obloquy


they who give quickly give twice
that which costs little is less esteemed
who would not laugh at the raving fits
of the man almost out of his wits
over the sudden unexpected breakage
of his more than precious wine bottle
“twould be so nice could I see as such
an equal spillage of his detested blood
looking so far back is indeed sweet
forewarning that the price of nostalgia
can all too often become most bitter

teeter-totter


as children we called it a teeter-totter moon
sliver of light held there between us and stars
something we could not comprehend in those years
years filled with amazement shrouded with innocence
innocence that slowly faded along with childhood
childhood memories that were pushed away by war
war that took our youth and turned it into horror
horror that still follows into my advancing years
years that move steadily toward their destined end
end as I still recall that teeter-totter moon

ridicule


There is no character,

howsoever good and fine,

but it can be destroyed by ridicule,

howsoever poor and witless.

Observe the ass, for instance:

his character is about perfect,

he is the choicest spirit among

all the humbler animals,

yet see what ridicule

has brought him to.

Instead of feeling complimented

when we are called an ass,

we are left in doubt.

unseen


While our curate made his speech

the disguised woman stood as one half asleep

now beholding the one now the other

without once moving her lip or saying a word

just like a rustical clown

when rare and unseen things to him before

are unexpectedly presented to his view

STAY


 

all too often I do not understand your ways

so I simply remain here in my world

I find that if I stay still for long periods

moss tends to grow around my feet

a colorless breeze blows right through me

there is a certain beauty in vagueness

 

TENEBROUS SUGGESTIONS


A vile, strange smelling concoction
slowly stirred by a wooden ladle
bubbles madly in an iron cauldron
blackened by countless ancient fires
in a cave beneath mountainous roots
with a meager light coming from coals
over which simmers his noxious brew
a stooped figure continues silently working
accompanied by shadows that dance in time
with swirling motions of his wooden staff

vague light reflected from sooted panes
offer tenebrous suggestions of lidded jars:
jars, pots, vials, vats, that offer no clue
to whatever might be hidden therein
mysteries to make Pandora’s denizens
seem paltry and tame by comparison
faint hints of things that seem to shiver
anticipating in this almost light of madness
created by pallid flames generated by a fire
that seems to burn without benefit of fuel

faster, faster, faster, goes that wooden staff
pinch of this, dash of that, into the boiling pot
as with reckless abandon there begins a chant
a cloud slowly forms not quite hiding a figure
who has now become a prisoner in its midst
a breeze springs from nowhere bringing change
chill is carried throughout this hidden cavern
as heavy silence suddenly becomes cacophony
a fire truck has arrived at long last bringing
relief to Father’s latest cooking catastrophe

SPARK


once my words burned brightly

cheerful flames dancing figures

then my living took me far away

in my haste I failed to bank my fire

now my days are spent sifting ashes

seeking for just one elusive spark

to help rekindle those dancing flames