April 21, 2017

My poem, "Taps and Goodbye" was included in the most recent online issue (4/21/17, pages 16-17) of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine. The online magazine is available for viewing by clicking the photo or by copying the following website into your browser: https://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/poetry/issue/508/#16

Taps and Good-bye

We viewed the frail old man
laid out in his casket;
how little there is to the dead. 
I expressed my condolences,
but the widow gave me a smile:
“It’s all right, he no longer suffers.”

I glanced at the rosary
strung between his bony fingers. 
I said words that sounded shallow,
even as I spoke them:
“Now you will have another angel
to watch over you.”
She wiped tears from her eyes;
I wished I had come up
with meaningful words.

            Today we bury him.
            “That’s how it goes,”
            someone says.

Taps, little flags, then somber-looking,
creaky-jointed fliers walk away
from one more of their ever-dwindling few.

“A P-38 Lightning he flew . . . .
Bagged an unarmed scout plane at the end of the war;
was an easy score . . . .”
“Too easy,” agreed a mourner. 
“Always bothered him.”

“He overshot the slower aircraft,
then, once again he had the hapless scout
in his gun sight.  Down she spirals like
the Ancient Mariner’s Albatross.”


                        ~~~

He had grown old, but as of late
he talked more often of his war,
and I sensed remorse.

At Luke Air Force Base’s post exchange
he met a son of former foes,
here in training.
They talked about flying.  Then they shook hands,
and the old man said, “Son, you’re okay,”
and he felt atoned.

Now we bury him.  In the treetops
is a rush of wind; I glance up,
nearly expecting to see the albatross
he had carried all these years
rising into the wild blue yonder.

Another vet says, “That’s how it goes.”
All agree; “That’s how it goes.”
Then they look at one another and wonder—
for whom the bell shall toll next.


April 7, 2017

Two of my poems, "Closing the Barn" and "Shootout at an Arizona Cowtown", have been published in the current, April 7, 2017, online issue of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine, beginning on page 63. Here is the link to the magazine and my poems: https://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/poetry/issue/507/#63. While having a look at this link, feel free to peruse the other poets in the magazine.


March 10, 2017

Below are three of my poems that were published in The Australia Times Poetry Magazine today. The online magazine is available for viewing by clicking the photo.

 
 
 

Forget-Me-Nots and the Muse

I dreamt of summer’s pleasing fruits,
Those days of sun and ripened cherries;
But life then robbed me of their taste,
Left me with bitter hawthorn berries.

Such was the nature of my muse:
She never lectured, moralized,
But brought my characters to life,
Taught ethics as she personalized

The human soul, and true events.
She cleared my eyes, so I might see
The truth in perfect clarity—
But then, the muse somehow left me.

Today I rose and cleared a path
Through mental freeze; I stepped outside
To contemplate my absent muse
Who had retreated like the tide.

Just then, above all sadness, gloom,
My yielding to the north wind’s blow,
Somehow, I saw a gleam of her
In wintry sunset’s afterglow.

When I slipped back into my world,
So dark and barren of fine thoughts,
I thought I had inhaled the fragrance
Of my Muse’s sweet Forget-Me-Nots.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Faulty Memory

I saw my old neighbor down the street;
He talked about his health and that
His once clear mind had turned to rust—
Which I could tell by his chit-chat….

And then I mentioned Grummelman.

"Who’s Grummelman," he asked perplexed,
His eyes submerged in blankest stare.
I told him how Clyde Grummelman
Is now beyond all earthly care—

"Good ol’ Clyde Grummelman," I mused.

"This—Grummelman," my neighbor probed,
"It seems the name does ring a bell."
I tried to nudge his memory,
Although I knew it’s gone to hell.

He couldn’t recall Clyde Grummelman.

"Yes, Grummelman," I said. "The guy
Who had one artificial leg
And walked like this: whoosh—thump, whoosh—thump—
As though he had a timber peg . . . ."

He didn't know Clyde Grummelman.

 
 

. . . continued . . .

"But you must know Clyde Grummelman!
He had a scar across his nose;
He never shaved, and when he walked
He struck the darnedest awkward pose . . . ."

He couldn’t recall Clyde Grummelman.

"That Clyde had all those nasty scars
And used to walk like this: Whoosh—thump—
Then, when a dog tore off his ear,
He also bit him in the rump."

He couldn’t recall Clyde Grummelman.

"You still don’t know Clyde Grummelman?
One ear, no shave, scarred nose—and when
He sneezed, it was a bugle call—
So loud, it called to arms all men."

That’s all I know ‘bout Grummelman."

My neighbor's eyes blinked open—wide:
"You say he walked like this? Whoosh—thump
On one false leg? Scar on nose—
Dog bit one ear and then his rump . . .?
Oh! THAT Clyde Grummelman," he cried,
"But he looked so good before he died!"

 

 

The Mute Swan’s Song

So still the water’s surface lies--
in Alpenglow I see your face.
Early swans glide majestically
and I find myself transformed:

As one Mute Swan I now pass by
and softly croon my mournful song,
the only one before I die, then
to move onward to Swan Lake.

And when you hear my parting song
by which you shall remember me,
while water spiders dart across
this liquid mirror in which I saw

your eyes gaze into mine, then
smile.  While reed and cattail
rustle wistful odes, their mellow
eulogy is meant to comfort you. 

 

January 27, 2017

I am pleased to share with you that my poem, A Visitor's Thoughts (while visiting the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana), is included in the most recent online issue (1/27/17, pages 62-63) of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine. The online magazine is available for viewing by clicking the photo to the left or by copying the following website into your browser: https://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/poetry/issue/502/#62


December 2, 2016:

I am pleased to share with you that my poem, Lelawala, the Maid of the Mist, is included in the most recent online issue (12/2/16, pages 50-51) of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine. The online magazine is available for viewing by clicking the photo to the left or by copying the following website into your browser: http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/poetry/issue/424/


October 21, 2016:  

I am pleased to share with you that two of my poems are included in the most recent online issue (10/21/16, pages 46-49) of The Australia Times Poetry Magazine. The online magazine is available for viewing by clicking the photo to the left or by copying the following website into your browser: http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/poetry/issue/421/