Shades of a Misspent Youth Redux

He’d come home from school

         Each day, turn on the T.V.

And watch Mr. Lucky, the original

         With Cary Grant and later

The series with Craig Stevens, and

         The Thin Man with Myrna Loy

And William Powell and then the

         Three Stooges – Larry, Curly and

Moe and for sure Laurel and Hardy

         And of course Abbot and Costello

“Slowly I turn, step by step, closer and

         Closer….” And then after many

More years in school and a vocation and

         Twenty-six thousand miles jogging

The equivalent of around the world at the

         Equator plus a thousand, now in

The evening he sits with his feet up and

         Watches Turner Classic Movies and

Remembers how good movies used

         To be.  He laughs as if for the

First time as he wanders off to

         Bed and thinks, The more things

Change, the more they remain the same.

         And he’s glad for it and he thinks

About time curving back on itself

         And the past, present and future

Accompany him down the stairs

And under the covers.

It Was a “Letter from Home”

It was a “Letter from

Home” that made

him so sad.

He stood in the kitchen

and the tears began

to form to

the horn’s mournful cry –

a mother to her son in

1944 somewhere in

harm’s way?

A critic wrote, wistful.

Copeland’s own longing –

that of a single man from

his flat in New York

but spoken in folk tune,

middle America

plain speak?

Longing, a universal chord

is struck – longing,

yearning for that which

is so far away in time

and space but so near

to a breaking heart.

The music crescendos

fortissimo and cascades

to the still, soft, simple

strings of everyone’s

heart – longing

in the deep, quiet, achingly

long notes of the clarinet, then

the passing of everyday

chit-chat to mask the

yearning, petitioning,

praying. A young girl’s

note to a mother missed

so much?

In an apartment somewhere,

everywhere, a lover pleads

with the Beloved,

“Please come home.


Convincing People is Always the Problem

Convincing people is always the problem, isn’t it?

Drive on the roads of San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles

or Chicago, and in just a few minutes you realize that

if the philosophy of “enlightened” self-interest

were not at work, at least to some degree,

there would be war.


And there is…on the Dan Ryan during rush hour

which is any hour.  In view of Sears Tower two guys

with road rage wage war with bottles

and spit and sticks and stones and words

that further fuel the fight.


And there is, everyday in every way.


A church is in chaos because of a manipulative, narcissistic

minister.  The under shepherd of Jesus is dividing and

conquering and the majority go along like

lemmings. No questions, please.


A housing association is about to deny renters access to the

beach for God only knows what reason but you could

probably not look far to find  the “territorial

imperative,” and a rush to judgment

and a fast vote. No questions, please.


A condo association in Phoenix is considering all options

in getting rid of a yapping dog up to and perhaps

including shooting the dog and

maybe the owner, too.

No questions, please.


An evangelical, messianic, Jewish Christian didn’t know

how much “foreign aid” the US gives to Israel

but any amount would be fine and

thinks the US needs to stop aiding

Egypt, read Muslim. No questions,



And a young, dying vet who volunteered after 9/11

got blown mostly to bits in his first week in

Iraq and has been dying ever since and

sends a love letter to Bush and Cheney –

the most searing indictment to date.


And vets sign up or get drafted as it was

back in the day and get sent to war in

San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles,

Chicago, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan,

in housing and condo associations,

gated communities, the mean

streets of New York and,

of course, church.


And all this at the same time in Einstein’s

time/space continuum: past, present,

future, together wherever we

go, whatever we do, we’re

going to go through it

together, as ever.


And in all the same times and all the same spaces

and places including the one time/space/place

that’s quiet and whispers to deaf ears,

“It’s always the most difficult

convincing myself that

I am the problem.”

He Grew Up in a House of Arguments

He grew up in a

         house of arguments

                  but smothered in

the knowledge that he was

         loved —  not, he thought,

                  so different from

that house of the arguing

         adoptive parents of

                  the dog who hears

lowers his ears, tucks his

         tail and heads for the

                  security of the

place under the bed

         until the shouting

                     has ended



         lifts an ear to

                  hear the

sweetness of silence

         just above his head.

                  The man wonders

when is it just everyday

         dysfunction and when

                  does it cross the

line. Guiltily, he reaches under

         the bed and scratches

                  the dog’s ears.

The Grand Last Stand of the White Man and Sarah Palin

The grand last stand

Came across as planned.

The conservatives to a man

And Sarah Palin,

Met to tell all their fans


That they were hip and cool

And only needed to up the gene pool

With Blacks, Asians and Latinos

And try to fool

All minorities that the GOP spelled



The only problem is that

The message is not hip, just flat

And then that thing that should fall flat

Was Sarah’s tasteless joke about her really big rack.


The evangelicals, like they did for Clint, roared approval

While minorities begged for their people’s removal

From the advances of the icky primordials

And reasserted that they only asked


R-E-S-P-E-C-T, duh.

I Met A Big, Burly Fellow

I met a big, burly fellow the other

day as he emerged

from the  pool.

He was in town for a big party.

He’s from a rural community in Texas

but he used to live in Tucson and started out in

Phoenix, a senior citizen’s lifetime ago.

After a few introductory remarks,

he launched into a diatribe against the dysfunctional

government and how all things in general are

crappy and how all the empty milk jugs are littering

the South Texas/South Arizona landscape

marring the beauty of the land.  I wondered, as he

emerged from the refreshing waters of the pool,

if he thought about the beauty of the water

that had been in those jugs to keep people who

crossed the border in the searing heat alive.

The jugs will be picked up; some will be recycled —

perhaps some made into art in a grade school project.

The landscape remains beautiful with or without

the jugs. People survive.  From the hot tub, as the

water swirled around me and as the water dripped

from the suit encompassing his ample girth, I

wished the fellow well.

She Crafted a Wild and Crazy Native American

She crafted a wild and crazy Native American

she/he/hunter/dancer to adorn the adobe

fireplace in Arizona,

and then she thought about a circle of spirit

people who connect in colors and hues

of the desert.

She thought she would hang the circle of

spirits on another wall but there seemed

to be too much space,

So she combined the she/he/hunter/dancer

and the circle of spirits and, wah-lah,

the circle of life was born…

into just the right space.


I’m Livin’ in a Bubble

I’m livin’ in  bubble,

I’m livin’ in the church,

I’m livin’ in a bubble,

And experiencin’ a lurch

In logic.

I’m listenin’ to some

Authority say

It’s good to oppose

A black guy in the

White house.

Did this guy really say that?

You bet he felt the right to flat

Out pronounce something so

Heinous, so repugnant, so

Contrary to all things

Civil that

I’m glad I’m livin’ in a bubble,

I’m glad I’m living in the church –

A church that still lifts up Jesus

A church that wants only first

And foremost to serve the poor

And the humble.

He Resisted the Fame

He resisted the fame,

       The notoriety, the


A nice guy, bartender,

       Single young


Put himself at some

       Risk, video


The infamous 47%

       Speech which


Have brought down

       The candidacy of


Willard Mitt Romney

       Exposing him


His true, elitist, 50,000

       Dollar a plate


The bartender only videoed

       The speech because


Thought he might get

       Invited to have


Time afterward with

       The candidate and


The other employees

       (Like Billy Clinton


But which, of course, never

       Happened because


Would mean that Mitt would

       Be associating with


Of the 47%.  Early one

       Morning when the


Went to take a pee, he looked

       In the mirror and


“You are a coward,” and

       The rest is history


To a young bartender

       With a


They Stopped for Happy Hour

They stopped for happy hour

At the new restaurant

In town which was featured

On channels 10 Fox and 11

Local public in Phoenix.

They saved the historical

Structure but

Missed the mark

On serving two

Historical structures.

Was any female waitress

Or bartender

Wearing other

Than a black bra

Over ample assets?

Was any server over

Twenty-three and

Anyone, including the

Gay guy, who postured

Cultural superiority,

Concerned about

Serving everyone

Or were they all-inclusive

Except for them –

The historical structures,

Who helped pay for the place

Who were diminished by

The staff but

Weren’t torn down,

And who were basically

Invisible except for the

Check which had a

Particularly large

Tip on it because one

Historical structure

Rejected the first

“Happy Hour” drink

As a short pour and the

New, young perky

Bartender was

Smart enough to please

The aged customer and

Ask if another could

Be poured? To which,

The historical structure

Said, “Let’s give it a

Try.” And so they did,

And so it is for the

Historical structures

Of Phoenix, Arizona.