Poems

Reminders of the “Good Old Days”

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

[Updated June 30 2013]

gute alte zeit_2.jpg

Soon after their move to San Luis Obispo in 1989, my parents, Lise and Henry Marx, presented Jan and me with a gift they’d been working on for several years: a collection of German proverbs they had learned from their parents and grandparents.

I remember continually hearing these sayings from my earliest childhood until their final days. Each time one was uttered there was a moment of satisfaction”the speaker pleased to have found a way to make familiar sense out of some new experience and the hearer gratified to grasp the connection.  Growing up as a first generation American, I reacted to these old-world pieties with boredom and embarrassment.

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Protected: Father’s Day 2012

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

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Biopsy

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

(for Steve E.)

Sometimes you pass without notice
into a new state
and look back later
and say, “how it’s all changed,
how did it happen?”
And sometimes there’s this:
a teetering on the sharp edge
of everything being different.
And if you go over, sometimes,
gradually you come back.
And if not, then you’re there,
looking around, getting by,
just like here.

Grandparenthood

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Amor vincit omnia
says the Prioress’ golden brooch
in a Middle English prologue
I recited yesterday to my class.
Love conquers all:
all order, constraint, justice
hope and resignation
dissolved
in the assault
of horned buck, spurred cock
and rival knights,
in the swoon of a smitten queen,
in a country parson’s charity.
When offspring wander wayward
with their brood
it herds them home
undaunted.