Am the gondolier in pantomime,

Standing on an inverted bosu,

Holding a rod, less for balance

Than as a prop:

Slicing the air in downward arcs,

Left side, bend knees, shift weight, right side, repeat.

Hah! My feet skip and skid,

Till core muscles engage

And I am quiet for…

--

--

Set to music by Paula Diehl

As the couple promised, it was not a vow from bad to worse.

He wore nice proudly,

She gleamed loyal.

The camera caught their hands

slicing the cake.

Out of frame, cheeks flushed,

feet turned out, noses pinched.

His tie askew, her train loose.

--

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Set to music by Paula Diehl

My green sedan gulps as the lane falls away:

Up the water-tanked hill,

where the view takes a breath or two and

the far side is winter’s so so gentle path.

At the crest, a lock of mahoganies, cedars, pines —

in a bedecked…

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Again am a Zoom zombie, sitting the livelong day for an upcoming sales season, peering at a gallery of fellow trainees and their environs or synthetic backgrounds — with occasional stretching, standing, and wandering offline.

And…

There is singing too.

--

--

Hymnal pages flutter back and forth

We doodle on program notes

Sometimes smiling

Shaking hands at ordained intervals

The ladies in front of us fidget.

One of them floats up an origami swan to the granddaughter who,

Speechless for a minute,

Dissects it — oh yes.

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Originally written in the weeks after September 11, 2001, and revised on September 14, 2022.

Are we struck sitting by the TV,

Waiting for the next plane to drop,

As the coffee goes cold and the dog sleeps in muffles?

The bewilderment will stop,

Some ease will return, but first…

--

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Set to music by Larry Alan Smith

And so you went away,

Cast off from me, and

All adrift.

Come take in style,

Come ruin my days,

Away from this city, and

While we reach into the night,

And headlong delights,

Mellow t’ward first light,

Passing into passion, leaning into…

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