There Is A Music Room

                       There Is A Music Room

There is a music room,
but the piano is never played,
and invitation cards,
but the brown table is never laid.
The gardener rarely spoke,
he blamed the times on the broken chain
of the rose garden gate
someone broke down on a night of rain.

There is a rusty swing,
a wooden roundabout and slides,
hidden by apple trees,
saying childhood comes but never bides.
The playground forgotten,
but sometimes in a dark windowed car,
someone drives up the path,
as when, clear of clouds, there shines a star.

The gardener turns and smiles,
wonders what the wind is saying,
for in the music room,
the mistress of the house
is at her black piano playing,
playing quietly what she once called
her new dawn symphony,
of the kingfisher and the dove,
the kingfisher for the flight from the river,
the dove cooing from the woods
for the mystery of love.
Then his head, he shakes,
the last crinkled leaves, he rakes.
Thinks the little left behind,
the present takes.


The Flightless Fog Drinker

                                         The Flightless Fog Drinker

Onymacris unguicularis
has a name in Latin
it does not need to learn,
lives in the Namib Desert
where heat is so hot
it seems itself may burn.

Tis but a flightless beetle
without thin, transparent wings.
Under the dunes, in its sandy den,
butts its head and backward flings.

Bat blind in its lightless cell,
flexes feelers, parched and dry,
until it scurries up a tunnel,
to sit under night time sky.

On top of a dune it waits
to feel less hot, near to roast,
and faces the breeze and drifts of fog
from the far Skeleton Coast.

Allows fog to wet its scales,
slowly slurps it down like dew,
and then scuttles to its den in haste,
swelled with its fresh foggy brew.

O, to be a flightless fog drinker,
though without spirit or brain,
to be such an instinctive insect,
may not be a thinker,
but knows no sorrow or pain.


In One Way World

                                        In One Way World

In one way world,
you never lied to me,
though you revealed much
ever to be denied to me.
The masks you wore
in the play you provided me
tempted me to be
players I knew were there,
but I never tried to be.

Youth held me in a haze,
confused by your sorry negativity,
and if there was not a war,
there was the threat of war,
and there were all these signs
that only distracted me,
but there were all these songs,
and some of them were in harmony,
and they were in key
with something inside of me.
So you told the truth,
for yes, there is love,
and in the end,
I can only pray,
it will have the victory.

Call her my muse,
the woman I saw first,
stood at the top of a stair,
and said my name,
and she wore no mask,
had a mystery to confide in me.
I still step up to her,
hear horizons domed, silently.
In one way world,
you and I agree,
for there is love,
and you allowed it to be.



The Zulug

                                       The Zulug

The zulug waved his proboscis,
in other words his trunk.
In his cave he yawned on a ledge
that served him as a bunk.

He reared his round, rotating ears,
like helicopter blades.
His beetroot scales to keep refreshed
in his black bog he wades.

Outside, monkeys knew about him,
and thought him very wise,
to have kept himself a secret,
unseen by human eyes.

Green parrots were puzzled by him
when he went for a walk,
seemed the oddest in the jungle,
was he who made them squawk.

Enormous hippopotamus
liked him more than mud,
fed him with weeds and cactus seeds,
and watched him chew the cud.

The zulug liked the elephants,
the way they moved around,
but when the human hunter came,
he vanished without sound.




At The Table Of The Masters

               At The Table Of The Masters

I stood at the table of the masters,
I served them food and wine.
I felt it was the rarest  privilege
to hear them talk and dine.

Hear how Edward Lear thought it awful queer
that he was there at all.
With Lewis Carroll, he laughed a barrel,
their chortling filled the hall.

“Now it was you who named the Jabberwock,
sent them to hunt the Snark,”
Edward said and Lewis said:” So I did.
And was’nt it a lark?

And what about your owl and pussy cat
and your dong with that nose?
You had them jigging jolly on the carpet,
and kept them on their toes.”

Homer and Milton seemed to get on well,
both glad to be not blind.
But they regretted they could not improve
the verse they left behind.

I heard Shakespeare say to Dylan Thomas
that there should be a rule
to prevent his plays being college taught
and essayed on in school.

Dylan Thomas said he hoped his verses
were belched by drunks in pubs,
murmured by lovers down moon lit lanes,
roared by old men in tubs.

“Am I really here?” said John Donne to John Keats,
who spoke of nightingales,
while Tennyson told them to mourn not much,
but to make verse of tales.

Wordsworth said to Coleridge it was not right,
was sure he got it wrong.
Coleridge huffed and said it was too late now,
and both broke into song.

Some poets remembered as Anonymous,
like he who wrote Tam Lin,
the Anglo-Saxon author of Beowulf,
spoke of webs words may spin.

Dante and Virgil spoke of higher verse,
up building, line by line,
while Chaucer said he wished his pilgrimage
had brought him better wine.

I blinked, which entailed my eyes to open,
and so I was awake.
Alas, of the table of the masters
there was not left a flake.

The Redundancy of Gods

                                 The Redundancy of Gods

Now the redundancy of gods
has made a vacancy of sky,
for mortals no longer look up,
they need us no more.
The wild they have mapped,
and in iron ships that sink and swim,
called submarines, they survey,
explore the ocean floor.
No more do they light beacons on the hills,
do battle on the plain of Troy.
Here on high Olympus,
Zeus groans upon his throne,
yearns for the days of Hercules and Jason,
knows more woe than joy.
Aphrodite is lovely still,
Hermes is still swift.
Hera says the more lamps that burn,
the more the shadows shift.
On Earth, the Temple of Athene
stands a ruin, an open air museum,
a white shell for weeds, not wisdom,
to flourish in, and the green slime in the cracks
in the pillars are not minded by the tourists
who come to see them.
Pan laments upon his pipes
for the time of the centaur and the faun,
when goat herders called upon his name,
and the water nymphs had hair
silver by the moon, in the sun like corn.
I, Phoebus, bright chronicler of Olympus,
put down my pen.
Though this may seem a final entry
in my eternal journal,
I know I will be prompted
to take it up again.

A Dolphin Symphony For Daphne

                    A Dolphin Symphony For Daphne

Daphne pined to be with whales,
singing in the sea,
protested she was dragged down
by the octopus of normality,
which held her in its tentacles,
disallowed her to be free.
She tried to paint a way to freedom,
but feared her riot art lacked signs
of the tempests in her soul,
her wild heart’s originality.
Sculpting dustily in stone and clay,
her civilized frustration,
she could not burn away.
At least, her boyfriend, Bertrand,
was constant and was rich.
She was pleased to be his muse,
him she would not deign to ditch.
One day he bought a boat for her,
and invited her to sail,
and now not just in sleep,
they leap like dolphins,
and know the language of the whale.
A dolphin symphony for Daphne,
Bertrand composed on harpsichord,
its pipes plunged in a pellucid sea,
swept far, to where oyster shells are shored.