I had my annual physical today and all was well.
The Doc. asked if I had any concerns, I said
“I need a strong pain killer for a broken heart.”
He laughed, but I said, “I’m serious.
Nothing but booze helps and that gives me a hangover.
Can’t you give me something for it?”
He said, “Look man, at sixty five
You’ve only just started a difficult walk
Down the senior path and you haven’t seen anything yet!
My advice is enjoy the scenery.”
I wanted to punch him, but his words hit me harder.
— Wasn’t it Harry Truman who said
“I never gave them hell. I just told them the truth
And created it for them.” Or words to that effect?



Fishing at the river, some boys jump in
Swim across and back so quickly
It makes my head spin.
Were I as trim and lean as them
I’d join in–
I did when I was that age
Set down my rod
Shed my clothes
Took to any lake or stream
Swam my sweaty body clean
Lay on the bank and dreamed of love—
But I am old now, these days
I need prodding
Just to take a bath!
A boy needs no prod, only doing
Without hesitation or regret
Sagacious are the old men, but wisdom
Does not come
Unless the joys of youth are done
And as the mind goes under, we learn to swim again.


Experiment with Time Travel

They led us to sunlight on the grass beside the school
Brought an extension cord and phonograph with a box
Of long silks of many colors, played Stravinsky’s Firebird
Ravel’s La Mer, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and suddenly
We began to move like birds, like deer trailing scarves!
We began to come alive outside the classroom, the box.
We became human for the first time in our public school.
This was kindergarden, no thought, no conditioned response

We were happy to be in the light with melodies enchanting us
Inspiring wonder in motion as in many innocent moments
Unaware of gender or race, only a spontaneous urge to run
Dance in circles with colors glowing over our heads, sway
In time to leap and fly celebrating two or three colors,
Yes, simply being as children are, free to express and play.
We were fully alive for thirty minutes–  it felt like hours.

The teachers smiled when the experiment was over, they had
Done their best to evoke some creativity in us, but that
Was never needed, we needed only to be worry-free, fearless
Willing to listen, to laugh, and you know, I can’t tell you
How many yearless moments, I’ve wondered why this memory
Returns like a dream of an old love, time and again– Well
I don’t anymore, but fall, into a reverie and dance, dance again.




Poem appeared 1st in “Of One & Many Worlds” by Rayn Roberts Poetic Matrix Press

I Woke One Days & Was a Man


I’d wondered how it would be in a body
Rented from God–
Damaged goods, cargo bruised each day

I thought being a man
Would mean
Being free to go wherever I want

Not bound by the chain Mr. D yanks to remind me
This is his game and he’s nearly won.

I recall being a boy
Dreaming big
Ready to invent a man, needy

So restless, eager to leave
And be here
In this bag of  walking skin and bone, waiting

Feeling time pulled out from under me slowly
God’s clown, Death’s dog



Demented Lady at the Bus Station

Can you tell me what you are about to say?
No, you can’t, for then you would have said it!
In a world where madness passes for sanity,
It is not difficult to catch the sane unaware.
How do you think they got where they are?

They know the meaning of lifeless dreams.
They are living them all week at the office.
Their secretaries are magnificent cadavers
With more secrets and lies than a bishop.

Perhaps you could tell me what’s in a name,
I don’t think yours will amount to much.
Blame the nuns, they’re guilty of every sin.
It all comes down to how much love is in your purse.
If everyone had gotten some, we’d all be happy.


Rayn Roberts 2017

What the Bag Lady Said When I Asked if She had the Time

This is a politician’s year
Do you think I’m rich enough?
Time, I don’t have any.
They all refused me the time.

I would have married a cripple,
One never asked me though.
They all said no to me
Refused me, all of them.

Why do you want the time,
You can’t keep it.
I could pick a rose for you,
They’re free in the park.

I once heard a symphony,
No one believes I did.
I can’t recall the tune now
It still listens for me.


“I never could hear a whisper in a summer breeze,
Take these.” She put a rosary in my hand.

Those were the last words Edna said
But for three days she cried out loudly

“Who is she, the lady in the corner?
She keeps smiling, calling me to that dark place!”

Wide eyed and amazed, we all looked at each other.
There was no one in the corner we could see.

The doctor said delirium, the priest, the Virgin
The nurse was sure it was morphine …

“There she is again, in that blue dress, smiling
And calling me! Who is she?”

I stood in the corner, Edna could not see me
Something seemed to touched me

An open gate, a doorway, imagination?
In her final hours, Edna entered a dialogue

With the Virgin, Kuan Yin or her own mind
Trying to make sense of death?

“Open all the window in a storm, the house may go!
Yes, yes, ok, the light bill is paid. Take these…”

She put a rosary in my hand. I whispered
“Close your eyes, soon you’ll be in sunny California.”

Which in winter is heaven to New Yorkers and
With just a faint rattle, she was gone–

Edna’s daughter, an atheist, painted the room a new color
Keeps a candle burning in the corner now over a year.