The Poetry of Sheldon White

___Thoughts About a Motorcop___

When he tags along behind
as though to have me jailed or fined
my thoughts of him are quite unkind.

But when we swerves and rockets by
and then pursues some other guy
no one cheers him more than I.

___Open Invitation___

If you really wanted us to visit,
You'd make the time and place explicit.

I remember me

Told and retold
The deeds of my youth
Glitter like gold
Untarnished by truth.

___Natural Selection___

Dear hostess, please,
My mind protests
At greeting miles
And miles of guests.

Present me to
The young and fair
And I will carry
On from there.

___Down the Leafy Glen___

I think that I shall never see
The branch that hanging from a tree
Waits till I come walking by
And pokes me smartly in the eye.

___Motion Denied___

Girls in short skirts
May not carelessly bend
Nor seven-foot ladders
In public ascend.

___Brainless Snob___

He's only a tailor's dummy
A part of the window trim
With a wooden sneer reminding me
My suit looked good on him.>

___Ode to a Fried Egg___

Your brooding yellow eye
Seems to be telling me
Of the noble fowl you might have been
And now can never be

___Intercepted Pass?___

When you wave at me, I will
Refrain from waving back until
I have looked around to see
Who is waving back of me.

___Remembrance of Things Past___

Backyards have lost that quaint romance
Where in the breeze the bath towels dance
With mama's skirts and papa's pants;

Backyards now are drab and bare
No brilliant fabrics hanging there
Nor bright sheets shining in the air.

Oh, the automatic dryer's fine
But gallant was the old clothesline.

___Noisy Intersection___

It will happen in the future
no one knows exactly when --

A man named Nathan Rosen
whose three children do not like him
and whose fur business is failing
and whose nervous wife divorced him
for a balding diamond merchant
will depart his high-walled mansion
in a fine part of the city
drive up Wilshire in his Lincoln
to a noisy intersection
where he will shatter broadside

a new polished lemon Plymouth
owned and driven by a black man
on Elzy Simmons, Jr.
A graduate of Stanford
of computers a programmer

husband of a high school teacher
living in a flagstone cottage
in the San Fernando Valley.
The crash will spare poor Rosen
and kill Elzy Simmons, Jr.

It will happen in the future
no one knows exactly when --


Shadows sag on the broken fence
and the ruined wall
Sunlight splashes
on the terraced mountain
In the field a spill
of tin cans and rotten tires
three crows in a dead tree
The toy train circles the track
past cardboard towns
Pottery horses stand in the hollow
Tin soldiers are dancing
in the gutters of Spain

Tell me your dreams again
the bright sails
tilting into the wind.

___Furniture Factory___

We talked at the bench
as we sanded maple shelves.
Because of the lump of snuff
under his lower lip

Blout spoke thickly:
did you ever see a mermaid,
he asked, one of them
half-women, half-fish?

I confessed I never had.
Later we discussed
cruelty and punishment.
Blout said he knew a fellow

who set fire to a dog
that ran under his house
and burned it down. I said:
served the bastard right.

Blout agreeed. Silently we sanded
then he told me
he set fire to a cat once,
but he hated cats.