Contemplations, Love, Poetry, Prose, Reflections, Social Commentary

YOU’RE SO COOL

“You’re so cool” she says, sipping her vodka martini

and smiling seductively into my eager eyes

“How cool?” I wonder as I stumble home alone

A few days later I find out on Facebook

 I am as cool as stale beer

on a cold day in Seattle

Contemplations, Justice, Love, Nature, Poetry, Prose, Reflections, Social Commentary

TO THE GRADUATING CLASS

Turn of the century siblings

weaned on virtual reality 

and a high-tech breast—

buffeted by bubbles

on Wall Street and endless

unwinnable wars waged 

by patriots and profiteers—

We salute you!

and challenge you 

to rescue Mother Earth

from Global Warming

and the powers that be

in Washington D.C.— 

We Black and Brown Power

Women’s Liberation 

Peace & Love 

Baby Boomers

stand before you 

bowed and bruised 

by selling ourselves

to Reaganomics          

and Casino Capitalism

Forgive us

our betrayal

of Martin and his Dream—

and you become

The Beloved Community

 paz y amor

Contemplations, Love, Poetry, Prose, Reflections, Social Commentary

TED JOANS

NON-CHRONOLOGICAL 

One Sunday while strolling in Seattle’s Pioneer Square

I run into the aging bohemian poet, Ted Joans

sitting with his Canadian sweetheart at an outdoor café

on cobblestones, chatting between sips of coffee

I last saw Ted at the Beat Conference in Greenwich Village

sitting alone in the amphitheater’s upper section 

while I stood at the podium  reciting BLACK POW-WOW 

and  Allen Ginsberg was frowning in the front row

because Amiri Baraka didn’t cross the bridge  

Ted invites me to sit down and introduces me to

his blossoming rose petal whose smile warms

me like melting honey on wheat toast

Now I know what Ted meant when he told me 

years ago in Paris that he is “non-chronological”

Contemplations, Justice, Nature, Poetry, Prose, Reflections, Social Commentary

TALEQUAH

I am a native son of the Pacific Northwest

born in Seattle’s Swedish hospital

baptized in glacier cooled Lake Washington

raised in the wild with mountain goat, cougar

deer, brown bear and marmot

home fed on the word made fish:

trout, salmon and sturgeon

My Vision Quest began in Olympic rain forest

and misty Cascade mountain range

where I meet my black grandfather

sharecropper from Mississippi

Washington pioneer 

meditating on the summit of Mt. Takhoma 

with Chief Sealth, savior of white settlers seeking 

a new life in ancient Northwest woods 

on the sacred waters of the Salish nation

I delight in sunlight dancing like diamonds

on rippling surface of Dalco Passage

where man meets his maker and makes amends

I witness the Blue Heron standing on one leg 

in stunning shallow water

then darting to spear a fish that slips down

her graceful and flexible neck

into her feathery full belly

The ferry crosses Puget Sound in twilight

as currents pace the passage of sun and moon

tiny swallows swoop in from sea nesting in nearby alders

At low tide clams squirt from beneath the barnacled

rocks and wet sand 

At dusk honking Canadian geese cruise close by 

marauding raccoons squealing on the hillside behind

the hot tube where Carlos smokes his Cohiba

I drink my Columbia River wine as smoke rises

from campfire drifting into gathering clouds

At sunrise the ferry idles between log pilings 

as I sit on the bridge of mother ship sailing 

into the wind as currents carry me away from land 

and loved ones to the open sea