Poetry from Steve Bloom


Steve's Poems: Repertory
A collection that changes from time to time

(Last revised May 2015 )


NOTE:  Newly-added poems are at the top, previous ones deleted below


In my lifetime I have thrown
away more than most people
alive today will ever own.
And thus, I am told,
we live in the greatest nation
this world has ever known.


New York, Upstate, One Day, Three Thoughts   
I don't expect to see a pheasant on the road,
and as I slow to watch it go
my heart accelerates a tiny bit.     
Then further on a fox’s fleeting face
starts me to wonder how the hunter's heart
within that canine chest might race
should self-same pheasant cross its path—like mine—one day.
(The bird's breast would, I think, feel much the same,
though different instincts surely are to blame).
The water falls across the Massachusetts line
and crashes (cool) into a pool
reflecting green-topped granite cliffs. Its sun-
drenched ripples flowing out proceed untamed
into New York, to cascade back along
the easy trail on which I came.
The trees and rocks, this waterfall are here, I note,
since long ago (how quickly we forget)
When these two states had never even met.     
Some wild raspberries will soon be growing here,
for I can see the bumble bee
whispering sweet secrets in big purple ears.
Perhaps, returning in a week or three,
I’ll find these soft red drops of paradise
have ripened up sufficiently— 
but no, so close along the path they'll all be gone.
So I decide: If berries be my aim,
I'd better wait right here and stake my claim.


A Different Point of View

Pink snow flaking
from a cherry cloud
to coat the ground below;
wisteria purpling
high in a pine tree;
spring birds
looking up expectantly;
scattered rain circles
offering their fleeting glow
on the surface of the lake;
keep company with thoughts of you
as I sit on the shore
across from where I wrote
a lonely poem once before,
and wonder whether then
       or now
will count as my mistake.




Curriculum Vitae

You thought it would all be better
when you moved to the big city,
far from friends who
had you pigeonholed—discovered,
however, that the pigeonholes
just travelled along with you.
You thought it would all be better
if you could only identify the proper
substance, but eventually realized
that no matter how high, or how long,
you still had to come down sometime.
You thought it would all be better
after you met her, and it was—
for a while, until that afternoon,
walking up Second Avenue,
where it dawned that once again
you were counting how many
women who passed by would never
become your lover.
You thought it would all be better
when you were able to look
at your bank balance and not
have to worry, yet even now,
as you pay others to do most
of the real work, a voice
nobody else can hear continues
to insist that you are a fraud.
You thought it would all be better
if your life were condensed
into a poem, taken to the local
open mike, shared with me
and everyone else—if you learned
to understand our words too. And
although you’re wrong again, at least
here there is an opportunity for you
to find out that you aren’t



Old Friend

Turning on the radio
I’m in the middle of
a symphony, anticipating
every note before it sounds—
like seeing a familiar face
quite unexpected in a random crowd:
fitful moments searching
for a name I’m sure I know,
or knew back when, and then
. . . . . . . Beethoven.
Once placed such pleasure
in this unplanned rendezvous, old friend,
there’s nothing else to do but sit
and listen ’til the end.



Genius Relativity

to a genius
is just the thoughts of every day,
and does not really understand
when others cannot comprehend
the rather simple things it has to say.

to a master
are only what they ought to be,
and if one labors long enough
to build according to that plan
the truth undrapes itself for us to see.

Even our most modest thoughts
could masquerade as genius
to less brain-bound beasts than you or me.
But now (to think a slightly different way)
imagine creatures out on other worlds
who’d find our fondest masterworks
to be their children’s play.



Finally I Understand Why . . .

. . . the chicken crossed the road.
It was to get away from me.
All the world flees
as I sit writing this poem.
I could stop and chase after you.
But I always try to keep my promises.



Moonlight . . .

. . . streams into the room
through my open radio—
sounds of a sonata:
right hand of the pianist
caressing each arpeggio,
the left constructing
a gently rhythmic
scaffolding of chords.
It is, I tell myself, the simplest
of musical ideas.
But listen well and you will realize
how Beehoven takes us
on an unexpected journey
of harmonic progression
where another composer
might have traveled
a less meandering path
and thus reached a completely
different destination.
Here is genius, I tell myself:
surprise embedded in
simplicity.(and wonder
whether I might find a way
to write a poem based
on that approach,



Bee Watching
1. I can't remember the last time 

I stopped to watch a bee step
from blossom to blossom,

stand here entranced
by this four-cornered dance
(insect, color, pollen, nectar)

take some time to contemplate
all of the factors
that had to evolve
for even this tiny slice
of an ecosystem to emerge.

The bee, however,
simply harvests,
then returns to her nest.




There has, until this moment, been no word
for it among English speakers. In Castillano
I discover it's "
": a simplicity
encompassing both depth
and elegance.
"Simpligance" now in our own tongue,
            for I declare it so:

a word to capture ways that we
might shape our poetry,
even learn (I hold out hope)
to live our lives.
Check your dictionary in a decade,
if it doesn't take them four
or five.



Philosophical Conundrum    

Why do so many people

spend so much time

trying to reinvent the wheel

when it would be so much easier

and far more direct to simply 

reinvent the flat tire?


Dark Ages

"The world is dark" you tell me.

          If a human lifetime
          were measured in minutes
          rather than decades.

"The world is dark. It has always
been dark."

          If we were each born,
          comitted all of our art
          and infamy, in six
          or eight minutes.

"It has always been dark
for as long as anyone
can remember."

          If the longest-lived
          of human empires,
          had risen and declined
          in less than an hour,
"Dark, for as long as anyone
can remember. In school
they told us that we
must learn to find our way
in the darkness."

          And all of recorded history
          has unravelled since
          the last sunset.

"In school they told us that we
must learn to find our way
in the darkness. You are a fool
to believe there is such a thing
as daylight."