poems by howard salzman


You look at me aged and wrinkled.

Do you think you will not be here some day
when others will peer at you and turn away?
Today is your tomorrow
and you are me my friend.
The only difference is time.


You placed a kiss in the palm
of your hand
and blew it towards me
it gathered into a fine mist,
then descended into my heart;
when its journey was through
the soul looked up
and said thank you

1994 published in Innerself. April 1995


The Phoenix
There is a phoenix within us all
that calls from the depths of our being
when we listen
we hear
continue on
physical limitations are but an invitation
to another route
for there are many roads to the mountain top
so let not the mind slumber in the past but awaken to new frontiers of enlightenment
and if the body falters
strength the spirit
and behold the feelings of despair will burn away
and out of the ashes the phoenix
will ascend
to carry you to a world of splendor
where knowledge, beauty and job reside
so make haste
the royal bird readies itself for flights to heights you never dreamed of.

published in Innerself 1994


A Handful of Flowers
A little boy with a handful of flowers
looked at me and said "hello"
quite natural like
lacking all the discipline of politeness
It was with warmth and innocence
and then he was gone.
Let us preserve the world for little boys
that walk with flowers in their hands.

published in Innerself in October 1994


The Homeless
We are the men with no names
that roam the clutter your streets
curling in the corner of doorways
half-hidden under a bridge
lay on a blanket of mud.
We are the men with no names
who are haunted by the past
and fearful of the present.
Our feet fester
and our bodies know no end to pain.
We are the men with no names
We cry out for you
our brothers and our sisters
but our cries are washed away with
the wind
and our tears are dried by the sun.
We are the forgotten ones
we are the men with no names
drifting along your streets
waiting for death.


A body of a thousand lips
I kiss
caressing piece by piece
a thousand lips beneath your skin
cry yes
yes yes
yes yes
ride stallion ride
and I sweet friend
shall walk in the warm rain of your womb.


Black single parent
I knew you as a statistic
numbers, percentages
concepts that clouded my mind
but my eyes penetrated the
and I saw your eyes filled with love
for your child.
If violent men would gather and
upon your face
then the hate in their hearts
would give flight
and the hardened fists
would unfold to seek your tender

published in the Miami Times on August 5, 1993


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