Friday, October 24, 2014

Laughing It All Away

Norman got an 8 track player,
The year was 1974…
The year we outgrew Stockton,
And could party there no more.

Piling into the Buick Skylark,
Norm shifted us out of park…
On the Highway 99 on ramp,
I pushed in “Court and Spark”.

Sacramento's dives and discos,
With new friends from every bar…
Resulted in a back seat party,
Drinking to Joni songs in the car.

Feeling young and athletic,
Frank, in a tavern parking lot…
Hopped on fifteen car roofs,
With the abandon liquor bought..

I never thought for a moment,
Going home on that pre-dawn drive,
Forty years after all the laughs,
I’d be the only one left alive.

“Court and Spark” is now a CD,
Still conjuring up that night of fun…
Most of my time is spent alone,
And Joni Mitchell turned Seventy-one.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Magician

A sleight of hand magician.
On the Sausalito Pier,
Busked for tourist’s money
Confounding those who gathered near.

There never was a better show,
Seen while waiting for a boat;
Than the cigarette burns he inflicted,
That turned invisible, in one’s coat.

He provided the queue a respite,
From their travel-weary miles…
This commuter from 40 years ago,
Remembers his tricks with smiles.

All who boarded the boat learned,
Reality can't be taken for granted…
The life we took so seriously
May very well be enchanted.

Dedicated to Harry Anderson

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Penn Cove Music

Penn Cove sings a song to me,
Via the waves, eagles in the trees…
The sounds of driftwood colliding,
Gulls and crows soaring in the breeze.

There is a song for every season;
Fallen apples, the coyote track…
The jazz of summer song birds
And the blues when skies turn black.

The snow that stops the traffic,
Lures the wild deer back home.
Pheasants cross the road again,
Cove songs leave none alone.

Howling winds are the chorus,
Thunder claps, the Kettle Drums;
Again an incredible sunrise!
I stare out the window, numbed. 

Spider webs, the autumn harp,
Catch flies and my whole face…
The music resembles chaos,
Yet each note falls into place.

Friday, October 3, 2014

1960's Catholic School Evolution

The year I started high school,
The girls wore pleated skirts.
Patent leather Mary Jane’s
And Peter Pan-collared shirts.

The nuns dressed up like penguins,
They hid their arms, their legs and hair.
Their feet bound in black button ups,
Hid under the habits they’d wear.

After Robert Kennedy died,
Preceded by Dr. King…
The nuns with Cesar Chavez
Fought for rights for human beings.

The nuns gave us extra credit
If we protested segregation;
Focusing less, on faith in god,
While instead, liberating the nation.

Nun’s habits were shed our junior year,
Their bangs, all a reddish brown dye,
One even wore pink tennis shoes,
Saying, “Feedback baby, ask the suits why?”

Our senior year was totally changed,
Many nuns had gone astray;
A few married childhood sweethearts,
The rest mostly turned out gay. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Winter Web

He spent the first days of autumn,
Constructing the most beautiful home,
Using principles of arches and anchors,
Strategically to last his lifetime.

I must confess I questioned,
The location he chose to build.
A loner I thought, away from others,
To live above my stove.

How did he know, I later wondered,
About the unexpected arrival
Of so many flies in my kitchen?
He was a rancher, a housefly baron.

One step on his sticky doorway,
Rang the homeowner’s bell…
Each fly greeted in lightning speed,
Then wrapped and packaged for a meal.

As autumn chilled to winter,
The farmer’s bounty became scarce.
I found myself searching window sills,
For insects to toss in his web.

The homesteader moved into a corner,
The highest, away from it all.
Winter ended his elegant lifestyle
Gradually he ceased to move and withered.

“He knows he’s starving”,  I told myself.
“But only humans know they die”.
How presumptuous was I to think
The spider wasn’t as smart as I?

Post script:
 The little guy kept disappearing for days and  weeks at a time and I thought he was gone. His web was no longer intact and catching any food was impossible. Every time I would look for him and he was gone, I thought him dead, only to see him out and about days later. This morning I saw he had fallen from the ceiling onto the stove top and was officially dead. This teaspoon wielding gravedigger, buried him in the garden and I actually cried. Every loss is getting increasingly difficult. RIP 11 21 14