Posted by: laffingeyes | April 26, 2013

Day 25 – The Dance

I was knocked on the head by the Messiah,

Smacked in the noggin–to be more precise–today

By a yellow flag riding on a bicycle

In the holy city of Hadera on the way to the mall.

No trumpets sounded, just an expletive in English

Lost in the chaos of a noisy street.


And, in the evening, as we chanted, namu amita  bul,

Namu amita bul, I saw an image of a man

Dancing to our chant. How can I portray the dance?

For the man kept time to our chant.

Ran beat on the moktak, a hollowed-out

Gourd, and three men sang in Israel

In Korean, and the image in my mind–

For he was in my mind–

Bent and turned, turned and bent

And stretched out his arm–

Mind-sway, mind-turn with the grace of this

Song and chant, in a room empty of all

But song and chant, three men, and a dancing


Posted by: laffingeyes | April 25, 2013

Day 24 – After an Absence, Dz. T.

I took a break for a number of days and rested my mind. This morning, around 5:00, I awoke with the beginning of a poem that kept me up until I completed it.

Why? I do not know.

My brother’s eyes were black

And body strong.

He could go through fire, my brother,

Like Tamerlane, he said,

Riding across the steppes of America.

You had to see him making the bombs

Putting them together one by one,

Teaching me how to hold a gun,

To be a man.


Are there angels?

I sometimes thought my brother was god on earth,

A handsome, fierce god, a righteous one

So strong, he might crush me with a glance,

Embrace me and squeeze me like an orange,

Pierce me by the arrows of his eyes.

His life was pure, no fat upon his body

Untouched by flaming waters,

His spirit conquered all.

He could walk through conflagrations.

He made the people weep.


Have you wrestled with a god?

Have you touched the skin of might?

Had his arms wrapped about you so you could not move?

Felt the warmth of his breath on your face

As he lifted you off the ground like a child–a doll–

And known that love, that ecstasy?

Nothing was impenetrable for him.

Nothing could not be done.

Have you watched him build the bombs?

Have you watched him laugh?

His joy was like the cosmos.

His spirit was my king.


He was a soldier of God, he said,

But I knew he was a god.


And I killed him.

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 21, 2013

Day 20 – Thunder

The thunders roll on and on…

I could believe tonight the gods are

Tossing blocks of dice or

Clapping hard with brutal whips;

Or a soldier, as in Shakespeare’s plays,

Would come onstage from the wings

And enumerate portents of evil and doom to come:

A cow gave birth to a two-headed calf;

The milk in Derbyshire turned sour overnight

And not–like Egyptians of old–one house was spared.

But, perhaps, the heavens are but sad tonight

And the sounds are howls of grief?

I stand on this ancient plot of ground

And do not need the skies to tell me

What I already know: the night is black

And does not presage a welcoming dawn.

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 21, 2013

Day 19 – Cezanne

I’ve been sick and therefore lax in fulfilling my poetic duties 🙂

I dreamed an apple by Cezanne

Stroked in red, an impasto green, a dab of blue.

I bit and, as if in slow motion on TV,

A spray of tiny bubbles arching out

Like crystals to burst upon a palate fine

And flood the tiny chapel of my mouth

With tints unsullied by the pigment black,

Just blues and red and ochres fine

To mingle rainbows on my tongue.

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 18, 2013

Day 18 – Lady

The recommendation was a poem that began and ended with the same word.  I thought I would begin with my dog Lady and end with her name, but I cannot say I really rule my poetry.  Anyone who writes knows that you never really know how this will end.  Sometimes the ends are forced, and sometimes they come; and the best often surprise me.

This is dedicated to Zen Master Wu Bong who passed away on the 17th of April.

Lady jaunts up the steps, and I follow

White bushy tail wagging

Brown patch on her rump, body white

With hair as soft as silk to my fingers,

And catch her paws at the first landing

On my blue-jeaned thigh just below the knees

We pause together, as we always pause,

My fingers stroke under her chin and on her brown forehead.

I ask, “Okay?” as if she might answer,

And wonder at the marvel of the moment,

Of love as simple as paws upon a leg,

The silent swish of a tail, and ebony eyes fixed

Upon her master who is as much her child.

Now – the moment held—the moment on the stairs

Neither before or after, my fingers graze her hair—

Give me a dog’s grace of being there. 

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 18, 2013

Liebster Award


I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award, which, appropriately enough, is not an award, but it’s a nice honor for the poetry I’ve been writing this month, and it was given me by: —

And I recommend that my readers “take a gander” at his poetry, as well.

To fulfill the onerous duties of this award, there are several tasks:

The Liebster Award is very unique in the fact it brings recognition to the smaller blogs of the ‘verse. With that in mind, all of the nominated blogs will have under 200 followers.

The rules:
1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
5. No tag back thingys.

I notice that the blog that nominated me did not post any facts about himself — which is a shame.  So here goes:

1. Born in the U.S.

2. Moved to Israel in 1974 (a very long time ago).

3. Married for close to 21 years.

4. Divorced about 17 years.

5. Made a living as a technical writer.

6. Did I like technical writing?  No.

7. Live with my partner Jonathan in a small town in northern Israel.

8. Often bored.

9. Love old movies.  Anyone out there still watch black & white?

10. Have seven grandchildren.

11. I don’t practice meditation as often as I should.

I was asked the following questions:

1. Why blog?

Why not?
2. What one thing would you change about the world?

The propensity to hatred.
3. What’s your favourite book?

Don’t have one. I have authors I like.  If I was left on an island with one book, I suppose I would pick Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets (although I’m not a big fan of the sonnets). If two– Emily Dickinson’s complete poetry. If three — a comedy, to let me relax after the effort of reading those two.
4. Obama or Godzilla? (To win in a fight)

A difficult question. As much as I admire Obama, he would win simply by outtalking Godzilla, but he would also lose because he would immediately compromise.
5. What’s the meaning of life? (no numerical answers)

DON’T KNOW! That’s the meaning of life.
6. Who/what influences your poetry the most?

My poetry comes to me in the early morning, and sometimes astonishes even me.  If I had an influence, it would be Emily Dickinson — and I try to lengthen my lines..
7. Does it though?

8. Would you eat a snail?

Of course, especially if you call them escargots!
9. Who would meet if you could travel in time and space?

I like to think I would want to meet the Buddha, but I suspect I would be put off by the customs surrounding him — and, of course, how could we speak? Whitman, perhaps? Baudelaire?
10. Are you a good person?

You’d have to ask someone else.  I think I am.
11. Why eleven?

Because 10 would be too conventional.

My 11 questions:

1. When do you write poetry?

2. How long have you been writing?

3. If you could live a year in any foreign city, which would you choose?

4. And if three cities, which ones?

5. Do you know another language other than your native one?

6. Do you read in more than one language?

7. Do you have a favorite poet or a favorite book?

8. Do you also paint or are involved ina nother art form?

9. What is most beautiful building you’ve seen?

10. When you write, do you think of rhyme or rhythm or does the poem come of its own accord?

11. Who’s the most famous meerkat of all?

I recommend six sites — please visit them to enjoy their poetry!

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 17, 2013

Day 17 – A Poem of Greeting

For Day 17, the recommendation was to write a poem of greeting — which I’ve done; but I also could not get the travesty at Boston out of my head — or my own age.  This is the result.

Do I greet you, death?

Are you ever welcomed now

Though you come so suddenly

In booming pots and makeshift bombs?


And how grotesque your welcome mat

Garlanded by torn-off limbs,

With screams and weeping and alarms

Broadcast quickly as a flashing TV show.


Shall I greet you now with open arms?

Or will you snatch them with a roar

And blast a child to your hollow breast

Or to a blood-stained maw?


No, I cannot welcome you as guest,

I haven’t time or limbs to feed.

I wish yet to dally not to grieve–

Though grieving has become a daily quest.

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 17, 2013


I sound your heartbeat with my palm

My lips upon your skin

And taste the tartness that would charm

The dancing muses and of song

To sing your praise as I would sing

Though it is your voice

That penetrates so deep and long

And quickens pulse as mine when I,

In the shallows of your body, wend

With mouth and lips and tongue descend

And rise again, listening to your body’s

Voiceless song.

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 16, 2013

Pantun — Lady

The pantun is a traditional Malay form, a style of which was later adapted into French and then English as the pantoum. A pantun consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line.

My hand on Lady’s breast–heart-beat under;

She stretches out her leg to touch my face

And like a child, I’m filled with wonder–

Ah, the world’s sway so full of grace!

Posted by: laffingeyes | April 15, 2013

Memorial Day – Another Voice

The pigeons don’t know;

The crows caw at the tree tops.

Row of cypress trees

Demarcates our grief.

Every year I return,

Join the line of cars

And wend our way to here.


And think–and do not think–

The ground and grave,

The mourners round

Think for me. Every year

I stand in the same place

And await a ceremony of death.


He was 18 years, no more I think–

So was I–

He stuck his head outside

To see the enemy–who saw him–

And fell back on me.


Blood, can I remove the blood?

Sometimes the flowers seem to bleed.

The crows cry, Caw, caw.

The cypresses flutter in the breeze.

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