Labor day, labor day
What would the neighbor's say
No one's keeping up with the Jones's
We'll have to be little Al Capones's.
No jobs, the economy's stinking,
In America, the lifeboat's sinking.
Put your faith in the almighty dollar
You'll still end up blue collar.
The government plans to downsize,
Some people will be serving fries.
Gas prices high as can be,
If you have a car, it's quite a fee.
If you smoke, I feel sorry for you,
Tobacco costs more than you knew.
That's how people deal with stress,
But it leaves yourself in a mess.
China makes toys with lead,
We should've made them instead.
But who would do that here,
We want money to instantly appear.
There's no free lunch in the U.S.A.,
But a soup kitchen might let you pray.
Even the government is arousing suspicions,
They're having trouble filling positions.
Resignations, Bush wonders why
Must be too much American pie.
I've talked to people unemployed now
People with jobs speculate how.
The news showed countries ship counterfeit pills,
Which won't help those already ill.
A friend who worked in a hot dog plant,
His boss said, " Work!", He said, " No, I can't!"
He whipped the hot dogs at the wall,
He's a social worker now, give him a call.
Some jobs try to convince you you need 'em,
But that is not my definition of freedom.
If America's going to survive, we all must chip in,
Before the terrorists give us a whippin'.
Tit for tat, although revenge is not sweet,
We can't keep killers off of the street.
We're so concerned about the foreigners,
Our own people send us to the coroners.
God kicked out of the universe he created,
The one who loved us is the one we've hated.
So on Labor Day, where do your finances go,
Do they go down the tubes, way down below?
Money is the root of all evil they say,
But I still will be happy on Labor Day!
Midwinter frost brings a white loneliness
as I return to days spent like a bird,
wheeling over the hundred grass green courts.
Storming strokes with their sudden gusts
drove my opponents back
as they battled to return my serves.
Silk strings of racquet gave me a warrior's heart,
as my strong body served up ceaseless strategies to win.
Year after year my love for tennis flourished
like my plot of sweet angelicas.
The variegated hues of passing shots, overhead lobs,
and volleys filled me with endless joy.
This game, fluttering and flirting, helped me forget
the vulgar world, and its busyness that never ends.
How I laughed and talked in the tryst of tennis matches,
weaving wills into the corners of courts.
Tonight I sip wine and watch the clouds,
caught in the nets of untilled spaces.
I reflect on the end of tennis:
old age came like an unbeatable opponent,
heartless, ardor cooled in the first winter gales.
but making its existence felt to the host
the wild-natured mind
to satisfy its licentious desires
makes use of the youthful gullible host-body
cunningly holding forever
in its impregnable grip.
Not knowing that
the impalpable Paramatma
is residing temporarily
with the aloof-natured Atma
in it's beautifully designed cage,
forgetting the sanctity of its physique
this alluring pompous host-body too
the insatiable sensuous life,
willingly be friends
with the sweet-talking
ever cunning mind.
But the life force
seeks its own course
after fulfilling the destined duty
the temporal mind and body
Obliterating the unconcerned life
led so far,
continues its tireless journey
hoping one more time
- after many a failure -
to become one with the
Sitting alone (I'm sad to say),
Drinking a big cup of cola,
On a hill, on this mild fall day--
Reminds me of you!--dear Ola.
Your hair is like October trees:
Myriad shades of red and gold;
Your voice is an enchanting breeze:
Whispers of love yet to be told.
Your smile spreads like an airy pond
With its fountain causing ripples
Across my heart and far beyond--
Your harvesting of me cripples.
With mischief your eyes radiate:
An ether of deitous form;
These hallowed days you desecrate--
Our lamenting is now the norm.
Your feelings for me start to cool:
Fading, changing like this season;
Samhain chalks up another fool--
My lifeforce ebbs for this reason.
You hardly care and no one grieves--
Your transformation kills me too;
My tears descend like cold, dead leaves--
Murdered by the autumn in you.
A glittering gala glorifying
pursuit of physical perfection
invites only beautiful people.
Inside the gilded ballroom,
two stunning sculptures
Guests fawn over these
models of male/female beauty.
Cameras click storing images
of near perfect icy visages.
Clever cosmetic surgeons
will soon be challenged.
Fabulous fashions, beauty briefings,
nip/tuck updates, intemperate drinking
and sumptuous dining
overwhelm the senses, overheat the room.
A faint “sweat” appears on the brows
of the two icy heads. An amused
reveler notes even beautiful people
Time and temperature prove pitiless.
An unceremonious meltdown accelerates,
water dribbling from the sculptures'
mouths, eyes, noses.
Unnerved by visions
of dreadful disfigurement,
the crowd demands immediate
removal of these shrinking ice blobs.
I pray a journey through the rosary
To convey my love to the Virgin Mary
She has inspired me in so many ways
That will follow me all my days
I know that she will be there for me
I see her love that will set me free
I caught a rose from her hand
My gift of a prayer she'll understand
I wish to see her in the cosmic circles
I believe in her love and her miracles
Dear Jesus please listen to my prayer
For the Virgin Mary for whom I care
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary
Who inspired this poem
These graduated bands of red, purple and brown
Rothko would have loved had he been alive
and staring through an egg-shaped window
bound for the stratosphere.
Violet and sepia overlap like slabs of bacon
waiting to be peeled back, the essence
of hydrogen and oxygen colored
by the sun's departing brush.
In the clutter of stowed suitcases, crossword puzzles,
plastic dinners and films depicting love and dinosaurs,
I distract myself for a moment, glancing up
from sherry and a book to meet the blood-blistered sky
with dry, red-veined eyes.
The cabin is stuffy, but above the fresh Atlantic blue,
I assent to the pressurized promise of air, tying up
my tired hair with the ribboned ether,
becoming mauve and umber between magazines
and a litter of small white pillows.
Those twin saguaros on the edge of camp,
All pleated like accordians at rest,
Had handy arms for hanging up a lamp,
And each year pigmy owls reamed out a nest.
Afar, the trunks seemed one: the silhouette
Against the dawn as all the hands rode out
To work the herd until the sun had set
Reminded them of dancers, or devout
Old padres praying. Different angles changed
The image. Lonely cowboys always need
A good imagination. Theirs has ranged
For sixty years through rope and tumbleweed,
Through smell of branding irons, sweat and hide
To gritty words, and tunes in creaking leather.
Beside the fire they'd swap their visions, ride
Invention through the flames or falling weather.
Their kind are near extinction, and they know
This spot, just like the cactus plants, will turn
To splinters, dust, detritus, then will blow
Across their mindscapes as their lives adjourn
To look from viewpoints other than steer horn.
The windmill blades are gone, the cistern cracked,
Yet here they don't regret that they were born
To Western days before the cards got stacked.
Their shriveled monuments are brown and tilted,
Those spiny arms have almost rotted off.
As far as eyes can see, the land is wilted,
Instead of bawling calves, coyotes cough.
The old saguaros haven't fallen yet;
They lean together, closer than before.
Like these few men-- who never will forget
The myths, the truths. Already they're no more.
I lie against flowing pillows
And I see flowers rising
Out of snow, watch crocuses
Unfold out of Winter's longing…
Petals satin as light fairy's wings,
Saffron such as a mortal
Could not conceive…glossy gilt
Only Sun could imagine.
Violin sings and in my mind
I paint bright irises
Dancing out of illusions of ice.
I cannot capture them
On paper unless I learn
Ancient Illyrian tongues.
Sleek narcissus, come, on your soft
Bed of green, rhythmically
Illuminate my verse
With nascent hue and scent.
Fast filmy visions, do not float away,
And leave me in a numb gray world
Of numbers and machines.
With pen I try to keep
Past peaceful islands, too soon lost.
On my cheeks, as violin fades:
Tears thin and silken as new leaves.
(Published in Quantum Pulp,
a Benedictine University
Literary Journal, Spring 2007)
Copyright Notice: Copyrights for all of the above poems remain with the individual authors. No work here is to be reused without permission from its author. To request permission, contact a member of the ISPS Web Committee.