Two poems for the last day of April and the end of National Poetry Month

A Last Poem


This journal isn’t full,

but it is finished.


When Writing in a New Journal


I wonder, will a larger canvas make

a difference? Will this larger surface take

the words and images the same or will

the poems change? be better? turn to swill?

The subject matter is proportional.

You try to capture a processional

and if the canvas isn’t big enough

you’ll find it is impossible. You’ll stuff

the page. The images will overwhelm

the overall design. An image caught on film

demands a size appropriate to what

is captured. Print it wrong, you cut

the impact that the image could have had.

It may not be the end result is bad

exactly just that it’s a little off.

And so I wonder will this journal work?

The Benefit of Meditation

It isn’t that I’m just a lazy bum.

I’m meditating, thinking deep, deep thoughts.

I’m focusing on what’s important. Ooooommmmm.

I think that’s right. It doesn’t sound quite right.

Should I add more or fewer Os and Ms?

Or more or fewer Os or Ms? The oars,

I would be up a creek without the oars.

I’ve always wondered, why does corn have ears?

And what is it a corn stalk hears or fears?

I’ve never really liked the taste of beer.

It’s weird, at night the train from miles away

comes roaring through the window. Just at night,

and just on Summer nights. I wonder if

I’ve meditated long enough. How long

should meditation last? Am I supposed

to concentrate on toes? Imagine they

go wee, wee, wee? Or do I have it wrong?

My belly button. I remember now.

I focus on my belly button. Right.

It’s that and ohms and I’m electrified.

I’m meditated, medicated, done.

A Total Waste

The Canterbury Tales? You know, I do

remember even after twenty years.

“Whan that April with his shoures soote

The drought of March hath percèd to the roote

And bathèd every vein in swich liquor

Of which virtue engendered is the flour.”

We had to get the Middle English right.

It wasn’t good enough to learn the words.

We had to say the words correctly too.

The jerk was never satisfied until

we said it perfectly. I don’t know why

I still remember it. A total waste

of time. I’ve never used a single thing

we studied in that class. A single thing!

I still don’t understand the reason we

were forced to memorize those stupid lines,

to learn those idiotic eighteen lines.

Buy yeah, I can recite them even now.

Shakespeare Can Keep Them

I wrote a Shakespearean sonnet once

with fourteen lines and rhymes and everything.

I don’t remember what it was about.

I just remember that I wrote one once.

I didn’t check it off my bucket list.

My list’s reserved for the impossible

like riding in the Tour de France. It’s not

for sonnets, not for ordinary things

or bragging rights. I wrote it just because

I guess, or maybe, I don’t really know.

I just remember that I wrote one once

with fourteen lines and rhymes and everything

a sonnet is supposed to have. I’m sure

the meter creaked. I’m sure the rhymes were forced

and probably the subject matter sucked.

Someday I’ll have write another one,

and it’s ok if someday never comes.

A sonnet isn’t on my bucket list.

A Conundrum

I might as well get started anyway.

I mean, I might as well. I’m sitting here.

There’s nothing else to do. There’s nothing else

I want to do or really ought to do.

I am just sitting here. I might as well

get started. After all, it’s better than

just sitting here and later, when it’s done

I can go back to sitting here again.

There will be time to sit here when I’m done.

But then I won’t have anything to do.

What Else Can You Expect

The weeds are tall enough to hide the dog.

It’s Spring and time to mow and mow and mow,

and when I’m finished, when they’re finally mowed,

in just a couple days the yard will look

again like some abandoned wilderness;

the sort of place you would expect to find

the living dead or rabid crocodiles

just waiting to attack and drag you off.

The perfumed irises cannot compete

with weeds that could be five feet tall in Spring,

and so I mow and mow and mow some more.

It’s Spring. It’s allergy and pollen time.

But mostly Spring is weeds, a time for weeds.

Exuberant, unkillable they grow

without restraint and overwhelm the plants

I want to grow, the sickly, dying plants

I care about; the ones I nurture, love.

To Get Me Started

Will coriander work? Or Charlemagne?

The coreopsis blooming? Candle light?

There isn’t any word . . . . The copula!

I can’t believe that none of them will work.

I used a coriander colander

and put the coriander in the sink

to strain the cooked spaghetti. It’s a mess.

The dinner’s ruined. Spaghetti, parsley

clogs the sink. A total waste. Disaster.

Champaign might work instead of Charlemagne.

Whoever heard of drinking Charlemagne?

The Holy Roman Empire: Gaseous, dead.

The effervescent bubbles put an end to it.

And now the coreopsis fails to stand

against barbarians and infidels.

It wilted just when it was needed most.

And candle light? There isn’t any light.

The night is empty, moribund, and dark.

The copula? There is no sense of self

without it. So I guess I’ll start with that.

The cupola . . . .