The Web

A poem writes itself

Like a spider

Spinning a web

It silently finds its prey

In the subtlety

Of hidden space

As if the tapestry of thought

Had finally trapped

The power of a single word

A trap waiting

For a feast of words

Ted Goodell

July 2020


An unexpected event has

Derailed our lives

Routines once taken for granted

Are re-ordered around staying at home

Investing space with every inch

As precious as hope

For out of necessity I exercise

Walking around the floor space

Of the kitchen table

The space is barely satisfactory

But less is far better

Than the dragging lethargy

Of prolonged confinement

Prolonged until prayer or science

And probably both

Measure each precious moment

Until the tools of survival

And the daily effort to end the confinement

Keep us in the safety of our homes

The gravity of the confinement

Assumed a strange cloistered feeling

As I chanced to look out the kitchen window

I saw a Morning Dove

Flaunting its freedom in flight

Aloft in the wind and in the sky

Ted Goodell

July 2020

Home Is Where the House Is

I think about

Those empty houses

Seen as numbers

Lined along the streets

Their windows closed

Where children used to sleep

Their driveways

Once a playground

For their lively feet

They stand like markers

To the wind and grass

Like lonely sentinels

They watch

Each generation pass

Ted Goodell

May 2020

Eden Earth

Historians and biblical scholars

Yearn to know the true location

Of the Garden of Eden

Not seeing that they stand

In the Earth of the Garden of Eden

Bounded by scholarly conjecture

Mixed with the mystique

Of ancient sentiment

While biblical sleuths shun

The idea that the Garden of Eden

Has always been our verdant planet Earth

Rich in vegetation and water

Rich in the multiplicity

Of generational creatures

Surrounded by a solar universe

Teeming with lifeless planets

Bereft of any biblical Edens

Orbiting in eternal desolation

Awaiting the fragile destiny of Eden Earth

Ted Goodell

May 2020

The Ruler

Some of the rules

Are designed

To limit the ruler

And some of the rules

Are designed to rule the ruler

And some of the rules

Are designed

So the ruler

Can rule like a ruler

But when the rules

Are ruled by the ruler

The ruler becomes the rules

Ted Goodell

March 2020

The Performance

Like a majestic pantomime

The ballet dancers

Move with the graceful force of flowing water

And then like an athletic event

Focused like any sport

The dancers use their muscle power

To leap and sail

Like wingless engines soaring in space

The audience now entranced

By the dancers’ weightless force

Propelled beyond conceivable agility

They come to understand

How the ballet dancers

Epitomize the capacity

Of the human body

To triumph silently


Ted Goodell

February 18, 2020


I think that a poet

Long ago reflected

On the date 1-1-1010

And in that quiet moment

Of inner awareness

Knew that someday far away

One thousand and ten years away

Another poet would pause to reflect

On that fleeting day 2-2-2020

And react to the alignment

The inevitable alignment

of 2-2-2020

And ponder the dependability of days

Knowing that somewhere

In another thousand years

A future poet would think

How unretreating time moves on

And in the silent interval of years

The faithful calendar would show



Ted Goodell


Genesis 3:19

In the beginning

Man is ordered

To exert his strength

And bring sweat to his face

In his effort to make bread

The order has nothing to do

With physical beautification

But in time

Pushing the wheelbarrow

Was replaced with pumping iron

And working the bench press

And driving the stationary bike

And all of this exertion

Brought sweat to his face

But the bread was baked and packaged

Long before the gym doors opened

And the sweat derived by the harvest

Raises the machine to biblical obedience


Ted Goodell

January 2020

The Peach

How did the peach

Get into impeachment

Is it the favorite fruit

Of the im and the ment

Why is the peach

Even necessary when

Imment is a perfect word without a fruit

Can it be that

The pear is already in a word

And the apple

Rose up with a mountain

And the grape

Brought fame to a novel

Perhaps the Founding Fathers

Could not refrain

From expressing

A peach of an idea


Ted Goodell

June 18, 2019

A Gift to The Throne

A roll of toilet paper

Begins as a fully formed commodity

It is first seen in its full paper power

Stylistically and securely wound

Yard after yard like a sacred scroll

Layer upon layer surrounding a tube

It is softly ornamental

But its practical objective is indisputable

It contends with no rivals

For it has no rivals

Nor can it be rejected

When summoned to a throne

It has no vanity

Though its popularity is unsurpassed

It carries its silent secrets

Far from probing eyes

As it travels with fluid speed

Below the structures

Holding up the universal throne.


Ted Goodell

June 3, 2019


Cartoons are like

An animated Rorschach test

Their unique configurations

Activate the imagination

Giving us the space

To think with the freedom

Rendered by the cartoon artist

They are a safe escape

As technicolor waves

Rock us softly

In the interior night

Of a movie matinee


Ted Goodell

May 28, 2019

The Runner

There is an old sporting event

Called the “Runs”

The participant engaged in this sport

Suddenly and with no prior training

Becomes an elite athlete

Resembling a Jesse Owens

Or a Doberman Pincher

A classic sprinter who obeys

Nothing but the explosion

Of the starter pistol

Who quickly displays skills

That make an Olympic champion

Look like a jogger

This event can take place

In the participant’s home

But it is optically spectacular

In a Wal-Mart parking lot

Dodging cars and hurdles of shopping carts

Unlike the safety of the Olympics

There is no celebrating gold medal

Only the lonely victory

And the silent satisfaction

Of a paper reward

Praised by the cheering

Flush at the finish line.


Ted Goodell

April 11, 2019

The Gnat

What eternity of time

Travels this tiny insect

To the unknown world of porcelain bowl

Trapped traveler long lost

In Paleozoic memories

Its fluttering message

Speaks as if we understood

The inexpressible union

Between evolutionary rivals.


Ted Goodell

March 20, 2019

The Geography Lesson

Mountains are high because they

Are ambitious and they work hard

To get up in the world

They believe in the theory

Of the molten force of plasticity

And if they are angered they can erupt

With explosive force rearranging

The territory they occupy

Forcing the crust of the lowlands

Into a strategy of resist and contain

Creating at times a climate of chaos

That cripples nations

And makes the priorities of governments

As ambiguous as the territorial boundaries

Of a flock of hungry ravens


Ted Goodell

March 11, 2019

The Brown Bear

The life of a wild animal is very brief

Especially when it suffers the indignity

Of being stuffed and posed and parked

In artificially dramatic situations

Or posed under conditions

Unrelated to its wild habitat

Like the stuffed Brown Bear

With his ferocious mouth

Stretched wide in fearsome form

Staged menacingly wearing a Santa Claus hat

At the company Christmas celebration

This gruesome comedy used as a prop

To support the winking bravery

Of the inebriated guests


Ted Goodell

February 25, 2019