It was 1967
when you wandered into my life.
The Beatles were on
a “Magical Mystery Tour”,
but you were my mystery.
Your red hair taunted my sensitivities
and for the longest time
I couldn’t understand
why “P.S. I Love You” played
when you walked in the room.
It was awhile before I realized
my eyes followed the
wishful sway of your hips,
and the slight upward turn of your lips
would ignite a fanciful beat
in my heart,
with a dream of their soft taste.
One of your girlfriends told me once,
you did it just to see my smile.

It was 1967,
the Red Guard rebels had seized back Shanghai
in a January Storm,
the whole world was in joyous celebration
turning everything right side up
and everyone wanted
to kiss the skies.
And you kissed me.
It was Fall,
Autumn orange and brown ruled
but that kiss felt like
wild roses,
blue bells, daffodils
and green smelling air.
That kiss pulled us into world events
and tasted like more.

In 1967
I began to write poetry
and picked up my paint brushes again.
Mostly because of you,
your red hair hue,
how everyone smiled with you,
and the way you made me feel
like I was human.

In 1967 the whole world was changing.
We both felt it
as it affected the way we saw each other.
Lovers yes, but more, standing
in the thick of all the social rebellion.
We wanted a better world.
Hand in hand
we traveled together
for a little while.
I wish I would have loved you better,
more equally,
with more respect.
But I was a typical male,
not yet ready to give up my privilege.

It was 1967
we loved with the passion
of a changing world.
Five years later you left.
Yet I still see your taunting red hair,
can taste your Spring-like kiss,
feel your warm skin next to mine,
and be inspired by the slight upward turn of your lips.
While I put down my paint brush long ago,
my pen still spills ink for you,
still calls you ‘Amber’.

~~redzone 10.16.12

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is what happens when you listen to 'oldies'.

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Word Play


yesterday, I saw you as a metaphor,
wore you like a soft flannel shirt,
like alliteration scattered across the page.
today it’s more as allegory
whose sharp teeth shred
the intricacies of my heart
and similes fly south for the winter.
all I know for sure is
the only real illusion
can be found
in the word
L O V E.


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Yo Se Nada

Yo Se Nada

A note: This poem was written several years ago and forgotten.
I found it the other day and thought I would share.
I want to thank Mai H. (Chickalatina) for her help with the Spanish.

In the evening’s cool
is when I miss you most.
Or is it in the morning’s mist,
as a pastel sky emerges
with a lonely sigh?
Then again it may be in midday,
as an orange sun kisses
my eyes with memories;
or when those deep shadowy nights
paint you alive.

Mi amante, yo se nada
excepto que estoy sufriendo,
que te anhelo,
que te anhelo.

redzone 2.23.07

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Crimson And Clover

Crimson and Clover

“There are many among us
who think life is but a joke..
…and this is not our fate
so let us not speak falsely now,
the hour is getting late…”
~~’Along the Watch Tower’
words by Bob Dylan
sung by Jimi Hendrix


“…over and over,
crimson and clover,
over and over..”
~~’Crimson and Clover’
Tommy James and the Shondells


The mushrooms are speaking
in psychedelic memories,
as chords of dissonant vowels
resonate in the choir.
It was a time of crimson and clover,
of blood spread out magnificently
in Southeast Asian mountains,
rivers and fields.
Blood, tasting like cinnamon
and flowing like clover
that never washed away.
Not even as the napalm of orange
ran and burned
into the angers of rage
we felt at home.
Yet, we raised our heads
to the martyrs of Attica,
of Jackson
and Kent States.
Yes, our generation felt
compelled to act.

Today, the mushrooms still
speak chords of dissonant vowels
but there is no consonants to resonate
in the choir.
Over and over,
bloody crimson
soaks the clover,
over and over,
over and over.

What we hear is old
shit, warmed over to appeal
to people today,
as America
looks us in the eyes
and lies, lies, lies.
“Over and over
crimson and clover,
over and over.”

The mushrooms are speaking,
“come and smoke my herb…”:
“let us not talk falsely now,
the hour is getting late..”
It is up to us to
finish what we started,
To visit anew our rage;
let’s clear the earth of this
American scourge.
Can we afford to waste
another day?

~~redzone 12.14.09

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The Music of Revolution

The Music of Revolution

The music of communist revolution
turns you inside-out.
Your blood boils to the beat,
your heart pulses to the heat,
the rhythm just moves your feet
like those pictures of Chinese youth,
Red Guard rebels,
changing everything country-wide,
and you can’t stop laughing at a
world finally turned right.

It’s a joyous celebration
and I want to sing!

~~redzone 10.3.12

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Jungle Land Blues


(Note: within this poem are some lines from a
Bruce Springsteen song, "Jungle Land")

Sitting in a café,
we observed a
definite hint of mocha
mixing with the aroma of books.
Sitting quietly, surrounded by
a mural of dead poets
in various poses of contemplation,
I couldn’t help but wonder
what were they thinking?
Living in a different era,
what would they say
and write about today’s terror?
Perhaps a few saw it coming,
these Christian fascists,
America’s Taliban
sweeping aside in bloody strokes,
people’s basic rights,
proclaiming an “end of history”;
fast approaching
flaming, sanctimonious
Armageddon times,
swirling in hideous hues
sung in off-key blues.
Perhaps, some of these poets,
like so many today
were caught off guard
limiting their poems
to “pretty things”,
faith in god,
love poems
or unique forms
with content that said nothing
but filled with petty angst
amidst gathering storms
aimed at every shore.
Very much like the kind I have written lately.
But it reminds me of those
Springsteen lines:
“and the poets down here
don’t write nothing at all
they just stand back
and let it all be….
Down in jungle land.”
And yet ironically
the future of humanity
is often fought out
in battles of verse,
or the way shadow
and light
dance majestically
and is reflected in acrylics
splashed chaotically on canvas;
or in the scientific
evaluation of the human story
told in the DNA trail
following curious adventurers
out of Africa,
as told in irrefutable evolution!
“And the poets down here
There has never been
a more important time
in the history of human kind
the need to write
finger paint
in fractal hues
creating a human revolution
seen ever more clearly
in the re-envisioned communism
found along the newly charted
Avakian Trail.


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Words, Smooth Like A River


Reading your words-
having them wander the recesses
of my mind
like a raging river,
are smooth and feel like moistened lips,
teasingly touching mine.
Their sparkling taste,
their crystalline feel
and cool wetness
the way a river sculpts rock
with time
and movement
and constant, surrounding touch.
I simply dive into each river word
savoring their liquid nuances,
floating in their eddies
and swimming in their slow moving pools
until I am smoothed by word currents
and the sounds of conversation
between your shallow water and deep channels.
Until I find my...

floating such, I am shaded by
tall brothers, whose arms and leaves
caress these waters,
drink its greenishness, and whisper
even taller truths
of the way your words teach them
of dreams and
to reach for the sky,
its blueness,
and mystery.

Such words, smooth like a river,
like a raging river,
sculpts even the hardest rock with its wetness.
And I, shaped willingly,
lips, eager with anticipation,
await each word,
each liquid kiss.

~~redzone 6.18.07

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Duct Tape


"Abdullah Thani Faris al Andzi lost both his legs in a U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan while he was employed as a humanitarian aide worker. After his first leg was amputated, he was arrested by bounty hunters and turned over to U.S. forces. While in custody, his second leg was amputated. He has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, where he has received inadequate medical treatment and often been forced to walk using a prosthetic limb held together only with duct tape."
- from "poems from Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak"


As the bombs rain,
they tell us they are for peace.
So I ask them:
Do flowers bloom
or grass grow
held in such chains;
or seeing humans
suffer such pains?
Mountains weep,
and I speak in tear filled oceans,
whose ebb and flow
erode my beach of hope;
all I have left are curses
told in Arabic qasid verses.
As the bombs rain,
ripping apart innocent people's limbs,
they say they are for peace.
And I ask:
will birds fly
and sing their songs,
or will they,
like so many of us,
have only plastic legs
held together with duct tape?

~~redzone 9.23.10

Author's Notes/Comments: 

There are still 175 prisoners being held at Guantanamo. The majority are known to have no ties to terrorism and have been cleared for release, but still remain and this was after the promise by Obama to "close down Guantanamo". So much for politicans and their election promises...

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west of east
is north,
where air and water meet
and ice flows
south, melting.
elephants are learning to swim.

east of west
is south,
where fire and earth meet
and wolves, chasing their tails,
must shed their skin.

north of south
is west
where air blackens
in dense fog
and earth is stripped
of life.

south of north
is east
where oceans turn acidic
and human consciousness
is consumed by extinction.

in all directions
the world will move on
never hearing a babies cry,
or giggle as it discovers
a floating butterfly.

~~redzone 9.30.12

Author's Notes/Comments: 

inspired while riding the train into Manhattan this morning and seeing a poem written as part of "Poetry in motion" a feature of the MTA to instill/encourage(?) "culture".

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