Saturday, March 29, 2008

It Is A Comfort

that at least
something remains.

When she listens
to country tunes
she doesn't dance
but struts
shoulders even and
eyes level like
a gentleman
of the South.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's Left of Delores

She still knows
how to move in close
and utter
a friendly confidence

like a woman
bathed in company,
as if tipsy
and having a party.

I can laugh
and enjoy her
taking apart what
should have been serious.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don Quixote Comes to Himself

I'm coming down,
untrue to art
something left out
hidden in the calendar
or secret compartments
of my dreams.
I'm coming
down to the earth
among the scarred
among the bearers of weight,
feet pressed
dirt hard.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Two Poems About Perversity

Perversity (March, 2008 )

At night or in the morning
when I get restless and my
organs twist, I relieve myself
by imagining

humiliation, pain
contempt, defeat.
Why don't I
imagine love?

Perversity (March, 2007)

Not the feel of flesh,
nor the fragrance or
anything that touches the skin,
it's far away,
light entering my eyes,
a flutter brush with the outer filaments of nature,
the biology of far away,
hidden way back
in the angel breath of memory.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jurassic Park

It's not
that he wants to know.
The monster chases him
through the ruined streets of the city.

A quest,
but not at leisure,
not turning over stones
or visiting museum libraries,

He seeks
with truth
dogging him,
death in her teeth.


She isn't worried.
It just happened.
One morning she woke up
and the genie in the sky transmuted her
to a strange new world
right near Eden.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Mind of An Old Woman

Deep hard sound
from the small woman behind
the green walker who always
insists she owns the chair
near the tv.

I am calm
when she throws
her teeth half
out of her mouth with her tongue,
fierceness looking
supernatural and shouts,

and then whispers,
I'm sorry.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The flesh is young
and soft alright. But that would be
merely temporary, we all know.
The mouth is maybe
a little too small for the teeth
which bend and twist unhappily in it.
The chin retreats too close to the neck.
That's why she would never have babies,

in spite of the emanation
that hovers over her,
holistic hints of hope in the morning
and small wonderful wantings
and appetites easy to fill and
joys of satiation, little glowings
coming from kindnesses passing through
from memory into the world.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Don Schaeffer is a phenomenological poet, devoted to exact description of experience. At the age of 70, he has experienced the institutionalization of his spouse and the re-development of a new life out of the ashes of the old one. His poems reflect the transitions in his life. He currently lives in New York after spending half his adult life in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.

Don has previously published a dozen volumes of poetry, his first in 1996, not counting the experiments with self publishing under the name "Enthalpy Press." His poetry has appeared in numerous periodicals and has been translated into Chinese for distribution abroad. Don is a habitue of the poetry forum network and has received first prize in the Interboard competition.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Friends on the Carpet Bowling Team

They are like me
but something has gone wrong.
I smell of the outside
and know the code
to use the stairs.

Moving to my ear
as if telling me a secret,
the third best carpet bowler
on the floor quotes an old movie
and states the name of an idol
Shakespearean movie star.
I nod and say, "yes I know."
That brings back the world.

Something has happened.
The woman asked to collect the
bowling balls and return them
to the front forgets
and begins to bowl herself
out of turn. I laugh, we all laugh.
Some look clever. Some have
bits of archetype in their faces.
They come to me and whisper,
wanting my secrets, or a whiff of the outside,
or some kind of gift.

Monday, March 03, 2008

An Unreliable Ally

I start to rely
on poetry
when I see
my trap spring shut.

Sitting in the evening
I count human
points of contact on my hand
just as the door is poised to close.

I try to rely on poetry.
Don't rely on that.
Poetry runs and
stays away.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Secret Hisory of Babies

While those worn
by their lives
release the world slowly
molecule by molecule,

babies are healing
from enormous injury,
flesh insulted by
the great cut.

They need their rest,
eyes dim and lost
in the slow grinding
coming too, out of coma.

Nature is cruel,
yanking flesh through void.
Babies will not recall. But
human beings are kind.