Welcome to a selection of humorous poems....sort of....

The Mysterious American "Continental" Breakfast
Copyright, 2004, truthtable@aol.com

You could call it “cheap.” Now, that’s okay by me.
Just don’t call it “Continental.” Don’t call it “Breakfast.”
No-one from Barents to Biscay breakfasts thus;
No-one from Lisbon to Odessa eats like us.

Meetings mainly manifest mush mundanities;
Hard enought to keep sagging eyelids parted
Among the Poppy-seeds of Powerpoint and Platitude.
Without a caffiene/cake sugar crash; how rude!

I/ve been to Brussels and to gay Paris;
I’ve been to Amsterdam and Zurich too;
Flown to Vienna; seen Den Hague;
Milano, Ivrea, Helsinki and Copenhag’

Variations on a theme – there are many.
On one thing they unanimously agree:
A breakfast is not a breakfast worthy of you
Unless there is food included on the menu too .

Beans and greens and grains and eggs;
Fruit and cheese and bread and tea;
Meat and tomatoes as well as jams and jellies ---
These fill morning European bellies.

So, please agenda setters, meeting planners,
Hear my call to call a spade a spade, and call
Those pathetic servings of coffee and sweets
Just what they truly are: “Cheap Eats.”

A Suddenly Springing Something Copyright 2004, truthtable@aol.com

A Sudden-

Spring -

Some -

Two Courageous
Balls of Hellfire!

Two Demanding
Little Furry Balls of

James and Sirius:
Two Snooping
Into every
Teeny crevice
Nosing out
Empty cans
Empty wrappers
For every scrap
Of cheese whiff
Or oil drip
In the cracks of tin foil
Little Furry Ball
Of Hellfire!

A tag-team, dynamic duo;
One cave-black and one marmalade;
Skittering over my keyboard
Chasing the cursor on my screen
Grabbing at my sox, my belt,
Chasing my tying lace-tips
Scrabbling up my shins
Snapping at my pencil and my pen
Jackknifing dive without a when
Little Furry Balls of Hellfire!

Purring, sleeping, curled and cuddled
Into the crook of my arm
Warmth feeling warmth
I laugh inside, I smile inside
At my little furry furies
Who remind my mind
Of Gandhi and Goodness.

Ultimately, Love,
Love is Strong
And will outlast
The longest Wrong.

I Like My Skin
Copyright, 2004, truthtable@aol.com

I like my skin.
I do.
Doesn’t easily burn,
Not prone to blemish,
Nice shade of olive,
Nearly hairless
Much of my body,
Thanks to Native American genes.

I like my skin.
I do.
But most especially,
When it stays connected.

Fifth grade, New Friend, archery
Bike ride on sidewalk.
I easily outdistance New Friend,
Glance back; wonder at his slowness.
Too late, I see Hill ahead.

Did brakes fail,
Or I?
In panic clutching first at handlebars
Site of no-brakes.
Stood back on coaster brakes.
Nothing happened.

At least,
Nothing happened in SlowdownDepartment.
Something did happen in SkinDepartment.

Flying toward me at supersonic speeds:
Telephone pole;
Large steel mailbox.
Miraculously, I steered between.
Bike went over Curb.
Body went over Bike.
Skin went all over Asphalt.

Knees, shins, elbows, forearms,
Deprived of much of this skin that I like.
Miraculously, it’s all grown back.
But memory of Pain,
Now, that’s another matter.

Years later, me
A “Child Care Worker”
At a psychiatric hospital.

A “patient,”
A friend,
A pretty cool guy really,
So-called schizophrenia notwithstanding,
Kurt and I went for a bike ride.

Kurt went speeding down the Hill.
Construction Gap in the sidewalk.
Kurt: very smart kid,
Standing on coaster brakes.
But, to naked eye,
Nothing happened.
Well, nothing happened in SlowdowDepartment.

Later, Nurse applied various salves.
I saw “serum” oozing from wounds.

I like my skin,
But these days,
I need a thicker one.
Don’t we all?
Beyond Critial Point,
Coaster Brakes fail;
Stronger measures needed.


Mister Mitchell is his name.
He would rather be in my lap
Than curled up beside the keyboard
Sneaking a paw out to help me,
Tapping out a random,
Or, seemingly random,
// here and there.
But //? Who knows?
Perhaps he’s trying to find some website
Devoted to the feline.
After all,
They have a TV program now for cats.

Mister Mitchell is not a name we chose;
Rather the name came with the cat.
He mostly seems a fur generating machine
Sidling up to the Thinkpad.
Yet, he is not a machine
But a living breathing system
Turning fish and turkey into more Mister Mitchell
And every one of his trillions of cells
A miracle of masterly mechanism,
Much like me,
Getting sick and getting well,
Much like me,
Sleeping, eating, wishing the endless rain would let up
And some sun would shine at last
Much like me.

I’m not sure he has an opinion on the Mideast situation,
Or whether we’ll ever find WOMDs in Iraq,
Or what should be done with Enron crooks,
Or cares whether the Dow is up or down.
Mister Mitchell never helps me take out the recycling
Or do the dishes or the shopping;
In reality, Mister Mitchell is not much use --
And maybe that’s the point;
The miracle of life is point enough without a use.
People are so forgetful,
Of the miracles all around,
Large and small,]
Much like me.

The Train is Coming
Copyright 2002, truthtable@aol.com

Someone, perhaps Malthus, perhaps not,
Coined the phrase, “population explosion.”
It always seemed --
A bit much.
Till that day in the Smithsonian, 1995.

Yesterday, I was delayed a half hour by a traffic jam.
A police officer had stopped his car in one lane and was
Directing the converging traffic.
He had no easy way to know how far the traffic was backed up.
But since more cars arrived every minute than he let through,
The result seems pretty predictable and it reminded me

Of our typically teeny London hotel room,
Where the shower water came in fast
But drained out slow.
Even as the tiny basin overflowed onto the bathroom floor,
I thought,
“This is not rocket science!
Of course, it’s going to overflow.”
I vaguely recalled that in freshman calculus,
We learned to tell exactly when it would overflow.
But, that it would overflow, does not require calculus.
Just a little thought or observation;
Either one would do.

In the Smithsonian,
A timeline of the world’s human population
Starting with the “dawn of humanity,”
Ambled lazily, a long flat line,
Suddenly, the line jerked,
Then rocketed upward.
What struck me was this:
More than half the people ever born,
Were born after I was!

I’m standing now on a railroad track.
The freight train,
All 200 cars or so is bearing down.
I’d better turn around,
Don’t you think?
I’ll feel more comfortable.
And, it’s less work and certainly far more
Than running off the track.

The Bubble People

-- truthtable@aol.com

@August 27, 2001

And there are little blue bubbles
All around their heads.

At least,
That’s the way I see it.
They go swizzing down the highway,
Weaving slightly,
That they are going 35 or 85 in a 65 zone.

Inside the little blue bubble,
Stocks are being bought and sold.
Their heads lean thoughtfully to the left
Their left hand bracing the Nokia
And blocking their view of passing cars
And the beautiful scenery that is
No doubt one reason they chose to live
In such an expensive place as Westchester.

Inside the little blue bubble,
Business is being transacted --
Serious stuff --
Money changes hands.
And hopefully, more than their share
Rubs off on their palms like dried green mold.
If enough little scraplings of green powder
Are heaped together,
The man in the little blue bubble can buy --
Perhaps a better beeper, phone, or larger car.

In the park,
The children come and go,
Talking of Mike and Angelo;
Looking perhaps for the lame balloonman.
But the woman in the little blue bubble
Doesn’t see or hear them;
Turns her head and puts a finger in her ear,
The better to block the whiz of whirring skaters.
There’s a deal on the line.
There’s money to be made.
She doesn’t hear the bees whine,
Doesn’t feel the elm shade.

And the spring mischief in me paints a sudden vision:
I could go and tap her on the shoulder,
Dance her off her feet and back to life
In this sunny day park of now.
My eyes dart to her face, searching,
But it is lost --
Lost behind the foggy blue bubble.
Before I built a wall...” I mutter
And stroll back slowly the way I came.

Do Not Remove Under Penalty Of Law

This world, so enamored with:

Science and technology, This world, so enamored with: Science and technology,
Rationalization and rationale,
Routine and routinized,

The truth remains: there are many unexplained phenomena.
We do not like to acknowledge this.
We do not like to contemplate this.

We prefer brightly lit McDonalds,
Its clear policies and menus.
"No, I'm sorry Sir. It's 11:01 am.
We stop serving breakfast at 11:00 am.
It's right there on our sign."

Who knows what would happen if McDonalds gave you an
Egg McMuffin at 11:01 am?
We don't want to think about it.
The world could be swallowed into a black hole.
A green hole.
Or, a Tharglickne hole.
Once you break rules like that, anything can happen.


So you will not be surprised to hear what chaos Ensured when I
Removed the

"Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law"

Tag off my pillow.

I should explain why I took such foolish and
Untoward action, seeming to beg the universe for catastrophe.

See, I like to sleep with a lot of pillows.
Luckily, since my wife has a Genetic disease known as
"Ifitsinthecatalogwehavetobuyititis" we have many Pillows.

White pillows.
Black pillows.
Green pillows.
We even have Tharglickne-colored pillows.

Feather pillows.
Sponge pillows.
Kapok pillows.
Hemp pillows.
Virtual pillows.
Metal pillows.
Traditional Japanese stone pillows (though so far as I can tell, the
Japanese themselves never use these any more. Hey, they know
good thing when they see it).
Large pillows.
Small pillows.

Still, I had my favorite pillow.

Just the right size.
Just the right firmness.
Just the right color (off-puce).
Just the right aroma.

Only one problem.
A tag.
Not just any tag.
A tag cleverly designed (possibly in Japan?) with scalpel-sharp nylon
Threads sticking out beyond the legitimate boundaries of the tag Into:

My neck,
My cheek,
My eyelid.

So, that is why,

In drunken rampage,
In sullen mood,
In sweaty nightmare,



This dreadful tag from my life forevermore.

Oh, dear God,
Peace at last.


It did not last.

Oh, no.

Were about to occur.


At first, the effects could be

Laughed off,
Imagined to be coincidence.

But there grumbled nothing funny here,
Nothing to be safely ignored
Nothing imaginary

About Phenomena. I first noticed the
While struggling to my car.

The sun had long since set.
The wind howled.
The snow blew.
With frozen fingers,
I pulled the keys from my pocket;
Pushed the cute little button.
I waited for the cute little "toot toot"
That signaled an opening door.


I heard the "hoot hoot" of an owl.


No big deal
That's what I thought too.

And, then I remembered.
Owls in my dreams.
Owls in amazing numbers of references in my e-mails.
Owls plastic, staring at me from buildings.
Owls peering at me from behind the drugstore lady.

Not to worry?


And then.

In the middle of the night.
In the dark of the night.
In the cold of the night.

Rapping at the window pane.
Tapping at the window pane.
Clawing at the window pane.


And, clearly spoken words:
"You tore the tag.
You stole the label.
You broke the bond."

"We will tear:
Time from your life,
Mind from your you,
Light from your dark."

So silly.
I wanted to laugh.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to beg.

But my lips were dry,
My throat was parched.
My tongue was afire.

The next day,
For no apparent reason,
Someone pigishly centered their

Utilitarian Universal
Vehicle with a Vengeance

In the middle of two lanes,
Thus preventing me from:

Passing on the right
In order to turn on right
In order to get onto the right freeway
At the right time
In order to get to the right meeting
To make the right point
At the right time
In order to show how right I am
In order to get the right ranking
In order to get the right salary increase
In order to get a loan so I could buy an

SUV so
In case there was an accident
I could decapitate the:

Other guy
Or gal
Or perhaps a guy and a gal and their whole family
(One can always hope).


But the point is
It didn't happen.
The Super-galactic
Utilitarian Universal, gas-guzzling
Vehicle with a Vengeance

Prevented me from making my turn,
Prevented me from getting by,
Prevented me from getting my fair share

Of the spoils that we get by ruling the world

By force,
By superior weapons,
By political power.

A coincidence?
An off chance?
A random event?

But the fat old lady in the SUV
Shot me the bird,
Gave me the word,
Mouthed "OWL" through the window.

And, I knew then,
Right then and there.
Right that moment.

That it was over.
I had loosed chaos in the world.
And chaos now was my lot.
I had broken the rule.
I had ripped the tag.
My life would be a drag.

Sure enough.
The very next day.
I picked up the morning paper.
And people were
Acting --
Shall we say,


It was as though:

People cared only about NOW
People cared only about THEMSELVES
People cared only about getting MORE STUFF.

I am truly sorry.

I ran through the neighborhood looking for owls.
Sure enough,
The owls were there


Ran back to my house;
Ransacked my house;
Searched my house.

Looking for the tag;
Trying to find the tag;
Hoping to sew the tag

Back upon the pillow.
Or, burn the pillow.
Or, bury the pillow.


To undo the curse

The curse that made the world mad with greed,
The curse that made people destroy their earthhome,
The curse that made people kill each other.

It's all my fault.
It's all my folly.
It's all a bad joke.

But the phenomena
The owls just keep on laughing.

The Truest Meaning of Holidays!

There are a hundred shopping days left till Christmas!
Hurry, hurry! You'll miss out on all the fun!
I see Salvation Road! It's paved with gifts and gold,
Sweetly wrapped in foil and pink toxic ribbon.
Invest in scarlet bows, Hallmark cards, paper too
Since this world has plenty of resources left to squander.
For, quality of wrapping is more important than the gift
As surely as gift is more important than the giver.
Let us then recall the true meaning of those giving Holidays,
Surrender to the tacky tinsel and the clever jingle-slogans
Eat twinkies till sides burst; drink Andre and be merry!
Take the time to drunken up someone young and pretty.
Heck, what are parties for? Have a blast and cop a feel.
It is the season to be jolly. No interest payments till March!
Schlock is the one beer to have if you're having more than one --
In case you haven't noticed, it's cheaper, cheaper by the case!
Sing along with me of the wisdom of the Three -- whoopee!
No sense in having just the one. Especially if you're driving!
Off with the old clothes, on with the new. Out of fashion?
Then get a new wardrobe! Help a hungry eight year old
To feed her family in Tamil. The wide world round now helps us
Reach that ultimate spiritual necessity -- the endless party
Under a common greed, under a common god, a commercial
Eternity, economy, an ecumenical epiphany. Dollars! Dollars!
We all fall down!

Miss Liberty Takes a Hike.

Take heart! Take heart!
The Statue of Liberty has been replaced!
Ellis Island's vaporized.
Rising from the writhing seas
Mammoth, shining in the morning sun,
Sparkling beams the symbol of the One
The God of gods,
The Huge Almighty Dollar Sign.
It's mine! It's mine!

No more the mealy-mouthing of the empty phrase,
A new inscription, practical, business-like,
Proudly carved in the plastic, simulated rock,
No mere poppycock:

"Give us your professionals,
Your well-connected,
Give us your tax-paying,
Your God-fearing,
Your high class immigrants,
Your upper class, white
English speaking,
No bones creaking,
Smartly dressed,
With money blessed."

The sunlight streams on the gilded
Mylar, tossing light beams
Back and forth to Manhattan
And the Jersey Shore.
Commercial to the Apple Core.

And, what of Miss Liberty?
She wasn't raped.
Just decided to become a whore
Was the only economic option.
When last heard from she was hitching
Rides somewhere in the midwest,
Iowa, perhaps, or Kansas
All those flatlands of corn,
Half-hoping for a tornado
To roll through the country
Stir things up a bit,
Perhaps for one small moment,
Bring a bit of Beruit to Ames,
A bit of Baghdad to Norman.
See. Even as we speak, clouds roil.
Even best-laid plans foil.
Even massive institutions pass
Like Ozymandias
And, our lovely, lonely, lately Liberty Lass.

The Impossible

(Appearing in Poetry Guild's "Among the Roses", 1997)

That shiny steel flag-pole that spired skyward in our back yard:

It was too high; it was too slippery.
I was too weak; I was too young.
I was just a little boy, barely four years.
It was too thick; I couldn't do it.
There was no way; it was utterly and finally impossible.
I'd tried a thousand times and never got a foot off the ground.

My dad had stayed behind in Portugual (why?).
My mom and I lived alone in Kent (why?).
And, I tried -- tried to climb that pole, tried, and tried.
But some things, some things, you see, are never meant to be.

One day -- I played in the yard alone (where was my mom?)
I could smell, feel, before I saw It charging: --That dog of fangs,
That terrible wolf of the wilderness -- god of tooth and claw
Barking its happy knell of death -- its ruff raised, its snarling snipe,
Black lips baring back those snipping, chattering, yellow teeth --
Close and closer. I clambered and climbed the impossible pole,
Shinnied to the very top and held on for a minute, for a lifetime.

Thank God for challenge; thank God for life in all its fierce forms;
Thank God for courage and -- thank you God for viscious dogs.

Sweater Dust

Sweater dust, indomitable!
Timeward, downward pressing they go;
Laughing, laughing all the way,
Always knowing
Why they're going --
So they say.

Yellow fuzz,
Die-hard important, last-ditch stand,
Gnashingly fastening on to my good black suit
In a fit of stubbor ness.

How many I enter God's many-eyed temple?
But I don't mind dead give-aways of love.

Say! Hey!

What kind of crazy new blue hyperglue
Do you
Use to
Stick me soul and all
To the wall of you?
And all
And what kind of theme
Do you use to scheme
To keep me
Pleading, pleasing
I see
I will be free
Got an age
To rage
And range
Sagely play
Daily play
Bedly lay.

Short Cut

Dear, I was reading in the paper just today,
That they may have to put us all away
For cancer, heart disease and such
Because we all are smoking much too much.
Please pass the sugar, Sugar, for my cup of tea.
I think I'll eat it with another cookie.
I was hearing just the other night,
How we may get blown clear out of sight;
A slight miscalculation, so it seems,
May end us all, and all our dreams.
Please pass the gravy, Love, for my dressing.
And let me see now, what's the blessing?
I was thinking just the other morning
That mankind's death would pass sans mourning
By the other animals surviving yet -- if any;
I think in some vague way they may even think it funny.
Ah, yes, I have another sock for you to mend,
Before the ...


I'll be Number One!
They'll say I've won!
Biggest man in all the land!
Forego the loving touch
Of a lovely lover's hand.
A tracing finger
Long will linger --
But no so much
As a mountain carved,
A fountain named,
A people starved,
A nation flamed!

I hunger yet
To win the bet;
To march the march
Through desolate lands;
Light the torch
Of tortured hands;
Found a city;
Show no pity;
Conquer all;
Steal the ball!

I may not know
Of crystal snow
Or love in bed
Silky hair wet
Blonde across my face
Laughter, holy grace.
But instead
I get
No forced solitude.
I have the multitude
At beck and call
And in my thrall.
On flashbulb feasts
I will dine,
Roasted beasts,
And finest wine.

And when the game
At last is won
And My Own Name
Heads everyone,
I'll laugh and flash
From my death:
I held the lash!
No wasted clock
On balderdash
Or poppycock.
I rushed ahead
To this final bower
My ultimate power.
So I could lay
Beneath cold ground
Beneath the sound
Of crashing drum
-- beat
And brashing horn
-- blast
And marching man
-- feet
And now at long
-- last

With my last breath,

Perfectly content.
Perfectly serene.
Yet --
Yet, I wonder --
Is it too late?
Have I missed ... ?
Could I just have a chance to -- ?

I see.
It's over.

Nature Poems
Poems of Wonder
Poetry Index

To contact the author: truthtable@aol.com

Last modified: Dec. 12, 2004