WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

 

The world has been coming apart from the start.

From Abel and Cain; those 40 Days of Rain–

From the start, the world has come apart.

The Hebrews knew and told the tale,

And Epimetheus’ wife–what was her name?

And Midas turned all to inedible gold.

To make it bearable, Coyote made death.

Valhalla all went up in flame.

I’m sitting on my porch, listening

to catbird in the ilex, singing.

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RETURN

RETURN

 

I must return to the world of words,

where strange syllables sit on bales of straw

and metaphors lurk like luminous

and dangerous mushrooms.

It’s nearly always twilight there, or if not,

the sun illumines every edge

or the moon makes magical shadows.

Or it’s raining (especially on the quiet streets).

Everyone I meet has a lesson to teach:

old lovers regret, children are wise,

strangers hand me emeralds or bread.

My mother has nothing to say.

WHERE I WENT

WHERE I WENT

 

I went to a dysfunctional party in my sleep. I knew no one but the host and hostess. He is dead so was not much in evidence and she appeared later vested as a priest which surprised me since she’s an atheist. As she set out some ritual items on her coffee table, I must have dozed off. When I awoke everyone was outdoors somewhere and I could not find my poncho so I went without. The flower beds were lovely though large liverworts grew along the pathways and on the trunks of the trees. There were tables set about with food displayed but no one was eating.  I could not find the center of activity. As I tried to chat with one of the strangers, a solemn elderly man wearing a red bowtie, I realized that I was carrying two pairs of very clean white men’s briefs in my left hand.

TOURISTS–a bit of autumn doggerel

TOURISTS–a bit of autumn doggerel

 

He lingered beside the covered bridge,

while his wife sat in their red auto.

The car with its Lousiana plates

blocked the road while he took the photo.

 

I welcomed him to Vermont. Why not?

They’re everywhere you go.

I’ve stopped being hostile, or even annoyed

(but I live in New Haven, not Stowe).

 

One time in Ireland, I entered a pub,

and everyone there stopped their talking.

And once I admired an old French church

while bereted men stood smoking and gawking.

 

I walked down the street in a small Polish town;

women parted their curtains to peer.

It’s good to be kind to the strangers we meet

since we’re all of us tourists here.