Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Evensongs


The loudspeakers keep 
The message of the liturgy 
Resounding throughout 
The village and even if 
They should want, it is hard 
For those outside the church 
To ignore. Such urgency! 

But there’s more— 

If the wind should blow
Just right towards where 
You’re going about your work, 
With no effort at all you can 
Still hear the crystal-clear voice 
Of a lone shepherdess calling 
Her wayward flock home. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spiritual Cripple's Warped American Dream


Sometimes I dream I never left 
My poor miserable homeland, 
That I never went to the new world 
Where dollars were said to be 
Plentiful as leaves falling 
From trees and all you had 
To do was keep stooped over so 
You could pick them up with ease, 
And where now I dream 
I wake up rich and not deformed 
Beyond my wildest dreams. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Color Blindness of Homeric Proportions


Talking their heads off on the beach 
Till they’re blue in the face, they do not see 

How the wine-dark sea is laughing at them. 


NB: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/hoffman_01_13/

Monday, April 7, 2014

To My Precocious Granddaughter, All of Twenty Months


The only soul who speaks English to you, I wonder 
How much of it will stick in your little head— 

Precious, I hope it doesn’t end up Greek once 
You happen to read my poems after I’m dead. 



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rubberstamped


Come to think of it, 
I like my poems so much 
I don’t even have to read them. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brave New World, 1948


Maiden voyage making my way 
To the new world, so naïve 
At four I didn’t know what 
To make of an ice cream when 
It was handed to me on deck 
By the first black man I’d ever seen. 

Standing frozen there next to mom, 
I held on to it and her and watched 
It melting as I mustered the courage 
To move to the railing and throw it away— 
I still don’t know what flavor it was 
I was casting away. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poetries in Motion


From a distance I can see 

(The two brothers close 
To one another, the older 
One striding briskly, the younger 
Backwards, trying hard 
To keep pace, both 
Mouths animated, moving in 
What may or may not be) 

Unison.