21 July 2019

Lucia's 21st

We hope this birthday finds you 
soaring like an eagle,
without over-indulging 
on activities now legal.

We hope you’re standing for up 
for truths that be self-evident,
that where you find yourself 
is matched well to your temperament.

And that you’ll bear in mind,
as the temperature increases 
(wondering who can set things right 
judging from their speeches),
that out here in the San Juans 
the climate remains stable,
and there will be a place for you
seated at our table.

12 April 2019

For my brother

Again the month turns April;
one year becomes another.
I try to decide if ever I’d
made rhymes up for my brother.
Perhaps I did for Christmas,
or a song I once performed,
But not commemoration
of the day that he was born.
The reason I may offer
(well known to the masses):
A mere three days it comes before
the deadline for our taxes.
Yes, the table where I write this
is well be-strewn with papers
Concerning items purchased
and income for our labors.
Likewise we hope on the twelfth
you give yourself a break,
Not be mired or too wired
explaining what you make.

As has been my pattern,
in choosing what’s for giving,
I search up our old icons
to see which are still living.
Indeed there is one Elvis
who long outlived the other—
More than likely not still being
followed by my brother.
Well remember I the day
I waited at your place,
Curiously removed Costello's
record from its case;
How high did sound his voice;
his band buzzed like a hive!
Unaware was I the platter
spun at forty-five.
Forty years have come and gone
since then; can you believe?

More memories where that came from,
now pleasant to retrieve,
Of each our lives unfolding
finding just the mate
Who draws us into purchase
of excess real estate.
And though we may be dwelling
at distant longitudes—
Your clients seeking better sounds
while mine seek better moods—
There’s one connecting vector
that may not be ignored.
For like the mug you fashioned,
my key includes your chord.

04 March 2019

To Monica on her 67th

What makes birthdays more special
when divisible by five ?
What do we even learn from 
counting years we’ve been alive?
Are we still meeting milestones 
such as when we started walking?
Are there skills we still must learn 
through more listening and less talking?

There comes a realization,
the older we have grown:
how pointless is attachment 
to the objects we may own.
Is it wisdom we develop, 
as our numeral increases,
or does that come more from our luck 
assembling jigsaw pieces?

As I pondered what to get 
my dearly loving spouse,
I decided ‘twould be best to 
not add flotsam to the house.
Then I recalled her envy
of my mp3 collection—
organized by artist, styles 
of every predilection—
which up till now she accessed 
commandeering my computer—
her timely exploitation 
of my status as commuter.

But now I’ll be around more,
for better or for worse.
My five-minute commute leaves time 
to generate more verse!

I next copied all my music files,
leaving out head-bangers,
finding more room on her hard drive 
than on her closet hangers.
No Streisand or Sinatra,
for they’re a bit too slick,
or metal which my student 
once described as wicked sick.
Yet still she ends up having
a playlist so replete
‘twill play from now till mayday 
before any tracks repeat.

But all of this is merely
window-dressing on a life 
where I’m blessed as the husband 
to a most intriguing wife,
who daily fills my coffers 
with hope and inspiration,
and lifts me when I stumble 
on this path to liberation.