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Collected Poems (6a)

August 26, 2018

from An Ordinary World: Section, “Charmed”.

Chapbook: A Book of Charms

Cover poem (charm):

Look into a nest.
Look into a well.
Look into your heart.
Look into this book.

Good words are good fortune. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

the leading over of psychic energy into new forms —Emma Jung

On the back cover: Moneyback Guarantee: These charms are guaranteed to be efficacious, if they are spoken from the heart and often enough.

* * *

A Charm Against the Letter of the Law

This old man ain’t a bag of potatoes.
This potato bag ain’t Father Experience.
A mirror can’t tell time, nor can a flower.
Time ain’t a crack in a wall.
A girl ain’t a sumac, or an aspen, or a willow,
In the moonlight or in misty spring rain.
Fish ain’t dirigibles. Thoughts ain’t birds.
And I ain’t a city or a star.

To Greet the Day

Eye to eye and back
back out of the night
polishing myself
to give to this day’s light

For Love

Strolling all day
among your thousand roses—
never picking
never picking
I blossom

(on paper all lines are centered)

For Romance

blooming all night>br<each hour in a different bed
each bed a different scent
all yours

(on paper all lines are centered)

For Fun

the hand
is the eye
to see my
flowers by

Against Conception

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
how does your garden grow?

With baby’s breath
And baby’s death
And baby’s blood
Bright on the snow

(on paper the last four lines are centered)

During Pregnancy

Get me butter brickle polish dills.
Bring grandma’s peachy garlic wedges.
Flaming cherries jubilee iceberg spears.
Deep heavenly chocolate pickled beets.
I must have Dutch apple kosher chips.
And starberry relish.

Spumone! Cucumbone!
Oh, tutti frutti, tulli pickulli!

For Children (and for Angela Peckinpaugh)

butter up
here we go round

none fall down

To Touch

Yes, come out of hiding,
attend the birth of god,
realize the three in two
(each remaining one).

Silently, say silently,
so summery softly sudden

To Quit Smoking

ashes to ashes: kiss of death
yellow teeth and yellow breath

yellow nails and yellow tongue
yellow smile but coal black lung

Against Smog

No sir No sir
It ain’t from me
these fumes are rising
Ain’t from me
these fumes are rising
No sir

The Charm Diet

walking running leaping flying thud

(on paper, walking is on the ground line, running is on the same level but a few extra spaces on, leaping is on and up to the line above, flying is on to the line above that; thud is directly down on the ground line)

When Lonely

Clear for take-off,
Spriralling light—
Every new galaxy
A first solo flight

During Depression

someone calling
Come on down
car fills with water
Why not drown?

rest on the bottom
Ceaseless shifting mud
peace and forgetfulness
Thicker than blood

struggle to the surface
how to keep afloat?
Change be thy rudder
Soul be thy boat

Against Inflation

seven silent crows
across my silent field
like a lance into the sunrise

To Be Spoken for One with Cancer

Fishers together on this bank, we practice
the flowers’ way of beauty. Stars,
stones, friends, seasons, lambs and lions, cells. . .
What part of us would we deny our love?

To Keep the Soldiers from Your Door

Soldier Soldier
Say with me
”Jesus walking by the sea”


(on paper the last three lines are centered)

Against Rape

Beneath the branches of this tree
Whose shot has killed my doe?

Beware, poacher
In the darkest wood,
These never miss—
The arrows of the moon!

(on paper the last four lines are centered)

To Dispell Anger

Barefoot on this sandy sill,
Join hands with the sea.
Windflow like a breath of sky.
Water go where it will.

Against Launching the First Strike

i am not i need not i want not i fear not

(on paper this one is very much a “visual” or “concrete poem;” the words are arranged in a circle, bottoms inward, so that the “i”s are top/bottom/left/right, forming a “bomb sight.”)

Against Bureaucrats

In my little room I keep a little desk.
In my little desk I keep a little drawer.
In my little drawer I keep a little letter.


(on paper the last three lines are centered)

Against Muggings

hugga mugga hugga mugga
hugga mugga hugga mugga
hugga mugga mugga hugga
mugga hugga mugga hugga
mugga hugga mugga hugga

For Nonsense

Bodhidarma Aristotle
pair of socks

How’s a pair o’ ducks
like a pair o’ docs?

quack quack

(on paper the last line is centered)

To Grow Old Gracefully

Autumn does get mighty breezy.
Oak tree swaying nice and easy.

Flower tops all turning brown.
Petal wisdom. Seeds of calm.

To Be Young Gracefully

wishing on the wind
laughter streaming free
heartdrop rainbeat
rainbow melody

i am not the music
but the music dances me

(on paper all lines are centered)

To Greet the Night

fold away the light
nest it with the lark
feathering myself
to give back to the dark

To Fall Asleep

My heart hums and a drowsy moonlight stains
the honeysuckle, and a downy moonlight
dreams the honeysuckle, down a moony
dreamlight drowns the honesuckle,
down a honey heartlight, down
a dreamy humlight down a
down a downlight down
a down

While Dying

Because I’m always sitting at their side,
my dreams are always flowing by.
Because my dreams are always sitting by my side,
my songs flow always darkly down to light the sea.

After Dying

pine smoke rising from a mirror
snowflakes from an icy lake
mice from old rags
peace from lost wars

When Charms Fail

Alley rat.
Alley cat.

I am poor.
But not helpless.

[Pages (6) and CP (1).]

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