Thursday, September 24, 2009


Some Poetry

I claim to be a poet. Not a good poet, mind you; just a poet. A friend who is a poet told me that a poem is a poem if the person who composed it says it is a poem. It isn't necessarily a good poem. I will present here, from time to time, samples of my poetry. You may decide for yourselves whether they are good or bad poems.

In memory of my wife

My wife was like a part of me;
I hear her voice in memory.
I sometimes think she calls me now
with voice so sweet and gentle.
She calls to tell me it’s time to sleep.
She calls to tell me it’s time to eat.
She calls for help when she can’t get up
Or when the slot machines have given her luck.

My mind’s divided between two worlds.
In one she lives, in one she doesn’t.
One is past and can’t be entered.
The other is the one in which I am
Condemned to spend the rest of my lonely life.
I cry as I write this.
Rabieb, does your spirit know my loneliness?
Does your spirit know my love?
Does your spirit know or even care
About the world in which you no longer live?
About the husband left behind, alone, lost, sad?

We can not know the future
But we must enter it anyway.
We know the past
But we can not get it back.
I wish you were here in person, alive,
And lively, ready to go on walks with me;
Ready to work in the garden;
Ready to pull weeds, squash ants, kill snails;
Ready to join me at a favorite restaurant;
Ready to join me in watching a movie;
Ready to travel with me.
This is my wish, my impossible wish.

[May 12, 2008]

When I leave my house and home, I leave behind my treasures:
Photos of my children, my parents, their parents, other relatives and friends;
Records of my savings, stocks, funds, bank accounts;
My history: my diary, my memoirs, that are both still unfinished;
Other possessions: clothes, keepsakes, memorabilia, gifts from dear friends
That are at the same time priceless and worthless.
These are some of the things I leave behind
When I leave my house and home.

When I return, the house is just as it was when I left.
All the treasures still intact and in place, just where I remember them to be.
Records are in the file cabinets and in notebooks.
The diary and memoirs are on computer disks and in part in notebooks.
The clothes are still hanging in the closets or lying in dresser drawers.
The keepsakes are on their shelves, patiently waiting my return and my appreciation.
The priceless and worthless gifts are still in their places.
I would not sell them for any price, and no one would pay me a penny for the lot.
These are the things that wait for my return to house and home.

My soul lives comfortably in my body and mind.
It isn’t a perfect body or mind, but it suits the soul.
The soul inhabits my mind just as I inhabit my home and house.
It’s not a perfect house, but it suits me. I am used to it.
When I leave home, I leave behind my treasures, but I take their memory with me.
My poor soul, though, doesn’t have that luxury.
When the soul finally leaves the body, it’s because the mind is dead.
The mind is the repository of the treasures of the soul
The memories, happy and sad, peaceful and frightening.
When the mind dies, these treasures also die.
The soul can not take any of them with it when it leaves
And it can not return. Instead, it must wander, perhaps,
not knowing who it was or whose body it inhabited.
It is a lost soul.
August, 2004

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