TAKE ME TO THE PARK
me to the park before the towers block my view.
Sitting in the shade to watch the budding leaves wax green,
Take me to where pinecones fill the crowded sunlit day.
Innocent reminder of the circus of my youth,
Take me to the park because it’s where I learned to play.
Kicking at the bark of every tree I tried to climb,
Counting all the clover of my public Eden fair,
Lying on the lawn where lovers dared to hold back time.
me to the playground while I still have legs to run
Ere I grow too old or too pragmatic to pretend.
Push me on the swing. I’ll teach you how to throw a ball.
Take me to that place I learned to share and be a friend.
the concrete back and let the landscape have its way
In deference to that special place that all my cares forgive.
Never let man’s progress make a vestige of the grass.
Take me to the park because it’s where I learned to live.
May 25, 2006. This poem was composed to commemorate the rededication
of Little Landers Park. To Council District 2 and those who
worked so hard to renovate the park, thank you for giving us
a safe place to play.
REQUIEM FOR A SILVER SCREEN
you remember what was playing that night,
The night I first kissed you in the back row?
Do you remember what you said to me
Before a “shhh!” cut through the moment?
You said I looked like Sal Mineo in my jacket and that hair,
And I thought you were prettier than Natalie Wood.
The fabric on the seats was worn, the plumbing didn’t
The carpeting was dingy, the aisle was unkempt
And the aging screen was tarnished with signs of disregard.
It wasn’t the Orpheum or Palace
But I could walk you there on the nights I couldn’t
get the car
For it was oh, so close to home.
I could get wheels, we’d dash off early
try to sneak you home,
With the projector still rolling; and drive up to the cross.
Although I clutched my jacket tight to fend off the rising
You still managed to slip one shoulder in. Do you remember?
It wasn’t long before we’d look down and see the
And the lights that read “Tujunga” sign off for
You were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen
And your lips still tasted like butter and salt.
But the rattle of the car always gave us away.
I don’t know why, but it always took forty-five minutes
just to say “Good Night.”
When inside, we’d see the hall light flash on and off,
we knew our time was up.
But before the screen door shut, I always managed to ask,
“If you weren’t busy next week, could I take you
to the movies?”
glad you still remember, I so hated to see it go.
Many tried to guard our memories and keep the marquee lit.
And whether we called it the Hilltop, Rainbow or Canyon
It was where I dreamed of being as much your hero
As those upon the screen.
(c) 2006 by Joe DeCenzo
a less than perfect world
With inadequate direction
There are numerous reminders
Of astonishing perfection.
appear in many forms
Some still hidden, I suppose
And the greatest indication
Is the ordinary rose;
petal purely placed
To form an iridescent glow
Around a stamen soft and sweet
That bears the scent all lovers know.
I want my art to flourish
In this manner I propose
And I dare as much to ask,
How do I create a rose?
(C) 1984 by Joe DeCenzo