About Me

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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bicycle on Cape Cod

Ride a bicycle on Cape Cod.
It is the most friendly bicycle area
you're ever going to find.
From Woods Hole, or Bourne,
to Provincetown
A continuum of bicycle routes
traverses Cape Cod.

Some routes are on dedicated bicycle trails.
Some are on back roads, or a combination of both.
Most important, the terrain is flat.
Well, maybe a little hilly in some spots.

Locals are good about sharing the road with bicyclists.
Tourists are most often bicycle riders themselves.
Wear a helmet; wear bright-colored clothing.
Ride single file to the right, on all roads and trails.

If you live on Cape Cod, buy a good road bike.
Don't even think about mountain biking.
There are no mountains on Cape Cod;
The few dirt paths are deeply rutted, and illegal.

If you rent a bicyle, rent a helmet, too.
Have the seat adjusted to fit your frame.
Families should only ride bicycle trails.
Never pull a kiddie cart on a road.

Plan where you're going, see:


Monday, June 22, 2009

I Love New York

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!
I'll make a brand new start of it, in old New York.
Some come to work, some come to play, some to stay.
And another hundred people just got off of the bus.

Everyone should live and work in New York some time,
As did parents, children, and their spouses.
New York University awarded degrees to Patrick,
Barbara, David, Dorcas, and Timothy.

We go back to New York, to gambol in old age,
To see the shows, to hear the music, to watch the people.
Walk into Lincoln Center to buy a ticket for today;
Pick one of five Italian restaurants on 56th Street.

Go to the Met early, before the schoolkids arrive.
Spend hours inspecting just a few wings.
Hear the highest of Sunday services
At St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue.

Walk Central Park in the spring or the fall.
Watch the skaters at Rockefeller Center in December.
Ship out of Battery Park to visit the lady of liberty,
And the new citizen's gateway to America.

Everywhere in the city accessible by subway or bus.
A fleet of a thousand yellow cabs cruising the streets
To take us in style to our next entertainment.
New York lives; it regenerates the spirit!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


She was not an accident; the story is this:
Junior members of the Winnetka Womens Club
Had to fly up to senior status at thirty-five.
So a lot of them had babies that year.

Amy was seven years younger than her sister
Had two brothers ten and twelve years older.
She was the family pet;
Nicknamed boo by her siblings.

She was too young for kindergarten;
We should have held her back.
And did for seventh grade.
In high school she blossomed as an actress
and choreographer.

I taught her how to drive, cool and confident,
Sometimes driving boyfriends on dates.
Drama school in college was a mixed success,
Never quite achieving a stage personality.

She was a beautiful young woman,
Romanced by one suitor after another.
All she turned away, never seeming
To be able to commit to married life.

She lacked the fire in the belly that acting requires,
Drifting along as a waitress and paralegal.
When into her life came a newly minted M.D.
With issues of his own in relationships.

He damaged her psyche, but inspired a resolution
To become a doctor herself, a pediatrician.
Moving in with her sister; she took difficult pre-med courses
Until another episode derailed her plan.

Perhaps she couldn't face the reality of medical school.
A third mental episode ended her life.
There is no greater anguish than that suffered
By couples who lose an adult child; a life's promise is gone.

Do I regret that we ever had a fourth child?
Never, our lives were enriched by her presence.
Not a day goes by that I do not think about Amy,
And be glad that she was our daughter.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

General Contractor

My house in Brewster was sold.
I'd already moved to Yarmouthport.
With a little money in the bank,
I offered to finance some capital improvements.

Nothing had been done for twelve years.
We started from the top down;
Woke up one morning to see ten men in the driveway
Who installed a new roof in one day!

The deck was power washed and refinished,
Three portable ACs set in windows,
The plaster walls in the studio and the loft
Primed and painted with ceiling white.

When the garage doors creaked and groaned,
They were replaced in one day.
A new stationary awning covers the deck,
Making a summer room for dining outside.

I built a raised bed garden,
Five trees came down,
A new entry door to the rear was installed.
The tie wall in the driveway will be rebuilt,
Six outdoor light fixtures replaced,
And the space under the deck stairs enclosed.

Then -- a happy summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red Sox Nation

Being a Red Sox fan is belonging to a religion.
One may be born to it, or converted.
Fans don't just live in New England;
You see them in grandstands wherever the Red Sox play.

Headlines of obituaries often contain, Red Sox Fan.
No adjective is necessary; one is always fanatical.
Some old-timers lived just past the oh-four world series;
Saw the team win for the first time since nineteen-eighteen.

No matter who wears the uniform; he has to be a team player.
If he's not, get rid of him.
A prima donna must change, or be changed,
To an ardent supporter of his teammates' efforts.

It takes more than local pride to root for the Red Sox.
Conversations following a game day begin with a critique
of yesterday's results.
We all know what the speaker is talking about;
We started the day reviewing the box score.

When the Red Sox win, our day is off on the right foot.
When they lose, we are philosophical.
For St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans,
Suffering builds character, and character brings hope.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Medical Care

The appointment was made a year ago.
A chirpy voice on the telephone reminds you a day before,
Calling you by your first name, of course,
as though you were ten.

The waiting room is filled with persons
in varying stages of decrepitude.
How do they communicate with someone
who has lost his marbles?

Do you have your insurance cards?
Has your name, address, marital status changed?
Take a seat; you'll be called.
And you are, loudly, by your first name.

Recite your medications to the technician.
She records test results, vanishes.
The door is closed -- silence.
Time to sit and worry.

Contemplate your sins.
Anticipate an early demise.
Rehearse your account of symptoms.
The door opens; the great man enters.

Some live examination, without comment.
Rapid fire instructions: what to do, what to take.
Get your prescriptions on the way out.
See you in a year.

You forgot to tell him all you planned.
Your answers to his questions were vague.
You wanted to talk about your lifestyle.
You're a chart with checked-off entries.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Songs

It Had to Be You
Well, you're eighteen already, aren't you?, she asked me.
Not exactly. How old are you, then? Seventeen in March.
She lived fifty-eight years more, mother of four,
Grandmother of seven.
An interior designer; she decorated my life.

Where or When
One of Scarsdale's beautiful people,
Private school and trust fund, and two failed marriages.
She started an email romance, but lost her nerve.
Laid down no touching rules on weekend visits.

I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
She wandered in to my Alpha class; said little.
Heiress, benefactor, author, founder of a homeless shelter.
Her life is a constant pursuit of Jesus, always dashing to
another religious event.
She is a devoted church friend; a younger sister in Christ.

You'd Be So Easy to Love
A tiny blonde, spreading pixie dust to whomever she met.
Captured my heart, a diamond ring, and held them tight.
Soured by family problems, she broke the engagement.
Said she didn't want to bury a third husband. Kept the ring.

Some Enchanted Evening
You never hug me, she said. So I did.
Stay overnight, she said, instead of driving home so late.
Sold my house, moved right in. Marry me, I said.
So she did. We are a handsome couple.