Thursday, December 5, 2019

Gargantua (Honore Daumier), Sonnets #487 and #488

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.









One
I am Gargantua the great.
I was born 11 months late
And 25 pounds overweight.
They say my mom did not dilate
So much as stay inebriate.
In my first 7 months I ate
Each day a raw half-ton primate
Brought to me in a silver crate.
The screaming made me salivate
Enough to fill the wide Euphrate....
Ease in bed’s my natural state.
Whenever I walk I create
Wobbles in how planets rotate
And the earth’s circle turns oblate.


Two
I’m sad I cannot copulate
Because I have not found a mate
Who can withstand my fleshy freight.
(I’ve other ways to recreate, 
So I ... what’s the word? Ends with ‘bait.’)
I write long essays to berate
The scientists with addled pate
Who say I can’t regenerate.
My dream is of a girlish Fate,
Who’ll bring me a Donna or Kate,
Who’ll match me stone for stone in weight,
And when at last I procreate
My sons will burst each kingly gate
And rid the world of love and hate.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Card Players and Girl (Paul Cezanne), Sonnet #486

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.







“Never liked the ‘cards as fate’ metaphor,”
Thinks the painter, though that is what he paints.
He’d watched this game played out the night before.
Its drama of poverty, he thinks, taints
The composition’s careful symmetry.
The young father staking all on three threes
As the two sharpers wait for him to call.
His daughter’s afraid he could lose it all
And more, while the man watching, pipe smoking,
Knows the game is rigged — he’s in on the sting.
Twice the painter draws the golden section,
Vertically, on each side of the dupe,
But mars the composition’s perfection
By revealing the faces of the group.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Death on the Ridge Road (Grant Wood), Sonnet #485

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.










Did we consciously make the poles look like crosses
That communicated power across the plains?
Surely a “T” would have served the same purposes.
On the narrow Ridge Road it is about to rain.
Darkness gathers itself like a bishop his robes.
The truck driver is first to see beyond the curve
And wrenches the wheel hard right, headlights unlit globes.
Two sedans, perhaps one chasing the other, swerve
And then all three are on the wrong side of the road.
One car fishtails as the driver says a prayer.
The other is too slow to brake and both explode
When the truck squeezes metal layer on layer.
The trio leaves the road flying, takes down a pole,
Which crosses all three, not blessing a single soul.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dust In Light, Sonnet #484

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.









Have you ever watched motes
Closely, drifting in sun-
Or lamplight, tiny boats,
Rudderlessly, as one,
Ever shunning the dim,
Floating within the shaft,
Bouncing back from its rim
Until caught in a draft?
In quiet air the dust
Moves slowly, rises, turns
In a secret pattern
Closer to will than must.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Avenue at Arles (Van Gogh), Sonnet #483

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.


















For Ruth

When the ground rises up to steal
The autumn leaves and the maples
Grow taller as they become bare,
The cloud-entrapped sun becomes still —
Its new diminished light dapples
The hustling squirrel’s leaf-red fur. 
Chestnuts and buckeyes pack twig nests.
The burrowing chipmunk resists
The inner call to sleep so strong
He must chase his siblings or sing.
I too change, cooling with the air,
My heart walking on hands as far
As the end of the avenue
Where I turn and return to you.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fog Run (Alice Bea Guerin), Sonnet #482

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.


















The mother runs away from her daughter
And doesn’t stop until she reaches home.
She was afraid that if her child caught her
In the evening fog they both would roam,
Blind and lost, perhaps into the forest,
Or off the sand cliffs above the river.
No, getting baby home quickly was best.
The old pine door opens with a shiver.
The child runs in and hides behind the couch,
Where she finds her in a resentful crouch.
In the morning, fog runs like sentences
In the yard and illustrates the windows.
The daughter stands on the front porch and knows,
What she couldn’t last night, what fog senses.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Sanskrit Character—Fudo, The Demon Queller (Hakuin), Sonnet #481

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:
My Human Disguise.



















The character knew he could not kill
But only quell the demon within,
Only drive his foot into its throat
And not let up even when it grew still,
As he knew that was its rictus of sin
(Less potent when, silenced, no gloat
Assailed the air like a black-winged kite,
Its head and eyes deceptively white
Circling harvested fields, hunting soul),
His leg beyond strength, aging to stone,
A numbness, cold as unfired coal,
The marrow seeping from his ankle bone,
He thinks he could surrender and free
The evil that, laughing, wouldn’t flee.