Daniel's Poetry (2000)


Poems:


Anger and Fear

I wish I could walk away
   from my anger
And my anger's brother
   fear.
That toxic family have stayed
   too long
They're constant companions
   in my heart.

Those brothers don't help me
   anymore.
They should leave me innocent
   like before
And take their shadows
   with them.

At College

It's OK if I don't know the books
'Cause all I have to do
   is ask the students
And they run
   to accommodate me.

It's OK if I don't know the text
'Cause all I have to do
   is ask the staff
And they run
   to accommodate me.

I Like Walking to the Store

I like walking to the store.
Every day I buy a bit
Of what I need, for home supplies.
Or maybe I just look around.

I like walking back to home.
On the way I might observe
If my neighbors are around,
Or maybe left their TV on.

Sometimes kids play out-of-doors
On the lawn, where their energy
Is safely ignored by all
Except by each other, and their dog.


Riley Park

A dozen willows in the park
A shady grove on the lawn
Eleven tall trees in the sun
And one dark stump in the shade.

They invite me to join them here:
Yes, I'd like to sit here,
The fresh breeze and cool shade,
With the damp earth, and the rough bark.

In the sun, children play games and laugh
A mother shares lunch with her baby
Birds are busy in the trees
Boys play football on the lawn.

An artist sets up a little way away,
Her studio's a blanket on the lawn.
She paints the sunlit willow trees
The grove in the middle of the park.

I'm still sitting on the stump
With the damp earth, and the rough bark.
She paints the trees from her blanket,
With the sun and the wind in the leaves.

I leave the trees.
I smile and wave
The trees wave back
And continue their life.

I pass the artist.
I smile and wave
She smiles back
And continues her work.


They're Staying

These little pixies play around,
They ride my soul, like birds in the wind.
They keep my heart entertained.
I'm happy to know they're here.

They play and laugh and tease me
Somewhere behind my vision.
But I hear them, I can listen.
I do!

These little guys are my guests.
We've lived together for a while
I think they arrived with a lover, one day --
A forgotten joke, a smile we shared?

I like these invisible fairies
We all get along pretty well,
Though they won't admit it, you see:
They're much too independent!


Two Paths

The rhythm of the tunes I play
Guides my body from my house to the road.
I walk on the road on the way to town
And my march turns into a dance.

The lyrics of the songs I play
Guide my heart from my home to the world.
I love the people I meet in town
So my heart knows I'm already there.


Writer's Block

I'm supposed to create a few lines each day,
And arrange them into some kind of poem.
There's always a new way to write them.
Especially when it scans. It should rhyme.

But today, the guide I need most of
Is the coffee I perked this morning.
But Alice, the cat, informs me
That she's ready to dream on my chair.

The extra-long walks in the park help,
I've been there so many times.
I like to watch the kids play
They're distracting, and fun besides.

I'm home again. The cat hunts, the coffee's gone,
My wife comes home from work.
"How'd it go today, dear?"
"Great! sixteen lines in a row!"
"That's nice, dear! Does it rhyme?"


Writing Poetry is Lonely


I'm riding the train into town,
Enjoying the suburban scenery.
And here it comes -- a poetry idea!

I know it's an idea
'Cause it rides beside me:
Something about the riders
As they all crowd the train,
Rushing, sitting, reading.

I'd like to share with the man on the next seat.
But no! he doesn't want to hear from me.


I'm walking west on Main Street,
Enjoying the sidewalk scenery.
And here it comes -- a poetry idea!

I know it's an idea
'Cause it walks beside me:
Something about the coffee-breakers
As they sit in the donut shop
Drinking, reading, talking.

I'd like to share with the smoker on the sidewalk
But no! she flicks her butt and disappears.


I'm relaxing in a bar,
Enjoying the social scenery.
And here it comes -- a poetry idea!

I know it's an idea
'Cause it watches the people with me.
Something about the folks
As they come into the bar
In one's and three's, and leave in two's.

I'd like to share with this guy at the bar
But no! he's not here to "just chat".


My journal listens.
It's good at that.
But it doesn't answer.


Short Names

"Daniel" sounds important.
"Danny" is warm and familiar.
But "Dan" is what they call me.
Just when you try to get my attention,
"Dan" slaps you on the back
And catches you half-way.

I've always felt sad for Joe.
You can't do much with his name
And you wouldn't ever want to.
Just "Joe".
I wish we could make his name grow.
It takes a while to uncover
Joe's many hidden features.

My friend Anoma's name is great.
Nobody cuts her short
To "Ano". Ano huh? Ano wha'?
Nobody cuts her shorter
To "A". A aye? A uh?
It doesn't work. Nobody likes it.
But "Anoma" flows so nicely.
"Anoma" goes with Anoma really well.


Love and Reason

You joined us yesterday, not planned
But hoped, and glad to join.
Our hearts prepared to meet our souls
We trusted love and reason.

Not long installed, not long but turned
By hearts' adventure without reason,
Reason never helped our hearts.
Love and reason turned away.

With trust turned, we turn away,
Our hearts' adventure tears our souls
In spite of ourselves. Still, not brave,
We don't trust love, we don't trust reason.

But souls must join and so we do,
Our hearts gasp, and breathe again.
We turn to trust, turn our souls,
We turn to love and reason.

So! Hearts might try a new adventure,
But love stopped short, and barred our souls,
Leaving only reason to love,
Leaving trust to bar our trust.

You joined us yesterday, not planned
But hoped. Now gone again, not joined.
Love and reason
Turned away.


Aquarius (The water bearer)

His water-jug splashes
And sparkles inside.
He carries some gallons

That splash on his chest.

The spring he approaches
Will soon run too dry.
The splash he requires
Is just ooze, merely foam.

With a sparkle and splash
The gallons pour down
To the cracks in the rocks
And hides in the leaves.

The stones, once thirsty,
Once dusty and pale,
Now show off their colors.

He murmurs a story
And the spring tells one back,
Both sharing with the rocks.


My heart is a house
with a room
for everybody I have loved.