John, a brief story about a crow.

My grandfather had a pet crow; it would go everywhere with him; his name was Louie.  I’m not sure how he acquired this bird.  It’s possible that Louie had simply landed in the apple tree one morning and my grandfather had tamed him. He was that kind of person. He had a big house in Rockville Centre with an enormous yard, which he had slowly transformed into a real showplace. When the rhododendrons were in bloom people would stop their cars and take pictures.

One morning my grandfather got into a fuss with Louie and Louie had taken refuge in the apple tree, squawking and yelling (I guess that’s the word) at my grandfather. When my Aunt Ethel came to the back door to see wh7at the racket was all about, she found my grandfather in a lather; he looked like he was going to climb right up the tree and drag him down. My aunt went back into the kitchen to find some food for Louie.  She had been gone maybe two minutes–by her. account—but when she retlurned with some crackers, she found my grandfather face down in his garden, the faint whiff of cigar smoke in the air.

John? she’d whispered, touching his arm, trying to wake him; but he was already dead, When she looked at the sky, Louie had gone too.\

The Sun Rose redux

The song ‘The Sun Rose’ can be beautifully sung.
It plays well with my dry chrysanthemums,

Which are the very epitome of a chant,
Even my water lilies like to hum along.
As the visitors look at the gardens
they pause to look at the flowers.


They paused to look at the flowers.
Because they are here to revive the earth
They need a song to sing.
As the shadows return
To an earth of delicate surmise,
The sun rose and the garden beaconed.

(this is a new version of the poem of the Sun Rose that i posted a few weeks ago. it just keeps shape shifting in my mind…)

Mei and I

He sits rapt as a parrot overlooking
A perfect mirror image of itself and thinks:
Atonement is a stone in the river.
Astonishment is not.
A poet of the ‘gentle
Ideas of philosophy’, the heir
Of Ta’o Ch’en, who belongs
To the clarity of poetry,
He has no thoughts on
The toucan encrusted bridge
Built across the arc of his life span.
Great is that memory of the mountain.
For if memory allows you to look backwards,
It also allows a peek into the future,
The spill of the seasons.
The air smells of pears and tears.
This is our poem:

Atonement is a stone in the river.
Together we flow into a gentle sea, Mei and I.
How great is that secret memory of the mountain.

Among many islands, a vision appears

The Sun Rose

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on a rainbow of the salt sand-wave..;
                                  John Keathe 
The Sun Rose can be beautifully sung.
It goes well with my dry chrysanthemums,
Which are the very epitome of a chant— 
Why, even the water-lilies will sing of  earth. 
As the shadows are here to see  the garden.
they pause to look at the flowers.

They paused to look at the flowers
Because they were here to revive
the earth they needed to keep alive–
and for that they needed flowers.
As the shadows return
To an earth of delicate surmise 
The sun rose and the garden beckoned. 







It’s by Here

I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling the need to do something positive for the world, and here it is! This book was just published by the Four Windows Press. And not only does contain ten poems by me, it’s got thirty other poets who are doing some of the best writing today. (And it surprises me to be saying this.) but listen to this from Anna Mark.

I will never forget the day he died and I congealed,

Became a still and hard world opposing an immensity,

This is from a poem called ‘First Death’. And it’s as good as anything you’re likely to find written today.

20 bucks. Order from Amazon.