Nov 20, 2013

A few days after he died my father sent me a message. It arrived through a family friend named Ulrich who for years would drop by my father’s house to have a drink and play backgammon.  This was 25 years ago. Ulrich always wore a school-boy blazer and an ascot; he’d once been a Broadway actor and appeared in several musicals. Later, he became a horticulturist. He married my father’s long time literary agent, Lea, and eventually they left Hollywood for a secluded life up the coast, in the foothills above a place called Zuma Beach. They had a fabulous garden, and occasionally we’d drive up for the afternoon to see it, and also to have a ‘Martini Bugler’, which Ulrich named after the Scarlet Bugler you find in the chaparral of the coastal mountains. He would give you a chilled glass, plunk in a huge red Moroccan olive, and then like a priest at the rail mumble, “This is my body of the New Testament given for you and for many, for the pleasure of our sins….” A couple of those Buglers and you were done. Afterwards, we’d go across the highway, down to the beach to swim...

Nov 6, 2013

In the eye of the eye of the beholder,
And a worthy beholder of skillful means,
Still another eye, behind closed gray lid,
the heart’s aperture, a mindful glass,
It sees no parody, no ill, no anomaly;
only the trapeze and two ariel artists,
mysterious, fragile, like two small ships
plying their trades, leaning on a breeze,
and a tight reach across the faces below.

Nov 1, 2013

Western Approaches, Eastern Empire;
Northern Alliances, Southern Command;
Lady Drake drawn from the four corners,

In your admiral’s blue tunic,
top button unbuttoned;
The scent of salted skin and windless passage.
And above it all, that watchful smile,
Part beacon at land’s end. And yes,
To mix all metaphors,
twin hearts ever on a reach,

But joined in beauty and sensibility,
A completely unchartered anchorage,
Known only to black freighters,
men soaring by on their machines,

‘It’s all alright,’ you want to say,
Listen to a plumb bob come to rest.

Believe your sextant’s eye and fix….
“it will be alright’  as you always say.
Ever grace, gracious and kind.