A STRANGER’S EDUCATION IN THE ARTS
A brain with its echoes
finds constancy in classical romantic serenade
and a mirror in the later centuries’
leap into expressionism
dancing close to jazz.
My pen burned its dull flame
in visions of the cinema
…cartoons and characters
were the backdrop
for my crusty verbal images
of nature and the city
and with such an unskilled but immensely appreciative eye
for the visual
I swam in music and its drumbeat
but looked up on cathedral and museum walls
for Adam’s hand an inch away from creation.
So have the quiet Chinese prints and etchings drawn me
and poured out the spirit of nonbeing
into the animal essence
of my quiet cup of tea.
And liberty is a good thing to give
in compliment to compassion
which in all things even violence
calms the inner heart.
POEM FOR THE EVENING COFFEE
Yesmin…daughter, mother, wife
lets her thoughts go adrift at times
in those evenings of all passion spent
to a riddle of life in nursery rhymes.
“If passion alone was a tragedy
would be the arrow aimed
at the heart
of a successful life
where a family might grow fortunate
beyond the squabbles of pain
and ill health
beyond the constant throb of the sea
above such things and far beyond
to islands more like New York City
and the mindless stretch of eternal suburbs
in a country made up of wealth begotten.
And even born with money
some lose their wealth
and find themselves adrift in the cold
or the heat
as befits this western most land
where the earth is more fertile
and the lives most shallow
while God crowns fools.”
the size and life
of her meager estates
as a home in which
her children might dwell
confined by the boarders of some distant beach
surrounded by a different Hell.
THE MEANING OF AN ARTIST
Fussing at me all morning
my heart flames steady for you
in reason trying to come awake
…and later….for our gazes from porch to yard
…you do a sketch…throw me a kiss
and my soul begins to dance
in warming fires made of pure light
having seen the ghosts that you draw!
so that the dreams of the day are more wakeful
and I tend to the cats at home
while you take the car to your studio
…then, put gesso on the second canvass
and finish up the first
…eyes of a little girl
…eyes of a mother
and Helen of my burning heart
…no one else would have done for me
that I hone my words to small honest things
and bring on the meaning right!
THE SOVIET COMPOSER
Those myriad daydream machines of wheat and steel
where opera was transformed
into a legend so similar to that which is our own
…the clowns and autocrats
see themselves and blush
and the businessmen in Western lands
sink in their disease.
A piddling drunk!…the working man
…a Don Juan in the master’s bed
and in places feeble and neurotic
where little Hitlers rage among the dead
and housewives do what ill they can
with urges close to liberty
exploding like a homemade bomb
the failures of the frying pan
…the grease and wheels of a late iron age
which motivate a petty mind
kept within a little head.
FOOLS FORGET THEIR FOREBODING
Shut down the old haunted lagoon!
Daylight steams these suburbs overgrowing
the river moss dammed up and engineered
to a row of perfect prefabbed squares.
Sunlight burning in the eyes of men
…their beards closed shaved
laughs at the disappearing moon
…a solid brew
and the drunk crowd leers
hauls in the rabbit eared TVs
pink quilts for the girls
…and teddy bears.
And a flush garage!, for the engines of war.
Throttle the gas…like a lion’s roar.