Saturday, April 25, 2020

Summer Mustn't Be Wasted

Go outside and play with our friends,
My mother would say,
Summer mustnt be wasted.

Tom, Mike, and I rode away from our homes
On our two wheeled steeds
Searching for adventure,
Or, at least, a cool place to play.

We rode on the sidewalk
And in the street
Whizzing by old pink haired ladies
Who yelled, Slow Down!
We sped away, ignoring and not caring.

The blazing sun soon made us sweat
As we peddled on treeless streets
Avoiding the growling trucks and buzzing cars.
On our way to the Colorado Lagoon.

We locked our bikes and
Stripped down to our shorts.
We ran, at full gallop
Racing to see who would be the first
To dive into the water
And be King of the Lagoon.

We swam and we splashed each other
And raced from one shore to the other.
We lost track of time and even hunger.
 Summer mustnt be wasted.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Where Are You From?

I've been asked, far more than once,
"Who are you?
Where are you from?
Where did you learn to speak English so well?"

I have been asked these questions
Everywhere I've lived,
Except in the Land of Enchantment.

Well, of course,
I should have known.
It is so obvious that
Since I am from the Land of Enchantment

I might not look like,
Sound like,
Or even smell like
Those who aren't from there.

When I was 7, my new teacher, Mrs. Jones,
Asked me where I was from.
And then she told my classmates that I was
The most handsome boy she'd ever seen.
Wow. I guess she'd never been
To the Land of Enchantment.

We moved to California when I was eight.
My accent was strong, and my skin was dark
But my back was NOT wet,
Even if bigger kids told me it was.

The new Japanese wife, who moved in next door
Told my mom she was happy
To live next to another Japanese family.

When I came aboard my new ship
In Newport, Rhode Island, my shipmates asked,
"Where are you from?"
When I told people that I was from Albuquerque
They asked me if I joined the Navy
To get American citizenship. 

As I sailed around the world,
People in other countries would ask,
"How did you get onto an American ship?"

When I was in Beijing, a local asked,
"What part of China are you originally from?"
 When I flew into Moscow, people asked,
"Are you from Kamchatka?"

When I was at a garden party
For African American architects,
They thought I was an African American architect.
When I was in South Africa the native workers
Waved and yelled out,
"Hey, Rastafarian!"

I have had people ask me if I was German,
Or Italian, Puerto Rican, or Greek.
People have thought that I was Native American.
And that is partially true.

It seems as if so few people
Have been to the Land of Enchantment.
If they had been, they would know why
I seem to have a face
That can sometimes fit in
Almost everywhere, almost.

Denise Is a Blessing

I am blessed that I saw her walk
Into the house with her mother;
Or was it her long beautiful legs
Saying, 'Look at ME!'
Beneath her short, little, blue mini-skirt.

That was on June second 1973.
When I had just returned from the Viet Nam war,
and I would be returning again in a month.

I am blessed by her smile
That always makes me smile
In return.

I am blessed by her touch
When her fingers slide into my hand,
Or apply lotion to my back,
Or when they wipe a grieving tear
Off my cheek.

I am blessed by her blue eyes
Who have a life of their own
Who leak out tears
For other grieving moms,
Or for sadness of any kind.

I am blessed by her blue eyes
Who sparkle and laugh when she wins
Whatever games she creates
on the spur of the moment.

I am blessed by her amazing ability to plan
Trips, meetings, organizational events.
I am blessed by her green chili stew,
And the Corned beef and cabbage
That she delights in making.

I blessed by her enthusiasm in telling
Me stories of her grandfather
Playing the violin for her
When she was a little girl.
Or telling me stories of the day's news,
Or how her sister got a new job.

I am blessed by
How she glows with joyful exuberance
When she succeeds in hiding,
Jumping out and
Scaring the bejeesus out of me.

And best of all,
I am blessed that she is my mate for life,
Who cherishes me as much
As I cherish her.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

First Daughter - Dad Walk

Happy Little critters fluttered
In my tummy
As I reached out
And took her hand.

Cars hummed their murmuring song
As they passed us by.
Busses sang the bass,
Rumbling, and spewing
Their diesel aroma
In billows of black smoke.

Jin Sook blinked nervously
As she took my hand.
A few wispy clouds
Waved hello.

I tightened my grip
And pulled her ahead of me
By a couple of steps.

She cocked her head,
looking back at me,
Unsure of what would come next.
We had only met
a few moments earlier.

My feet pushed off
the concrete sidewalk.
A smile so big,
So happy,
filled my tummy
With warm milk,
Or so it seemed.

I ran ahead of her
Still holding her hand
And then I pulled her ahead of me
Yet, again.
And the game began.

The two of us beaming smiles
And then giggling
As our feet danced
And stopped waiting for
The next pull forward.

Her smile widened
As we ran down the sidewalk
Along the cars and busses
Me, holding our new daughter’s Hand.

She, holding a nice man’s Hand
and hoping
That this will work out fine
And maybe,
Just maybe,
He will be a fun
new Apah
For her.

Saturday, April 04, 2020


Jeremy’s gold ring glistens
As the sun kisses it with its rays.
And then
Grief crawls up my spine,
Wrapping his fleshy
legs over my shoulders.
I’m here, he whispers,
As if his flabby thighs
Rubbing against my ears
And cheeks

Isn’t making it
Unwantedly obvious.
What do you want?

His thighs loosen their grip.
I’m feeling lonely.
I know you understand.

Screw you!
I don’t care
That you are lonely.

He slithers down
Around my torso.
He cuddles his face
Against my chest,
And BITES hard.
What the fuck!

He rubs the bite
With his fat hands.
I had to.
I told you I am lonely.
I am hungry, too.

I slump to the floor.
Tears drip over my cheek.
I don’t mean to hurt you.
Not really.
I just wanted a little,
A little nibble
Just to let you know
That I miss him, too.

I wipe the tears
With the back of my hand.
But you took him!
You bastard!

He strokes my chest
Irritating the bite.
NO! I didn’t.
Death took him.
Not me.

I straighten my back
And clench my teeth.
Then why did you bite

I told you I’m hungry
And lonely.
If I can’t have him,
I’ll have you.