Slow Lane   Saturday, November 07, 2020


slow lane

it's 10:30,
the movie we want to see this week
starts at noon so we have
some time to kill

I've had my breakfast, the multiple coffees
needed to set the world back to
its proper rotation,
and the Sunday morning pleasure
of both my local paper and The Times, slowly read...

Dee just out the door for a walk
and some window shopping,
and me, here, with this...
making me think, as writing a poem
always makes me think...

this time about how much pleasure there is
in these slow Sunday mornings
and how happy I am I not hung-over as so often
I used do be because of the way Sunday morning
always followed the self-abuse of Saturday night

All  of my poems for this post are from my eBook, Always to the Light, available at a very reasonable price wherever eBooks are sold.

Here they are.

Here and Now
Slow Lane


slow lane
an atheist's prayer
Old John's looking kind of worn these days
last week
never argue
red balloon




peas in our time
no days off
fat man dancing

Lucille Clifton

a visit to Gettysburg


January 1, 2009
a lesson
tiny little girl drinks her juice
window shopping
attack of the 50-foot woman
deep summer

an atheist's prayer

send me to the fire
naked as the day I came

sear from me this 
corrupting flesh

release me into the sky,
pale smoke of me drifting
where the winds might blow,
letting me fall
on some rocky field
where I might become a part
of something new,
bits of me, and some day you,
and all creation that comes,
then goes, the cycle
of me and you and all the rest
repeated again
and again and again
unto the end


Old John's looking kind of worn these days

at 82 he's looking
not a day over 70, but
that's a good 5 years older
than he looked a year ago

it might be the hat
or the relaxed fit jeans

old men
should not wear
relaxed fit jeans, makes
them look like they
forgot their asses at home
when they set out in the morning,
demonstrating strong perception
of two symptoms of aging in me

and memory loss

I wrote this six or so years ago, a history of the time.

last week

the lady says
the CIA lied to her
and people who claim intelligence say
they find that idea very hard to believe...

the Dungeon Keeper-Darth Master
former vice-president goes on TV to complain
that the new guys are messing up all the good work he did,
his former boss wisely cuts his brush and keeps his mouth shut

the bishops
want to boycott the president, suffering,
as he does,
the anti-Catholic vice of intelligence
and the anti-Christian arrogance of seeking to exercise it

a university in the great white state of Arizona
refuses to honor that same president
because he hasn't picked his quota of cotton yet

in the great armed state of Texas 
time runs out on legislation that would have allowed
every student at a state university
to come to school in the morning with guy in hand,
validation of the foresight of the writers
of the Texas Constitution, who, trusting politicians
even less than we do now, restricted their opportunities
for mischief to just 180 days every two years

state employees who must make sense
of these biannual sessions think half the 180 
would be time enough and even less would be better

such a week

and now a weekend to prepare for another one
just like

never argue

never argue with passionate people
who are large and muscular
with a network of scars on their knuckles

who have a black belt in Karate
and various other Asian schools of mayhem

who have a weapon at hand and know how
to use it

who know the password to you online bank

who are so drunk they are beyond
the sensation of pain

who were not as drunk as you were
at the last office party and have the photos
to prove it

who remember what you said about your wife
when you were in high school and about
to ask her for a date

these are hard-learned lessons I pass on to you

and I recommend them to you

red balloon

little boy in a shopping cart
says to his mother as she pushes down the aisle

he's still my dad, right?
and I still love him, right?

my mind is a-crush with sad stories, 
none sadder than this, I think,
and I imagine pain radiating
from that cart,
across time, across generations,
the world's pain that is a red balloon
filling a little more, the world's pain
an angry balloon near to bursting

Next, several randomly selected haiku by Chiyo-ni, from the collection, Chiyo-ni. Woman Haiku Master, published in 1998 by Tuttle Publishing.

Born in 1703, Chio-ni became familiar with poetry, calligraphy, and painting at a very early age as her family was in the scroll- making business and in the end became Japan's most celebrated female haiku poet. 

The book, with translation by Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi, is the first book of a haiku poet published in English.

the moon's shadow
also pauses -
cherry-blossom dawn

wrapped around
this world's flower -
hazy moon

the shimmering haze
the wet stone

everything I pick up
is alive -
ebb tide

the frog observes
the clouds

Death Poems

clear water is cool
fireflies vanish -
there is nothing more

I also saw the moon
and so I say goodbye
to this world

peas in our time

dinner last night
at Grissini's'

penne pasta
with some kind of orangish
tiny pieces of ham, mushrooms
& peas

the peas did it for me
since peas are my second favorite vegetable -
peas & corn being my favorite

someone mentioned that it was strange,
my liking peas so much, 
since no one was eating peas anymore

that's hardly a surprise to me
since the world slips into further decline
with every passing day

no days off

a cool
and sunny
Sunday morning,
time to take the family
out for a walk
before the chores of the day begin

a stop-off for coffee and fresh apple juice

I see them out front at an outside table,
mom and dad and three little girls
and their pup
who watches each coming and going,

ever alert -

no days off in the family protection 

fat man dancing

fat man
dancing, throwing
his arms to the 
sky -

the kind
of bright autumn day
that sort of thing

This poem is by Lucille Clifton, from her book, good woman: poems and a memoir, 1969-1980. The book was published by BOA Editions Limited in 1987.

Born in New York, Clifton taught in numerous colleges and universities and achieved honors as a poet
and fiction writer including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, an Emmy Award, writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland.

a visit to Gettysburg

I will 
touch stone
yes i will
teach white rock to answer
yes i will
walk in the wake
of the battle sir
while the hills
and the trees
and teh guns watch me
a touchstone
and i will rub
"where is my black blood
and black bone?"
and the grounds
and the graves
will throw off they clothes
and touch stone
for this touchstone

January 1, 2009

sun came up this morning -
same one as yesterday

went out to my car
into the street

passed a pile of leaves
beside the driveway

same car as last year,
same street, 
same leaves blown into our yard
by the neighbor's yardman
as well

drove to Jim's for coffee
and morning papers

very familiar,
like I'd been there before,
finished my coffee and drove home

almost ran over a squirrel that ran across the street
and up a tree -
same tree,
different squirrel

change -
the best part of a new year

a lesson

would you like to learn
a lesson in the transience of things

try going home again to from whence you came

you will learn that special places
are not so special anymore

and neither are you

tiny little girl drinks her juice

little girl
waits for mom
to finish her morning phone call
 who knows

and stories
abound in our every day world

tiny girl
drinks from her juice box,
straw never leaving her mouth,
eyes above the straw
like small blue diamonds,
blue ice
beneath bright blond curls.
survey the room,
eyes like a blue flame
watching every thing,
every body

mysteries and stories
abound in here everyday world

window shopping

morning walk around the square,
notice the sign in the Gap store window,
40% off everything, it said

and I'm thinking,
40% off everything...
I ought to go in and buy

but remembering where I was,,
remembering the Gap store
doesn't sell anything that doesn't
make fat old men look even more ridiculous

than they, by nature, already are

A good movie from the fifties that was good, but could easily have been better.

attack of the 50-foot woman

enjoyed the movie,
and, being 14 years old,
the idea
of the scarily magical girls I knew
growing to 50-feet wasn't something
I could rule out

but the idea that their clothes
would grow with them
did not seem reasonable to me,
imagining, in my festering little mind,
how it would be such a much better, more realistic, movie
if they did not

deep summer

cracks the window,
falls across the tile floor
in bright shards of deep summer

blue sky promises another day
of cinders

GOOD NEWS - the "comment"  function is working again after several years when it did not.

I'd love to have feedback from readers, about the blog, about the poems or pictures, favorite recipes from your old dearly departed Aunt Herminia, or anything else on your mind.

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, iBook store, 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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