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In the Dark, in the Cold, in the Quiet and All

A simple shameless shuffle
From blonde to brunette
Until he woke up again quite alone
Realizing only now it was so too late

That you really must make a considered choice—
Decide finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

The music was a rapture,
Fiddle and accordion entwined,
Her unfurled skirts blossomed across the floor,
All were happy, two-stepped, wined and dined.

Next morning bags were quick conveyed,
Gone Concourse C to return to her places up North;
You slow walked to the parking garage
Not realizing the so on and the so forth:

That you really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

A road trip here and a visit there
How you acted as if you were above it all
Everyone was coupled, partying, and fun
Now he wonders why is it no one ever calls.

The best ones really are all taken.
All the smart happy ones have debarked the bus.
You thought love will always be out there;
So, why should you have to make a fuss:

That one really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or you will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

Now the eyes fail, hair thins out,
And the joints no longer so strong.
Am I really the grasshopper in the end
Who must admit he was so so wrong?

That all really must make a considered choice—
Decide on finally who you want to take to the ball,
Or we will certainly, in the end, pass all alone
In the dark, in the cold, in the quiet and all

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Spangled Jewesses
Cry the Shoah;
Life was more splendid
In the company of Noah.
Now Muhammad rages—
Bloodies all the pages:
Can’t our child tremble at a first kiss?
Where did we go wrong? What went amiss?

Pagans, heroes, and martyrs,
All greet the dawn;
Who amongst us despairs
At the Spring’s new mowed lawn?
What ersatz supremacy has mastered
Over the Lunar Penumbra?
Colours convex and illuminate,
While toiled souls, lost, crumble.

And tomorrow comes soft;
Plans made, bed made, bread spread marmalade;
The race renewed for best laid plans.
Bainwood for The Quarter is in better trade.
While the rain lingers oer the park
As an old heart passes from light to dark.

Poet’s Last Word

Oh, where in the world can your poet run
When the words fall flat, and the rhymes won’t come?
Oh, what hard trials arise to squash younglet poetry,
Like a weeded up, oak-wilt, unlovely and broken tree?
No thesaurus, no dictionary, nor dog-paged Bartlett’s
Can save a poor rhymester when the scansion he forgets.
Arched over his blank page, a pen rusting in his hand,
He remembers clever phrasing that once lofted grand.
But today, too many hours passed, when imagery faded away:
No paragraphs soar to shine, no dark truths for a heart to sway.
Just letters on a keyboard accompany the page gleaming white—
Is it old age, or a brain cancer, or Alzheimer’s that’s blanked his inner sight?
Swirling leaves, the pelting rain; no, just tears to wet another empty page.
Crashing thunder, volcanic explosions; no, just writer’s blocked impotent rage.
Was all this alleged talent just Life’s joke on the unwittingly absurd?
What do you say to the one who cannot find the poet’s last word?

Look Away, Time

Once she was so pretty—
Now she tries to look not so old.
Can you still see her eyes sparkle
Beneath her hair of store-bought gold?
Have you found your one and only?
Hold on with all you’ve got,
Or like those who end up so lonely,
You may forget the grace you were taught.
He used to know so much—
Now he thinks he’s lost his place.
He still loves his son and family
Even though he’s not sure about my face.
Study as hard as you can
And master the skills you need,
But keep a hard eye on Time
Which flies by at a freight train’s speed.
I still think she’s a beauty,
Even with her store-bought hair.
And despite the wrinkles and the crinkles,
I love her; and the rest? I no longer much care.

Old Flame

Hello, old flame—
Is it time to relight dead embers?
And are your eyes green or blue,
Asks the one who never remembers?
And do you remember when
We sunburned on Sandbridge Beach,
Searching for a lifelong love
That was always so far out of reach?
One of us sailed away;
The other went back to school.
Luckily you had escaped
A life with this poor old fool.
And why do we always reframe
The errors of our youthful past?
Now so older and wiser,
We know nothing can so long last
As the longing for sure arms;
Or someone to chase the dark cloud.
But, it seems to be my lot
That that someone I’m not allowed.
So, I guess I have to ask:
Do you even remember my name?
Because here I come a-calling—
Hello, old flame.

Proceeding

It was two glasses in
And the curling memory of brunette hair,
But she has erewhile gone
And Sonoma Merlot just doesn’t care.
The rhymes won’t come—
Here I am inside this couplet mess.
I guess it takes more than mere Love
To complete this synapsing poetic process.
Meld two roughs into one,
Balance the scan and mind the rhyme,
Maybe I’ll get some ‘Likes’;
I manage to do so from time to time.
Fear floods in;
I managed to lose my job.
Now with gray hairs and beard
Who now would care to hobnob.
Today next-door neighbor
Pleasantly responded to my hi and hello.
There’s no ‘there’ there
And it’s so past time for me to go.
Brother turned sixty—
Who knows about sixty-one.
Wish we were better friends;
A brother would be nice on this long end run.
We need a finishing couplet to release our tortured reader;
It’s all good, love from your poet, another forgotten bottom feeder.

Number 62 In Blue

The candle sputtered
Then guttered out
The wick a speck in the wax
The old poet looked
And suffered to stand up
The last present wrapped was Jack’s

A fresh Christmas candle
Striped Santa red and holly green
With its new flame warmed the room
Placing presents about
A tree to shame Charlie Brown
The shards of wrapping left with the broom

The cat’s tail flicked serene
The poet reached for his quill
As words soft filled a new page
A chance Winter memory
Spurred the poet on
Thoughts neither steep nor very sage

She bought him skis for a gift
Though “cross” country would mean something else
Tears of laughter with every tumble and spill
He wondered where she was now
A score of years have long passed
When meeting on Concourse B was such the piquant thrill

Chinese Five Spices
Floated upon the solemn merlot
The poet paused to let the tightness pass
Tomorrow the two-state drive
Back to his beloved Crescent City
Though this year without his own wee lass

Daughter would be skiing
Off out with her Mother and half family
Cross country over in the mountain West
He’d be with swiftly aging brother
And a Christmas with the family Creole
But things always work out for the best

A meow and a sigh
The poet let Jack out the door
A cat in search of secret nocturnal meetings
The candle blew out neat
The cold front had as promised arrived
As the rain pelted out its Season’s Greetings

Waxing and waning here came Christmas Number Sixty-two
But he yet looked ahead brightly through this Yuletide in Blue

Across Audubon Park

Now I’ve become old
Time has passed and taken hold
Down to the plain nitty gritty
From now on things won’t be so pretty
At least that’s what I’m told

Now I’m taken ill
The future promises a different thrill
Taken to bed feeling low
No one speaks about how this’ll go
Where did I file that Living Will?

Now the days have grown dark
What once was passion is the barest spark
Take my things I need them no more
I’ve deeper mysteries ahead to explore
Sprinkle the remains across Audubon Park

Now I lay me down to slee….

Git

Dar haint enuf chock cake
Ice cream ner gran marneha
to get me to stop missing you
The sweetness of just you is just
Too much to bear for just one day.

Dar haint enuf ours
Yours and all odat
To get me next to you
The empty of whar you was still is
Too cold for coals to make hat

So gib me more odat
Crimson glasses of some vine cold
To close all mine eyes on you
Perchance to dream of a new one else
To love befo I’m git old

Mardi Gras 2015

long, long ago the warmth of your touch faded away
and all other memories all scramble the same,
your’s has drifted into a far pale grayscale
and now I cannot remember your name.
there was something about a Tuesday parade,
beads filled the crisping Southern air,
babies snored atop their ladders
and everyone had properly ceased to care;
but I remember you, behind that mask,
my forever lover who’d never flash your chest
just to woo Mardi Gras beads and doubloons:
o, my love burned hot for you in my breast.
then, your crowd moved off to the Quarter;
and I, left there without a dime to my name,
dragged it on across the Avenue to go on home
and things returned to a faded everday same.
as scripted, we agreed that it was for the best,
but today, I facebooked and googled so very hard
trying to re-refind what was long totally so lost;
tomorrow, turning sixty: what, a birthday card?
“age is just a number:” that’s what they say;
o, the hell with it: Laissez le bon temps roulez!