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

The Grasshopper


Did you ever see a grasshopper in La Mesita Park

Just yesterday suddenly and unexpectedly

A grasshopper sprang to my shoulder

There it sat with cautious pride

Accepting the convenience

Of my walking on the grass

How I accept your place of rest

Sprightly little guest

For eye to eye

In the morning light

I held you in your early flight

I deemed your mood

Not all contrite

Gray little insect with all your might

You learned to cling throughout your life

Our time together seemed so brief

I hope you found a sheltered leaf

But should you need a safer church

Upon my shoulder you may always perch


Ted Goodell

August 20, 2010

The Bench


Alone, with only the stillness

Of being alone

The bench waits, expecting nothing

But its public image for escape

A timeless reminder of its ancient birth

The necessity to be an urban island

That offers silent comfort

With nothing but an offering for rest

Whoever knows the sanctity of the bench

Gives silent tribute to its unknown guest


Ted Goodell

October 29, 2015

To An Athlete


Let us commemorate

The athlete triumphant

The interplay of health and beauty

Forever dependent

On the interplay of mass and motion

The disciplined effort

To disguise

The ravishment of time

To shadow memories

While speed and strength

Still drive the sanctity of hope


Ted Goodell

April 23, 2007