The Kids Are Nice

He was feeling
really good about
himself having
just finished
a relatively
pain-free jog
on trails near
home, so he
thought he would
ask his wife to
snap a couple of
shots of him
in his jogging
duds sitting
behind the pond,
grilling on the
pig shaped
hibachi, just like
the photo that
appears on
the “About”
page of his blog
from only four
years ago. He
looked at the
photos, couldn’t
believe his hair
was white
and the rest
quite the sight,
so, he sent a
couple of the
photos to his
kids, trashed
the rest
and waited for
them to say,
the obligatory,
“You look great,
dad. Perhaps, the
best ever.” The
kids are nice.

Nice Going, Man

The green sea turtle
flipped over
and was going to
die in the sun,
but a man came
by and flipped it back
over so it
could make its way
back
to the sea only
to become dinner
for a tiger shark.
The shark benefitted;
the turtle benefitted
for a little while
after doing her deed
on the beach
and the man helped
keep the balance of
nature going.
Nice going,
for a change,
man.

They Put A Grave In Their Backyard

They put a grave in their backyard.
Actually, it was a fountain that
for years didn’t work very well,
so they dug and drained and hoisted
heavy stuff out of the ground
and removed the thick rubberized
liner leaving a pretty big hole in
the ground and a big, old, sharp
piece of lava rock with a hole
running through it that served as
the fountain and about ten
thousand small smooth Spanish
rocks. After what seemed like
fifteen million wheelbarrows full
of dirty sand from around the
pine grove later, the hole was
filled, the lava rock placed like
a head stone and all the Spanish
rocks piled up in front like a
burial mound. An inscription
hangs on the once lava fountain,
“We just wanted you to know
where the body is.”

You Don’t Make Any Money From It

Bamboozled; that’s the word.
Hoodwinked; that’s another
uttered from the mouth of
the poet who was talking about
the insight of her sons. The
point? Kids know when
they are being bamboozled
and hoodwinked. Maybe that’s
why Nones are growing in
number. The poet was intimat-
ing that there is much untruth
spun by Spin Doctors spinn-
ing, spinning, spinning. May-
be that’s why the professor
became a poet — a novelty,
an academic doctor who won’t
spin, a child of politicians,
supreme spinners, who refuses
to spin, a black female educator
who refuses to spin. She’s a
None, too, a non-spin doctor.
She’s a poet. Let us then re-
solve to celebrate poetry and
sing the rhymed, metered, free-
verse musical truth to the hearts
of each other. Maybe we will
embrace; maybe we will be
killed, but, at least, we won’t
be spin doctors, spinning,
spinning, spinning. She said,
“You don’t make any money from 
it; you don’t need any money
from it.”

The Ceiling Corners of Our Lives

I stand at the commode looking
up and think about the ceiling
corner. I just take it for grant-
ed that it is there keeping the
ceiling from falling on my head
while I am standing relieving my
self — an architectural plan and
a construction plan and carpenters
with measuring instruments and
saws and hammers and nails and
drywall and drywall guys standing
on stilts and sanders and painters,
all who quit at 4:30 to pick up
their stuff before finishing at
five, and I stand there not having
given all that much of a thought
until now and I wonder what those
workers think about as they look
up at the ceiling corners of their
lives.

He Watched Grace Kelly

He watched Grace Kelly on TCM
and thought about her stroke and
death at 52 while a real live princess.

He thought how terrible it was that
such a beautiful creature could die
in such unfortunate circumstances.

Then he thought about the tens of
thousands of people who die daily
in such unfortunate circumstances,

assuming that most all deaths are
under unfortunate circumstances
and then he thought about how

much he is conditioned by physical
appearance. Why would he think
more of Grace any other of the

other movie stars or than anyone
else? But don’t stars live forever
in the imagination of our minds?

Sitting At His Desk

Sitting at his desk, he listened to the waterfall
tumble into the pond.

He was back in Colorado with his son hearing
him say, “Nice cast, dad.”

Sitting at his desk, he heard the call of the
cardinal.

He was back in the Upper Peninsula kayak
fishing with his wife.

Sitting at his desk, he saw the deer in the
pine grove.

He was back in the woods gutting a deer with his
stepson and making an offering of thanks.

Sitting at his desk, he felt the cool breeze
through the window.

He was back at the shore with his daughter
calling, “Come on, dad. I’m cold.”

Knowing Where I Am

One evening around five while I was sitting on the front porch reading, two fire engines, a EMT vehicle and a sheriff’s car roared past headed for the beach. I hoped no one had drowned.

Two days later my neighbor told me that a small plane had crashed in the dune grass along the shore of Lake Michigan just north of the state park two days prior about five p.m.

The pilot survived. Apparently, he had flown over the heads of the bathers at the park. The neighbor said the plane ran out of gas and that it made national news.

He wondered where I had been that I didn’t know anything about the now famous plane crash. I couldn’t answer him. Reading maybe?

A day later, my wife and I went to the beach taking the chocolate lab, who’s always up for a walk. My wife wanted to take some photos of the crash scene.

The single engine, single seat plane had done a face plant in the sand. It looked like a giant silver seagull had missed the water and made a bad landing while diving for fish.

I thought about how the pilot could have crashed into bathers. I was glad no one had died. He was probably some kind of hero.

I thought about Harrison Ford’s plane crash and how he had wonderfully navigated the little plane to a landing without crashing into a densely populated neighborhood.

I told my wife that I hadn’t heard anything about Ford for months and I wondered how he was. My wife said that he’s back up in the sky flying a helicopter.

Then she asked me where I had been all this time. I guess I need to keep better track of where I am so when people ask me where I have been, I can tell them.

I know where I was when the fire engines, the EMT vehicle and the sheriff’s car roared past, but nobody’s asking me that.

I think I’ll go tell the neighbor that I know where I was when that happened.

The Left-Handed Guitar

His in-laws bought him the
guitar when he graduated from
graduate school but he had
been playing on an old beat-
up instrument since he was
seventeen. He was twenty-
five when he got it and
seventy when he gave it
up. He took it into a guitar
shop and said, “If a left-
hander comes in looking for
a guitar, just give that per-
son this one, okay?” “Okay,
It’s a deal.” “Who knows?
It could be another Paul
McCartney in the making.”
He went home and wrote
a poem about it.

He Will Not Play the Game

He will not play the game —
the publishing, artistic,
strangling game. He has
read of those who wrote
and wrote and wondered
if their effort would bring
a few bucks and a place
in a magazine.
Their artistic agony
was great.
Just think about that — the
creative, artistic ones
await their fate
at the hands of the ones
who are in business to
make a buck
and not just break
even. He said, “Self publish
if you can afford it, and let
the public decide as they
did when Walt Whitman
said something like, Leaves
of Grass will be published
by me and we
will await our fate.