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Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 1
PASSING THE SALTPage 1 of 34    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34)
The thing is, we've none of us found the stranger yet,
with whom to open the perfect conversation.
Faces we take to be unknown, glide
into sly familiarity, the warmth of once particular skin,
phrases that appeal to us now
because they did then.

There are things we still haven't said.
That we are frightened sometimes,
though there's no reason for it--because
there's no reason for it. And,
in a certain tone of voice, "I love you."

It takes everything to say "I love you"
in just that way, as if it were nothing
--'Please pass the salt,'
or a belch in easy company.

Again and again, behind some face
that pretends to be new to us
there lies hidden that other
to which we answered dutifully once,
"I love you,
too." The face of an aunt who died young
of self-pity or an uncle
who rested his hand on your shoulder
and left it damp to the bone.

Or a lover, known, who became unknown.
But still we believe in him or in her
and whisper, "Come. Feel free. Speak,"
in voices that haven't yet grown familiar even to us.
We believe in the stranger's inarticulateness
as we believe in our own.

Which of us has learned already to speak?

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations copyright 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 2
Posted: 8/25/2006 7:37:15 AM
Thank you so much, Dude. It's a poem that means a lot to me and I'm always grateful when any one of mine touches somebody else.
Joined: 3/15/2005
Msg: 3
Posted: 8/26/2006 8:25:16 AM
There is a fine flow to your words, Alyosha .... Hope we see more of you around here.
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 4
Thank you Drea and Breathing
Posted: 8/26/2006 3:30:49 PM
and here's another one I hope you'll like:


Touch is the noun and verb of the heart.
Not all the words that you or I
can murmur, sing or shout
-–hoarse with eloquence, mad
with truth--words that beseech
or beckon or command,
can equal the touch,
in passing, of a friendly hand.

J. Newman copyright 2006

P.s. I misunderstood about keeping all one's poems in a single thread. I have others under "Pummeling"
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 5
What You Can Do with Love
Posted: 8/27/2006 3:26:08 AM
With love and a two-dollar bill
you can ride the subway.
Without love but with a two-dollar bill
You could still ride the subway
–but it wouldn’t be the same ride.

With love and a round-the-world airline ticket
you could fly to the ends of the earth.
Without love but with a round-the-world airline ticket
you could still fly to the ends of the earth
–but who would be waiting there?

With love and a winning lottery ticket
you could build your dream house!
Without love but with a winning lottery ticket
you could still build your dream house,
–but how would you live in it?

J. Newman copyright 2005
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 6
Thank you Drea and Breathing
Posted: 8/27/2006 3:30:31 AM
Drea, what you say you cannot capture yourself but dream of doing... allow yourself to dream as deeply as you can, let go of the conscious (ego) wish to achieve or impress, allow yourself to be wooed by the music in language - even the sometimes harsh or lonely or longing music - and draw on images that come to you from actual dreams.
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 7
Posted: 8/27/2006 3:33:55 AM
Ca va bien, chou, et avec toi?
Yes, some of my poems have been published in a book called "Sudden Proclamations."
Next time you're here to visit your daughter, let's get together for a coffee... (But, whoops! I'm a smoker. )
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 8
"Essential as breath /To you and I"
Posted: 8/27/2006 3:48:00 AM
Essential as breath
To you and I.
Is the touch of another.
The deep,
Deep touch of a mother,
The soft, malleable hand
Of an infant, a lover’s caress
On a waiting cheek.
The fingers, the palm
That bids one “Speak...”
The skin that does not fear
But cries out in return:
“I am here, I am here...”
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 9
Thank you Drea and Breathing
Posted: 8/27/2006 3:51:09 AM
Many thanks, Salty...
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 10
Essential as breath /To you and I
Posted: 8/28/2006 3:38:40 AM
Aw, Pickles, take my word for it, you WILL love again! Here's how I dealt with one disappointment:


Lying in another bed, my lover
dreams of rough-skinned peaches,
plentiful and free.

Around the base of the tree
a ring of children run,
taunting her. Years later

she will lie in anyone's arms,
peach juice down her chin, and wonder
if they were part of that gang.

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations copyright 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 11
Essential as breath /To you and I
Posted: 8/28/2006 10:46:43 AM
Sheesh! And I was hoping I'd be your first.
Your fruit or mine?
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 12
Dear Eve (aka Pickles)
Posted: 8/29/2006 8:12:16 AM
We started with an apple
Shall we work our way up?
Bananas in bed let's sup,
Cranberries till our lips are red,
Dates, Etrog of Biblical fame,
Figs until our hearts are fed
with joy! Gooseberries to further inflame
our lust
and Honey Locust
...and more, and more until,
fearing a glut,
we end up with a Zulu Nut.
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 13
I Want to Let You Know
Posted: 9/16/2006 7:51:57 AM
I want to let you know
that I am here.

If you should want me
I am here.

If you should need me
I am here.

If you wake up in the middle of the night,
trembling, and cannot remember
the time before you were alone,
I am here.

I am always here.

J. Newman © 2006
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 14
I Want to Let You Know
Posted: 9/18/2006 10:02:13 AM
We wax and wane
like the moon,
and somewhat like the moon
our hearts reflect
a sun that is always far,
far away...

J. Newman © 17Sep06
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 15
When Love is Dead
Posted: 9/19/2006 3:23:15 PM
When love is dead
we note the lie
that is blatant in the corpse.
Limbs that once appeared to dance
are now seen to have been
twitching their last, long twitch.

That which seemed once
to have been an eternity
is now revealed as a spasm
between the spank of life
and the last cough before the grave.

J. Newman © 2006
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 16
She is Nervous about her Body
Posted: 9/21/2006 3:40:58 AM
She is nervous about her body:
those breasts that she has never liked
and which have grown, over the years,
but not, in her eyes, more beautiful,
that tummy that surrendered
some of its muscle tone to each
of the children she bore,
those thunder thighs!

She has already shown
him more than maybe she ought to have done:
her vulnerability, the scars
on her heart, her hopes,
her silly hopes
of being loved for who she is.
Must she now show him the rest?

Must she now show him the rest?

J. Newman © 2006
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 17
Lost love may be found again
Posted: 9/22/2006 9:44:31 AM
“A solitary pawn spreads gloom across the chessboard.” Mikhail Tal

Lost love may be found again,
but tossed love - love that has been
thoughtlessly used and discarded,
like a question that has no answer,
may start a spot of cancer
in the brain of the discarded
which may then spread from him or her
through the ether
into my brain and yours.

And soon the balance has tipped,
between hope and pain,
possibly never to be tipped back again...

J. Newman 22Sep06 © 2006
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 18
Thus Nijinski said...
Posted: 9/22/2006 2:08:47 PM
Thanks, Eyes... I don't think I would DEMAND the rest but yes, you're right - I'd sure be hoping for it!

Thus Nijinski said when asked
to explain his ability to fly:
“I just jump as high as I can
then stay there a while.”

And if, like me, you’d prefer
not to die, live
as fully as you can,
then stay there a while...

J. Newman © 21Sep06
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 19
Posted: 9/26/2006 4:49:32 AM
Death's emissary came
and said, "Why not?"
I hesitated a fateful second
--and was caught.

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations © 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 20
She is Nervous about her Body
Posted: 9/26/2006 9:24:47 AM
Way to go, Hortense, it's obvious that you've got some mental shoppings, full of goodies!
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 21
Posted: 9/28/2006 2:45:29 AM
Between intending
and not intending to,
rises the sharp-edged cliff
with a mind of its own.

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations © 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 22
Posted: 9/30/2006 4:48:27 AM
Death is a slice
so fine
no one quibbles with it,
slanting down, like rain
on an otherwise level afternoon.

The sun's long reach
is deflected. The last of the morning
hangs, unused, around our feet.

We're caught
in our heart's own
hollow, the white slavery
of waiting for someone else to care.

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations © 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 23
And Call It Marriage
Posted: 10/3/2006 6:47:13 AM
I was reading about a writer
who split his wife’s head
open with a vodka bottle...

Correction: I was reading about a woman
who stayed with her husband
even after he split her head
open with a vodka bottle.

It takes two
to create a monster
and call it marriage.

J. Newman © 03Oct06
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 24
Posted: 10/3/2006 4:58:42 PM
The mind has its own hand
to do its work for it,
legs that take it
to strange camps.

The mind knows no limit
to its power. It razes
half the world, day and night,
at any real or fancied slight.

Ten thousand of the choicest
virgins, the blackest
caviar, grapes
of an almost unimaginable sweetness

--all these, the mind lays out before itself,
and takes them at a single bite.

J. Newman Sudden Proclamations © 1992
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 25
Posted: 10/5/2006 3:42:59 AM
Loving is the hardest work we'll ever do.
But this is the beauty of it:
that we will die, still trying
to do it right...

J. Newman © 2006
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