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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Favorite Places to Eat

Home, of course, is ever the best place to eat, and our special clubhouse at 7 Lakes Country Club is always a social dining treat, but when we roam, the choices are many and varied. In Palm Springs, there' Cheeky's for lunch and breakfast, and Maxcy's is a great cheap eat, as is Panera Bread. Ruby's is fun for shakes and malts, and they have am especially tasty Hawaiian Turkey Burger. A little higher on the food chain are Dinks, Matchbox, and Tyler's, who have the best burgers west of the Mississippi. For sushi, it's Ichiban, and for fancy-dancy, there's Le Vallauris , Purple Palm and Copley's. For dining with entertainment, Blame It On Midnight is fabulous, and close to the theaters during our big film festival. Down valley, in Palm Desert and eastward we like Tommy Bahama's, Castelli's, P.F. Chang, Pacifica Seafood, and Roy's. In Redondo Beach, we always try to get to Chez Melange, and, in Rancho Bernardo, there's a great Greek joint, The Athens Market. Milwaukee is filled with great restaurants, but Mama Mia's and Pepino's have the best pizza, and Jake's has those fabulous onion rings. Fish fry on Friday's is a special treat, and driving out to The Golden Mast in Okauchee is worth the effort. We are engaged in an ongoing "Roy's World Tour", eating in every Roy's we find, but they keep opening new sites, so we'll have to keep on trucking. We've been to La Jolla, San Francisco, Newport, Rancho Mirage, Scottsdale and more, including Poipu, Kauai for Valentine's Day, and the original in Hawaii Kai many times. In fact, we had lunch at Roy's Ko Olina one day, and dinner at Hawaii Kai...even the hostess at Ko Olina was laughing at that one, since we had her make the reservation for us. Next week, we'll try the new Roy's in the Waikiki Embassy Suites Hotel. That'll be after breakfast at Cheeseburgers In Paradise. On Oahu, we like the small noodle shops, and we just have to get shave ice from Matsumoto's.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't You Think

Don’t just
sit and stare
at a wall,
your opinions.

Don’t just
sit quietly,
thinking not at all,
your rigidity.

Don’t just
sit alone, hearing
the bells’ call,
your tension.

Don’t just
sit and be,
ideas growing small,
your judgements.

Don’t just
sit without
ego’s final crawl,
your potential.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Harbingers Refreshed

A “Nonet” is a nine-line poem, with the first line containing nine syllables, the second eight, and so on, down to one in the ninth line. They can be about any subject, and rhyming is optional.

Early bulbs are harbingers of spring.
Robins roost and baby owls yell.
Easter bonnets, jelly beans,
green asparagus shoots,
Mardi Gras as well.
Can’t tennis balls
and short shorts

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Desert Spring

Long, dark Ohio nights
give way to sunlit days.
Frosty Dakota evenings pass,
now sweater-wearing time.
Flowers bloom in Georgia
within the lowland haze.
New England churches painted
from door to bell tower climb.

Snowmelt nearly finished
as rivers fast and wide
release the fearful pressure,
small northern towns rejoice.
Greenhouse shoots join
planted seeds outside,
while Midwest farmers pray
with fervent, married voice.

The cities of the east
are primed for what will be
within the next few months
as the awakening unfolds.
Visitors arriving on
their pilgrimage to see
long desired objects,
tales wait to be told.

The northwest has a too-fleet
calling from the heat,
and even that is tempered by
summer winds and rain.,
but most are glad to be
without the snow and sleet
of winter, and welcome back the
season’s expats, yet again.

In the southwest the spring is
viewed more with a touch of worry,
as the Snowbirds leave the deserts,
some east or northwest bound.
Winter’s days of sun and warmth
yield a different story
than in the nation’s other reaches,
where summer does not wound.

Desert falls and winters,
and most clearly, spring,
are the reasons people
visit, and why many choose to stay.
but those remaining after March
know this one true thing,
that for this beauty, summer’s
heat is our yearly price to pay.

It’s not the small reminders,
with the early heat of May.
With nights still cool, it
still allows a dance or two, a song.
It’s that we know
spring’s rapid days
too soon are summer’s.
My god, they get so long.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Two Fibonacci Poems

Two Fibonacci poems, wherein the total syllables in a line must equal the total in the previous two lines.

the city
where I live,
it’s best to not drive
on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,
or any other day, if you want to stay alive.


the town
where I live,
it’s best to take flight
in the morning, or late at night,
for the middle of the day can be a tangled sight.

My War

Also a sestina, but not a perfect one, formulaically.

My War

It was during my war,
where I last saw her,
standing in light,
a tunnel so bright,
there were others as well,
just who I could not tell.

Who could I tell
this tale of my war,
shining a light
on conditions so bright.
Who’d believe I saw her,
and heard her as well?

There was never much light
in the Vietnam war,
reporters were bright,
but they could not tell
of the pain I absorbed, well
after I saw her.

Day and night were both bright,
the bombs casting their light,
in the hell that was war,
madness yes, but love as well,
for seeing my mother, her
face I could tell

radiated the light,
the truth of her
words burning bright
as best I could tell,
in the midst of my war
sending me back to be well.

These words I can tell,
long after my war,
it was my mother, long dead, her
message of light,
from the tunnel so bright,
to live my life well.

In war I last saw her
in light, shining bright,
so I might as well tell.

Me and My Knee

A sestina is a poem of six 6-line stanzas, the lines ending in the same six words, but never in the same order, followed by three lines which include the first two words, then the next two, then the final two. It is a difficult form, maybe more of a math problem than a poem, and there need not be rhyme, iambic pentameter, or any other such familiar phrasing. I wrote this one just before a knee arthroscopy.

Me and My Knee

It is far too soon for this night,
the one before the surgery
to mend my damaged knee.
It is nothing, really, to fear,
at least say my friends and doctor
alike, though friends have no need of his skill.

Rather than good luck, I’d prefer good skill
as their best wish on this too-soon night,
and also good night, sleep tight to my doctor,
who’s traits magical must become surgical
in early morning’s light. In truth, I fear
the thirst and hunger of the fast more than the swollen knee.

I’ve live so long with this wounded knee,
still mine because of a corpsman’s skill,
decades ago, amidst battlefield fears,
in a screaming black night,
swept by chopper to surgery,
surrounded by fatigued nurses and doctors.

Over forty years, so many doctors,
all amazed at the state of my knee,
few believing that field surgery
could be performed with such skill,
while rockets rained down in the din of night,
all of the medics containing their fear.

It’s tangible and real, the matter of fear,
mastered by the wills of both patient and doctor.
No point in allowing the sounds of the night
to betray the focus on arms, feet and knee.
What mattered was using all available skill
in dim-lit, earth-trembling surgery.

I knew it was only a first step, this surgery.
There’d be plenty of rehab and pain yet to fear.
I had to rely on the nerve and the skill
of the nurses and corpsmen and doctors
now near, as they thought perhaps I’d lose the knee
as I drifted at last into sleep’s unseen night.

I awoke with both legs after that night of surgery.
Feeling both knees took most of the fear.
Tomorrow, another doctor’s skill will take the rest of it.