Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Uniform Corn...

Uniform Corn...

Row-upon-row of identical gold,
In products wherever they're sold,
Corn oil and plastic,
Corn paper and corn sheets,
I wonder will it someday be corn false teeth?

The whole world over we depend on corn,
Drive it fly it eat it grind it boil it butter it,
Pop it and salt it,
But can you believe it?

Uniform corn with so much uniform DNA,
So few varieties - but when the GM comes into play,
Doomsday seeds and BT,
All the better to kill off the bees,
Floating away on a pollen-filled wind,
The GM genes will do us in.

Will climate change the corn,
Or can our corny world survive?

Uniform corn,
I scorn the uniform corn,
Boil it all and feed it to pigs,
Bring back the indian variety and sweet,
Colors and flavors and fun,
It's all a corn maize we have to run.

Corn rows of blackbirds all in flight,
It's uniform corn that we must fight!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/25/2009

High Summer On Herrick Lake...

High Summer On Herrick Lake...

The sky is a cloudless seventy five and sweet.

The breezes soft as a baby's kiss,
The grasses dance slow,
Slow and sultry and tall.

People are all around and reverent,
Walking dogs,
Rowing boats and canoes,
Throwing frisbees,
Lying in dappled shade holding hands.

The leather and wood I carry is essential,
Almost as old as I am,
Somewhat battered and serviceable,
Beauty inside waiting.

I find an old picnic table in the shade,
Down at the far end of the lake,
I can scent the green and mirror water,
Dragon flies dancing over sparkling rowboat wakes.

Everything is green and light,
Faint hints of Summer's yellow end barely showing.

I pull the golden brass from its case,
And through me Bello sings.

Clear as water and bright,
The notes drift out over the lake,
Easy and mellow,
The reed sings to all its cousins,
"I am alive!"

I bring the notes down low and rumbling,
A deference to Thunder that's left us all this grceful peace,
Then push for the ragged edge of harmonics,
As close to chords as a saxophone gets.

Young children stare in delighted surprise and wonder,
Parents smile and walk slower.

People smile in passing,
I play and play,
One of the last bright Sundays of Summer languidly passing by.

If this is not church and worship and thank-you to God,
I am lost and deaf and blind,
No more so than sources of dispute.

I roll gently through the deep and soft notes of my ending song,
Close the case,
Walk back to the yellow truck.

A fine cigar and chair are waiting,
Coffee and the songs of frogs and cicadas.

September is sweet,
At peace,
A piece of forever.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/13/2009

My Little Park...

My Little Park...

Over in the old town today,
Doctors and physical therapy.

Finally realeased,
It's like recess,
Cloudless 85 degrees,
The Summer that almost wasn't.

The soybeans in the field are a third golden,
Like God swashed a streak of yellow amid the green paint.

The edges of stately old trees are orange or yellow,
Faint yet unmistakeable signs of Autumn's advent.

Birds lazily chirp in time to cicada melodies,
Not quite ready to flock.

A white egret drifts across blue sky,
Somewhere between fishing ponds.

I've played Bello's golden notes to the lowering Sun,
Laid him to rest and lit my Cameroon cigar.

Butterflies and bees float by,
And if I couldn't see the cars and telephone wires,
I could be a hundred years younger.

I went by the old house today,
The grasses I planted lush and flowering seven feet tall,
Untouched by the mortgage buzzsaw's relentless insanity that cut us out of Paradise.

I sit at my little park on 135th street,
Mentally removing pavement from my picture.

I missed the dandelions so.


By: Daniel A.Stafford
(C) 09/14/2009

Honey Be...

Honey Be...

The birds and the bees,
Know a thing or three.

The sun up above,
Shines down on our love.

Oh, Honey be,
Sweet for me,
I'll love you,
Forever and I do.

The flowers and the trees,
wil see me on my knees.

Only for you,
Honey, yes it's true.

Oh, Honey be,
Sweet for me,
I'll love you,
Forever and I do.

When I see you smile,
It thrills me like a child.

Sweet Summer Sweet,
You're my honey treat.

Oh, Honey be,
Sweet for me,
I'll love you,
Forever and I do.

The birds and the bees,
Know a thing or thee.

You're the one for me,
So pretty and so sweet.

Oh, Honey be,
Sweet for me,
I'll love you,
Forever and I do.

Oh, Honey be,
Sweet for me,
I'll love you,
Forever and I do,
Love you.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/31/2009

Author's Comments

Think 50's rock-n-roll ballad...

Gonna Give Rosie A Ring...

Gonna Give Rosie A Ring...


Sweet mornin' glowing bright and true,
Gonna give Rosie a ring,
Sweet-playing thang,
Gonna give Rosie a ring.

If the day comes when I'm feelin' down n' blue,
Gonna give Rosie a ring,
All six strings,
Give Rosie a ring.

Playin' true in the morning,
Strummin' happy by evenin',
Even if I can barely sing,
Just gonna give Rosie a ring.

Someday I'll play so fine,
Happy up on cloud nine,
All because I gave Rosie a ring,
Sweet-playin' thang,
Just gonna give Rosie a ring.

And when Heaven calls,
Won't need no harp in the Angel halls,
Just gonna give - give Rosie a ring,
Lord, let me give Rosie a ring.

Give Rosie a ring.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/29/2009

Author's Comments

I can hear this in a late 50's style, no distortion, kind of clear and bright chord strumming. Some day I'll be able to play it. As you know, Rosie is my Strat - so when I play her, I call it "giving Rosie a ring." The cloud 9 reference is because our new digs are on the 9th floor, so I call the place Cloud 9.

Candy Apple Strat...

Candy Apple Strat...


I can feel a little heat off the amp,
It's like a Christmas bulb in my eyes,
Pretty and hot.

I've waited for years and later finally came,
I can hear it screaming sweet in my head,
Waiting for release.

Slow steady work finally located Rome,
Now for the years to build it,
Not starting a day too late.

I can feel all my legends buzzing under my skin,
If I can play anything they invented I'll be thrilled,
Finding joy in a burst of song.

Glory days don't have to pass you by.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 08/28/2009

Author's Comments

I bought a Mexican-made used Fender Stratocaster on eBay, the guitar you see pictured here. She's in mint condition and plays like a dream. Candy Apple Red with a rosewood fretboard. I'm thinking to call her Rosie. I have a lot of learning to do - I'm also wanting to learn to repair guitars on the side. No, I have not given up the sax - but at times I get in a rut with it and have to put it down for a few days. I've wanted one of these for 20 years - so now I can alternate between the two.

Movin' Time Blues...

Movin' Time Blues...

Put it here,
Throw it there,
Push it - pull it up the stairs,
Drenched in sweat,
No time for sleep,
To take your life it will constantly creep,
Move it, move it move it!

A change of address,
A change of state,
Relaxed to busy,
Resigned to fate,
Exhaustion's folly,
I'm not one spared,
These new digs now must be shared.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 07/31/2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Perfect Afternoon...

Perfect Afternoon...

Seventy degrees,
Top-of-the-line cameroon cigar,
An even burn from light to finish,
Not even a lighter-flick between,
One mile per hour breeze.

The songs of birds and insects washing over fields mostly golden,
Weeping willows draped over a small creek,
Sunshine just peeking through a ceiling of grey the last fifteen minutes,
Golden fire that eases up to your feet,
Drifts by like an old friend coming home.

Sipping coffee slowly,
As first leaves of Fall drift down from huge old trees,
They swirl across a country road in circles,
Tickled by Summer's playful good-bye breath.

The Equinox celebrated by life's song,
I am in quiet reverence,
The air of home I breath in,
Last-of-the-season dandelions speckle still-green grass,
Watching clouds kiss the top of an ancient domeless grain silo,
Witnessed by the old barn with a mossy roof.

There is something sacred in moments like this,
Something in my blood and bones knows these lands intimately.

I am feeling close to my ghosts as the season passes,
Another year drifting towards the snows of closure,
I am in this current of time,
Fishing for the best moments,
Another landed in my poetry's net,
Set to live long and glorious,
Resplendant in the color of serenity,
Tinted by a hint of angst,
Poignant in forever's unending universe.

The prairie flowers are my silent witnesses.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/21/2009

(135th Street, Eaton Preserve, Plainfield, Illinois, USA)