Ronald Moran: Four Poems


Chardonnay, David Kirby, and the Cheneys

Now I am really loosening up: Chardonnay and reading
David Kirby,
whose poems, I think, would make even Dick Cheney
if ever he would read them, and now the question is,

to do with myself?  A soft body and a mind that once
when it was put to hard tests, but not nearly enough
of them
to sustain the flow of synapses that weds one thought
to another,

that wants to make one right and the other wrong,
as in
a man I once knew who swore he had three eyes,
and when
his best friend told him the truth—that his third eye

rolled back into his head—he killed him, saying,
He will
never doubt me again, his trial becoming a classic in
the tabloids,
and with its own moral, I guess, if I could see deeply

I figure it’s not worth it now, maybe never was, but I
still think
of the friend and keep wondering what is safe to tell
these days, and what do I mean by these days?  Well,
how are they

any different from those days or any other days in
except, of course, when  some are more historic or
than others, and I know Lynne Cheney reads poetry.
Does Dick?


Life Inside a Window

Life inside a window is never what it seems
outside a window, no epiphanic slides of
as in that claim of peering in a glass door
finding the stuff for a novel a century ago,
and even
if a window swears its compounds are pure,
square inches equal to one’s ordinary sight,

it remains a matter of how far and how deep,
as Frost said
of people standing on a beach, looking out
at the sea—
who cannot look out either far or deep—
unless, say,
one is looking in a car window at a scene
of passion,
where depth is just a matter of cubic inches,
and what
one sees in one side, one sees from another
and another,

a continuum like a transcendental number,
no repeats
but the same digits appear, disappear, a mix
of patterns
not patterns but resembling a sequence,
just as
when one looks closely at a speck on a tile,
one swears
that speck is alive and moving but it is not,
in the window of the mind, where it starts
all over.



September again, month of changes unlike any
with public schools bulging, as always, and, hence
calendar of diseases opening its morbid covers,
no more vacations, no more time having fun
spending what

little we have in this economy, and, finally,
cool air
from Canada, lowering temperatures and even
in this month little recognized as being personal,
but rather
as a materialization of football, from high school
to pros,

while Major League Baseball, its players so tired
can hardly wake up without wanting to quit,
for those enormous salaries for just dressing,
as pros, yes, they do and sign autographs, try
to boost

their batting averages, or other percentages,
or whatever
statistics guide their tenuous futures, while we
them never to strike, to forget our huge stake
in what
they do, in their fields of play, however high,
for all of us.


On My 75th Birthday

So on this night, I must act as if others control
my actions,
as if I am unable to act for myself, not because
of any legal
maneuver, but because of a lemon I ate earlier

at a restaurant, not just a slice but, rather,
all of it,
tart and juicy, after waiting ten minutes
my iced tea to come; and what if a few other

found it unusual that anyone would even think
to eat
a lemon whole, rind and all, in this posh venue,
and then
be happy?  That’s how I felt, no slur to service
or kitchen,

but I was thirsting for a lemon—its sharp, anxious
juice, flesh
on my ancient taste buds, surprising them, and
yes, what
joyous reaction, leaping to attention, this day
above all.