Life and Death

Life and Death 

The poinsettia has died—
I tried.
As best I could—
Anyone would.
Bathed in natural light—
Warm and bright.
Watered now and then—
Just say when.
More Christmas joy brought—
I thought.
Auld Lang Syne and table set—
“A cup of kindness yet.”

Cupid launched his missile—
Made lovers smile.
Easter’s promise. He cleansed our sins—
Everybody wins!
Saint Patrick listened to March say—
“Corned beef okay?”
Mother’s Day we all know—
Miss her so!
Memorial Day, too high a cost—
Brave lives lost.
The poinsettia has died—
I tried.

As for me—
What will be, will be.

Overheard At The Derby

 Overheard At The Derby

I do like your hat.

yes. it reminds me of a lampshade i once knew.

yes. like you, the lamp wore it slightly askew. 
you mean crooked?

aye. awry. cocked just so over one eye.

yes. it’s a fabulous look.
thank you. is your horse running today?

horse? i came but to see the hats.
Photo by Alexander Stemplewski on

Estate Sale

 Estate Sale
Like winged vultures 
drawn by the stench 
of smoldering carrion, 
we’ve come to satisfy 
our lust for
more, more, more.
unlike these black-winged 
marauders of the sky,
whose manners are

somewhat suspect, 
we follow a more civilized 
ritual of taking numbers,
and wait our turn to enter this 
sacred house of the dead. 
i follow the rush to the 
room with books
where pushy re-sellers perch,

shoulder to shoulder,
before the shelves
in their primitive craving

for the steaming vital organs— 
signed first-editions, 
dust covers mercifully intact—
a Hemingway—
Green Hills of Africa— 
(oh, most happy day). 
appetites sated, the lions lick their chops
and saunter off.
next the squabbling hyenas,
angry at the delay, move in,
while the vultures circle overhead,
desperate for an overlooked morsel.

finally it is my turn,
 and i finger the bony carcass 
hoping to discover the profession, 
the hobbies, and the education 
of the person who sat next the window 
to catch the light.
Photo by Emre Can on