Now, Looking Back
Now, Looking Back is a collection of poems written in the years 2014-2016. Where once there was gay longing there is now graphic celebration of men attracted to men. Where once there was longing for what the world could be there is now wit and clarity about what the world has become and what my generation has betrayed. Sprinkled amidst such straight speaking are poems about cherry blossoms, lemon trees and berry picking. Also baseball, being young and old, Israel and Jewish lore. The poems are written for the most part in verse, framed in the classical borders of seven, eight and ten syllabic lines, happiest when they succeed as sonnets. Here are some sample poems from the collection:
In the garden of delight
In the garden of delight,
In the sun and in the light.
We would wander with no shame
And I would call you by your name.
Neither would have to disrobe,
I could with ease touch each globe,
With my hands I would them knead
’Til from me you’d pleasure plead.
I’d spread your cheeks, tongue your hole,
Then enter you with my pole
And once past the outer ring
Hear the joy in your throat sing
How love ever should go on,
Never stop ’til day is gone,
’Til night brings sleep, sated rest,
Happy we have been so blest.
Then into your arms I’d sink,
Nothing left for me to think
But how between and betwixt
God most surely does exist.
The sun lights up the leaves
The sun lights up the leaves and turns them bright,
Moves them from dun to dappled majesty
As jewelled fall foretells fast coming night
That screens the colours from their tapestry.
So chlorophyll is fading from my life
Where keener eyesight only brings forth strife;
Hope is gone, the past is poor company,
Old friends are not the friends they used to be.
Yet when my mind a new truth does behold
That seems to sit well with the lessons learned
The joy that starts at autumn’s hues of gold
Is glad the breath removed has been returned.
No need to rage against the dying light
When days are slipping thus toward the night.
Heine cried and wrote some poems,
Then he laughed and wrote some more;
The world still in all its homes
Thinks him wise ‘cause not a bore.
Thus did lords and ladies die,
Blithe and blind to crisper truth,
Thus shall we leave by and by,
Who would best be cool and couth.
Heine penned his rage in verse,
Champion of liberty;
We put freedom in a hearse,
Settling for some irony.
Heine saved his ire for those
Who felt smart to hate the Jews;
Seems the world still hates it owes
Debts to those whom God did choose.
Though it still does love their gifts,
Sabbath, stories and the law,
Arms and meds and keyboard shifts,
And the comic way to jaw.
Yet the world will not defend
The state they have built anew,
Still won’t dare to see its end
In the future of the Jew.
Granville Island walk
The cherry blossoms fall like snow
Upon the waiting streets below,
Bright lovers eager for the touch
Who think that love will bring so much
Only to find when all is done
Nothing is new under the sun,
But much to cherish as they gaze
Upon the muchly trodden ways.
Pink petals on the asphalt gleam
With death’s bright glow and yet serene,
Indifferent as that woman’s look
From a photograph in that book
Where she beneath a cherry tree
Stands dressed in white for us to see
The presence of her wedding day
Forever take our breath away.