A Fair Shake

Bag picture


Life, stuffed into a bag.

A sack of bones, glutinous flesh,

Strings and tubes, blobs of cells,

Lakes of blood, piss, snot and indeterminate goo,

Collections of nails, teeth, cartilage,

A tangled mat of hair.

A determined shake could produce

A cat, a dog, a feral tiger,

A batch of mice, Theodore Roosevelt,

Ostensibly a small rhinoceros,

Or forty bats.

Most of these things still exist.

They quarrel, hunt, kill,

Reproduce themselves.

But the world is dying.

Air is going bad.

The sea is full of plastic bags

And polar ice.

Future plans to proliferate


Do not bode well.

It’s high time

To shake the bag again.

To see what emerges.




Rising smoke

My mind is waves curled with wind,

Is smoke that twists and flares,

Is leaves that tumble in a dance

To flapping slapping airs.

But when the wind has gone away

And smoke hangs up like string

And leaves lie still in still embrace

Nor moves not anything,

And water sits as flat as glass

And holds the blue eyed sky,

Then I am gone and never been.

There is no eye nor I.





Once upon a rainy day

While my mind filled with dismay

I heard a clacking at my door,

A clicking, quacking I’d deplore.

I’d thought, a first, it was the post

Which fills mailboxes coast to coast

With awful offers, credit cards,

Advertisements by the yards.

But no. I’d found, damn the luck,

I was just a rain soaked duck.

A creature I’d want to ignore.

But then, Iet it in my door.

It climbed upon my wife’s bust.

She’d viewed the bird with disgust.

But nothing then could dislodge it.

It told us that it’s name was Blodget.

It said it was a prince in spell

That a witch, which lives in Hell,

Had turned him “zip” into a bird.

(A claim I’d thought, at first, absurd.)

But he’d shown a winning smile

One to convince and beguile.

And so, a time, he’d lived with us.

His first name, he’d said, was Gus.

He told us tales of palace love,

Of kings and queens – heavens above!,

That copulate in cockeyed ways

But were quite proper at the days.

My wife and I listened entranced

But then I’d learned she was romanced

By this fowl erotic bird.

Shortly then it had occurred

They’d both escaped to the south seas

While I go mad by degrees.





Black cat


My wife’s three legged cat moves strange.

He hops about in rabbit fashion

Modifying hunting passion

In a very microcosmic range.


A car deprived him of one limb .

He’s new at this, somewhat unsteady,

But still a mouse finds him at ready

Churning with some vigor and much vim.


The mouse, of course, has greater chances.

But the cat, a bit less nimble,

In his triple legged scramble

Manages with earnest acrobatic dances.


So far, the mice are more athletic.

But the chase is entertaining

For cat and mouse and me, maintaining

Standards terpsichoric and aesthetic.



Threatening sky

In late August

There is an odor of menace.

Green machineries still function.

But leaves here and there

Delineate their shapes in brown edge.

Flower petals desiccate, drop, disappear

To leave behind the pregnant tip

Swollen with prophesy for the coming year.

Shafts of heat still lance from the Sun

But unsteady, unsure of power.

The sky enrobes its blue

In gray smoking towers.

Itinerant short rains

Punctuate with a sometime thunderclap

And a gleam of blue light

As if a huge and heavy door

Blows open momentarily

To reveal an angry fate


Sunset Werf


Now, master Frankenstein, most senior and benign,

Had assembled many creatures

With both plain and fancy features,

Some with wings, some with tentacles or claws,

Furs or feathers, beaks or paws

And all the other possibilities of design.


But aged and retired, alone and unadmired,

Except for Werf, his old dog,

Also old, in mental fog,

Who merely dreamt of hunting rabbits.

No longer capable of habits

Of leaping after prey ‑ too weak and much tired.


The master looked with pity and with love

Upon the ancient ailing hound.

“By God,” he cried, “I’ve found

It possible to bestow new life

With skills of healing and my knife.

Why not give mother nature one more shove?”


So, with energy and love inspired

He sorted through his organ stores ‑

Kidneys, eyeballs, muscles, bones ‑ he ignores

The doggy stuff, for his dream has joy.

He will create Werf as a boy!

Werf will be the son he never sired.


Long hours he assembled all the parts.

With care and seamless integration

Fitted he the nose, the knees in expert preparation.

He carpeted the skull with perfect face

And engineered the body made with grace

By his expertise in surgic arcane arts.


The final act concerned old Werf’s brain.

Deftly then he scooped it from its skull,

Its awareness made, with drugs, completely dull,

And set it neatly into its connection

In culminating wisdom and affection

On the throne where it could start its human reign.


Free of lightning rods upon the roof,

The doctor plugged his boy into a socket

Set the timer switch to clock it

And pushed the button set to make the heart aflutter

While waiting for the sound his boy would utter.

The lungs most gently prompted, “Woof!”


Werf, at first, inclined to doggy mode.

He scampered after cats and gnawed on bones.

But multitudes of bribes of ice cream cones

Gained him an elevated human status

Along with abstract thought that does unflate us

To journey on the more human road.


In short time he mastered the techniques,

That Frankenstein took years to acquire,

With cleverness and overweened desire.

He learned all the doctor’s witchery

To free his master from daily drudgery

To manufacture frogs, monsters and freaks.


But the old man grew weary. He required

Rejuvenation through a unique formation

To continue without consternation.

So Werf repaid his debt in like kind

By a transplant of his master’s mind

Into a form familiar and inspired.


Nowadays Werf has his own canine.

A dog that romps with joy with bones and balls,

Who delights in full life that never palls,

Who sniffs at lamp posts, bushes and trees

And unashamedly, with gusto, pees.

His faithful dog, his love, his Frankenstein.




My Demise

Demise face


It is quite conventional

And not at all contentional

To rage against the age when we decay.

For the progress of the regress

Generates the anger to express

Our grief and our powerful dismay.


One by one all the incisors

Succumb to the advisors

That excision is the desired way.

Then the molars follow suit

For a lot of dental loot

To finish us as toothless as a jay.


We are soon bereft of hair,

Fallen out, I can’t say where

To give our tops the surface of a ball.

We retain our brows and lashes

While our shaving still leaves gashes

So our hairlessness is not complete at all.


Our muscles get much weaker

And our macho very meeker

While our memories are never very sound.

We totter and we twitter

‘Til we need a senior sitter

And finally we tumble to the ground.


Let us hope the end is calm

Not a quirk, not a qualm

When we slip into our final dreamless sleep.

Let’s be blessed with no recall,

No memory at all

And no problems with counting endless sheep.