Sunny Conakry

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4.5 Sunny Conakry

I’m ready for the coming dark
When the power goes away
For here in sunny Conakry
It’s out most of the day

I’ll sit out in my wooden chair
And listen to the sea
I’ll watch the garbage ride the tide
In sunny Conakry

Oh happy day
Oh finery
It’s all ok
In Conakry

I’m ready for the Mad Max dawn
When the highways have gone bad
For here in sunny Conakry
Driving’s always mad

I’ll ride my little car along
As careful as can be
I’ll choke down smoke till I get home
In sunny Conakry

Oh sunny day
(Humidity)
It’s just that way
In Conakry.

Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main

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Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Was a saltwater woman in soul
Yet within the timbers of her heart
Rested a peculiar hole

Now, Jovial Jane of the Spanish Man
Had a very fine feathered hat.
She sent her foes to the briny depths
(But never harmed dog nor cat).

And Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Had a Damascus steel blade so light
She could the cut the heart out of a scurvy knave
Before even starting to fight.

Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Feared naught but the squall and reef
And woe to the wind or sandy shoal
That brought her ship to grief.

Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Sat in the crow’s nest above
And wondered if maybe the thing she was lacking
Was someone to trust and to love

So Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Picked up her compass and steel
Her fine feathered hat she set on her head
And planted her feet at the wheel.

Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Never stop sailing the blue
Because Jovial Jane of the Spanish Main
Was always looking for you.

Small Realizations: A Sonnet

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Dappled sunlight white and yellow fell
Upon my couch with pillows orange and blue,
And I resplendent in this cozy spell
Thought lightly about life and what I do.
I am one who crossed the great wide sea,
Who lives a life away from what is known.
I shrugged off comfort and complacency
And left for foreign shores and foreign towns.
In truth I did not give these musings strength
(A Sunday morning is best spent in rest)
I sent them off with tea until at length
One tiny thought sat heavy in my chest:
How have I crossed the world and lived by chance
Yet never once have I been asked to dance?

No joke! I was just sitting there, on my couch, thinking about nothing in particular, when it occurred to me that I have never been asked to dance.

Wait…

I think I was asked to dance when I was in seventh grade? SEVENTH. GRADE. Oh my God, what happened? I make light of it in this sonnet, but that is ridiculous!

Haikus: In Yokohama

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In Yokohama
The bats dive spinning for bugs
The spiders hold still

In Yokohama
Umbrellas are art pieces
When the sun is out

In Yokohama
Fish is cheap and plentiful
Cheese is exotic

In Yokohama
The shadow of Tokyo looms
Urban tsunami

Cosmopolitan
Brushing up against the shore
In Yokohama

The Union Station Courtyard

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A man strums a ukelele.
It’s a soft and sturdy tune.
His white service dog works hard at not being distracted by the wild sparrows fighting over discarded pastry.
To his own music, a boy runs under the jacaranda trees.
He’s been told to catch one on his head.
Something about Canadian mythology.
Purple blooms fall sporadic and soft,
like the strains of music
casually edging the corners of the courtyard,
mixing with the single spout fountain
underscoring the reprimands of hungry birds.
Away, inside, commuters pace, buy, sleep.
Out here the contented vagabonds waiting
For the next train to arrive.
The boy leaps high, his nose touching a falling flower.
Calling this triumph, he sits beside me
And asks if I was watching.

Another Ditty Made up While Driving

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Another Ditty Made up While Driving

(Sung as an upbeat gospel style/ soul song, after being stuck behind a man who seemed very confused by the act of driving)

I keep on driving/ On down that road
I keep on going/ On down that road
You take to turning/ ‘Cause we both know
You don’t know where/ you want to go

The road is dusty/ The road is long
So I keep singing/ My driving song
Over bridges and mountains/ On to the sea
On the road eternal/ is where I’ll be

I keep on driving/ on down that road
I keep on going/ On down that road
We take to turning/ cause we both know
The road will take us/ where we need to go

The road it brings me/ just what I need.
The road is sets my/ poor spirit free
The good Lord gave me/ the winding road
His spirit leads me/ where I need to go.

I keep on driving/ On down that road
I keep on going/ On down that road
I don’t mind turning/ for I do know
The road will take me/ where I want to go.

Yes, the road will take me/ where I want to go

Train Travel

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It’s nice to travel on a train.
It helps to see the breadth of the land,
Witness the gradual shifts from slum cities
To barren fields just sparking with new green,
From flat expanses that let you see the whole horizon
To mountains that barely let you see around the bend
And only offer the sky as an outlet.
A train allows you to unfold the earth in front of you.
Planes give you the glorious earthly perspective,
But a train stretches you from sea to shining sea
That you might see all the hamlets and cow towns
The forgotten mines, the many VFW buildings,
And mix husks of cars, graffiti, and playgrounds
With hawks, antelopes, and thunderstorms.
A train gently rattles you through invisible prejudices,
Makes plain that there is no such thing as red or blue
When the fields roll on to the bright and crashing ocean.
It’s nice to travel on a train.