The Expert

The Expert

A dilettante excoriates the world.
He is the expert. Everyone agrees
with him. It’s not that they’re afraid of what
he’d say if they did not agree with him,
it’s just that they’re afraid of being made
the butt of his demeaning, cutting wit.
He never hesitates to tell the world
it’s gone to hell and what it’s problems are
and how they would be solved if people weren’t
so stupid; if they’d only listen. If
they’d only realize what’s good for them.
He has the answers. Everything is clear
And if he has to raise his voice and scream
at times, it’s understandable. How else
can people who are deaf be made to hear?

A Eucalyptus Grove

Morarch Grove-web

A Eucalyptus Grove

So here’s the deal. An individual,
my father’s father say, decides to move
from where his father lived to start anew
an ocean and a continent away.
Except for his descendants, where they live
and how they live, does anybody care?
His children and his children’s children all
are U.S. citizens. They’ve gone to school,
paid taxes and complained, were veterans,
taught school, bought houses, raised their families here.

But all too often to Americans
he was just one more dirty, worthless wop,
and treated him accordingly. They said
you couldn’t trust him. “After all, you know
where he is from. A Mafioso! Look
at him! Sardinian? Who cares. They’re all
the same. They’ll take our jobs, and all they know
is how to breed like flies and steal and kill.
Why take a chance? Degenerates like him
do not deserve God’s country. Send them back!”

You ever see the eucalyptus grove
before the monarch butterflies arrive?
These dirty migrants from Australia stand
forgotten and abandoned by the world.
But when the migrant monarchs do appear
and migrants mix with migrants then their world,
the universe itself is changed, transformed.

And Ken and Barbie Laughed

Time to start pumping poems and get in shape for April and NaPoWriMo.  So here goes:


Remember, as an athlete, like a lot

of other things, I suck. But even so

there are a lot of things I want to do

like hiking in the mountains. Yeah. I know.

A couch potato really shouldn’t be

caught dead pretending he could climb a hill.

A mountain is a death wish. Never mind

the altitude. The attitude that I

would have the strength and the ability

to climb a mountain, well just look at me.

And even forty something years ago

I was the same. But still the mountain called.

We weren’t prepared. But still we’d never have

the chance to climb the Rockies highest peak

in Canada again. And so we went

with dirty clothes, canned food, and brand new boots.

It must have been that we were newly wed.

The hiking, camping was spectacular.

We woke to ice bergs calving in the lake

and towered over ancient, full-grown trees

while walking to the glacier which we rode.

I grant you that it didn’t take us far.

We didn’t even go a quarter inch.

That’s not the point. Who else has ridden one?

The journey back was painful. Blistered heels,

stubbed toes, and every step was harder than

the one before. Who says that going up

is harder than the journey going down?

The only benefit to going down

is every step is closer to the end,

is one step fewer that you have to take.

We sang to keep us going. Sang out loud.

We were the only people on the trail

so why not sing out loud? Why not shout out?

Our marching took us to Pretoria

and back again. We counted bottled beer

that lined the walls; a hundred bottles we

disposed of, counting steps with every beer.

They kept us to our ragged, foot-sore march.

The canyon rang with spiders eating flies,

old ladies eating everything of course,

and dying at the end. And we were dead

or almost dead. At least we felt like death

when Ken and Barbie came around a bend.

Clean, young, strong, with perfect hair and clothes,

the pair took just one look at us and laughed.