The Mouse

How foolish it is
To be a mouse
To think its tiny size
Would spare it from the hunt
Would grant it special favors
In a world where traps and guns
Have fed the demon cult
Of hide and kill

The long lessons of search and stalk
In backyards in forests and fields
The sport of hunting
Rising to a cathedral of guns
The innocence of grazing
Lost in what once was
The lap of Earths
Forgotten treasures

Ted Goodell
April 18, 2018


Only Human

How fierce we’ve become
Since the first spear was flung
A kingdom of caves
Rising into cities of steel
The eternal struggle
To fashion living and thinking
With the intricacy of speech
A burning image
Becomes a sparkling wonder
A centering of spectral force
Silently stirring and searching
Finding the arch of energy
Rising like a song
Above the hungering
Journey of being human.

Ted Goodell
March 28, 2018

Puddles in the Rain

Dogs and cats

are the subjects

of many poems

And so are trees and flowers and flames

And children leaping puddles in the rain

But dogs and cats

preserve the safety of their secrets to the end

Leaving poetry to know

They harbor ways unknown

yet deeper than the song

of any poem


Ted Goodell

March 2018


I remember Gargantua
Squatting in his cage
His eyes staring
With helpless animosity
His Massive muscular body
Sluggish and slumped
Against the cold glass
Of his circus den
No screams no beating
of his massive chest
Only the New York crowd
Waiting restlessly to see
God’s superman deprived of Liberty

Ted Goodell
January 2018


The Visit

How abruptly a visit ends
An emptiness we long to understand
A space still waiting with a name
The surprise of seeing someone
Sharing recollections of the past
The space we share committed
To such fragile time
As if the calendar were bare
And all this candor with a friend
Is now a memory an empty room
Where flower follows flower till they bloom

Ted Goodell
November 2017



Ode to the Rotator Cuff

The body is a leaky vessel
When the rotator cuff is torn
It lists to one side
And the oars are powerless
To steer the boat

Its compass hovers with uncertain range
Directionless and unfamiliar with the sea
Its hull dashed against the wild waves
Its yard arm flapping helplessly in the wind

Ted Goodell
November 2017

A Short Poem On A Long Marriage

Marriage like love
Is always transactional
And sometimes transitional
But the touch of your hand
Was never conditional
And sixty years of marriage
Was never equivocal
Marriage like music
is mathematical
And sometimes paradoxical
But sixty years of marriage
Was never conjectural
And with you Marie
It has always been exceptional


Ted Goodell
November 2017