Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ghazal: is it live?

Don't say AI, say what it really is; artificial intelligence. 

yes artificial for sure, not really sure if it is 

intelligent yet. Is it live or is it Memorex 

Yet another shiny object catches attention, draws 

the media talking heads briefly and all too superficially 

discuss the latest. Is it live or is it Memorex

The daily writing or reflection time can center oneself 

in comfort and solitude, can allow for putting things 

into perspective  Is it live or is it Memorex

AI is an algorithm based upon data, the data set could be

Good to use or worthless depending upon what the data 

is trying to anticipate Is it live or is it Memorex

One talented individual with a high vocal range

Can hit the proper note, the proper pitch

To shatter fragile glass and ask is it live or is it Memorex

Kenyan proverb, the sun will rise tomorrow, simple in what 

It says and just as important in what it doesn’t say; 

Will we see the sun rise tomorrow? Is it live or is it Memorex

Monday, January 23, 2023

Ghazal: Thoreau's chairs

Part 1

Rectangular tables are an efficient use 
for maximizing space within the room where 
there can only be so many chairs

Why is it that sitting alone is the hardest
Thing to do, solitude can be so beneficial 
when there is only one chair

Round tables use more space, yet no matter 
where you sit, you are on the same level
With the person in the next chair

At the breakfast table, I go fetch my phone
Because you asked for my schedule which 
we review when I sit back in my chair

The conversation will go around and round
The square meal when the whole family
Sits together in each their own chair

Take a walk to Henry's place, he will
Welcome your visit, and he will bring out 
for you to sit on, one of his chairs

Part 2

Without tone or body language it is
Just the words that are shared with the app
That you use while sitting in your chair

Emojis and photos are added to provide the
Thousand words left out inconveniently
By you sitting impatiently in your chair

The party game is now online, of course,
And when the music stops, who is the one
Left out when they don't find a chair

The rain continues after dark as the storm 
forecast comes true, water runs down the gutter
Filling the background while I sit writing in my chair 

I ponder at what age will the youth need a smart device
to get by in this digital world while you 
increase your device time sitting in your chair

What is more authentic, the auto-generated chat
Text, or me reaching across the table, to hold your hand
While I sit patiently in my chair

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Ghazal: street people

He walks with a swaying gait leaning

Forward, occasionally stopping to

Pick up a coin from the concrete sidewalk 

Coins used to be good currency 

For vending machines and toll booths; now

They seem to be tossed to the sidewalk 

What will become of 'Dropping a dime' 

When there are no functioning phone booths 

At the corner stores or along the sidewalk 

I considered it a lucky day when I would  

Find a penny, or a quarter, now it seems I can 

Hit a jackpot of coins along the sidewalk

Spending has become a plastic swipe

Coins will jingle only in pockets of the people 

Who pickup the coins from the sidewalks

What will become of the city street people

Who would ask for spare change as they

Mingled at the corner stores on the sidewalk

Ghazal: both sides now

Immigrants found themselves in the cold outside 
the Vice President's home on Christmas Eve; a cruel joke to
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

Providing inclusionary zoning or delving into zoning details
To create the right amount of affordable housing may
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

Not too many years ago the church had standing
Room at most Christmas services, this time plenty of space to
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

Indicator lights create a glow in the dark room
Light enough not to flip the switch to navigate and 
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

The holiday gathering was joyous for those present 
Those absent were missed in more than one way to
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

The two year old enjoys endless presents on 
Christmas day, sweet dreams are made of those to
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

Part 2

My father and his friend Jonesy were assigned
To check that the caves on Tinian were clear, that task
Brought the adjacent possible to both sides now

Why does someone need a board game to bring about a
Conversation across multiple generations; doesn't life itself
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

When she turns on the TV, I change rooms to 
Continue reading, or writing, a slow dance to
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

I wonder who the mysterious folks are who walk 
so that the area rug moves to a new spot
Bringing the adjacent possible to both sides now

Frustration grows when you tell me something 
that I already know, maybe because that won't help
Bring the adjacent possible to both sides now

Ah, the realization is that she is not happy unless
I am always working on what she wants
Brings the adjacent possible to both sides now

Monday, January 02, 2023

Ghazal: 3 words for 2023

I traveled 300 miles to bend over, cup my hands for snow crusted

at the driveway edge making the first snowball

of the season, cold and full of life

A straightened wire clothes hanger, same as my father taught me 

to use to fish something from a hard place, was lying 

on the edge of their driveway, cold and full of life

You can despair when the band of clouds hides what could be 

a glorious sunset, or turn and look the other way to see 

a white orb in the distance, cold and full of life

Just out of reach of the tree branches the white orb flies, 

an almost orb at same time, whole yet not completely 

revealed in this light, cold and full of life

I filled the 3 bird feeders, emptying 40 lbs of mixed seeds 

to nourish those winged ones in what's left 

of the light of this day, cold and full of life

SHARE, LEVERAGE, & EXPAND reveal themselves 

as my three guiding words for this new year providing nourishment

for this day which otherwise is cold and full of life


picking up something I had dropped after 2015

Find the rationale behind the three words 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

sherku: 2 sides

Pine needles
Soften the forest floor
Or a pain
To pick up
At Christmas time


Snow falls so gently
Or listen
To the grunts
And curses 
Of the shovelers


Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Inventory: updated Dec 7, 2022

Four be the things I am wiser to know:

Love, patience, process flow, 

and the joy of snow

Four be the things I'd be better without:

Anger, impatience, jealousy, 

and clothing inside out

Three be the things I shall never attain:

Perfection, completion, 

and the last word on any train


Three be the things I shall have till I die:

Bruises, scars, 

and hope for the sky

In response to the writing prompt for the Franklin Senior Center in December 2022. Akin to Dorothy Parker's "Inventory"

You can listen to the monthly Writer's Group podcast

You can also join us in person at the Franklin Senior Center each Wednesday at 1 PM, except for the last Wednesday each month, we meet at the Franklin TV & Radio studio to record.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

sherku: small things 2

It should be that
Calories count
Less the more family
And friends you eat with

sherku: small things 1

Goodness is
Wiping up
The last bit
Of soup or
Pasta sauce
With piece of bread

Monday, October 24, 2022

sherku: catching up

Air travel is
Maybe the
Soul's effort
The body

sherku: return

From short sleeves to
Long, green leaves to 
Autumn glory
Welcome home to
New England

Saturday, October 15, 2022

sherku: chocolate pudding

I will vouch
For the fact
That the joy of
Chocolate pudding
Can be lifelong

Saturday, October 01, 2022

St Ray's 50th High School Reunion

Time lapse, 50 years in a couple of minutes 

to answer the question: What does one say 

to someone they haven’t seen in 50 years

I am sorry? Yes, and then …

People want to know, who we are, who we are

So we tell 'em, so we tell 'em

We are the Saints, the mighty might Saints

We weren’t always, folks understood that we aspired to be

And Peter Pan is still my hero, I never wanted to grow up

Yet words like retirement, grandfather, 50 year HS reunion

Are now part of my vocabulary, and it is hard getting used to them

What of the days at McCoy playing pick up baseball, 

or Novelty Park basketball, or delivering the Times making some 

money to pay for school, books, and the occasional

Ring Ding and Yahoo at Mike’s Corner market

High School commencement was the end

Of one path, other paths opened with college

And beyond; the world of work, family,

Moving about the country before coming home

What is home? Pawtucket is where my story

Started, St Joe’s & St Ray’s were key parts of it

Even returning for a spell as an assistant coach for

track and cross country before corporate moves took over

Now up the road a piece; Franklin is my home base

From which I also found that railroad lines

Used to come down to Valley Falls and into

Pawtucket back in the day when trains were king

Can you go home again? An age old question

But yes, if you want. Aside from visiting

The cemetery and walking among the neighborhood streets

You can’t ever get fully away, the ties are binding

So I’ll quote Rumi:

Out beyond wrongdoing

And rightdoing, there is a field

I’ll meet you there

Saturday, September 17, 2022

sherku: windows two

On the other
Hand frustrating
To know it won't
Last after
The rains have come

sherku: windows one

On the one hand
Washing windows
To enjoy the