Auld Lang sign here, please

Resolving, revolving
promises
made, kept, broken
a yearly event
spontaneously
preordained

commitments
utterly devoid of
promissory intent,
overflowing
self-mockery filling
all potholes on
the poorly paved
road to hell

Resolving, revolving
nothing stays the same
but the yearly
promises to change
though attitudes
ingrained
leave revelatory
mandates estranged

new year, old refrain

Third day

no hens French, partridge,
doves. Lover’s budget limit:
dinner, KFC

Yuletide Evenings

It’s the week before Christmas
as I sit in my chair
watching DVD fireplace-flames
licking video air

the room engulfed with sounds
of the season; beloved vinyl (old 33’s)
plus trusty cassettes, brand new CDs

crackling logs, favorite carols and
traditional tunes; the real meaning
of Christmas, humorous ones, too;

Of Rudolph and Frosty!
Bells silver and sleigh!
Shepherds and drummer boys
showing us the way!

All there in my easy chair, dog nestled
in at my side, the glow of our tree,
with thoughts of Christmases gone by

I can’t help but be filled with fresh
holiday cheer as Christmas invigorates
happens every year

It’s not just the memories, but
anticipation, too! For each Christmas
brings moments memorably new

But here in my living room,
my comfortable chair, I need something
I can’t get any other time of the year

I snuff out the fire, with a click of
the remote; I need something more now,
something with snow

White Christmas the choice, great
holiday fare, catch a few classic
numbers, then move on from there

Crosby and Clooney singing Irving Berlin
the week before Christmas; ringing it in

It’s a Wonderful Life, sentiment with
which I concur; then its A Christmas Story,
a boy and the b.b. gun he prefers

(nobody gets his eye shot out, contrary
to appearance) but tears always fall
whenever we hear ‘Attaboy, Clarence.’

My old holiday friends come and
join me each night; the dog and I
sit, she sleeps and shares my delight

On Frosty! On Ralphie!
On Rudolph and Hermie!
We cheer for George Bailey!
And for Linus’ speech with
Charlie Brown’s orphan tree!

On to 34th street, the miracle always
triumphs; for more weighty fare, we
have Ebenezer’s “Humbug!” harumphs.

The Grinch sees his heart grow, Scrooge
does as well; but which ‘Carol’ to choose?
Sim and Scott both excel

As the evening winds down, we rekindle the
fire; visitors gone now, time to retire

But before I settle down for a nice winter’s
nap, a few more carols, dog asleep in my lap

Before dousing the fire, unplugging the
tree,our home is quiet as it ever can be

Bedtime inventory, as we pass through
the house; familial artifacts from the
past; handmade and hand-me-downs, made
of cardboard and glass

And y grandmother’s Julenissen – impish
elf far older than me, winks as he skis
with his gifts ‘neath our tree

There are ornaments commemorating
events from our lives; children, now a new
grandson, we’re always adding more prizes

My dog stands at my side now, patiently
watching with wonder; her look says
‘It’s bedtime, I’ve covers to get under!’

But she’ll hear me whisper as we
kill the last lights; tomorrow’s
another old Christmas friends night.

Perceptions

Old man sits alone
park bench, chill wind
stainless steel walker
appears to cage him in

captivity in the outdoors

The man twitches oddly,
erratically, ever more
violently, piquing concern
tinged curiosity;

Parkinson’s, perhaps?
Some other disorder?
Should I call 911?

Presuming my assistance
I walk his way, stop short;

beatific smile not evident
from my original vantage,
what appears at first glance
a hearing aid is an ear bud,
hooked to an iPod, dangling
from the same lanyard as
his medical alert pendant

Moments ago, his prim,
gray fedora seemed askance
in my alarm, but now I see
is simply cocked jauntily,
the nervous twitch on the
walker bar is simply keeping
the beat to a groove I never,
in my ignorance, considered

most monochromatically not

I’ve never seen the world
in quaint, stark black and white
even as a child, vivid shades
of gray were crystal clear

I have always seen life for what
it really is; unnamed, unruly tints
and hues both opaque and austere

seeing life as purely black-and-white
takes a special color blindness that
I did not inherit via nature or nurture

in the life-box of sixty-four Crayolas
the cylinder labeled ‘Ambiguous’ is
neither a shade of black nor hue of white
and gray is simply the most realistic arc
on color spectrum, the crayon always
in pieces in the box, broken from overuse,
flattened on one side from all the shading

Mental matinee

Less frequently but with far more
purpose, much sharper focus than
my younger, more myopic days

my workday mind meanders from
the daily mundane to stray to
tantalizing, sometimes R-rated
thoughts, possibilities for later

cerebral erotica starring my oh-so-
vixenish-after-twenty-years wife

My mind’s eye squints to concentrate
on the unfolding cinematic epic in my
head when I abruptly utter aloud a
wariness to ‘still be able to do that’
to the quizzical stare of a co-worker

While my mind goes where it always
has, reality makes a bar-close hook-up
with regrettably lowered expectations

‘Bang. Bangbangbang.’

Middle age and being a
grandfather for the first time
finds me going back and
looking forward

reflecting on past errors,
omissions, miscalculations
and major ‘oopsies’ in

hand-mirror over-the-shoulder
Annie Oakley sharpshooter-style

without the gift of an eagle eye
or benefit of practicing good aim
I happily fire away

savor

egg nog (with nutmeg);
ambrosia for us mortals.
holiday manna