Macy’s Parade


Thanksgiving Day 2020


Dear Rida,

You know what’s halal and what’s haram, Aqsa. Mama is driving me insane! That’s all she can say, nowadays — she’s the one with the issues. And I’m sure Papa would quite agree with me, especially now that I’m a teenager. If anything, living like this, hiding like a cockroach for two years now, I am beyond my years!

But all is not bad. Ahmad and I crept up to the attic and watched Macy’s Parade all day — it was grand! All the bands and floats and…so many happy people! My heart can barely contain itself as I write these words. Rida, they even had a float to commemorate all the Muslims dying at the Wall.

We almost had to laugh when a sudden gust of wind threatened to pull the rope-handlers of the Statue of Liberty float right up into the air. They really had to struggle to hold onto her!

Yours, Aqsa

On the Bus


Today I’m on

The old people’s bus;

I guess I must be old.

Yesterday I wrecked

Cars for fun,


And bold.

Out the window

The snow falls;

I hope

I don’t.

Solar Song Revisited

I don’t usually repost a poem, but some of my better early ones are so far back in my blog, that you’d have to tread through a bit of muddy ground to find them. This is one that was published in Space and Time back in the seventies, I think. Although the metaphors are really for astronomy buffs, like me, everyone seemed to like it:

From deep within the cosmic din

Flows music, loud and strong,

But few men ’round can hear the sound

Still fewer yet — The Song.

With graceful ease, the melodies

Of Venus, Earth, and Mars,

Dance ever on the notes upon

A tablature of stars.

On distant lands, the marching bands

Of Jupiter resound,

And hearts take wing when ringlets ring

In Saturn’s jeweled crown.

The trumpets sound! The drummers pound!

Great Uranus rolls on,

And no less grand is Neptune’s stand

A billion miles beyond.

Amid the swells, faint tinkling bells

Add depth that few can hear,

For Mercury and Pluto flee

All but the chastened ear.

To guide the flux, the Sun conducts

The symphony along,

But few men ’round can hear the sound,

Still fewer yet — The Song!

Time Machine

Once upon a time machine

He fashioned from a box,

With nothing more than crayons

And a cache of broken clocks,

The little boy went scooting

Down the corridors of time,

And it was all so easy

For a young and open mind.


But now the boy’s a physicist

And studies all his days

To learn to build a time machine

In complicated ways,

And every day it’s clearer

What his facts and figures mean:

That only little boys can build

A real time machine.


(Originally posted in April 2016)



Adrift upon the Sea of Night

And lost in shades of black and white,

I saw a friendly, dancing light

Upon a distant shore,

And as I left my bleak repose

And sought the dark expanse to close,

Beyond the light, a voice arose,

Then two, then three, then four.

I raised my sails, set my sights

And hastened toward this light of lights;

The voices raised to lofty heights

And filled my heart with cheer.

This place I knew so little of

Seemed filled with peace and joy and love,

I laughed and praised the Lord above,

But then, as I drew near,

I found a void between us ran

And though no hardy sailin’ man,

I battled hard the gulf to span,

So deep, so long, so wide.

The sea grew rough, my ship was tossed,

It wasn’t long, I knew I’d lost;

The chasm’s breadth could not be crossed,

I hung my head and cried.

And then, within a single stroke

I left the Sea of Night and woke;

It all had been a dream — a joke!

I bolted for the door,

And walking ’round the neighborhood

I talked to everyone I could

And for a moment it felt good

To step upon that shore.

Fool’s Gold


Out of a dark and old hidden cave

Near the ghost-town they call Devil’s Eye,

Arose the foul stench of a reopened grave

On a hot, moon-lit night in July.


The Indians told that the cave was the tomb

Of the crazy, young maiden Runs Wild

Who was banned to the cave, for the babe in her womb

Was the Devil’s Eye sheriff’s white child.


Now the sheriff, they say, found her dead in the cave

And he pinned a gold brooch to her breast,

And he fought back the tears as he dug her a grave

Where he lovingly laid her to rest.


The earth fell around her, trapping her tight

In the cave she continues to stay,

And sometimes at night when the wind is just right

You can still hear her wailing today.


Well, one day a drifter named Big Red Calhoun,

Riding through on the Lost Canyon Trail,

Stopped in for a brew in the local saloon

When he heard of the old Indian tale.


He rode to the cave with a lantern that night

And he dug up the corpse and the pin,

But there in the light, it was only pyrite!

He’d been played for a fool — taken in!


Her soul now released, the young maiden fled

And he let out a thunderous roar

That shook the cave walls and stone ceiling o’erhead

Til they buckled and crashed to the floor.


The stones fell around him, trapping him tight

In the cave he continues to stay

And sometimes at night when the wind is just right

You can still hear him wailing today.