Vantage Point

The lights illuminated,
then passed her
on the serpentine highway,
as she kneeled in prayer;
people in their
own cars looking
at the road
and ignoring the eglantine
bush in bloom.
The poet, from his slant,
saw her lament
-the context in thorns-
and captured her tears,
she would never
read his words.


in the morning,
count the birds-
seven sparrows (four in the front
three in the back)
two robins in the side yard
under the shade pine,
and cardinal on the tree’s
lowest branch.
there are cracks in the street pavement, a scar
allowing a tuft of cockspur
grass that is run over
again and again by bicycles.
after lunch, pennies counted from
a mason jar equal
five hundred
no more-
the afternoon heat affronts
as you walk out the
kitchen door, seeking
to hide from the
sun, move the matchbox set
around the wraparound
porch to the shaded side
and build a loop track
that sends cars flying off
into the side yard
where tomorrow,
there may be two cardinals.

More Snippets

I was reminded this week that I could update snippets, those that I briefly discussed here back on February 14th. I did that because I felt like it, not that it was a regular featured aspect of this blog (most of which is just rambly poetry things).

What I am reading. I finally did finish reading The Monuments Men back in May. Interestingly, I read most of it while on a trip to Germany, when suddenly all the place names made much more sense. On the trip, my son, father, and I visited Neuschwanstein Castle, where one of the pivotal finds in the book takes place.


I cheated a bit as well, since one of the in-flight movies was The Monuments Men. The book, as mentioned before, reads as a very dry account of events.The movie was a little better than I expected, given some of the luke-warm reviews that it received. I felt that it did a reasonable job of dramatizing, by combining some characters, making you a little more invested in their work and relationships. What you do come away with is a sense of dedication of these men, who weren’t soldiers and didn’t really fit in, but were very passionate about the art they were trying to save. And much respect goes to Rose Valland, who single-handedly collected information about looted art shipments while working at the Jeu de Paume Museum in occupied France.

So with that book finished, I have moved on to The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. Billed as a time travel novel, it is something of an anomaly…at least to me…think of The Matrix, The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, all rolled up into a historical fiction plot amid the political times surrounding the Corn Laws and Reform Acts in Great Britain, and about an unknown society of people who have the gift of controlling time.

What I am listening to: I am a man of eclectic tastes. Earlier this year I discovered The Decemberists and The Henry Girls. Very good working music…I’ve also become enamored with the soundtrack to Les Miserables, even the movie version in which everyone involved (even Russell Crowe) gives a very good accounting of themselves. And for another version, check out this video of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps performing an encore of their 2013 version of Les Miserables. Very, very, nice.

What I am writing In February, I mentioned that I entered an essay contest. This was sponsored by The Center for Homeland Security and Defense. My essay was not selected among the finalists. You can read the finalists’ essays here. All are quite good and well-deserving of recognition. If you’re curious/a glutton for dry reading/ really, really wish to read my essay, drop me an email and I’ll send you a copy. I thought about posting it here…but it doesn’t really fit the intention of this blog.

In other writing, I am looking for other poetry contests, journals, online literature blogs, and am still considering how to construct a chap-book. I haven’t had any great concept ideas yet, but I’m still interested in doing this. I know I need a reader/editor to help me with this, and I guess I haven’t found anyone suitable yet.

Any volunteers can email me. :)

smooth jazz at the Asian Garden

On Wednesday,
the piped-in music
is the dulcet tones of
a soprano saxophone, a theme
some clientele believe balances
smooth with the hot and sour soup
and the first plate of butter shrimp
with white rice, fried pepper squid, and
the hibachi chicken, stratifying the ambience
of a buffet; but the second plate,
picked and chosen
among the sesame chicken, and the
general tso’s,
and the chicken with broccoli
all taste
like a thin song
of tempura chicken (sans the
sweet and sour sauce) on the
front serving table.

On weekends, they serve dim sum
and there are family style meals
served in the banquet room. The music
from the erhu and the lute
is the the sum of the whole,
a way to return
the lever to its grounded point
while remaining on the fulcrum.


between the plane trees
by the lake
I would place a park bench
so that I could watch
the water gesture
and volley,
shaded from the sun
quiet interrupted
by a cardinal, or
the leaves that surmount
distant sounds of
reminding me of
that overlap
between the plane trees


between the plane trees
that overlap
reminding me of
distant sounds of
the leaves that surmount
by a cardinal, or
quiet interrupted
shaded from the sun
and volley,
the water gesture
so that I could watch
I would place a park bench
by the lake
between the plane trees.