November’s Chalice

I was, I think, a hurried man.
To get to where and what my goal;
A confidence, a worked-out plan,
An inside-out, and fevered soul,

When she November’s chalice brought
For me to sip the honeyed wine
I’d wanted, and through seasons sought,
But that was hers, and never mine.

She was, I see now, flourishing
Upon the edge of certainty;
An interlude for nourishing
A strength that lay in dormancy,

And I, I was a puzzle piece
She had to lay upon a board
To find her own way out; release
The limits she had kept, and stored,

For she, when she was just a girl,
Had built a picture in her mind
Of what was not to be her world,
A summer costume-tale confined —

    But I saw autumn: elegance,
    And she responded to my eyes:
    It wasn’t me she ever saw,
    But her own, pure reflection

    Within the chalice gleaming red,
    Of falling hard and straight surprise
    I’d taken in before I knew
    What lay in that direction —

It was, I know, not all that long
Before I felt December’s blue
Come crashing down in loneliness;
But what was left, and what is true

Is that what we take in is ours.
For some things lie beyond regret:
Like autumn days, and once-drunk wine,
That aging hearts remember


A Resonance

I heard across the span of years the sea.
A younger smaller form of you-and-me:
Our latent powers weakened by the storm,
Each pressured in our ways to fold, conform —

But on that shore, we held to skin on skin,
Our bronze desire: to escape again
Into a world we hoped we could make last,
And be unchained from still more distant past.

But on the brink, a sudden hesitance;
The sea-sound of our hearts, a resonance
That echoed over shores where blue turned gray,
And blew our fragile happening


Roni’s Engagement

She called to tell me that she was engaged –
Me, dating some love spasm at the time –
Who I brought with me to meet them for drinks
Which I think were Coronas – yes – with lime

And she still looked a perfect movie star
And so did he, if truth, in fact, be told;
They were so good together: he was kind.
And I was happy for the ring of gold

She wore now on her finger as a sign
That she with him would now forever stay.
A thing I thought unlikely at the time,
Although they’re still together to this day

It’s funny: I write poems all the time.
I dredge these stories up from memory:
And find sometimes I didn’t know my heart
Until I write these down in poetry

We’d flirted with each other, and had tested
The waters of erotic friendliness;
When that part of our friendship was abandoned
I found, I didn’t love her any less

I loved her more as friends; for she was regal,
And meant for kindness as a life reward:
And she was happy now – I know she still is –
With someone who loved her
Who she



When Roni had me pick her up,
I almost lost my mind:
A lonely dude at twenty-three
The restless dating kind

We got dressed up to go to see
The local symphony;
Italian dinner, wine, and then
A drive down by the sea

She touched my face with both her hands
And I’m sure it went scarlet:
If this had been a movie script
She’d be the stunning starlet

And I, the semi-funny schlump
Who somehow gets the girl:
But we weren’t in a movie script
And that was not our world

Instead, we chatted in the dark
Beside the waters glowing;
I’d brush the hair back from her face
So long and brown and flowing

And I don’t know that she could know
Just what that was for me;
For her, some dating throwaway,
For me, a memory

Of moonlight and of Roni
All alone out very late:
As we fogged up the windows,
Just two people, on a date

Unrequited Love Spasm

When I was so very young
I loved an older girl;
To me, she was perfection, and
The crown of the whole world

I helped her with her homework
For many days on end:
But as much as I loved her, she
Saw me as just a friend

A friend whose name she seemed to have
Some trouble in recalling;
Although she saw me every day
And knew that I was falling

In love with her – she did know this –
But that happened a lot:
So just one other dude who liked her
Didn’t get her hot

I’ve looked back on it since, and thought:
I know that I was callow.
But what is more amazing’s that
I didn’t know how shallow

She was; or how bad I was
In my youthful incoherence:
To love someone who really was
Not much more than appearance

Then recently, I saw her:
Thirty years had past since then:
And she was bright and charming and
All that she should have been

So I had to revise my
Patronizing memory:
If I had seen the real her then
She’d have seen

(“Unrequited Love Spasm” – 1-27-2015)

A Certain Kind of Trouble

The kind of trouble that she was
I’d never known in all my days;
But found in new and countless ways
That trouble is as trouble does

Entrancing in her loveliness,
And seemingly so soft and sweet:
I found her virtue truly fleet,
For she, at heart, was pitiless

Our troubles take a certain shape.
I sought, from her, a higher ground:
But when I breathed her in, I found
A trouble I could not

Love Spasm The Ninth

We dated twice, and that was that.
A missing thing, a nameless lack —
And so, because we’d long been friends,
We kind of just to that went back.

And though I loved you, without doubt,
And you, I’m pretty sure, loved me,
We had the sky without the stars,
And fate without

The destiny