The Hyacinths

When I see hyacinths

Rooted in vase and flower

A window and a windowsill

To reach beyond

And bring its flower

To bear the only knowledge

That a flower knows

Is light for all of us though we

Imagine that we are not flowers

And yet the hyacinth

Is strangely all of us

Surrounded by the sun

The stars are roots in air

Giving us life in growing things

That link us root and flower

That space we call

The windowsill we call our home

The hyacinth is not a guest

It is the flower we can not be

It is we who are the guests prodding the mystery


Ted Goodell

February 2017


In Praise of Sitcoms

The sitcoms are entertaining

And the actors are superb

But sitcoms are not theatre

They are satellites to the theatre

And the TV studio is not a stage

Until the actors assemble to perform

And a glass screen watched by an audience

Can not open like a curtain

Although the magic of the remote

Can make us see a photographic curtain

But try to imagine

Interrupting Act II of Hamlet

Just when Ophelia laments how Hamlet

“Took me by the wrist and held me hard”

In order to sell a box of breakfast cereal

Yet we empathize and laugh

And laughter is the jewel of joy

Assuring us that brevity is often brilliant

For the spectator has entered a kingdom

Where brevity is the beginning of wisdom


Ted Goodell

January 2017

The World of Internet

If Shakespeare and his troupe

Came pounding on the door

Singing and swearing

And brandishing their swords

Filling their flagons with mead

And telling us how Kings

Corrupt with jealousy and greed

The Bard would tweet a line

To let his players know

How all the world’s a stage he set

Now connected by the internet


Ted Goodell

January 2017


The YMCA stretches

Its imposing beauty

Above the grass and greenery

Of La Mesita Park

Like a great vessel

Moored to its harbor

Its passengers

Bound on a voyage

Rich in the allure

Of finding each day

A new adventure

Of finding friends

And the loving care

Of a crew

Dedicated to bringing

Each traveler

To undiscovered ports

And the lure

Of new horizons


Ted Goodell

July 2016

The Thrift Store

The thrift store

Doubles as a mental health clinic

You can dig into the past

Of other people’s lives

Or refer yourself to a silver spoon

Or meditate on a silk scarf

Memories reduced to a manageable fee

The follow-up visits are a bargain

Never realized by psychiatry


Ted Goodell

April 23, 2016

The Chicken Farm

Even before the chickens hatch

They know that death is not negotiable

Especially a death intended for the picnic table

The sacrifice of being born unrecognized

Until the butcher frees the farm

Of yet another bird

Whose stunted life becomes a boon

For yet another senseless celluloid cartoon


Ted Goodell

April 8, 2016

Muscle Mansion

Muscle Mansion is the exclusive

Center for the elite

Champions of body building


Expanding with breadth of definition

They flex anvils of biceps and pectorals

And stride to mirrors

To see their statuesque physiques


The daily bulk of muscle mass

Proportioned by the stress exerted

On their joints and bones

Is now beneath that sleek elastic skin

Stretched within a fraction of the force

That vulcanized exhausted cells


Another day for living in that dream

Of bulging brawn

A fusion of that furious assault

On muscle born to fabricate

The inarticulate frozen form



Ted Goodell

June 5, 2010