The moment you are certain
that you know where
you are going
is the precise moment
at which you become totally lost.
The moment you realize
that you have little idea
where you are and none
about where you will end up
is when you found yourself.
At this moment you are here
which was there a moment ago
and will be there a moment from now
even if you do not move, so it
is easier to say you are nowhere, always.
I just want you to know
that the Old Man set me up,
and I’ll admit that, cagey as I am,
I never saw it coming.
I mean I knew he was capable
of anything, but he always adopted
this holier than thou persona so why
would I imagine He’d do this?
And it wasn’t like He clued
me in on it, how was I to know
that one was somehow different,
and weren’t they the smart ones?
So I take the fall, and you can bet it
will be an eternity of distrust, if not fear
or hatred, and I have to say, the damned
apple wasn’t all that tasty anyway.
It was a short questionnaire,
and he wasn’t sure why they
had chosen him to answer, or
for that matter, who they were.
He was one to follow rules, so
he sat down to complete it,
they, whoever they were, said
it would only take fifteen minutes.
“Who is the one poet you would
want to be forced to spend
an entire day with, and why
did you select that person?
In true High School fashion
I skipped it, went on to the next:
“who is the real person you would
gladly spend a day with and why?”
As a poet myself, it was easy now,
and I filled out the answer
and wondered why I paused, then
froze: did I know any real people?
The weather, he announced
to no one in particular,
ought to be musical or at least
incorporate some jazz.
Spring is bebop, Trane and Parker,
the sudden clash of Blakey
the downpours of Dizzy
and the hint of what’s to come
on the fingers of Monk, and
Kenny and Milt.
Summer brings the slow easing
as early Miles slides in, and we
sink nto Chet and Stan.
Bebop returns as summer fades
but turns harder, with Dexter
Sonny and Benny and we know
that winter approaches, with its
disconcert, the sun an ever
more infrequent visitor,
Ornertte and Pharoah reminding us
that the dark cold was our share
until Sun Ra apears on the horizon.
My wife pauses by the placard
in the nature preserve and tells me
that what I have been calling grasses
are in fact a sedge known as sawgrass.
She points out the warning that
it’s serrated on the edge and earned
its name from those who grasped
it without knowing or thinking first.
I feign listening bit she knows
my mind is elsewhere, knows I often
depart conversations suddenly
while maintaining a false presence.
She does not know I am 40 years
younger, pouring hydrogen peroxide
on the cut deep into the interossei
muscles when the glove slipped off
and the yucca I was boldly trying
to pull from the dry, stone-like soil
had decided this was the moment
to extract its final revenge.
Family, Florida, Humor, language, Marriage, Memory, Nature, Photography, Poem, Time, Women
We should stop blaming the snake. First, do we really want to admit the reptile was that much smarter than we were? More importantly, how long could we have survived wearing the leaves, if anything at all, and eating fruits and vegetables? Okay, I grant you that is all I eat, but by choice and after considerable thought. And, by the way, never tell a Jewish male he can’t eat something. We all know full well that even shrimp and pork are kosher in a Chinese restaurant. At least on Friday night.
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