Archive for October, 2015

Waiting For A Train

                   IT’S TIME TO LEAVE
                        By David Allen

Hickory, dickory, dock
            the hands crawl ‘round the clock.
                        Time’s face is spaced,
                                    my mind’s erased,
                                                my plans suitcased
                                                                    and locked. 

I thought I heard you calling,
but I turned and was alone.
I began to feel a yearning
for some distant place called home.
But home is just an idea
that I made up in my head
and you are just the memory
of a path I used to tread.

            So, with the rising of the sun
            I’ll be going, I’ll be gone
            it’s off to new adventure’s I am bound.
            Off to see the sights,
            feel the depths, climb the heights,
            it’s time that I be moving
            got unbound.
I looked into a mirror
and a face asked, “Who are you?”
A strong hand held the scissors,
the haircut short and new.
The old me’s sleeping somewhere,
while the new one’s taking leave,
he’s turned his back on yesterday
with new tricks up his sleeve.
            To all my old friends,
            I bid fare you well,
            I can’t complain
            you did all right by me.
            To all my future friends
            I shout, “Here I come!”
            To get roaring drunk and stoned
            and just to be.

Tired thumb out to hitchhike,
            rides fly by it looks like
                        I’m being passed over again.
The sky is getting cloud dark,
            in the distance a dog’s bark,
                        my upturned collar can’t keep out the wind.

So, Goodbye to Long Island,
the Home of the Strange,
goodbye to the good times of the past.
Goodbye to the loves
that I once pursued.
It’s a shock to find
forever never lasts.
            I wished that there was something
            that you would say or do,
            but I guess the one for giving
            would be anyone but you.
            The reasons for my going
            still aren’t very clear to me,
            but with no excuse for staying
            I could do nothing but leave

NOTE: I wrote this poem in 1972, a 24-year old on my way to Washington, D.C to do some full-time anti-war work after graduating from college.  I still like it.

My second book of poetry, “(more)’ is now available on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is also available. If you want a signed copy, email me at Order your copy today! I am like most poets — poor.

Here’s a review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Wanting (more), September 2, 2014
By Jenny A. Kalahar “the_story_shop” (Elwood, IN USA)
Here are wonderful, literate poems of longing, wit, wisdom and resistance; justice, injustice, the absurdities of life and of growing older. There are lines full of sensuality at every stage of our existence, and of the waste and usefulness around us. Tinged with the atmosphere of the Orient, they are as luxurious as legs that go all the way up. Mr. Allen’s years as a newspaper man stain his poems with a rougher ink that sticks to your fingers long after you’ve turned his pages. There are losses – parents, loved ones, friends – but there are poems of finding and creating. Children, grandchildren, lovers, partners in crime and art all swirl throughout this collection, humming like a secret humming song. But unlike most hummed songs, these words do matter. They do. So read them now and sing along.

Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer met with Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, February 2008.

By David Allen

What’s wrong
with this picture?
The U.S. Ambassador
to Japan is to address
Okinawa business leaders
at a lunch today and
here we are in the press corral
sitting at roped off tables
watching everyone else
eat while we sip our water
and wait for the ambassador
to wipe his lips and
nod in thanks for
the pleasant introduction
from the governor
and spin a speech
about how great
the U.S.-Japan alliance is.
Meanwhile, the press’s unfed
stomachs rumble.
We weren’t fed and
a good free meal
is the major reason I came.



By David Allen

The other night
I looked at a mark
On my wife’s arm
And gave it a scratch.
“Just wondering if it’s like mine,”
I said. “Will it scrape off?
Remember the time you made me
Go to a dermatologist to check out
A mole on my cheek
And he said it was a …..”

I lost the word.
“The doc said it was not cancerous,
That it was just a body…. a body…”
“Barnacle!” my wife shouted.
“A body barnacle.
And I said I always thought
I had married a crusty old sailor.”

But, why couldn’t
I come up with the word?
I’m Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
Who’s that knocking at my door?
It’s Barnacle Bill the Sailor!

Late that night I replayed
The conversation in my mind.
Was the word loss a senior moment?
Maybe a chemo-fog event?
I’d read that years after chemotherapy
Cancer patients sometimes have trouble
With losing words, attention, thoughts.
“No big deal,” a friend said.
But for a writer to lose words?
B… Bar?
Bar what?
It took me a few anxious minutes,
Lying there late at night,
Searching for that one word.
B.. B… uh, Bar
“NICKEL!” the inner voice yelled.
That’s it. Barnacle!

In the morning I tell my wife
About the night’s challenge.
“But, I finally remembered,” I bragged.
“Bah…Bah …Oh, no, it’s gone again.”
“Just scratch the surface,” my muse said.
“It will come back to you.
It’s just stuck in there
Like a barnacle resisting
The scratch.”