Four Poems


I am not a poet
How could I be
I mean, what do I know
I mean, who would want to hear
What I saw at the top of that mountain
or was it really just a glorified hill
when the sunrays slanted over the ocean
and the brown grass of Mendocino summer
trembled before the breeze
It was just the usual contrast, right
Between the vastness of the vast
And the little crawly thing
With the elongated feelers
That seemed to materialize by my knee
As if waiting for an introduction
A chance to swap ideas
Or just embrace the moment
I mean, I don’t know anything you don’t know
You’ve fallen in love, right
You’ve broken your heart, whatever that means
struck out with the bases loaded
And found treasure in a trash heap
Am I right, it’s just nonsense
I mean, look at me, look at yourself
Look at these feeble scratchings
How could we be poets
It would mean I’ve had it wrong all these years
Oh, so terribly wrong

                       for Mishato, the fifth grader who told me this story

I remember feeling
Really happy
Haven’t felt that way
In a long time

It was raining
Which usually puts me
In a bad mood

And I was eating turkey soup
Which I don’t even like

But the quiet music
On the radio
Made my mom
Move her hands in the air

Like she felt the soft notes
Filling her heart
As I swallowed my soup
And felt…yeah…happy


Miles plays the trumpet.
Coltrane plays the sax.
Billie plays the heart strings.
These are just the facts.

Jazz is living music.
It breathes.  It cries.  It flies.
Jazz screams the ugly truth
And whispers beautiful lies.


The pure feeling of life – of being alive – walking outside –
miraculous world, miraculous body – and what of the mind? –
I think, therefore I…lose track of my thoughts – a squirrel, above me,
tightropes a power line – my dog can’t spot it, but senses…
something, enticing, out of sight but on his mind – and together
we walk – I yank on his leash, he yanks on mine – and I think,
Who needs Walt Whitman? – and I think, We need Walt Whitman!
and how it all starts with the breath – arises from footsteps – or
maybe the heartbeat – the two-step of thump-thump, thump-thump
my heart pumps – cool bay air thrills my skin – the pure feeling
of life – of being alive – miraculous world, miraculous body – and
what of the mind? – what of the mind…

#David Schweidel


  1. Valerie Tonus - May 6, 2019 @ 11:48 am

    loving your songs

  2. Jana - April 30, 2019 @ 5:33 pm


  3. Martina Reaves - April 26, 2019 @ 4:12 pm

    I love I Am Not A Poet. Wow!!! And all of them, but especially I Am Not A Poet. Thank you!

  4. Jo Moorhouse - April 25, 2019 @ 8:41 pm

    Thank you.
    Especially for that jazz.

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