Friday, August 14, 2015

Middletown Poems

End of the Season

Their only win of the season
led to a game under the lights.
They ran and kicked but in the end
they lost again that night.

We gathered afterwards on the bench
where all twelve of them could sit.
They spoke of the fun they had
and how much it would be missed.

The playoff game in latest October
was played in an early November chill.
Even in all the excitement
the weather dampened the thrill.

A coach had words to say
on how the kids could better play,
but the last word went to the girl not too old
to say at last, "It is cold!"


johnpauljustlikethepope said...

A Unique Case

The judge in anger asked who I was to rise with an objection.
I stated my name and soon anger turned to elation.
The judge laughed loudest for being mistaken.
All parties roared at the plaintiff who was forgotten.

From the gallery I stepped forward
leaving behind my wife and daughter.
At the table no seats were free,
so the judge nearer to her beckoned me.

Her honor was never so impressed
with the the merits of my case
as when in the witness stand
I cross-examined myself.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

First Date

She changed my life when she agreed to go
to Harbor Park after the show.
I do not remember what we ate,
maybe nothing, it was late.

Down the boardwalk for a stroll
Or hearts together spared us from the cold.
A late April weeknight, the park was empty,
but for us tow meeting discretely.

At the school where we worked
the children learned fast
of our love growing
and built to last.

The girl I held in Middletown's harbor
anchors me to Middletown forever.
When our children ask where to find true romance
I will tell them the river is your best chance.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

A Father's Delivery

The due date went Daddy's way
without a birth, and a Patriot's victory.
I did not want a Super Bowl Party
with my wife and I in Labor and Delivery.

On Monday the doctor said she would wait a week longer
before scheduling a birthday on her calendar.
We left the office in a fit of dejection,
thinking our natural birth would end in induction.

That night at ten a call came from the top of the stairs,
a mother-to-be blushing like an angel up there.
"My water broke!" she called down to me.
"Your what?" I replied, full of curiosity.

There is only so much a man can do
for fatherhood to prepare.
No books nor gifts can soften the blow
when a new life with yours you will share.

The rigors of pregnancy at last were over.
Nothing left for a Dad to do
but catch up on sleep
during the seventeen hours of labor.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Rain on Aragon

I walked up the bridge
to look for a boat I had lost,
the same bridge where that week a babe was tossed.
By the rail, the height filled me with fear and awe
as a gentle rain began to fall.

The boat had a flag at half mast
until the baby's funeral had past.
I left it anchored on a good line
where the Mattabesset and Connecticut combine.

The current of one cancels the other,
so all the suspended soil settles together
and makes for us Wilcox Island.
There my boy and I went ashore
after anchoring the boat for a couple days, no more.

When we returned from the Cape,
the child was buried and the boat had escaped.
It was a loss I could not mourn
walking up the bridge named for Aragon.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Age of Snow

The snow was so high for so long
it was strange to see it go.
For weeks the mountains at the end of driveways
denied a view of cars passing by.

The children dug into them
all manner of caves.
I was their age last I saw snow so deep.
They may be my age the next time this repeats.

Driving down the street you did find
every house with a blind drive.
A car could come into the lane without warning,
Like a game of Russian Roulette on the way to work each morning.

The schools were closed five days
because there was no place at the bus stops to stay.
They hauled the snow from Main Street away
to a place they will make a park some day.

I took my kids to climb the mountains there.
An acre of ice and snow, fifteen feet into the air.
Too much weight to stay in place
the mountains moved like a tortoise race.
The fence beside them did not fare well,
it bent and broke and in places fell.

That glacier called to mind the ghost
of a glacier that stretched from Canada to the coast.
A mile high where today stand us,
Long Island was formed at its terminus.

Could another ice age for Connecticut occur?
Geology teaches it is only a matter of time, for sure.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...


She was just a tiny girl
sitting in a grown up chair.
Her eyes were windows to a soul
that was no longer there.

Every day she sat on the bus
beside her bestest friend.
She will love her forever
but never see her again.

Faces draw down, hair frayed as though electric,
A family of six sat in a circle.
For their pain this day to disappear,
I prayed for them a miracle.

The eldest son received a text after an awful wait,
he rejoiced to know his siblings were safe.
The phone of his friend rang at the same time
and so he learned of his little brother's demise.

The father's frenzied journey to the school ended with a queue.
Watching the children walk towards him, there was nothing he could do.
When all the children were to have arrived
He thought his girl had not survived.

What could I say, that all will be OK?
Not to this family, not on this day.
Before then, Newtown was home to a flag pole and a theater.
Now, its fame is sadness beyond all measure.

John said...

No Guts, But Glory
I have a friend whose guts are gone
from a cancer nearly unknown.
All the time it was making mucous.
It felt soft, but was nonetheless vicious.

To spare his life
They took out most of his intestine.
Now he is thin as a fife,
and not much good at wrestling.

He seemed to take it all in stride.
The changes to live he did abide.
Even with much less him thereof
There is still plenty for his family to love.

We played a round of nine
Then found a place to dine.
The bill went to the non-winner.
Lucky for me, he doesn’t eat much dinner.

John said...


When the chips are down
the lobbyists do not miss a beat.
They will be your best friend
if you want to repeat.

Foes are always easier to figure,
all their criticisms are always major.
A lesson from the Godfather:
beware those who keep you closer.

When all is said and done
the voters decide who has won.
No matter how it gets spun
the spoils go to the favorite son.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Walk with me,
across the snow and grass,
down a slope
on a cold day in early spring.

A band of snow yields to grass below
like a dying man,
gasping for breath.
The color winter is white.
The color of spring is green.
The colors fly together for a brief time,
during the transition when winter must resign.

The walkway is clear,
but less direct.
At the risk of a slip and fall
the bank offers a quicker trip.

It is not that I am in a rush,
although the cold is piercing my coat.
My heart will keep me warm
no matter the trail we take.

The grass and snow feel different
than stepping on man-made pavement.
There is a crunching sound
when my weight breaks the frozen snow.
My shoes sink a bit
when stepping on the grassy cushion.

Children make a playground of a slope like this.
Over snow they slide,
and down grass they roll.
A walk down the hill with me tonight
will rejuvenate our souls.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Main Street Morning

Early on a Sunday morning,
the traffic lights change,
without any cars in the lane.

A trio jog side by side,
on the sidewalk,
empty and wide.

The sun lights up the limestone
of the banks on the corners
of Court Street and Main.
The low angle rays
increase the reflection,
sending white light
in my direction.

The first patrons
drink their first coffee,
with a toasted scone beside.
For a moment, there are no plans,
and nothing to decide.

A little girl sits in a chair,
her feet dangle in the air.
She looks at the menu she cannot read,
drinking OJ for her morning feed.

The clouds come in from the west.
The light on the limestone dims.
Just another of many
New England weather whims.

It is cooler than yesterday,
which was warmer than all the rest.
Over a T-shirt
I wear a polar fleece vest.

A man in shorts and long sleeves
dags his do by its leash.
It is he nature of this creature
to sniff each and every feature.

Cars come and go,
filling more of the parking spaces.
Pedestrians make their way
to their favorite morning oasis.

The window reflects
the other side of the street.
The big red door to the brownstone church
opens to let the church-goers meet.

Good Christians prescribe
an hour on Sunday
to quiet your mind,
to let God inside.

My coffee is empty,
Main Street is filling.
The spirit is with me,
my soul is willing.
My mind is at ease.
After refilling my cup, I go in peace.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Shadow of the White Queen

Kings Richard and Henry fought war,
then English Kings fought no more.
The pains and losses of succession
in an age that rewarded raw aggression.

Men were killed, and children, too.
Sins of the Crown now eschewed.
King Richard fell to a commoner's blade
in an age when weapons were handmade.

The Plantagenets began their decline.
The White Queen's daughter carried her line.
Her daughter's granddaughter's son was James.
He ruled a United Kingdom on the Thames.

When swords are bent into plowshares
a nation nurtures the public welfare.
To those who think war makes us great,
far greater is a sheep's average weight.

johnpauljustlikethepope said...

Warm Spell

Seeking shade in October in New England,
did the Almanac get it wrong?
On a day when the high temp for the continent
is recorded in southern Saskatchewan.

A choir of insects
sing a summery tune.
Children wearing shorts
fill up water balloons.

No one is complaining
about the seasons rearranging.
The climbing rose is blooming,
postponing its autumn pruning.

The blueberry sprouts I transplanted
are watered, less they reawaken.
Crops can be lost en masse
when for spring a warm spell is mistaken.

Will the warm weather last?
Or is this Mother Nature playing a trick?
Time to search the garage.
Where did I put my ice pick?