Thursday, December 21, 2017


          Please, please leave me alone 
          let me sit in quiet
          let me think my thoughts
          let me doze in peace

          My life is filled
          with dronery
          the dishes must be done
          the laundry is waiting
          Don’t follow me
          to my heaven
          don’t follow me
          to burning hell
          Leave me alone
          go your own way

                   (Dec. 21, 2017)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

THE ELITE, a poem


                 Whether famous or anonymous
                  the elite soar from the plebeians
                  through their individual feats
                  of a moment or a lifetime
                  The elite number in millions
                  beginning at the beginning
                  the first leader, fire maker,
                  bard, farmer, baker, artist

                  Among the undeniably elite
                  reflecting marvelous achievements
                  Leonardo da Vinci, Barrack Obama
                  Elizabeth Bishop, Willie Nelson
                  Jim Thorpe, Shalane Flanagan

                                                  (Nov. 1 and 6, 2017)

Sunday, October 15, 2017


                  The rage of nature
                  the floods of Texas
                  the hurricane of Florida
                  the devastation of Puerto Rico
                  the fires of California

                  Earth’s revenge
                  grimly thrashes
                  with howlinge winds
                  with quaking earth
                  with leaping fires

                  Fecund world into
                  barren fields
                  empty seas
                  broiling suns
                  shriveling mankind

                  (Oct. 15, 2017)


Tuesday, October 10, 2017


          I took the pen
          she gave me
          to write without
          looking back
          become the writer
          not the reciter

          I stand on the
          shore of the Styx
          to paddle without
          looking back;
          become the ferryman
          and the ferried

          I weigh the balance
          of unworthy debt
          no obolus beneath
          my tongue;
          become the creator
          of my golden bough

          (Oct. 10, 2017. This poem was written six years ago by the protagonist in my novel, THE ABSCONDER. It was inspired by a woman he loved, but was forced to abandon to escape the possibility of being returned to prison. In his new life he became a noted poet.)


Friday, October 6, 2017


          Body on fire
          with youthful desire
          Uncertain lips meeting
          in sexual greeting
          Ending unrequitedly

          The illicit kiss
          leads amiss
          The passionate connection
          thrives absent inspection
          Ending without joy
          An invitation to dance
          leads to romance
          The craving is sealed
          with a fulfilling yield
          Ending with lasting love

                   (Oct. 6, 2017)

Sunday, October 1, 2017



          I want to go home
          the pathetic plea
          of the demented
          Caregivers sadly
          listen helplessly

          There is no going home
          the longed-for mother
          is gone beyond reach
          the childhood pleasures
          lost forevermore

          Going for a drive
          diverts attention
          For a while the plea
          is gone then returns
          I want to go home

          (Oct. 2, 2017. Seemingly common to all dementia victims is a hunger to go home to the nonexistent house where their mothers still dwell in their happy childhoods.) 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Thoughts on THE NATURALIST by Andrew Mayne

       THE NATURALIST is a whodunit worth reading just to meet Dr. Theodore Cray, a college professor/scientist whose inquiring mind evolves him into a tenacious sleuth.
        Spurred by guilt feelings that his teaching might have led one of his former students, a brilliant researcher, into circumstances that resulted in her murder, Cray sets out to uncover what happened to her.
        At the outset, police consider Cray a suspect, because he knew the dead woman. He is quickly released when a perfuntory autopsy lead the police to believe a bear is the killer. The setting for this novel is Montana.
        Cray’s speciality is bioinformatics, which combines advanced computer programs with biology. As he says of himself: “As a scientist, I observe, I analyze. I make guesses.”
        With that background, Cray first decides a human not a bear killed his student. The police, of course, sneer at his conclusion. Then he sets off on a hunt with an extraodinary outcome, in this well-plotted, nicely-written whodunit, that is a pleasure to read.

        A SUGGESTION: Please consider reading my novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST, the story of a short order cook, who aspires to be a recognized pencil artist. He stumbles into a battle with a nutty billionaire. The outcome will surprise you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MY DAY, a poem

         What is there
          to say
          nothing happens
          in my day

          Evenings are much
          the same
          no one else
          to blame

          Treasure pleasure
          in taking
          life’s measure
          ignore the aching

                   (Aug. 22, 2017)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


          Life has burned away
          leaving a body in disarray
          a woman grown very old
          suffering never-ending cold

          Every day is wintertime
          gone is the warmth so sublime
          no longer a promise of spring
          to make the aged soul sing

          Does celebration or doom
          await in the misty gloom
          no knows what lies ahead
          ignore all trivial dread

                              (Aug. 2, 2017)

Thursday, July 27, 2017



          Looking outward
          nothing inside
          shorted recall  
          lost synapses

          Locked in the now
          Without a past
          Without future
          Without recall

          Time goes by
          Life lingers
          Yes conscious
          But helpless

                           (July 27, 2017)


Monday, July 24, 2017


          The learned Jesuits teach
          truth is objective
          Missed those classes, Donald
          or were you dreaming
          only of yourself

          The learned Jesuits teach
          essence and accidents
          Missed those classes, Donald
          or did unchanging truth
          fail to lodge in your brain

          The learned Jesuits teach
          the inquiring mind
          Missed those classes, Donald
          how could Fordham produce
          so empty a Donald
                             (July 24, 2017)


Friday, July 21, 2017

An Ode to KEN PAFF

             Ken Paff
          you wear the honorable name
          that shames the Hoffa faction
          everything you are
          boy Hoffa is not

          Ken Paff
          you are courage and persistence
          standing bravely when few dared
          fighting the tyranny of thugs
          in the risky days of old

          Ken Paff
          You clearly have earned your place
          in the pantheon of heroes
          tougher than cold marble
          your monument is TDU

                                                (July 21, 2017)

Friday, July 7, 2017

REUNION, a poem

         Sixteen aging men sat down
          to lunch at The Water Club
          drawn by memories of the prep
          urged to be there by Gerry McCabe
          the catalyst of the gathering
          They left Fordham Prep in ’52
          as boys those 65 years ago  
          some stayed close through the decades
          others, like me, went their separate ways
          yet reuniting again and again

          Gerry, a basketball star
          in his happy prep school days
          sitting somewhere in North Carolina
          is our facilitator
          and herald of our next lives

                                                ( July 7, 2017)


Sunday, June 11, 2017


          Don’t resuscitate
          leave me to my fate
          the natural way for me
          stop the heroic treatments
          delaying the final act

          No curtain calls
          after the end
          what do you expect
          do tell the world
          if I appear

          But please never anyone fear
          enjoy a wine or a beer
          and think of me over here
          because nothing kills
          the essential soul

          (June 11, 2017)

Friday, May 26, 2017


It began with a French kiss
on Lowery Street Station  
kindling infatuation
that burned into love
without likely end

Dancing in Greenwich Village
the Amato Opera
strolling East River Walk
sealed the relationship
into a lifetime bond

Raising a family
with three boys and a girl
dogs, rabbits, squirrels,
fish, birds, chipmunks
life worth living

(May 26, 2017. Ginger and I were returning from dancing at Gildea’s in Sunnyside on our second date in 1954. We were on the Lowery Street Station platform en route to Manhattan, to Cornell’s student nursing school residence at New York Hospital.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Dan Heyman, how dare you shout
a question at Trump lackeys
giving the West Virginia cops
a chance to employ censorship
for an authoritarian America

Is domestic violence a pre-existing condition
the journalistic gall of you asking Secretary Price
so provocatively significant a question
as he strode in answer-avoiding silence
beside the alternative truthist Kellyanne 

Donald Trump would be in character
to create a Medal of Muzzling
with the West Virginia police
the first to be celebrated
for censoring our Dan Heyman

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Little did I expect
that after eighty years
the purgatory
of the interrupted life
daily awaited me

No more novels
will freely flow
from my fingers
creativity a prey
of this interrupted life

Having a brilliant thought
reading a riveting book
watching a serious film
seeing really important news
omnis relatio interrupit

(May 7, 2017)

Sunday, April 23, 2017


The prisoner of dementia
listens to her meaningless rants
without end
endures  her rages
a helpless witness

The contract requires
for better or worse
so he is bound
by those sworn words
until the end

Occasionally she says
in a very sad lament
I don’t want to live
this way anymore
Neither do I

Monday, April 17, 2017



The Kahunas contend
a single simple touch
will join us
like twins with a filament
of ectoplasm forever

So the connection created
by any long loving marriage
or an extended relationship
must surely produce links
thick as ancient redwoods

Those heavy bonds survive
divorce or separation
with the once loved
ties never erased
always remembered

(April 16, 2017)

Monday, April 10, 2017



So many couples sitting
in silence in restaurants
We always spoke
engaged in sweet conversation
looking into each other’s eyes

Why an absence of dialogue?
their disconnected lives speaking?
We were joined
in lively discourse
reflecting our love

Having eaten and paid the bill
they exit to their dreariness
We connected again
in the privacy
of our lovely home

(April 4, 2017)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

LOST LOVE, a poem


I loved you
You loved me
We loved each other
Now we are free

Thursday, March 30, 2017



What can be expected
In releasing a soul
in death?
forever deep sleep
in constant blankness

Perhaps an hereafter
of infinite torture
the sour reward
for an ugly past life
Yet some merit better

An eternity of pleasure
to be enjoyed without boredom
in sensuous ensembles
of tasty food and good wine
and varieties of flesh

(March 30, 2017)

Thursday, March 16, 2017


          Glorious fried egg I savor
          your unforgettable flavor
          disc of orange and white
          my taste buds soar in flight
          making my day so extra bright

          (Written in March, 2017. I thought I might try writing a limerick, but found it beyond doing at this time. I am not a funny writer.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

WILDCAT, a poem

          Wildcat, what inflamed such desire
          perhaps my naked ready body
          transported you into a female fire

          Memories of the Wildcat you were
          Still stirs my near ancient lingam
          The joy of having made you purr
          Your zeal for my source of delight
          Often pulled me from deepest sleep
          For thrilling joinings in our night
          The lovely touch of your sweet skin
          Withheld in the years of old age
          Reminds me of what once had been

          (Written in February, 2017)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Free downloads of four-star novel of the Paris Commune

Go into battle with Gen. Jaroslaw Dombrowski and Louise Michel in my novel, BEN CONNOLLY in the PARIS COMMUNE.
The book will be available for free downloads from Kindle for five days this week, from Sunday (Feb. 5, 2017) through Thursday (Feb. 9, 2017).
Please read it, enjoy it, and review it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DEATH and BEYOND, a sonnet

Let easy death be my painless surprise
In deepest sleep with an exciting dream
My expression locked in a look so wise
Even so I am sure my wife will scream
Will I be hovering above the deathbed
Listening to what those who gather said
What a wonderfully good man he was

If there is a godly judge awaiting
My hope is that the good outweighed the bad
The scales are worth extant contemplating
If I wait too long I may end up sad
Once I cross River Styx no returning
Maybe I will be in heaven and glad
Otherwise this body may be burning

(This sonnet was written in January, 2017)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Thoughts on NO GREAT MISCHIEF by Alistair MacLeod

     NO GREAT MISCHIEF  is a novel of change, the ending of tribal roots through intermarriage, the gap that emerges between siblings with a college education and without.
     Alistair MacLeod writes with a grace and warmth that is a pleasure to read; the kind of a book enjoyed with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
     MacLeod’s characters are living in the late twentieth century in Canada while eighteenth century Scotland is a dominant presence in their memories; they still speak Gaelic as well as English. They are part of the MacDonald clan, driven by the English from the Highlands of Scotland to Cape Breton 200 hundred years ago.
     The protagonist and his sister, who grew up in the care of their grandparents in a loving home and are well-educated, break the links to ancient Scotland by marrying outsiders. They have suburban lives of material comfort.
     Their uneducated siblings are doomed to the dangerous and drone jobs of the blue collar working class. One is a wild man, who ignores the restraints of society, the little ones like driving without a license and the more serious of deadly brawls; he ends up in prison and as a drunk without a real home or his own family (meaning a mate and children).
     I would love to read another novel by MacLeod, but he wrote only one, NO GREAT MISCHIEF, and died in 2014.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SCARY DONALD TRUMP, a villanelle

          Donald, Blue America lives in fear
          of your finger on the bomb
          oh, your helter-skelter mind

          Will you survive more than a year
          with your speech so unkind
          Donald, Blue America lives in fear

          The frightening words Baltics hear
          you are in a Putin bind
          oh, your helter-skelter mind

          While Latinos pain is here
          the deportation orders signed
          Donald, Blue America lives in fear

          Women marched to be clear     
          they are not politically blind
          oh, your helter-skelter mind

          You sit in your Oval Office
          America watches and listens
          to your delusions of which
          Donald, Blue America lives in fear
          oh, your helter-skelter mind

          ( This villanelle was composed in January, 2017)


Tuesday, January 17, 2017


         The easiest way to win an election in a Teamsters local is to bring internal union charges against a potential opponent. The local’s executive board sits in judgement of the accused with a guilty verdict effectively eliminating him/her from the election.
          The incumbent officers of New York Teamsters Local 804 have a compelling reason to block Tim Sylvester from running for reelection as president of the local next year.
          Sylvester, a close ally of the late Ron Carey, won the presidency of Local 804 in 2009 and was reelected in 2012. He was ousted from that office by just 70 votes in 2015 after he had announced he was running for general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters  on the Teamsters United slate against incumbent James P. Hoffa.
          As a result of losing Local 804’s presidency, Sylvester switched his candidacy to general secretary-treasurer enabling Fred Zuckerman to become Teamsters United's presidential candidate. In last year’s election, Local 804 members gave Teamster United a smashing victory over Hoffa by a vote of 1835 to 295--a margin of 1,540 votes.
          That 1,540 vote margin must have sent chills through the Local 804 incumbents, who won their 70-vote victory over Sylvester with the help of the Hoffa forces.
          Local 804’s officers, who will sit in judgement, have charged Sylvester with embezzlement for cashing in his accrued vacation when he departed as the local’s president, which Teamsters United contends is a common and permissible practice..
          Teamsters United has branded the charges as baseless, “a political smear campaign by Hoffa and the Local 804 officers who do his bidding.”
          The Teamsters court-appointed Independent Investigations Officer would do well to examine whether the charges against Sylvester are valid or politically-motivated and whether the Hoffa forces played a role in bringing them. Stealing an election is just as serious--perhaps more--as looting a union treasury or pension fund.


Monday, January 2, 2017


          Lying doesn’t matter
          duplicity is acceptable
          exploitation is okay
          sexism is amusing
          bragging is understandable
          racism is cheered

          Trumpetts is
          an artificial word
          to describe
          abominable beings
          who form
          the Trumpian core

          Keep America
          not gross
          the cultured coasts
          should always
          dominate America