Recently in poetry Category

marathon report in 17 syllables

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for twenty weeks we
train for Boston only to
get burned by the heat

Turkey -- a poem by Master Lin-chi

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As I enter the kitchen
turkey! the human is

making sandwiches.
I leap onto the counter.
she hisses at me
in her language
and pushes me off

she will change her mind
(or turn her back)
I leap again.


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when you awaken at some ungodly hour
ease your way around your dreaming spouse

to sneak through the house like a thief
and put on your running shoes

and even the cats look at you
as though you've lost your mind:

you will ask
why am I doing this?

because when you begin to run
down the street
your footsteps will echo
off the sleeping houses.


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the cats stand silent
in the kitchen
waiting for the food to improve


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cool summer afternoon
after the rain
the cat blinks into the breeze


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running, running we run
our thousands of feet
follow the road
towards Boston.

somewhere along mile 25
I understand this moment
as no different from any other.

devoid of content,
this very moment
is exactly emptiness.

for Victor (1918-2011)

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in the dead man's closet
trying on his clothes
not bad

South Mountain, November 2010

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we run before dawn
two pairs of feet trotting along
dark silent streets,
then up the mountain.

a few feet off the road
three deer
foraging in the woods

silhouetted in the dim cold
they look up for a moment
then ignore us

as we continue down the road
the horizon now swelling pink
through the bare trees.

South Mountain, May 2010

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feet and ground
through the damp spring air
infused with honeysuckle

for Amy

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this morning I saw
you standing in the shower:
a naked godess

New Jersey Transit, March 2009

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Ride the train towards the suburbs
in the late afternoon.
Sit by the window looking out
into the rainy dusk:
parking lots and shabby buildings,
trees in the distance
blending into fog.

Inside, the train's flourescent light is harsh
Outside it is subtle
dying a quiet, elegant death.

Is there any contrast?

Both inside and out
belong to the undifferentiated whole

Inside and out
form a single reality --
incontrovertible, flawless.

These cats

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These cats
one black and white,
one orange and white
come in the night to sleep in our bed.
warm and furry beyond reason
they slither under the covers in cold weather

Or install themselves above our heads
as if to coronate us
there to purr in all their regal magnificence
and sleep untroubled like gods.

Until they get hungry!
then they start knocking
shit off the dressers, upending lamps
they trash the place like vandals
and claw our flesh without mercy.

goddamnit, cats! all right. you win.
we will go downstairs to the kitchen
and eat some cat food.

Two true stories

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Rising from the mat
I go into the kitchen
to prepare some tea.

The avocado
you left here the other day
is perfectly ripe.

poetry in the bathroom

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taken away from my
customary diet
I become

stopped up.
struggling to squeeze out
two or three small turds

there is more than
time enough
to examine the poetry

books piled high in
Ann's bathroom

At the swimming hole

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You descend from the diving board
and crash through the surface
of the sudden cold

now you are submerged
in silent green luminescence
and for one instant
the mind is clear and still

Rain delay -- Shea Stadium, June 2007

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Tom Glavine throws six shutout innings

Then the rain returns
steady and effortless
falling through floodlit darkness
onto the abandoned orange seats
pooling on the white tarp over the infield
soaking the flawless outfield grass.

My friend and I sit beneath the overhang
conversing in the way you do
with those you have known at least twenty years

as we watch the security staff
in their yellow raincoats
dutifully guarding the field against nobody
silent and hooded like monks.

Gabriela's Country

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Chocolate water land has rainbow
And it's very far away
So nobody can see
It's a long, long country where
my grandma lives

There are flat boats with flat people
-- everything is flat
Their hair is flat and
their crayons are flat

There are special sparkles
from the rainbow trees

-- Gabriela Cloé 17-March-2007

At the Ale House with Gabriela

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When I ask my 3-year-old
to dictate another poem,
she says "Write your own.
That's a good way to do it."

So I grasp a purple crayon
and begin.

Zen teaches us
there is no secret
nothing is hidden
everything is It.

This moment in the neighborhood pub
The butter this child smears on her bread
This table, this paper, this crayon
is It.

-- Professor B. 18-March-2007

Another Winter Day

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Today it was a winter day
It was a lot of snow outside
And tomorrow
It was another winter day

And then
This is the story

And yesterday
It wasn't a winter day
And then Mami
Just picked a flower

Please: it was another day

And tomorrow
It was another morning day

-- Gabriela Cloé, February 19, 2007

Spring training: a haiku

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just after the roar
of the Superbowl is gone:
pitchers and catchers

still more poetry by Gabriela Cloé

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If you give me too much love
it could turn pink
and this is part of the poem
I'm going to give you more love

I'm going to give you
nice lollipops for you
If you be good
I'm going to give you
fresh chocolate milk
If you be good
and have fun in your house
I'm going to give you
another special present

I'll give you fresh water
And then
If you be good
I'll give you
a new shirt
I'll give you
more Chapstick
new Chapstick
You know which flavor it's going to be?
Cherry cream
Cherry watermelon

Gabriela 21-Jan-2007

New poem by my 3.5-year-old daughter

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I have kisses all over you
So you can butter them
And turn them to food.

If you want to try them,
Ask your house.

If you change your mind,
You do it tomorrow.

If it's too late,
You do it tomorrow.

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