A Strange Bird Jogging Past My Window

Bent over like a stork on the prowl,
white running shoes and long black socks
over his calves and just below the knees
such a strange bird is he.
Running brief and naked chest,
not hairy like his top hat nest,
nipples bobbing in the breeze,
a facial frown,
short, shorter with the lean forward,
white plumage and white beard tilting
him even farther forward the ground —
Is it his gait that keeps him from falling?
Will his arms begin to flutter madly
up and down instead of forward and backward?
He won’t fly, but the old bird knows that.
He will continue moving forward
at an even pace
and know that
for an old bird,
such movement is filled
with gratitude and grace.

Playing By the Rules

You would think that a guy with
seven decades of life behind him
could put the nagging
insecurities of life behind him
but it’s not the insecurities
behind him
that bother as much as
those sneaky insecurities
behind him
when they land
directly in front of him
like Jason Day draining a put from
seventy-one feet to get within two
(which is a good thing)
while this guy finds the only
hole-in-one of his life and
it’s the hole-in-one of utter,
total stupidity by getting aggressive
about the wrong thing
and so he hits it into the
water and sand and water and sand
and Phil Michelson, his favorite
golfer, arrives as the golf course
conscience in the commercial
and tells the boys to play
by the rules. Seven decades
and he still hasn’t learned
to play by the rules.
If his dad were alive and
playing golf with him,
his dad would ask
what game he was
playing because it,
certainly, isn’t golf
if playing by the rules,
which the guy’s father
always did, but his
only out is that the
guy’s father had
insecurities of his own,
which really isn’t
an excuse, something
neither Jason Day
nor Phil Michelson
would ever make
let alone understand
let alone ever

The Kids in the Neighborhood at Play

The people in the neighborhood live in retirement to scour their yards, lawns, flower beds moving back and forth carefully, stopping when seeing a weed and bending, trowel or weed remover in hand to extricate the invader.

Hour after hour, day after day,
for my neighbors weeding is their play.
But what do they do on a rainy day
when they can’t play?
In the house they will stay,
looking out the window
for signs of alien, green invaders
who into their yards do stray,
and marking the spots, cleaning
the weed remover, rubbing
hands together and with a
devilish grin
pray for a sunny day
to begin and once again,
they can go out and play.

Do Me The Favor — “The Simple Question” set to rhyme and meter

Nervous and hoping to say something
profound to my fraternity brother friend,
who sat two seats over in the darkened
movie theater, I leaned and did bend

past my date hoping she would hear
and be impressed with words so wise,
but mid-sentence, I thought, oh, dear
right out of my mouth the life saver did fly.

Hoping it fell to the floor noticed never,
I finished saying what it was I hoped
would be thought quite clever,
chuckled but felt just like a dope.

In a minute, my date, the first but destined
to be the last, offered me the life saver,
which had dropped right into her open hand,
with the exclamation, “Please do me the favor;
take your life saver.”

Enough Said

It has been said that children one to ten
worshiped all their parents’ said
and then later on many occasions,
wished their parents dead,
but it does seem that time heals wounds
accompanied with good intent,
and with silent, serious listening
and quiet words, it’s time well spent,
for as those years fly by, it is said
children have children of their own
and children worship the parents’ words
then parents eventually hear words of dread
and so, the cycle begins again
and of all this, enough said.

The Simple Question

Nervous, hoping to say something
profound to my friend, a fraternity

brother, two seats over in the
darkened movie theater, so my

date, first date, will hear and
be impressed, I leaned over her

and the life saver dropped out
of my mouth half way through

the first thought. Hoping it fell
to the floor unnoticed, I finished

saying what it was I hoped would
be thought quite clever, chuckled

and sat back. After a minute, my
date, the first and then destined

to be the last, offered me the
life saver, which had dropped

into her hand, with the simple
question, “Is this yours brand?”

Coffee With Poets and Theologians

One daily poem is accompanied by
a photo of the artist and the
artist’s commentary on the poem.

One other poem directs me to a
biography and a photo and dates
of the poet’s life and commentary
on the poet and other poems by
the poet.

If I click on the poet’s name of
the third poem, it directs me to
other poems that have appeared
at that site.

Still curious, I copy and paste
poets’ names, hit send and find
myself in internet heaven for
poets — photos, websites, blogs,
tweets, more poems — a veritable
panoply of insight into the lives
of the poets.

So, the next time a poem shows
up in my inbox, I say, “Hi, Jack
or Jill or Jim or Jane, welcome;
what wonderful gift do you have
for me today?”

And it is as if I am entertain-
ing esteemed artists in my house
in the morning, often while I am
still in my underwear.

Being esteemed artists, they,
of course, are fully clothed
while out and about but don’t
seem to mind my informality,
especially not the San Francisco
Beats like Ginsberg or Ferling-
hetti. Jim Harrison doesn’t
really give a rip, either.

I do the same entertaining of
two theologians each morning,
except I’m not sure they are as
comfortable with my attire as
are the poets, being theologians
and all.

The freshly brewed, gourmet
blend of coffee I offer seems
to help. I’m told theologians
drink a lot of coffee. Must
help keep them alert while
thinking deep thoughts about
the meaning of existence,
dogma and eternal truth.

Dreams Did Commence

Stephen King wrote, “Fifty-one
was too old for dreams of the
future. At fifty-one you had to
keep running just to escape the
avalanche of your own past.

The reader agreed with the second sentence,
but having married his love at fifty,
for him sweet dreams certainly did commence.

What Credentials Do You Have To Do That?

When he was offered a job
as a therapist, someone asked,
“What credentials do you have
to do that?”

Even though he holds a bachelor’s,
master’s and doctorate, they still
asked of him, “Sure, but what
credentials do you have to do THAT?”

When he started writing poetry
a friend asked, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

When she started making artistic
sculptures, people asked, “What
credentials do you have to do that?”

When people started overlooking
(literally) her sculptures in shows,
she wondered if the pieces could
be placed on higher stands.

When people kept overlooking
her now-placed-higher sculptures
in shows because they were used
to looking at walls, she just
shook her head.

Then one day, she was awarded
an award and, voila, she was an
overnight success and she still
just shakes her head.

People still ask her for her
credentials, but now she just
takes pride in feeling like
a female version of the ball
player in The Natural.

She’s a natural they now say
but she works her tail off
each and every day.

He has self-published two
books after twenty-five years
of jumping through hoops and
getting twenty-five articles
published, but people still
ask who his publisher is as
if to ask, “What credentials
do you have to do that?”

He now just says, “A highly
selective, small press
’boutique’ poetry book
publishing company in
Phoenix, Arizona.”

Self-publication was good
enough to get Walt Whitman
and Ezra Pound going.

He wonders if anyone
ever asked them, “What
credentials do you have to
do that?”

Maybe they were granted
certificates in being naturals
but only after receiving
some good reviews.