They All Wanted In the Worst Way

They all wanted, in the worst way, one day

to get out of the suburbs when they

could afford it and move to the dreamed about cottage

along the big lake,

everybody’s sweet dream –

to the desired and necessary quiet and solitude –

the sound of the waves rolling in the

northwest wind and, depending on the intensity

of that wind, either lapping the shore

or pounding the surf – either way, blissful sounds

silencing suburbia –the sounds of

mischievous chipmunks

sparing among the fallen maple and oak


squirrels gathering nuts and squabbling

over turf, and a myriad of birds’ songs performing

a symphony for a contented couple

and their Chocolate Lab

on their balcony

with a wind chime chiming,

overlooking a pond, the now very still orange,

white and black fish and

small waterfall with the proverbial babbling,

just back down a dune from

squeaky sand between toes and a

seemingly endless sea

of unsalted water,

but no, that’s not going to happen

because those coveting people

yearning to get to their seaside nirvana or

Valhalla forgot to leave suburbia

behind.  So moving like a freight train

or a caravan of eighteen wheelers

with all their stuff aboard, they constructed

their four or five bedroom, three or four bath

mansions, planted non-native plants

and sowed Kentucky Bluegrass seed

into the layer of black dirt moved in to cover the

suffocating sand beneath gasping for a

breath of fresh air which dune grass

could have supplied through

their roots bringing oxygen

to the suffocating sand.

The wannabe walkers along the beach

shop Lowe’s and Menards and

Home Depot

for really big riding mowers

and leaf blowers

to cut the Kentucky Blue

two or three

times a week and blow grass and leaves

into the big black plastic bags which will be tossed

into the land fills miles and miles and miles

away and will last forever and a day

while a couple now sits

inside with their Chocolate Lab

waiting for smoke belching, noise polluting

lawn mowers and leaf blowers to cease and

desist in the new suburbia

along the Big Lake.

He Wrote, “Absalomism.”

He wrote, “Absalomism.”

“What is that?” the mythic manticore


“Resisting and rebelling against one’s

father as in King David and son Absalom,”

the therapist said.

“Haven’t we all?” the sons proclaim.

“Or at least wanted to, perhaps short of

hanging by one’s hair and having

darts thrust into one’s dangling torso by

father’s general Joab?”

“Filed and pumiced down,” the author wrote

a few pages before.  The character

said his father had been

rubbed down to the ground by his second wife,

but the therapist

sensed some scorpion’s stinger

being projected, whizzing just past her ear.

Was the son dangling from the oak

by his beautiful, lion’s manticore mane and

swaying in the wind just over

the couch

because father had done the filing and

pumicing and don’t all

sons of the fathers swing in the wind

from time to time

before landing on their feet, hopefully,

in the therapist’s office or

on their rumps

back down on the mule

who, unlike Absalom’s,

hadn’t run off?

On His Way To the Jogging Trails

On his way to the jogging trails with his Chocolate Lab in the back seat eager to get out and run, the man saw a huge

limb of a gigantic oak split from the trunk lying across the front lawn.  A man, presumably the owner of the home,

stood surveying the deep, white wound in the trunk probably grateful that the massive branch fell east and not

west over his house. The driver saw a wounded warrior, the former hulk of a Hooah marine now a small torso with

titanium limbs being carried on his diminutive wife’s back. The tree surgeons would arrive within the week and cut the

limb into firewood size chunks to be burned in a year or so in the owner’s still standing fireplace. On the trail, the jogger in tow behind

the prancing Lab felt a twinge of discomfort in his arthritic left ankle from a twenty-six-year-old sprain he received while cross-

country skiing on the very same trails.  There was no Hooah, just the sound of a lone woodpecker pecking on the limb of a tree. 

The sound caught the dog’s attention. The man told the dog, “Leave it. Just leave it, Buddy.”

Ghazal #4 Romantic Version Using the Structural Form and Rhyme But Not the Meaning of Ghazal #3

They say his love is super, the swooning female said,

fearing that the noble Casanova had run or fled?


No, this Great-Lover-In-Chief did stand his sworn ground

and worked and worked his romantic wiles before bed.


staying up late romancing as often he is want to do,

he sought sexual liberty and stood convention on its head


and considered whether or not his work was through

and had decided regarding sex the US was under fed


and had had enough of what Victorians wanted to eschew,

and so with aficionados in tow he headed straight for bed.

Ghazal #3 Unromantic version

They say he is a usurper, the commentator said.

Did she think the noble opposition had run or fled?


The US Commander-In-Chief did stand his sworn ground

and worked and worked, thinking and thinking before bed.


staying up late as often he is want to do,

he sought for liberty and stood in another’s stead


and thoughtfully considered what all had been through

and had decided regarding war the US was over fed


and had had enough of what they all wanted to eschew,

the people of the country and Obama headed for bed.



A Sonnet for Fun

Upon the thought of Your eternal love,

I cast my eye unto the heaven’s light.

I see before me brightness from above

that caused me to shudder with the purest fright.

I cannot upon such heavenly mysteries gaze

without assuming a catatonic state.

Is it like Moses’ bush’s firey blaze?

If so, I would be the first to shout and elate!

But perhaps such images are smoke and mirrors

and not Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, Thee.

In which case I should see and also hear

Thy voice as it spoke to Moses, “I am He.”

Or should I then flee or remain prostrate,

bow my head and upon eternity just wait?

An Essayist Laid Down a Line

An essayist laid down a line that begged be poetically hatched:

“Is greatness, in the end, no purer guarantee of survival

than awfulness is for swift dispatch?”

There are those whose fates are entwined in fortune good or ill;

some would-be great artists are only granted denial

while others through no effort are heralded still.

Oh, dispassionate, unthoughtful and arbitrary fate,

scattering your blessings and curses without rival,

you are never early but oft-times very late,

if you even bother to show at some far off future date.

Back When It Was Hard To Have

Back when it was hard to have an opinion

without risking certain dis-member-ment from

society or one’s body or death…the cab driver


in Soweto reminisced with a chuckle as he

drove his cab through and over the remnants

of white, colonial, Dutch “Boer” rule; glibly


a man in Midwest Dutch America offers opinions

and is considered for dis-member-ment from

said society and shunning, a different form of


death, because he speaks face-to-face which is

anathema and is not considered “Dutch Nice,”

let alone is he a real Hollander because he is a half-


breed Swede as he has been told?  But behind

one’s Dutch back, right here in Mid-America,

a Boer war or a boring war ensues which


outside of North and South Blenden on the

north and East Saugatuck and Graafschap

on the south, Bentheim on the east, Lake


Michigan, of course, on the west and Borculo

and Beaver Dam somewhere in between no-

body knows much about…much less even


cares about and certainly not the Dutch back

home in the old country who were just glad

to see the Zeelanders, et. al. go in 1847 waving


good riddance from the dock…much less

survivors of apartheid and the Boer Wars

of South Africa and the great freedoms


secured where the cabbie now drives. Oh,

for some enlightenment amongst these

Boers and their boring, “Dutch Nice”


It’s Always for a Time Beyond

It’s always for a

time beyond when

they will die.

That is what they say

around the

opulent table

when they discuss

the authors who

document their

history and

give them a

glimpse of


Apparently, that is

the blessing and

curse of

the writer.

Everything else

including the

seafood bounty on

the table

vanishes, is digested


the word.  In the

beginning was

the word…

and they will

have to live

with it – the

blessing and

the curse, for

better or for


He Just Couldn’t Let It Go

He just couldn’t let it go

on any longer.

He had been angry at his

friend of twenty-



century-years and while

he thought he

was more than justified

in that anger,

two months were more

than enough to

sulk, disguising said

sulking as a

necessary time away to

get in touch

with his inner whatever.

He wasn’t getting

any movement back his

way from what

one could term a pro-

foundly stubborn

temperament, his friend

being the baby

of six siblings, and a head

shaking in dis-

belief conflict averting

personality. So

if it was going to be resolved,

it, obviously,

was up to him to do it

and he did

and, once he did, he felt

better, but he

knew there was a dent

that wasn’t

going to go away even

with the assist-

ance of a ball-ping