Monday, April 16, 2018

the traveler

a weary traveler walks down a lonely road to a deserted garden.

where are you going, o traveler, and why are you so weary?

i am weary because i have traveled a long way, and because i am lonely.

why are you lonely, o traveler? i see a light in the distance. perhaps it an inn or a pub, you could retreat to its cozy warmth and rub elbows with your fellow creatures, consume a warm or cold beverage as your fancy suits you, perhaps share your thoughts on politics or art or philosophy or religion.

such things are not for me, i walk alone. alone, always alone.

night is falling, o traveler, are you not afraid of losing your way?

i have already lost my way, a long time ago.

the moon is rising, o traveler, perhaps it will light your way.

i have no way - no way except to doom.

look at this deserted garden, traveler, does it remind you of happier days?

no, not of happier days, but of all i ever loved.

and what might that have been?

the flowers.

ah, the flowers, always the flowers.

yes, the flowers that bloomed, the flowers that never bloomed, the flowers that were cut and placed in vases, that were displayed in lit windows, the flowers that blew away, that blew away in the dust, even as i….

ah, poor traveler, i will delay you no longer.

the flowers that blew away, that blew away in the dust, even as i….

Saturday, April 14, 2018

the stranger

by manfred corrington sternwall

i was born to rule the earth
but nobody noticed it at first
and treated me as just another
anonymous little earthly brother

my early years were filled with woe
i had no place much to go
it should come as no surprise
my brain was streamed with endless lies

how i waited for the day
when i could stand up and say
i have had enough - hereafter
you shall be pupils - i shall be master

the years went by- i was assigned
my place in society’s waiting line
i expected as i grew older
for the world to tap me on the shoulder

and say, you should not be here
there is some mistake, i fear
you are not number 21,876,943,501
you are the child of the sun

the years disappear in the breeze
but somehow nobody sees
will they never learn?
must again and again i return?

Monday, April 9, 2018

thomas and samantha

thomas and samantha lived for many years in the house left to them by their parents, attended by a painfully small number of servants.

they were both creatures of routine.

every morning samantha would come down to breakfast before thomas, and when thomas finally arrived, she would say to him,

“good morning, thomas. if you have nothing to say, please do not say anything.”

and thomas would nod, pick up his coffee cup and his copy of the times, and say nothing.

then one day, shortly after a war had ended, samantha made her usual statement, and themes responded,

“yes, i have something to say.”

“oh? and what is it that you have to say, thomas?”

“that you would look nicer if you smiled.”

“really? well, thank you so much for that astute observation.”

and they both resumed their breakfast.

thomas never again broke his silence at the table.

after a number of years samantha died of pneumonia during a bitter winter, and thomas followed her in the spring, of a heart attack which he had never attempted to forestall through healthy living.

they were both buried in the garden they had loved so well, though thomas had perhaps loved it a bit more than samantha.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

ask for mr black and tell him you are feeling blue

johnny had a number
he kept it in his head
he decided to play it every day
until he was rich or dead

danny stood on the corner
and took down johnny’s number
with a philosophy of life
danny was not encumbered

johnny had a number
and danny took it down
eddie wore a hat of straw
and was a man about town

florence wore a girdle
to keep her tummy flat
edna sat in the window
and did not approve of that

harry drive a taxicab
in order to pay the rent
joe remembered doris
and wondered where she went

sometimes i sit in the darkness
and ponder what to think
but my pencil has no lead
and my printer has no ink

Friday, January 19, 2018


hitler was a bad person
stalin was a family man
bismarck was a man of the people
and drank his beer from a can

mao wore pink pajamas
and slept all afternoon
churchill ran around naked
whistling a happy tune

roosevelt liked the ladies
and watched them through his pince-nez
the kaiser was always a gentleman
i don’t care what anyone says

ronald reagan studied the stars
to determine what to do
margaret thatcher sat by the river
singing the weary blues

richard nixon did crossword puzzles
and often fell down drunk
boris yeltsin wore funny hats
and wished he was a monk

they all drank tea with honey
and ate croissants with flaky crusts
now their memoirs are forgotten
and their empires have turned to dust

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

bob and bill and brad

a guy named bob and a guy named bill
lived in a shack on top of a hill
they were watched by a guy named brad
whose binoculars were all he had

brad kept an eye on bill and bob
because it was his job
he watched their actions ebb and surge
and a certain pattern emerged

bill had the upper hand
and abused bob to beat the band
bob did all the work
and bill claimed all the perks

this went on for about a year
and brad began to fear
there was nothing more to see
in this here territory

brad was ready to move on
and then awoke at dawn
at the shack he took one last glance
and what should he see by chance

but bob pounding on bill!
suddenly the air grew still
brad looked on with surprisement
as bob gave bill his chastisement

from then on bob was king
and bill was the underling
bob cut bill no slack
and watched the sunset with his feet on bill’s back

brad made out his report
and tried to keep it short
had everything changed?
or were they still the same?

brad looked out at the sky
white clouds drifted by
somewhere a child scraped its knee
and a bird sang in a tree

Saturday, December 30, 2017

i remember

i remember the good old days
the old fashioned ways
when a dog was a dog and a cat was a cat
and nobody had a problem with that

i remember mr jones’s store
it isn’t there any more
i remember old mr jones
with his twinkling eyes and creaking bones

i remember old mrs jones
scooping and molding ice cream cones
the nickel for the cone burned a hole in my pants
the screen door banged and the shadows danced

i remember charlie chan
in a double feature with tarzan
w c fields with his thumbs in his vest
and john wayne riding through the west

i remember stoves with coal
and swimming in the old swimming hole
a dog named bud who came when you called
and the full moon shining over it all

i would give your information age
with its trillions of bytes of hate and rage
its temples of steel and towers of glass
to see bud running through the tall green grass