Grief   Saturday, April 18, 2020



of a certain age,

my age,

to be specific,

live with the taste

of grief on the back of their tongue

every day,




of every day spent

grieving the loss

of family, friends, acquaintances



between the realm of friend

and stranger,

the loss

of times

of places

of moments


in the dead of night

pushing away


lost again the next morning,

a flash of my son

in the sunshine

in the park by the bay,



the girl I should have kissed

in the Baltimore airport

before we parted

on different planes

to different places,


when I lost the moment

when I could have been

a better man,

the times

when loss comes with fury,

when I pass

a clear-cut hillside

and I grieve

for the meadow I never saw

but know used to be there,

the animals

large and small

who used to live there,

and I grieve

for all the clear-cut meadows

and forests and the scrapping away

of the world

for greed and dominance

and I burn

with the grief of destruction

and despoliation…


so many past losses

large and small, and

the grief of it…

and now the coming grief

when this world seizure


and we return to the world

and begin to survey

our new losses,


and small

and the grief of it

This is another White Castle "slider" version, short and sweet. As with the past two posts, continuing problems with posting has required this to be only minimally edited as to appearance and content.



dream weaver

first robin of spring, takes 1 and 2

Robert Hass

A Note on Iowa City: “Early April”


algebra I

fresco on the other side of sunset

back to page 1

Wistlawa Szymborska

Thank You Note


girl in the coffeehouse with friends

the girl in white stockings

big news

dream weaver

the boy
in the yellow
with dark
looks for the girl
in the yellow
with broad brown
and hair
and flowing

he dreamed
of her last night
and knows
will soon dream
of him

first robin of spring, takes 1 and 2

bad weatherman version

on the
porch today
chill winds
extended stay

good weatherman version

on the porch
sleeping dogs
extended stay

This piece is by Robert Hass from his book, Sun Under Wood, published by the ECCO Press in 1996.

A Note on “Iowa City: Early April”

The raccoon stared down from the crotch of a tree.

a dark night, icy in the early spring

“This naturalist I admire,” I said, “says that every species

lives in its own sensory world.”

The raccoon stared down; he was silent.

“He also said that we may come to know enough about the human

     brain to diagnose and correct for the deformations

Imposed by evolution on the human senses

     and arrive at something like objective truth.”

The raccoon was silent.

“Maybe,” I volunteered, “they can do something about a raccoon


He might have been thinking, “deformed from what?”

     but I don’t think so, he was silent.

He might have been trying to discern

     under the odor of garlic and rosemary on my fingers,

and under the smell of oatmeal soap under that,

     the smell of sex from a sweet hour when we lay down and the

     snow fell in quick flurries

in the early afternoon; he may have been smelling toward

     some distant cousin to the smell that is pistil and stamen

from which flowers the raccoon-universe.

Maybe that, but I don’t know. The raccoon is silent.

He might have been studying an enemy,

     he might simply have been curious,

but I don’t know.

So I entered the silence, and was glad to be in for a while,

     knowing I couldn’t stay.

It smelled like snow and pine and the winter dark,

     though it was my silence, not his,

          and there was nothing there.

                                                    For E. O. Wilson

algebra I

I remember
my algebra teacher
in 1959
writing equations
on the blackboard,
her back to the class

at least 40 years old,
ancient, still,
the most perfectly

fresco on the other side of sunset

a ridge of low
as cotton candy
against billows
of virgin white

above the
clouds, a

back to page 1

he's teaching chess
to a little Indian girl
and I'm wondering
if he knows what he's
doing because he's
been talking for an hour
and nobody's touched
a chess piece yet

reminds me of the
little league coach
Chris had when he
was about ten
years old - the kids
did nothing but
catch grounders
for the first three
practices -
the coach said,
no use doing anything
until they know
the fundamentals
and the most fun-
damental element
of baseball is catching
the ball - so that's
what they did and never
saw a baseball diamond
until a week before their
first game, which they
lost, but by god they
caught every
goddamn ball that
came their way

it takes courage
to go back to the
to unlearn all the
wrong things learned
so well through practice

it's unsettling
to be a beginner
to see ourselves
as the bumbler
we've learned
so well to be

This poem is by the great Polish Nobel Prize winner, Wistawa Szymborska, from her book Poems, New and Collected, published in 1998 by Harcourt. My previous poet, Robert Hass called her at the time of publication of her book, “Unquestionably one of the greatest living European poets. Though no expert on European poets living or dead, I do love her the clarity and directness of her work.

Thank You Note

I owe so much

To those I don’t love.

The relief as I agree

That someone else needs the more.

The happiness that I’m not

The wolf to their sheep.

The peace I feel with them,

The freedom –

Love can neither give

Nor take that.

I don’t want for them,

As in window-to-door-and-back.

Almost as patient

As a sundial,

I understand

what love can’t,

and forgive

as love never would.

From a rendezvous to a letter

is just a few days or weeks,

not an eternity.

Trips with them always go smoothly,

concerts are heard,

cathedrals visited,

scenery is seen.

And when seven hills and rivers

come between us,

the hills and rivers

can be found on any map.

They deserve the credit

if I live in three dimensions,

in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space

with a genuine, shifting horizon.

They themselves don’t realize

how much they hold in their empty hands.

“I don’t owe them a thing,”

would be love’s answer

to this open question.

girl at the coffeeshop with friends

about her slight
and presses her lips
over and over

gives her
a little chipmunk

but when she
it’s like
the curtains
in a sickroom
sunlit day
to the gloom
and her eyes
pick up that
and it dances
above her

the girl in white stockings

the girl
in white stockings
swings her leg,
her unshod foot,
perfectly arched
like a metronome


on a snowy field
bright December sun

in a white room
white walls
thick white carpet


big news

prehistoric bird

no sign yet
of companion

I appreciate hearing from readers. Although they do not appear here, your comment,, if you choose to make them is available to me. So feel free to pass on any reaction, comments, or opinions by clicking on the "comment" button below.

As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me

Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and a not so diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad


New Days & New Ways

Places and Spaces 

Always to the Light

Goes Around Comes Around

Pushing Clouds Against the Wind

And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio

Seven Beats a Second


Sonyador - The Dreamer


  Peace in Our Time


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