Old Friends

Return those old friends to me
The ones I went to school with
The ones I played the fool with
The ones I turned cartwheels with
The ones I shrieked and squealed with

Return those old friends to me
The ones I hid in small spaces with
The ones I traveled new places with
The ones I constantly jibed with
The ones I occasionally imbibed with

Return those old friends to me
The ones I was joined at the hip with
The ones I shared details of my courtship with
The ones I dreamed colorful dreams with
The ones I hatched a thousand schemes with

Return those old friends to me
The ones I shaped my identity with
The ones I revealed myself to me with
The ones I didn’t always agree with
The ones I longed always to be with

Return those old friends to me
The ones I can turn a new page with
The ones I can fear my old age with
The ones I can live and die with
The ones to heaven I can fly with

Show Me

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of a village that is just waking up
With plumes of smoke that twist up in a dance
To meet the first rays of the morning sun

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of the fluttering eyelids
Of a child that travels in his dream
To a fantasy land that is his, and his only

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of the gnarled, sweaty face
Of a tired laborer as he rests
From a hard day’s toil, in the shade of a tree

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of a protester’s angry countenance
As she fights for her rights
Against a faceless yet all-powerful state

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of the twinkle in a writer’s eyes
As he smiles, having found just the words
To express the power of his vision

Take me with you
And show me the beauty
Of a world that is brimming with it
Open my tired myopic urban eyes
So I can see that it surrounds me

Any Moment Now*

Any moment now
A pair of new leaves will burst out of a seed
Any moment now
A mama bird will bring a baby bird its first feed

Any moment now
A just-hatched turtle will paddle into a sea she’s never seen
Any moment now
A pupa will liberate a butterfly that is a beauty queen

Any moment now
A newborn baby will wail – her first cry
Any moment now
A little boy will make faces at the mirror, tying his school tie

Any moment now
A young man will declare his love, with stars in his eyes
Any moment now
A couple will hold each other tight, exchanging goodbyes

Any moment now
Someone’s world will change forever
Any moment now
Someone will embark on a lifetime’s endeavor

Any moment now
Your wildest fantasies will come true
Any moment now
A miracle is waiting to happen – just for you

Funk

The sheet is blank
The inkwell is dry
There’s no sound when I talk
No tears when I cry

There’s no mirth when I laugh
No anger when I yell
There’s no wound but I hurt
Why this is, I cannot tell

There’s no spring in my step
No sparkle in my eye
Just a dull thud in my chest
Of a heart that beats, “Why?Why?”

The crushing of your spirit
Is like slow demolition
It saps your creative juices
And robs you of your volition

How long will this funk last
Is it just a matter of time
Will it soon recede into the past
Or will there be no reason left to rhyme

Castles of Sand

I don’t like your poems, she said
They’re the work of a simple mind
I find them so frivolous, she said
I like the timeless kind

I know my poems are simple, I said
I know they’re nothing profound
You want me to build a majestic edifice
And all I’ve built is this little mound

I know they are castles of sand, these songs
When I build them I am happy inside
I know full well they won’t last very long
I know they’ll be gone with the morning tide

All I have to build with are the grains
Of my own simple feelings and emotions
With the little blue pail of my brain
And my single-minded devotion

I shall write my magnum opus some day
For now I am building these mounds of sand
I’m no great architect, just a child at play
But at least I am building them here, on land

The Last Song

I want to sing like
This is the last song I sang
I want my words to ring like
These are the last words that rang

I want to walk like
This is the last mile I walked
I want to talk like
You are the last friend with whom I talked

I want to laugh like
I just heard my last joke
I want to listen like
You are the last person that spoke

I want to sleep like
There’s no tomorrow to wake up to
I want to wake like
It’s the last time I’ll wake up with you

I want to love like
I’ll have you to love again in my next birth
I want to live like
I am living my last day on this Earth

El Dorado

Will the Dow go up today
Or will it go down?
Will I be all smiles today
Or will it end with a frown?

The sun must have risen and set again
Over distant palm fronds
I missed it again – to no great bane
I’m immersed in stocks and bonds

My little boy came up to me
“Daddy, can we play?”
“Son, can’t you see I’m busy
Leave me alone, go away!”

“It’s late dear, please come to bed,”
Implored my darling wife
“Not yet, honey, I’m still in the red,”
Just another day in the life

“Come to tea,” said a friend
“I have no time,” I snapped
Friendships don’t pay a dividend
Their value is strictly capped

Good news! Now I have money
But no wife, family or friends
How things work out, it’s funny
Is this how it all ends?

I let fear and greed take hold
I let it all get out of hand
I let go of the real gold
Now I am sifting sand

El Dorado is a lonely place
Where you lose more than you find
I found the gold, thought I’d won the race
But you know, I lost my mind