What good’s a ceiling?

“When it rains, it pours,”
said the Captain as the water spilled over
what was left of the shore
for the fourth time in as many fortnights.

“When you’ve seen one storm
by golly, makes you want to see ten more.
All are particular,”
said our Captain to the unmanned oars.

“When hell freezes over
better hold on to your four-leaf clover.
So’s the life of a rover:
Make a sacrifice for a roll of the dice.”

“When my ship comes in
will it bring barnacles from all the places I been?
How will I know it?”
the Captain asked as the die was cast and the mast went down.

“When all is said and done,
let it be said: ‘This sailor’s life was hard won.
He went where the voyage was,
slept his nights beneath the stars
for what good’s a ceiling?’
What good’s a ceiling?”

(10/10/2018: Irish Acres, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin)

Happens To Be

I

A blind and unwise man
once told me:
It’s all a bunch of voodoo magic.
Happens to be
that voodoo magic’s
alright with me.

All I know is
I don’t know.
Answers wait at Raymer’s Cove
on Lake Mendota,
‘pon cliffs limestone.
How the water and wind erode.

Sun goes down
for you to find
traces of another time,
echoes of another life,
smoldering, silently
a silver stream, electra-lasting.

———————————–

II

I was
slain,
slain.
Slain by the moment,
slain by the events
I was
slain,
slain.
Slain by the moment,
slain by the events
I was
slain,
slain.
Slain by the moment,
slain by the events
I was…

———————————–

III

My fellow fellows:
What’s taking place?
What have we learned here,
if I may ask
at this juncture?

My fellow fellows:
What’s taking place?
What have we learned here,
if I may ask
at this juncture?

———————————–

IV

I don’t like being alone
for too long, for too long.
I don’t mind being alone
for too long. For too long.

I don’t mind being solo
for too long. For too long.
I don’t like being so low
for too long. For too long.

Solo
for too long.

So low
for too long.

Alone
for too long.

We’re not here
for too long.

———————————–

V

Happens to be
I was
slain, slain.
Slain by the moment,
slain by the events
at this juncture,
at this juncture.

Happens to be
we’re not here,
we’re not here,
for too long.
For too long.
For too long.

Happens to be.
Happens to be.

(9/27/2018: Irish Acres, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin)

Ages

It’s been ages since you came around.
How’s that west coast treating you,
now?

Been through stages you wouldn’t comprehend.
Let’s just say things are different.
How?

So you’re back in town? For how long?
For good like the rest of us?

Yes I’m back in town, just for now.
Ain’t no finer place to rust.

It’s been ages,
more than awhile.
Got a past and a future
to reconcile.
Trees are taller
or is it just me?
Kids are younger
or could it be
since I made my
last farewell
I wore myself in
some myself?

You look familiar. Tell me your last name.
Say hello to your folks
for me.

I’m unfamiliar with myself out here
on the front step of my home.
Strangely….

I scan the faces out on Main,
look down and pray to slip away
without a trace.

Do I know what I need?
People, purpose, a city?
Oh the waiting.

It’s been ages,
more than awhile.
Got a past and a future
to reconcile.
Trees are taller
or is it just me?
Kids are younger
or could it be
since I made my
last farewell
I wore myself in
some myself?

Re-make yourself at home.
Mirror, mirror, off the wall.

(8/20-8/26/2018: Irish Acres, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin)

Grandma Peterson

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Grandma Peterson:
How’s the weather in heaven?
They got Southern Comfort?
Does Uecker call the Brewers games up there, too?
Miss you already but glad you flew.

Grandma Peterson:
Does it compare with the cottage?
Is church on Sunday morning?
Bet Grandpa smiled when he laid eyes on you.
Miss you already but glad you flew.

Grandma Peterson:
Think you’ll start up a garden?
Is everything at the store on sale?
Speaking of deals, guaranteed a deuce or two?
Miss you already but glad you flew.

Grandma Peterson:
What are you sewing up there?
How’s the rest of the family up stairs?
Say hello for us, won’t you?
Miss you already but glad you flew.

So long. So long for now.
So long. So long for now, Grandma.

(5/23&25&28/2018: Adams Point, Oakland, California)

Mayday

When I finally reached the door,
“Open sesame” didn’t work.
Turns out there’s no such thing
as magic words.

Then I rolled up my shirt sleeve,
but no tricks did I see.
Turned around to leave, “Easy come”
but go? Ain’t so easy.

Mayday, mayday.
We’re going down
in a blaze of glory.
All in good time.
All in our own good time,
anyway.

When I finally walked to the edge,
I looked down just before I leapt.
On the way down I’m still and silent
is how I dreamt.

Then I rolled out of bed,
went ’bout the day as if it hadn’t happened.
In hiding, still and again.
Mad to live or living dead?

Mayday, mayday.
We’re going down
in a blaze of glory.
All in good time.
All in our own good time,
anyway.

When I finally drove out of town,
rear view mirror was the last I seen her.
They say: “Out of sight, out of mind.”
I say: “Yeah, right.”

Then I rolled my window down,
looked back with the naked eye.
“Objects are closer than they appear.”
“Speed up and leave them behind.”

Mayday, mayday.
We’re going down
in a blaze of glory.
All in good time.
All in our own good time,
anyway.

(5/18-21/2018: Adams Point, Oakland, California)