poems

How I See It

9/7/13

I didn’t die on that bloody beach because it was not meant to happen there.

I didn’t die some other times when it could have happened.

And when I do die, it will be because it is time for it to happen.

That will be enough bother without borrowing trouble

by worrying about it before it happens.

 

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In the Patio

2/9/14

(In the patio at Mike’s house, Puerto Rico)

How tall the green tree grows,

As if reaching for a higher place in the sky,

Or to provide a loftier perch

For the peering pigeon to survey his realm.

 

The leafy peak dances gently

In the light breeze,

Conducting the orchestra

Of lower clumps of green.

 

While the background curtain of blue sky

With puff-balls of white cloud

Brighten the milky wings of a white butterfly

Waltzing through the green.

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Momo

 She’s skinny and small

And not handsome at all;

And as black as a coal bin at night;

She gets underfoot,

Will seldom stay put,

And acts like she has every right

 

To whatever she wants

Whenever she grunts

Or whimpers and cries at the door;

And if you do not

Serve it up on the spot,

She hastens to give you “what for.”

 

She picks at her food,

Can’t decide what is good,

Turns her nose up at what’s in her dish;

And when she does eat,

She will never repeat

Whatever her previous wish.

 

Yet despite all that’ s said,

When she’s finally fed,

This ancient old cat is all right;

So please understand,

Behind all this demand,

She’s still in some ways a delight.

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Learning

Everyone learns from someone.

Who you learn from, and what you learn,

And how you use that learning,

Determines who you are.

 

Think about what you learn.

Learning without thinking is merely following.

Learning, to be useful,

Involves thinking.

 

Together,

Learning

And thinking

Can be positive.

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Rain in Poci

Having lived in many climates,

I’ve seen how it can rain;

But then I came to Tuscany,

The bottom of the drain!

 

Someone pulled the plug up there,

And let the water flow,

To cascade down the hillsides

Wherever it could go.

 

To fill up ditches and the roads

And raise the river’s height,

With thunderstorms and lightning

During daytime or at night.

 

To knock out all the power,

Wash out phone connections, too,

Giving Duilio and Dieter

More than enough to do.

 

To put things back in order —

Water, light and heat,

And the telephone connected

To make it all complete.

 

Eventually, when all is solved,

And when the work is done,

We all salute the winners,

And the final victory won!

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Piazza IL Campo

Sunshine on the buildings

Glows and fades;

Shadows in the huge

Piazza creep

Across the ancient stone

Where ghosts of old Siena sleep.

The Campanile clock ticks

Off the time,

And watches centuries

Come and pass away;

It chronicles the years

As they go by,

Plodding down the time trail

Day by day.

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