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Coffeehouse Reflections – Exerpts

Monday, December 15th, 2008

 

Hi!  Here are several examples of pitcures and poetry from the Book
Coffeehouse Reflections available under Books.  Enjoy!

 

            Coffee Shop Reality

 

It seems to me the coffee shop has come of Age.

Ubiquitous, more than a café, less than a salon,

dispensing Lattes, hot, and Frappuccinos, cold,

to match the weather; no longer after-hour hangouts

for beat poets or college revolutionaries

and their hangers-on.  They are mainstream now –

Starbucks, Java City, Sue’s Pastries Beans and Brew –

catering to the rest of us, the higher to middle

income, or the aspiring to be.  I’ve seen them all

come in: the young/middle-aged/quaintly-aging

housewife stopping on her way home from the gym;

the professional woman/man on a break from her/his

hectic day; the doctor/nurse/med-technician

in scrubs on break from the ward/lab/operating room;

the youth on break or tardy from school; the elder, retired,

getting out of a silent house well cared for and tidy now

that he/she has time – but not so satisfying

as once hoped for, now that it fills so little time

where other interests used to.  I’ve seen new love beginning

for young couples at back-corner tables and old lives shared,

lovingly, by the window.  Is this the new reality,

our changing national identity, this new found pot

into which America is melting?  What

has brought this new, modern reality into being? 

An interesting question for which I find I have no answer. 

But neither do I need one to enjoy sitting

drinking in this new Americana scene

with my coffee and my scone and feeling this is how

life is meant to be….

 

 

 

                   

         She’s Cute

 

                 She’s cute –

consciously posing herself

in a grown up womanly way –

naïve in thinking she succeeded. 

All of eighteen (surely not yet twenty),

she fancies herself worldly and wise –

ready to play her part with passion and flair.

If I were young as she,

I might be impressed (most likely, in lust),

wanting to help her make her point. 

But now, amused, I only watch her on display,

thinking back upon the women I have known

and what they taught me

along the way.

 

 

 

 

                    Working

Working alone at the upper end

of the dark wooden table we share,

she is the industrious one.

I am unemployed – retired really,

but the result’s the same.

With time on my hands and idled mind,

I come squandering my time

until the next visit south.

 

Though no longer all that young,

she’s an active person, attractive,

maintaining herself, her hair nicely done,

wearing make up, salon nails, a jeweled pendant,

and a double pearled ring on her writing hand

while here, at the table’s foot, I sit

needing a shave.

 

I inquire of her task,

“Buying a business,” she replies.

Hmmm…now there’s an idea.

“I’ve done it before, been in business that is,

here, but went away for a while

and now I’m coming back.

It’s a good place to be,” she says,

with a final shrug of her shoulder

dropping her attention back to her papers.

 

And I agree,

it is a good place to be,

even for lazy hangers-on like me….

 

         Vagrant in Monterey

 

                               I

 

Outside this downtown Starbucks portal, I see

a higher class of vagrant than I’m used to,

a large Starbucks cup of something, his pack

off to his right, a ‘Mission’ bag of corn chips

to his left – clean jeans and plain-white T-shirt

and stylish walking shoes.  I only guess

at vagrancy when another, more typical, grungier

backpacker stops to exchange words and then

accepts a plastic water bottle reward. 

They laugh between themselves (an old acquaintance?)

before the latter moves along again

leaving the first still seated on the bench. 

Perhaps it is a life-style freely chosen

by the younger, cleaner one, desiring

a less demanding life?  A little like

me lately, sitting here passing time.

 

                           II

 

I used to wonder whatever would I do

at this stage of my life (but actually,

I lie – I never thought that I would last

this long).  Now that I am here, I wonder

less about both meaning and direction,

even value, of what I do or don’t do

day by day….  It’s enough, it seems,

to set apart from the flow, watching, feeling

life slide by – observing selected scenes

to record, remember, and fiddle with once

these moments are past.  Later I step back in,

from observer to actor – sometimes for a moment,

or an hour, or a few days’ time

to prove, I suppose, that I can.  It’s a comfort to know

I can when I want to, and don’t have to when I don’t. 

I wonder, am I a vagrant too?  Or just

an old man growing mellow with age…?