Sky Writer

Like an ancient bird

Escaping the internet

Behold a language

Of light that writes on air

A message monitored

By man in flight

Delivered with almost

Acrobatic grace

A lyrical message

That only the angels can erase

 

Ted Goodell

December 2018

 

 

Androcles

Androcles was a virtuous man

Modest and reserved in the company of other men

Among his friends he was honest and unafraid

And always loyal to those he served

He championed wandering in the woods

Instead of combat and military games

Shields and swords made him sad

While songs and stories made him glad

A savior to the creatures in the woods

Even a lion embraced their brotherhood

 

Ted Goodell

December 2018

The Remote

Socrates hit a philosophical

Home run when he said “Know Thyself ”

Shakespeare hit a dramatic home run

When he said “to be or not to be”

Future generations will marvel

At the depth of our wisdom

When they discover a document

Bearing the home run cry of

“Where is the remote”

They will wonder

Is the remote near

Or is it far

Or is it everywhere

 

Ted Goodell

November 2018

Kite Flyer

When the wind

Carries a kite above the clouds

The flyer will feel an exhilaration

As pure as the joy

A poet feels

When a single line

Stirs the breeze of an idea

Lifting the boundaries of memory

The rush of words

As powerful as the drumbeat of thunder

The silence that only

The whisper of language can hear

 

Ted Goodell

November 2018

The Sewing Machine

Needle and thread

Bobbin and treadle

Transform the necessity of sewing

From housework to occupation

Giving ownership of the sewing machine

The financial economy of power

Where once repetitive foot pressure

And tearing eye strain

Bled the operator from the grip of labor

The endless assault

Of patching a shirt

Or hemming a skirt

The years of toil

A slow reminder of pins and thimbles

The gnarled grip of tired fingers

Saving a child’s self esteem

With mended shirt

And twice turned cuffs

The dim lamp lighting

The weariness of yesterday

The burden of bending relieved

The brilliance of invention conceived

The dreams of generations of workers fulfilled

The joy of perfection that the sewing machine instilled

 

Ted Goodell

October 2018

Test Drive

Whoever knows the mystique

Of driving a muscle car

Hearing the resonance

Of the detonating ignition

The test drive

Rushing explosively

Like a land rocket

Over desert flats

Axels and tie-rods and gears

Bursting the acceleration

Of sand into brown clouds

Of visionary power

Brakes and tires

Screeching the torque force

Out of alignment

Skid stopping just long enough

To let the romantic driver

Embrace the energy

Of the crowning sales pitch

 

Ted Goodell

September 2018

Sportsmanship

At the crux of human behavior

We pride ourselves on sportsmanship

Is the hunter the exception

Is the sport of hunting the exception

I know of no other sport

Other than hunting

Where the outcome of the sport

Is predetermined

Where sportsmanship has been

Reduced to a slogan

 

I know of no sport

Other than hunting

Where the use of equipment

Is in the possession of only one player

 

I know of no other sport

Where the joy in participation

Is only granted to one player

 

If hunting is a sport

Why does the hunter

Win all the time

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

The Pot Holder

There is an anthropological story

Lost in the archives

Of mankind’s libraries and museums,

A little known fact,

That along with the invention

Of fire and the wheel

The great surge of human progress

Was the invention of the pot holder,

A powerful force

In the slow ascendance

Toward our towering heritage

Toward human modernity.

The pot holder stands

Alongside human inventiveness

For life dominance,

As much as fire and wheel

But barely mentioned,

Deliberately silenced,

Lest its singular force

Cast doubt on human ingenuity.

For after fire,

And long before the wheel,

The pot holder can no longer be concealed,

For the paleological evidence

Is now quite clear,

Without the pot holder

In whatever form it might appear,

The modern human

Would not be here.

 

Ted Goodell

August 2018

 

Chicken Wings

Tables festooned

With platters of chicken wings

Waiting to be dipped in hot sauce

But first there must be cauldrons of chickens

Squawking and flapping

Clucking and scratching

Fused into a living stew of suffocation

Awaiting the relief of extinction

Their white and brown feathers

Harvested for stuffing into sofa cushions

Their birth rates

Forced mechanically

Until the market for their meat

Explodes into tubs of hot sauce

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

The Mirror

A mirror depends

On silver and glass

Handheld or fastened to a wall

Enduring relics of a golden age

Obedient reflection of a posing face

Emitting its likeness back

To look on head and hair

Positioned handsomely for the

Eloquence of a self-appraising stare

Behold the delight

Of a subtly satisfying smile

Abridged by looking past the doors and walls

An alphabet of memories

Remembering scattered moments

Of seeing other faces other walls

Protecting mirror images

Before they shatter in a senseless fall.

 

Ted Goodell

July 2018

A Cat Named Tucky

What ghosts

My Cat pursues

I can not know

He finds them

Lurking in a dream

That only he has seen

It gives him access

To a world

I hardly know

But draws him

To a world

As precious as a pearl

It guides him

With a power compassed

By the shadows and the stars

And in his purring dream

He challenges old phantoms

Only he has seen

 

Ted Goodell

June 2018

Fake News

Observe the custom tailored suit

Cut from the finest cloth

A surfeit of fabric

Richly adorned

And from the collar

Of a perfect shirt

Hangs a necktie

Lengthwise like a flag

And underneath

That stoutish frame

A resonance of power reigns

The bold bravado of a salesman

Stern and full of wrath

A governance deployed

To shock both foes and friends

The boundaries

Where two countries borders meet

Await a wailing wall

Where all can weep

 

Ted Goodell

June 2018

The Conversation

The reliability of “Hello”

Is always validated

It is programmed

And dependable and

Suggests that moving

Toward the substance

Of essential words

Will follow out of

Shared responsibility

And toward what end

Only each speaker

Can comprehend

 

Ted Goodell

May 2018

The Signal

The search isn’t over

For Frost’s yellow woods

Or Sandburg’s prarie brown grass

They’ve all been politically

Placed in Blue States and Red States

With bugging devices

And hidden cameras

And the other marketing tools

To discover and predict

How the human mind

Chooses shampoos and deordorants

The configurations of the terrain

Are now regulated

By zip codes and area codes

PIN numbers and passwords

And hidden in among

The rooted trees

Are mannequins with plastic leaves

Oh brave new world

With all the androids in it

Oh split second ammendment

With all the weapons in it.

 

Ted Goodell

May 2018

The Lion

Epitomized in stone

But glorified in flesh

Dangerously beautiful

But all alone

The contender for uncontested power

His grandeur statuesquely strong

Forever regal in a body carved in stone

His presence as the King of Beasts

A sculpted form

Upon a city street

His solitary watch

May look serene

But if his silent stone could speak

A sterner stare

Would leave us weak

For underneath that chiseled mane

Arrested in the snow or rain

He waits in primal depth

His endless longing

For his lioness.

 

Ted Goodell

May 2018