Remembering the message of last spring

(Clean skies over Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 18, 2020; Photo permission of Jimmy Wong)

A year ago a messenger
Was sent to Earth to slow us down,
A little airborne passenger,
Upon its head — a thorny crown.

“Be still,” it said “and you shall see
What Earth looks like without the haze.”
“This is the state your home could be
If you’d employ more mindful ways.”

We shut down factories, grounded flights,
The smog dispersed, exposing skies.
Soon images from satellites
Revealed the truth before our eyes.

The mess we’d made, an awful sight,
In just one month the dark was gone! …


20 years later

(Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash)

Like 11, two towers,
1s reached for the sky,
Their tops scraping heaven,
One-quarter mile high.

Much taller than trees,
But still built the same,
To sway with each breeze
On tubular frames.

For years they’d host workers,
And tourists on top,
But all we’d remember—
The day they would drop.

Their form like the date
On which they would fall,
But what about 9,
The first month in fall?

One morning at 9
Flew in two airplanes,
To jab each 1’s spine
And cause US great pain.

What once were II steel poles,
So slender and tall,
Reduced to deep weep…


What are you telling me?

(Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash)

A little box stands on the stand,
I talk to it most every day,
And yet I do not understand
Just what that box is trying to say.

Inside remains of someone dear,
I wonder where they’ve gone off to,
Now far away, no longer here,
And yet I feel they’re still here, too.

There’s energy around that box,
Like that of soul, encasing flesh,
I feel its presence ‘round the clock,
My energy with it enmeshed.

I sense he’s here, beyond the veil,
My eyes not trained to see him there,
No doubt, I prob’bly would turn pale
If he appeared out…


Perfecting pizza, poetry

(Pizza Chef; Image by Openclipart)

Simple Simon was a pieman
serving pies, but never rhymes.
Had a son, dough-hater, Lyman,
committing poems like they were crimes.

“What’s wrong, Lyman, why so forlorn,”
asked Simon, “would you like a slice?”
“No thanks, my poem in shreds was torn,
the editors said, ‘Won’t suffice!’”

“So here I am, back at square one,
just making pies while on my feet,
I need to write a poem that’s fun,
to gain acceptance and a Tweet.

“It has to rhyme! No free verse joke —
they asked for herbs and salt and spice. …


Where ethnic stew is served all year

(Saturday, Queens, NY, 2021; Photo by John Gobins)

I hear the sounds of Ecuador,
They’re ringing in one ear,
It’s Saturday in Queens, New York,
Where ethnic stew is served all year.

Beyond the wall, a diff’rent tongue,
From China’s shores lands in my ear,
Leaves me, a Balt, to live among
These folks and wonder why I’m here.

We represent three continents,
One east, one south, one in between.
Diversity with all accents
Resides in New York City’s Queens.

The reasons why we found our way
To Queens, diverse as gold or wars. …


They brought us opportunity

(Photo by ruddy.media on Unsplash)

A ball of light crossed galaxies,
Destined for the White House lawn,
Once on the ground, security
Was mobilized, their weapons drawn.

No sooner had the cosmic ship
Arrived in our reality,
We argued what to do with it,
Thus separating you and me.

“Let’s ‘git them with our military!
Peaceniks, don’t you make a fuss!”
While others said “Let’s wait and see,
Perhaps they’re friendly, just like us.”

Inside the ship, behind closed doors,
The travelers just shook their heads,
Still primitive, like dinosaurs,
Their brains contained within warheads.

By now the crowd had lost their senses,
The gap between…


Increasing yields in human fields

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

It seems they’re still in search of truth,
That we’re not made of only flesh.
We have a mind and spirit, too,
With which our body is enmeshed.

They fill us with new chemicals,
In hopes they will have found a cure,
Post-15 years of clinicals,
Long-term effects — not always sure.

With so much time in clinicals,
They whine — the process much too slow,
They slander herbs, botanicals,
On trial from centuries ago.

Until there comes a special case,
When time’s too short for clinicals,
They trial on the human race,
And pray to Source for miracles.



A couple of 6-stringed travelers

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Angelica, my first guitar,
With her, I didn’t get too far,
A classical with nylon strings,
She lacked the b-lls rock guitars bring.

Les Paul came next, a male Gibson,
With stainless strings and low action,
Electric sound, it was my first,
Its color rare, called Silverburst.

The Les I played until one day,
Compelled, I gave it far away
To a friend who took it overseas
And traded Les for new car keys.

Forty years guitar vacation
Ended when my friend’s Ovation
Landed in my trunk one day
And said, “Hey bud, your turn to play.”

No sooner did…


A Mantinada for the Sunday matinee

(Three distant ash tree clumps in NYC park, Queens, NY, August 2021; Photo by John Gobins)

The path I chose felt magical, leading past a maple tree,
Where there, three clumps, unusual, circled ‘round and greeted me.

They drew my view up to their tops, wond’ring now what I would find,
When suddenly my gazing stopped — crowning of a diff’rent kind.

My eyes slid down into the dark, resting, where they had a flash
Among the chumps in diamond bark, vesting worn by Brothers Ash.

Author’s note: A Sunday morning walk in the local city park and diversion off the usual path across a tree-covered knoll lead to a small clearing. At its far end…


This fall’s “harvest” gifts another opportunity

(Lemons at the local market; Image by Troy Tolley on Flickr)

The spread of fear, the human way,
Transmitted through the news each day,
A senseless shooting or disaster
To drive us into panic faster.

Some say we need to watch the news,
It’s part of paying civic dues,
To be informed of what’s transpired,
Including where each gun’s been fired.

Consumed with fear, some feel desire
To burn us in their hellish fire.
They’re Crusaders of modern times,
The non-believers — committing crimes.

Their righteousness is based on “facts,”
So often served with motives packed
That serve the interests of a few,
With no regard for me or you.


John Gobins

Exploring Earth, observing life, discovering new perspectives. Striving to communicate something useful. Geologist and Founder of GroundLogs.online.

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