Thursday, April 2, 2020

Almond Blossom (Van Gogh), Sonnet #505


















April after a winter mildly cold,
With neither blizzards or dangerous ice.
The blossoms burst early and gently bold,
Aerating my back yard with perfumed spice.
A sudden drop in temperature,
Lasting a day, is not enough to nip
New life — an hour of light snow seems pure,
Yet leaves on some blossoms a tiny pip.
Then a week of cloudless sunlight reigns.
Snowdrops and crocuses proliferate,
Escaping from their gardens to the lawns.
Now for an hour most mornings it rains,
More to refresh us than to irritate.
The sleeping soul doesn’t awake — it dawns.


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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Dance of Life (Edvard Munch), Sonnet #504















The beach sand is gone, cut away
By high waves from the winter storms,
So we dance as if we feel gay,
Madly whirling, twisted forms. 
The band — drum, violin, guitar —
Knows only waltzes, jigs, and rags;
Its sense of rhythm races, lags.
Some of us linger at the bar,
Leaving women alone and lost,
Heartbroken at their rejection,
While others twirl till their feet ache.
The sun sets like a golden host
In a chalice of its reflection
In the still waters of the lake.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Brushwood School House, Sonnet #503

Photo courtesy of ACRES Land Trust.












In ‘03, they built this one room school
And hundreds more throughout the state.

I sit fidgeting on a three-legged stool,
Drawing my figures with chalk and slate.
My mother drives me three miles each way
Unless it’s a planting or harvest day.

They’re mostly gone now, torn down,
Become hazards for ghost-hunting teens.
People live in some, rebuilt, far from town.
Brushwood hasn’t fallen, though it leans.

I was the oldest. The teacher looked nice.
Her favorites were the smallest ones.
When I was 18, she looked at me twice.
We wed. I died at Marne. She schooled our sons.

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


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Unbridled Folly (Francisco Goya), Sonnet #502
















He liked to ride bare-assed on a stallion,
Which he left unbridled and unsaddled.
(Some said his mind was idled and addled.)
He thought he commanded a battalion
Of shiny battleships and rugged tanks,
Would tolerate no genius in the ranks
Who suggested the firing of blanks
To force the surrender of cash-stuffed banks.
Clutching golden mane he charged the fray,
Screaming “Fare forward, you fools!” at his troops,
Spanking with his crop his poor mount’s sore croup,
Reducing that proud steed’s neighs to a bray.
The exhausted beast reared, bit the nightshirt
Off our hero and tossed him in his dirt.


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

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Storm (Sesson Shukei), Sonnet #501

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








The mighty sea is slave to storms
And fishing boats slaves to the sea
As men are enslaved by all three.
The deck, stout mast, and taut sail form
The only threat to fend off death.
The sea drowns beneath the typhoon,
What men call an angry god’s breath,
Waves caused by his stirring his spoon.
A gibbous moon runs through the clouds.
Suns skip among the fog and haze.
In a lull, waves, in rows, look plowed,
Then boil in an unsolvable maze.
The ship sights land, rocky, tree-lined,
Safe harbor for the terror-blind. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci), Sonnet #500

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


















Can the mind exhaust old beauty, even
One persisting as a form of perfection
Behind bullet-proof glass; we see, then,
With repetition, deem it a confection? 
Yes, La Gioconda, if we let it
Become blind to us, a rotting cliche, 
Or object of ridicule, an idee
Fixe, until we would as soon forget it.
No, lack of imagination can’t close
Her limpid eyes or silence what she knows,
What her kissing lips, brushing our own,
Might whisper in an evanescent tone —
Let me live in you, as you live in me.
I am so you can be because you see . . . .

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Satin Tuning Fork (Yves Tanguy), Sonnet #499

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

















I cannot tune a guitar very well
Because I pluck a string and hear three tones,
Not one. My inner ears have extra bones.
My head is a struck and struck again bell,
A tuning fork made of satin and silk,
Vibrating musically like stirred milk.
A real tuning fork makes the air explode
And ring with a slowly diminishing 
Volume without ever quite finishing,
An eternal sonic episode.
I tap mine and tighten a tuning post.
At least that note is right. The other strings
Wobble off pitch the way a warbler sings
Or like the humming of a tone-dead ghost.