Posts from 2008
31  Dec
poem: cutting back

we shouldn’t be dining out
but with both of our heads
about to explode
from the difficult day we’ve had
(the hacks having driven us nearly mad)
we’re far too spent to cook
instead we’re splurging precious jack
when we should be cutting back


our neighbor got rid of her cable t.v.
a loss we deem a tragedy
we’ll give up taxis
and vitamin b
but not our prized h.d.t.v.
as times grow increasingly black
and everyone’s cutting back


now i think twice
before i buy
and price tags make me
want to cry
grocery shopping’s
a continual sigh
staples out of whack
that’s why we’re cutting back


coffee at starbucks
is a special event
when it used to start the day
investments raise questions
about where they went
their statements cause for dismay
the thought of vacation
is instantly quashed
as spendthrift and elegiac
a change of location
is quickly kiboshed
because we are cutting back


i still believe in butter
but won’t buy the high-priced spread
champagne makes my heart flutter
but i drink sparkling wine instead
even friends who are wealthy
with little that they lack
are finding thrift is healthy
they’re also cutting back


financial cycles
do come around
we might see good times again
but i guess pinching pennies
and cinching up belts
will have to suffice ‘til then

i’m usually cheerful
and times when i’m tearful
i treat like an amnesiac
but my strong optimism
now refracts through the prism
of constantly cutting back

posted by bill on December 31, 2008, at 11:27 am | filed under news, poetry | 1 comment »

waving palm
rising moonlight

laid-back vacation

breezy balm

warm lagoon night

true relaxation

no one to call
no cares at all
sweet reprieve
tropical christmas eve


on and on

waves are lapping

by the posada

tension gone

poolside napping

pina colada

nothing is planned

fantasy land

make believe

tropical christmas eve


hand in hand

barefoot strolling

down by the shore line

toes in sand

waves keep rolling

under the star shine

faint noel


ebb of the ocean


hope restoring

joyful emotion

just you and me

nowhere to be

never leave

tropical christmas eve

tropical christmas eve

tropical christmas eve

posted by bill on December 4, 2008, at 11:44 am | filed under news, poetry | no comments »

i recently had the great pleasure of meeting carol hall, the composer of “the best little whorehouse in texas” … we had communicated years ago because alan stein, an attorney who represented both of us, gave carol the poem which follows … she wrote me the nicest letter saying that no one in the world would understand it as well because she also comes from a ranching family …


(for dad)



the steers are herded

into the sales ring
and the bidding begins
my father
(“cowboy” to all)
sits stoically tall
knowing he’s going
to take more of a beating
than he already has
from these high-strung cattle


the battle began
with the branding
and never stopped
foot-rot and runaways
topped by the round-up
when his horse gave way
and he and his steed
tumbled down the hill
sixty-four years of western will
in a painful pile


and now the trial
of compensation
the market’s down
and the calculation
of average weight
shows the s.o.b.s

hardly ate hors d’ouevres
let alone the bulk
to make beefy curves
of profit

the ranchers scoff it off
chalk it up
carry on
tear and toil
all gone
for loss


and as we cross
these cruel plains
my dad explains
the cattle trade

in my youth i paid no heed
thinking i would never need
knowledge at such far remove
from worlds where i longed to prove
my worth

a birth of understanding
happens on this sunset ride
as i confide
the workings of the stage
and we compare
the nurturing of page
and steers
the months or years
of work
dependent on a single day
when scales or critics
have their say


the way our callings
are the same
extends right to the bottom line
for if we reap reward
or not
we both love the work
it’s been our destiny
to pick
and share the bond
of ranching, writing and arithmetic

posted by bill on November 5, 2008, at 3:42 pm | filed under news, poetry | 1 comment »

Opening number

here are some photos from the production i directed at the stoneham theatre … they were taken by paul lydel



posted by bill on October 9, 2008, at 5:12 pm | filed under news, pageant, photos, shows | no comments »

this is a fragment of a lyric from “lucky duck” which i wrote with henry krieger and jeffrey hatcher … serena, the ugly duckling who has become the hottest supermodel in the kingdom, contemplates how everything went so wrong


all of my goals
seem inconsequential
striving so hard for fame
being well-known
has a scary potential
a place for placing blame

all of a sudden
and out of the blue
sun disappeared
and storm clouds grew
temperatures fall
and cold winds blow
where did the good times go?

where did the good times go?
thought they were here to stay
now misery is our status quo
where oh where did the good times go?

posted by bill on October 8, 2008, at 12:23 pm | filed under news, poetry | no comments »