Archive for the ‘Poems by When’ Category

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Leafy treetops

November 14, 2006

Stooped gentlemen bow,
Their gnarled knees bend and creak
Birds nest in their crowns.

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Breakfast Food

October 9, 2006

Your lucky charms entice me –
Too, your dulcet, “Cheerios“,
when your sugar smacks surprise me
you should hear my honey nut “ohs”.

It’s my total admiration
for what I call your “Special K
they’re the smart start celebration
to my life most every day.

No trix, I mean your kisses
with my morning Frosted Flakes,
They’re my all bran plan delicious,
I’m the fruity loop your love makes!

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Tarot Nine – The Hermit

September 22, 2006

Alone, but not lonely
the Hermit, the Wild One
advances the knowledge
he gains through strange means. He

alone, and he only,
the wizened ascetic
withdraws from the world with
the power he owns. So

imagine, if only,
this Merlin / Morgana
inspired us all to this
same inner search, then

what wisdom, what holy
and mystical power could
solitude, quiet
inspire within us. So

take from this only
the need to withdraw and to
ponder the options you
have at your hand. Be

alone, but don’t only
remain in that solitude
take the time needed,
return, then return…


Another in the Tarot series, this one began with the phrase in my mind of “Alone, but not lonely” as the perfect way to describe the character of the Hermit. I also “heard” the beat of “da-DUM da-da-da-da da-DUM” repeating in my ear, so thought I would try to get the rhythmic beat as another part of the piece.

Much of this was written this morning waiting in line to purchase round challah for Rosh Hashanah. The holiday also has me thinking introspectively. This is that time of year where Jews are supposed to look within and examine themselves. In many ways, this is the essential paradox: tomorrow I will sit in a synagogue with over 1200 people and try to create an intimate space where I can come face to face with myself and my God. I need the power of the Hermit at this time more than ever!

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Tarot Eight – Strength

September 20, 2006

The lion opens wide, its tempered jaws
like sentinels stand ready to acclaim
her majesty. Within her pregnant pause
a reservoir of strength and pow’r remain.
Self-confidence and certainty her mane,
though subject still to the Eternal Law,
she holds her force in readiness, remains
with calm and smooth exterior, because
she knows were she to free this lion’s maw
the Kingdoms of the world, her fire can tame.


This poem is written in Iambic Pentameter (as long as you allow for the one-syllable reading of “power” in line four). Each line has ten syllables, and the poem itself is in ten lines. The result, I hope, is a strong beat and a matching solidity of function and form to correspond with the meaning of the card itself.

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Tarot Seven – The Chariot

September 18, 2006

We race, our wheels so fast they touch sky
obstinate, confident, triumphant
our laurels are richly earned, conquest

of those who would seek to bar our
salvation: disciplined creation.
This triumph shows ego as power.

Its dark side: to win, and at all cost,
Subjugate, dominate, overwhelms
those without strength enough to resist

the Chariot.


Back to the Tarot theme. This poem speaks about the seventh major arcana (or trump card), The Chariot. The poem is written as a nine-square: the first line has nine monosyllables, the second has three words with three syllables each, and the last line in each stanza has a one-two, one-two, one-two rhythm. Thanks to Jo for the idea!

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Black Cat, Drat!

September 14, 2006

Black cat, drat
Walking under ladders; does it really matter?
Step on a crack, how’s your mother’s back?
These recipes for superstition often come to some fruition…

When you sneeze, please hold your nose, and whisper “Labruid”.
A mirror breaks, for seven years your luck will be no good.
Careful in a building if it has a floor thirteen
chances are its occupants are really rather mean.

Roswell in New Mexico’s the place you must attend
if, by chance, your interests run to greenish little men.
While we’re on that color green, another one that’s thorny:
watch out for green M & Ms since they will make you . . .

Corny cobs in snowmen’s mouths will make them come alive,
Elvis is still living; he alone invented jive,
just like Al Gore with the Internet, and Bush, Saddam Hussein
(As a side note, aren’t all politicians just a pain!).

Well, I guess in these last lines I’ve gone quite far afield (Ed.
From classic superstitions to the modern ones I’ve yielded),
I must be moving on, but yet I have one final note:
Don’t make me out to be your sacrificial lamb, er, goat.

For when it comes to superstitions, I just don’t believe ’em
(though watch me as I hold my breath when I pass a mausoleum).
Nothing ever beats a little bit of self-protection,
just as long as I don’t indulge in any serious self-reflection.

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Winter is Gone

September 12, 2006

3/1984

Winter is gone
and life has not returned
replacing empty forests.

Memory is gone,
and emotions have run dry
leaving empty streams.

And empty streams and empty forests
give the world a pause for breath
before the sudden birth of spring.