i wrestled in my bed with sweat and demons
as madness tore into my febrile mind
the burning from inside that brooks no pretense
the loneliness that’s always there to find

across a rope-bridge chasm you were staring
amid a blaze of red and wild face
but no amount of shouting broke the silence
and no amount of running closed the space

but how your look seared into me with loathing
the river down below was all afire
i longed to bring you back and home to safety
but felt the platitude in my desire

in vision-tangled sheets i woke to humming
the sound of air-conditioned ambience
i rose to splash my face and drink some water
with little hope and little left of sense

i stare now at a screen that sits impassive
i’m not sure who i am or how i feel
it’s strange that after all the things i’ve been through
it’s only in my dreams
that life seems

The Magic Window

Magic Window

= = = = = | = = = = =

The light is gone, and nothing’s right,
Another wastrel of a day —
Come join me, and we’ll get away,
And take the magic window into night

For dreams of childhood remain;
Of distant lands and shining seas —
We’ll go and do whate’er we please,
Away from all these cold eyes’ sharp disdain

The world of faith and not of sight
Is beckoning for us to join;
So come, let us some joy purloin,
And take the magic window
Into night

= = = = = | = = = = =

Photo credit : ID 38853794 © Empipe | Dreamstime.com

* the fiery river *

he works in gray and granite
and numbers without end,
he plans across the planet
as dividends descend.

the world is colorless and flat,
of surfaces and corners —
of businessmen who live and die,
but seem to leave no mourners.

he closes then his midday eyes
to join a world that’s only his…

across a fiery river
he rows a lonely skiff,
and looks to find a landing place
along a tree-lined cliff.

escaped from his indenture,
he searches for a sign:
the point of his adventure,
the looming palatine.

to fight his way across the land,
to live by wit and heart and hand,
to find old rome alight with gold,
in lands too precious to get old,
a world with no complacency,
where he could still a hero be:
and taste the treasure of the vine,
and find, at last, the palatine.

with sudden jerk, and open eyes,
he finds again, to his surprise,
a busy office filled with din,
and narrow walls he lives within.

and for an hour, or a year,
he grinds himself to finest dust,
amid a gray and granite world
of give-and-take and bank-and-trust —

for in the droid, a man remains
who once was more than puts and gains;
as slowly dies such gold as glows,
that fades away
and no one



Picture credit : © Natali Myasnikova | Dreamstime.com

Old Poem, Age 8

I wish I could be like the leaves
And simply blow away,
For then I wouldn’t have to go
To school again today.

The teacher always yells at me,
And says I do things wrong —
I think I’ve got a complex, or
I will have, before long.

I wish it was still summer, so
We could go to the pool;
Instead we go to gym class,
Then our local lunchroom gruel.

The leaves go where they want, while I’m
In math, for heaven’s sake —
But I at least know how to count
The days

Til Christmas


Why Do We Dream of Dragons?

My friend the waitress talked to me
As we were waiting for the aging credit card machine
To give its verdict
As to the availability of my funds

(She’s very young, and nice –
She smiles at me and talks to me as though
I was someone near her age.
She’s also very talented, an artist)

She’s gradually painted all the walls
Of the Mandarin restaurant she works in nights
While taking college classes days

Her latest painting is of the characters
Of the Chinese zodiac, so called
With a rat, an ox, a tiger,
A rabbit, a snake, a horse,
A goat, a monkey, a rooster,
A dog, and a pig, all beautifully

I asked where the dragon was, and she said

I dream of dragons all the time
I think about them in the night
In worlds of distant fantasy
My mind, there, with their wings, takes flight

When I’m at home or school or here
When I am bored, or, when I’m not —
The world of dragons seems more real
To me, than the one I’ve actually got

The credit card machine spat out
It’s grudging acceptance of my loan
She looked away as she handed it me
To somewhere far away, alone

Why do we dream of dragons, sir?
And leave off only with regret?

To know we still have worlds to see;
And wings to use
That we have not used