Ronald Fingerson


	Tense among lions, present tense, Green Jeans
	and Earrings shrink past incisors and claws,
	maws and paws, pursuing wins betweens.
	Tense among leopards, past tense, Green Jeans
	and Earrings, walled their wins, numbered seens;
	they cupped their ears for appreciative aahs.
	Tense among tigers, future tense, Green Jeans
	and Earrings will think about it (clause pause).


	Extraordinary West, gifted, is best
	when paired with inimitably fine East;
	rarely bested, he delights in his quest.
	Extraordinary West, gifted, is best
	when competing, ensuring his manifest
	destiny:  Go West; imbibe, be merry, feast.
	Extraordinary West, gifted, is best
	when paired with inimitably fine East.


	Yellow and Blue
	forgive me for being captivated by you.
	I know it breaks the rule, so I play
	the clown, the fool.

	Yellow and Blue,
	when you expressed an interest in me,
	suggested I be a part of We, I knew
	it broke the rule, so I played the clown,
	the fool.

	Yellow and Blue,
	it is nature's rule that this old bear,
	this old clown, onlookers' fool, must,
	at the end of day, go his separate way,

	Yellow and Blue,
	blond hair, baby-blue top with matching
	sweater, you are my favorite colors;
	forgive me for being captivated by you.


	For six dollars and a quarter times four,
	we may hold hands, sip brew, engage in four play.
	We may bid red, signaling our desire, score.
	For six dollars and a quarter times four,
	for hours, we may couple, compete, ignore
	conventions, vow our intentions, multiplay.
	For six dollars and a quarter times four,
	we may hold hands, sip brew, engage in four play.


	Hesitate and you're toast, burned on one side;
	be paced, paced like pulse rhythms, heart giggles;
	like the hearts king, be stoic, aloof, tongue-tied.
	Hesitate and you're toast, burned on one side;
	deny the hearts queen's prize tries; wide-eyed,
	sidestep these pregnant moments, bids wriggles.
	Hesitate and you're toast, burned on one side;
	be paced, paced like pulse rhythms, heart giggles.


	Value valiant, vigorous, versatile,
	Able, alert, aboveboard, adorable,
	Likeable, lighthearted, logical, lyrical,
	Eager, energetic, earnest, easygoing,
	Neighborly, neat, nimble, nurturing,
	Talented, tactful, truthful, temperate,
	Intuitive, invulnerable, incisive, intelligent,
	Nonpareil, noble, noteworthy, newsy,
	Elastic, eloquent, encyclopedic, ecstatic


	wearing a crown of thorns,
	encircles us
	with His arms
	holds us close
	in answer
	to our prayers.


	Our mentors poke us, stress focus; their stressors
	aim to narrow the gap, the miles between smiles
	and frowns; their razzle dazzle recalls:  dials,
	trials, yield piggyback rides, positive scores.

	Like kids wishing to please our parents, we
	scramble, amble, err, suffer scolds and spanks,
	wink, blink, strive to emulate, think thanks;
	try wearing our shoes; hear our quiet pleas.

	Yet, we stay the course, enjoy the pains-gains,
	treasure our count signals, our back-pat rewards;
	duelers, we weather skirmishes, whether vanes;
	Parry and Thrust, we brandish our muted swords.

	Smile, chuckle, enjoy us; we earned our enlights:
	roller-coaster dips and swoops, whoops delights.


	There is a fine player, Ruth Scott,
	who generously provides us a spot,
	a bridge studio,
	a fun place to go
	to win tricks via rules well-taught.

	There is a fine teacher, Ruth Scott,
	whose lessons urge focus and thought;
	she paired me with Dick,
	a balancing pick,
	whose down-ups win us tricks -- and kicks.


	Hoping to entice the elusive J Ann,
	Puppet flexed his biceps, gave her a wink,
	did pushups, chinups, barbells, urged she link
	muscle with think -- angel baby, I'm your man.

	Hoping to allure the stonewalling J Ann,
	Smolen donned figured psychedelic pink;
	I'm your dude; push aside Puppet -- that blink;
	chick, I can win us tricks; trust me, I can.

	Hoping J Ann, player, will be his play mate,
	Mini Roman quick-started his rhythmic dance,
	twirled his colors, clicked his castanets; chance
	it darling; I'm your weave; I'm your plait.

	Aloof J Ann -- you need us; we need you;
	we are goof proof; link with us; say yes; do.


	Rich, the first of two syllables, richer,
	drives a Bentley, a Rolls, pilots a jet,
	captains two yachts, a matched set,
	explores the oceans, veteran traveler.

	Rich, richer, Brahmin, elitist, banker,
	trader in cut diamonds, earns billions, net,
	hosts gourmet dinners, tasties for the jet set,
	fancies himself in designer wraps, a winner.

	Poor, poorer, fetid breath, eats horse meat
	and spuds skins, filches dimes from coin slots,
	flaps in flip flops, splayed toes, smelly feet,
	wears castoffs, shirts stained with grease spots;

	yet, they join hands in duplicate:  counting,
	risking, bidding, playing, scoring, laughing.


	Pinboys, we set pins for four teams, five men
	each, at Red's Bowling Alley; each bowler had
	three games, thirty frames, to feel great or sad:
	splits, seven-ten, spares, nine-ten, strikes, all-ten.

	Pinboys, we dodged flying pins, two lanes each,
	returned balls, racked and reset the pins, alert
	for ball two whose quick throw targeted us, hurt;
	to hurt back, we rack-greased one hole each.

	Pinboys, we set pins on school nights, seven
	to eleven; teach-learn homework:  theorems,
	Latin verbs, sentence diagrams, who when
	what how why were short-on-time problems.

	Pinboys, we spent our gains on bubble gum,
	comic books, poker, bits-o-honey -- awesome.


	That single length of track, two rails of steel
	on wood beams, fifty yards long, twenty tears
	high, each tie a heartbeat, amplified our fears 
	we'd hear a freight train, steel on steel squeal.

	Cautious, tie by tie, toe heel toe heel, we
	stepped our fears across that wood-steel span:
	west east, east west, to from our unmanned
	private retreat, Ravine Lake clique, dues-free.

	Once across, amidst rocks and dry cow pies,
	we stripped naked and dived into the cold
	water:  swimming, splashing, laughing, bold
	and carefree, naked guys under naked skies.

	Later, we sun-dried on the sun-browned grass:
	backs, chests, and faces, sun-baked first-class.


	Thirteen, I squeezed Holstein udders near five,
	dodged splattering cow pies and swishing tails,
	separated the milk and cream, washed the pails,
	shielded my eyes, and watched the sun arrive.

	Eighteen, O Dairy sealed the milk and cream
	in glass and sent me, house-to-house, to please
	the ladies, after five, before sunup; please tease
	the old in out, and the new out in; be a dream.

	The Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Shepherds
	were hardest to please; I used my wagging
	tail routine:  tongue out, sitting up, licking
	faces, and honeying them with cheese curds.

	After five, I ate devil's food cake with angel
	ice cream, mom-made, my self-serve wangle.


	Each player anted a penny; the dealer dealt
	one card face down, one face up; players bet
	up to three pennies on each face up card, set
	to raise three times:  no protests, no appeals.

	Five players betting on four cards face-up
	yielded a lively stud game; seven cards: two
	face down, low card wild, excited bets anew.
	Seven card no peek corked bluff down ups.

	Games yielding split pots:  three-and-a-half,
	twenty-one-and-a-half:  aces counting one
	or eleven, face cards counting a half, won
	the votes of many, kindled hearty laughs.

	Huron winters, indoors, guys with pennies
	bet on cards, winning and losing by degrees.


        Thank you Claudia and David for fun,
        Saturday fun, right of Kum and Go
        fun, afternoon fun, enjoying the patio
        fun, basking in the warmth of the sun.

        Thank you Max and Dugan, happy faces,
        for encouraging back pats, touching.  We
        enjoyed the smorgasbord lunch.  Mentee
        amply filled his plate and tummy spaces.

        Precision hip-slipped through the patio gate.
        Suspenders held his jean shorts in suspense.
        Humorous asked for verses, sound and sense.
        Duplicates, we chatted, shared -- all was great.

        Many thanks Claudia, David, Dugan, Max;
        invite us back -- email, phone, don't fax.