Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Gray in hair, as cloud in day,
as love that shows.


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


Unpredictable and unpunctual,
sometimes nothing at all! A foggy gray.
A blank white page that shines
like new fallen snow on New Year's Day.
Full of promise, but sky still pale and barren
and brings no light. This because I know
she's also cloudy.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Every time you post a poem it reminds me of one I wrote. It's like we're Astral twins or something.It's starting to get a little weird, William.

Get out of my head, Michaelian!!!

Maybe Brian Salchert is having a little fun with us. :-)


William Michaelian said...

I hope so, I really do. Another “Gray” posted here in 2008:


I love this time of year,
how she marvels at the fall colors,
and then colors her hair.

“Must you always be so . . . gray?”

Yes, I must. The artist who painted me
was melancholy, and used only gray;
go ahead — take my picture.

“My god, you are gray!”

I gave her a leaf. It had turned gray in my hand;
but it was a lovely gray — a gray with veins,
a gray of ten thousand subtle shades,
a gray inside gray still becoming gray,
a deep gray well in which gray voices
echoed the glad gray eternity of our names.

“Not to mention crazy.”


See ya later, weirdo, and thanks for posting your own.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Seems to be a slow night, so here's another "gray" poem you may enjoy.


At first, no one believes that I actually went to Woodstock.
It’s like I was at Gettysburg or Waterloo or something.
I’m beginning to feel like one of those poor old war Veterans
tottering along in a small town parade. But, hey, I say,
I was only seventeen and back in ’69, what, with the Fillmore,
San Francisco, Viet-Nam and the revolution and all, to us
it was just another concert. All the kids from school went.

But the memory never fades. It was really neat seeing
all those different weird people just like us, with bell bottoms
and long hair, who felt like us about music and the war,
about America. I remember all those old freaks and hippies
who came in painted busses from California with tambourines,
with feathers and beads and long gray beards.

But the spirit started long before the concert,
during that big traffic jam, all sitting on our cars.
We passed stuff up and down the line for miles,
shared everything. I had a big bottle of Mateus wine.
I had a swig of this and a puff of that but my bottle of
Mateus never came back. I really loved that wine, too.

So then, I always explained how expensive it was,
how I bought tickets for two for three-days
only to learn that I didn’t need them anymore…no gate!
Free concert! Far out! We all tore up our tickets.
The second day I lost my girlfriend. She tripped out
with some guy from L.A. and split. In teenage terms,
an expensive foray. I got home with no tickets,
no girl, no money, no Mateus but, certainly, no regrets.

Years later I learned that the tickets we had so gleefully destroyed
were now a collector’s item worth a small fortune.
A costly summer overall. But a pittance when compared
to the loss incurred in knowing my distance from
that day, and in having to acknowledge that my beard
is now also long and gray.


William Michaelian said...

Okay, now we’re pressing buttons within the same split second....

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

And used the same phrase: 'gray' simultaneously. I was freaking out. My wife asked me what the problem was. I said "I just told William that I was posting another 'gray' poem and before it was posted he said: "'s another gray"

This is getting a little spooky, don't you think?

William Michaelian said...

What I think — is that it is a gray area.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Here are two more 'gray' poems that I had completely forgotten about and only found when searching for 'gray' on my antique dial-up computer.

I've pretty much given up the internet (and poetry, in fact) so this was a lot of fun. Thanks, William!

No Answers In Green

My troubles overwhelm me.
I am diminished, not sure
what to do and everyone
I could have asked is gone.
Just past that white fence
this warm November
afternoon in that green field
a white horse grazes,
stands brightly against
the background woods
of trees still green.
No answers in white.
No answers in green.

Just past that last wave
at sunset in that blue field
a black whale rises and spouts,
dark against the choppy
distance of seas.
No answers in blue.
No answers in black.
Then comes the loss of the day,
the sun goes away,
colors turn to shades of gray.
No answers in gray.

The moon rises and the white
horse shines like silver.
The moon rises and black waves
refl ect spun gold.
No answers in silver.
No answers in gold.

Copy 2008 – HARDWOOD: 77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald


Trees now bare in air now cold
move a newly unobstructed horizon
farther back, past the pasture and the pond,
across that field, a view once blocked
by verdant growth now clearly seen
through open, empty branches,
all the way to Jack’s place and beyond,
to the farther trees, no longer green,
lined up now like thin, gray gravestones
against his fence line to the west.

Farther than the Summer sees,
with all its full and heat
and green opaque.
Sparse and spare, Winter has clear vision.

But Winter makes transparent more
than just the dead and wasting trees,
moves all horizons farther back
to distances which disturb, which we,
with so much more at stake, detest.
The cold reveals a farther tree line now,
one we’d rather not acknowledge
let alone observe.

Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD: 77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

P.S. My word verification was Gabriel (the messenger). Isn't that unusual?

CassieInTheRain said...

Hi,I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your poems. :)

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Cassie (in the rain), from both of us. That’s wonderful to hear.

And Gary, thanks again. Giving up the Internet I can understand; but giving up poetry is like giving up sunlight, which is everywhere; therefore the act seems hardly within your power.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Well, William…after fifty years of writing poems and ten years of publishing and promoting them, I have found it a most unprofitable endeavor. By profit, of course, I don’t mean wealth, but one writes to be read. If nobody reads your work it is for nought. In fact, I have about 150 poems that I had planned to publish but haven’t even looked at in three years.

Disregarding the current raging debate about MFAs and ‘Academic’ poetry, the criticism of ‘contemporary’ poetry and “chopped-up prose” poetry, the paucity of depth in modern poetry, the fact remains that there is still no audience. That is no ones fault. Nobody cares anymore except other poets. As I recently read: “The buyer is the seller.”.

“A great poet requires a great audience.” - Walt Whitman

Writing poetry these days is not unlike trying to sell wagon wheels or musket balls. There is no further need for poetry in a mostly illiterate world. To wit:

My Old Friend Joe

My old friend Joe can take a stone
and a chunk of flint that’s brownish-red
and striking with precision form
a perfect, pointed arrowhead.

With an ancient skill he quickly shapes
a tool of stone with a glancing wave,
with an edge so fine and thin and sharp
that with it I would gladly shave.

My poor friend Joe, whose time is spent
in efforts quaint and obsolete,
shaping stones for hunting game
that bullets now make into meat.

So poor old Joe makes his useless stones
and time wasted it may be,
but I understand because I’m like him…
I write poetry.

Copyright 2005 – Evolving: Poems 1965-2005, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Ah, see? You couldn’t resist posting another one!

Now, let me say this:

When you say there is no audience, you are mistaking quantity for quality. There is an audience, however small in number, right here (and if here, elsewhere). And a large portion of that audience is made up not of poets, but of thoughtful, imaginative people who care little about the raging debates you refer to. Many aren’t even aware of them. I myself pay almost no attention to that sort of thing. And the last thing a reader who isn’t a poet needs, is to listen to poets whining and complaining and talking shop. It has nothing to do with their lives and concerns, and doesn’t satisfy their need for insight and music — their mental, spiritual hunger. And so when you say there is no audience, even a statement as simple as that, you are, in effect, in danger of alienating the few in whom you can place your faith and trust. Quite simply, if one attentive reader (poet or non-poet) isn’t enough for a given poet or poem, then no number, however great, ever will be.

A great poet is one, whether he or she writes poetry or not, who recognizes and responds to the magical, musical underpinnings of the universe — someone who gives and receives and is part of an endless cycle of giving and receiving.

Thanks again, Gary.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Thank you, William.

Obviously there is no way to argue with that. And so, you have inspired me again. Here is a poem that I believe captures the spirit of your words.

I have not given up on poetry, but sometimes there doesn't seem to be...well, never mind.

The Editor

“I’m not finding many references in this poetry.”

“This is true… I write poems, not puzzles.
It’s not an English test, you know.”

“Yes, but shouldn’t there be more depth?
I’m not seeing much history.”

“Depth? I wrote about a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail
eaten by an ugly featherbare, old grackle.
What does that mean? Explain this mystery!
What value is put on beauty by death?
What purpose the esoteric and arcane?
A poem should be a pleasure…words to enjoy,
to enlighten, make easily plain.
It should be old but familiar, even if new,
not an enigma that requires a degree to explain.
Let the students study the scholars.
Let the rest of us hear poetry.”

“I see…”

“You don’t!
A poem is like a happy barking dog that
simply sees what he sees
which your critical obfuscation clearly muzzles.
Today is the assassin of reference and depth!
Virgil and Homer…what do I care?
We read them years ago.
Here is the price put on beauty by death:
today is now, and now is wagging his tail.”

Copyright 2008 – Softwood: Seventy-eight poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald