I'm middle-aged! So much I haven't read!
So much I want to read before I'm dead.
Montaigne, Cervantes, Dreiser, Willa Cather --
a billion words whose fruit I need to gather.
When I was twelve, a nerdy four-eyed scholar,
my much beloved dad gave me a dollar
for every Dickens novel I would read,
but avarice, quite soon, gave way to need,
as I'd peruse -- my appetite was huge --
the lives of Pip, and Little Nell, and Scrooge.
Translations of Colette and André Gide --
indeed I need more time in which to read!
A dollop of Trollope, his humor sublime --
so many, many books. So little time.
To His Sick Lover
The picture sits right next to the TV,
a prince's face on gold coin freshly minted,
on Gloucester Road in 1983.
(His hair blondined, his lashes newly tinted.)
My gaze now strays away from TMC,
caught by the face I've loved for thirty years.
I touch the body lying next to me.
I choke. I sob. My eyes are filled with tears.
For almost thirty years I've known a wealth
of love and pleasure. I could not foresee
that time, depression, history and health
could take the man I love away from me.
Oh, God! The joys of heaven I'd defer
if things could only be the way they were.
He strolled across the fields of Harvard Yard,
untouched by any interest in romance,
immersed in thoughts of Søren Kierkegaard
when suddenly he met her sultry glance.
The day was warm. She wore a scarlet tank.
Her sun-tanned cleavage bore a small tattoo.
He swallowed hard, responding to the frank
appraisal in her black-fringed eyes of blue.
She gazed at him, her grin a slash of white.
He smiled right back, and they exchanged their names.
His Diesel jeans were - locally - too tight
as youth and ardor spread in crimson flames.
Some things were more important, it was plain,
than studying an existential Dane.
My muse and I occasionally speak,
but not as often as I'd really like.
She has commitment issues, I'm afraid.
When last we met, I fear she only stayed
an hour or two, and then she took a hike,
abandoned me, and left my poems weak.
I've tried to reason with her, and to seek
some counselling. I've even tried to psych
myself to write alone, without her aid.
I'm grateful for support she once displayed,
before she left my desk and went on strike,
to leave me here alone, my future bleak.
O errant muse - my fair Calliope -
what will it take to bring you back to me?
previously published in: Sonnetto Poesia
ISSN 1705-4524. Vol. 7 no. 4, autumn
automne 2008, pg. 32
Whene'er I mourn the telltale signs of age
that make me shrink from looking in the glass,
I think of William Shatner, and then I'm
much calmer viewing what has come to pass.
My hair, as ever, thin and rather fine,
is silver now. (Yes, thin. Not, mind you, thinner.)
But all of it, such as it is, is mine,
and I restrain myself at lunch and dinner.
I look at what was sexy Captain Kirk,
whose chest was once much larger than his waist,
and pray that exercise and diet work,
and limiting gin to only a taste.
Perhaps a lengthy stay in outer space
can take its toll on body and on face?