Category Archives: Poems

I’m Happy

“I’m happy,” she says, and means that happiness
Means that she’s married, no more and something less.
Born in the cradle, married out of there,
She chose her husband as she combed her hair.
Ego bred aggression, and aggression spite,
Thus in others humaneness became prerequisite,
And a mask to put on, to force others to don,
While she can take hers off if others keep theirs on.
Her mother programmed her to be clean, to wive,
And keep the world reminded that she was superlative.
The best of everything, the dots on the dotted line,
A self-possessed and persevering Frankenstein.
“But I’m not perfect,” she admits, thus liberating her
To chop the other fellow into hamburger.
Her husband’s personality fled headlong to its lair.
To dominate completely a comfortable chair.
Thus father and mother to her children, she
Provides them with loves in times of adversity;
A kind of three-layer cake, wherein one can infer
That she moulds her children, as her mother her.
Acquaintances are mirrors, emotions a hoard,
And all existence must conform, or be ignored.

Light Thoughts In Easy Words

Light Thoughts In Easy Words

I chained my love within my heart
To daunt him with the gloom
And when he’s spent for nourishment
Why, it will be his tomb.

I furled a smile maliciously
As red and cruel as blood
When that I saw to tatters tore
This banner where I stood.

Oh, cuses on young women whose
Lips assume their task–
Interpreter for humor their
Eyes in noting mask.

So once again reprieve was shown
To the dreadful prisoner
And it was known mercy was shown
Only because of her.

My love with a feathered cap stood there
With scorn light on his face
“–If I should mind being confined
How do you think this place

“–Should blunt my gaze and bound my step
Here in this cell you own?
–Before you still my waking will
I’ll break these red walls down!”



I am a passenger in the shipwreck of time
And a bizarre symptomology
Has alit
Upon my understaffed body
As a vulture on a long awaited meal

And if you think this mode of expression
Rules out poetry, I assent.


And I invite you to supply a wretch
Of your own
With as impressive a salvo of symptoms
To salute the world with
And snatch despair from the imaginary
Jaws of hope
But for me, hope is a defective
In a Stygian darkness

So please all your good pleaders
Roll upward prayers on my

That I might have some remission
Somewhat somehow

And if not, then remember me while
This my poem
Is eminently forgettable
And at this, this work declares
Its end.
August 30, 2009

Nonsense Verses For My Children

When the frost is on the pumpkin
and in blossom’s the pawpaw,
Then a mighty herd of yoghurt comes
thundering through the draw,
And all the birds in cages get out
their aerosol
To spray the passing yoghurt, and
catch them as they fall.

When the clams are wet with ardor,
and all card-carrying krill
Dance at their union gala in
tuxedoes, as they will,
On vacation hard-worked pinnipeds
try their best to get away,
And the whales come up like
thunder on the trams to Baffin Bay.

When the schools are closed forever
and education’s rife,
Then you, my child, my soul, I hope,
will graduate to life;
When the gloaming gleams with
wonder and awake the day dreams love,
As your father loved Sharonah,
and the hand longs for the glove.


On the Wild Hawk

On the Wild Hawk

For you is not the cap of fancy–
The soft, the sheer, the somber tones.
Rapacious form that deigns to clasp
A foothold on the jagged stones.

Brindled priest of precipice
An eyrie altar for your prey–
Where shadow in a wind-etched niche
Resolves the mountainside to grey.

The fire-course in the wild-blown eye
On swift wings rides aloft–
Obsidian beak on a blood-stained breast
Where the white-cream down is soft.

Beside the ice-eye lurks no soul–
The bird is soul incarnate, fiercely free–
Oh Lord, what heights aspired
To keep a raptore company.


A bowstring taut with afternoon
The cricket cello deep within the walk
Where russet refuse frosts before the musing moon
Where waving weed surrenders shrill the strident stalk
And rustling reed reverberates with locust-talk

Goldenrod is squired in beggar’s splendor
And races through the tree-boles in a tippling rime
Heavy is the hickory and easy is provender
And gentian’s pensive cups resound with rhyme
When, in their depths, they space the cricket’s chime.


Note: This poem was written under the pseudonym Harry Charles ( Harry was Roger’s grandfather, Charles is his brother).

Portrait of Self-Analysis


In the darkness, in unfathomed depths,
Silent, self-absorbed does the cicada lie
Awaiting its brief moment to emerge, and whirr and die
And so do I.

High on a thistle the gaudy swallowtail—
The collector’s apogee—sits ready to take flight,
Not to be caught; while on the week
The wingless aphis, causative of blight
Looks upward, like me,
In self-scorn and delight.

All about me mate and whirr, taking delight
In the brief moment that this their summer’s noon
While I live along by reflected light
In the midst of midnight an unnoticed moon
Whose day has flown too soon, too soon.


Neanderthals were awful knaves
That had their domiciles in caves
And slew their prey with barrel-staves
To gulp it red and raw
They most resented rude intrusion
By big bears with malocclusion
And not a few effected fusion
With the ursine chaw.

Howe’er this state of things, I ween
Thought rather rugged, harsh and mean
Prevailed throughout the Pliestocene
And one can only muse
That ‘twas through this did fate contrive
Their end—there’s not a one alive,
But only broken bones survive
As Neolithic clues.

Purple Yawn

Upon a time prison bars
Went clank! Together—a hundred stars
Alarmed, lifted to sail in flight
Tilting toward more distant coils of night
To regroup noiselessly in braids of light.
Well, all the rest were gone, but I
With perseverance
And uncommon skill in one so young
Held in my hand
A phosphorescent firefly.

The evening was growing in a purple yawn.
The bats had other business
So the lawn
Had darkened faster than I thought
The time allowed—Perhaps I ought
To be inside away from all this strangeness
When lo!
The indignant glow
Wrestling in earnest enmity against its jailer
Reminded me of what I had brought plummeting
Down from where the winds are delicate scarves
That are half jewel and song half
And that didn’t want to come
Getting along nicely just a flicker above the grass tops.

How does one dare
To pinion the wings of thought?
So I was confronted
With my hand again
The sharp points of the star scalding my hand
And sticking out through my fingers
Disturbed me. There were no more constellations
Diving between the knees of the apple tree.
I let the firefly go and went inside
And I think the stars returned.

Rare Ibis Is Sighted

With gaudy hues and happy honks,
The glossy ibis invades the Bronx.
The damn thing’s lost, he’s way off course,
To go anywhere near the Grand Concourse.

He’s seeking food, he needs a lesson;
He flies into a delicatessen.
They greet him there with ribald jibes.
They won’t believe he’s a glossy ibis.

The inhabitants of the concrete boredom
Ken the sparrow and know that at Fordham
The Roman eagle nests, and all over the prowl
Are tracks and roosting posts and rookeries
Of kosher fowl.

But the iridescent incandescence of a
gastropodophagous sprite
Symbolizing “rarity” should know better than to light
Within the range of BB-brains whose “Hark”
Brings more with BB-guns; so to the park
He flew, not sighted yet
Nor in my rhymes
Depicted. Lost, revolted, sick but still
His telescopic eyes sight an executive.

“Please, sir” he says, “I’m no faker;
I’m a glossy ibis, how can I reach

The bird finds out—
He catches the F train.
He won’t go to the Bronx again!