The poetic impulse is not limited to recognized or highly skilled artists, for whom poetic achievement is their life work. Most people, if motivated and disciplined, can make creations of merit that are touching, or playful, or accomplished, and that illuminate human understanding and add value and texture to their own lives. These “artists-in-waiting” may not be poets of the highest order or even aspire to that, but they often do good work that opens up and shares life experience. This section of the Purple Scooter Poetry website, to be expanded over time, includes, initially, contributions from friends, relatives, and colleagues of the editor. (Note: Suggestions from site visitors are welcome, to
  Alexander Wieber, untitled, charcoal, 1957 (private collection)



Border Incident

Inspired by the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry illuminated manuscript, 15th Century, public domain, Morgan Library collection, NYC


A manuscript
   Dipped in gold
Behold the insect bold
   He dashes through a maze of flowers

The Book of Hours
   Has been defiled
   The beetle smiled
He drew too near
   A warrior’s spear

He bled.
   The work of art
   Was stained with red
A new design
   A crimson line
   From blood-ill-fated

A manuscript illuminated!


La Reve

Written while contemplating Henri Rousseau’s La Reve at MoMA, New York City. Rousseau (1844-1910) never traveled and spent his entire life working as a customs clerk, hence his derisive nickname in French, le Douanier.


Through shimmering slits in a bamboo screen
Fruits and flowers can be seen
Monkeys munch on tangerine
Lions lunch on meat that’s lean.

Amidst banana and cucumber
Jungle splendors without number
Lies a maiden bathed in slumber
Dreaming of vistas far away
From the world of le douanier!

[Bess Heitner, NYC]


In A Moment of Remembrance

Sunlight through the window streaming
   softly warmly strikes my thighs
Delighted sounds of children playing
   fill the air, increase my sighs
Footsteps echoing in courtyards
   tell of strangers passing there
Wind-swept leaves now swirling crisply
   make sounds like gentle waterfalls in air…

[Gail Spangenberg, NYC, 1974]


Rain Dismay

“The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.”
[Rain, Robert Louis Stevenson]

Won’t someone rein the rain in, please!
It reigns discourteously
O’er tennis, soccer, baseball plans
—made by my family.

If Robert Louis Stevenson
Were only here to see
How his verse about the raining rain
—has got the best of me.

[Susan Wallman, NYC, May 2011]


Early November

You streamlined mother morning
Sliding me down a bright aluminum sky
That radiates power from mica-speckled granite
Into steel-barreled trees
And the gray river clay that cloaks the egg
Of next year’s salamander
That will rise and devastate
The foliage in its time,
But only in its time.
My stomach is tight, my skin a mirror,
As I stroke old pages to find the form
Of last year’s salamander,
Groping toward the bottom of the day
Like a fly vagrant in a wine glass,
Uncertain whether I am consuming it
Or it is consuming me.

[Forrest Chisman, 1980s]


for you women

sweet sweet women, with herbs
and baby lettuces in your gardens,
an offering of cucumber plants
and basil stalks, while outside
sirens blare. if the lettuces can hear,
they don’t seem to mind. the
cucumbers stay crisp and sweet.
come lay by the grasses, by the tree root
on your small patch of earth, come hear
the hum and buzz of life moving around us.

[Aja Beech]
[in tribute to her Uncle Ken]


Seasonal Musings

Spring: Early Spring—Still Life

A bevy of bickering, branching birds
chafe the air with resinous cries
a flutter of fiercely feathered words
cursing the ambiguous skies.

Summer: Petunias

Petunias bloom in the stone pot,
pink, blue, white polyglot,
fragile though they may seem to be,
they simulate eternity.

They blow and batten in the pot,
pink, blue, white polyglot,
and do not care a single crumb
for what is past and what’s to come.

Autumn: October

A lone bird chirps
a bar that has no melody
but simple records out of key
October’s special clarity.

Winter: Pink and Purple Hydrangeas

How reassuring in December
Faced with winter’s blind rages
To know that earth will remember
Pink and purple hydrangeas.

[Harry Weinstock, 1965 & 1970s]



Photo Rhythms and Stained Glass Window

by Steven Michel Barteau (1962-2011)

Angel’s Trumpet, 2009



Mail Call, Madrid, NM, 2009



Blue Vases with Mums, 2006



Pink Rose, 2006



Trees and Snow, 2006



Tulips, 2006



White Rose, 2006


Stained Glass Window - created 2006-2008
19" x 25" (private collection)

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