Monday, February 28, 2011


I can picture so clearly in my mind a trusted companion from long ago that listened to whatever I had to say and held my secrets close, and still to this day is available for me to reminisce with whenever I want to revisit those days of endless wonder - my first notebook.

It's a battleship gray, double pocket folder affair that is covered with scribbles (mostly lightning bolts - flashes of inspiration?) and has two layers of yellow cracking tape along the spine because of being so packed with the rambling of a young curious mind. The paper inside as varied as the thoughts: construction paper, napkins, backs of junk mail letters, company stationary from several places, and every kind of notebook paper imaginable. Sometimes I pull out the old vault and open it up reverently, remembering the hopeful dreams of the youth that coursed through me. Then I read the stream of consciousness type drivel I was fond of writing at that time and I laugh my ass off. What was I thinking?

But we have to start somewhere right? I honestly cannot for the life of me remember what prompted me to start, but I remember carrying a notebook with me at all times before I was out of high school. My really good friend Joe (guitar playing fool) heard me read one of my poems in class or something and before we knew it we were writing songs. Joe used to jot a line once in a while and I have in this old notebook one of the greatest examples of drunken redundancy ever recorded on paper. I've kept it all these years (just about 30) because it always makes me laugh, thanks Joe.

The happier I am the more I laugh. The more I laugh the happier I get. The happier I get the more I laugh. I laugh a lot when I'm happy, so while I'm laughing I get happier. I like to drink when I'm laughing and being happy. I sit down happy as can be. I order a drink and laugh. I'm happy because the bartender is now laughing at me being happy. I smile because it's always been a habit since I find myself happy when ordering a drink. I laugh at the way I smile because I am happy to order that drink. That drink makes me happy to make me happy to smile and then laugh because I am so happy to be laughing. Thanks to that drink I'm laughing and happier than I was before that drink.

If that doesn't convince people to drink in moderation I don't know what will. I also found one of my old favorites that inspired me to start writing, it is attributed to Anonymous.

Look To This Day

Look to this day.
For it is life,
the very life of life.
In its brief course lies all
the realities and verities of existence,
the bliss of growth,
the splendor of action,
the glory of power...
For yesterday is but a dream
and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream
of happiness.
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

Wow it sure has been great going through some memories again. I love words and being creative. I can remember playing scrabble with my Mom and her Mom and her Mom's husband Frank, they all read voraciously, and helped me learn to love language at a very early age. Frank could do the Times Union Crossword puzzle (did it everyday) in about 10-15 minutes, he was quite an amazing person. My grandmother Abbey, who always smoked Kools and drank only gingerale, used to admonish me for my dark poems, she'd say "Nobody will ever want to read that stuff, it's too depressing." Well I fear she was right but I am what I am. But Abbey was also very supportive, and she used to give me clippings of places to send material (mostly which I did a few times. Most everything just got stuck in this notebook though, including a poem Abbey wrote that I'd like to end this article with. She said to me, "When you get famous you can show this to people and tell them this is where you get your talent from." Then she laughed with a twinkle in her eye. Well thanks for believing in me Gram, I doubt I'll ever be well known but you're going out to a global audience and hopefully Mom's with you at rest now.

Thoughts - Abbey Burby 1970

The lightning flashed, the storm raged
The man felt as if he was caged
He looked outside and what did he see
But a rainbow - oh ecstasy.

It was all colors from yellow to pink
It surely makes one stop and think
Life is this way, dark dreary and sad
Until goodness drives away the bad.

Put out your hand to someone in need
Put a smile on your face and plant the seed
Of future happiness, trust and joy
For every young girl and boy.

Brothers and sisters we all are
Whatever our color - whether near or far
Reach for tomorrow everyone, everywhere
For a big wonderful world without care.

Friday, February 25, 2011


While shoveling I heard a pigeon coo
and suddenly I felt a searing jolt
remembering the one near cut in two
that day a hawk came down like Zeus’ bolt,
which prompted me to ponder if I’d seen
a raven ever play the role of prey,
this morning they created quite a scene
but nothing seems to make them go away;
no other creature cares to take a bite
preferring to lay low when they’re around
until their raucous horde at last takes flight
the snowy valley ringing with the sound,
just proving what we all have come to know
that no one ever wants to swallow crow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Back

Of course the life of royalty
is bound to be abuzz
with those that hang upon their every breath—
don’t make the tale a tragedy
like poor Diana’s was
by badgering the dashing Prince to death.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The gibbous moon illumes the snowy hills
with clarity unheard of during day,
it isn’t just the cold that gives me chills
as sterling vistas take my breath away.

Beneath a chandelier of crystal stars
the gibbous moon illumes the snowy hills
with much more light than Jupiter or Mars
or even Saturn wooing Venus spills,

providing ardent lovers dreamy thrills
with argent innuendoes on their beds,
the gibbous moon illumes the snowy hills
imparting splendor everywhere it spreads.

It’s easy to forget about the rime
and all the lovely foliage it kills
when gifted with a glimpse of the sublime—
the gibbous moon illuming snowy hills.

Friday, February 18, 2011


To summarize life in four lines:
never forget to forgive,
don’t dwell on doomed designs,
keep learning as long as you live!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


If people knew, would they even care
that as I sleepily prepare
their food I’m contemplating verse,
not the value of my purse
or even if they’ll like their fare.

The sizzle of my trusty grill,
the moaning of an empty till
are muted by the measured stride
that marches on inside my hide
with but one mission – to fulfill

this aching urge I’ve had since birth
to somehow justify my worth
by pouring out my hapless heart
in ways that could be seen as art
embellished with a hint of mirth.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Fill your vessel to the top
with spirit that is true
distilled from an abundant crop
you passionately grew
imbuing every single drop
with proof you earned your due—
let it flow and never stop
believing what makes you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We’ve named so many elements we deem ourselves supreme
though elemental forces don’t agree,
the universe is more than any mortal mind can dream
despite attempts to label all we see.

Before our eyes a rich brocade
of cosmic fabric is displayed
adorned with swirling nebulae
whose complicated schemes defy
all explanation,

and every stab we feebly make
resembles infants trying to shake
the firmament with futile fits
that only magnify the ache
of consternation.

We scurry when the earth begins to squirm
and analyze the heavens for an omen we can grasp
but nothing makes the ground we trample firm
it undulates beneath us like an agitated asp.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Would you kill your brother
if a king told you to,
or your innocent mother
could you run her right through?

All leaders stay conscious:
your power exists
by the grace of the conscience
your dogma enlists.

***Way to go Egypt, good luck with democracy, just keep the lobbyists out of the legislature ;)***

Friday, February 11, 2011


The journey starts before we know
our markers left by those who’ve seen
the farther down that road we go
the more those distant guideposts mean,

for when it’s time to trek alone
there’s always choices to be made
concerning byways hence unknown
and those where worn out stones are laid

because if landmarks can’t be found
a new horizon may seem bleak,
but signs that dot the path we’ve wound
will help to show us what we seek.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


You’re walking and talking
and having a ball
just grinning and winning
the hearts of us all
you’re growing and showing
us what you can do
keep learning and turning
into wonderful you!

Friday, February 04, 2011


Is this the season
for an Age of Reason
are guarded forces
planning treason

will sinister sources
coerce us on courses
that herald the thunder
of four dreaded horses

to trample under
and rend asunder
this anachronism
through which we blunder?

The real cataclysm
is striving for a schism
which scatters hope
as through a prism.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Hairy

I’m never going to cut my hair or shave ever again
in case we see another ice age on some distant when
it seems to me to be a prudent way I can prepare
for if instead it’s hotter I’ll start shaving everywhere.