So it was in an old era of insufficient chocolate
And there wasn’t a whole lotta love going on too
I remember she had packed her oh so pretty face
Which left with her name through International Departures Gate Two
But it was really really raining, coming down real hard
Tropical Storm June was plying her blowing trade about town
The lights all went out when all the lines all went down
As luck would have it the red candle sputtered, caught, and glowed
And there’s lotsa lots of fish in the sea, or so I’m told
So we gotta get us a Whitman’s Sampler
And perhaps a new forever love, for true
Blonde, brunette, or gray, even a gambler
But she’s gotta know as I’ve not the least clue
Next morn the tree killers buzzed through the hood
Cutting away the branches, clutter trees, and opened up my road
Twas a new Time for more insurance claims stories, a la mode
But I shredded all that old paper, I’m retired ya know
And the cat needs his vet shots and now I really gotta go
It’s a rough finding you’ve only two M&Ms
And which would be the wrong color, just to be sure
In this odd time of insufficient love and chocolate
Perhaps in a wrapped Arc d’Triompe we can find a cure
I miss walking Paris
I miss Washington DC
I really miss those nice things
You used to think about me
I really like my neighbor
Even if I don’t know her name
Such things can’t be helped
There’s no one left to blame
The cat wants to meow outside
He doesn’t care much for Amelie
He just likes chasing whatever
Presents far away from me
I loved a Nordic goddess
I danced at her only wedding
We reconnected somehow on Facebook
Now I must vacuum, Jack keeps on shedding
I have seen true beauty
And felt arid with bottomless pain
I cannot understand the darkness
Kathy sees in Ashland’s daily grain train
I want to return to New Orleans
And lure the regard of a new pretty head
But I just write small lines in Austin
Watching Amelie avec a glass of Fonseca instead
I don’t quite think it was the jagged insult of the cold while stepping out from the shower;
It couldn’t have been the yawning cold empty space beside me on a still unmade bed;
Perhaps it was that the single cup of instant coffee was just okay enough with real soymilk;
Certainly not the unresponded to question of what possibly could I have said to you instead.
More than I surely love you.
More than we can go so far.
More than dreams seek the possible.
More than let’s get out of this damn bar.
I don’t know but the cat claw calls for more food for his old porcelain bowl;
I don’t understand but the heater needs a filter shift out with the coming cold;
I can’t see the change that the sunsets promise for those unparoled tomorrows;
But I could have added that the place beside my heart is all yours, truth be told.
Unless the future scares you.
Unless you can’t chance chance.
Unless my words wither at your feet.
Unless all those maybes can only translate into can’ts.
And, down the tracks and beyond the call to prayer and the next bead-toss parade
I go on with my so lonely but hopeful heart, though I’m not quite sure I got it made.
Twas the barest wee knock on the old lady’s front door.
Agatha Agnes made her way, slow, from the divan to answer.
Things this past year for her had left her tired and sore:
Bisquick Cat had been ill, while her Bob finally passed from cancer.
Peering from her peephole Agatha Agnes could just see
The head of her little girl neighbor with her new winter bonnet;
And couldn’t help but wonder what new evil this could be.
Patiently, the little neighbor held a box with a big green bow on it.
Agatha Agnes pulled slowly open her door of oaken ebony
And said to the little girl struggling with the mighty box:
“Leslie Katherine, what on earth have you brought to me!”
The little girl then blushed hot crimson from bonnet to her socks.
“Murry Chwistmus,” tried Leslie Katherine, offering up the bundle.
“Why, thank you,” answered Agatha Agnes, taking the box in hand.
Finally freed, Leslie Katherine bolted the porch skipping off in a trundle.
Agatha Agnes slowly went back inside to see about this present too grand.
Back in the divan, our old lady went to pull off the grand green bow,
Then pulled apart the plain white paper on the box, and opened the flaps:
Lifted out from the packing peanuts a large silver frame made a show—
An old black and white portrait of Agatha Agnes next to her Bob in his riding chaps!
Later Agatha Agnes would learn the story how this last Christmas present came to be:
Bob realized his cancer would soon win and wanted to surprise his bonny bride.
So, retrieving the silver frame with his old college degree inside from U of Mississippi—
He took her favorite picture of them happy and young, in love, and slid that inside.
Bob had met with the neighbors and asked Leslie Katherine for a special boon:
To present the box to Mrs. Jefferson, at her convenience, on Christmas Day.
The Cabbotts readily agreed, even though it was an early hot, summer June.
But they remembered; and after lunch, Leslie Katherine had made her careful way.
Real Love is timeless, despite those events that cause breath-catching with maybe a spilt tear.
Cherish all your loved ones, be passed or present: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Will I be so well regarded
When I achieve some past tense?
Foster a puppy?
Get it together,
Hang on you guys
We’re in for some nasty weather.
Spin some ‘Stones,
Maybe Moonlight Mile?
She’s gone to the theatre—
Can I hang with you awhile?
Or Doobies ‘White Sun;’
Does that make me a racist?
We’re just swaying to the groove;
Please put your PC into cease and desist.
Teachers in tights,
Boots above the knee.
It’s not the clothes, moron.
It’s the quality of the preceptor, see?
The A/C is back on,
The kid’s at St. Ed’s;
All that folded laundry
And, lately, unmade beds.
Waiting for your call,
Ringer turned up high.
Jack the cat stretches
And turns over with a sigh.
The only interrogative:
So, how did it go?
If I only knew,
I would let you know.
When a cat goes to Heaven
He can chase all the mice around
But he quickly finds they’re fast friends
Enjoying cheese and tuna by the pound
When a cat goes to Heaven
He gets his 9 lives back
Such a celebration 9 times a year
For nothing will he ever lack
When a cat goes to Heaven
Furballs are a thing of the past
And oh please about those fleas
To a different place are they all cast
When a cat goes to Heaven
He watches over his owner every day
And when his friend comes to his or her end
Your cat will show you the most heavenly places to run and play
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
So, there I was
Doing Personal Private Secret Stuff
Getting ready for Halloween
As if that wasn’t enough
When in walked the cat
With Terror, Grime, and Gloom
And deposited his latest kill
In the middle of my just-mopped front room
So, there I left
My Personal Private Secret Stuff
And grabbed said kitty
By his scrawny-necked scruff
To put him out
In the yonder backyard
Hoping the damage wasn’t permanent
And the floor tweren’t totally marred
So, there I went for the mop
But it wasn’t there
Hanging from its bent hook
Underneath the cobwebbed lonely back stair
Across a cold October 31 moon
Figures slashing, thrashing, and flashing
Putting this old heart into a frightened swoon:
Witches upon brooms, stick-handles, and mops
Crazy calico clad creatures
Some even missing their necessary cranial tops!
So, it’s Happy Halloween
With all that Suspenseful, Terror-ridden Scary Stuff—
Did you get the good kind of candy?
Do you really believe that you bought enough?
Cuz here come the witches
And the ghosties and some things quite deplorable
(Though we really know that inside
Are youngling-type folk who are most adorable).
But don’t you believe it’s all just a simple thrill,
Beware of your cat returning with a kill;
And should you meet at your door a Witchie missing her cranial-type top
Kindly request of her, when finished, to return me my mop
Trick Or Treat!
Einaudi lingers on the stereo
As burnt chicken wafts thru the door
Happiness takes its turn to go
The reason why matters not any more
I’d give anything for one more chance
But life’s not as easy as a Cajun dance
Tomorrow will be a lesser day
Twas oft told to watch what you say
The cat wants to so go outside
As paltry aromas scale thru a crack
Nuances are things I could never abide
And now she is another you’ll never get back
I’d give anything for just one more walk
But life’s much more than marbles and chalk
Dawn comes so early in the day
The sooner you’ll be off one might say
The keyboard rings out its golden tune
Time to drain a merlot glass quick
Bedtime approaches too ready and ever soon
Cat calls his return with condescension thick
Lonely and longing lie buried deep and strong
Life’s losses are worse when you know you’re wrong
Tomorrow will be another lesser day
A fresh curtain for any farce or threadbare play
Down back around the edge of town
The cat found his prey
Life happened that way
Up on the sill at the house at the top of the hill
The dog languished a lick
Another lingering tick
Tapping a tap the bartender pours
The sod and his sop
Bottom rail on top
Perspective perfuses the perfect
The glance is askew
The lonely heart never knew
Cat and dog and sod and tramp
Living things living their lives progress
Tarry but a little your unspeakable future calls
Time arrives informal and the debutante has found her dress
Back about the edge of town
Prey escaped the chop
Bottom rail on top