it’s only tears

it’s only tears
that make me wish to word so well
the well is deep
temper quell ripped defeat
as laughs are nothing cheap

I look at him
he takes my arm
as if he stroked my cheek from harm
the many months aloof
hadn’t seen him in many a year
wearing tailored suits

and never wore him boots
but custom made shoes
that hid the kid so lovingly
gallant dad uncouth

but for his truth
though thin today still boldly gray
without a word to say
he needs us me and you so much

dinner breakfast lunch
retired to humility
the seamless life of liberty subdued

a thoughtless boisterous melody for all of us to sense
in him vacant memory
that turns attention to the sun a window on the world to catch some warmth
familiar on his pudum

eyes that match the sky
endure the pouring of the rain ignore the bitterness of pain explore a little child’s game

he served out his usefulness
carried his family on his back
never lacking support the needed strain
under the gun of a material
sun summed up his world with
tears that came that I wasn’t his son to fly the flag unfurled
for he is just a man of trust and I his little girl.

he was there

he smiled encouragement a man of honor
representing family ethics
white collar
mourned the 6 million
they were martyrs
Baruch atoi adanoi-as we light the candelabra
a holy man who hadn’t been to shule
schools of thought fishes swimming opposite in twos
upon the Larchmont lawn the morning dew
he was there but seldom home, were you?
the evening papers Adli Stevenson
he believed in him like no other mothers son
righteous indignation bright external gifts
all that money could buy-two dollar tips
cars boats colleges trips
faithful never able to come to grips
how he loved horseradish on his gefilte fish.

his furrowed brow

carry my body back to France
if only he would sing
or stand up on his feet the way
he danced the night away
vital and alive at 25
freed from childhood dark and grim
married his sweetheart
from the company of the king
draped her in mink
taught her to drink
baked Alaska made her sick
on a train from New York to Mexico
Penny beautiful naive
Harold passionate extreme
sports cars travel business
2 kids and a dog best wishes
with help to wash the dishes
6 boxes of cigars at a time
Mouton Rothschild vintage wine
that was a good year
when we were 12 and 9
and mother would cook
her shrimp Kap-lan
spilling in a little of her Miller
and Queen’s southern fried chicken
mashed potatoes and gravy
Granny Smith apple pie and
lemon meringue
I was a fat little kid-still am
The Rani June 1-2-and 3
Driftwood Lane the cottage by the bay
mom catching every sunrise
with her camera, many moons flashed
before her eyes
and dad became quiet
relieving doubt and strain
to sooth his furrowed brow
he made all our dreams possible
i coiling ropes salute you
on your bow
sail on, Dyer Dow.

mend my mood

reprise alive the well
wisdoms like minions of pigeons
in the park feed on birdseed
a friendly stranger sells
I am caught between the passive
heart and salt among the lung
it is certainly an epiphany this side
of wellness working, the angels
mend my mood on a moonless Monday
afternoon-for in the gloom of
heartfelt ruin-in tune with
june-stewing in her own juices
till the good man took her by the hand and said to Mrs Kaplan your
daughter holds much water
no salt diet/should be bland-and as dad would emote-“then I wrote”–my
daddy would sing, “carry my body back to France, amid the bleeding
corpses-and then armed to the teeth i will rise
from my grave, for my emperor to do battle”.

the morning after

fried chicken smothered in gravy
lives put on hold unheard
to grieve would make me regret her
conceived to help her feel better
relieved to see the beauty in a girl
her eyes the bluest seas
to walk the grounds with tulip trees
how high the mighty graceful branches
caught the light swaying in prayer
for mama and papa and two baby bears
the dining room formal the Beacon Hill Chairs-
a china birdcage without a bird hanging on a heavy chain in front of
the bay window
told of life on Devonshire a family doing well
bitter herbs were Harold’s words fell apart our world
we weren’t doing too well-the tin man had no heart
a man who cannot love will not be well nor smart
we had cars vacations yachts expectations
Glenfiddish imported from Scotland
Dimple scotch from the UK
Tanqurey gin the best martini
Boodles gin don’t forget the olive
will never forgive the olive
Mouton Rothschild
red like his blood curdling screams
Dom Perignon-
how fortunate we felt we’d been
as ducks take to water
as Christ changed water into wine
dad should have drunk the holy water
and not have drowned his sorrows
for his lifetime
it wouldn’t have been so bad
but for the prescription drugs
the combination turned him insane
on a nighty basis a life too pained
never asked for help
it was too late he couldn’t stop blaming
the abused became the abuser
his mother the accused
dazed dementia he smiles and waves
forgetting a past
he never remembered
the morning after.

he never wore blue jeans

in the besiege of days when your
cold hands entrap an older man
acceptance enwrapped in
bittersweet memory-all the world
is your cage to step the path of rage
so long unsure where nothing seems
to matter anyway yet for you
a Titan manufacturer of goods
irreverent so greatly misunderstood
standing for the worker as he would
decisive respectful of people in the know
spiteful of every enemy choosing his battles
keeping his demons well hidden inside the family
emotional deeply damaged big daddy
a partner for his Penny give her a Cadillac
business where he thrived/relationships made him scream
he never wore blue jeans
off-beat never found his niche
thought his mother was a bitch
had a soft spot for his brother
but hated his sister in-law
because she thought he was too rich
there were cars and bars and family trips
there were yachts that docked-the 5pm dewers sips
a cooler dueler duly noted singer bread winner
would be hard to find
dancing the night in time to unwind with his
beautiful wife
and the kids were as loved as rare bottles of wine.

weep for papa

inner turmoil spoils the child
introspection in expression
aging changes digression
mad to wild
a presence to inhabit
a hostel roaming smile
in whiles on Manhattan island
to best the dire day
I lay low alone
and have it out with words as if to say
the king of swords sent me away
and I am so much bluer
no messages to woo him
depression is a cruel thing
I thought I knew him
alone under stars cold blank bite
I grieve that nothing stays the same
an eve to weep for papa
as mama plays the game
dancing to an enchanted tune
how fortunate the fame
he holds her arm will not let go
the Yankee and his dame.