THE VOICE

 

I want to own a modest voice–

A soft spoken, soothing, warm voice

That comes from a gentle soul.

But the voice in me is defiant

And mouths a reverberating shout

That would shatter the listener’s

Eardrums and jolt the ancient dead.

What can I do as a slave to

Dethrone this brassy tyrant of speech?

Perhaps when I age a hundred

My vintage voice, like wine, will mellow

And please the ear of a bright fellow

 

WHEN THIS POET’S TONGUE

 

When this poet’s tongue

Corrodes and falls

To the parched ground;

When his very words

Breathe their last and

His songs turn to dust;

When his muse’s hair

Becomes chalk-white

And her breasts sag;

Then Silence will stride

On padded feet,

Preaching a soundless

Gospel until

A new poet is born, mouthing

His fiery sermons

Of sense that rhymes,

Out-preaching Silence

And his heresy

Of the unsaid.

 

Los Angeles

Feb. 22, 2012

 

WHEN A POET DIES

 

When a poet dies

The gray sky weeps

Torrents of grief

 

When a poet dies

The earth trembles

With sadness deep

 

When a poet dies

The sea flicks its tongue

Of towering waves

 

When a poet dies

The grasses fade

From green to brown

 

When a poet dies

Flowers refuse

To petal and bloom

 

When a poet dies

The trees suppress their

Susurrus of leaves

 

When a poet dies

The wind whispers

His secret name

 

When a poet dies

Tumbleweeds stop

Rolling downhill

 

When a poet dies

Fishes shed their gills

And drown in despair

 

When a poet dies

Birds clip their wings

And do not sing

 

When a poet dies

The full moon decrees

A total eclipse

 

When a poet dies

The grieving sun

Veils its sunshine

 

When a poet dies

Posterity hugs

His orphaned poems

 

When a poet dies

Hungry worms dare not

Feed on his just words

 

Los Angeles

Feb. 23, 2012

 

A POET LAMENTS HIS OLD AGE

 

My hair has turned to snow

My memory is fast fading

My eyes are getting dim

My ears are hard of hearing

My nose has post natal drip

My teeth are falling one by one

My throat is clogged with blood and phlegm

My heart is ticking slowly

My belly is bloated with gas

My liver is pickled in gin

My hands and feet are shaking

But my fair-haired poems have found

The Fountain of Youth and are as

Bold and dashing as ever

 

Los Angeles

Feb. 23, 2012


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