Howard Johnson’s

Humans are imitative,
So new ideas eventually become
Commonplace, emptied of
Whatever splendor once adhered there.
But make no mistake: simple luxuries
And everyday dignities will
Always matter, even if their
Outward manifestations transform
With time and societal tectonics.

Morning Wakes Upon the Hill

The morning wakes upon the hill,
The moon awaits me in the glen;
I set out with a frozen will
To talk to you again.

The world is just a funeral fire,
A ceremony of remorse;
And still I’m climbing, ever higher,
Set upon this course —

I asked you for forgiveness once;
You set about it with good grace –
But you’ve been gone, and now your ghost
Moves softly through this place

Of missing leaves, and morning mist.
Mid echoes of intention,
I take the path that upward lies
Defying such convention

As would dictate a different course.
I knew you back when love was life;
And life was not enframed by death
And peace was not entombed in strife.

We can’t recapture innocence —
For once it’s gone, it’s gone for good,
And all our striving, in a sense,
Is just so much misunderstood

By others; and by (often) us.
How can it be the trees still know?
They lose their splendor; still, they stand.
And every single path will show

The wisdom of the rocks and trees,
The solemn beauty in the soil;
Where love is not some rash disease,
But more like liberty in toil –

To live, to grow: these are our days –
To strive to know as many ways
To scale the hills as we can find:
And integrate the body-mind

Into the whole ’twas meant to be.
Whether on mountainside or fen —
As morning wakes upon the hill,
And moon awaits us in
The glen

A View from St. Moritz

Pausing, she embraces this;
This moment, this set of circumstances —
And realizes, for all the glories of this view,
Almost no other part of her life
Is anywhere close to what she wanted it to be.

But she’s tired of lying to herself,
So from this amazing vantage point,
She decides to take stock of her life.

An unreliable man?
She doesn’t need him, he’s got to go.
A job where she’s not really given opportunity?
That won’t work either, it’s time for a change.
Constantly feeling tired?
That she can address once the other two things are handled.

In three more days, she’ll be back home.
In three short days, she’ll start a chain of events
That we’ll leave her closer to where she wants to be.

It’s funny, she thinks,
I had to come all the way out here
To see things clearly back there

Sketches – 53

How do I look?
Do you think this will work
For my interview?

I think it looks great,
And you look great, so, yes.

The buttoned-up collar doesn’t look
To pilgrimy?

Is that a word?

You know what I mean.
Do I look too Mayflowery?

No, you don’t.
You look very elegant.
Are you nervous about it?

It’s public radio.
They are liable to ask me about
The political situation in the Asteroid belt, or something.

That would throw me, I admit.
Don’t they mostly want to talk about the exhibit?

But, it could all be a trap.

Well, since it’s radio,
I think your outfit choice has fewer risks
Than you might be thinking.
I think they are more likely to ask you questions
About the historical events your paintings
Refer to than about events elsewhere in
The solar system. Just my two cents.

Oh, well those I can answer.

I know you can.
You’ll be great.

Will you be listening?

No, I thought I’d see if
Amazon Prime has old episodes of
“Dusty’s Trail”.

Okay, okay, don’t get worked up.
I’m just nervous.

Okay, then, try this.
When you get to the studio,
Take a few deep breaths,
And remember how hard you had it
On the Mayflower.

I hate you right now.
Actually, I love you right now.

And I love you.
Good luck!

We pilgrims never shrink from a challenge