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Genre: Poetry
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By: Barbara Raikin Fleischer

The Conductor

Dinner was ready,
The table was set.
Where was young Randy?
I began to fret.

I yelled for the kid
And hollered his name.
He's in the house, no answer.

Is he playing a game?
I searched all over.
He's too big to hide.
An idea came to me.
Intuition was my guide.

Up the stairs I went
And listened at his door.
Then from his room
Only silence did pour.

I knocked, no response
Then opened to see
A sight that foretold
What the future would be.

There was Randy
In formal jacket
Waving his arms
To a silent racket.

His ears were covered
Only he heard the refrain
Of Ludwig Von Beethoven
Feeding his brain.

He waved his arms
Hard he did work
Afterall he was conducting
The Philharmonic of New York.

Not Walden's Pond

When I wake in the morn
I see the pond
And it is never the same.

It is quiet and placid
With no ripple interrupting
It's smooth glistening cover.

It is active and choppy, reacting to the wind,
Or the flapping of wings,
Or the movement of duck's feet.

Sometimes it mirrors its surroundings,
The red roof and gray worn walls
Of the barn show up clearly,

It reflects light from different angles,
Illuminating the surroundings
With its brilliance.

On a cold morning steam escapes
Wafting its way
Toward the sky.

But most important
It is there always, to sooth, to interest
To lose oneself in.

I Piece

"Don't piece"
My grandmother
Used to say.

You'll spoil
Your appetite
In a very big way.

To piece
Is to eat
Small amounts between meals.

I couldn't say nay.
From the stove or the counter
They called my name.

I gave in, I pieced
Despite Grandma's pleas.
Each day was the same.

Puddings, fresh bread,
Apple pie
Gram's claim to fame.

Now I'm the grandma.
I piece as before.
My excuses are lame.

Yet I say to my grandchildren
As was said to me, "Don't piece"
They ignore like me, the same.

The Discovery

It's been there all the time
But I didn't much use it
Sort of an assistant to the boss
'Twas only a helping mitt.

But necessity became the mother
My feet took a trip of their own.
It wasn't pleasant, it wasn't long
But it ended with a broken bone.

That's when I made a discovery
My left hand is more than decor.
It can do all that my right hand does.
Just a little bit slower.

March (Basketball) Madness

She held the beads tightly.
The tension was great.
She watched them run.
What would be their fate?

She held the beads tightly.
She shouted and prayed.
Would they end up unscathed?
Would the piper be paid?

She held the beads tightly.
A battle she did see.
Two teams on the floor
One of them U.N.L.V.

Who was this woman?
More lion than mouse
The most important team member.
The coach's spouse.

You're Not Eligible For A Prize

They asked
When did you last
Train a dog?

I answered
About 20 years ago
If memory jogs.

They said
You're dog's not eligible
For a prize.

A prize? I said
My dog's not eligible
For a prize?

Not eligible for a prize!
This news
Gave me a rise.

Scooby Doo's
Not a puppy
We couldn't disguise.

Not eligible, you say?
No prize
Is expected.

For just showing up
A heap of praise
Is directed.


It's gone.
There's nothing
There but space.
The wrecker's ball
With timely grace
Did in Minutes
The former
Stateliness erase.
The preservationists lost.
"Progress" won
The race.

During his first term in office President Clinton called for a meeting of people from different ethnic backgrounds and religions.
To find common ground.

From Little Rock to Little Rock

Who would have believed
It was the same place.
Little Rock Arkansas
Had a new face.

Memory conjures
A man named Orville
Who blocked the entry
To school with a rifle.

He kept the Blacks out
And Ike sent the Feds
To escort the children
So they wouldn't be dead.

Little Rock, Little Rock
The headlines screamed
A City in line
With the devil it seemed.

But the transformation came
And the City grew.
A guy named Bill
Brought hope anew

From Governor to President
In one giant leap
And a conference held
Chaired by Bill and the Veep.

From all over America
They came in a bunch
Black and White
Together they lunched.

Asian and Indian
All religions too
They brought ideas
Inspirational and new

Where were they planning?
Little Rock, it's true.
From over this Country
To start a new.

These men and women
They spoke of our plight.
Their brilliance shown through
Like a beam of light.

Little Rock was now
The focus of hope
No matter the problems
We'd learn to cope.

From Little Rock to Little Rock,
From darkness to light,
Freedom's bell rang out.
Peaceful doves ruled the sight.

The Cocktail Party

Whom shall I stand next to at the cocktail party?
Shall it be Mrs. Grover who is always tardy?
Or should it be Mrs. Forester who couldn't find
A match to her crystal pattern, what a bind!

Shall I listen to Dr. Jones
With his nurse he's having an affair?
Shall I tell his wife as he introduces her to me,
I wouldn't dare!

And then there's Theresa the stockbroker
Who loves to give you a clue
She talks and talks and talks and talks
Until my face is blue.

Whom shall I stand next to
At the cocktail party? I implore!
The answer is simple,
Why didn't I think of it before?

I should have stayed home,
Not faced the bitter pill.
I should have stayed home,
Next time I will

Who Is To Blame?

Who is to blame
When things go wrong?
Who is at fault
When life's not a song?

Who is the villain
When all goes awry?
Who pulls the strings
That makes him cry?

It's his friends says he.
They don't understand.
It's his family's fault.
Much they demand

The people around him
Are not tuned in
To his complaints.
He cannot win.

Even God, he thinks
Has let him down
No one cares
In his whole town.

Where does he look?
In whom does he trust?
To his reflection he gazes.
For the truth he lusts.

The truth is not far.
The mirror is the key.
He looks for the culprit.
And it is he.

The View

The pond's glistening water invites me
But the red letters say stay away!
The temporal scene offers serenity,
The letters keep me at bay.
Oh! How I long to feed the ducks
To enjoy their flapping up close,
To check out the fowl with the long skinny legs,
But I can't, should I be morose?
I look around and see it all,
Whenever I want the view is mine,
The pond, the ducks, the trees, et all.
To hell with the NO TRESPASSING sign!

© Barbara Raikin Fleischer 2002

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