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

Along the River

the first of a string of cold nights
and mild days are a welcome
change

I am not outside at my usual
time so the stillness and quiet
are very refreshing

I can hear the drone of a lawn
being cut probably at the church
and a siren far away

add a loud bird and I think it may
be stereo another lawn being
cut on the other distant side of me

my tea went from sipping hot to
cool enough to gulp if I want to
with less than half a cup left

do you know what is missing
my steno pad as I opted to bring
my laptop outside for the first

time so my Namiki fountain pen
already a relic by age alone is now
a sure sign of my past

thirty-five years ago or so on a
day like today I’d walk from my
Kaserne to a bench along the

Nahe River to sit and fill a
notebook with all the woe is
me of the day and to pray

or cry

no cell phones and no PCs really
just a few word processors at
work using large CP/M disks and

floppies I think
about one sip of cold tea to go

you know the same God who
used to hear my cries then
as I looked out over the river

hears me now

I for one am glad that some
things don’t change and God
is one of those things

my father God has never
forgotten one of my tears as
we sat along the river

Tomorrow’s Train

the horn blasts of the noon train
were distorted floating in and out
on the strong and gusty winds

the sounds of this train faded to
the right of where I sat on the
back patio

a second faster train followed
horn blasting through town as it
moved away heading north

It seems that my dreams were
not in the wind or on a train

they pile up in my memory like
railroad ties stacked up in an
abandoned siding yard

birds don’t dream they fly
can you tell a bird not to fly
same-o same-o

people don’t fly they dream
can you tell people not to dream

at this point I doubt my dreams
will come true they could they
might but so far they never have

so I’ll be waiting for the wind and
tomorrow’s train

Summer Seems Near

a tiny baby chameleon darts
in and out of the grass along
the edge of the patio

a dead worm is coiled up on
the cement floor and a giant
dark wasp bumps along the

patio ceiling doing recon for
a new home so I wish him
well somewhere else

ah he’s gone for now
go figure no bugs yesterday
tons of bugs today

a large flying bug is floating
in my cup of ice water so
much for a drink of water

spring may be very short
this year as winter flees
summer seems near

The Bird Sang

It is getting colder and
rain clouds are pressing in.

There was one bird singing;
I thought it was for me but

he stopped.

I don’t have a song today.
I long to sing a song I love.

I will sing again but not today.
The bird returned singing a
new song:

“When your breasts are full
and your hips are wide, you
will laugh and sing.”

I wondered if the bird sang
to me.

Sunday is Coming

It’s cold. The rain is steady
and cold. Not a soul outside,
Just me. There goes a bird.

Another bird from a different
tree. The rain is stopping soon.
I’m hopeful on Fridays because

COVID–19 is leaving and Sunday
is coming.

Then Sunday passes. The call
will come. Maybe not today.
Maybe tomorrow because

Sunday is coming.