Acceptance

It was only to be expected, I guess.  When I was young, I felt affronted by the prospect of death; as I age, death seems , while still frightening, increasingly natural. Death's Blue-Eyed Boy My father was certain What would happen."Like snuffing out a candle," he'd say. "Like turning out all the lights in the…

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Why I Love Darkness

A short while ago,  I promised deeper poems.  What follows is a second poem about my mother and what it was like when alcohol took over her life.   It is also about my relationship with my father, but more on that later...   Why I Love Darkness Memories Are not backlit; Like fretful flies, They…

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My Introduction to Politics - Part One

I don't remember not being able to read.   I do have a clear memory ( I was two or three) of being lifted up and placed in the center of a big bed — covered in one of those old-fashioned bedspreads with raised embroidery.   My father surrounded me with what seemed like a sea of…

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Is Your Mother Home?

In 1952, my family moved to the upper floor of a house at 1412 North St in Beaumont, Texas. As was common in Gulf Coast homes of the period, the house had ceiling fans in every room (except the bathroom), and a screened-in sleeping porch at the front. My four-year-old sister and I were given…

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Going Deeper

It has been a while since I’ve published a poem on this blog, and there is a reason.   I’ve been preparing myself to write about more serious personal issues. About a year ago, I had a profound, life-changing experience. I went on a two-day retreat in which I did nothing but eat, sleep, and read…

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On The Satisfactions Of Verse

My late wife used to describe me as a combination of a poet and an engineer.   She was right.  Sometimes, for me, the sense of having created art is the primary motivation; and sometimes, the process of writing a poem has its own rewards; its own satisfactions; its own frustrations. For example, I imagined the…

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Plainsong v 2

Years ago, when I was at Rice, I had a roommate named Fred who was very musical — he played the piano and guitar  and had a powerful but sweet tenor voice.   One evening, he claimed to me that he could sing anything, absolutely anything.  I challenged him and offered a textbook øn differential equations. …

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My Father's Face

I wrote the first version of this poem around twenty years ago in San Antonio, Texas. My late wife, a city councilwoman at the tine, was attending a National League of Cities convention, and I had accompanied her. My father and stepmother drove up for the day from their home in Kingsville, about 180 miles…

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Peace March

In 1969, I was working for System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, in the job I wound up in after I was almost sent to Vietnam.   (I'll write about that and about the complicated mix on anti-war revulsion and sense of duty that I felt at the time in conjunction with a forthcoming poem).  1969…

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Palimpsest - a Sonnet

Someone asked me the other day if a poem I had marked as autobiographical was "true".   I replied that it was, like most autobiography, fiction based on a true story.   The same holds true for the following verse.   Here is its true story.   I was standing behind a pretty woman named Barbara at work as…

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A blog about all the arts, including politics
"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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