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Saturday, March 30, 2013


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After Rumi

Though much between us
May seem to have grown distant,
As you see, I am readily able to reach out and touch you.
My feelings steadfast, my heart apparent,
Even that this verse fails to mention your name.
Albeit we are housed in poor mortal frame,
Some one in a future time will think of us.
And however history conspires to hush us,
Destiny speaks and reveals to world
That which is already written.


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As you know, I am quite over you.
I barely think of you more than twenty times a day.
Though I must confess that today,
When I went all around town in what had been
Just an incredibly gorgeous day – 89 degrees Fahrenheit,
Dry, even very dry, and absolutely sunny
With a ten mile-per-hour steady breeze --
My thoughts of you had crossed my mind
At more than twice the usual number-rate,
Which marks my each and every waking hour,
Whether morning, noon, or night.

Seems every great weather day reminds me of you.

OK! I am not going to blame you for it.
My arithmetic is poor and I am congenitally distracted.
On Monday, now that was two days ago,
It rained and rained, the entire day was hot and stuffy.
Still my heart ran to you a hundred times.
This count was not my total sum.
Later during that day I stepped into a puddle,
And dropped my umbrella, so wasn't it better,
Certainly more rigorously honest,
That I should start my addition once again and all over.
Thus by bedtime, I had the number thirty-three,
Which then I added to my original, first total of one hundred.

In my own defense, you no doubt recall that
Low barometric pressure has always had a bad effect on me.

All right, let's get real, if we average out my daily count,
One thing is abundantly clear, no mistake about it,
I no longer spend my days just thinking of you.
And let me tell you true,
My thoughts turn to you
No more than thirty-six times a day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


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As you know, I am quite over you.
I barely think of you more than twenty times a day.
Though I must confess that today,
When I went all around town in what had been
Just an incredibly gorgeous day – 89 degrees Fahrenheit,
Dry, even very dry, and absolutely sunny
With a ten mile-per-hour steady breeze --
You had crossed my mind at,
At least double the usual rate my each waking hour.
Seems every great weather day reminds me of you.

OK! Yet I am not blaming you for it.
I have become such a story teller.
On Monday, now that was two days ago,
It rained and rained, and the entire day was hot and stuffy.
I must confess, my heart ran to you a hundred times,
Before I stepped into a puddle and dropped my umbrella,
Then when I reached home I had a new count of thirty three.

All right, but if we average it out,
You must really know, I have quit the habit of longing for you.
And let me tell you true,
I think of you, ha, less than thirty times a day.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


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Early Morning Refrain

It was very late, no more than a hour before sunrise.
We sat at the kitchen table; we had been up all night.
Four decades had passed, more than forty years
Had separated the grown-up woman from the story
She was telling me about her early life.

Her grandmother was not beautiful.
No one ever claimed that she was brilliant,
But she painted well, an artist.
Today her family treasures and enjoys,
Landscapes and still lifes,
Wonderful evidence of her output and gift.

She applied the oils heavily,
Using trowel and brush, and even a putty knife,
And once she readied her board upon an easel,
Grandma finely captured wood and river,
And the rural architecture, the scenes
All around her north New Jersey home.
She also remarkably rendered the wonder,
The special furl and spray of the Atlantic Ocean waves
Which rushed upon her state’s southern shore.
And following the common adage,
Different time and place, who knows the fame,
The renown she might have attained?


For all intents and purposes,
Her granddaughter, a toddler miss, was orphaned.
The child's mother was sick,
And was to spend a long-time in sanatorium,
When prevalent medical wisdom prescribed quarantine,
That was the era before the antibiotic cure.
With no real prospect for long-term survival,
Doctors used isolation in hope of preventing reinfection,
That and brutual surgical procedure won a few some extra time.
The father was gone; he wandered off,
And he started another family.

Hard to explain the every detail here,
But rumor has it that jealousy reigned;
The new wife was demanding and her man
Had to sever all connection to his previous life.
The father of three never visited the children's mother,
And rarely visited the girls he had left behind.

The child, whose story enfolds here, was the last born of three,
She had two older sisters, likewise deserted,
And to manage their care the siblings were divided.
The elder two were sent to the paternal grandparents.
She, the third, the youngest of the girls,
Was brought to the home of her mother’s mother and father.


Grandma dressed her granddaughter in pricey sets,
And family and neighbors seem to appreciate it,
“Oh isn’t Elsie wonderful!” They often said.

The girl was tall with curly blonde hair,
And cheek bones high enough to make for real beauty.
Possessing natural, happy disposition,
Her eyes beamed, and when all-dressed-up,
She looked as though she might model
For catalog or children’s fashion magazines.

But Elsie, she did have her ways.
(I am told to put it nicely!)
She paid little heed to the child's underwear,
Mainly interested in outward appearance,
Yes, we might think it over,
Consider grandmother's perspective for a moment.
No one else would ever see it,
Though the cotton might be tattered and old,
And Lord knows should have been replaced,
Especially when one considers the small expense.

Otherwise, she never hesitated at the dollar amount,
Never thought twice about any outfit’s cost,
Had no regard, whatsoever the garment's price,
If she thought it the right look, she bought it.

And, too, Grandma was a master seamstress,
Who dressed herself in wool coats whose linings
Matched her hand-made silk dresses; her sewing favored subtle
Flower prints, nothing garish and she used the same
Sense of design and talent to dress the little girl like a doll.

She was a healthy woman, who loved her dogs and cats,
Fed those both inside and outside the house,
She took in every kind of stray, animal and human.

A former dancer,
She had her training in the chorus at LUNA PARK,
And, all who knew her swear,
She practiced over-head kicks, when
She had already celebrated birthdays past her seventieth.

Did she swap a place for her star on the walk,
Take lead role in gilded cage instead?

No way, she was tough and worked hard,
Created a wonderful home and with natural talent,
She cultivated a big garden, a green-thumb delight.

And guess what? To top it off,
She married well, a union man, a good provider,
A leader, he was respected and adored by all.
Sure he was a hard-nosed guy.
He had his trouble with the Schuberts and the mob,
No easy matter getting a salary for men,
Who changed the bulbs on marquee boards,
Who hauled wire, and painted the sets,
And who had jobs which often meant
Long days of going up and down ladders.

Her grandpa guaranteed a decent wage
For the man whose job it was
To clean and bag after circus elephants.

Over the years, testimony holds,
-- Here we have no mean feat --
They fostered twenty-five kids, adopted four,
And then wound up having a girl of their own.


But something went amiss;
Grandpa went upstairs to bed,
Grandma slathered in oil of wintergreen,
Slept on living-room couch at night,
Hard to believe,
How long a time they spent their lives that way.

As many might have already surmised,
More to the story here.

Five years had passed before the grandchild's mother
Was finally released and then allowed to return home.
The quarantine had not allowed her children to visit.

And how the little girl had missed her mom!
Her supplications reverent, she asked God,
She prayed every night, and all through the day.
Hard to imagine, feel the hurt inside, how sad,
The young daughter's yearning her mother's soon return.
Though not entirely surprising, given the weakness
And mortal fault at root in human character,
Her grandmother balked when it came time to return
The grand daughter to whom she had grown attached,
The girl she helped to educate and rear.

She had come to believe that the child was her own.

She used every kind of conceivable excuse;
Why grandma found herself unwilling,
She had no desire to relinquish,
And she did not want to return the girl to her mother.

She tried to keep the daughter and mother apart.

Hope for Charity at some future junction
May often temper us from strict moral judgment,
Yet from the child's eyes grandma's conduct was unforgivable.


It was very late, less than the hour before sunrise.
We sat at the kitchen table. We had been up all night.
Four decades had passed in the life of the grown woman
From events she told of her early life, yet now it seemed
That for her no new day had ever lit the horizon.

I heard the granddaughter wax on the refrain,
Though she said it quiet and perhaps she was tired,
But from her story I doubt very much she was ashamed,

“I can not wish my grandmother were here.

“I do not wish she were here today.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


As of this date my YOUTUBE Channel has received 200,000 + Single Page Visits, Video Views! A Google Search of the terms Stanley Pacion YouTube Channel yields a result count of 400,000. 


Dash it, Baby!
Is this the best we can manage.

Don't tell me! Have neither of us the sense,
Reason enough to know which way is up, or down?

Here's the key, there's my desk,
You already have my heart,
You can come and go,
Whatever pleases you, no problem.

Should you find a spare penny,
Lying anywhere about the house,
Keep it, and whenever you have found the opportunity,
Use it, toss it into a fountain and wish us well.

Don't be hard on me old girl;
I take my hat off to you.
We have had a run of bad luck.
Let's hope that things are bound to get better.

Well, are you happy?
I did say? I promised you, did I not, that
I would make you queen of my poetry.
Truth, haven't I? Who of us is happier?

You take pleasure in your business,
You have your list of details,
All the very many, important things “to do”,
And now with your father gone,
You have the legal consequence, and its paper work,
Plus the obligation of those household matters,
All those little things, which once he had used to handle .

How you must miss him!

I shall change the topic.

You seem to love your car and lengthy driving about.
I sometimes wonder where you go,
Yet I figure you run to your usual haunts:
The regular flea market along side the Delaware River,
And to those giant strip malls dotting the landscape,
The same geographic stretch between Princeton and Trenton,
Where once General Washington 
Had fought and suffered for years,
Freeing countryside from foreign domination, those lands
Which today are parking lots
And lines of concrete block architecture
Housing big-box and other discount merchandise.
You disappear for days seemingly involved with your labors.

Not a word about your travels, not a single line,
No Internet connection, you claim.
And when I ask about your goings,
Why the haste?
You answer, "Antique show on Saturday."
Of course, I have heard that one before.
Then I ask you, where?
You say, “Pennsylvania.”

The dialogue becomes tedious,
Or is it me? Have I grown ridiculous?

Yet I remind you, Pennsylvania is a very large state!
As I query,
I see  your thinking plainly roll in your eyes.
Weird, right? Can you believe it? Doesn't it look silly?
Maybe you practice some form of entitlement.
Might you genuinely feel you have no need to elaborate,
Or provide information about your whereabouts?
Still would you admit that when you read this verse,
And hear me repeat your response,
After all, what's the big deal to an honest question?

Strange, isn't it? You deign a one word answer, “Allentown.”

I imagine you understand what I mean, not that it matters.

Hello. Is there anybody out there?

Remember the colors of our dreams,
When the magic of delicious blue and yellow hues
Filled our bedroom, and the times that
A voice from some other world demanded we harken,
And in its ghostly-visage guise
Spun out tales of high romance and telling prophecy.
Come on now, the stars, the stars were shinning for us.

Forgive me, let me return, again, back to this planet.
Years ago I learned the reality --
Buying and selling no easy enterprise.

I know that you take very special delight in the scouring
Rack after rack, then picking through shelves,
Rummaging with a practiced eye the goods
Set for sale upon the tables.
And, to be sure, you have that ability for concentration,
And at level required to be successful at your shopping.

Seems, too, you have that lucky touch,
Procure gold when others see brass,
Buy silver at the spot price of base, white metal.

Lord knows, you love a good deal.
I have never known anyone, who enjoys a low price,
A markdown or a discount more than you.

Even your dessert, it appears, tastes better
When it comes at half-price.

Not to mention that you, my dear, have ever-ready
A discount coupon at point of sale,
Or in your wallet a glossy ticket with its boxed numbers
Whose final punch means a reward in kind for your patronage.

The cadences captivate me, little hope of reason.
The lyric overcomes me, little hope of any resolve.
Actually whatever the hard inventory I conspire,
No matter my tellingly, strict observations and remarks,
My heart says how lovely you are.

And so it goes, I succumb to the trying to figure.  
I try to figure the source of it all,
Then I lapse from an ordinary confidence and come to believe

That I might be ordained and my voice allowed to carry
A radical theme first heard in the plain churches,
Now five centuries ago, my feelings fall backward to the faith,
By God, which held our course predestined in Heaven,
How else to describe these events?
I had to find you, and those inklings of our Destiny
Still remain and animate our hearts.
Wasn't it written?

Yet here is something that causes me consternation;
You appear to truly enjoy my company
When you know that I pay for your dinner.

Lately, that hour, or two, a quick repast, seems,
The only time you have to fit me in your schedule.

I realize that you are accustomed to international travel.
You stuff your backpack to the point your movement stiffens,
Yet heavy baggage means little to you,
Except, of course, should the airline catch
Your true luggage weight
And you must pay up for the extra kilos.

Then there is the situation with your mother,
(All kinds of complexities there!)
A topic I shall have to postpone,
A subject to tackle in another poem, or two.

And as for me, for me,
I sit up half the night writing poetry;
You must know I am lonely.
I seek company,
Your combination of intelligence, beauty and thrift
You, the solace I desire.
I  fill the wee small hours of the morning.
Believing that the two pillows I see on the bed
Mean that, though now you travel,
You soon return to sleep and make a home with me.

Dare I say it?  Must I resort to cliché.
Tears are streaming down my face.

Forget about it! I shall survive.
No need for undue concern, or worry,
I am probably naturally disposed to being
The gloomier of us two,
Yet I wonder how you push through the day,
How you bring a smile to your face, or roam open and free.

Dash it, Darling!
I am still caught up in the happy bondage;
Then, I wonder if either of us will escape it,
What I have called this thing of ours,
We are tied to it. You know it;
People in some future time and place will think of us.

“In the wee small hours of the morning,”

So the old song goes,
While whole, wide-world, deep asleep,
I'd be yours, if only you would stay,
Be in our bed and home with me.

My love,  I drew a line for you.

I have difficulty believing that you remain remote.
Can it be? Who resists the hand of Fate?
Have you now and forever gone your separate way,
Can it be true? How may I come to accept that
You are no longer available to me?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

WITHOUT YOU, George Street Heartache

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George St. Heartbreak

I am sick with watery eyes and body aches,
I fear I have the flu.
A congestion of the lungs has me coughing constantly.

Insomnia stains my eye sockets;
They look as though charcoal had blackened them.
For the first time in my life,
I look older than my real age.

Years ago, when a child,
I read auguries in the snarled patterns of clouds,
And practiced divination in how snow
Accumulated to subtle differences of height
On the post rails surrounding the corral.
I examined the frozen breath of horses.
I hoped to see some hint of good fortune,
But abstracted solely gloom and heartbreak.

Today, desperate and preoccupied,
I try to pick out the future from the way
Antenna wire twists against the white walls,
And runs up and down
Along the molding in my bedroom.
Once again, all readings seem dismal.

My mind has fallen into a trench,
And, like some foot soldier, I dig a deeper hole,
Hoping to escape an enemy barrage.

Yet I fear my own defenses, that mud may bury me.

I keep to the apartment all day,
Flipping over playing cards,
Looking for my destiny every time,
A queen of hearts appears from the deck.

It's going okay tonight, not too bad.

'Don’t be wearin’ that stickpin,
The one with the opal on top.'

I found it rummaging at a local swap meet.
I have heard about the reputation of opals.
Many people consider the gem as a bearer of bad luck,
Especially should one buy it for one's own self adornment.

My luck isn't very good in the first place.
I don't think me wearing an opal
Changes the outcome of life that much.

No eulogy for this affair of heart.
No photographs left here for me to remember us.

I see no people down the street to witness
Me driving off in the Ford alone.

Rainy and cold outside today,
Happy couples walk the avenues,
Huddling close, tight, one to another.

Your name has been deleted from my speed dial.
It has vanished from my computer screen.

I guess these musings are the closest
It may ever come to a biography of us.

I must wonder if this whole fantastic romance
Does it amount to no more now
Than make-believe, a wild course of my imagining?
Is it a footnote in this big book of my own?

No children will be named for us,
Not that you wanted it anyhow,
The children being named after either you or me.

No admission will ever be charged
For entrance to the home where we once lived,
Spoke ardently of love for one other,
And I attempted verse to celebrate us for the ages.

And despite all the noise coming from the street,
All the appointments I have to keep this evening,
I can only lie on the floor and look to the ceiling.
The light is going out of my eyes.

Some people lust after money.
Others seek a hundred different lovers.
Lots of people crave more than a fair share.

I, I just want you, your love, dear,
And while life goes on without you,
I feel increasingly impoverished.
I have fallen into awful ingratitude.

A grand poverty of spirit besets me.

I exaggerate my mood,
And in a panic I envision a national calamity.
My citizenship revoked, I am a refugee,
Lost to my wife and child and forced to flee home.

I have abandoned my bed and kitchen utensils.

I know it wrong for me to venture
Such outrageous scenarios;
Yet when I sit here alone, still I feel,
That prayer fails and in my life today, Abomination.
I am bereft of Succor, as if, God punishes me.

Sadly I postulate notions contrary to the faith of millions.
The awesome numbers whose testimony concerning Grace,
Its power in everyday life, mirrors the notion,
The every hair on our head has been counted.

And, too, I betray a personal belief, which chief tenet holds --
The breath of life requires daily thanksgiving.

The wind and rain seem harder now,
The storm windows occasionally shake,
Yellow leaves are being driven into slithering sheets,
Upon the sidewalk and curb stretching along George Street.

Lost in other worlds, mind running a narrative from guise to guise,
Assorted characters riotously clamor in my head.
Some appear as wisps of smoke, resembling ghosts,
Hazy semblances, others as identifiable faces, ancients,
Or people from my everyday life both current and past.
Sometimes they appear alone or they chatter all at once.

They seem to plead for life, or to want to live again.
It could be that they wish for some sign of recognition.
I guess they want to be remembered, vainly hope that these lines
Increase their chance at immortality.
I see and hear so much anguish from them.
While they continue in their importuning,
They throw me a line or two, even a stock phrase.
They try a hapless image, or urgently intone a fetching conceit.

Someone just whispered in my ear that I should tell you,
I write a verse which is a tear drop on the face of time.

Any chance to play a part, any bit in the script,
Causes them to go on and on,
Plaguing me with endless story lines and denouements.
Those voices, their ghost-like figures and faces, ultimately exhaust me.
Then they prevent me from falling to sleep,
Demanding a fierce edit,
A late-night rewrite of this or that aspect of the tale,
What might have been, what has been,
The bright white light, the turn to bloody, stinking thinking,
All promise of happiness broken, the terrible details of remorse,
Me being here planing refuge in warm, sunny clime, an expatriate;
You back in you native land breaking chunks of ice
Just to enter the front door of your home.

It really does not matter where we are for the fact remains,
You no longer on the bed sleeping next to me.
Your body warmth is unavailable to me

Yet how I sort and file our hearts' drama,
However I work the backwards and forwards,
The comings and goings, the delete, the copy and paste,
I am at loggerheads. I feud with myself.

Was I born to loose you?

Whether I direct the faces and voices to entrance or exit,
Stage left or right, the players, all their insistent monologues,
The show in its entirety, all of it
Falls upon the end-point of this, the one central moment,
And nothing remains but this very minute,
Right where we are, at this place, at this instant.

Was that you? I could have sworn it was you.
Were you waving at your village's web cam yesterday morning,
Believing that by chance I was watching?
Had you wanted to wish me a furtive hello?

Remember the old, Sunday school lesson?
We are meant to share the Curse,
Adam's Fall when once he bit the apple.
Time itself remains nonredeemable,
All mortal experience always, eternally present.

Do I hear an objection?
Darling, do you suggest some musing about our future?
Perhaps we have another day, another place.
OK. We shall call it 'Chapter 28', yeah, yeah sure, that's the ticket.
We set sail, and merrily make our way, find home in a land,
Far away, on the other side of the baths of the eastern stars.

What powder or liquid allows us to suppose a tomorrow?
Our minds pretend our continuance!
That phantasm that we awake and have another day,
Who can guarantee the next sentient instant?

The telephone is not ringing,
No mail in the box.

I must wonder if anyone manages to bear with me?
Would such good person allow me one more turn of phrase.
I wish to take this sad poem and make it better.

At least I am not drinking.
And given severity of my current heartbreak, thank God.
From Him what strength, what glory of accomplishment!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


19 August 1976

Gad! It's Nancy Lake of North Carolina,

“Chairman, Richard Rosenblum of the Great,
The Oh-so-Great, Delegation from the State of New York”

Representatives proclaim their diverse cultures,
Highlight separate geographies;
They are timed to a moment, tied to one central theme.
The fifty individual states of the Union, Arizona, Washington, Illinois and Indiana…
Texas, Alaska… Alabama and Michigan...,
The great cultures, the ethnographic mix of this nation,
Caucasians, Chinese, Blacks,
Cubanos, Chicanos, Italian-Americans, Native Peoples,
All expected to take twenty-five seconds or less:

“I am honored to second the nomination…

“The man the American people can trust!

“It is with my great pleasure…

“We are proud to place the name --

“Miss Perez has set a record -- under fifteen seconds!


“The miracle of Joseph’s coat of many colors…

“A head and a heart! A living legend!

“The last line of defense…


“Gerald R. Ford for President!”

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