September-November 2012

Vice versa in verse could apply to the poems “The Last Judgment”  and “Mining”.  The former was written first.  “Mining”  is an alternative version. It was finished six months after the original’s publication.

I often extended my business trips with a  holiday. The Andean mountain regions of Chile and Argentina combined world class fishing with awe inspiring settings. “The Right Time/Right Place?” was written in Rio de Janeiro, my tropical home base residence.  The contrast was no coincidence.

The Last Judgment


Now lighter. Less tunnel.
After such a stunning stroke
the miner chisels in his chip list
another smash hit.
What’s in the works is a way out
of a tight spot with too little air,
lots of close calls…

Likewise, he’s steeped the shaft
in so much dust
that its bats are baffled.
They’re stuck to the ceiling
with their radar down.
Some heavy handed busy body
has low blowed them.

Indeed, he overhears wide scale
screeching above and beyond
his loudest footfalls.
On what grounds does it sound-
his heart pounding like a tom-tom,
bloody upset by their uproar.

Yes, there’s been prowess
in picking out a passage
which hasn’t caved in
as a matter of course.
Besides his list
booming with breakthroughs,
a clear cut tunnel leads him
to believe hard times
have had their heyday;
and that nearer than later
his undertaking should unearth
a man-size hole in the world.

But back to those bats…
Where will he stand with them
once the dust settles?
Is it a good move
to hold that might’s right
if they’ve been wronged?
When, after all, he aims
to strike ahead
and not at flying fangs.

Otherwise, he could say, “Sorry,”
owning up to having raised
an awful amount of fallout
along with dwindling darkness.
His impact’s been rough on them-
perhaps more than on the rocks
demeaned to smithereens.
In their eyes, blind as always,
he’s almost guilty.
Much better’d be a fairer hearing.
Let them listen to his lofty
pitch for innocence.
Just enough to keep
a hung jury from rebounding

First published in Kimera




Now lighter. Less tunnel…
After every stroke
the miner chisels in his chip list
another smash hit.
In the work’s a way out
of a tight spot with little air,
walls on all sides.

He’s also struck up
so much dust its bats are baffled.
They’re stuck to the ceiling
with their radar down.
He’s been rough on them,
maybe more than on the rocks
reduced to rubble.

Despite booming breakthroughs,
his man-made hole in the world
hasn’t led him to believe
that hard times’ve had their heyday.
There’s still a passage, unbroken,
slightly brighter than before, open
ended, stretching ahead.

But what about the bats?
The harder he hammers,
the shriller their shreiking.
For them the tunnel’s too full
of fallout, incoming light.
Short of breath, going blind,
almost deaf, they’ve had enough
of him and his growing shadow.


The Right Place/Right Time?


How is he for souvenirs,
after a holiday booked on fancy?
As a bungling tourist that ranked high
against mammoth mountains,
ranging over ups and downs?
Where drifts favored
bumper crops of rocky rises,
stout hearted goats,
and no-go vertigo.


In a drawing room’s manner:
mahogony sombered by lamplight,
an antique desk
standing in the corner.
Nearby, a clock topping
the mantle  ticks off the hour,
finding him reading his diary.
On a sixteenth century table
sit four tomes of Tolstoy
and a chip of granite.
The latter now as out of place
as  he was, with the wind
whistling through his mittens.

First published in The Lucid Stone

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