Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Child Within

You try to hide,
But I know who you are –
Big as an Atom,
Small as a Star -
You’re the Wind when it whistles
Fires that flame
All of the Known
And Unknown
 Without name,
You’re the Calm and the Quiet,
The Truant and Free;
You’re All the Wide World
I know you,
You’re Me.

Monday, February 25, 2013


The Woods are dressed;
They wear their green and leafy airs
With mystery,
Yet all the secrets they contain
They offer to reveal to me
If I'll but walk among the moss,
The sorrel and the blue vervain,
And search the leaves and limbs and roots
For tendered truths,
But all in vain.

I sense the Whispered Wildness hush
To watch the solvings I may do,
Then sigh for poverties of mind
That make me blind
To every clue.


Friday, February 22, 2013


I used to know the Winds real name,
And where she came from, when she came;
She'd trim the wings of sailing boats
In billowed swirls of petticoats,
Then shake her hair, and leaves would fly
Like flames across the cobalt sky.

Sometimes at night, she'd stamp and weep
And wake me from my nested sleep,
Or part the dragon clouds and spill
Bright stars across my windowsill,
Then dance the trees, from bower to bough,
And where she went
I used to know ...


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


World Without End

Rapt, in a senselit wood, she sat,
Among wiildflowers, dreaming that
They spoke to her in myriad hues,
Telling fragrant green-Earth news.

They spoke of Fate, of Hope in clime,
Of perfect, golden-atomed Time,
Of phoenix life: of death and rise,
And as she was still new ... and wise ...
She listened well, and learned not all
Forevers die, when Edens fall.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The 10 Commandments
(with special emphasis on the 11th)
How To Write a Modern
Twenty-first Century Poem

1. Do not uplift

2. Be of mean cheer

3. No sentiment. (That's dreck, m'dear!)

4. Slip Iceberg Intellect in, show
Hints of Unfathomed Depths ... below,
Leave lots of thoughts to be divined
Within the windmills of my mind.

5. Cite obscure runics, ancient Cretes

6. Lace well with Latin, and for Pete's

7. sake do not end a single line cohesively

8. and do NOT rhyme!

9. Belay Millay, pooh pooh poor Poe,
(they more than rhymed, they scanned you know),
Replace Keats, Yeats, Blake and Rosetti
With Ginsberg, Bly and Ferlinghetti!

10.Cry life's a bore! Your life's a curse!
(But make me feel mine's even worse!)

11.This above all: to be real good,
make sure you're never understood.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This sonnet was inspired by a list of Shakespearean insults I once came across. ;)

Shakespearean Insult

Thou art an artless, base-court apple-john,
Beslubb'ring all whose gaze thou looks upon,
Thou bootless, beatle-headed, bladder bug,
Churlishly boil-brained, clapper-clawed old slug!
Thou art so common-kissing, canker-clawed,
Dissembling, dizzy-eyed and mealy-mawed!
Thy dankish, dismal-dreaming, clotpoled ways
Are more errant, in thy unmuzzled daze,
Than any foot-licked, flea-bit flap-dragon,
Or gleeking, half-faced, hedge-pigged jothead on
A paunchy, ill-bred, loutish miscreant -
Thou ever moldwarped, spleeny sycophant!

Were thou less blind in thy bummed, venomed spleen,
Thou wouldst know very well ... it's thee I mean!
Just kidding?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I dreamed up a Grandma
All plumpy and sweet,
Who loved to bake brownies
That I loved to eat -
She'd let me taste anything
That she was cooking
And slipped me some nickels
When no one was looking.
She'd always stick up for me
In times of trouble,
And though I just loved her
She'd love me back double -
She'd always be there for me
Asking "What's new?"
And there wasn't anything
She wouldn't do
To comfort or cheer me up
On a hard day -
To her I was perfect
In every which way.
I dreamed up this Grandma
And suddenly knew
It wasn't a dream,
Grandma dear,
It was you.
This poem is from my book
"MOONSNACKS And Assorted Nuts",
and the illustration is by the late Jean Pidgeon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One of my magazine covers
(image drawn in charcoal from a photograph)


*Vegetarian Lovesong
(Sung to the tune of Stephen Foster’s
“Oh, Susannah”)

 Oh, I know this may sound CORNY,
But I’m off my BEAN for you,
Oh my darlin’, won’t you PEAS say
That I YAM your PUMPKIN too –

 For you are my own ZUCCHINI,
LETTUCE never ever part,
I will PEPPER you with kisses,
I will SQUASH you to my heart.

 SHALLOT happen that you love me,
That would BEET JUICE everything,
And tomorrow I will TURNIP
For my twenty CARROT ring!

 //Oh, my CABBAGE
Don’t make a MULCH of me,
Or I’ll windup on the COMPOST heap
For all the world to SEED.//

*This was one of the winners on Garrison Keillor’s
Valentine Songwriting Contest.
It was sung on the air by Maureen McGovern, and it
was how we met. We then collaborated on over 40 songs,
many of which were turned into a musical we put together called
“The Bengal Tiger’s Ball”.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tutti Frutti Lovesong

You are my darling CUMQUAT,
Oh, you're my PEACHy pie,
I think you are the BERRIES,
The APPLE of my eye.

Don't make me MELON-choly,
Please be my HONEY DEW,
'Cause oh, my sweet PAPAYA,
I'm BANANAS over you!

I would be oh, so GRAPEful
If you'd just say you care,
For it takes two to MANGO,
And we're a PEACHy PEAR.

Oh, ORANGE you a little
COCONUTS for me too?
Please say you'll be mon CHERRY,

I'm so GUAVA over you!