Nulla Dies Sine Linea
Out the driveway and across the bridge past the corn fields
past the Northern Bean acres and left turn to the supermarket
on Dublin Pike where the shopping list will have me go
from requisition to selection to purchase to back home.
Is there enough fuel, is the engine temperature on normal,
has the oil and filter been changed within 3,000 miles,
Is my shirt buttoned lop-sided and my shoelaces tied,
did we pay the rent, utilities, did I transfer the clean clothes
to the drier and put in the last load for the washer?
Never a day should go by that I don’t write at least one line,
except today, it is four pm, tea time for the Brits,
closing time at some offices, and what poetry
have I written today, or yesterday for that matter?
But then I’m in Super Fresh, wheeling my cart to the check-out,
when the person ahead of me in line turns to me and clearly says,
“Well Israel, how are things in the real world?”
and I see it is one of my fellow poets,
buying her vegetables and some notions,
in this supermarket where the cashier activates
the belt that moves my potatoes, tofu, organic apples.
This is the real world, it has holes in its socks,
sometimes rains cats and dogs, and ubiquitously
is with us whatever the day brings,
now, if only I could write about it.
Israel Halpern lives on a working farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Currently he is working on a full-length book of his poetry. He hosts a TV show in New York City (channels 34/35 and 56/57), called “PoetryTV,” which has been on cable television for the last ten years. His work has been published in various literary publications since 1965 here and abroad. Among the list of publications are: Beyond Baroque, California Literary Quarterly, Electrum, Northwestern Press, Bucks County Writer, Freshet, L.A. Times, San Francisco Oracle, Third Rail, and others. He has worked his way around most of the world, including Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia, working as journalist, filmmaker, editor, and carpenter
Works by Israel Halpern