July 4th, 2023
Fourth of July Poem


By Donald Justice

Cities burn behind us; the lake glitters.
A tall loudspeaker is announcing prizes;
Another, by the lake, the times of cruises.
Childhood, once vast with terrors and surprises,
Is fading to a landscape deep with distance –
And always the sad piano in the distance,
Faintly in the distance, a ghostly tinkling
(O indecipherable blurred harmonies)
Or some far horn repeating over water
Its high lost note, cut loose from all harmonies.
At such times, wakeful, a child will dream the world,
And this is the world we run to from the world.
Or the two worlds come together and are one
On dark, sweet afternoons of storm and of rain,
And stereopticons brought out and dusted,
Stacks of old Geographics, or, through the rain,
A mad wet dash to the local movie palace
And the shriek, perhaps, of Kane’s white cockatoo.
(Would this have been summer, 1942?)
By June the city always seems neurotic.
But lakes are good all summer for reflection,
And ours is famed among painters for its blues,
Yet not entirely sad, upon reflection.
Why sad at all? Is their wish so unique –
To anthropomorphize the inanimate
With a love that masquerades as pure technique?
O art and the child were innocent together!
But landscapes grow abstract, like aging parents.
Soon now the war will shutter the grand hotels,
And we, when we come back, will come as parents.
There are no lanterns now strung between pines –
Only, like history, the stark bare northern pines.
And after a time the lakefront disappears
Into the stubborn verses of its exiles
Or a few gifted sketches of old piers.
It rains perhaps on the other side of the heart;
Then we remember, whether we would or no.
– Nostalgia comes with the smell of rain, you know.

April 26th, 2023


The mangy fox
From out the wood
Enters my garden.

‘Hardened in heart,’
I note his naked tail
His agony face

‘Like a devil’s sick of sin’

And I say to him

Oh you have outfoxed!
You slink raw grief
Into my garden

And I cannot be hardened.

February 11th, 2023
Found Poetry, in an Addiction Memoir

A passage from Matthew Perry’s book, turned into a poem by your blogeuse.



It was New Year’s Eve in Taos

It was about to be 1996 

I was dating Julia Roberts…  

We played football in the snow all day 

She took my hand and said come with me 

We jumped in a truck and drove up a mountain

Snow swirling around

I had no idea where we were going

We seemed to be heading into the stars

We reached a mountaintop

For a moment the snow cleared

 We could see New Mexico

We could see Canada  

Snow came down it was 1996

December 31st, 2022
Such a too much of a gift.

From New Year’s Song, by Ted Hughes


… Now there come the weak-neck snowdrops

bouncing like fountains and they stop you

they make you take a deep breath

make your heart shake you

such a too much of a gift for such a mean time

nobody knows how to accept them

all you can do is gaze at them baffled

and the worst cold’s to come

December 27th, 2022
Lake of Kari:  After Wordsworth

Like a breeze,
Or sunbeam, over your archive I passed
To a sanctions motion without pause; for ye have left
Your screenshot with me, an insane accord
Of paranoias - massive, and endowed
In their mad viciousness with power as will allow
A gracious, almost might I dare to say,
Virtuous, and profitable, victory.
December 26th, 2022
From Eliot’s The Trump Land

Monsieur Sostrumpis, famous clairvoyant,

Has a mad mind, nevertheless

Is known to be the wisest man in Mar-A-Lago

With a wicked head of hair.  Here, said he,

Are your votes, the stolen eleven thousand.

(Those are nays that were my ayes. Look!)

Here is Giuliani, the Lady on the Rocks,

The lady of situations.

Here is the man with many pillows, and here the Stone,

And here is dead-eyed Bannon, and this card,

Which is classified, is something I carried to Mar-A-Lago

Which I am forbidden to do. I do not find

My favorite daughter. Fear death by treason.

December 25th, 2022


I wander the verse of my betters

Nihilistic priests heartbroken lesbians

Alcoholics from Knoxville and points south

I ask each of them to put their words in my mouth


Brilliant depressives of letters

Nihilistic post-soviet chain-smokers

You run smoke-circles around me when I try

Keeping up with you on the streets around Gansevoort


I wander the streets around Gansevoort 

The meat packers, the High Line, the Whitney

In the same metaphysical melancholy

The same muddled melancholy…  I mean 

Muddled up with so much and yet sayable.

Or at least you say it.  Give me your words and let me say it.

December 13th, 2022
“Cargoes,” by John Masefield and UD

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,

Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,

With a cargo of ivory,

And apes and peacocks,

Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.


Bags of cash from Qataris in cool new flats,

Flying home to Skoufa Street in sunny Kolonak,

With a cargo from Emirates,

With a cargo for real estate.

Toasting secret lobbying with sweet white wine.

December 10th, 2022
Hark, Hark! Jeff Clark

Hark, hark! Jeff Clark, at prison’s gate sings, 

And Eastman ‘gins likewise;

Trump’s team now waters at those springs 

Where Stephen Bannon lies. 

Where Rudy Giuliani is, 

 And Meadows, sweets, doth lie:

Arise, arise.

November 24th, 2022
Lines on Thanksgiving

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

November 8th, 2022


First white, then gray eclipse, with remnant light

Drifting down to a Cheshire grin…

The remnant’s gone, and the full moon

Reddens in dead branches.

The moon’s dark and ruddy, dark enough to let the stars out, sharp,

In a cold city. 

The dead leaf garden, once blanched

By the moon to look like snow,

Starts back in wonder now at the blackness of the night,

Then tries to wait for dawn.


White, gray, red, back to white, and then

From white to vanished in the next day’s light  —

These lunar moods bring in, with ebbing tide,

Remembrance of you. Of your suicide.

August 17th, 2022
Laurence Tribe quotes from a Washington Post piece, and then makes a suggestion.

“The former president’s current legal team includes a Florida insurance lawyer, a past general counsel for a parking-garage company and a former host at far-right One America News.”

Here’s a thought: Why not bring back Alan Dershowitz?


The problem with Tribe’s otherwise excellent idea is that Dershowitz is far too taken up lately with his bombshell lawsuit against the Martha’s Vineyard public library for not inviting him to give talks there. He plans to take down Chilmark Library and its elderly volunteers, and the prep work alone is exhausting.

Dershowitz has tried to explain the priority he’s placing on his library litigation in a poem addressed to Trump, who he knows he has disappointed.


To Doncasta, On Going to War

Tell me not, Don, I am unkind,   
  That from the scumm'ry   
Of thy black breast and insane mind   
  To Chilmark Lib. I fly.   
True, a new lawsuit now I chase,
  'Gainst a modest house where simple books they lend;   
For while it once did me embrace   
  It turned against its one-time friend.   
Forgive my harsh inconstancy, belov'd client, Don!   
  Once I've destroyed the library, and made it shut its door,
I will return to thee, my One,   
  To defend my Love once more.
June 23rd, 2022
Trump’s Yeatsian Valedictory as He Moves to Sweden

I will arise and go now, and go to Ångermanland,
And a vast fortress build there, of rage and madness made;
 None else will I have there -- my world will I command
 And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have my rage there, for rage's wind doth blow,
Blowing from the hearings, from where the RINOs sing;
There Bennie’s all aglimmer, and Jamie's all aglow,
And the transcripts full of Liz’s zings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I see old allies dumping me and smirking more and more;
I know that court awaits me some not too distant day,
I know it in the deep heart’s core.
June 10th, 2022


The evening birds quieten, and now it’s the owl,

And fireflies.  And stars.  And fireflies that somehow,

With their buglight, compete on an even playing

Field with the stars.  These stars are, somehow,

Constellated, and I hear my mother’s ghost saying

I left you my old field guide.  The quiet dark allows

All of her to come inside. She’s clearly conveying

The ease and importance of learning the constellations.

June 3rd, 2022


Is it a foghorn or the wind's
Drone-monotone through a barely open
Sliding door?  What is this kindly view for?
The waves slide out from nowhere in the dew:
No horizon.  No slow ships from Hamburg Süd.

This powerful narcotic compounded for you --
Flat, pastel, gently pulsing day and night
The tidal foam a self-abasing white
And nothing there to break a terrace nap
And nothing there to take your thoughts, and tap

Their shoulders toward the useless and the old.
Dead passions; thoughts of the dead; all gone cold
While you lie temperate and unconcerned
About the super-earth light years away:
"A world that constantly burns."
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