Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Year’s Eve 1964 (for D.J. and R.K.J.)

We took shelter in a cavern of time,
wide as our embrace, lofty as our dreams.
Dressed in striped velour de purpura real,
you called yourself a jester —
but it was I who was the clown,
a harlequin of verses.
Perched on our bar stools, knees abutting,
we bartered stories, cameos of the past,
little pieces of our souls.
I called you ‘Young Lang Syne.’  When the magic hour struck,
the old year swooning in the arms of the new,
amid noisemakers, whistles and horns
we hugged each other, almost fiercely, and long —
while the Irishman scurried behind his well-kept bar,
dispensing drinks and wistful glances
in our direction.  For him, there was no hug:
In all that place he only was alone.
— I spoke with him later, after I’d put you in the cab,
and watched it speed away through a mist of raining kisses.
There was a lull.  And he came by,
stood before me, raised his beer in a toast,
and, with a nod toward your empty bar stool, said:
‘That little lady is quite a wonder and a joy!’
‘I know’ was all I could reply,
for, truly, he had got it right.
A long pause, and then I said, ‘Oh, I’m so drunk!’
‘Ah!  By God, you’re not!’ he said.
‘Leastways not from the liquor.’  And he smiled.

*              *              *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2010

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Homeless thoughts (for Lan)

Without you to watch, my eyes no longer see.
Without your laughter, my ears cease to hear.
Without you to hold, my arms forget to hug.
Not moving toward you, my feet weary in their wandering.
Only my lips and tongue keep their wits,
by building airy images of you to fill the void.
These dear things, too, will soon be but dry leaves,
that skitter across the darkened city streets
early on a Winter’s morning,
in what seem endless circles:
memories of Spring in the bud,
of Summer in bloom, of Autumn heavy with fruit.
Will the sun come up once more? I ask.
The wind guffaws, then shoves me to the side,
as it races pell-mell toward the park,
to cavort at dawn with the naked trees…

*          *             *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2010

A reminder of the way things were, and are supposed to be

At the link below is an article by former Reagan Treasury official, Wall Street Journal writer, and economist, Paul Craig Roberts.

It’s worth reading and musing upon as we ready ourselves to enter another year of essentially suborned and lawless government, and toady establishment media “news” and crapalysis…

He quotes extensively from JFK who, you’ll recall, was President at the height of the Cold War with our Communist enemy (Russian, Chinese, Mongolian, North Korean, Cuban, North Vietnamese, East German, Polish, Czechoslovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Albanian and Bulgarian – with literally millions of troops and operatives as well as “fifth columns” in France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece, West Germany, Yugoslavia, South Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia & the “pinko” Scandinavian countries) who, we were told then, was even worse than Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo put together.

Now we have an enemy which – if we look at things objectively and in context – could have been easily controlled and eventually eliminated by competent intelligence and surveillance activities (not covert actions), and good police work, along with minimal use of small scale “special operations forces” missions – not by invading already decimated regions and failed states, bombing people, capturing and torturing tens of thousands, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents, supporting corrupt local satraps – thus driving whole populations from us into the arms and camp of the new enemy.

What hath Ronald Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama wrought?

And – disgraceful and maddening as it is to say – we, the people (face it: in our ignorance and lack of attention), let them – and continue to do so…

Heaven help us all!

Despite it all, try to have a Happy New Year, for, as Max Ehrman wrote in his Desiderata:  With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

*          *          *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2010

Vision in Winter

This winter’s day goes dishabille.
The arch, light gray stone wearing graffiti
scrawled obscenely or in jest,
stands above the pavement’s shrouding steam.
No guitars are strummed.  The gust’s harsh voice
has naught in it now of grace or warmth.
The silly trees, stripped of their leaves,
seem so lost, so well forgotten,
in the midst of these concrete gardens.
Yet before stern Garibaldi’s cold bronze face,
a pink balloon, its navel pinched by string,
is led in bondage by a young gamine.
Muffled in wool, this lambkin guides her airy toy
along the orbit of her stroll.
The wind stops its labored breath.  Trees, and I,
and pigeons pecking stale bread crumbs
fix our eyes upon this elfin girl
and sigh the loss of summer’s robust days.
We glimpse the summer’s ghost
embodied in this errant child.

*             *              *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2010

Memory: Satori on a winter’s day

Walking the dog around Martling’s Pond
on a winter day warmer than the rest,
a day that presages Spring;
the old woman faux-jogging around the Pond;
the bright sun beating upon the gravestones
of the cemetery on the hill above.
The dog and I walk, each dawdling in our own way.
The ground is thawing, getting slick.
The grass is having a go at being greener.

I stand off the path in a spot of muddy soil
waiting on the dog squatting at her business.
She lurches unexpectedly, yanking on the leash.
I fall on my ass – PLOP!   But no anger –
instead, I see the scene’s absurdity
and burst out laughing maniacally.
Not understanding, the dog becomes frightened
as does the old woman coming around again.
Seeing this strange middle-aged man,
his butt in the mud, raucously laughing
while his poor dog tries to escape,
the old dear steps up her pace.
Her wizened heart – already racing
from her morning exercise – beats now
even more quickly in her fear
of this bizarre madman found on her path.

Why am I laughing?  I don’t really know.
But I sense that my butt hitting the muddy ground
unchained me from all those numbing things
in our lives, from all those wearying conventions –
yes, even from my fear of death, and more:
my fear of life…

*            *           *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2010

Thought this afternoon

At the broad window I sit
in the bright sun that dances
through the stark limbs of the red maple
jolted by the winter’s harsh hand.   I think
of the many poems I’ve penned these many years.
I muse on how so many of them are love poems.

Some might say the poet should broaden his scope;
that verses replete with words of fondness and caring,
of desires fulfilled, wishes thwarted,
images of mouths speaking without words,
bodies rocking on bodies, hands making worlds
from tiny movements, and tongues playing music,
of passion building, passion spent,
of the pain of misunderstanding,
the ache of silence and anger,
of affection pulled apart at the seams –
all these are lines too narrow in their object,
are like hummingbirds circling, always,
hovering above the sole same flower.

But doesn’t love encompass all?
Shouldn’t love give meaning to the rest?
Only the silence answers my questions.
I sit in the sun, dancing in my mind
with the shivering, naked maple
shaken by the winter’s harsh hand.

*              *            *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2010

ancient rite after storm

after the storm, the cars wear snowy cowls
as they line up in a staid procession facing south.
in the choir of this hoary cathedral of winter,
the wind sounds its notes like a raucous organ’s bellow.
the crows chant their hungry, biting carols –
for, somewhere in the neighborhood, a wren
or a mouse or perhaps a squirrel has died.
the crows, vicars of Death, have come
to bury the carcass in their bellies –
black, rumbling,
seemingly far-from-eternal
paradise.

*          *          *

(c) Gregory V Driscoll  2010