillas
blow their blossoms high
towards the rainbow
that in sunny moments
sparkles over volcanic hills
Waves storms honeysuckle rainbow sparkle
1.6k · Feb 2016
the numbers game
our lives are fraught with numbers

so many fractions of a second faster in a race  
most wins on record   best jury votes
highest flight   deepest dive   most goals
meters of rising sea levels
millions of refugees   and more displaced
tens of thousands  honor killings
thousands of deaths with Ebola  
millions of Zika virus victims next year
billions of deficit or profit in import/export
    or the stock exchange
votes in elections    or for beauty queens

polls    tweets   virtual friends  & followers
likes on the social media    on hellopoetry

we have been taught to measure our status
our importance   and the significance of our lives
in clicks of other peoples’ digital devices

even our time has been reduced to numbers
the digital has long replaced the comprehensive
instead of the round dial that shows 12 hours
    suggesting the duration of a normal day
we have a punctual display  without the whole
the cyclical has lost against the linear

0101010101010101010101010101010101
we all look forward to our numbered future
no past  and very little present

our hands on smart phones    homes    TVs
    pushing a button makes things move
    swishing a screen displays the world

over all that we easily forget
that we ourselves have been reduced to numbers
    of customers for businesses
    of voters for the politicians
    of workers for the corporations
    of citizens for our nations
digital quantities we have become

and if we take a global view
we are part of the seven billion plus
that currently inhabit our earth


all of which do expect their individuality
be honored  and their dignity respected

numbers don’t  honor individuality
they simply count the units
items  or people  are for them the same

it’s left to us to find a way
that leaves the numbers in their place
yet guarantees us dignity
as individual members of the human race
1.6k · Jun 2016
the act
sometime it is
in the act of writing
that we create the sense
of what we want to say

as if the process of articulation
    when we are fishing for the proper words
is generating meaning
inventing itself in its own genesis

leaving the poet amazed

sometimes even the readers
1.6k · Oct 2016
GRANDMOTHER
born 1900
when Austria was still a monarchy
    that did not know
    it was approaching its end

growing up as the daughter
of the mayor of a little district town
    big fish in a small pond
educated accordingly
as a ‘higher daughter’

   be a home decorator
   do needlework
   be a gourmet cook
   play the piano
   be a respectable member
       of the community and the parish

when she turned 18
after the end of world war I
the social order for which she had been prepared
simply disappeared

her father became a disillusioned monarchist
the town’s republicans elected a new mayor

she married a railway engineer
who left her after her daughter
    my mother
was born
she managed to survive world war II
as a single mother

watched her daughter
    fall in love with, at Christmas 1946,
    and marry in April 1947
a guy who had just escaped
from a Soviet POW camp
looked like a walking skeleton
       my father
AND
was the son of a communist
who  had survived  world war I
as a POW in Siberia

strange bedfellows

     they used to play cards together
     once a week
     with great gusto

     class warfare
     morphed into social entertainment

both my parents were working
grandmother  led the household
on the side did bookkeeping for local businesses
     to bring in some money
practically raised me and my brother
cared for us when we were sick
taught me to play the piano

was always afraid we would not get
enough to eat

for a while, as a little child,
I slept in the same room with her
and  learned that she had
a wondrously melodious snore
    going over an octave & some such

when, after grade school,
I had to leave at 5.45 am
to catch the train
    pulled by a sturdy steam engine
that took me to the high school  
    50km down the road
she was concerned when I
   rushing out the door
just grabbed parts of the breakfast
she had so lovingly prepared

when I left home for university
she was not happy
when I went to the USA for a whole year
she was disconsolate

she did enjoy her great-grandkids
when they visited, though

too much distance for too long
from the place of her birth
made her uncomfortable
in her later years
she needed a familiar place
that came with its familiar things
to do and know

she lived to be 87

I saw her last
after a second ******
had mostly incapacitated her

a tiny woman
curled up
waiting to leave us
for a world that finally might heal
the pain and disappointment
she had so bravely mastered
throughout her life
1.6k · Feb 2016
we know it, but …
we shall not leave this world alive
as we’ll discover at the end of our life

yet even though we know all that
we still cannot imagine being not
1.6k · Mar 2015
under my skin
my eyes
  see yours
when they awake
to face the world

your lips
return my smile
in dreamy moments

your face
looks into mine
from my reflections
in the polished glass

my voice responds
to yours
in endless dialogue
through time and space

your body's loving warmth
has taken home
deep down within

I have got you
under my skin
1.5k · Jan 2016
we got it wrong (haiku)
it seems we got it wrong
in reverse
man made *** in his own image
1.5k · Jun 15
surrounded
amidst the terrifying news
that oozes daily from our television
I wonder what our world is like

is there indeed nothing to report
but global warming  war  and refugees
greedy power mongers  and ****** politicians

why does the money I donate
seem not to make a difference
in suffering Africa
end global violence and exploitation
help refugees to find a home

I wish the news were more exhiliarating
and lift our souls
rather then send them
into useless desperation
1.5k · Apr 2016
wisecrack no. 1
mirror, mirror on the wall...
what the **** happened?!
Found recently
1.5k · Sep 2015
his hands
when the telephone rang
at six in the morning
four days before Christmas Eve
   I knew
things were not right

they told me
   my father had died
   at three in the morning
   and would I please come by
   arrange for the burial
   and collect his belongings
at the senior citizens home
where he had spent
the last four years
of his life

they had rested him nicely
he looked at peace
I kissed him on his forehead
   like I always had
   at the end of my visits
and cast a last long look at his figure
   before the body would be taken away

    and suddenly I noticed
       how big his hands were
    they’d never seemed so prominent before

as if in death they sent me a reminder
of how much he had loved his hands
   for work   for play  for sports
   for fight and for survival
   to point and to gesticulate
      they held me as a baby and
         some times
      slapped me as a child
   they repaired toys   split wood
   built sheds   drove cars and motor bikes
   were patient and precise
   caressed and soothed and loved

they were his life
they held his world

my father’s hands
It took me 5 years to pen this first verse about my father's death ... difficult...
1.5k · Mar 2015
in this world
living
I struggle
balance to obtain
fearing that my success
be my defeat
and leave
nothing but balance
to remain
All ideals worth dying for
are certainly worth living for!
Joseph Heller , CATCH-22
1.5k · Mar 2015
libération
after some grey days
comes the sun
   summer heat
spectacle on the Seine

to commemorate

"La Route de l'Armada"
a fleet for tourists
that never was

yet nice to watch
   nevertheless
with fireworks
   & stately masts
sails folded orderly
decks scrubbed
the crews all smiles
ready to answer
   all the children's questions

in between
gray & inaccessible
some men-of-war
of more contemporary make

among them
   somewhat tarnished
one single ship
that really carried
allied soldiers
in its sightless hull
on that gray morning

and suddenly
   if only for a moment
you smell the sweat
   of fearful courage
hear ammunition
   click into magazines
the waves break dull
with hollow sound
amidst the crashes
   of firework artillery
that splits the waters
upward from the ground
This is about a show of ships commemorating, sort of,  the landing of the Allies on D-Day in World War II on the coast of France
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