Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Promise, promises!
More broken than Cupid’s arrow
Shattered against a frozen heart and
Hardened by slowly-solidifying
Molten words.

With a veterinarian’s precision,
Her honeyed hands
Would trace his
Hard-bitten skin,
Heal the wounded
Animal within.

Yes, he knew her well.
He remembered the ways she
Would hold his hands in hers,
Perfect his cuticles, and kiss him.
Her presence was intoxicating,
A Cape Town sun, coming down.
Bound to soothe the eyes
And the mind,
In no particular order.

She had his loyalty,
Like a hunter
With her hound
In the woods
At dusk.

Hunter with Dog


7:00 AM Transfer From Houston

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

First some dots,
Then some roads
That form a knot.
I watch above
A lush green spot,
A modest farmer’s plot.

When seatbelts click,
I feel the drop.
My stomach sinks,
Completely fraught,
From the futile battle
With luke-warm Fresca,
My bursting bladder
Is quite distraught.

We go down,
Then there’s a stop,
Through a gust of air
That is hot, we walk.
With movements like, a robot.
We take wing again,
And turn back the clock.
My headache is gone,
But my ears have popped,

This is a red-eye plane.

Flying Over Houston

For The Time Being

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Since representation
Is often labeled
Ungodly, pardon me
For my sins.

At the worst times,
Spiced thoughts accompany
My empty, double twin bed,
My crowded head.

Her aroma is
Rolled up inside my covers,
Like the smell of earth
After hard rainfall.

She has a way of
Tangling my dreams,
A citrus flavor of tangerines
So subtle, and present.

The tart sweetness that
Won’t leave your mouth,
Even if you taste
Something else.

How lovely is a full-blown crush?

Like hot cider
On a chilled December day,
It can be so delicious,
And scold your mouth.

I watch the warm,
Vaporous breath become visible
In the frosty air of the holiday season,
And walk from place to place.

I feel the cold of my belt buckle,
Hear the crunch of frigid under feet,
And know that
Winter is now.

I try thinking my way into happiness,
And out of loneliness,
But it’s not quite for me,
And I find myself listening to Chet, again.

Of all the places
To lose myself in contemplation,
It’s not so bad here,
Under the pull of this crescent moon.

Tangled Dream

The Fez

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Anticipation tiptoes from table to table.

My Jelly Roll Soul
Sets sail for Alice’s rabbit hole.

In front of a hushed, hip crowd,
The music condenses into a scarlet cloud,
And originality speaks aloud.

A trumpet sounds,
A subway car rumbles underground,
Signaling all the cool cats
That it’s time to get down.

A virtuoso teases black and white keys,
Shaping notes with subtle expertise.
The closest I’ve ever seen, Man come to mastering Machine.
Slowing the frenzied, fractured step of the East Village above,
To E’s. Legato ease.

Optional Z’s
Leave many without sleep,
For who could snooze
At times like these?
The alto-sax
Is bending C’s!

Just listen in, on the wailing bassoon,
Who howls to the moon.
It might be noon,
Up there.
But that’s up a flight of stairs,
And I’m enjoying my jazzy state of affairs.

There will always be time for Nostalgia in Times Square.

Charles Mingus Big Band

Kindred Bonds

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Far down the line
But my skin will stay café
The dark side of a lunar moon
Casts shadows upon my face
But the light shines down and diffuses
A fusion that I embrace
I look back at time
I look back at space
The line I walk
I’ll keep my pace
My ears preserve
To speak with grace
And make some sense
Of muddled race
Sharp is my tone
And so I brace
For those who cry
“You have no place”
I’m springing forth
From ancestral base
An intricate weave
Of familial lace
From within my core
Beats resonate
My soul resounds
Like deep, rich bass
A load I can carry
But tedious weight
My calm brown hair
I’ll never hate
With open arms
Receive my fate
I wish I could aid my earlier brethren
Slaving away on that Southern estate
I am not done…
Will I be too late?

A Missed Subway Train (And A Simple Melody)

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

All the way to Zion,
She hung from the
Tip of my tongue.

She was the right song,
At the right time. That’s
What I hoped, at least.

I loved her accompaniment;
The kind that was as fine
As a San Francisco sunset.

She invited me to eat dinner,
And I said, “Yes, of course.”
Because I had never been
To her place before.

She said she lived somewhere
Off the North Juda Line.
We agreed to meet
After work, at half past seven,
Outside of the Market
Street subway stop.

I knew that I didn’t have
Much time to waste.
She was the type to leave
If I was late.

Sure enough,
By the end of the day,
I got delayed. I was still
In the office at eight.
I called her twice,
But she didn’t wait.

And I tried to catch her
At the next stop,
But my feet were slow –
I knew that I missed my shot.

So there I was again, caught.
I knew the perfect song
To sing to Celia,
I was just late
On the chorus.

Free to amble because of
My missed commitment,
I walked further down
The Embarcadero,
Until I heard some Cuban dudes
Playing a familiar old song
In the SBC Park, just below Pier 38.

I recognized it immediately –
Such a beautifully simple melody:

Yo soy un hombre sincero, de donde crece la palma
Yo soy un hombre sincero, de donde crece la palma
Y antes de morir yo quiero cantar mis versos del alma.

The funny thing is, for a while,
I forgot about everything.
I sat on that bench, and listened.
The song had that old wisdom to it,
Something that you can’t really explain,
You just feel.

Eventually, I decided to
Walk out onto the pier.
I got to thinking
About Celia again,
How mad she must be –
Send in the clowns.

And just as I
Started to sink –
You know, really feel
Bad for myself,
Someone tapped me
On the shoulder.

I turned to face
The unsuspecting person,
To let them know that
It was the wrong day,
And I was the wrong guy
To be asking for directions…

And there she was,
Right in front of me.
“Take my hand,”
Celia quietly said,
As the lights on the pier
Danced to the sweetness
Of her voice in my ears.
I laughed. She laughed.
And there we were –
A little bit lost together.

Embarcadero Night

Ode To The Moon

Poetry by Ted Boughter-Dornfeld Copyright © 2009

Beloved, shimmering satellite.
You pour down dutifully into the night,
Through hilltops and valleys alike;
Impressing a calm, inspiring fright.
Quite heavy sometimes, while other times slight.
Pale and present, smiling upon the world
With that pleasant, Cheshire grin.
You leave me feeling warm, again.

O Moon, doubly resplendent
From your infinite place in the sky.
You share the solar-system with the stars,
And patiently listen as an anxious puppy
Whines from his lonely domain.

Radiantly, you reward
The midnight lover’s stroll,
Fulfilling the task at hand,
Until a rooster crows,
And the Sun steals your show.

Crescent Moon

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