How I Live When No One's Looking -by Becky Alexander
usually in baggy jeans, and one of three aged T-shirts
short white terry socks, big fluffy slippers
(my feet hate tightness and cold)
hair washed mainly when it hangs
in frizzled scrag, and ticks me off
(still daily, I'm afraid)
the cozy wrap of son's cast-off
flannel shirts; but yes, I launder them
(at least once a week)
peanut butter out of the jar
oatmeal choked down at the kitchen sink
(I'm sure the gods hate breakfast, too)
dirt and fluff hide beneath
kitchen mats, dust balls roll
(but I shake and sweep every morning)
by noon, the siren call of style,
make-up—eyeliner, you bet
(only God knows me without it)
that's it, I guess, how I live
when no one is around:
simple as cold cereal, plain as dustballs;
(if you ever drop in you know what you're in for!)
Rabinowitz - by Peter Austin
Rabinowitz, who played the violin,
Was needed for the band. His wife and daughter
Were herded, white and silent, to their slaughter,
While he rehearsed, ‘Auf Wiedersehen Berlin’.
In forty-eight, he made it to the States
And bought himself an antiquated Singer,
Contriving, so adept was he of finger,
To handle thread as nimbly as the Fates.
He prospered, married, sired a tribe of sons,
Forgot their names and, later on, their faces.
The nursing home is full of just such cases:
They fight like fiends, or dote like simpletons.
His trademark is tormentedly to cower
At sound, or even mention of, a shower.
He is Late - by Eva Avi-Yonah
I am waiting for a friend
Who doesn't come.
He said: Half past five.
He is already seven minutes
A lady does not wait. For a man.
Perhaps it wasn't his fault.
There may have been
A traffic jam
A police check
An – accident!
If I don't get up and go, the waiter
Will despise or even
Should I order
But what do I care for the waiter!
I was sure He loves me.
And I thought
Well – maybe ...
But if he treats me like that
Right at the beginning,
I shall not return his love..
I hate him!
Oh, here he comes!
When the Yellow Comes - by James Deahl
for Gilda Mekler, 1954 - 2007
From where does the yellow come
that fills these grape leaves
as they clench into fists
at the close of September?
With no more fruit to feed
they are playthings of the wind,
and their yellow grief can be heard
at night before the moon rises.
As the hours of darkness lengthen
a damp ache rises from the soil
and a sorrow enters the vines.
Birds fill the wild grapes
with a rustle of wings before
heading south to escape
the long months of death. The birds
feed on sugars stored during
fiery August, early September,
hot as an older woman¹s kiss.
Under the Harvest Moon
desire becomes acceptance,
each veined leaf clutching at
all it has lost. This is the gift
the yellow brings. By the advent
of the Hunter¹s Moon these leaves
will be down, the dying back starting
where vine tips meet cold wind.
Sometimes in late middle age
the yellow enters the lives
of men bringing a longing
sharper than November¹s storms.
It enters the veins of the hands
with the silent burning of frost
when it turns the goldenrod white
in winter¹s cemetery.
Perhaps in the end there is only
this yellow preparing the way
for the first of many snows.
To the north: Hudson Bay, James Bay;
vast wilderness stalked by arctic winds.
Ode - by Thilde Fox
How do I love thee? Strong, and black or white,
Smooth to the tongue, an ever-pleasing taste,
Each sip is slowly savoured, there’s no waste,
You are my morning lover, my delight.
The ritual in your honour I prepare,
Heaped spoons, fresh boiling water and whipped milk,
A pre-warmed china cup, the touch like silk
Upon my lips, and perfume fills the air.
All through the day you keep me clear and bright,
Each tiny cup has strength, holds me awake,
I give up plays and pubs just for your sake,
You are my evening lover, my delight.
You are my passion, oh delicious drink,
I care not what the learned doctors think.
Email Love - by Mel Millman
Email me baby, and I'll email you back.
I've been longing for your login
Ever since you put your DOS into my drive.
Floppy disks don't seem to satisfy no more,
And a three point five inch width is just a bore,
But that hard disk of yours holds mega treasure;
Its cd>directories forever my pleasure.
There's room for every batch file that you need.
I'll take in every byte until I bleed,
And hold my printer fixed on auto-feed.
One day when we have grown
Our own little cute CD-ROM
And settled in our formatted home;
Every night each other's cursor we'll locate,
Press our Alts and Controls until daybreak.
Our default settings will lose their banality,
As we spend the rest of our lives
In virtual reality.