Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Come Toro

Come Toro
come you big
black beast
I see you
pawing the earth
your nostrils flaring
with your rage
I see your eyes
burning red
how you would love
to gore me to bits

Come Toro
come charging
at the big red cape
show me your power and
your unimaginable strength

Come Toro
you who fear
no man
no sword
you who will hold
your ground against
all odds

Come Toro
I am here with you
in the center
of the bull ring
having already
been gored
many times before
in defense of all
the worldly things
that I have loved
here see
my many scars
I do fear you
for I am
not as strong
nor as brave as you
and I know full well that
only one of us can survive
this day

Come Toro
If I give in to my fear
my cowardice will
stain us both
what glory is to be gained
by killing a coward
such as me

Come Toro
you see me
shivering with fear
did you think
I would die
as bravely as you
you magnificent beast
all I want to do
is to run away
I look for courage
but I have none

Come Toro
do to me
what you must
and let us not pretend
that either of us
can defer
the inevitable outcome
for even a moment longer
before my last ounce
of courage deserts me

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Squirrels Win

I give up
I surrender
I am waving
the white flag
the squirrels win
I am talking about
the mother and daughter pair
that have decided
to set up
in my upstairs bedroom
window air conditioner unit
and who now call it home

I tried to shoo them off
I tried to scare them off
I even poked one
with the sharp end
of a letter opener
all to no avail
rather than be
chased out of their
comfortable home
they have chosen
to fight back

I am amazed
at their tenacity
and courage
I am in admiration
of their ability to rebuild
no matter how many times
I attempt to evict them

I must say
that I am not
all that surprised
that they have
picked my air conditioner
as their summer home
as it has all of the amenities
that any urban squirrel family
could desire
a great view
easy access to
a steady supply of food
(by way of the fruit trees
that I and my neighbors have
planted in our front yards)
a lovely southern exposure
situated high enough
above ground
to escape any predators
who might venture to disturb
their peaceful slumbers

Perhaps I should
charge them rent

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An Innocent Kid

An innocent kid
goes to the store
to buy
a bag of skittles and
a can of soda
until a guy named
a self appointed
racist vigilante
decides to put
a bullet into his heart
for the crime of
walking the streets
of his own neighborhood
while being young and black

Like OJ
Zimmerman gets
a fair trial
that acquits him
of all charges on
the grounds of
stand your ground
and self defense

For some the verdict
is deserved
for others the verdict
is a perversion of
six of one and
a half dozen of
the other and
for the rest of us
watching this travesty
of a trial unfold
on live TV
it's all well and good
unless the kid
happens to be yours and
you happen to be
his father and
his mother
Trayvon Martin

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Small Arms Fire

The sound of
the small arms fire
outside my window
is less frequent now
more muffled
more distant
interrupted on occasion
by one or two louder
more sinister explosions
(so-called cherry bombs)

a roman candle or two
will light up
the view that
I have from
my upstairs bedroom
casting cryptic shadows
that dance
against the wall
as if illuminated by
yet another mid summer
flash of lightening

My mind
returns to more
distant battlefields
to all of the wars
that the USA
has ever fought and
is still fighting
where soldiers
in their millions have
suffered and died and
are still suffering and dying

It is once again
the 4th of July
America's birthday
yet none of the
many tons of explosives
being detonated
in the nation's honor
sound celebratory

My cat Katrina
is hiding under the bed
as she always does
during thunder storms and
especially on the 4th of July

She wants to know when
all the shooting and fighting
will come to an end

And so do I

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013

Do You Remember The Time

Do you remember
the time that
you told me
that you would
never abandon me
just before
you abandoned me?
Well, that really sucked.

Philadelphia, Pa. 2013