June 21, 2013 8 New Poems, 8 Old Ones, Copyright 2013 Doug Stuber

MK

“I’m trouble” you say
in case I,
who have known you five years did
not know by now that
you, the one

who went from public
to private after
grandmother
died, then came
back with a flourish of such

perfect motion it
stunned me to
just watch; who dyed hair, became
closer to Mom, while
opening

inspecting, knowing
many hearts, found one
had stopped, cried
again in
a town that remains tearless

except for
apocalyptic events:
was trouble?
You love only one,
so those who love you

had better
not cross you in the process.
Love yourself
first:. the rest of love
is easy Mila.

EK

One more traumatic
winter survived. You
want “Novo” land of retired
intellects
and the Black Sea I

already love, in
person and dancing with my
former student Kaminsky:
Odessa,
Varna, now Novo?

You will make me a
star, you will be a
pure angel if this works, so
it is time
to shine. I’m not sure

what I can do to
respond to such support, but
to be a good boy, meet James’
needs, look for
that beating heart and

bravely reach
to get it. Just when we were
both beyond
our last fling at love
here you came, here I

was, there you
go, and what next? You aim
for and get
immediate blast
from what you love….of?

MZ

No matter how close
I ever got, there was
always room for more time
in the halo of
baked goods, old

style thinking
with a large
twist none could ever
guess. Hills, valleys, rivers come
into, go out of

view, but it’s been so
long since I knew a
couple who both came form good
upbringings. Your
family

can rely
on solid
consistency, thus
I envy Jeff, who wouldn’t?
Your life has touched so

many through
music, so I wonder, what
will you stride
into to fulfill
your creative side

once time is
on your side? Maybe throwing
pots, writing
arrangements, breaking
ninety, new love style?

J “L” V

You joined on
hand drum right
away at Green Fest, stayed in
our circle
when it was not so

easy to do. You think
of so many ways
to save us,
but you should join with
a lady and smile

first, save us
later. I don’t
know anyone as blocked by
their
own false
image of themselves.

You run the valleys
up and down fifteen
and eighty
one… you invent with
precise results, yet

don’t measure
your needs or factor in the
importance
of love. Oh it weighs
on you for sure. Yet

hasn’t stopped
your penchant for recording,
hauling full
sets hundreds of miles
for a jam session.

MM

Black, Museum
School in black.
Your lines, both mystical and
fought for resound to
far-distant

ports, while your
friends often wonder
where the hell you are.
You rank in
the top three ever

known in the
category:
“Suffered most for their art.” If
I had stayed you’d be
cranking more

stretch jobs while
cursing how lucky
I was to have one
of your huge
talent reduced to

making my
day easier than it is
already:
I’m sitting across
From one pretty face,

But days in
Pittsboro were productive.
Come out and
play again, let those
art works shine somewhere.

RF

You beat the rap the
hard way, had a good
serve, were hard to beat
when on. What now my
friend who was friend to

Clapton, The
Who, and God knows who
else? Your legend is thus: you
were able
to prove complete love

act with a woman,
when dared, who was with
her parents shopping,
by producing her
panties, collecting

fifty each
from four of us. You
explained that you went right
to her as
if you had known her,

though older,
and asked how she had been, and
inched her out
to the hall where you
seduced her to the

point that you
met later the same evening
for romping,
Florida style on
a deserted beach.

TB

Cinnamon,
horny, alone and
mine just one
time, behind the courts,
on a grounds pass allowed to

only those
who worked years to walk
around alone. You signed out
a half hour before me. I
had not thought

you were out
lying in wait for
the likes of
me, but on that day
you beckoned, pounced, found response

as I too
was cross-eyed: massive
sperm build-up had caused my back
to go out, so I was just
average

in that way,
but learned more than Cricket could
teach about
the importance of
the strongest human

muscle: tongue.
This has served me well, so thank
you my small
frisky friend. I know
I was good that day.

JK

You said something, plus
the timing made it
more plausible that our was
a set up. “What, this is
more than one night?” you

said, and of
course it was.
You spoke of special
basketball squeezing
exercises, your father

invited me to
join the local lodge,
you’d had an eastern star look
back at you, yet I
declined, we drifted

then a car
drove off at
Christmas and that was
that. You found your love
in men who needed you, and

you made each one,
if there ever was more
than one, a
star in your eyes, thus
assuring a good

life for you, your son,
and a bewildered look on
the face of
Bill, who got foot played
at dinner one night.

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

New Ones Above, Old Ones Below

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

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.

Fish Window Number Four

Old Harry the heron walked right up
And put his beak on the plexiglass and looked in.
We’ve got special plexiglass here,
It’d take a bull to break through this stuff.
Harry’s been poking his neck around Lake Lorraine
A couple of weeks now. He seems depressed.
They wouldn’t want us to get out, or hurt somebody
To hurt “ourselves.” That’s what the codes are for
Harry looks like he lost a friend.
Wish I could Tell him everything will be all right come summer.
These codes are “A,” “E,” and “S”: Assault, Escape
Or Suicidal. If you get a code you’re in but good.
Harry’s working his way toward “S” code now
Stumblin’ around like that. He better not let ‘em see him.
Down here’s the ICU, intensive therapy, no privacy.
We’re in a circle: beds in little slices of a pie.
Once in a while harry will come by or the tree frogs will
Yelp all night making the natural nuts go off.
The nurses can sit doing their books and see
All of us at the same time. You don’t dare beat it.
If they knew Harry felt the way he does, they’d lock him in,
Restrict him from minnows and make him express his loss.
Just the other day, I got me a big “B” code.
Now I can use the bathroom alone. You know what that means.
Harry better stay away from the lake. It’s so tempting though.
He’s got to grow up and tough it out a few months, then summer.
Big John lets you shower as long as you want, so I wait for
The 4 to 12 shift before I go in. Big John Laughs.
From my slice you can see Harry out on Lake Lorraine.
I stole some foil to try to catch his eye, but I missed him.
Lake Lorraine is a horseshoe pond made when they dug up some land
To use as fill when they built C-2 and C-3. If you’re a good boy
You get to move up to C-2 where, once-a-week you leave the
Grounds to go shopping. They wouldn’t want you to lose your
Knack for shopping. Guess they figure $70,00 a year means
You’ve got to re-learn how to shop. Shows you how much
Freud knows. But for the natural nuts it’s a big deal.
Leaving the grounds means giving up security they tell me.
I don’t believe them. I piss and moan, when asked, about
How long you can lock someone up behind fish windows,
Legally, without that person having done so much as spit.
They say I’ve got to stay until I’m well. Well, anyway, I’m stuck
Behind fish windows for life. I’m stuck, but look, here’s Harry,
Strolling along, wagging his neck, tapping fish window number four.

The Armadillo Migration of 1952

When times are tough in Mexico
Inhabitants start a northward flow.
Usually there is a reason,
Money’s gone or fruit’s in season.

But human problems can’t explain
A mid-century Armadillo train.
So gather kiddies and listen here:
These helpless critters moved from fear:

They sensed a greater concentration
Of the human population.
Gathering their once-lost nerve
They headed north on an eastward curve.

No one wanted to leave home
(Paranoid critters shouldn’t roam)
But they traveled straight through Texas
And came to Florida where the sex is.

They had escaped the dusty bars,
But ran right into moving cars.
Now you see them on the roads
Buried under heavy loads.

They don’t want to bite your face,
They just need a little space.
But they can’t beg or scream or shout
And it looks like space is running out.

Now humans like it where it’s hot,
They come down to grow their pot
And bask beneath the blaring sun
And spend their money on having fun.

The Armadillos knew this would happen,
(Not the type to get caught nappin’)
But now there’s no place left to go
Certainly not north to snow.

If they could swim they might make Cuba,
Puerto Rico or Aruba.
This time their fear is justified,
No place left for them to ride.

That is all enough is said,
It’s time for you to go to bed.
Seek comfort in your sheets and pillow,
Splat there goes an Armadillo.

Oxford Commons Remain

Ten years later, it hasn’t changed:
A few small cafes with hippy sippers.
Punks have added youthful spirit,
But their unwashed brothers
“Fight for peace” then smash bike riders,
Not keeping the spirit once conceived.

Belinda carries special feelings,
Treat her well, but expect great things.
Do not let her off so lightly,
Keep her moving in the green.
Keep in her path and learn to listen,
She is aware, her path is clean.

Be all you can be, work for peace,
But brothers don’t go smashing heads.
Sit on cemented blocks, rousted nightly
By the city’s finest: blue patrol
With walking sticks. Belinda ducks
Such foolish swings, not smiling.

Listen to the drunken minstrel,
Laugh when selfish people enter.
Gather, but don’t stay too long.
Grab a hunk of what is needed
Then spread the word amongst the young.
Knowledge kept is shameless greed.

Settle for no less than perfect,
Develop space that is your own.
Keep that which puts asunder
Violent trends within your group.
Let the mean boys wander off,
Become the village of your dreams.

Field

Swaying grass
In a new field
Discovered bushwhacking
Toward Enfield, New Hampshire

Is,
For this one hiker,
The memory of
A green hill,

Down from wood,
Well sheeped,
Years ago.
Swaying grass,

Like waiting words,
Continues
Without direction,
Without lips.

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