27 May 2013, 15 New Poems, 15 Old Ones, Copyright Doug Stuber

KK

Your beauty comes from
giving so
much back to the earth, to those
who labor so hard
for such a

meager wage.
Don’t get me wrong, you
Also got you Mom’s
natural beauty
with body to spare.

So fix your brain by
“Will” power.
You’ve done so much not to hang out
and do more. Beat
brain cancer,

rejoin the
love of life you have.
You photos on face
book alone speak of
your magic, pure life.

So when this
phase passes I can’t believe
how you will
produce…talking each
day to make a life

focused on
benefitting everyone
around you
Shine on, come out and
Laugh with us again.

EB

It started
at the Beach Club, white
sand dusted
the board. Cube
mystery solved late:

double sixes cleared your home,
I smiled at the blue-
eyed twinkle
over swimmer’s breasts,
firm, even for eighteen: your

Montclair roots
augmented by strict
upbringing
easily
surpassed by passion.

Watkins conceded romance.
We never got caught,
cabanas
wide open to the
night, three beach loungers placed to

shield young love.
Learning the lexicon of
your long legs,
tongue patrol over
muscle terrain, two

weeks of lust,
a few months of letters, then
the fade back
to lives unshared yet
forever enriched.

MC

Forty seven days
after your twenty
second birthday a rare, mad
human tragedy
struck, and took with it

an artists,
near-pro golfer, wild
lover. We
lost a close friend who
wasn’t shy.

Called us out on our
bullshit, laughed in the
afternoon sun, but couldn’t
always get past the
immediate shifts,

opinion
blasts, head games, guilt trips,
controlling
Mom, consoling Dad
that must have

made each day
unpredictable, each night
a search for
independence no
matter the risks. You

feigned interest
in younger kin, remained a
mystery
then tragic lesson.
I feared for my life.

Charles Stuber

Wide-eyed player, your
parents soft joy; raised watching
your father
build two houses on
Taylor Cut-off Road after

A start in town surrounded by
Korean porch kites,
four-way cars
with no stop signs, Seattle
before the clog of

California came
to convert beauty into
suburbs. Your
spirit directs great
action to this day. Though none

fully recovered, new ties
added smiles, your
mother made
it through,
continues to be
both worried about

the future
and working hard in the now;
the gift you
gave was simple: “do
not live in the past.”

We all still
pray and wonder what you would
have given
to humanity;
something large for sure.

DS II

You kept asking “where’s
Charlie?” It
still causes throat swell, tear drop
but at the same time
imposes

a new edict to live by
between seize the day
and be productive. You beat
every one
of life’s challenges

with aplomb, ended
up as good
a parent as any this
family has seen,
scored major

work assignments and reveled
in your children as
you did your brother. Living
proof that hard
work yields a good life,

you are a
prime example for the young
ladies to learn
from. Your glow exudes,
spreads happiness earned

not given.
If they would admit it, your
elders would
announce how much they’ve
Learned from your success.

SS

No camper
ever came to play,
paddle, hike
at Reiner’s
Adirondack Swim and Trip

Camp with the vigor
you threw at
us. Armed with one hundred points
you always
made it past the guards,

your team won
by using your for
defense then
scoring the
century at the end. Your

Dad is a “good stick”
but rock and
roll, then movie keyboards made
you mister
Hollywood. Not all

maniacs
that roamed the Barnard Tract hit
their stride, or
even survived teen
car accidents. The

aptly named
planetarium lasers
tie-dyed Park
Avenue heads, smell
the magic, rock on!

Marjorie S. Cleveland

When the time came “God
Bless America” played an
hour after
the planes hit
on nine eleven

two thousand
one. Your example
gave Margot a head start on
the links, but sadness
ensued, so

we never saw your
youth reappear except on
warm summer
or close days,
family only.

What had we
missed, I will never
know. You gave all of us a
lot of class, which we
should have known

from birth, but
from birth the party was on.
So what? You
have to live while you
are alive. The long

walks, soul-filled
searches, avec Lara, or
alone…how
you went on without
flinching: real life lived.

EW

Your parents had seats
I could find
with ease on
the fifty yard line of the
blue side of orange

and blue. The last time
we met, you
said I had
not changed, and I said
“well was I

supposed to?” You shrugged,
informed me
you had been
running a tanning booth in
Gainesville for years. There

Was the time we hung out:
pajama
party
at Thyrza’s, your soft eyes,
thin body

quietly
beckoning the select few,
nevermore
than two-a-month in
order to give each

his chance to
qualify for inclusion
on your list
of potential life
mates. Still bachelorette?

MC II

Your strong blue top, magic eyes
interest in the
stories that
made upour lives kept
us close long after the

media
blast parties. The Saint
Petersburg Times is
now the last
major left daily

and whether Gallagher’s great
vanishing nature
pieces or
world-class scrutiny
of the power elite, your

family’s
heritage, may, if
ever moved to the
history
column, mean the death

not just of
real news, but American
democracy.
My Columbia
deposit may not

have achieved
its original purpose
but you will
never fade, blonde hair
above joyous smile.

Paul Heiner

First I took all Dad’s
shirt cardboards that came every
week from the dry cleaners, then
painted them
and proposed and art

booth to be parked in
front of our
garden-club level
neighborhood house. Mom,
irate, said “no” so I stormed

up brought them down and
tore them up hysterically.
Next thing I knew I’m enrolled
in art class
at Memorial

Art Gallery with
the immense
German master who
spent every class mad
at me, saying I stunk. He’d

set up still
lifes, I painted abstractions.
Only me.
Years later Dad took me to
see one of your shows.

Your large abstract
bombs exploding in contrast
from above
lured me into art,
where I have stayed since.

Leo Garel

You came to the Lavender
Door on Tuesdays, the
same day as my sessions, so
I skipped one form, pushed beyond
what Heiner taught me

ten years earlier.
It was your turn to
inadvertently save my
life. Nothing
anyone else gave

or took matched the peace acquired
splashing colors on
wood, canvas. You presented
slide shows, taught us when our work
was done, kept the mean

ogres and
real demons at bay
productively, what the pros
called late-bloom
sublimation. But

there were no
labels at the studio
other than
next to exhibit
paintings. Our art was

cutting edge,
pure, pushy, fun, a release,
and even
accepted during
our lifetimes. Tears now.

MS

Your uncle
hit “worm burners” as
far as any amateur
ever has, managed
to card low

scores via
short game, the best way.
After years seeing
photos come and go
you switched to

camper. It’s
a rare and idea;
job: how has nature given
you what curating
could not? What

if you are
among the handful
to still boondoggle,
portage lakes and ponds,
teach sailing,

swimming and
mountain climbing? The fine art:
natural
living, is so far
out, abstract by now.

All we can
do is pray our children’s lives
will be half
what ours have been.
What of grandchildren?

JM

You loved me with
talk of diaphragms, stories
so good for
The Yellow Springs News, back when
everyone knew each

other, and the strict Quaker
laughed with the polar Christian
Baptists down
at the ladies’ school.
I was not scared, took what was

Offered, thought back to
Lexi before I had left
for boarding
school. You tripled my female
knowledge base in less

than five visits. Mentor
of the intimate realm, we
faded to
other places then
reconnoitered over wine.

Jacksonville
Beach, where your son asked the next
morning if
we had slept in the
same bed. Wise for eight,

but a truth
seeker should be wise. Your days,
medical
recruiter, lover,
easier than mine.

Bud Shaw

You came back to Rochester
to die. Many of
us were gone.
Some, like me, had no
idea

how precious
short, yet fulfilled life
could be, then
we heard the
how and when of yours

and cried. We cried when Trudy
told it four months past
due. Life was
complicated by
tragedy,

yet some learned
enough, grabbed and ran,
compared and
drew a sigh
We seize all with zest,

flamboyant
in our quest for just a touch
of someone’s
memory twenty
two years down the road.

Immortal
applies to sports and music
stars, not true
friends; except special
ones we hardly knew.

EC “S” C

It started
when you approached me
on behalf, I found out soon,
my bosses domestic and
volunteer.

But what must be the
reason you disappeared goes
beyond your knowledge
base, and cultural norms, as
you get me to put

out there the
exact stuff they thought
impossible yet had big
suspicions about. There I
was feeding to

you until even
your role as spy was too much
to fulfill. Hence I
wonder, to this day, whether
to remember you

as foe, faux,
confidant, adviser, ping
pong mentor,
beggar, artist, self-
absorbed beauty queen,

teenager
forever, sufferer of
Han, absent
daughter, loving Mom
or my best friend.

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

New Ones above, Old Ones below

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

 

There, in the bush
At the hill
Under leaves
Was,
On this blue
And often hazy day,

A soft relfection of you.
Memories of the times
(few of them ever knew)
A slender subtle line.

A curved, not bumpy rock
Apparently not hard.
It came as quite a shock
To find the grain so sharp.

So, there, in that second,
While it lasted
In its warmth,
I,
At that moment
Loved you.

Morning – Farmhouse

This place has contrast:
Not just the greens either.
Fog settles on a backdrop
Causing Kentucky blue to melt in
Behind the bright trees of Virginia.

Assorted cows meander
Into the Tolkien postcard-picture,
Dotting hills with slow sienna.
Hearing makes its way
Past the primal sense. Shapes evolve.

Singing birds. Hark, spring.
Rain underscores with the
Power of timpani.
The creaking house stirs. Cats claw
At what is left of the upholstery.

The coolness of the brick
Shelters wanderers from humidity.
White sheep jump the cattle guard
To graze on the yard: love is
Staccato in the overture of morning.

Eagle Pond Farm

October in New Hampshire means colored leaves for kicking.
Donald kicks a few heading into town for cheese.
He notices that the antique dealer, once again, announced
The coming of winter by changing his sign. It now reads:
“Driveways Plowed, Reasonable Rates.” The type of
De-evolution Donald appreciates.

Standard time ensures contrast, as autumn’s last bonfire
Sends a leaf-shaped spark into the air.
A simple way of life is free to walk around without inspection:
So Donald does. He checks out of Najur’s General Store
With Gouda and N.Y. Sharp Cheddar tucked away.
He climbs up the knoll then down the driveway to the farm.
He kicks a pine cone to the safety of the woods.
He exhales steam that quickly disappears.
He can almost see ice forming on the pond.

Oncebush

A oncebush, nowtwigs
Juts into the plane of
A window. Someone cut off
All the flowers, leaving
Sticks in the air.

I would have thought
This to be wise
Except that this is April.
Gray shadows interrupt
A piercing spring sun.

Spiny arms reach out
From a hanging plant.
Uneven knots combine
To hold the pot, attached
By rounded hook to roof.

Shy little light pokes
Out of the wall, its
Shadow doesn’t cause a stir.
Oncebush nowtwigs solid
In its presence stays.

La Jolla

One Beech tree separates the cold Pacific harbor
From a lighthouse that blinks white and turquoise.
Twelve knots of wind kicks the salt up. Port lights
Warn planes, but a single starboard twice the
Width marks the length of boats passing.

Only pairs find such an April night enticing.
Earlier a rain heavied leaves that remain
From autumn. New ones stretch out to guard
Their ancestors. A few are more than one year old.

The lighthouse sends two different rays.
White glides across the ripples in a double-pump.
Turquoise snaps a single moment to sailors
Who find a type of relief in sleazy bars downtown.

Now a fog reminds the pair how eerie ports can be.
Blinking starboards try to find a place to land.
Seaplane hangers wait for the marines to be sent in.
Chilled rocks seem immovable but they’re not: newborn
Leaves of Beech know nothing of it, and should not.

New Potato

Just what are we supposed to
Accomplish
In this leftover culture?
Apathy soup or
Mindless decadence? Meatloaf or gold?

Start modern traditions now.
Discover
Potential by ignoring
Everything they want.
Play hard then dedicate completely.

Jump off, get straight, share yourself.
Initiate
New dances for the timid.
Create vibrant space
And keep the space open to changes.

Publicize your ideas.
Saturate
Your neighborhood with abstract
Lifestyles made of art.
Drop the past like a hot potato.

We Won’t Wait

Seven slimy salamands
Go crawling off the wall.
Thirty watching whippoorwills
Chirp a warning call.
Threatening mist difuses downward.

Nine abandoned bugs
Wish the water well.
Many mashed mosquitoes
Are on their way to hell.
Summer rain causes quick changes.

The lizard and the flower
Soak the water then:
New insect generations
Needn’t wonder when.
Notice the rapid revolutions.

Five frightened philosophers
Grasp at things the same.
Knowing nothing is,
No one near to blame.
Changes catch clumsy lovers.

Eleven laughing lizards
Know that this is true,
Fortunately, flowers
Know it too:
Affection can not afford to wait.

The Mangrove Blues

The sun sinks.
A pumping heron
Chases dreams into the night,
Resting momentarily
In a life of constant motion.

The wind shakes.
Trees stretch out,
Anticipating winter.
Orange floods
Mangroves and the pines.

The cold turns.
Clouds gather
Over murky surroundings,
Drifting slowly inland
To dump a fresh-new load.

The tears run.
A skipping child
Delivers momentary reprieve.
Gloom infests
The evening of a lonely-hearted man.

War Sonnet

Bombs float gently, flaking off occasionally
In the wind, disrupting well-planned patterns.
Mountains (being less populated)
Miss the worst attacks.

Snow is far too soft to bear the brunt
Of ugly metal. Generals forget this,
But soldiers seldom do. Red on white
Creates a gloomy contrast.

Frozen memories never thaw,
They stay cold until reality has changed.
Forgotten joy is hapless against the night,
Unrecognizably split into microscopic pieces.

Tracks lead in but never out:
Angry men cuss their lonely lot.

Red To Go

Cardinals don’t visit often, but a proud male
Perched, inquiring about the weather, so I implied,
Through body movement, that this was a suitable
Winter retreat. It’s not Miami, and highs
Are in the 60s in January. So he stayed.

He caught us on a clear day: third in a row.
The reflections of a manmade pond (called jacuzzi)
Must have drawn him. The chow-chows were inside,
The rumbling of distant showers hit the walls
While wind chimes hung dormant in the still.

Cardinals signify a change in my life.
The last one I saw came by to tell me it
Was time to walk away from snowy winters.
This time I knew the new stuff was coming,
And the red-bird came to relax my nerves.

Sharp shadows move slightly with the leaves.
Our cardinal darts a foot above the rail,
Cutting the water with a flame. A ringing phone
Beckons: two weeks before I walk away, two
Weeks to wrap, tie, hug, make peace then leave.

Life Sans La Mode

A leaf dropped straight down, slowly
As we whizzed by, 58 MPH. It didn’t
Twirl or flutter, the last leaf down
In North Carolina this autumn.

It’s been eight years since winter. In
Gainesville or Tarpon Springs we didn’t
Notice leaves. We didn’t have to
Explain to anyone. Uninhibited.

Then Christmas trapped us. A week
To joke about upon returning. It didn’t
Mean to force such cynical remarks:
Pondering, floundering, repackaging gifts.

It’s been a year since the creative mode.
Apart from it, life’s progressed: sour to vile.
It didn’t mean to leave me in the cold:
Creative forces have no bad intentions.

We broke up at my request. Intentions
Were to lead a normal life. I didn’t
Look back, cry or wallow very long,
But life without it hasn’t been the best.

Peering Out Fish Windows

Just when your life is reduced to a gray squirrel,
Syncopated , hopping from one nut to another,
Tail waving on a jolting body,
You’re trapped behind fish windows.

Exactly when the wind stops,
When joining trees and bushes in celebration
Is your natural reaction to the beauty,
You can only peer at what is real.

When the sun hits, when predatory birds
Stain cold mountain with dark shadows
You’re stuck. Stuck behind fish windows
In man-made air on Naugahyde furniture.

Just when you could be one with it all
You stop. Unable to fulfill desire,
You conjure a scene. It’s you, throwing stale bread
To a squirrel out, out beyond fish windows.

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