June-August 2016

This posting has no Scruples,  these poems stand alone!

While living in Brazil, I would visit my parents during the Christmas holidays. They lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tyrone Mall. a local shopping center, is the setting for Reel to Real.  At the turn of the 21st century I retired. Most retirees make a speech for the occasion. I wrote a poem —A Farewell email.  Fitting Passage is a recent poem,  begun in 2013 and finished in 2014.


   Fitting Passage


What cargo awaits
                   the train shunted
                          into this kind of siding
                                in the middle of the night?
A lone locomotive
              coupled with odd
                        numbered cars
                               chugs ahead.
Clear signals keep it on track,
               right from wrong
                          seen as red or green.


The master in charge of the yard
                works long, late hours
                           making haul choices.
Loading starts at whistle stop,
                 ends in time
                            for the likes of dawn.
On his darkest watch,
                  no train can come
                             and go, empty.


      A Farewell email


To: directors@the_greatest_show_on_earth.com
From: mike@residentmanager.com

Ladies and Gentlemen,

         Our Qatar tour went well. To begin with, we performed
at select locations—only those along trade routes. Besides the locals,
nomads, pilgrims, even sheiks with harems came from near and far.
         As for attendance, they came in droves. By mid trip, matinees were
always sold out. The same nightly. Then I added late, late sessions.
         Today the show goes on—finally for the last time. After that, as
soon as the troupe´s packed, a caravan´ll take us to the airport. Everyone´s
flying back except yours truly. Our fortune teller saw me living in Spain
for years, writing my memoirs.
         And how´s the head hunt going? At our spring meeting
we talked about my retirement. When was clear. That left the question
of succession.
         Your choice was Jimmy, the lion tamer. Mine was to hire an outsider.
Someone with an MBA, years of experience, used to travelling on business.
         My sister matches like stripes on a tent. Remember her, the exec
from Tusks & Us that bought our white elephants? Since then she´s been
looking for a job. Months ago I sent you her resume with photos.


                                          With kind regards,



      Reel to Real


She’s waiting in a small cafe,
sitting near the bar.
He’s late. Behind her a Cinzano
logoed clock comes into focus.
Now she looks more worried
than angry…on weekends the curfew
begins in half an hour.

They´re lovers. He´s also a spy
for the allies.
She doesn´t know that;
nor what´s going on
and on, under orders.

Two men in trench coats
had dragged him off a trolley,
into an idling car.
Tires squealed. An armed guard
raised a gate.

The interrogation scenes were
too painful to watch.
Close ups showed the agents
beating him–with their fists,
then truncheons.
They wanted names, dates,
not bon mots about the weather


It´s Sunday. After the matinee
we always stroll around
the mall, window shopping,
looking for bargains.
All aisles cross the food court.
Anyone on our trail would see
us stepping into Hollywood,
where fast food
is named after movie stars.





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