Coffee (A Conflict Of Values) 1994

       Coffee (A Conflict Of Values)

Catering to a certain need

For stimulation, even relaxation

And the psychic high,

The coffee bean in cool, dark tin,

Fragrance and the oil in

The box or jar or bag’s supply

Of pleasure ought to make the drinker

Think a little about why

The bitter sweet is such a ‘stinker’

In whose absence droops

The mood, the energy, the good;

Drink whose undemanding look

In innocent or gorgeous cup

Creates the nervous, wrecked and ‘hooked’ –

Converting down to up.

Dear, oh dear, I fear

That life with coffee’s here forever;

Symbol of that quiet urge

Insistent – to reach high as sky

Feel the charm of stimulation,

Pleasant conversation’s purge.

To say this has a feeble ring.

Stimulation from a thing?

Surely pleasure comes from other means,

Less addictive than caffeine –

Out of reach of smell, taste, touch

Of java’s clutch (was Java Dutch?)

Of conversation’s time-filled waste;

Something needing not a brew

And not the company of two.

But then, energy from what?

Surely not a coffee pot!

Dear, oh dear, the will is weak

When pleasure lies within the cheek

And one has never learned the art

Of keeping silence in the heart.

Nasty habit! Coffee evil!

Wreaking havoc like the weevil

On plantations of the body.

Devil’s guest! One ought to use you as a test.

You steal upon the cells by stealth,

You speed up heart, adrenals, pulse,

God knows what else?

Claim vitamins, create unhealth

And still the peril lies elsewhere:

Down where habits have their lair;

Where vice meets virtue, mean, excess;

Where the lamest and the sagest

Battle for their piece of peace.

Posing as a social duty,

Threatening in its bitter beauty,

Dear, oh dear, I fear that life

With coffee’s here to stay,

My own cup a mere hour away.

From Macbeth, the coffee oath:

Stir the sugar, stir the milk,

Make the coffee smooth as silk,

Help the migraine, the depression –

Be benign in my transgression.

Tranquilize away confusion,

Make gregarious the nation.

Cof-free, cof- fiend? enemy, friend?

Or just coffee

And what you make it to be?

©Coffee (A Conflict Of Values) 94.4.21

Definitely Didactic ; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin





I’ll Never But Never 1993

           I’ll Never, But Never
I’ll never, but never have coffee again –

Especially never at thirty past ten.

I wind up unable to put down the pen.

But then



There is much to be said for lucidity’s den

When the pen becomes pal to the gal with the yen.

©I’ll Never, But Never 93.8.19

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin


Sleepless Creator 2007

            Sleepless Creator

You can always write

In the middle of the night;

Strangled script from listless fingers

(this no manic caffeination)

Fragment rhythms,

Clipped ideas

From in a mind

That doesn’t want to sleep,

Accepting slumbered minutes,

Then awake

With fragment REMS

That bind

The counted sheep to dreams.

An Ozymantias

Or E that equals mc square

May be there.

©Sleepless Creator 11.28.2007

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin


Home University 2007

             Home University

I have a university within my house.

Surrounded by a thousand

Times a thousand times a thousand words

In books I’ve bought,

Brochures and articles collected,

Information omniforms connected,

Cd’s notwithstanding.

I could spend a hundred years at home

Enclosed in cloister, school and domicile:

Guru all-in-one.

In bed, awake at four

I’ve lit a candle, done

Some breathing, then

Becoming restive, set the radio a-low.

Still lying down, take up a book.

Though tired, (it’s still dark),

I am inspired – but hungry.

Toddling downstairs for a cup

To take back up –

A lovely coffee and a scone

With marmalade and cheese on –

Back in bed head propped, it’s heaven.

By this time it’s almost seven;

Read into “Windows For Dummies”,

“Treatment of the Heart Through Yoga”,

Taken up the pencil and the paper:

University in bed, bedside and in my head,

Awaiting morning light.

The January Swedish night

Still uppermost in nature,

This is prototype repeated

Meant to deepen and sustain.

©Home University 07.1.20

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Defiantly Doggerel; Coffee Book;

Circling Round Yoga; Swedish Book;

Arlene Corwin


Aspect Of The Morning Coffee 2007


       Aspect Of The Morning Coffee

One cup of morning coffee,

Thought is caught

Assuming universal magnitude;

The tiniest,

The wispiest

Most unassuming bud

Worth writing down,

Drawn into exploration.


Aspect Of The Morning Coffee 07.1.27Coffee Book; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin

You Can’t Escape Yourself


You Can’t Escape Yourself

You’re getting bald. You say “Damn!

Why was I born to a family

Where the men lose their hair,

And the women get thin on the top?”

Desperate to make it stop

You change shampoo,

Taking hormones, selenium. You

Are too scared. It’s those genes.

You read health magazines, trying means

That cost dearly.

You’re fifty-three;

Time clock and family tree,

Dastardly, bastardly, lasting past ancestry

Quietly share in your hair and declare

That you’re called to be bald.

Bow, yield, accept! It is strong to accept.

Type those poems! Edit works!

Write without fits and jerks!

Send those letters! Stay fit!

Stop that coffee… “Oh, shit!

Where is the energy so sorely needed,

With sleep and rest coming out best?

Why is the good that I would…and etcetera too,

Just exactly the bad that I do?

But I’ve strayed, lost the meter. The poem is delayed.

It’s free form and discipline’s pros-e-try bent;

A poem ex-patriot: eye-form with content.

Content with that we can come back in a while,

Selves and the moment are never escapable.

Cause and effect the creators, create.

It’s never too late. We can wait,

Drape our fates in the work,

And be glad for our lot.


You Can’t Escape Yourself 89.8.6/05.9.30/06.12.31/07.2.24I Is Always You Is We; Pure Nakedness; Nature Of & In Reality;

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin




Who’s Creating What And How 2008

Who’s Creating What And How*

I hear phrases,


(like Groucho Marx)


An Amos Oz

Hears voices

Which he dresses up

With faces, ears


Once I have had my java,

My Thesaurus

Is my second best companion where

I savor content’s meaning,

Sometimes sensing depth,

The flavor of the month therein.

Who knows how muse amuses self,

With games

She frames,

And tricks

She flicks

At you?

© Who’s Creating What And How 11.22.2008

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin

*after watching an inspiring documentary on Amos Oz.


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