A LOYAL MENTEE THANKS HIS 3 MENTORS
Life is short.
The craft so long to learn.
Who taught him how to live—
the 2 Henrys— Miller and Thoreau,
and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, all advised:
See and hear everything new
as if you were a traveler from a distant star.
Brace yourself for falling in love,
the way a good horse opens its mouth
at the sight of the bit.
Only take a bus marked Not in Service.
Don’t be afraid to wear a sheepish grin.
Always fly one flag at half mast
for every loved one you lost.
Be kind to everyone you meet,
but reserve your deepest compassion
for painters who can only paint
with a brush between their teeth.
Never forget the taste of the crunch
of a Macoun apple on an October morning.
Avoid the snarling coyotes of the world,
they all reek of halitosis.
Apply for a job that doesn’t feel like work,
and then work as hard as you can.
Let nature take its course.
A LIVE MONITORING OF PASSERSBY ON GEARY BOULEVARD
Two men cling to each other madly in love.
Older man talks—younger one laughs.
Both adorned with silver crosses
glinting in rays of morning sunlight.
Could they be priests in civvies?
The laughing man suddenly weeps,
pleading, I’m unworthy of your love!
Holding hands looks too frustrating—
they must desire greater intimacy.
I monitor their walk and wonder
how well their love will endure.
I hope they will walk together
for miles, endless miles, in eternal spring.
Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 87-year old psychologist who has published many poems in periodicals such as: the Toronto Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Mobius, The Chiron Review, Samsara, Blue Collar Review, Allegro Poetry Review, Naugatauk River Review, Taj Mahal Review, Poetica Magazine, Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times.