Saturday, September 18

No milk, no poem

Although the morning program was to write
the great poem, there is no milk in the fridge
and coffee is the mother of all metaphors.

Black coffee is fine for the ostinato
in my veins, but too bitter on the tongue
today for the merlot roots of rose taste buds,

so off to the store for milk and sidewalk
negotiations with apparitions
not written into my grand scheme of things.

A dog harasses his bored tail and barks barks
at his echo in the empty lot lot.
As I step carefully over his shadow

there comes a woman, child in hand, her eyes
meet mine at the corner of glance and pine
as her perfumed hair sails past my silence.

The low sun burns a maple silhouette
onto the bleary screens of my pained eyes;
bleated voices, hidden, call a blurred name.

At the store, a drowsy car coughs and farts.
I discover the shop is locked behind bars,
jailed for some holiday by gleaming grating.

No milk, no morning program, no grand scheme
in the dream of things, just a short walk home
stepping through the yapping shadows of a poem.
   © Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow

Photo: Leaf — © BogdanBoev at


  1. The elusive grand poem. It teases every poet, hides behind what is in plain sight. A poet's sight is not plain, however. Simple, yes. At the center, yes. Plain, no. I feel your pain, via the pleasure of this poem.

    Somehow though, when the poet arrives at the corner of glance and pine, I feel that everything will be all right. Very right indeed.


    Don't think I didn't notice!

  3. Those 'yapping shadows of a poem' are just fine, Lorenzo. Just fine...

  4. lorenzo - for a coffeeless poem this carries a lot of presence and weight. the corner of glance and pine - well that captures the internal machinations of many middle-aged men crossing the paths of lovely women. sterling work lorenzo! steven

  5. Wonderful, Lorenzo. Must I shout "Bravo, " yet again. I think I must! Bravo!!

    I love the little chess moves, for lack of a better expression, in this poem, and I especially love the language (I think I have this right, the piece not in front of me now) about the "grand scheme in the dream of things," rather than the more predictable "dream in the grand scheme of things."

  6. Oh Lorenzo - proof positive that you can milk a poem out of any situation! I want to tell steven that many a woman has found herself at the corner of glance and pine. Why I was just there yesterday afternoon!

  7. i see the suck up to nice job turning the adversity into a poem...without coffee i think i would just sit there and cry...smiles.

  8. Yes, Ruth, I do think everything will be all right. One day we will all have to sit a while at a sidewalk terrace on the Gran Plaza Glance and Pine, instead of settling for brief sightings in the wee little corner of bashful eyes

    Jeff, I bet you did notice. Couldn’t help but think of you when I mixed merlot and coffee. Also, like your “just-write” fiction pieces, this one was a “just-write” poem. I’ll keep working on them until I get them “just right”.

    Hi, Robert, our ever appreciated Solitary Walker, and thanks. As you know and communicate so well, in poems, like walks, where we are headed does not matter nearly as much as what we discover along the way.

    Thanks, Steven. I’ll defer to your greater expertise on the internal machinations of middle-aged men, after all, you are my elder (by around two months, by my calculations). The more I walk, the more I find that ALL women are lovely, but that probably shows how many years of walks I have behind me.

    Hi George. Curious about the chess analogy. As a teenager I spent two years completely obsessed and given over to the game. I ate, lived and breathed for nothing but chess. Fortunately, teenage girls, John Coltrane, listening to Leonard Cohen between smoky plumes of candlesticks and reefer Js put an end to all that.

    Hi Bonnie, I think you are certainly right about milking a poem out of this. Truly there is poetry everywhere to be found. It is heartening to hear your confirmation that glancing and pining goes both ways. Actually, don’t tell Steven, because he is two months older than me and may be touchy about this, but in the poem, it was the woman who was doing the glancing and pining. And I dare anyone to prove otherwise.

    Yes, Brian, where would we be without coffee? Shudder to think about it. As for the suck up to Jeff, there is no need to blab it out to everyone Brian, but you are right. After all, apart from being an excellent writer, a warm and supportive blog friend, Jeff is the only blog friend I have with extensive military training (as far as I know). I mean who would you suck up to?

  9. Do I see both coffee and Merlot combined in the beautiful expression of your tired crave? Her perfumed hair sails past your silence... sigh... lovely.

  10. alot of great images in this one -

    her perfumed hair sails past my silence

    is probably my favourite

  11. Sir, you are unduly modest.

    Nice sensurround, kicks Dolby Stereo's a••.

  12. Lorenzo, your poem has both gentle humor and a poet's view of the world around him.

    The last stanza is brilliant, every word:

    No milk, no morning program, no grand scheme
    in the dream of things, just a short walk home
    stepping through the yapping shadows of a poem.

    Write on, amigo mio!

  13. Lorenzo

    Without my morning coffee would certainly tease out a poem from me-- but I must say not as eloquently as yours, nor as adventurous in your early morning walk. When you drive to the store, you miss life.

    Hope by now you have your coffee and milk to sweeten the taste, and savoy its delight to the senses.


  14. I wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I'm Lovely Annie and I came across your blog this morning. Alchemy, poetry, Joseph Cambell, rumi....It really does not get much better than that!

    check out my blog...I think you might really dig it (be sure to read my quote section!)

    and (I'm part of the team)

    I'm excited to follow this blog and connect with you and others on this path!


  15. Ohhh, Lorenzo. I laughed my ass off through the first stanza, not greater truth! The ordinary of any revelation is still threaded to that something larger. I enjoyed this greatly.


  16. loved the music this poem creates when read out loud--bravo!

  17. Lorenzo, I almost fell out of my seat when I read "coffee is the mother of all metaphors." That is one of the best lines of modern time!

    You may not have milk, but you have a poem. A wonderful one. I love this poem. I love the voice and gentle humor that has your special touch. I love the yapping shadows of poetry. The farting car (egad, that is brilliant), and the narrator's odyssey that ends when the shop is "jailed by a holiday." Big applause!


"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods" — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Go ahead, leave a comment. The gods can holler a bit if they have to ...