To Be or Not To Be

as soon as I sat down in my chair on the
patio it started to rain again

I had to wear a light vest and as I lit a late
afternoon cigar I listened to

what seemed to be a host of kettle drums
sitting on the metal roof that would fade

in and out

then it slowed down to the sound of big
drops running off the roof to the worn

grass below that looked like a giant sheet
on a player piano rolling down

now that reminded me of the Steinway
that sat in our living room and

my piano teacher who quit

sometimes kids can’t be forced to be who
their parents wanted to be or want them to be

this can set the stage for a life of failure upon
failure upon failure

to this day I can sing some say as sweetly as
Nancy Wilson but I can’t play a thing

or read music yet there has been a choir or
two here and there

and that nervous but fine solo on Danny Boy

but my folks spent a lifetime discouraging me
from doing anything that I wanted to do

so acting and singing among other things
simply faded away like most of my dreams

much like the rain falling off the roof to
the ground

Spider Song

a spider cast its web from
the tree like a net floating
on the air

it stuck to the fence
some on the pole and
some on the shed

a single strand seemed to
rappel silently from the
fence to the ground

the two sisters bonded
through singing inside
unaware that the spider

was climbing back up to
fence singing of triumph
a familiar spider song

Laura Revisited

Laura. Bracing for storms coming our
way. The first one sort of fizzled out;
second one did not. Waiting for Laura.

I’ve been singing that schmaltzy ballad
from the 1944 movie of the same name
since last night. Whatever happened to

my mother’s copy of Vanity Fair, I’ll
never know. I remember the picture of
Gene Tierney in it and Gary Cooper in

1934. It was a favorite book of mine as
a kid. Laura was a favorite, too. Still is.
One of the few good memories. But

this poem can only end or begin with
one word. Laura. “Laura is the face in
the misty light…”

Saturday Memories

I can’t recall but I think I’m suffering
from this grand delusion that Saturdays
used to be special.

That wasn’t the case today. Saturday
was noisy. It came with a din of its own.
I’ve never enjoyed hearing other people’s

loud music as they fly by in a truck (I’d
never choose to drive or own). I’ve never
been a truck person. If I stick with cars

you would think I’ve been driving in
circles my whole life. My first new car was
after I came home from Vietnam in 1968.

It was a navy blue VW Beetle with a gray
interior. So, it seems cars in my life have a
story of their own that is part of my story.

I’ll blame the gas wars. While at Ft. Dix in
1973 I tried so hard to fit in, I bought a
gold Ford LTD. It was a boat! Everyone liked

it except me. The yellow MG B wasn’t really
me either. Then came married life on low
Army pay. A yellow Chevy Chevette went to

Germany and back. Drove it for ten years.
The years went by as quickly as the cars! The
car that I really thought was me was my navy

blue Jeep Liberty. It was a lemon. You wouldn’t
know that to look at it. The outside was so
beautiful! Engine, parts, wheels, bearings, rods,

you name it. It failed again and again. It was a
mess on the inside. Hold on, hold on. Am I
telling you about my life or my cars?

I replaced the engine and sold it either with or
for peanuts. And I had to get a car. I lived in NW
Phoenix. The firm that hired me was in Chandler.

I had to commute one hundred miles a day. I
must have been thinking of my dad. He loved his
two-tone 1956 Chrysler New Yorker. I bought a

used silver four cylinder Chrysler 200 for this crazy
commute. I put on 40,000 miles in no time. Work
came to a halt. My life came to a halt. Divorce.

Sold the house. Bought a bright orange 2018 VW
Beetle. I’ve come full circle. I’m back where I started
if we are talking about cars. Arizona is a slide show

of memories that I see in my rear view mirror once in a
while. The Bug is cool. Yikes! It might be my last car. I
wonder about that every time I see a Chrysler 300.

It has got to be a V8.

Radio is singing in her bath. Music is loud. She knows
all lyrics. All. All the old Saturdays are gone. They visit.
But they are gone. I’m wrong. Every day is a gift.

Bits and pieces of our lives are tied to our cars. We
remember our cars and our cars remember us. If a car
could talk! I didn’t tell you about every car of mine.

Why would I do that? Just a few Saturday memories.