Poetry: Selections from Nolo Segundo

A Morning’s Walk

My wife and I walk every morning,
a mile or so--
it’s good for us old to walk in the cold,
or in the misty rain, it makes less the pain
that old age is wont to bring to bodies
which once burned bright with youth,
though now I wear braces on ankles,
braces on knees, and I walk slowly
with 2 canes, like an old skier,
sans snow, sans mountain.
We passed a tree whose leaves had
left behind summer’s green and now
fall slowly, carefully one by one
in their autumnal splendor.
My wife stopped me--
listen she said-- but
I heard nothing—hush!,
stand still, she said,
and I tried hard to
hear the mystery….
Finally I asked her, knowing my hearing
less than my wife’s (too many rock concerts
in my heedless youth), what we listen for?
She looked up at my old head, and smiled--
only she could hear the sound each leaf made
as it rippled the air in falling to the ground.

When the Warm Day Dies

When the warm day dies
And the cool night sets in,
Then I’ll be there, beside
You my love, feeling the
Heat of a beating heart,
My arms wrapped round
Your empty shoulders as
I whisper silent words of
Love and longing in your
Lonely, unadorned ear….

My Own Small Slice Of Paradise

I look out my backyard and
rejoice in its greenness
(even though green is not
my favorite color) and I
think I am so fortunate
to have a tame jungle
for a backyard with its
own little zoo of squirrels
dancing like dervishes and
birds fluttering like mad
and fat crafty groundhogs
continually trying to dig
under my shed for their
own comfy rent-free home
and the occasional skunk
(so beautiful at a distance)
or even a proud wild turkey
but best of all is when a
deer or two or three come
like virgin queens to quietly
meander o’er my ¼ acre
domain-- it may not be like
sitting on a beach in Hawaii
overlooking the Pacific as
the sun gracefully dies yet
again but it is my own, my
very own small slice of

The Low Hanging Sun

I went to take out the trash,
the good trash, glass and paper
destined for re-incarnation
and as I stepped outside,
the air cool and pearly white,
the low hanging sun smiles,
throws a late afternoon warmth
over my body, a blanket of silk.
For a moment I stopped to think,
then thanked the low hanging sun
for being there, the last defense
against a cold deep unto death....
In our immense Universe, wall-less,
ever expanding, is mostly night,
utter and fearsome darkness, all
pitch-black and cold, a coldness
beyond comprehension or life---
so the light and heat of every
myriad star is precious, precious….

After Costco, Before Ukraine

You saw the lines weren’t too long
so you went for the gas first---
spend a little time, save a lot of
money you thought. But it took
longer than you expected [too
many ‘tanks’ as you call SUVs
filling up their 50 gallon tanks]
so by the time you went into the
giant store, you were feeling like
a crab trapped in a net as you
wrestled through the weekend
horde of bargain hunters….
Finally at home, you plopped
down in the comfy chair as
the nightly news came on and
sipped the fresh brewed French
roast and ate a piece of rich
chocolate cake you bought at
Costco and felt a bit sad for
those poor people in Ukraine
as you watched war in hi-def.
Still, the thought uppermost in
your mind, as your eyes scanned
so many dead bodies lying quiet
in the streets like stones thrown
randomly, was just how damn
good the coffee was and how
much you had saved going to
the big box store…

Nolo Segundo, pen name of  L.j. Carber, 76, became a published poet and essayist in his 8thdecade in over 150 literary journals and anthologies in 12 countries. The trade publisher, Cyberwit.net, has released 3 poetry books under his pen name: The Enormity of Existence [2020]; Of Ether and Earth [2021]; and Soul Songs [2022]. A retired English/ESL teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia], he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.