Send In the Clowns

The child:

What is that little man?
His nose is red.
He makes funny faces.
He jumps and turns and rolls away!
He makes me laugh!

The adult:

Why would someone make a fool of himself?
They always do the same pranks.
They look like they’re going to fall apart.
I could never do that.
Not in a million years.

The senior:

They act funny but it’s all, just that, an act.
They must be covering up their sadness.
For the children it’s O.K.
They don’t see the difference.
I’m too old for that.
Like Pagliacci.



for Antoine
(1928 – 2011)

I finally went back to Carrabelle
As we very often did
And I walked as far to the end of the beach as I could
Because you always would.

I was not alone, for your image was with me
And a few good friends who understood.

I walked in the water to test its warmth
And thought how you would do the same
While you dallied to speak to the women and girls
And I smiled at your flirting game.

Then I lay down to dream on the sand
Remembering that you would walk still more
But when I awoke you had not come back
As you always did before.


Lake Ella

My feet slap the cement path…
Fingers petting dogs bark on trees,
Feel the breeze.

Spanish moss gives us weeping willows
even in the winter.
Fountains form rainbows
as flapping seagulls fly low
over a moving mirror
And anhingas repose.

Black Dog Café pours perfume
of coffee and pecan pie
Into this synesthetic drink.

The melody of squeals and squawks and mothers’ calls
Dots the harmonic hum of trucks and cars
And an occasional guitar.

A walker calls to me:
“How ya doin’?”

Doing fine.


Why are we here?  Who knows? Who cares?

Nobody will ever know.
So let’s not waste our time searching,
thinking, talking, writing poems.

Leave me alone with your abstract questions!
We’re here. Let’s live, play ball, dream, love.

Do whatever you’d like.
Help the others who don’t know,
despite their idle constructions,

Why we’re here.


“What is it in humans that makes us crave narrative?”
“This need is universal; everyone likes a story.”

Who is this Swan but Zeus disguised?
Even the gods desire.
And he impregnates Leda.
Who is this swan/god who acts as a human?
So we are all the same.

In the beginning there was the word
And the word was with God
And the word was God.
God created heaven and earth
by naming them with a word
And so the human poet creates.
So we are all the same.

A beautiful princess kisses a frog
and he becomes a prince.
Zeus was a swan
The prince was a frog
A woman joins with the swan
A princess joins with the frog-prince
So we are all the same.

Like the Swan, God descends
and joins with Mary.
A son is born, who, after suffering,
will return to the Heavens.
He dies because humans have
imitated the gods.
So we are all the same.

Fables are rampant.
A Mayan 5000 year era is turned into doomsday.
Tomorrow.  Some will go up and others down.

But never fear.
It’s only a story; they’re all the same.
We make them up

For we are the gods.

[Inspired by The End of the World.]


Here we go round the mulberry bush, mulberry bush, mulberry bush
Still we go round the mulberry bush. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Four around a table sit
Whether alive or dead
Singing canons constantly
Playing musical chairs in my head:

Beautiful girl, age seventeen,
Where oh where can you be?
Do not move . . . stay where you are
Forever unchanged in me.

Solemn partner, taciturn
No need to engage me now.
Better for you, better for me
Better to cancel the vow.

White haired man, still so young,
It is your ghost I see.
Dancing around, calling me near
But never touching me.

Desperate woman, tied to my form
Drowning in circles with nothing told
Pushing and pulling, back and forth
Won’t let go of your hold.

Round and round the merry-go-round
Round and round they go

I cannot stop them.
They turn in my head.

I cannot let them go.

[Vaguely inspired by Terlingua Talk.]


Horizontal climb and fall:  see what I see. see what I see. see what I see

see what I see.

Arpeggio climb:  with me FLY                   with me FLY
FLY  with me                  FLY with me

Diagonal:  RUN fast and fall…….RUN fast and fall………RUN fast and fall…………



[Note: This poem was inspired by The Hours. I wasn’t inspired by the particular etude assigned for this week’s prompt.]