A Walk Through The Cemetery 1991

             A Walk through The Cemetery

Who grieves at all, his loved one gone,

Who grieves his heart away at dawn;

A child dead, a brother killed,

Mother dying, wife’s thoughts stilled:

For those who live, left to despair

I dare to say, from God-knows-where,

No ‘them’ is there.

Be of good cheer. There’s no them here.

The them is gone, is flown, dissolved –

Dissolved and flown; is done, done, done.

As for what’s under that great lawn –

Who cares for rotten skin and bone?

Not I (if there is even ‘I’).

This so-called ‘I’ would rather fly

Than spend the walk in cry, cry, cry –

For crying is a kind of lying…

To and down.

Lying to unworthy ego,

Lying down when one should run.

Absence – let’s examine absence:

Sediment of sentiments;

Guilt, nostalgia; where is love?

Is it one of the above?

Any, all? A thing at all?

None of the above is love.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Heart can often pull you under.

Absence ought to make you ponder,

Shake the bedrock self in wonder.

Thinking’s process pulls it sunder;

Feeling puts you back in bed.

When reacting to the dead,

Head is what you need instead:

Head and faith.

Let us discern, let’s separate,

Learn to look at last year’s date,

Disregard the fate that took it.

Last year’s date forms this year’s fate.

Discriminate and over-look. It’s

Attitude that helps to brook it.

Cemetery’s fragrant walk

Was built for time. A chance to talk,

To honor. We are what we are –

(Besides our never-changing souls)

Contingent on contingent lives.

He who is contingent thrives.

Like empty bowls

We drain, are cleaned then filled –

Emptied, cleaned and then re-filled.

Lives that pass through and around

Are lives to which we have been bound.

Interlaced, no one’s escaped.

Lives that shape are also shaped.

When the thing that lives must go,

Gone the thing that shaped also.

Where it’s gone we just don’t know.


is Tao, and Tao is now.Form and absence seem to be

One dry, unfeeling entity

Forming, shaping, living, then

Back to an/the unformed again.

Lose your interest in the pall –

No one’s there at all! At all.

©A Walk through The Cemetery 91.11.5

Birth, Death & In Between; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin


Stan Getz Is Dead (Take One) 1991

                Stan Getz Is Dead (Take One)

If someone should give you the choice

Of being a world famous voice

And dying at sixty-four.

Would you want more?

If, dying at ninety,

With nothing done

Worthy of note

And an otherwise unfamous throat,

Would you elegize, cry

That the lights passed you by,

That the clang

Of the tang

Of achievement,

Burned up in the flames

Of no-fame and bereavement?

‘Cause ‘Bob’s your uncle’ – you go anyway,


Is the meaning of genius


Making just sixty, a hundred and three?

Or would you choose calm mediocrity?

Maybe one hasn’t a choice.

©Stan Getz Is Dead 91.9.26

Birth, Death & In Between; Vaguely About Music; Special People Special Occasions;

Arlene Corwin





I Live With A Man Who Doesn’t Believe In Reincarnation 1991

       I Live With A Man Who Doesn’t Believe In Reincarnation 

I live with a man

Who doesn’t believe

In reincarnation:

A thoughtful man,

A man with faith,

Whose feet are planted

On the earth;

Whose doll-blue eyes

Can fill with tears;

Who slays each cell

Of sloth and fears;

Who goes inside himself with ease

And see the way a seer sees.

Yet, he can’t get into his head

The concept that though body’s dead

It leaves its energy intact

To carry on in life and fact,

Each failure past to rise again –

Rehearsal’s fate, it tries again

To reach a self from God-knows-when.

He understands cause and effect,

Accepts an absolute as being

And a Being absolute.

Yet, there is something in his seeing

That his being can’t detect.

Is it gene with some defect

That cleans away what can be seen

By those of us who have the gene?

The notion’s light as day to me;

We’re born to reproduce, to sluice

Into eternity.

Whey can’t it reach his intellect

And teach the gene to un-defect,

Speed up his fate, and mine as well?

I can’t, can I?

Can’t change what is, what has to be,

What’s destined from a time pre-pre.

I’d love to clout that lout of doubt

To cancel out the gout of doubt,

To tout a truth I know exists.

Yet reason says: “Be still!

Behave as if you have free will!

And even though you have no choice,

Behave as if you have a voice,

Cause that’s the choice you have.





I live With A Man Who Doesn’t Believe In Reincarnation 91.10.30

I Could Observe Others 1991

                 I Could Observe Others

I could observe others

With comments about

Other faults, other weaknesses, spouting

Approval of those I would ape.

Talk is escape.

Comment gives grievance.

Developing weaknesses I must combat;

One suffers at that.

(I’ve enough weakness-in-plural within

Without the additional load of more sin.)

The other, the othersI’d want as my peers –

If I had my ‘druthers’,

I’d be like those seers.

But wanting’s not doing,

Not snatching at, wooing.

Doing’s to take in the jewels I see

And jewel by jewel, graft jewel to me.

Doing’s the suture that sews up the future.

I could observe others…

But don’t.

©I Could Observe Others 91.9.9

I Is Always You Is We;

Arlene Corwin






How Do You Come To Grips With Age? 1991

              How Do You Come To Grips With Age?

How to come to grips with age,

Become a sage,

Calm down the rage that lurks within

And screams “stay thin!”

How to examine the truth there

In the strand of graying hair,

Take from the shelf

Those tints that quarrel with the self.

(To dye or not to dye? I buy

The stuff that washes out,

Which shows my wishy-washy doubt:

Evidence of larger fear.)

One clings to ‘then’,

Pushing at troops that nip the rear,

The fear that centers round the face,

This fear of passing-age time’s pace,

This fear that makes me feel a twit,

That makes me hide in wit,

Is representative of it.

And I’m ashamed,

Behaving like a creature maimed.

How do you come to grips with age,

Come out of age’s cage a sage?

Birthdays come and folks will singInsisting.

Yet, within our range,

A change is, after all, just change –

Not more, not less, not good, not bad:

A summary of all one’s had.

Ring out the bells, the dong and ding.

For my advice is not to cling,

But let the chips fall

Where the grips of age begin.

©How Do You Come To Grips With Age? 91.10.21

Circling Round Woman; I Is Always You Is We; Birth, Death & In Between; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin




From The Expression Life Is A Bitch 1991

                 From The Expression Life Is A Bitch

Money is a bitch.

It doesn’t make you rich.

It lures the poor. It fools the flesh.

It makes us sweaty and unfresh.


We never seem to tire

Of a chase that leads to death.

Out of ten pre-destined breaths

Hunting money uses half:

The original gold calf.

Like bitch in heat

Which must secrete its musty odor,

Money keeps us running round,

Ever lost and never found.

It is a bitch and sovereign hound.

©From The Expression Life Is A Bitch 91.2.1

Our Times, Our Culture; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin



From Stan Getz Is Dead (Take Two) 1991 2006

                    From Stan Getz Is Dead (Take Two)

As it comes bar by bar

Until one year

It’s time;

Without fear and with calm,

To fall nicely asleep,

Having sensed from your dreams

And the use of I Ching

That the song that you sing

Is about to be sung,

With no qualms

Since you’ve sensed something sweet

That’s about to delete

The hard won daily wheat

By the hints of completion

That come through somehow,

And the circle shows signs that the end is just right

And you peacefully bow to-and-out of the Now

With no fear of the bed that you’ll lie on that night.

©From Stan Getz Is Dead (Take Two) 91.9.26/06.7.21

Birth, Death & In Between; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

From Eye To I To Aye 1991

               From Eye to I To Aye

The eye energy is point tiny:


But cute;

Its suit

A self, head, arm and knee.

It executes the energy

That constitutes essential me,

Incorporating dates and time

Into the weave of every rhyme –

The time itself.

Always a self biography,

One seldom has to date a poem

Since age, date, time and poem are one,

The aye its affirmation.

©From Eye To I To Aye 91.6.8

Time; To The Child Mystic; I Is Always You Is We;

Arlene Corwin



Flashback To Last Summer 1991

              Flashback To Last SummerLooking back again brings pain.

It’s Brooklyn once again, and pain.

Each coarse and giant grain of the photo in my brain

Is motor to the plane in which pain’s the living force


Central force, which takes its course

From pain, which is its central source.

Thorny briar, un-sound choir,

Anger, fear and plain desire feed its fire.

Massive bellies, flashy clothes,

Lots of gold are all it knows.

Anger, fear and plain desire

Calling innocence a liar.


Now and then I travel back

For this or that affair, and track

My former restaurants, former streets.

I try to quench the past with eats:

Local foods I think, or thought,

I missed and loved and really ought

To taste again. A waste of time.

The thrill is gone. No longer prime,

The New York steak, the pizza pie,

Now just a part of former ‘I’.

I eat it once, and rave “How good!”

I feel the draw of neighborhood –

The maya of becoming them,

As if I’m really one of them.

Then why the pain in every cell

If all is really well, is well,

And all this wellness feels like hell-ness?

Good that time there has an end,

The airline ticket my best friend

To home, where I re-shape my karma;

Home, where I fulfill my dharma.

Looking back at all, –

Unless to cultivate re-call

Leads daily deeds to certain fall

While nursing needs towards certain brawl;

Past thoughts, like hiv,

Make cells mistake the ‘hell’ for ‘well’,

Are nothing but black holes

For actions which have no controls,

For memory’s a schemer, plotter, dreamer, rotter,

Liar, fooler: pain-dom’s ruler.

Looking back again is pain,

Something sane and excellent folk restrain.

Can I make it any plainer?

Who in normal life wants pain?


Flashback To Last Summer 91.8.6Pure Nakedness;

Arlene Corwin








Everything Is Autobiography

          Everything Is Autobiography

Everything is autobiography.

And why not?

Ourselves inside

Is all we’ve got:

Ourselves, our lives,

Our unique lot –

Why let it rot?


Everything that heals is good.

Every healing means is food.

The only means that comes for free,

The has universality,

That’s there, for those with eyes, to see,

That’s there on call effortlessly

Is my peculiar history

And your autobiography.

©Everything Is Autobiography 91.10.26

Nature Of & In, In & Of Reality; I Is Always You Is We;

Arlene Corwin


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